The Best VPN Services For Australia in 2020 (October Updated)
If you’re looking for the best VPN for Australia, ExpressVPN should be on the top of your list. Whether it’s American Netflix you want to stream, get discounts while shopping online, or hide your digital footprints from surveillance actors, ExpressVPN can handle it all. These findings come after evaluating 70+ VPN services and running over 200 tests.
Looking for a more exclusive solution? We’ve got speciality best VPN recommendations too, tailored for your exact needs. You can use our recommended VPNs to make your desktop, laptop, iPhone, iPad, streaming devices (think Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV), and even your gaming console appear in any country of your choice and enjoy internet freedom to the full.
Just in case if you need a refresher on what VPNs actually are and how they work, we’d suggest you take a look at our comprehensive VPN guide written here.
VPNs are the new standards in the internet world. They have become tremendously popular among both casual and hardcore internet users, especially here in Australia.
A look at the search volume data confirms this.
More than 100k searches for the keyword “VPN” are made every month in Australia [source:Ahrefs]. These are pretty big numbers. Interestingly, they only make up a fraction of the actual searches performed—information that search engines like to keep to themselves.
How many active VPN users are there in Australia?
Just in case if you need a detailed refresher on VPNs, we’d suggest that you take a look at our comprehensive VPN guide written here.
So, with hundreds of VPN providers pitching their services to the Australian market, which ones should you even trust (and which ones should you avoid)?
Best VPNs for Australia (Oct.2020 In-depth Analysis)
It was important whatever information we provided in this guide could be genuinely helpful (and actionable) for internet users in Australia. Therefore, we came up with an intense testing scheme.
We extensively evaluated a set of over 70+ VPN services, all having live servers in Australia, by putting them through more than 200+ tests. We assessed their ability to download torrents and unblock popular streaming services from Down Under, whether they maintained privacy over the web, and how many operational servers they had in Australia compared to what they claimed.
Based on above-mentioned criteria we’ve conducted an in-depth analysis of the best VPNs for Australia for October 2020.
1) ExpressVPN – (The best VPN for power users in Australia)
ExpressVPN hails from British Virgin Island. It has 3000+ servers in 94 countries, including Australia. It employs OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPsec tunnelling protocols to protect users and their data from man-in-the-middle attacks.
ExpressVPN maintains a strict zero-log policy, supports unlimited bandwidth, runs across multiple devices, and offers five simultaneous connections on a single account. The service is well known for its speed. You can subscribe to its 1-year plan for $8.32 per month.
ExpressVPN test findings
ExpressVPN had no problems unblocking torrents from Australia. While downloading torrent files, we did not notice any significant drop in speed, either. Based on our test, the best performing torrenting servers for the VPN service were Switzerland and Netherlands – Amsterdam.
ExpressVPN also provided a smooth streaming experience for services like US Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. When streaming, we found the following servers as stand-out performers:
|Streaming service||Best performing servers|
|US Netflix||New York, Washington DC, Dallas, Miami and Denver|
|Hulu||New York, Miami, New Jersey – 1 and Washington DC – 2|
|HBO Now||New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Santa Monica|
|BBC iPlayer||Docklands and London|
We randomly picked four servers in the US and Italy for the leak tests. ExpressVPN did not report any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks on any of the tested servers, thus keeping our online anonymity intact.
Connected to ExpressVPN US server; no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks found
In terms of Australian servers, ExpressVPN provides five server locations, including Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and Sydney – 2. During the test, we found all five server locations to be working.
ExpressVPN offers five live server locations in Australia
ExpressVPN reviews and rating on Trustpilot Australia
On au.trustpilot.com, ExpressVPN had a rating of 4.7 and boasted more than 5000 reviews. Of these 5000+ reviews, 87% were scored as excellent.
ExpressVPN is relatively expensive compared to other VPNs on the market.
Conclusion: ExpressVPN is the ultimate best VPN for Australia. It’s fast, robust, and perfect for all types of applications. You can run it on any device – be it Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, smart TV, or your gaming console. Plus, its 30-day money-back guarantee gives you the comfort of knowing you’ll get your full payment back if you don’t like the service for any reason.
2) Surfshark – (The best affordable VPN for Australia)
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is also headquartered in British Virgin Islands. The service operates 1000+ servers in more than 60 countries, including Australia. It uses OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPsec, and Shadowshocks tunnelling protocols to encrypt users’ web traffic.
Surfshark is compatible with multiple platforms and devices. It offers unlimited bandwidth support and practices an uncompromising no-log policy. You can connect as many devices as you may want on a single Surfshark account. Its 3-year plan can be purchased at just $2.49 per month.
Surfshark test findings
Surfshark did an overall decent job with torrent requests. We can’t say the download speed was blazing fast, but it wasn’t slow either. US, Canada, and the Netherlands were the best performing torrenting servers for Surfshark.
As for unblocking streaming services, some Surfshark servers performed better than the others, while some failed to bypass the respective geo-restrictions altogether. Below, we’ve highlighted the recommended servers for watching US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer from Australia on Surfshark.
|Streaming service||Best performing servers|
|US Netflix||Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Denver|
|Hulu||Seattle, Denver, Orlando, and New York|
|HBO Now||Seattle, Latham, Boston, and Kansas City|
|BBC iPlayer||Manchester and London|
Based on the random testing of four Surfshark servers, located across the UK and Canada, no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks were detected.
Connected to Surfshark servers in Canada; no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks found
In terms of support for in-land internet communications, Surfshark offers five server locations, including Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. We found all five server locations to be live, offering consistent connection speeds.
Surfshark offers five live server locations in Australia
Surfshark reviews and rating on Trustpilot Australia
On au.trustpilot.com, Surfshark was rated 4.3 and had more than 4,500 reviews. Of these 4500+ reviews, 66% were scored as excellent.
Surfshark has a few incomplete servers, especially in the U.S. This is one area where we believe the VPN provider needs to improve its services.
Conclusion: Surfshark is the best cheap VPN for Australia, offering a great service package at rates as low as $2.49/mo. Despite its cheap price, you get strong streaming support, stable P2P servers, unlimited simultaneous connections, top-notch security, and everything else you expect in a premium VPN. It also comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee.
3) NordVPN – (The best VPN for downloading torrents in Australia)
NordVPN is based in Panama. The service operates 5000+ servers in more than 55 countries, including Australia. It uses advanced tunnelling protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 and IPsec to keep users’ online privacy intact.
NordVPN provides several interesting features, including but not limited to six multi-logins, unlimited bandwidth support, 100% no-log policy and ad blocking. You can get NordVPN for just $3.71 per month on a 2-year plan.
NordVPN test findings
NordVPN handled all torrent requests superbly, without compromising our privacy. However, we’d still recommend you to turn on the app’s kill switch button when downloading torrent files. This would prevent any IP leaks if the connection breaks down in between for any reason.
You can choose from a list of over 4000 thousand P2P servers to download your favourite torrents. In our experience, we found Switzerland and US servers as most reliable.
In terms of unblocking streaming services, NordVPN did not disappoint either. It was able to connect to US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer without any major problems. We’ve listed down the recommended servers for each of the tested streaming services in the table below:
|Streaming service||Best performing servers|
|US Netflix||Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Miami|
|Hulu||New York, Buffalo, Manassas and Salt Lake City|
|HBO Now||New York, Buffalo, Charlotte and Salt Lake City|
|BBC iPlayer||Great Dunmow|
No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks were detected during the random testing of NordVPN servers. The tested servers were located in the US, Sweden, Spain, and France.
Connected to NordVPN US server; no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks found
In Australia, NordVPN provides five server locations that you can connect to. These include Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Brisbane. We found all five server locations to be working.
NordVPN offers five live server locations in Australia
NordVPN Trustpilot rating and reviews
On au.trustpilot.com, NordVPN was rated 4.4 and had more than 4000 reviews. Of these 4000+ reviews, 71% were scored as excellent.
NordVPN does not always support streaming on AndroidTV, NVIDIA Shield TV, and Amazon Fire Stick.
Conclusion: NordVPN is arguably the best VPN for P2P applications in Australia. It has got dedicated servers that make downloading torrent files a breeze. These servers are spread across 59 countries. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase, you can always request for a no-hassle refund.
4) PureVPN – (The Best VPN for streaming for Australia)
PureVPN has its roots in Hong Kong. It operates 2000+ servers in more than 140 countries worldwide, including 70+ servers in Australia. It employs a number of tunnelling protocols to encrypt users’ web traffic data. These include PPTP, IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.
PureVPN service offers 10 multi-logins on a single account along with several advanced features like zero-log policy, ad blocking, kill switch, and unlimited bandwidth support. Its 1-year plan is available for just $6.49 per month.
PureVPN test findings
PureVPN provided relatively slow torrent download speed compared to other VPNs on this list. So while you can use the VPN service to download torrents from Australia, if you’re buying it exclusively for torrenting alone, there are better alternatives available out there. We found Norway and the Netherlands as the top torrenting servers for PureVPN.
Streaming was one of the strongest points of PureVPN. The VPN service offered a decent number of servers that unblocked US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer from Australia. Furthermore, it had a dedicated streaming mode to allow users to watch shows and movies in HD quality. We’ve listed down the best performing servers for each tested streaming service in the table below:
|Streaming service||Best performing servers|
|US Netflix||Chicago, Columbus, New York and New Jersey|
|Hulu||Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and New York|
|HBO Now||Columbus, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington DC|
|BBC iPlayer||London and Manchester|
There were no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks reported during the random testing of four PureVPN servers, located in the US and the UK.
Connected to PureVPN US server; no IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks found
PureVPN provides four server locations in Australia to connect to, including Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We found all four server locations to be working.
PureVPN offers four live server locations in Australia
PureVPN Trustpilot rating and reviews
On au.trustpilot.com, PureVPN was rated 4.8 and had more than 10,000 reviews. Of these 10,000+ reviews, 85% were scored as excellent.
PureVPN needs to work on its incomplete servers and slow P2P connection speeds.
Conclusion: PureVPN brings its A-game to the streaming front by offering a dedicated streaming mode that unblocks more than 65 popular on-demand video services. It’s comfortably the best VPN for streaming for Australia. It comes with a generous 31-day money-back guarantee.
5) CyberGhost – (The best feature-packed VPN for Australia)
CyberGhost is a Romania based VPN service. It operates 6000+ servers in more than 80 countries, including Australia. It uses robust tunnelling protocols like IPsec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN to protect users from network sniffing attacks.
CyberGhost supports up to 7 multi-logins. The service offers unlimited bandwidth, ad blocking, VPN kill switch, in-built WebRTC leak protection, and a strict no-log policy. You can get its 1-year plan for $2.75 per month.
CyberGhost test findings
We faced difficulties while connecting to torrent sites through different CyberGhost servers, especially those located in the U.S. However, the problem was resolved as soon as we switched our location to Germany. Still, we did not get fast enough download speeds to recommend the service for torrenting in Australia.
In terms of accessing geo-restricted content, CyberGhost did a decent job of unblocking popular streaming services such as US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer. We’ve noted down the best performing servers for each tested streaming service in the table below:
|Streaming service||Best performing servers|
|US Netflix||New York-S403-i39, New York-S416-i34, Seattle-S401-i01 and Dallas-S409-i19|
|Hulu||New York-S403-i39 and Seattle-S401-i08|
|HBO Now||Washington DC-S401-i02 and Atlanta-S407-i13|
|BBC iPlayer||London 126.96.36.199, London 188.8.131.52 and Manchester-S412-i05|
There were no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks detected on the four randomly tested CyberGhost VPN servers. These servers were located in the UK and Belgium.
Connected to CyberGhost UK server; no IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks found
For Australia, CyberGhostVPN offers two server locations, Melbourne and Sydney. We found both server locations to be running.
CyberGhost VPN offers two live server locations in Australia
CyberGhost reviews and rating on Trustpilot Australia
On au.trustpilot.com, CyberGhost was rated 4.8 and had more than 10,000 reviews. Of these 10,000+ reviews, 84% were scored as excellent.
CyberGhost’s torrenting servers lack consistency and need to be optimized.
Conclusion: CyberGhost is the best VPN for Australia in terms of intuitive features. It has got an automatic VPN kill switch that protects you against accidental IP leaks, one-click servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, and evading restrictive firewalls, and an ad-blocker to keep malware and ad-scripts away. Its exclusive 45-day money-back guarantee makes it worth a try.
Best VPN Australia – Quick Comparison Chart (Oct. 2020 Updated)
|VPNs||Good Points||Improvement Points||Offer|
|ExpressVPN||Strict zero-log policy, five simultaneous connections, unlock US Netflix, HBO, Hulu & BBC iPlayer, No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks, 30-day money-back.||Expensive||USD 8.32/mo|
|Surfshark||Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited simultaneous connections, strict no-log policy, unlock US Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, 30-day money-back guarantee||Fewer servers in the USA||USD 2.49/mo|
|NordVPN||Six multi-logins, 100% no-log policy and ad blocking, No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks, 30-day money-back guarantee.||Streaming issues on AndroidTV, NVIDIA Shield TV and Amazon Fire Stick||USD 3.71/mo|
|PureVPN||10 multi-logins, zero-log policy, ad blocking, kill switch, and unlimited bandwidth support, unlock US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, BBC iPlayer, 31-day money-back guarantee.||Slow P2P connection speeds||USD 6.49/mo|
|CyberGhost||7 multi-login, unlimited bandwidth, ad blocking, in-built WebRTC leak protection, zero log policy, 45-day money-back guarantee.||Torrenting servers lack consistency||USD 2.75/mo|
3 VPNs you should avoid using in Australia
We’ve covered the 5 best VPN Australia services in quite a detail. In this next section, we’ll discuss the VPNs that you should avoid using in Australia.
What makes these VPNs a no-go?
There are many things you expect a VPN to do, the most important—and essential—of them all is keeping your online privacy intact while increasing your security over the web. Unfortunately, the VPNs that we are going to list below fail to do this.
HideMyAss is a UK-based VPN company and is a member of the famous Avast family. If you visit their website, they explicitly state on it the type of data they log as part of their policy. This includes bandwidth usage, time of connecting and disconnect, and total log duration.
However, what the company claims here is not entirely true.
In addition to the above details, HideMyAss also keeps your real IP address in their record. This was witnessed when the VPN provider collaborated with law enforcement agencies to get Cody Kretsinger—a LulzSec hacker—arrested by sharing with them the details of his IP address.
Now, we don’t advocate cyber-crime (or cybercriminals) at howtowatchinaustralia.com in any way. Our objection is, why was HideMyAss keeping a log of the information that they were not supposed to do?
Should you be trusting such a company with your online privacy? We’d like to rest our case here.
…Log data may include the following information- browser type, web pages you visit, time spent on those pages, access times and dates.
The Services may improve your use of the Internet, among other means by re-routing some of your requests through other Hola users (the “Value Exchange”). Your free use of the Services will in turn enable other devices using the Services to be re-routed through your device. By using the Services you consent to the use of your device in the described manner and agree that other Hola devices may use your network connection and resources.
This last part should especially ring the alarm bells for you. With other users potentially being re-routed via your IP address, any unwanted activity can take place on your IP, and you can get in trouble.
The last VPN to avoid on our list is the Hotspot VPN.
Hotspot VPN is based in Hong Kong with links to mainland China. Zhu Jianpeng is the owner and director of the company.
Our business may require us to transfer your Personal Data to countries outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including to countries such as the People’s Republic of China or Singapore.
So, if you use HotspotVPN in Australia, your data could get shared with an unknown person sitting all the way in China.
We tried contacting the company’s customer support to get further clarification on the company’s data sharing policy, however, our emails were ignored.
What is a VPN?
A VPN is an online privacy tool that allows computers or networks to connect securely and anonymously over the internet. It hides your real IP address and encrypts your web traffic, keeping you safe from hackers, spoofers, and other unwanted personnel online.
How does a VPN work?
In every VPN set-up, we have a server (often located remotely) and a client app. You download the client app on your internet device and connect to the remote server. The remote server does two things: i) it replaces your actual IP address with that of its own – thus making your online identity, and ii) it creates an end-to-end tunnel between your device and the web, protecting and encrypting any web traffic that passes through it.
Are VPNs legal in Australia?
There are currently no laws that prohibit the use of VPNs in Australia. Even bypassing geo-blocks to access restricted overseas content using a VPN has no legal ramifications in the country.
To further quote former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the subject:
The Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content. While content providers often have in place international commercial arrangements to protect copyright in different countries or regions, which can result in ‘geo-blocking’, circumventing this is not illegal under the Copyright Act.
Am I completely anonymous with a VPN?
While a VPN does an excellent job at maintaining your anonymity in front of hackers and spoofers, it does not make you 100% anonymous online. For example, if you talk about VPN service providers, they can see your real IP address. They can then use this information to log and track your online activities if they want. You must, therefore, only partner with a reliable VPN company that maintains a strict zero-log policy.
So what do you exactly need a VPN for? If you are looking for an all-round VPN service and can afford to pay up a bit, ExpressVPN could be the best VPN for you. Alternatively, you can go for Surfshark if you are short on budget. However, if you have a special need, like downloading torrent files or watching Netflix, then we’d recommend NordVPN and PureVPN. Just a casual internet raider and will be using a VPN for the first time? Try CyberGhost; it’s user-friendly.
Stay safe, stay anonymous, and happy VPN shopping!
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