5 Best VPN Services for Australia – Speed and Unblocking Tested for 2019
Overseas Aussies craving to watch Australian content like the hit TV series “Rake” or stream sports events, such as the AFL/NRL Grand Finals on geo-restricted AU platforms like Foxtel, 7Plus, and SBS are always in search for a solution to bypass these limitations.
The same goes for cord-cutters in the country wanting to access American Netflix in Australia, BBC iPlayer UK, Amazon Prime UK, and HBO Now, at the comfort of their home. So, I decided why not dig deeper into this problem of geographical boundaries.
Here is a guide on the best VPNs for Australia, which can be used by both: expats and residents of the country, for their limitless streaming/privacy needs.
Which is the Best VPN for Australia?
I have added a list of recommendations below, but to summarize, look no further than NordVPN for Australia. The Panamanian-based provider unblocks all Australian-specific streaming content and IPTVs for overseas Aussies. It even makes it possible to access the US, UK, and JP versions of Netflix in Australia.
Second to NordVPN, I recommend Surfshark VPN which is the BVI-based newcomer. Its listings in the “physical” server menu deliver excellent performance for accessing content both: inside and outside of Australia.
Vital Information about Australian Privacy Laws
Australia is part of the invasive Five Eyes Alliances (FVEY), indicating that it is not a safe jurisdiction at all. Just like other countries in Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes, they do impose mandatory data retention and mass surveillance laws, which means you are under monitoring 24/7.
The country’s constitution denies the explicit right to free speech. A “ communications power” clause, allows Australian agencies to regulate the internet, telephonic, telegraphic, and even postal services. Their government also promotes and mandates an “opt-in” filtering program.
Aussies voluntarily accept this law for blocking offensive, illegal, or pornographic content. ISPs themselves go through strict verification to ensure all laws are followed. However, this is nothing compared to the Australian encryption-busting bill passing on Dec 6, 2018.
As part of this bill, law enforcement agencies in the countries will be provided access to end-to-end encrypted digital communications, compelling tech-giants like Facebook and Apple to make backdoors into secure messaging platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, and FB Messenger.
Is Using a VPN Legal in Australia?
Similar to other countries part of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes, Australia did not place any strict restrictions on the usage of VPNs. However, 2019 has brought with it some dire news.
Sadly, a new law currently in speculation by the government may result in VPNs becoming illegal or blocked in Australia, in what is a massive blow to the 684,000 netizens who use such tools.
“We know that at least 684,000 Australian Households already save money and get better deals by accessing overseas content using tools like a VPN. The Minister for Communications, who is championing this filter bill, says that it’s legal to use a VPN, but rights holder lobbyists insist it isn’t – and they’ll be the ones launching action to block websites and online tools under the new law,” says Choice Campaigns Manager Erin Turner
It seems as if Australia will soon be joining the likes of China, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, UAE, and other repressive regimes where VPN usage can even result in jail time.
A List of Working VPNs for Australia in 2019
With 200+ VPN services appearing in the marketplace, it can be a tough job selecting a good option, particularly for specific searches like the best Australian VPN.
BestVPN.co’s team of experts and I have already tested over 180 providers in the marketplace, so you can feel assured the suggestions you see below are accurate.
Each service has been tested for unblocking AU websites like Foxtel, 7Plus, and SBS outside the country and Netflix US, UK, JP, along with p2p aggregators like ThePirateBay and KAT, in Australia.
1. NordVPN for Australia
Headquartered in Panama and launched in 2012, NordVPN exists as the best streaming option for Australia using a VPN, which manages to unblock Australian-specific and overseas websites/VoDs/IPTVs.
Its secure location, verified no logging policy, and advanced features; make it one of the most trusted VPNs in the marketplace. Best part of all: you have 5,840 servers in 60 countries around the world.
Since I know Aussies go hard into torrenting, I even put its p2p capabilities to test. I did not receive any legal notices from copyright infringement agencies and received excellent speeds overall.
In terms of protocols, NordVPN only utilizes OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) and IKEv2/IPSec, which offer maximum security. As of 2018, the service discontinued its support for PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.
For providing security, the service utilizes AES-256-CBC with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication and features like Onion over VPN, Obfuscation, CyberSec, Kill Switch and DoubleVPN.
The service offers apps for Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Chrome, and Firefox. There is no client for routers (albeit you do have preconfigured options from the experts at Flash Routers).
All apps use a different variant in design, following the same blue and white template, but they are easy to use. A single subscription can easily work on five devices concurrently.
NordVPN is does not leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP address, utilizes physical servers ONLY, and offers average speeds of 89.97Mbps and upload speed 77.28Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
A subscription of 3-years will reduce the costs from $11.95 to $2.99/mo., backed by a 30-day refund. Downsides? DoubleVPN decreases speeds drastically.
Read this comprehensive NordVPN review for more details about the service!
2. Surfshark for Australia
Located in BVI and created in 2018, Surfshark is a newcomer that offers exceptional performance to Australians, offering good unblocking, p2p/torrenting, and privacy capabilities.
With over 800+ servers in 53+ countries around the world, users can easily access Australian VoDs and IPTVs, along with Netflix UK/US, BBC iPlayer UK, Amazon Prime UK, and Hulu US.
The P2P/torrenting performance of the VPN is also quite impressive. I was able to download pirated files without any copyright notices, but after changing the protocol to OpenVPN from IKEv2.
Similar to NordVPN, the BVI-based Surfshark does not support PPTP and L2TP/IPSec, but you do receive military-grade encryption via two different methods: AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM.
Advanced features offered by the provider, include CleanWeb (ad/tracker blocker), MultiHop, WhiteListerTM and unlimited simultaneous logins (one of the USPs of the low cost VPN).
In terms of compatibility, Surfshark offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and a client for Amazon Fire TV too!
All apps share a similar appearance and design, offering a smooth and intuitive experience overall, but the Android version does get a little unstable at times, crashing unexpectedly.
Surfshark does not leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP address, utilizes only two VIRTUAL servers, and offers average speeds of 76.22 Mbps and upload speed of 66.18Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
A commitment of 12-months lowers the pricing from $11.95 to $5.99/mo., backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Downsides? Buggy Android application.
Receive more insights into the provider by reading this Surfshark review
3. ExpressVPN for Australia
Based in British Virgin Islands and founded in 2011, ExpressVPN exists as an all-rounder in the marketplace of privacy tools, but for me it ranks as the best VPN in Australia for Netflix.
With over 3,000+ servers in 160 locations spread across 94 countries, I was easily able to unblock the US, UK, and JP of Netflix using these ExpressVPN best servers for Australia, that too in Ultra HD quality.
Torrenting with ExpressVPN is a delightful and relaxing experience too. You receive good protection from Australian copyright infringement agencies, unlike other VPNs in the marketplace.
Protocols supported by the BVI-based provide include PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) and encryption is available via two different ciphers: AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM.
For features, offers Network Lock a.k.a. Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and Obfuscation, which comes in handy for bypassing VPN bans in countries like China, Iran, Iraq, UAE, Turkey, etc.
In terms of apps compatibility, ExpressVPN is available on Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and even on your router for home-wide VPN access.
All apps are incredibly user-friendly, boasting neat and clean layouts for ease-of-use. The best part of all: a single subscription works simultaneously on three devices.
ExpressVPN does not leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP address, utilizes both physical/virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 82.45Mbps and upload of 74.13Mbps on my 100Mbps connection.
A commitment of 15-months reduce subscription costs from $12.95 to $6.67/mo., backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Downsides? None that I can think of.
Learn more about the provider in this comprehensive ExpressVPN review
4. CyberGhost for Australia
Headquartered in Romania and established in 2011, CyberGhost is another hit service for Aussies, which in my opinion ranks as the best VPN in Australia for torrenting/p2p needs.
Offering access to a network of over 4,815 servers in 61 countries, 9 out of the 12 I tested for unblocking VoDs worked for Netflix US/UK/JP, BBC iPlayer UK, Amazon Prime UK, and more.
Through the specialty servers available in the CyberGhost VPN client, I was able to indulge in secure and anonymous p2p/torrenting. Enter “p2p” in the search bar for more convenience.
Native protocols supported by the service include PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN (TCP or UDP). Encryption is available via AES-256 cipher, RSA-4096 key encryption and SHA384 hash authentication.
In terms of apps compatibility, you can get CyberGhost on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Amazon Firestick, Android TVs, and even on routers.
All applications use the same beautiful yellow design that blends with the different screen sizes of varied platforms. A single subscription works on seven devices simultaneously.
CyberGhost does not leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP address, utilizes a mixture of physical and virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 74.22Mbps and upload speed of 70.29Mbps.
A commitment of 3-years lower costs from $12.99 to $2.75/mo., backed by a huge 45-day refund. Downsides? 1-day free trial is too short!
Check this CyberGhost review out for a more in-depth analysis of the provider.
5. PureVPN for Australia
Located in Hong Kong and founded in 2007, PureVPN does well in meeting the needs of Australian expats and residents, offering good compatibility for bypassing geo-restrictions.
Users can connect to an expansive network of 2,000 servers in 180 locations over 140+ countries worldwide, which sometimes work/may not work for unblocking Netflix.
Mostly, the service offers good support for those who want to access Australian-specific websites, but delivers stable performance for p2p/torrenting too – thanks to the SOCKS5 proxy.
Native protocols supported by PureVPN include PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN & the revolutionary Stealth protocol, and encryption is available via AES-256 ciphers and 2,048-bit RSA keys.
Advanced features available include NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, Kill Switch, DDoS Protection, and dedicated IPs.
For device compatibility, PureVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, all types of Android TVs, Firestick devices, and even an add-on for Kodi.
The browser extensions and desktop versions work quite smoothly, but the TV apps do contain some “bugs”, which cause the client to crash at odd times for no reason at all.
PureVPN does not leak your WebRTC/DNS/IP address, utilizes a mixture of physical and virtual locations, and offers average speeds of 72.35Mbps and upload speed of 64.71Mbps.
A subscription of 1-year will drop the monthly costs from $10.95 to $3.33/mo., backed by a 31-day money back guarantee. Downsides? TV app needs a lot of work!
For a more detailed analysis, check this PureVPN review out!
What Can You Access by Connecting to a VPN in Australia?
For the less informed users outside Australia, understanding what a VPN can help them do can get confusing. In simple words, it allows you to return to your country, but digitally. Get it?
Once you subscribe to a VPN service, simply connect to an Australian server, and you will be able to act as if you are residing in the country. As such, you will instantly be able to access:
Aussie expats can feel at home again by accessing channels like SBS, 7Plus and Foxtel for streaming events like the Australian Open, AFL/NRL Final, Bledisloe Cup, Tour Down Under, and more.
Those residing outside Australia can still access the local AU version of the VoD by connecting to any Australian server through a VPN app like Express, Nord, Surfshark, CyberGhost, or PureVPN.
Almost 680,000 netizens use VPNs in Australia. You can use one too and indulge in safe p2p/torrenting for downloading your favorite movies, TV shows, videos, programs, games, etc.
Australian Whirlpool Forums
Those missing their hometown can connect to an Australian server and access local forums like Whirlpool, where people talk about everything from entertainment to daily life hassles!
What is the Fastest VPN for Australia?
Bear in mind that VPNs add an extra layer of encryption to your connection, which in return may result in speed loss. Below I tested the above five providers on my 100Mbps network, with NordVPN topping as the fastest VPN for Australia.
NordVPN Speed Test
The Panamanian-based provider delivered 89.97Mbps download and 77.28Mbps upload on an average in Australian locations. The speed is perfect for streaming Netflix in Ultra HD quality!
Surfshark Speed Test
The BVI-based provider may be new but it still manages to give 76.22Mbps download and 66.18Mbps upload on average in Australia. Netflix and torrenting was quite fast!
ExpressVPN Speed Test
ExpressVPN delivers quite the impressive results, offering an average of 82.45Mbps download and 74.13Mbps upload in Australian locations, which is more than good enough for Netflix and torrenting.
CyberGhost Speed Test
CyberGhost does not fail to impress either, delivering an average of 74.22Mbps download and 70.29Mbps upload. Streaming on Netflix was quick and buffer-free!
PureVPN Speed Test
The Hong Kong-based provider has improved its service greatly, delivering an average of 72.35Mbps and 64.71Mbps upload in Australian locations, for streaming and torrenting.
People Also Ask
Will a VPN help Avoid Australia’s Data Retention Law?
VPNs do anonymize your identity online, but ISPs may still be able to see your traffic volume and device details. As long as your VPN does not leak, you are safe from Australia’s Data Retention Laws.
What is the Best Free VPN for Australia?
Free VPN services cannot be trusted, as they adopt shady practices to pay for the costs of managing servers, developing apps, and technical support, etc. However, if you are looking for some less risky options in the marketplace, consider trying out Hide Me or Windscribe.
Is Using a VPN Necessary in Australia?
Considering that Australia is part of the Five Eyes Alliance and indulges in mandatory data retention and mass surveillance, I would say using a VPN is mandatory in the country (if you care about your privacy).
Wrapping Things Up
With this, I reach an end to this guide on the best VPN for Australia. Hope the recommendations (NordVPN, I provided after rigorous testing help you in doing the tasks you want to through a VPN.
Nevertheless, if you encounter any issues/problems, do not hesitate on dropping a comment below. I will personally respond to all queries to provide as much assistance as possible.
Also, feel free to share the guide with other Aussies and expats who want a reliable VPN product for their streaming/unblocking needs. Thanks and have a lovely day ahead!