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The Best VPN for Australia 2018

If you live in Australia, you have probably heard a lot about VPNs. Like many countries, the government there recently passed severely invasive privacy laws. ISPs are now required to retain web browsing histories and metadata for two years, allowing them to snoop on everyone. A VPN is the number one solution because it encrypts all your data, making it impossible for anybody to track you online.

In addition, Australia blocks and censors many websites. A VPN will let you pretend to be outside of Australia so that you can access all blocked websites, letting you access blocked sites like thePirateBay and even US Netflix!

Our Review Process

With over 200 VPN companies appearing over the last few years, it is hard to choose the right one. We've been review VPNs for Australia for over 6 years, and here's how:

1. Most important: Security and privacy features (does the VPN leak)

2. Speeds - will they slow down your connection

3. Background of the business (ownership)

4. Usability and software - Netflix and Torrenting

5. Value for money.

Based on these factors, we've got the 5 best VPNs for you right below.

Winner - CyberGhost

Cheap, fast, and good software

Our reviewers found Cyberghost by far the best VPN for Australia.

Security and Software

Encryption is military grade OpenVPN, and setting up the service is really easy. CyberGhost’s user-friendly apps are available for all popular platforms. No usage logs are kept and this VPN has an excellent privacy policy in general.

Location and Features

What’s more the VPN is based in Romania, well out of reach of invasive governments like the UK and US. The VPN is fully featured with DNS leak protection and killswitch. Finally, the VPN provides blistering fast speeds for streaming in HD.

Pricing and Moneyback Guarantee

Cyberghost provides a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service. The lowest price you can get Cyberghost on is $2.75 per month on their special offer.

Visit CyberGhost  

2. NordVPN

Good price, great customer service

Our reviewers found NordVPN the second best VPN for Australia.

Privacy and Speed

NordVPN is undoubtedly a very fully-featured service. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good, and works well. Speed performance is now very impressive.

Free trial and moneyback

And a three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee give you plenty of opportunity to ensure that everything works for you as it should.

Allowed Features

NordVPN permits torrenting, works with all major streaming services (including US Netflix and BBC iPlayer). It even throws in a full smart DNS service for free! What you get with NordVPN is a very fully featured, privacy-friendly VPN service that is also very fast. Pricing The lowest price you can get NordVPN on is $2.99 per month on their special offer.

Visit NordVPN  

3. ExpressVPN

Great all round VPN

This VPN is perfect all-rounder. Fast, secure, great customer support and ideal for unblocking content like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.


As far as security is concerned, ExpressVPN is both trusted and reliable. Encryption is provided via strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption and the privacy policy is fantastic. ExpressVPN comes with all the best VPN features including stealth mode, a killswitch, auto connect, DNS leak protection, shared and static IPs. Furthermore, dedicated IP addresses are available. For those that want to run it directly on a router (to protect all of the devices in their home automatically) ExpressVPN sells a pre-flashed router.


The VPN software is easy to use, is available for all platforms, and can be installed on three simultaneous devices. Customer care is provided by superb 24/7 live chat. Finally, it provides a 30-day money back guarantee to test the service risk-free.

Visit ExpressVPN  

4. PrivateVPN

Newcomer with great features

This awesome VPN from Sweden is loved by consumers. It has servers in 52 countries and is adding more all the time. This makes it perfect for Australians who want to unblock geo-restricted services from around the world. It is also perfect for accessing censored websites. This VPN works with iPlayer and US Netflix!!

Software and Security

PrivateVPN stays true to its name, it keeps zero logs and provides powerful military-grade encryption. The software is fully featured and is available for all popular platforms. It is very easy to use and works like a dream. A yearly plan works out very cheap considering what you get. Well worth a test run using the 30-day money back guarantee or 7-day free trial.

Visit PrivateVPN  

5. Hotspot Shield

Largest VPN brand in the world

This VPN provider is a super-fast service that is perfect for anybody in Australia that wants to do a lot of gaming or streaming in HD. It also has an Australian server, for securing your privacy when using Aussie online services.

Free version

Although the free version of Hotspot Shield does collect some data from users (and serves ads), this is not true of the premium "elite" service. Hotspot Shield does not implement OpenVPN (our recommended protocol), it uses a custom protocol that relies on the OpenSSL library (the same as used by OpenVPN), an enhanced TCP handshake, and AES-128 data encryption. The result is that Hotspot Shield is a fast, reliable, and secure VPN that is perfect for most people's needs. Hotspot Shield is easy to use, is available for all popular platforms, and can be used on 5 devices at once.

Visit Hotspot Shield  

Why do I need a VPN?

A VPN is an online service that allows you to:

  • Hide what you get up to on the internet from others.
  • Get around blocks and other forms of censorship.
  • Appear to be in another country to access services such as US Hulu.
  • Download and file share safely.
  • Use public WiFi hotspots safely and securely.

You connect to a VPN server using strong encryption which prevents your ISP, government, or WiFi hackers, from seeing your data. This VPN server also acts as an intermediary between you and the internet.

Your ISP cannot see what you do on the internet, and websites on the internet cannot see your real IP address. If you connect to a VPN server in another location you look like you are in that location. This is great for accessing services that are restricted in Australia.

Luckily, a VPN doesn't cost a lot of money. However, you must take care not to subscribe to a rubbish VPN provider - there are literally hundreds of rip off services out there.

A reliable VPN provides privacy and security using strong VPN encryption. It also has a watertight privacy that promises never to store any usage logs about what you do online. In addition, it has lots of lightning fast servers around the globe, to let you unblock everything. For more about usage logs, see our no log VPN guide.

This combination of digital privacy and the ability to pretend to be in a different country by masking your IP address is a marriage made in heaven. It means that you can access anything you want online - without fear of anybody finding out.

Are VPNs legal in Australia?

The Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill began being enforced on the 14th of October 2015. It means that Australian ISPs must collect and store metadata for two years. The information collected includes large amounts of personal data about every phone call made, email and text message sent, and the internet browsing activities of every Australian.

The information collected is accessible without a warrant. It can be accessed by a large range of government organizations, which can be expanded by the Attorney-General at his or her discretion.

When governments pass overreaching laws, it is natural to want to protect yourself. The laws that have been passed in Australia are so invasive that the only real way to guarantee your privacy is with VPN encryption. A VPN encrypts all data passing between your home IP address and the Australian ISP. This means that your ISP cannot track what you do online for the government.

Choosing a VPN for Australia?

All of the VPNs in this article have been selected because they offer a premium service that is perfect for Australians.

There are over 800 VPNs on the market and most are absolutely terrible. Some services have outdated encryption. Others have terrible privacy policies that don't properly protect your privacy. What's more, the majority of VPNs have cheap servers that are not fast enough for streaming in HD and other data-intensive tasks like online gaming.

So please stick to one of our recommended VPNs or you could end up getting a rip-off VPN that doesn't work satisfactorily.

The very best VPNs for Australians have been chosen by comparing the following essential features:

  • Secure military-grade encryption (OpenVPN)
  • Watertight privacy policies that promise not to keep usage logs
  • Advanced VPN features. A killswitch to make sure you never leak data to your ISP. DNS leak protection. Auto-connect to make sure you are always protected. Stealth mode for getting around firewalls and concealing VPN use
  • Servers all over the world (and in Australia), to let you unblock everything
  • Lightning fast speeds, for streaming in HD, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks

Australian VPN Price Comparison

Editor's Choice 1. From $2.75 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.8 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
2. From $2.99 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.4 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
3. From $6.67 / month
BestVPN.com Score 9.1 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
4. From $2.73 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.9 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review
5. From $3.88 / month
BestVPN.com Score 8.6 out of 10
Visit Site   Read Review

Title image credit: LVVs/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh is one of BestVPN's resident VPN experts. Ray is currently ranked #1 VPN authority in the world by agilience.com. During his time at BestVPN.com Ray has reviewed some of the world's foremost VPNs. Ray is an advocate for digital privacy, with vast experience writing about the political and social aspects of infosec, cybersec, and data privacy. Find him @newsglug on Twitter.


  1. Hans J de Waard
    on July 1, 2018

    Douglas, Setting up new IMac , based in Australia . Satellite supplied NBN internet .{ Live on an Island } Is VPN able to be used? You mentioned Hong Kong as being the best offshore server to use for AU regarding speed , sat speed is not as good as land line, depending upon the amount of customer usage at the time . Looking at either Nord or Express . Can you check this out ?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Hans J de Waard
      on July 2, 2018

      Hi Hans, You should be able to use a VPN with that setup, no problem. Both Nord and Express offer free 30-day money back guarantees, anyway, so there is no harm testing for yourself. VPNs reduce internet speed the further they are away from your location. Your problem is that you are very far away from anywhere! You would get better speeds connecting to a server in Australia. This is fine for streaming and suchlike but is not ideal if you are worried about government surveillance. The internet in HK is uncesnsored, nor spied on, and as fast as it gets in SE Asia.

  2. Frank Frick
    on April 20, 2017

    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. Douglas Crawford replied to Frank Frick
      on April 21, 2017

      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.

  3. Keith
    on December 20, 2016

    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. Douglas Crawford replied to Keith
      on December 20, 2016

      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.

  4. Loki
    on December 18, 2016

    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. Douglas Crawford replied to Loki
      on December 19, 2016

      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).

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