Out of all the counties globally, you don’t expect Australia to be at the very end of the spectrum when receiving new product releases.
Australia has been heavily cracking down on popular torrent sites ever since early 2016. According to an article by CNN, 59 popular torrent sites aren’t accessible in Australia.
If you’re a native Australian or a tourist planning on traveling there, you will also need to access the local content. What can you do about it? Well, the best option for you is to get a Virtual Private Network.
In this guide, I have recommended some of the best VPN for Australia that will get you ultimate freedom.
6 Best Australia VPNs in 2021
The following services are some of the premium VPNs that work perfectly in Australia. The services we’ve chosen are fully capable of boosting your online privacy while giving access to all restricted websites in the country:
Here is the detailed video tutorial for the top 3 Australian VPNs with the best features, security, and pricing in 2021.
1. ExpressVPN – Overall Best VPN for Australia
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Australia and is a great option to secure your online privacy in Australia. This service is a bit expensive; however, it certainly performs unlike any other.
ExpressVPN offers around 3,000+ servers in 94 countries with dedicated servers in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane, starting with the servers. With such a vast network of servers, you can easily watch international streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many others. You can also download torrents with ExpressVPN’s P2P supported servers at a decent speed. With ExpressVPN, you can also get US Netflix in Australia and also access HBO Max in Australia along with other American streaming platforms.
For our friends who wish to catch up with the local Australian content such as ABC TV, SBS, NITV, and Seven from anywhere around the globe on your operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS. ExpressVPN is also based in the British Virgin Islands. With the country’s privacy-affirming laws, there’s an important benefit for Australian users who don’t want themselves being logged.
ExpressVPN is significantly expensive than most VPNs in the industry. You can get its services for $6.67/mo with the 30-days refund policy. With this much to offer, ExpressVPN is definitely the best value VPN in Australia.
Refer to our ExpressVPN review guide for more information.
- 3,000+ servers in 94+ countries
- five simultaneous connections
- State-of-the-art security and encryption
- A bit costly than most providers
2. Surfshark – Fastest VPN for Australia
Second, on our list of best VPN in Australia is Surfshark. If you wish to get a VPN with the highest speed, there’s no better VPN to get other than Surfshark. It’s also an affordable option available for only $2.49/mo .
It has 3,200+ servers and is available in 65 countries. Currently, they offer more than 36 servers in Australia in five cities, i.e., Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. With servers in all the five major cities of Australia, people abroad can easily keep themselves updated with the locate shows on SBS Viceland HD, 7HD, 7two, 7mate, and 7flix. The service is also compatible with all the major platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Android TV, and iOS.
AES 256- bit encryption, Intenet Kill switch, CleanWeb, and Multi-hop are among the few features Surfshark has in its arsenal. Also, Surfshark has a logging policy audited by an independent organization, Cure53 itself. The provider keeps no records about you that could be used to tie your online activities to your person in any way. Overall, it is the fastest VPN for Australia and the best to access and download from torrent sites.
Read the full features of this VPN in detail in our Surfshark review.
- 3,200+ servers in 65 countries
- unlimited simultaneous connections
- Military-grade encryption and third-party audit
- It offers a moderately-sized server network
- Limited P2P Servers
3. NordVPN – Top VPN Australia
NordVPN is a powerful VPN with a wide range of features capable of boosting online privacy while giving good unblocking power to the user.
To start with, it boasts a huge network of 5,400+ servers in 59 countries. Out of these, 190+ are Australia VPN servers. Many of the NordVPN servers are optimized for torrents, while others are great for streaming. Therefore, Australian users can unblock torrent websites with NordVPN and access US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, BT-Sports, Channel4, ITV, and the like. Similarly, people living abroad can keep up with their favorite shows on Racing.com, STQ, 9HD, 9Gem, and 9Go!
In terms of features, NordVPN offers CybserSec, DoubleVPN, Onion Over VPN, and kill switch. These mechanisms will safeguard your privacy and security, keeping you protected from various online threats lurking about in Australian cyberspace. The provider also guarantees a zero-logging policy, which is ideal for users seeking to stay under Australian government surveillance radar.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and can be simultaneously used on 6 devices. You can protect your Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, and Android TV device altogether with a single subscription.
For more information on this provider, here is our detailed review of NordVPN.
- Server strength of 5,400+ in 59 countries
- 6 simultaneous connections
- CyberSec, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN
- Torrenting supported on specific servers
- Slow server connection
4. PureVPN – Best Australian VPN for Streaming
In total, PureVPN offers 6,500+ servers in 140+ countries. It has servers located in Australia alone and a presence in 4 cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. With such a widespread network accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Sony Liv, YouTube TV US, UKTV, and Disney+ has never been this much easy.
Local Australian content such as 9Life, 9Rush, NBN, 10 HD, 10 Peach, and TVSN is always accessible via PureVPN if you are an Australian expatriate or traveling abroad. PureVPN is one of the most economic VPNs in Australia available at only $3.33/mo with a 31-day refund policy.
PureVPN is headquartered in Hong Kong, far away from mandatory data retention laws. Therefore, it has an excellent logging policy and refrains from storing any privacy-sensitive information of users.
Other than that, it offers advanced security features such as Split-Tunneling and Internet Kill Switch. With 10 simultaneous connections, you can secure your windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, PS4, Xbox, and Roku altogether.
For more information on this provider, please look into our guide PureVPN reviews by our experts.
- 6,500+ servers worldwide
- Headquartered in Hong Kong
- Offers a 7-day free trial
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Windows app is sluggish
- Limited Payment Processor support
5. CyberGhost – Secure VPN for Australia
Next up is CyberGhost. In total, CyberGhost offers about 6,700+ servers in 89 countries. Just for Australia alone, CyberGhost offers around 242 servers in Melbourne and Sydney. Thanks to Melbourne and Sydney’s servers, you can easily watch Prime7, ishop TV, GWN7, Nine Regional, and Aspire TV from abroad.
CyberGhost is a heavy hitter when it comes to unblocking streaming services in and outside Australia. I tried accessing ESPN+, Spotify, UKTV, Sling TV, NHK, CCTV, and more on all the major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Firestick, Android TV, Roku, Xbox, and Play Station, and it worked effortlessly.
As far as features are concerned, you get 256-bit encryption, IP sharing, Internet Kill Switch, and many other amazing torrenting features. Furthermore, the provider has a privacy-affirming logging policy for the user’s peace of mind. It also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee with seven simultaneous connections.
Please read our CyberGhost review for more details on this provider.
- 6,700+ servers in 90 countries
- Seven Simultaneous connection
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Dodgy data jurisdiction and anonymity
- Limited payment options
6. PIA VPN – Best for Torrenting in Australia
Private Internet Access provides strong encryption that completely hides your online activity and 3000+ servers in Australia. There’s a lot to love about this VPN service. It has 35,000+ servers in 77 countries that let you stream geo-restricted content such as Hulu, Disney, UKTV, BBC iPlayer, ITV, NHK, CCTV, France TV with ease.
It’s 3000+ servers in Australia for the users living abroad to watch local Australian content on SCA Seven, Imparja, MTN, MDN, Sky News, and 10 Peach. It is also easily configurable on popular devices such as macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Android TV, Firestick, Linux, and Router. Torrenting on the Australian server was an absolute breeze too.
256-bit encryption helps to encrypt your network traffic. Even if PIA glitches out on you, the Internet Kill Switch feature should automatically disconnect you from the internet. PIA is also fairly affordable. It only costs $2.69/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 10 simultaneous connections.
For more information on this provider, here is our Private Internet Access review.
- 35,000+ servers in 77 countries
- Largest VPN server network
- 10 simultaneous logins.
- Headquartered in the U.S
- Faces issues unblocking sites some streaming websites
Benchmark of choosing a good VPN in Australia
To provide you the best VPNs for Australia, I had to set up some benchmarks on which my investigation and review were based. Following are the benchmark you should also consider while selecting a VPN for yourself in Australia.
- Encryption – As Australia is a part of the 5-eyes alliance, strong encryption and security features such as Internet Kill Switch, no-log policy, and DNS leak protection are mandatory for your online privacy.
- Geoblocking and Speed – Apart from security, all the VPNs should be able to grant you access to unlimited geo-restricted content from all around the globe at high-speed.
- Torrenting – VPN providers should be able to offer you P2P support servers so you can download torrents without any hesitation or worry. :
- Simultaneous connection – Simultaneous connections allow you to use your account on more than a single device at any time. All the VPN providers we have listed allow 5 or more simultaneous connections.
- Money-back guarantee: A back-door to get you out of the subscription if the service doesn’t perform as per your expectations. Each VPN on my list comes with a tried and tested money-back guarantee.
Why Do You Need a VPN in Australia?
The Australian government enjoys easy access to the metadata of civilians on the pretext of national security. A survey showed that Australians are not, on the whole, opposed to surveillance for their security. However, the Australians are only mildly accepting of government surveillance, so they are not very happy about it either.
Intelligence agencies in the country can request your internet and telephone records from relevant companies, which are now obliged to retain your information for at least 2 years. This is a serious privacy concern and raises VPNs’ importance in the country more than ever before.
Other than that, Australian Netflix gets only a fraction of the available content in other regions such as the US, UK, and Canada. Moreover, Australia also imposes a so-called Online Goods Tax. This tax allows the Australian Government to charge an extra 10% on all digital goods under AUD 1000 in value.
Thanks to this law, the price of an average Netflix subscription has increased by 20%. Considering the limited content in the Australian Netflix library, such a hefty price adjustment is not justifiable.
That’s not all. Australia is ranked the fifth most vulnerable country globally in data breaches and exposed records, with an average of 834,833 exposed records per breach.
In 2012, the Australian Communications Minister said that because of notices that the government sent to ISPs in the country, over 90% of Australians using the internet would have their content filtered.
While originally, censorship was focused on stopping serious crimes such as child abuse and the like, but in 2015 it was expanded to cover copyright material infringement. The government has been ordering ISPs to censor more and more torrenting websites such as The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, and TorenHound.
These are all essential reasons why you need to start taking measures for improving online privacy in Australia right now. To summarize, you need the best VPN for Australia if you care about any of the following:
- Hiding from government surveillance
- Accessing geo-restricted content on Netflix and other streaming/entertainment services
- Staying safe from hackers and data breaches
- The government is filtering your web services
Data Retention & Anti-Piracy Laws in Australia
Australia is becoming stricter against copyright infringement and invading user’s privacy through mandatory data retention requirements by law. These only make it easier for surveillance agencies to do their job and poke their noses into the business of innocent citizens.
Data retention and surveillance
The data retention laws in Australia compel ISPs and telecom companies to log metadata of customers, including emails and text messages, for a minimum of two years!
Several key organizations follow this interception and access law in Australia, including Centrelink, Australia Post Corporate Security Group, and the Australian Taxation Office.
The data that companies are logging for every individual in Australia include:
- Websites visited
- Location of user
- Session duration
- Date/time of connection
- Personal details (username etc.) of users
- Network type (Wi-Fi, broadband, 4G, etc.)
If you thought that was crazy, then brace yourself for more:
Authorities in Australia have been accessing journalists’ metadata in Australia without even bothering for a legal warrant! It is difficult to challenge the technologies available at the state’s disposal, and even VPNs may fail to protect you from surveillance.
Nonetheless, it can certainly make the state’s job more difficult. In this sense, VPNs are indeed a preventive measure against online surveillance.
P2p filesharing & torrenting in Australia
Since 2016, the state has started taking torrenting quite seriously in Australia. The federal court of Australia ordered ISPs to flat out block sites like The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, IsoHunt, Torrent Hound, and Solar Movie.
The initiative proved successful. In fact, according to a report by Australian Site-Blocking Efficacy, Australian traffic to these websites dropped by 53%.
A major hit indeed.
To further escalate the crackdown, another major chunk of pirate sites was added to the blocked list in 2017. As a result, 59 more torrent sites got blocked, bringing the total count to 340.
Starting from 2018, the Australian government shifted its focus towards mirrors and proxies associated with torrent sites.
To deliver the final blow, the Australian Parliament added a new amendment to the Copyright Act. The new amendment ordered ISPs to take down popular mirrors and proxy sites.
The new amendment also forces Google to deindex URL links to torrent sites and their mirrors and proxies.
How to Get an Australian IP Address Anywhere in 2021
If a VPN has an Australian server, you can easily get an Australian IP. For example, Foxtel streaming service is only available in Australia, and if you want to watch Foxtel overseas, you need a local Australia IP address:
Here is how you can get it:
- If you try accessing the Foxtel website, it will show this error:
- To unblock, Subscribe to a VPN service (I recommend using ExpressVPN)
- Download and Install Express-VPN app on your device
- Enter login details and connect VPN to an Australian server
- Open the Foxtel website again, and this time you can stream everything!
Should I Use a Free VPN for Australia?
You must be asking yourself right now, “which free VPN can I use in Australia?”, well there isn’t one. Free VPNs are a horrible idea in a country like Australia. Following are some of the reasons behind avoiding a free VPN in Australia.
Bandwidth – Most of the free VPN providers offer a limited bandwidth on their accounts. This bandwidth is so low that it can barely help you complete a TV series episode in HD-Quality. If you like to stream popular geo-restricted content and download torrents, you’d definitely want to get a premium VPN provider with unlimited bandwidth.
Server Locations – These free VPN providers offer a minimal number of server locations. Their number lies between 3 to 5 servers. Most of the time, these servers can barely give you an idea about whether the VPN is suitable for your purpose or not.
Speed – As we already mentioned, the number of server locations is low; add a maximum number of people connecting to those servers on it, and you get a prolonged speed connection. The speed sometimes is so low that you can barely open a webpage or browse the internet.
Security & Privacy – The free VPN providers usually don’t invest in state-of-the-art encryption and security tools due to less or no revenue. As their network security network keeps getting outdated, it gets easier and easier for hackers to intercept and steal users’ data. In some cases, these free VPN providers are caught selling user information and data to different authorities.
This reason alone is enough to compel people to use a premium VPN provider in countries like Pakistan, where the government is continuously involved in mass surveillance and anything you say about government or religion can be used against you in legal actions. Therefore, internet users there, are forced to gain internet freedom with the top VPNs in Pakistan.
However, if you are looking for the best free VPN in Australia that you can use to access foreign geo-restricted content, then check out these:
VPNs to avoid at every cost in Australia
We have listed below few VPN providers and recommend you avoid them at every cost in Australia. The reason behind it is simple; they can easily hinder or damage your online privacy.
Hola is based in Isreal and is very different from other VPN providers, which allows you to connect to a network of servers owned by the VPN company. Instead, Hola users can connect and use the bandwidth as part of a large P2P network. Obviously, this involves big security, privacy, and legal concerns. Users can easily use each other’s internet network for illegal activities such as initiating a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
In 2011, HMA complied with a court order to hand over evidence that led to Cody Kretsinger’s arrest, a LulzSec hacker involved with an attack on the Sony Pictures website. HMA says it does not log the contents of its users’ internet traffic, but it does keep detailed metadata logs that include users’ real IP addresses, which was enough to charge Kretsinger with a crime.
Now that the UK has passed the Snooper’s Charter, which requires service providers to maintain detailed logs of what their users do online, UK-based HideMyAss seems like the last service any privacy-conscious person would want to sign up for.
FAQs of Australian VPNs (2021)
Let’s see some frequently asked questions about Australian VPNs.
Is VPN legal in Australia?
Yes, VPNs are perfectly legal in Australia. Many western countries, including Australia, allow the unrestricted use of VPN services. A 2015 law has made it permissible for anyone who has copyrights violated to get a federal court order to have it blocked in the country. So far, no further legislative moves have been made against VPNs.
How much does a VPN cost in Australian Dollars?
The average cost of a decent VPN in Australia is around 6.57 Australian Dollars (5 United States dollars). However, this can fluctuate significantly depending on the provider, if you want any additional features like a static IP, and how long you are willing to commit. Generally, VPNs offer 1 month, 1 year, or multiple-year subscriptions. The longer the subscription period is, the less you will pay per month for the service.
Is doing torrenting legal in Australia?
No, doing torrenting is illegal in Australia. Torrenting copyrighted material is a crime in Australia, but there is little implementation. It’s uncommon for copyright holders to successfully sue ISPs for torrents identities, whom they can then request compensation from using a practice called speculative invoicing.
Which VPN has an Australian server?
Many VPNs offer multiple servers in Australia. Some of the more popular ones include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and PureVPN.
How can I watch Australian TV abroad for free?
To watch Australian TV abroad for free, all you have to do is connect to a free VPN’s Australian server, and you can view your favorite Australian shows.
Can I access US Netflix in Australia legally?
Yes, you can access US Netflix in Australia legally by using a VPN. While using a VPN itself isn’t illegal, but accessing a different region Netflix library does violate Netflix policies.
Can a VPN help to overcome data retention laws in Australia?
Yes, a VPN can help you overcome data retention laws in Australia. We believe it is important to mention here that even though you are using a VPN, you still have to rely on your ISP’s network to browse cyberspace. While a VPN can surely hide your actual location, IP address, activity from the rest of the world, there are few things your ISP still can log, such as device details and traffic volume.
How to watch US Amazon Prime in Australia?
You can watch US Amazon Prime Australia using ExpressVPN’s VPN service or Smart DNS service. While you are already familiar with the VPN aspect, ExpressVPN offers a Smart DNS service called “MediaStreamer”. This service allows you to access the geo-restricted content on your devices such as Smart TVs, Play Station, Xbox, Firestick, Android TV, and Router without even connecting the VPN.
Although MediaStreamer service allows you to easily configure and access streaming services on difficult devices for VPN configuration, it offers no security or encryption at all.
The privacy situation in Australia is getting worse by the day. This makes it important to use the best VPN for Australia. Not only will you be able to stay safe from online surveillance, to some extent, in Australia, but you also gain access to restricted/censored content in the country.
Hence, a VPN, especially ExpressVPN, is the top-recommended VPN for Australian users, covering all the features necessary to deal with particular issues prevailing in Australia.
If you hurry up, you can avail of ExpressVPN limited time “12 Months + 3 Months Free“ offer, which also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.