Although online censorship is uncommon in New Zealand, following the Christchurch mosque shootings, the government forced ISPs in the country to block websites like 4chan, 8chan, and LiveLeak. Because of that, the usage of the best VPN NZ among long-time users of 4chan has become a common practice.
Apart from censorship, New Zealand is an active member of the 5 Eyes Alliance, meaning the country has a lot of mandatory data retention laws for ISPs. In short, your ISP and other agencies can see your online activities, the sites you visit, and more. Fortunately, with a VPN you can have some online anonymity and privacy while using the internet.
In this guide, we bring you the 6 best VPNs for New Zealand we shortlisted after testing 150+ VPNs.
6 Best VPNs For New Zealand (August 2021 In-Depth Analysis)
The following services are some of the top VPNs equipped with privacy and unblocking features to bypass censorship safely. We have tested 150+ VPNs on various criteria including speed, server network, encryption, leak protection, and unblocking ability. After testing, these 6 services are top recommended for use in New Zealand.
1. The Best VPN for New Zealand – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for New Zealand with excellent unblocking ability, strong 256-bit encryption, and security. It offers 3000+ servers in 160 different locations & 94 countries, including 1 in New Zealand. With its server in New Zealand, you can easily watch your favourite local New Zealand TV stations such as TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, Three, and Bravo.
With ExpressVPNs global servers you can also get Hulu, HBO Max, NBC, and American Netflix in New Zealand. Similarly, it also works with BritBox in New Zealand and other geo-restricted streaming sites.
Based on our ExpressVPN speed tests, it delivered excellent download speed on its servers. Beyond just speed, it is also the most popular VPN in the market. We ran speed test on ExpressVPN’s US – New Jersey server and it gave a download speed of 85.84 Mbps with 11 ms Pings.
It comes with an amazing SmartDNS feature called MediaStreamer that allows you to access almost all major geo-restricted platforms without any encryption. No encryption means fast speed for streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and more. ExpressVPN is also compatible with all major platforms, including Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, routers, and more.
ExpressVPN also offers perfect forward secrecy, whereby your encryption keys are automatically changed every 60 minutes. It also utilizes powerful military standard AES 256-bit encryption with VPN protocols like Lightway, IKEv2, and OpenVPN UDP / TCP.
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Island and is known for its strict stance on zero-logging customer information. It offers valuable privacy-enhancing features that effectively guard users’ privacy against government surveillance.
The provider has a strong reputation with enthusiastic reviews praising its many aspects. It is currently priced at $6.67/mo . You can also claim a refund within 30 days if you are not satisfied with the service. Learn more about this VPN in our ExpressVPN review.
2. Best Budget VPN for New Zealand – Surfshark
Surfshark is the best budget VPN for New Zealand. It offers more than 3200+ servers in 65 countries, including one in Auckland, New Zealand. The provider is one of the best you can have for unblocking US exclusive Netflix content, BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4, Hotstar, and many other streaming services within New Zealand.
It is also perfectly capable of giving New Zealander expatriates access to local streaming services like Māori Television, Prime, The Edge TV, and ChoiceTV in HD picture quality.
Surfshark offers amazing connection speeds, but the download speed is a factor where it needs to be improved a bit. When I ran a speed test for Surfshark, although the ping and upload speed were good, the download speed was slow. On its US server, it gave a download speed of 24.09 Mbps and an upload speed of 87.5 Mbps.
Surfshark, based in the British Virgin Islands, is another highly privacy-focused service with a zero-logging policy for its customers, leading to raving reviews from experts. For citizens in New Zealand who want to boost their privacy to ward off data breach attempts from cybercriminals, Surfshark offers many exciting features such as CleanWeb and MultiHop.
Surfshark uses two VPN protocols, IKEv2 and OpenVPN, with a variation of TCP and UDP and cryptography standard AES-256-CBC/AES-256-GCM encryption. Its Multihop feature puts another layer of security and masks your IP address twice to provide ultimate protection against the attackers’ malicious attempts. It also has a verified and trusted no-logs policy.
What’s more, Surfshark is one of the few renowned VPNs in the industry which offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Considering the cost of $2.49/mo , Surfshark is an excellent package with privacy features to keep you protected from malicious elements in New Zealand. You can read our Surfshark review for more details.
3. Secure VPN for New Zealand – NordVPN
NordVPN is the best secure VPN for New Zealand with advanced security features like NordLynx, Obfuscation, and Double VPN. It has one of the largest servers globally, with 5200+ servers located in 59 countries, with 20+ of these in New Zealand.
This gives users in New Zealand an option to pick different server locations to watch different geo-restricted streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many more.
With its 20+ servers in New Zealand, you can easily stream popular local TV channels such as The Breeze TV, TVNZ Duke+1, HGTV, and TVSN in your living room outside New Zealand. You can easily configure NordVPN on all of your devices such as Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, router, Linux, etc.
NordVPN’s 5,200+ servers are optimized to deliver the top speed possible. Our test for NordVPN’s speed revealed how fast this VPN is. When I connected to NordVPN’s United States server with a 100 Mbps internet connection, it gave a download speed of 73.41 Mbps.
Headquartered in Panama’s safe jurisdiction, NordVPN guarantees zero logs of customer information, which is excellent from the privacy point of view for privacy-seeking users in New Zealand.
Extra features such as Onion over VPN, CyberSec, and Double VPN further enhance your privacy online. It uses a high in-class encryption method, AES-256-CBC, with a 2048-bit DH key and has recently added WireGuard to its security features.
You can read our NordVPN review for details.
4. Fastest VPN for New Zealand – IPVanish
IPVanish is a US-based VPN with 1600+ servers in more than 75+ countries. It is one of the fastest VPNs on our list of best VPNs for NZ. On the base connection speed of 100 Mbps, IPVanish managed to deliver a fast speed of 91 Mbps. It is more than enough to enjoy bufferless, high-quality video streaming and for downloading large files. IPVanish also offers 2 servers in New Zealand – Auckland.
With IPVanish, you can unblock US Netflix, Hulu, VUDU, Epix, and BBC iPlayer from New Zealand. With fast server speeds, you will not have to face buffering or lags. You can also access local New Zealand channels such as TVNZ, Prime, ChoiceTV, HGTV, and Parliament TV with its servers located in New Zealand from abroad.
Apart from servers, IPVanish also features advanced security features with 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, SOCKS5 proxy, and a comprehensive list of VPN tunneling protocols. It also follows strict no-logs and offers IP and DNS leak protection so you don’t have to worry about data leaks.
It is compatible with a wide range of devices like Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and routers. IPVanish also offers apps for FireTV and Android TV. What’s best is that it supports unlimited connections on one account, so you can secure multiple devices at the same time.
You can read our IPVanish review for more details.
5. User-Friendly VPN for New Zealand – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is an easy-to-use VPN for New Zealand, with simple apps that are easy to navigate around. It offers an extensive network of 7000+ servers in over 90 countries. Out of these, 13 servers are located in Auckland, New Zealand.
These servers support torrenting and are also efficient for unblocking US Netflix, CBC, NBC Live, BT-Sports, ESPN+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV US, and countless other geo-blocked content.
Also, with the 13 servers in Auckland, New Zealander expatriates can stay updated with their favourite shows on local TV channels such as Television Hawkes Bay, Radio NZ National, George FM, Channel North, and WTV29 with ease.
CyberGhost also offered fast speed during the test. On its US – New York server, it managed to output a speed of 73.41 with 255 ms pings. It is more than enough to stream HD quality videos without buffering.
CyberGhost VPN, with its no-logging policy, is an excellent VPN to consider when it comes to online security and privacy. It supports protocols like L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, and WireGuard. It also uses military-grade 256-bit encryption with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA256 authentication.
CyberGhost is a Romanian VPN service. The jurisdiction of the VPN allows it to stay far away from any data logging practices. The service even offers 7 simultaneous connections and a 45-day refund policy, much higher than the industry average.
Considering these features, privacy-conscious users in New Zealand will find CyberGhost a decent solution for enhancing online privacy at the cost of just $1.99/mo . You can check our CyberGhost review for more information.
6. Best VPN for Torrenting in New Zealand – PIA
PIA provides 183 exclusive servers in New Zealand and 35500+ servers in 78 countries worldwide optimized for torrenting. You can torrent on all these servers securely in New Zealand. The service also allows you to unblock famous streaming services like US Netflix, HBO, BBC iPlayer, ESPN+, Sony Liv, and others in New Zealand.
With this many servers in New Zealand, watching local TV stations such as Te Reo, Shine TV, WTV29, DunedinTV, and DunedinTV won’t ever be a problem again for you.
PIA VPN didn’t disappoint me when I ran its servers through the speed test. But instead, it delivered exceptional results above our expectations. On its US server, it gave a download speed of 80 Mbps with 207 ms ping.
PIA delivers top-notch 256-bit encryption and security features. There is an option for different protocols like OpenVPN (UDP), OpenVPN (TCP), L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 for different devices. As for encryption that PIA offers, it all depends on which protocol you use.
Apart from this, you can use various privacy benefits like Internet Kill Switch, Port-Forwarding, Split-Tunneling, and IPv6 leak protection to protect users from exposing their IP address and geo-location.
The provider is based in the USA, which is a cooperative member of the 5 Eyes alliance. However, it offers a zero-logging feature that makes it an exciting choice for New Zealand users who want to secure their privacy while streaming their favourite region-blocked content.
You can get PIA at the cost of $2.08/mo to avail yourself of other advantages such as 10 multi-logins and 30 days refund policy.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for New Zealand and our top recommendation. Its US servers are packed with high-end server technology for a private and uninterrupted browsing experience in New Zealand with breakneck speeds.
ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature allows you to bypass Netflix geo-blocks and get access to the biggest streaming service in the world. With its 256-bit encryption and secure VPN protocols, you can stay safe online in New Zealand and avoid ISP snooping.
With its audited no-logs policy and TrustedServer Technology, you have nothing to worry about regarding your online privacy and data protection in New Zealand with ExpressVPN. It also offers a 3-month free subscription with its 12 months plan and a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you can try it risk-free for 30 days to test its features.
Testing Methodology: How to test the best VPN for New Zealand
Here is a list of 5 distinct attributes and features you should keep in mind before buying a premium VPN.
- Servers Locations: When you select a VPN service, make sure to go for those which offer extensive server networks. This is important to enable unrestricted access to the internet since you can choose different server locations and bypass geo-restrictions. Top-rated VPNs offer thousands of servers all over the world.
- Privacy / Encryption: The best VPN for New Zealand must have a no-logs policy and 256-bit AES encryption to help maintain anonymity. It should also offer IP and DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch.
- Fast Speed: When it comes to streaming online videos, a stable connection is vital. Frequent disconnectivity of servers is a sign of poor server infrastructure and unreliable service. Make sure that the VPN you choose offers fast speeds and doesn’t negatively impact your connection speeds by more than 30%.
- Apps & Compatibility: Make sure the VPN you choose is compatible with a wide range of devices and offers apps for major operating systems like Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and more.
- Customer Support: The best VPN for New Zealand should offer efficient customer support with a live chat feature available 24/7.
3 Reasons Why you need a VPN in New Zealand
Over the years, there have arisen several cases where the New Zealand government and state actors were found involved in breaching user privacy and performing surveillance on suspecting citizens. On that note, here are 3 reasons why you need a VPN in New Zealand:
1. NSA and GCSB Surveillance – Kim Dotcom Spying Case
The internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom was a victim of continued surveillance from GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau). In fact, it was later revealed GCSB had shut down the surveillance of Kim Dotcom, and it was actually the USA’s NSA that was using GCSB’s surveillance technology to spy on Kim.
This confirms the alliance between New Zealand and the US for intelligence-sharing operations, as they are both key members of the Five Eyes alliance. It’s a bit too far-fetched that the NSA could get their hands on GCSB’s equipment without their knowledge, but that is the official account of the whole case.
Whatever the truth is, it is clear that people in New Zealand aren’t safe from surveillance, be it from the GCSB or the US NSA. VPN services – especially those located outside of the jurisdiction of Fourteen Eyes – can help enhance your privacy through military-grade encryption and by shifting your online activities to servers configured to keep no logs about your data.
2. Extensive Powers Given to GCSB for Citizen Surveillance
The GCSB enjoys extensive powers for performing surveillance on citizens. In 2016, the Parliament suggested a Bill to increase the surveillance powers of the GCSB further. This would allow them to obtain information about citizens, such as tax information, driving license photographs, and other data normally restricted from access for any institution in New Zealand.
This suggests that privacy issues aren’t going away from New Zealand any time soon. When citizens are increasingly concerned about privacy, it is unfortunate that state elements in New Zealand are making up excuses to encroach on individuals’ right to privacy further.
3. NSA Surveillance through Southern Cross Cable
Southern Cross Cable is the main international internet access point for New Zealand, responsible for more than 95% of internet activity. In 2013, it was alleged that Southern Cross Cable had asked NSA to pay them for performing surveillance of all New Zealand traffic passing through that cable.
This is another confirmation that New Zealand and the US are in cahoots in their respective mass surveillance programs. The fact that Southern Cross Cable is almost exclusively responsible for all internet activity in New Zealand means that if this cable is tapped, all user information travelling through it will leak through to the NSA.
It is extremely alarming that the state could allow for such blatant acts of breach of privacy throughout the nation, too, for foreign agencies like the NSA. This shows how easy it is for governments to trivialize our individual privacy, and the actions of the New Zealand government have been particularly disappointing over the past few years.
These instances prove just how important it has become for citizens to take individual measures towards saving their online privacy and how misguided it is to trust the government to preserve our privacy. Thankfully, VPNs empower privacy-starved citizens to elevate their privacy protection on the web, irrespective of government policies.
Simple Steps: How to use a VPN in New Zealand
Using a VPN is very easy. Follow these steps below to get started and use a VPN in New Zealand:
Best VPNs for Nea Zealand – FAQs
Let’s look at some frequently asked questions.
Just like many other countries, VPNs are legal to use in New Zealand. However, the service is surely legal, but what you are doing with it must also be legal. Although New Zealand is not known for censorship, some websites promote hate and violence in the country, banned from the government like 4chan, 8chan, and LiveLeak.
VPNs are widely used throughout the world, and their usage is entirely legal in most countries except for a few ones, as North Korea and Iraq have strict laws regarding VPNs while China and Russia have put partial bans on the VPNs.
You can definitely use a free VPN in New Zealand. However, I strongly advise against it. There are many issues concerning free VPNs, which mainly include insufficient bandwidth, server locations available, and the fact that many free VPNs have been caught selling their user’s personal data and information to third party entities.
Only a premium VPN can ensure 100% security and anonymity on all fronts. I recommend ExpressVPN that comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 3 months free on an annual subscription.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for iOS users in New Zealand. With its easy-to-use interface and best-in-class encryption, it is the perfect VPN for Apple devices. ExpressVPN is also one of the only VPNs offering a Safari browser extension. It is easily compatible with iOS OS versions 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 making it one of the best VPNs for iOS in 2021.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN with servers in New Zealand. Although it has servers in just Auckland, its ability to provide unlimited and unrestricted access to local content, fast-speed and secure servers for torrenting, and 256-bit encryption for your complete online anonymity makes it the best VPN with New Zealand servers.
Only with a VPN that offers AES-256-Bit encryption, zero-log policy, and advanced features such as Internet Kill Switch and Multi-Hop, can you bypass the ISP tracking in New Zealand. Each one of the VPN providers from our list is capable of achieving that for you.
In New Zealand, privacy problems and censorship have increased, and a VPN is the solution to the current cybersecurity and online privacy problems in the country. Fortunately, with the best VPN in New Zealand, you can secure your online privacy and protect yourself from ISP snooping and censorship.
ExpressVPN is easily the best VPN NZ due to its high-speed and encrypted 3,000+ servers. It is best for both maintaining online privacy and unblocking geo-restricted content from around the globe and it offers a 3-month free subscription with its 12 months plan.