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5 Best VPNs for Australia in 2017

In recent years, the Australian government has passed a number of surveillance laws that are making citizens seek out VPN services. Furthermore, they are looking to overcome high levels of ISP website censorship by using VPNs to appear to be outside of the Australian continent. No matter whether you want privacy and security at home and on public WiFi, or want to unblock ISP or geo-restrictions, a VPN for Australia is ideal. Here is a quick summary, but for an in depth analysis please read on.

The Best VPNs for Australia

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. IPVanish
  3. NordVPN
  4. Buffered
  5. VyprVPN

Sadly for those down under, the Australian government snoops on its citizens with mandatory data retention. This means that ISPs retain web browsing histories and metadata for two years on behalf of the government. A VPN service is by far the most popular and efficient solution to the problem. In fact, VPNs are completely unrivaled as a personal cybersecurity solution, because there really is nothing else like them on the market.

A virtual private network provides a strong layer of encryption on all incoming and outgoing web traffic. That means a VPN subscriber’s traffic is scrambled and can’t be seen by the ISP. Without being able to see what an internet user is doing, ISPs are left unable to provide the government with any data about the VPN user: their file is empty.

Deciding on which VPN to buy can be a nightmare, because there are more than 800 commercial VPN services on the market. With so many to select from, it is easy to be hoodwinked. Why? Because huge numbers of VPNs boast about levels of privacy and service that they simply don’t provide. With that in mind, it is easy to accidentally subscribe to a VPN that is a load of rubbish.

Which VPN for Australia Should I Choose?

When deciding on the five best VPNs for Australia in 2017, we carefully considered all the most important factors: reliability, security, encryption, and privacy policies. We also considered uptime, connection speeds, server locations, cost, and customer care. As such, no matter what your circumstances are, there is bound to be a perfect VPN for Australia for you in this list. Every VPN for Australia listed below is world class, so no matter which Australia VPN you decide on, you can enjoy an excellent experience.

Best VPN for Australia: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review9.8/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
Read Review9.4/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review8.4/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review7.6/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

5

VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
Read Review6.8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

ExpressVPN

4.9/5

VPN for Australia

  • ProsPROS
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Outstanding customer support
  • Very fast connection speeds
  • P2P: yes
  • No usage logs
  • ConsCONS
  • Costs more (because it is better)
  • Some connection logs for internal use

ExpressVPN is the industry-leading VPN for Australia in 2017. It has fast servers in 94 countries (including Australia), which are all extremely reliable. That makes this VPN perfect for streaming geo-restricted HD streams (like US Netflix, which it unblocks). It is a highly secure VPN with a great privacy policy. Although it keeps some connection logs, they are always aggregated, and are only used to keep the service running at optimal levels. In addition, it is fully featured with DNS leak protection, a kill switch and our recommended encryption protocol, OpenVPN. Plus it keeps no usage logs (the logs that could give away your web history).

The VPN software is well designed and easy to use. It is available for all platforms and can be installed on three simultaneous devices. Customer care is available 24/7 using live chat on its website, and the team can always help with any problem you might have. Although it may seem a bit pricey, if you subscribe to the monthly plan ($8.32 per month) it really is amazing value for money. Finally, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it risk-free (and it always gives people their money back, no questions asked). Definitely the number one VPN for Australia in 2017.

Try the best VPN for Australia now!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30-day money-back guarantee!

2nd place

IPVanish

4.7/5

IPVanish

  • ProsPROS
  • Great value for money
  • P2P: yes
  • Very secure
  • No logs kept at all
  • Superb connection speeds
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in the US

IPVanish is the second best VPN for Australia. It is a trusted, well subscribed, and much-enjoyed VPN service with servers in over 60 countries. The network of servers is superb and provides some of the fastest speeds you will experience, so it’s great for unblocking and streaming. Encryption is military grade OpenVPN, implemented a little less strongly than ExpressVPN (which is why it is a bit cheaper). However, with its zero logs policy, it is still an incredible choice for people on a budget, and will keep you secure from the Australian government.

Despite being cheaper, this VPN is still fully featured, with a kill switch and DNS leak protection. As such, it has everything you require from a VPN: plenty of server locations (including Australia), really fast speeds, strong encryption, and fantastic customer care. Like our number one choice, this VPN will also keep you secure on public WiFi.

IPVanish accepts bitcoin, which is cool if you want added anonymity. Reliable, secure, cheap, easy to use, and can be installed on five devices. This is a fantastic VPN for Australia!

Visit IPVanish »


3rd place

NordVPN

4.2/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Available on all platforms
  • P2P: yes
  • Excellent security (double encryption)
  • No logs
  • Tor over VPN
  • ConsCONS
  • Double encryption can affect speeds

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN that is great for people who want plenty of security features. Nord has a zero logs policy that we can’t fault: they don’t keep any usage logs whatsoever. Sadly, this VPN isn’t as fast as the ones further up the list, but if you want double encryption, shared IPs, VPN into Tor, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, then this is a great VPN. Do bear in mind, though, that double encryption may slow you down when you use it.

NordVPN has servers in all the most important locations around the globe (including Australia). An outstanding VPN for Australia that is getting better each year, and that certainly provides what you need to keep private from the government at home and on WiFi.

Visit NordVPN »


4th place

Buffered

3.8/5

Buffered

  • ProsPROS
  • Servers in 39 countries
  • P2P: yes
  • Unique features
  • Phenomenal ease of use
  • Very fast connection speeds
  • ConsCONS
  • Quite pricey
  • Some connection logs for internal use (no usage logs)

Buffered is an excellent VPN for Australia, based in Hungary. It is a VPN that we really trust, and which has a strong commitment to privacy and security. Servers are lightning fast and located in 39 countries. Best of all, those servers are located in loads of useful places around the world – perfect for all your unblocking needs.

Reliability is great and uptime is close to 100% throughout its server network. Encryption is OpenVPN protocol, which is implemented strongly. The VPN runs on all platforms, though you will need to download the excellent independent OpenVPN software to make it run on mobile devices (which is very easy and has many advantages). Buffered has a handy setup guide for this.

Finally, this awesome VPN has some useful and unique features, such as automatic port detection. This allows you to log onto public WiFi, such as that in hotels, without having to get the password from reception. Buffered also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to test the service. Not quite as great as the top three VPNs for Australia, but a very close fourth.

Visit Buffered »


5th place

VyprVPN

3.4/5

VyprVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Available for all platforms
  • Up to five simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Excellent VPN encryption
  • Based in Switzerland
  • ConsCONS
  • A bit pricey

VyprVPN is based in Switzerland. It is part of the Golden Frog internet conglomerate, which means that it has its own network of servers. Having its own network is great for speeds. However, you shouldn’t do P2P torrenting on this provider. As a result of having its own network, VyprVPN can provide excellent privacy and security, perfect for keeping you secure from Australian ISPs and the government. It has servers in over 70 countries, including Australia. Encryption is provided using the military grade OpenVPN protocol. It runs on all popular platforms and can be installed on up to five simultaneous devices (on the premium plan).

Finally, it also keeps no usage logs and few connection logs (for internal use and deleted every 90 days). An excellent, well subscribed, and trusted VPN for Australia. Spoiled for choice!

Visit VyprVPN »


Australian VPNs: Considerations

australia vpn vector

In 2015, the Australian government passed the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill. The bill forces Australian ISPs to retain every citizen’s web browsing history and metadata for two years. In addition, the law allows government agencies to access that private and personal data without the need for due cause or a warrant.

With such invasive legislation in place, a VPN is the only real solution for people who don’t agree with being snooped on. With an encrypted internet connection, VPN users regain their privacy, allowing them to peacefully use the internet without fear of intrusion.

Unblocking Content with a VPN

In addition to mandatory surveillance, the Australian government also censors a massive number of websites. It does this by forcing ISPs to block sites that have any pirated content, such as Piratebay, Putlocker, and other unofficial streaming services.

With restriction notices now a common sight, Australian citizens have been subscribing to VPNs for Australia in huge numbers. VPNs let Australians ‘spoof’ their IP address to a remote location overseas. Doing so makes them appear to be outside of Australia, meaning that the ISP blockade is completely lifted. Connect to a server in Brazil and you experience the internet like a Brazilian, connect to the UK and you appear to be a UK resident. The best VPNs (and all the VPNs in our list) have servers all over the globe. The result is that no matter which website you wish to access, or which film, TV show, or sports competition you want to stream, a VPN is the perfect solution.

Australia VPN for Sport

Australian citizens are notoriously big sports fans. For this reason, a VPN is a great idea. A VPN for Australia lets you unblock geo-restricted sports competitions in foreign countries. If you love cricket, football, rugby, golf, tennis, or motorsports, a VPN can greatly increase your viewing options. ExpressVPN, for example, has servers in 94 countries, which means that their subscribers can securely pretend to live in any of those countries. That is a huge amount of choice, which allows people to access just about any website in the world.

A VPN for Australian TV Addicts

For people who love TV shows and movies, a VPN allows subscribers to watch geo-restricted TV streams like the UK’s BBC iPlayer (or Italian, German, Spanish, French, New Zealand, Canadian, or US TV stations: if the VPN has a server in the country, you can access its websites).

VPNs are also perfect for expats living in Australia who want to watch UK, US, or Canadian TV shows from back home.

A VPN to Unblock Services and Use Services Securely

For people living in Australia who need to use geo-restricted online services such as online banking from a foreign country, a VPN is also the perfect fix. A VPN also means that those who want to use local Aussie services can do so securely, without fear of hackers snooping on their traffic (on WiFi hotspots, for example).

A VPN for Netflix?

Many Netflix subscribers only see a small slice of the total available titles. In the US, Netflix has a much bigger catalog. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a US subscription to see that catalog. A Netflix subscription is the same, no matter where you are from.

As such, if an Aussie goes to New York on holiday and logs into their Netflix account, they will get to see the entire US catalog. The same is true of using a VPN: by connecting to a US server, the Netflix catalog changes. This goes for connecting to a UK server as well, or a server from elsewhere. All Netflix catalogs are slightly different, so spoofing around the world (and not just to the US) can greatly increase the titles available!

Sadly, Netflix blocks most VPNs these days. However, our number one VPN for Australia (ExpressVPN) is one of the few services on the market that is still managing to unblock the US Netflix catalog from anywhere in the world.

Server Locations and Connection Speeds

Two of the most important considerations for a VPN for Australia are connection speeds and server locations. As discussed, having plenty of server location choices vastly increases the usefulness and usability of a VPN service. That is why all the VPNs in this VPN for Australia guide have been selected because they have lots of servers spread across the planet.

With plenty of servers to choose from, the next most important consideration is server speeds. To enjoy movies or TV shows in HD, it is important to maintain fast connection speeds. Due to the fact that a VPN encrypts web data and sends the traffic through its servers, it can slow down connection speeds. Some VPNs slow down internet traffic so much that it makes using the internet almost impossible. All of the VPNs in this list have tier 1 networks, which provide the very best VPN connection speeds available on the market.

Why Your Australia VPN Needs Aussie Servers Too

Due to the fact that Australian ISPs are retaining all web browsing histories for two years, it is necessary to use a VPN when using Australian websites. If those websites and services are geo-restricted to Australia only, it will be necessary for an Australian VPN user to connect to a VPN server in Australia. By doing so, web traffic is still encrypted by the VPN, and the ISP can’t retain data on behalf of the Australian government. All of the VPNs in this guide have at least one Australian IP address for this purpose.

Protect Yourself

Nowadays, insurance companies, health services, advertisers, and government agencies are hugely interested in private data. Personal data is now so valuable that it is considered a form of currency. It is for this reason that free apps are given away: people really pay for them with invasive app permissions that allow their data to be harvested and sold on.

Even details like sexual preferences and political leanings hold value to certain people and corporations, and those details can be sold. Many cheap and free VPNs make money by selling that data on! This is a huge risk, and is the exact opposite of what VPNs are supposed to do. A VPN is supposed to give a subscriber privacy and security, not sell their data to the highest bidder. That is why all the VPNs in this guide have strict data and privacy policies that can be trusted. If you value privacy, please be very careful when choosing a VPN for Australia and remember: if you aren’t paying with cash, you are probably paying with your data.

Be Careful!

Not every VPN was created equal. Many VPN services use terrible, out of date, and insecure encryption protocols. Others handle user data poorly and actually put you at risk by either allowing governments to get a warrant to access your data later on, or by making money out of your data by selling it. That is the exact opposite of what a VPN should be doing, and means that 90% of VPNs need to be avoided.

With so many people (including hackers, advertisers, copyright holders, and governments) all desperate to ‘sniff’ people’s private traffic, a lousy VPN simply isn’t good enough.

Best VPN for Australia: Conclusion

Governments worldwide are deciding to place their electorate under vile levels of surveillance. For Aussie citizens who are disgusted by this, a VPN for Australia is a vital necessity. The world class VPNs in our list provide OpenVPN (the very best VPN encryption protocol available in 2017). Although they each implement OpenVPN slightly differently, these VPNs for Australia all implement it strongly. For the best encryption, ExpressVPN is our highest recommendation, because it is just that little bit stronger than the other VPNs.

No matter which VPN you decide on, however, because these VPNs are at the top of their game they will all keep you private and secure online. As soon as you have connected to a VPN server, and all your data is secured, you will feel a burst of happiness knowing that (unlike everyone else on your street), you are no longer being penetrated by the Australian government. You really can’t help thinking “yes!” while enjoying your new-found privacy and security.

With any of the world class VPNs for Australians in this list, you will be able to go ahead and do anything you want online. They will give you freedom and privacy, so that you can enjoy the internet experience you were supposed to have.

Best VPN for Australia: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review9.8/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

2

IPVanish LogoIPVanish
Read Review9.4/10
$6.49 / monthVisit Site

3

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review8.4/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

4

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review7.6/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

5

VyprVPN LogoVyprVPN
Read Review6.8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Title image credit: LVVs/Shutterstock.com

Image credit: UI/Shutterstock.com


Ray Walsh I am a freelance journalist and blogger from England. I am highly interested in politics and in particular the subject of IR. I am an advocate for freedom of speech, equality, and personal privacy. On a more personal level I like to stay active, love snowboarding, swimming and cycling, enjoy seafood, and love to listen to trap music.

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23 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Australia in 2017

  1. Douglas
    I get the basic idea/appeal of a VPN, but two issues loom as deal-killers…

    ~> If the speed is too slow, the service is generally unusable. No one wants the safest bulletproof snoop-proof private car that goes 5km/hr. Unless there is NO other option. Remember Internet ’95?

    ~> How many devices can you connect at once? We’re not all childless widowers, geek recluses or sole traders. If it’s pay-per-device that should be indicated in the pricing. ‘Course, that will knock the speed down further.

    I’d out these two aspects at the top of the list, as they determine whether there is any pint to proceeding at all.

    1. Hi Frank,

      I think you overstate the slowdown caused by using a VPN. If connecting to a good VPN service using a nearby server, you can typically expect around a 10-15% speed hit. Distance to the VPN server does make a big difference, though, which I know can be an issue if you are based in Australia. Assuming that you want to avoid Aussie VPN servers (governmnet spying), then connecting to servers in Hong Kong will probably net you the best speeds.

      Most VPN services these days permit between 3-5 simultaneous connections (devices). We always state this number in our reviews.

  2. Need help, if I set a VPN in Australia but will want to use overseas, mainly Egypt, will I need to connect back to Aussie server for connection if I want to watch Aussie TV, Foxtel etc?
    Thanks
    Keith

    1. Hi Keith,

      Yes. To watch Aussie TV you will need to connect to a server in Australia. Note that Australia is along way from Egypt, so to prevent buffering issues, if possible, I recommend downloading rather streaming, in order to avoid buffering issues.

  3. Just one quick question, why did Private Internet Access (PIA) not make it onto this list.

    After speaking to several friends of mine who live overseas USA and Europe. They swear by PIA as the best option other than NORD.

    Is there any reason in particular we should not use PIA in Australia?

    1. Hi Loki,

      None whatsoever. PIA is a good VPN service (although Mac/iPhone users seem less happy with it than Windows and Android users). Choosing these 5 Best lists is a group decision by the BestVPN.com team, and the current list was chosen for reasons explained in the article. This should not be seen as any reflection on PIA (which I used as my personal VPN service for years. FWIW, I only stopped using it because it is based in the US).

  4. I’m a total noob at this, but if I live in Australia where there is a data retention policy and actively pay money to a VPN service to get around the invasion of privacy and purposeful overcharging for out-of-date products, doesn’t that make me some sort of criminal?
    Not really democratic, is it?

    1. Hi Concerned,

      a) It is not against the law to use a VPN in Australia.
      b) “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” Whether or not this quote is correctly attributed to Thomas Jefferson, I firmly believe it to be true.

  5. My main issue is that the Australian IP-s (including static IP-s) provided by the VPN providers have all been rubbish. I use 9 geo-location tests and thus I am comparing apples to apples. ALL the IP-s failed at least two tests. The download speeds have been in most cases atrocious, between 2-4 Mb/s, which is almost useless. I need at least 10Mb/s in order to run web applications which require an Australian IP
    (NOT downloading media files) from Europe. So far the VPN providers (both large and small) have all turned out to be a waste of time and waste of money.

    1. Hi Peter,

      The problem with Australia is that is very far away from anywhere else. Even without the additional slowdown that using a VPN gives, I understand that internet connections in Australia are generally nowhere near as fast as Europeans like me are used to. Until fiber-optic backbone connectivity to Australia is greatly improved (or Einsteins theories are proved wrong) this will probably continue to be an issue.

  6. I subscribed to NordVPN 3 days ago. The 1st day it worked, the 2nd day it didn’t and the 3rd when eventually it worked it used 3 gbytes of data ,the last 60 mb in 4 mins- I was able to check with my isp. SO I deleted and so far I am $70 out of pocket. They replied to an email with a no. and we’ll get back as soon as possible!
    Not a happy chappie and where do I go from here?

    1. Hi Murray
      We’re sorry you had a bad experience with them. If they don’t sort things out for you let us know and we’ll try and help you.
      Peter

  7. How can you recommend NordVPN, i took up their service on your review and complained bitterly about how bad it was and low and behold it was great for 10days, then it slowly declined over a two week period to a point were i can’t use it. Below is the response i get from their support team — I paid good money for a service i can’t use and this is how i get treated.

    We are eager to help you asap, but there is a bit of a delay in reaching us now. We have been growing like crazy because people love NordVPN so much :). That’s why we are a bit short on staff at the moment plus it’s holiday season around here.

    1. Hi Brad,

      I can understand your frustration at this reply! IMO NordVPN is in many ways a great service, but is let down by the fact that many of its servers are very slow. I have found in the past, however, that with a little trial and error it is possible to find fast servers.

  8. Hi. So what’s the best up address hider to get. I do not want to be tracked at all. And is there a way someone can get past the fake IP address and see your real one. Cheers

    1. Hi Phil,

      – A VPN will hide your IP address. If you are based in Aus, then this is a good list, or you might like to check out our more generic 5 Best VPN Services list. If it is privacy you want, then check out 5 Best Logless VPNs.
      – If you would like to learn more about what VPNs can and can’t do, you might be interested in my fairly comprehensive VPNs for Beginners guide.
      – For a discussion on how your IP address can “leak” even when using a VPN (and instructions on how to fix the problem), please see my Complete Guide to IP Leaks.

  9. Thanks Douglas
    Have tried HK (2 servers), Singapore, (2 servers) and Japan – all have come back as being blacklisted by Spamhaus XBL blacklist when I try to send an email. Only one that doesn’t – so far – is Taiwan. Singapore would have been my preferred option as it is the closest, Hong Kong next. I’ll just keep trying! Thanks

  10. Thanks Douglas
    I am finding that some servers in nearby countries are on a spamhaus blacklist so I cannot send emails! So then I need to change servers so I can send emails. This is going to be get annoying very fast.
    I don’t know if you have followed the current disaster that was the online Australian Census – the documentation mailed out implied that this had to be done on one particular night – I did mine as soon as I got the letter as I could envision what would happen if everybody tried to do it on the same night – and it did!
    Thanks for the info.

    1. Hi Jasnick,

      The online Aussie census does appear to a complete balls-up! If I was in Australia I would probably use VPN servers in Hong Kong. HK is a fair geographical distance from you, but I would balance this against the fact that it has good internet infrastructure (some thing that cannot be said for much of SE Asia), and has an uncensored internet.

  11. Very useful article. I signed up with one of your selections. Some questions:

    I understand that data retention is policy in several countries: UK,US,Aust, NZ and Canada. If so, does using a VPN server in any of those countries mean that one is not protected?

    Should one try for a server closer to home for best speeds or for a server in a country that has an excellent internet rating?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Jasnick,

      1. This depends on the country. In the UK all VPN providers are required to keep logs by law (and GHCQ taps everything unofficially anyway!). The US has no mandatory data retention laws, so there is no legal requirement to keep logs (unless an NSL is issued – which usually comes with a gag order. The NSA probably spies on major VPN providers anyway – why wouldn’t it?). In Australia, NZ and Canada “communications providers” (ISPs and phone companies) are required to keep logs, but the it is currently very unclear how the laws apply to VPN providers (so it is safest to assume the worse). All the counties you mention are members of the Five Eyes spying alliance, and so are best avoided if you care about privacy.

      2. In general, the closer a VPN server is to you, the faster your connection speeds will be.

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