Australia is an open and free society but that doesn’t mean you won’t be needing a VPN “down there.” In fact, the situation is similar all around the globe and these days, we all need to protect ourselves online using the best tools money could buy. A good anti-virus is one such tool and the other one is VPN.
After all, no amount of free speech can protect you while connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots that could also be used by tech-savvy malicious actors to get ahold of your personal information. Similarly, good laws can’t protect you against Big Tech companies gathering all data about you – the user.
Additionally, with a VPN – you get to access content that could be restricted to certain geographic areas. For instance, you can access US Netflix, which has the biggest catalog of movies and TV shows, as well as other streaming services such as HBO Max and Hulu.
And that’s just a start. Here are the best VPNs for Australia:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- It's super fast!
- Works with Netflix, BBC and others
- Easy to use apps, browser extensions
- You can try it for free!
- Some advanced features are not configurable
- Not the best for high-censorship countries
Furthermore, thanks to the availability of browser extensions - Hotspot Shield is also one of our top choices for Chrome and Firefox VPNs.
Your privacy is equally well protected, with the software only collecting some anonymized that help continually improve its service.
There is one caveat though - it won't work in high-censorship countries like China. If you don't need that in the first place, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield.
As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
- Reliable download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
- Low number of servers in Africa and Australia
You can rely on it for streaming and torrenting, with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.
Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.
The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- One the best VPNs for torrenting
- Works well with Netflix
- Simple setup on all popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
- Doesn't work in China
Its desktop apps are not among the prettiest ones, but they get the job done. The important thing is that installation is easy and straightforward, and that no logs are kept by the company.
When it comes to pricing, IPVanish is somewhere in the middle — it's not the most affordable option but also not the most expensive one. As noted, it will be most appreciated by heavy BitTorrent users, and — related — Kodi fans.
Internet censorship in Australia
First, let’s make this clear – some sort of Internet censorship exists in Australia and it is enforced by both the country’s criminal law as well as voluntarily enacted by ISPs. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has the power to enforce content restrictions on Internet content hosted within Australia, and maintain a blocklist of overseas websites which is then provided for use in filtering software. However, it is important to note that these restrictions focus primarily on child pornography, sexual violence, and other illegal activities — compiled as a result of a consumer complaints process.
The “tricky” Internet censorship policy extension was proposed in October 2008, when the government wanted to introduce a system of mandatory filtering of overseas websites which are, or potentially would be, “refused classification” (RC) in Australia was proposed. Because of this, Australia was classified as “under surveillance” (a type of “Internet enemy”) by Reporters Without Borders.
Luckily, the policy was rejected by the then governing Coalition and was later withdrawn by the Labor party.
Fighting copyright infringement in Australia
In June 2015, the country passed an amendment to allow the court-ordered censorship of websites deemed to primarily facilitate copyright infringement. Then in December 2016, the Federal Court of Australia ordered more than fifty ISPs to censor 5 sites that infringe on the Copyright Act after rights holders — Roadshow Films, Foxtel, Disney, Paramount, Columbia and the 20th Century Fox — filed a lawsuit. The sites barred include The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound, IsoHunt and SolarMovie.
Some folks in Australia don’t like their government censoring content online and so protests organized by Digital Liberty Coalition were held in November and December of 2008 in all capital cities requesting that censorship as a whole be taken off the table.
The Internet-based political activism organization, GetUp!, backed this campaign and has even managed to raise an unprecedented $30,000 before the end of the appeal’s first day. Later on, it raised even more funds for its neat Censordyne campaign that was aired on TV and on Qantas flights during the month of August 2009, when all Australian politicians would be traveling to Canberra. Following the Censordyne campaign launch, Qantas chose to censor the anti-censorship campaign from their flights.
You need a VPN for Australia
One thing that is always certain is that you can’t rely on politicians to deliver the truly free Internet. And while we have nothing against censoring some content, we don’t like a third-party arbitrator that could change its mind at some point in the future and misuse the power it gets from the law.
And that’s just one piece of the puzzle. As we have noted above, there are also other reasons why you would want to use a VPN in Australia — and elsewhere for that matter. You should get such a VPN that will let you do whatever you want online, including:
- Accessing content that could otherwise be restricted in your physical location.
- Preventing tracking and minimizing your digital footprint so that no one can track you online (at least not that easily).
- Avoiding throttling from your ISP – which is known to happen when you’re torrenting or accessing video streaming services.
- Bypassing firewalls in a workplace, university, school and so on.
- Bypassing censorship in places like China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East, and even Turkey and Russia.
- Securely connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots – with a VPN encrypting all the traffic coming to and from your devices.
The bottom line is – get a VPN that fits all your needs. The top contenders include the following: