The Best Free VPN For Australia (October 2020 Tested)

Last updated: October 1, 2020

Looking for the best free VPN while residing in Australia? You’ve come to the right place! To be clear, we do not encourage using a free VPN as your primary VPN.

For that, we have got a separate list of recommended VPNs, which you can refer to here. This free VPN discussion is limited to back-ups only.


Best Free VPN for Australia – TL;DR:

These are the best free VPNs for Australia (you can find an in-depth analysis of each free VPN service below):

  • ProtonVPN Free VPN for Australia with unlimited data and bandwidth. Provides connection options in 3 countries. Nine servers. No activity logs. Not impressed with the network coverage? Try the alternate NordVPN risk-free for 30 days with 5000+ servers.
  • WindscribeReasonably fast free VPN for Australia. Allows 10GB of data transfer per month. Get 5GB additional data by sending a tweet to the company. Offers 13 server locations and 20+ servers. No ads. Looking for a more well-rounded VPN service? Try the alternate Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Hide.meCompletely free VPN for Australia with the user-friendly privacy policy. Comes with a monthly 2GB data limit. Provides 4 server locations for connection. No streaming support. Not happy with no Netflix? Try the alternate PureVPN for 30-days; equipped with optimized servers for streaming. Change your mind, and a full refund is yours.  
  • Hotspot Shield – Totally free VPN with top-notch security protocols. Allows 500MB of data transfer per day. Connect to the US via a virtual server. Guarded by the powerful Catapult Hydra VPN protocol. Speed limit of 2Mbps. Too slow for your liking? Try the alternate ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days; the fastest VPN based on our test scores. 
  • TunnelBear – Free VPN for Australia with the largest server network. You get 500MB of data per month. Connections available in 23 countries, including Australia. Ad-blocker plugin can be downloaded separately. User friendly app. Looking for something similar, but with no restrictions and even larger server network? Try the alternate CyberGhost with 30-day money-back guarantee.
  

Free VPNs For Australia – Quick Comparison Chart

RatingsFree VPNList of Free VPN ServersAlternative
1ProtonVPNNL-Free#1, NL-Free#2, NL-Free#3,US-Free#1, US-Free#2, US-Free#3,JP-Free#1, JP-Free#2, JP-Free#3NordVPN
2WindscribeVictoria, Istanbul, Zurich, Bucharest, Oslo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Los Angeles-Dogg, Chicago-Cub & 10 more.Surfshark
3Hide.meCanada’s standard server, Frankfurt, Roosendaal, East Coast (USA), West Coast (USA)PureVPN
4Hotspot ShieldNew York (virtual)ExpressVPN
5TunnelbearUS, Canada, UK, AU, Brazil, France & 17 more.CyberGhost

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are online privacy tools that allow you to use the web anonymously and securely.  

In an age where man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks are becoming increasingly common, VPNs provide you with a sense of security and confidence online. Through a VPN, you can access your bank account details, share important office files, and surf the web on a public Wi-Fi, without worrying about anyone spying or eavesdropping on you. 

Especially in countries like Australia, VPNs make for a strong use case. 

According to a study, Australia ranks in the top 5 countries with the highest ratio of exposed personal records and data theft incidents. Even government agencies and contractors are not safe. 

Furthermore, when you consider Australia itself is a member of Five Eyes alliance, using a VPN in the country makes too much sense to overlook.

So, which are the best free VPNs to use in Australia?


The 5 Best Free VPN Service (In-depth Analysis)

Are there any completely free VPNs? You might thought this so many times and the answer is YES!

There are Free VPNs that are really free but they have their own drawbacks and constraints. They often offer low data caps, are slow, fail to unblock geo-restricted sites, and may even log your data. We’ll talk more about these problems later.

So while compiling the list of top free VPN services for Australia, we had to make sure that we minimized these catches as much as possible (updated as of October 2020) 

Of course, the most pressing concern was to ascertain that all VPNs in our list maintained 100% log-free policy and carried no IP leaks. After all, what’s even the point of using a VPN if it can’t guarantee your online privacy?

We then looked at factors like data caps, a number of servers, location of servers, security protocols, ad-blocking support, streaming, and speed before finally coming up with a list of 5 best free VPNs for Australia.


1) ProtonVPN – No data caps and unlimited bandwidth

  • Based in Switzerland
  • Unlimited data and bandwidth
  • Three server locations – Netherlands, United States, and Japan
  • No ads
  • OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols
  • Relatively slow speed

ProtonVPN is a Swiss VPN service. It has no data caps for free subscribers (this is no false sales pitch!) and is available on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. You can even set it up on a Linux machine if you want.

ProtonVPN Windows app dashboard

ProtonVPN Windows app dashboard

The free version of the service offers three server locations for connection, including the Netherlands, US, and Japan. Each server location has three servers you can connect to.

LocationsServers you can connect to
NetherlandsNL-Free#1, NL-Free#2, NL-Free#3
United StatesUS-Free#1, US-Free#2, US-Free#3
JapanJP-Free#1, JP-Free#2, JP-Free#3

In terms of security, ProtonVPN uses the robust OpenVPN UDP/TCP tunneling protocol for its Windows app and provides the additional option of IKEv2 on all other platforms. Moreover, it employs AES-256-CBS encryption to secure your in-transit web traffic. 

ProtonVPN does not log any user activity, thus keeping your online privacy intact. That said, it does store your log-in timestamp to protect its servers from brute-force password attacks. This is nothing to be concerned about, though.

We tested the app for potential IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, and found no loopholes. You can view the test reports below:

No IP or DNS leaks detected for ProtonVPN

No IP or DNS leaks detected for ProtonVPN

No WebRTC leaks detected for ProtonVPN

No WebRTC leaks detected for ProtonVPN

Another great feature of ProtonVPN is that it does not run ads. This is important if you like your browsing experience to be free of pop-ups and other types of disruptive advertising content. 

Unfortunately, the free version of ProtonVPN does not unblock Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and other popular streaming services from Australia. However, you can watch YouTube and Kodi on it.

ProtonVPN is unable to access HBO, Netflix and other geo-blocked streaming services from Australia

ProtonVPN is unable to access HBO, Netflix, and other geo-blocked streaming services from Australia

Speed has always been a serious limiting factor for free VPN apps, and unsurprisingly this holds for ProtonVPN as well. We ran six speed tests; three control tests without being connected to the VPN, and three tests while connected to the service’s free US server. There was a significant increase in ping and a noticeable drop in upload and download speeds when connected to the VPN. The test results are summarized in the table below:

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping20(ms)
Control Upload25.7(Mbps)
Control Download53.6(Mbps)
US Server Ping323(ms)
US Server Upload7.8(Mbps)
US Server Download18.8(Mbps)

Verdict

With no download caps, zero-log policy, and strong security features, ProtonVPN is one of the best free VPNs for Australia. Sure, it has its downsides like no Netflix and slow speed, but we guess that’s the real cost of getting a VPN service for free.


2) Windscribe – Reasonably fast with 10GB per month data limit

  • Based in Canada
  • 10GB monthly data limit (+5GB extra)
  • Thirteen server locations; 20+ servers
  • No ads
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wstunnel, and Stealth protocols
  • Decent upload and download speeds

Windscribe is a Canada-based VPN service that offers 10 GB of data per month to free subscribers. Worried, you may exceed this data cap? Good news; you can add an extra 5GB to your bundle by simply tweeting the company.

Windscribe Windows app dashboard

Windscribe Windows app dashboard

Windscribe is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, as well as on Amazon FireTV and Nvidia Shield TV. Its free version offers thirteen locations and 20+ live servers for connection. The included locations and servers are as follows:

LocationsServers you can connect to
Hong KongVictoria
TurkeyIstanbul
UKLondon-Crumpets, London-Custard
SwitzerlandZurich
RomaniaBucharest
NorwayOslo
NetherlandsAmsterdam
GermanyFrankfurt
FranceParis
Canada WestVancouver-Granville, Vancouver-Vasterdam
Canada EastMontreal-Expo 67, Montreal-Old Part, Toronto-Comfort Zone, Toronto-The 6
US WestLos Angeles-Dogg, Seattle-Cobain
US EastChicago-Cub, Miami-Vice, Miami-Snow, New York-Empire, Washington DC-Precedent

Windscribe utilizes OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wstunnel, and Stealth protocols to keep your data safe from hackers. Furthermore, it employs AES 256-bit ciphers for traffic encryption.

Like ProtonVPN, Windscribe does not keep a record of the details of your online activity. However, it does monitor the amount of data you use in a month to avoid data cap violations. Additionally, it also stores the time-stamp of your last session.

In terms of keeping your real location hidden, Windscribe does a good job, carrying no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. You’ll find no ads running on the app either.No IP or DNS leaks detected for Windscribe

No IP or DNS leaks detected for Windscribe

No WebRTC leaks detected for Windscribe VPN

No WebRTC leaks detected for Windscribe VPN

Windscribe does not support Netflix (or other popular streaming services), which can be a bummer if you like spending your weekends binge-eating your favourite shows and movies.

The free version of Windscribe VPN can’t unblock US Netflix from Australia

The free version of Windscribe VPN can’t unblock US Netflix from Australia

We tested Windscribe for speed by connecting to one of its US West servers, and to be honest, weren’t overly impressed with the results. The ping speed increased by more than a factor of 15, while the upload and download speeds decreased by 59% and 45%, respectively. Still, these are decent numbers if you match them up with other free VPNs on the market.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping18(ms)
Control Upload22(Mbps)
Control Download64.7(Mbps)
US Server Ping306(ms)
US Server Upload9.02(Mbps)
US Server Download35.56(Mbps)

Verdict

Windscribe is a free VPN service definitely worth looking into if you live in Australia. It handles most of the basic jobs quite well and has got a wide network of server locations to offer.  Yes, it has weaknesses, but that’s a given with any free VPN service you subscribe to.


3) Hide.me – No activity or connection logs

  • Based in Malaysia
  • 2GB monthly data cap
  • Coverage in four countries – Canada, Netherlands, Germany, USA
  • Ad-blocking absent
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, and SoftEther VPN protocols
  • Average speed

Next on our list is Hide.me, which is a Malaysia-based VPN service. It allows 2GB of data transfer per month on its free plan.

Hide.me Windows app dashboard

Hide.me Windows app dashboard

Hide.me VPN offers clients for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon OS devices. Its free version lets you connect to four locations, including Germany, Canada, Netherlands, and the U.S. All four locations have dedicated servers, which is excellent from a data transparency perspective.

LocationsServers you can connect to
CanadaStandard server
NetherlandsFrankfurt
GermanyRoosendaal
USAEast Coast, West Coast

Hide.me supports a wide variety of tunneling protocols that you can choose from. These include OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, and the novel SoftEther VPN protocol. Hide.me is the first VPN service that we know of, which uses this particular technology. AES-256 encryption further secures the incoming and outgoing web traffic.

The company has a privacy-friendly log policy. It does not monitor your online activities, nor does it record your last session’s timestamp details. However, it does track the amount of data you use per month to keep tabs on your remaining data limit. 

We ran Hide.me through some online anonymity tests and detected no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks on any of its free servers.

No IP or DNS leaks detected for Hide.me

No IP or DNS leaks detected for Hide.me

No WebRTC leaks found for Hide.me

No WebRTC leaks found for Hide.me

The free version of Hide.me currently has no ad-blocking feature, and it doesn’t offer much in terms of streaming options either – except for YouTube and Kodi.

You can’t watch Hulu, Netflix, HBO or any other geo-blocked streaming service on a free Hide.me plan

You can’t watch Hulu, Netflix, HBO, or any other geo-blocked streaming service on a free Hide.me plan

In terms of speed, you can expect Hide.me to offer decent output compared to other free VPNs on the market; however, it’s not fast in any practical sense. We experienced increased ping and reduced upload and download speeds after connecting to one of its US servers.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping23(ms)
Control Upload24.3(Mbps)
Control Download73.6(Mbps)
US Server Ping320(ms)
US Server Upload8.5(Mbps)
US Server Download33.5(Mbps)

Verdict

Hide.me is a solid free VPN for Australia. It has got a bit of everything, from a decent 2-GB per month data cap to an impressive no-log policy. However, we would have preferred if it had an ad blocker and streaming support. All in all, we would definitely like to recommend it as a back-up VPN service.


4) Hotspot Shield – Secure and safe free VPN

  • Based in Silicon Valley
  • 500MB daily data limit
  • 1 virtual server for the US
  • Run ads (but can be disabled)
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Catapult Hydra
  • Slow speed

Hotspot Shield is operated by Pango, a Silicon Valley company with offices in Russia and Ukraine. Its free subscription offers 500MB of bandwidth per day, which is enough for browsing and watching short videos on YouTube.

Hotspot Shield Windows app dashboard

Hotspot Shield Windows app dashboard

Hotspot Shield can run on Windows, Mac, Android, routers, and iOS devices. Its free version lets you connect to only one location – a virtual server in the US. This is a tad disappointing, especially if you compare it with server offerings from other free VPNs on this list.

LocationServer you can connect to
US (virtual)New York (virtual)

In terms of tunneling protocols, Hotspot Shield offers OpenVPN (only available for routers), IKEv2, and Catapult Hydra. The latter is a transfer-only protocol and is the company’s product. For encryption, Hotspot Shield utilizes 128-bit ciphers.

Hotspot Shield does not store any critical or personal information related to your browsing activities. It does, however, use your IP address to connect you to the best server possible. This information is encrypted and deleted once your session ends. Additionally, the company also records the amount of data you use each month to enforce its bandwidth limit. Aside from that, it regularly keeps a log of the domains accessed through its remote servers (with timestamps). The company says this information can’t be linked to individual user sessions, though.   

We found Hotspot Shield to be IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak-proof. Note that we only tested its free server. Premium servers may not be configured correctly.

No IP or DNS leaks detected for Hotspot Shield

No IP or DNS leaks detected for Hotspot Shield

No WebRTC leaks detected for Hotspot Shield VPN

No WebRTC leaks detected for Hotspot Shield VPN

You’ll find ads running by default on the Android version of Hotspot Shield app. It does this with the help of ad network Google Ads and SDKs, which gather your information to serve highly-targeted ads. If you aren’t comfortable with ads showing up on your mobile screen, you can disable them from settings. Still, it would have been better if the company did not serve ads to start with.

The free version of Hotspot Shield does not work with Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or other geo-blocked streaming sites. This should not come as a surprise, given the limitations free VPN services carry.

The free version of Hotspot Shield does not work with HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu or other geo-blocked streaming sites.

The free version of Hotspot Shield does not work with HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu or other geo-blocked streaming sites.

Hotspot Shield imposes a maximum speed limit of 2Mbps on its free plan, which is again a massive limiting factor.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping17(ms)
Control Upload21.6(Mbps)
Control Download66.5(Mbps)
US Server Ping306(ms)
US Server Upload2.0(Mbps)
US Server Download2.0(Mbps)

Verdict

Hotspot Shield has some glaring weaknesses but still manages to make into our top 5 list of free VPNs for Australia thanks to the poor state of the overall competition. We appreciate the good things the company is trying to do, though. For example, respecting users’ privacy and providing them with top-notch security protocols. You don’t find many free VPN services offering these features.


5) Tunnelbear – Connect to 23 countries with just a click

  • Based in Canada
  • 500MB monthly data limit
  • Connections available in 23 countries, including Australia
  • Ad-blocker plugin can be downloaded separately
  • OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunnelling protocols
  • Decent speed

TunnelBear hails from Canada and offers 500MB of bandwidth support per month to free subscribers, which is really only enough to check your emails. However, you can add an additional 1GB to your plan by tweeting the company.

TunnelBear Windows app dashboard

TunnelBear Windows app dashboard

TunnelBear has dedicated clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android systems. It offers browser add-ons for Opera and Chrome too. There are 23 locations available for connection, including Australia. We found the servers in some of these locations too unstable for our liking, though. Our connections got repeatedly interrupted, especially when browsing heavier websites on European servers.

Locations
United StatesCanadaUnited Kingdom
AustraliaBrazilDenmark
FinlandFranceGermany
Hong KongIndiaIreland
ItalyJapanMexico
NetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
RomaniaSingaporeSpain
SwedenSwitzerland

TunnelBear uses OpenVPN tunneling protocol for its Windows, Mac, and Android apps to keep your web traffic secure. Its iOS version uses IKEv2 for the purpose. Both tunneling protocols rely on 256-bit ciphers for encryption. 

TunnelBear maintains a robust zero-log policy and does not store any information related to your online sessions. Even data concerning your timestamps and DNS queries is strictly avoided. It does, however, keep an eye on your bandwidth to enforce its data cap.

Based on our limited testing, TunnelBear does not leak your IP address or DNS requests.

No IP or DNS leaks detected for TunnelBear

No IP or DNS leaks detected for TunnelBear

No WebRTC leaks detected for TunnelBear

No WebRTC leaks detected for TunnelBear

The company offers a stand-alone ad blocker plug-in, free for download. There is no support for US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or any other streaming service geo-blocked in Australia.

The free version of TunnelBear does not support BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, or any other geo-blocked streaming service

The free version of TunnelBear does not support BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, or any other geo-blocked streaming service

In terms of speed, TunnelBear produces almost the same level of performance as Windscribe. We connected to its US server and tested ping, upload, and download speeds.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping20(ms)
Control Upload24(Mbps)
Control Download59.7(Mbps)
US Server Ping360(ms)
US Server Upload8.4(Mbps)
US Server Download28.6(Mbps)

Verdict

TunnelBear has got the most impressive UI of all free VPNs on the market. Compared to its competitors, it offers a wide variety of locations for connection and decent speed. Unfortunately, it provides an extremely low data cap on its free plan, which simply is not enough even for a regular internet user.  And so, TunnelBear ranks fifth on our list of top free 5 VPNs for Australia.


Which is the best free VPN for streaming Netflix for Australia?

Unfortunately, there is no free VPN service that works with US Netflix or any other geo-blocked streaming site for that matter. If you want to watch American Netflix from Australia, you must install a paid, reliable VPN service. To help you out, we have got a few top recommendations listed here. Do check them out.

Which is the best free VPN for torrenting for Australia?

Accessing torrents can be hard through paid VPN services, let alone through free ones. To be honest, we don’t know of any free VPN you can use for torrenting for Australia.

Which is the fastest free VPN for Australia?

Let’s put it this way, even if you find a fast, free VPN for Australia, it’s hardly going to provide you with the performance you’re looking for. Still, if you want to try it out, you can go for Windscribe’s free service. It is better than other free VPNs on the market. 

3 problems we have with 100% free VPNs (besides low performance)

If you haven’t already figured it out, using free VPNs can be troublesome for reasons discussed above. They have too many performance limitations to count on as your primary internet VPN. 

You hardly get any bandwidth to play with, in most cases. Plus, you are unable to stream your favourite shows and movies may have to live with ads and are likely to face slow upload and download speeds. 

But that’s not even all… 

Free VPNs can be highly unsafe and unreliable to use as well, which is why you need to be extremely cautious when opting for them. 

Luckily, we weeded out these types from our list, but we believe it’s vital you know the full side of free online VPNs for Australia.  

Free VPNs may keep a detailed record of your online activities

When you’re connected to a VPN, all your online movements are registered through servers owned by your VPN company. A good, reliable VPN service will delete the record of your online activities after your session ends. However, those that provide free services may keep your data and sell it to third party companies, agencies, or non-state actors to keep their business afloat. Therefore, it’s always recommended to read a VPN’s privacy policy before subscribing to their service. 

Now, do you realize why we covered only those free VPNs that maintained a zero-log policy?

Free VPNs may have security loopholes

Researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CISRO), the University of California, and the University of New South Wales analysed 283 Android VPN apps (most available for free) for security and privacy. 

Of the investigated apps, more than a hundred showed signs of malware infection. Surprisingly, only a handful of app users knew about the problem and had publicly raised any concerns in their reviews.  

Free VPNs may eat up your resources 

Some free VPN providers utilize the resources on their customers’ network to power their service. This can both be inconvenient and dangerous for you. 

For starters, you’ll have to deal with throttling issues as other users are re-routed through your network. And secondly, anyone having foul intentions can use your IP address to perform an illegal activity on the internet, without you knowing anything about it.

In short, free VPNs cannot be trusted with your privacy or security, so you should try avoiding them. Unless, of course, you know the good ones from bad ones. You can then definitely use them – but even then, only as a back-up.

VPNs are completely legal in Australia. You can use them to surf the web, play games online, by-pass geo-restrictions and government censorship, or to do online shopping while on your travels.

On that note, we would like to wrap up our discussion of best free VPN providers for Australia. We hope you found the information helpful. If there’s anything you feel we didn’t answer in the post, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. We’d love to help you out.

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