In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) choices for Australia.
We’ve tested a whole range of VPNs for Australia and weighed up some of the features that make certain providers stand out for use Down Under. We’ve also ranked seven of the best of them to help you make the right decision when choosing your VPN for Australia.
Australia is fast becoming a country where a VPN is an absolute necessity for everyday internet use.
With some of the strongest privacy-invasive laws being passed by the Australian Government both in relation to data retention and weakening encryption, Aussies are certainly vying for the title of one of the most surveilled countries in the world.
Using a secure VPN service will help because a VPN protects your online privacy and security.
If you’re not overly concerned (we really recommend you should be), then there are hundreds of other uses for VPN apps in Australia.
Everything from accessing overseas content, such as US Netflix or BBC iPlayer, to watching Australian streaming services abroad by getting an Australian IP Address, to bypassing ISP restrictions which slow your internet traffic by restricting speeds when you carry out certain tasks.
Virtual Private Networks can help with all of this and more.
Our favourite VPN for Australia is ExpressVPN, but it’s worth taking a look at the competition, so we’ve tested the best and ranked seven of the best below.
Table of Contents
How to Choose a VPN in Australia
Before we delve into the Virtual Private Network provider list we have compiled as a result of our extensive testing, it’s worth taking a few minutes to consider some of the features you should be looking for.
While choosing a VPN in Australia is much the same as choosing a VPN for America or the UK, for example, there are one or two unique factors to consider.
Based outside Australia
Ideally, you want a VPN service based outside Australia.
There aren’t many homegrown Australian VPNs, but they do exist and the ones that do could be more easily required to comply with local logging laws than those overseas.
And you don’t want your internet activity being handed over to the Government.
Nearby server locations
Australia, as you’ll already know, is geographically isolated.
So it’s worth considering which nearby VPN servers are available when considering VPNs for Australia. Good server coverage is vital for all VPNs. It can affect your HD streaming, download speeds, and more.
So, if you are looking for the closest server location, New Zealand is the obvious server choice, but further afield, Hong Kong is a worthy privacy location too.
Although Indonesia and other Asian nations may be available, they could be subject to their own restrictions or censorship.
Almost all VPN services charge in US Dollars. The Aussie Dollar is generally strong, but depending on world markets, prices can fluctuate.
Locking into a 12-month or longer deal when you see a price you’re happy with makes good sense.
Money back guarantee
Get a service with a decent money-back guarantee. Many offer 30 days as a minimum. This gives you loads of time to test your chosen Australian VPN yourself.
Top VPN for Australia
Below are our recommended seven VPN services for Australia.
- ExpressVPN – Top pick for Australia
- CyberGhost VPN
- Private Internet Access
Below you’ll find a more in-depth round-up of the features of each service.
- Best in class for Australia
- Servers in 6 Oz cities
- Super fast download speeds
- Works will all devices
- Unlocks Netflix and most international streaming services
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 5 concurrent connections
- Paying per month expensive
When looking for the best Australia VPN service – start with ExpressVPN. They’re not only our Editor’s Choice VPN service for 2023, but they’re also the best choice for use in Australia.
The service offers masses of server locations – in 94 countries to be exact!
Australia is well covered with servers, so if you need an Australian IP address, just connect to an Australian server in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, or our personal favourite, Woolloomooloo.
This makes ExpressVPN one of the most well-covered across Australia for a VPN service and ideal for good speed.
Further afield, you’ve also got plenty of servers in New Zealand and much of Asia. Servers in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea are just a few more.
All of these can be used for streaming, P2P file sharing and downloading from torrent sites, and more, as this VPN has a minimum impact on your internet speeds.
Perfect to Access Streaming Services
ExpressVPN is a good choice for streaming Netflix (US), other Netflix services, and services like BBC iPlayer, thanks to a combination of unlimited bandwidth, some of the fastest VPN speeds around, and secure VPN servers.
Even streaming the Netflix Australia catalogue is possible if you connect to one of the Australian server locations. They’re also useful for homegrown TV like SBS, 7Plus, Kayo Sports and Network Ten, amongst others.
If you venture off on your travels, you’ll still be able to access your favourite TV services as accessing Australian content is simple by connecting to the Australian servers from abroad.
ExpressVPN is a fully ‘no-log’ VPN, which means that it retains no data about your connection or activity, which is helped by its location in the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands.
This has been proven to be sound in a high-profile criminal case and through independent testing.
There are also some great security and privacy features, including a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection on top of the 256-bit encryption that comes as standard, along with OpenVPN and its own Lightway protocol.
Throw in great customer service that includes 24/7 live chat support, five simultaneous connections, and you have the best VPN for Australia
While it is not the cheapest VPN for Australia, ExpressVPN really is a great deal, especially if you sign up for their annual deal, which comes with a bonus of three months for free. Not to mention that it is the fastest VPN, and it lets you unblock Australian Netflix while hiding from Australian ISPs.
Best VPN for Australia
30-day money back guarantee
- Very easy to use
- Large range of apps
- 5 cities in Australia
- Works with Netflix
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Audited no log policy
- Lots of features can be confusing for novices
- No Paypal option
NordVPN is another clear frontrunner in the race for the title of best VPN for Australia.
There are more than 190 NordVPN servers in Australia alone, covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, which means if you need local servers, Australian IP Addresses, and good download speeds. NordVPN is a great option for you.
Nearby servers are also available in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and a host of other countries across Asia. There are also some 60 countries covered across the world with well over 5,000 individual VPN servers available.
NordVPN stores no logs of your activity, which has been confirmed by an independent audit and they’re registered off-shore in Panama so should be able to safeguard you from any of the privacy-invasive regulations of Australian law.
Streaming services and Features
NordVPN works well for US Netflix, other Netflix services, BBC iPlayer and many other services across the world.
They’re also able to unblock many of the most popular Australian TV services should you go overseas and are good for P2P file sharing too. It works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Smart TV, and many other devices and systems.
There is 256-bit encryption as standard as well as a huge range of security features, including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, Double VPN servers, split tunneling, and various other security features.
You also get 6 simultaneous connections with every account, and there’s a 30-day refund guarantee available, giving you plenty of time to test the service for your needs.
- Good range of apps
- Time-proven service
- Unlimited concurrent connections
- Fire TV app
- Registered in the US
- Not great for streaming
IPVanish VPN is a product up there with the best of them and is another useful one for any user in Australia.
Australian servers are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, & Adelaide and will cover the majority of your needs.
There are also 75+ other server locations across the world, including nearby locations such as New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea.
But unfortunately, IPVanish is one VPN company that is not great at unblocking US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services. We’ve tried them, and our advice is that if streaming is a priority for you, look elsewhere.
On the flip side, when it comes to security features, this service delivers, with split tunneling, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, unlimited bandwidth, and more.
It also has an independently verified no-user logs guarantee, and while we are wary of the US location, at the moment, this looks sound.
Compared to other VPN providers, IP Vanish is reasonably priced, there is a 30-day refund guarantee, live chat support is available 24/7, and there are unlimited simultaneous devices allowed to connect at one.
So, if you want to use a VPN on multiple devices or in a large household, then this is one of the best VPN service options around for you.
4. CyberGhost VPN
- Excellent for streaming
- 45-day money back guarantee
- Good download speeds
- Large range of user-friendly apps
- 7 concurrent connections
- Owns ‘VPN review’ sites
CyberGhost VPN stands out for Australian use if you’re a VPN beginner, an avid streamer and love your entertainment content.
They’ve got specific servers across their service that unblock all the most popular services from across the world. This includes US Netflix, other Netflix services, and Amazon Prime video. Not all VPN services offer this.
If you’re after accessing media not available in Australia or before its Australian release, then you should definitely consider CyberGhost VPN.
Server wise, their network is large, spanning 91 countries across the globe. There are Australian servers in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne giving plenty of choices and with 213 individual servers there’s plenty of power to go around and decent speed wherever you’re located.
Nearby servers are available in New Zealand and much of Asia. Again Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea make good choices for hopping outside Australian restrictions.
CyberGhost VPN is a Romanian company covered by European Union laws.
They have a dedicated no-logs guarantee that is independently verified and a superb range of user-friendly VPN app options. You also get key features like a kill switch to ensure if your active VPN connection drops out, your data won’t leak.
CyberGhost VPN comes with a huge 45-day money-back guarantee, competitive prices, and does everything you need as an Australian VPN user.
- Very good range of apps
- Easy for beginners
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Audited no log policy
- Not the fastest
- Now registered in the US
VyprVPN has massively gone up in our estimation following recent investment in their service. They were one of the first VPNs to be fully no-log audited, and they have done other audits to back up their service claims too.
Australian servers are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The rarely supported west coast is covered, which is great if you’re over on the Perth side, which is thousands of miles from the East Coast hub.
Nearby you’ve got server locations in New Zealand and, surprisingly, the Marshall Islands. If you’re looking for something a little different, then that will tick the box. The usual scattering of Asian servers is available, too, with Hong Kong a possibility.
In our recent review of their service, we commended them on the reliability of their connections, and if you use a VPN as much as we do, you will know just how important that is. They also have strong security, including their own unique Chameleon protocol.
They are ideal for streaming content on US Netflix and other streaming services. Owning their entire network is definitely a factor in this case, and VyprVPN also comes with decent speeds, cost-effective prices, and up to ten simultaneous connections with each account.
VyprVPN is available from US$1.67 per month and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee as standard.
- Unlocks 30 Netflix regions
- Good range of apps
- Support for Fire TV
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 5 cities in Australia
- Some privacy issues
- Newer provider
Surfshark is a young VPN that has made a big impression in the VPN market very quickly. It already offers users a huge range of apps and a dependable VPN service at a low price.
Surfshark’s VPN server network consists of more than 3,200 in 65 different countries, which is a lot for such a young provider.
It gives users plenty of choices and means they can unblock content from a wide range of countries. There are 69+ Australian servers located across 5 cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide) and also options in neighbouring countries such as New Zealand too.
The service works well at unblocking streaming services like US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, and more. Connections speeds are fast and consistent enough for streaming, and the apps are extremely easy to use.
Surfshark also comes with 256-bit AES military-grade encryption as standard. Its privacy protections are OK (like ExpressVPN, which is also headquartered in the British Virgin Islands), but our tests found that it does collect a little more connection data than we would like.
The Surfshark service offers unlimited simultaneous connections too.
There are areas for improvement, but with a 30-day money-back guarantee and low prices as standard, plus user-friendly customer service, Surfshark has plenty to offer Australian VPN users.
7. Private Internet Access
- Huge range of servers
- Tested no log policy
- Servers in Australia
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Owns ‘VPN review’ websites
- Registered in the US
- Not brilliant for streaming
Private Internet Access is another excellent VPN service provider that offers a cost-effective Australia VPN option.
The PIA server network covers 84 countries. This includes multiple servers across five Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide) that makes getting an Australian IP Address easy.
As well as more in New Zealand and other locations across southeast Asia too.
Private Internet Access delivers fast connection speeds, a decent range of impressive apps, and a good selection of security and privacy features.
It is able to unblock Netflix, although only the US and UK versions, and it is not as reliable as some others on this list. Other premium streaming services like US Disney+ and BBC iPlayer are patchy, too, unfortunately but you should be able to watch most Australian TV services.
Its customer service is excellent and includes a 24/7 live chat customer support feature. You can also enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections which means whatever your VPN usage, PIA has you covered.
PIA prices are extremely competitive and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee available too. Another good options for Australian internet users.
How we selected our choices
This is a long list, and you might be wondering how we chose these best VPNs for Australia.
After all, there are literally hundreds of VPNs on the market, and all of them will state somewhere on their website that when it comes to Australian VPNs, none are better than they are.
Well, we test VPNs for a living and have done for over 10 years, so we know exactly how to identify the best VPNs for Australia.
We also factored in feedback from users of said best VPNs for Australia and identified the key criteria that were needed for the best VPNs to cut the mustard with Australian users.
We also tested these across Sydney from the CBD all the way out towards Newcastle and the Blue Moutains.
The key criteria that we considered when selecting the best VPNs for Australia were:
1) Local servers
Australia is very geographically remote, and it is well known that the further your data has to travel to reach a VPN server, the more your connection speeds are going to be affected.
We have therefore stuck to Australia VPN services that offer a decent range of Australian servers and Australian IP Address options. The more Australian servers that are available the better the service they will be able to offer.
We are also acutely aware of the size of Australia, having visited and used the internet there ourselves, and have therefore prioritised VPNs that are able to offer servers across a wide range of Australian cities. If you live in Perth, a server in Sydney is still an awfully long way away.
Speed could suffer if you live on the other side of the country, and you don’t need to suffer slow speed just to increase your online security.
Perth is actually closer to Singapore than Sydney, which is why we have also considered VPNs which offer a good selection of VPN locations in other countries in the region too.
Note that some VPNs also offer virtual servers. A virtual server can mimic all the functionalities of physical servers, but there can be multiple ones on a single physical server.
2) No-log policy
Online privacy is one of the main reasons many people are turning to most VPN services in their droves these days.
This is especially true for Australians where the Government’s draconian Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act has challenged the use of encryption and made online privacy increasingly difficult to obtain.
But we all have a right to privacy when using an internet connection, and good Australia VPN subscriptions can help you to achieve that by hiding your IP Address to stop anyone from tracking your web traffic.
The key to this is a no-logs policy where VPN providers guarantee that it doesn’t collect any information about your internet habits. A no-logging policy means that regardless of what legal pressure a VPN provider might be put under, it simply doesn’t hold data about its users’ internet traffic.
A no-user logs policy is great, but it is also helpful to know that it is dependable.
That’s why we have paid extra-special attention to VPNs that can offer evidence of an independent audit which proves that their no-user logs guarantee ideally means they have a no-logging policy you can trust.
3) Range of apps
The days when we just went online while sat at a computer have been consigned to history. These days, we are going online all the time and everywhere. We need a VPN that works on our smartphones, tablets, our TVs, and more.
Online privacy and security are no less important on these devices than on our computers, which is why it is important to look for VPNs that can protect the widest possible number of devices.
We have looked closely at the apps offered by VPNs recommended in this guide. As far as we are concerned, VPNs that offer more apps on more devices and VPN router options, offer more choice and a better service to their Australian users.
4) Strong security
The Australian government is like a hacker. It doesn’t like encryption because it wants to see what you are doing online. The same goes for its local Internet Service Providers.
This is where the best VPNs come in. They can stop hackers and your own Government from accessing and logging your online data by hiding your real IP Address and giving you an IP Address elsewhere in Australia or even an overseas IP Address.
Encryption is key to this too, and if you are using the best VPN services, you want them to be able to offer the most robust encryption possible. A top tip is not to trust your online security to free VPNs since they rarely offer sufficient protection.
256-bit AES encryption is considered to be unbreakable and often referred to as ‘military-grade’. If VPNs offer this, they will be keeping your data secure, so that has been set as our minimum benchmark.
It is also important to look for a choice of VPN protocols that let you strike a balance between security and speed. Bonus security features are important, too, especially things like an automatic kill switch that lets you ensure your data doesn’t leak if your VPN connection goes down.
5) Refund policy
Sad to say, but the free trial option on VPN service providers is, largely speaking, a thing of the past. But in its place has come the refund policy.
Generally speaking, this takes the form of a money-back guarantee and is a promise by a VPN provider that if you are not completely happy with their service, they will return all your money back to you, no questions asked, within an agreed timeframe.
The minimum that the industry seems to have settled on these days is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so that is what we have looked for when assessing VPNs for this guide.
Some offer as much as 45 days, but this is a bonus, really, and thirty days should give you long enough to decide whether or not a VPN is working for you.
Which Australia VPN should you choose?
Without question, as an overall VPN service to use for multiple purposes, you really can’t go wrong with our Editor’s Choice, ExpressVPN.
However, choosing the best VPN services for Australian users will be dependent on how you use a VPN.
To help you choose the best VPN providers for your needs we’ve broken it down into typical usage scenarios below. Pick the one that matches your usage closely, and you can’t go wrong.
If you want…
Choose ExpressVPN. With good privacy protections, the ability to unblock plenty of services and a reliable service, they’re suitable for almost all needs.
Great privacy protections
Opt for VyprVPN. They were one of the first independently verified ‘no-log’ VPN service and can still be trusted.
Unblock TV content galore
Get CyberGhost VPN. With specific servers to unblock TV content, they unblock more than most. It’s also super simple to find the right server locations for your needs via their helpful apps.
Huge range of apps
Sign up for ExpressVPN. With apps for Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV devices, and more. They are the best router-based VPN service as well.
In fact, it’s pretty difficult to find a device they don’t have an app for.
Try before you buy
Get CyberGhost VPN. With a 45-day money return guarantee, it’s longer than any other provider.
Use a VPN on the most devices
Grab IPVanish or Surfshark VPN. They’ve got an unlimited device limit. That’s more than most and unbeatable.
Why you need a VPN for Australia
There are many reasons why Australians should be using a VPN, and most of those mirror that of the rest of the world.
However, there are four critical reasons why a VPN is essential in Australia, and below we’ve listed them.
1. Data Retention Laws
Back in 2017, new data retention laws came into effect that requires all internet providers to record and store metadata from every Australian internet connection.
Metadata is things like:
- The time you talk to someone
- Who you spoke to
- The website names you visit
- The time you visited them
It’s not the content of the conversation.
Metadata is important because it can link you to your activity. No one needs to know what you did at a service, only knowing that you used the service can point the finger of suspicion.
A VPN allows you to encrypt all of your data, which makes it unreadable and hides your IP Address to stop your internet service provider from tracking what you are doing online.
Essentially this means your metadata can’t be recorded. Your internet provider could record that you connected to a VPN server at a specific time, but they won’t know what you did while connected because your real IP Address is hidden and your data encrypted.
Data retention is a big reason why VPNs for Australia are so important for privacy and why you should avoid VPN companies based in Australia.
2. Data Encryption Laws
Hot on the heels of data retention laws are data encryption laws. These new laws passed at the end of 2018 force companies to grant backdoors or weaken encryption so that government agencies can read the contents of your communications.
It’s essentially a world-first and makes Australia one of the most surveilled countries in the world.
By using VPN services registered outside Australia, you should, in theory, be able to put yourself outside this data encryption intrusion. It’s one of the main reasons why choosing a VPN service that has no base in Australia is so critical.
3. Unblock TV and media content
Australia has long been at the back of the queue when it comes to media content.
It was painfully apparent from our time living in Australia that everything from TV shows, Netflix content, movies and games either got released late in Australia or cost way above what they would elsewhere in the world.
While things have got somewhat better in recent years, it’s still the case that Australians have limited choice when it comes to content or where to get that content. Even the local Netflix library has limited content.
We found that by using a VPN you can access overseas TV and streaming sites and get more content, often for less. Even Malcolm Turnbull clarified a few years ago that using a VPN to access overseas services wasn’t against copyright law.
However, we should stress that we’re not Australian copyright lawyers, so you should seek your own clarification before carrying out any unblocking activities on streaming sites.
4. Using Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is an increasingly common way for people in Australia to get online. Australia has public Wi-Fi everywhere, and we found it hugely convenient when living in the country. But it is also very insecure.
A public Wi-Fi network will typically lack all but the most basic security and privacy protections and will leave your data exposed to anyone who cares to look at this. This means that anyone can see your personal data.
A VPN connection makes public Wi-Fi secure by encrypting all your data and masking your IP Address. All you need to do is connect to an Australian server for the best speeds.
There are many VPNs with Australian server locations, with the most popular VPN services offering unlimited data, acing their speed tests, and being able to properly secure user data.
Even the best free VPN software will generally not be able to do this due to limited security features, but take your pick of the many VPN services listed above, and you can use public internet networks with confidence in all countries, including Australia.
Is using a VPN in Australia legal?
The simple answer to this question is, yes. Using VPN companies in Australia is 100% legal.
That is not to say that the Australian authorities are big fans. The country’s data collection and anti-encryption laws are excessive and overbearing but considered essential by many in authority.
A VPN helps you to evade both of these by encrypting all of your information and hiding details of what you are doing online from the authorities.
The government would love to stop this, we’re sure, but so far, they have not legislated to make VPN use illegal. In fact, our research shows that Australian government laws have actually helped increase VPN usage in recent years.
There are some activities that can be done while using a VPN that is illegal, however, such as using some hidden dark web sites. Even something that you might not think is illegal on the surface internet might be questionable.
For example, the legal uncertainties around downloading torrent files are well known.
We certainly wouldn’t encourage any of this activity, but if you use your VPN wisely and ensure the kill switch is enabled, there is realistically no way that the authorities can see what you are doing.
VPN use is legal in most countries, including Australia, and we strongly recommend it.
Can I use a Free VPN in Australia?
You certainly can use a free VPN in Australia. But free VPNs are not recommended and should come with a huge great health warning.
Free VPNs, like Atlas VPN, are available in Australia. But they offer hugely limited service and come with significant privacy and security risks. These can include malware, spyware, and the habit of selling user data.
Atlas VPN is not the only culprit here, but because Atlas VPN is quite popular, we are singling it out a bit.
The main message to Australia VPN users is high-quality premium VPNs cost just a few AU$ a month. For that small amount, free VPNs simply arent worth the risk.
In Summary: Essential Points
Recap of Top 7 VPNs for Australia.
ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for Australian internet users, with NordVPN and IPVanish making up the top 3.
The others to make it into our top 7 are VyprVPN, CyberGhost VPN, Surfshark VPN and PIA. As we have explained, different VPNs should be used for different priorities, but the overall number one is ExpressVPN.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a VPN for the Australia.
We have covered the key features that Australian VPN users should be looking for in some detail. In short, the priorities for most Australians are:
- Strong encryption and privacy protections
- Servers in Australia and neighbouring countries
- Fast connection speeds
- Ability to unblock streaming sites
- Apps for the right devices
- Good pricing and a money-back promise.
Our Top Pick for the Best VPN for Australia.
There is only really one winner when it comes to the best VPN for Australia.
ExpressVPN is a cut above the rest and offers everything an Australian internet user needs. It has the apps, the speeds, the servers, the prices, and the extra features. This VPN really has it all.