The best VPN services in Australia protect your personal data, bypass content filtering, and provide excellent connection speed while surfing the internet, all at a reasonable price point.
The #1 VPN service for Australian goes to NordVPN – enjoy fast speed, strong security, and wide server coverage from as low as A$5.42/mo!
In rounding up the best VPN providers for Australian, we bought VPNs to test their security measure, connection speed, and server coverage. We’ve made sure all 7 VPNs featured in here are able to hide your internet activity from your ISP and the government and also bypass content censorship.
VPN speed tests don’t have any real meaning unless you actually have something to compare them with. That’s why all my VPN speed tests are always shown relative to my own ‘raw’ line performance.
The following is my actual broadband speed based on a service line of 500Mbps, without a VPN connection active:
As I am based in Malaysia, my speeds will tend to be high connecting to nearby Asia-region VPN servers and for the most part, gradually decline as I connect to servers further away. This is a general rule of thumb since distance does play a part in line quality, affecting both speed and latency.
One of the most popular VPN services around, NordVPN has an eye-raising over 5,000 servers spread over 59 countries. Being in the business since 2012, it has managed to keep up with the best and then some.
Being based in Panama as it is, there is no concern on their anonymity and logging provisions since the country does not have any data retention laws yet. Combine that with world-class encryption standards and Double VPN protection and you’ve got a winner on your hands.
While prices for NordVPN have seen a bump up in recent times, their growth in feature set and performance more than make them worth the bill. This VPN is good for those who are seeking a solid long-term investment and has a massive discount on its 3-year plan – sure to blow the competition away.
Read our in-depth review on NordVPN to see why it’s Bitcatcha’s #1 VPN!
Surfshark has always seemed to me one of the most perfect VPN service providers around due to many factors. Yet somehow, things have always come around to the fact that they’re still relatively new. For a security service provider, being in the market for a short less-than-two-year span doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Yet at every turn, in terms of sheer performance and simplicity, Surfshark has proven me wrong. I find it inevitable that I maintain a close eye on them and will revise my opinion periodically. So far, it has been an extremely positive experience.
Australian benefit in terms of VPN speed in two critical areas. The first is that it has strong infrastructure, while the second is that they occupy a critical Asia-Pacific location for data traffic. Surfshark seems to have capitalized on this well and speeds from their Australia servers are impressive.
Although Singapore is much closer to me than Australia (physically), Surfshark has done its balancing act well. In fact, in almost all countries where their servers are, Surfshark seems to be able to maintain a minimum standard of performance.
I would say that speeds for Aussies will show relatively strongly no matter what servers they connect to – anywhere on the Surfshark network. You can also be thankful for low Surfshark prices and relatively strong Aussie dollars to give you a fair shake, pricewise.
Learn more of its excellence at our thorough review on Surfshark!
My mistake was in selecting ExpressVPN as the first one on the to-review list, which made me fail to fully appreciate the Mercedes of VPNs for what it truly was. I set the bar extremely high and came away feeling disappointed that it had merely managed to meet the requirements I set – barely.
Having now spent an extremely long period of time poking holes in many VPN services, I realise upon reflection that ExpressVPN truly excels at what it does. It hits the right notes in combination on the list of everything we look for in a VPN and then some.
I feel as if this is the perfect VPN service because of that right balance in ingredients, which is not an easy thing to achieve in a service field as technical as this. Combine that with having to manage infrastructure around the world to reach those standards makes it even more impressive.
Speed-wise, ExpressVPN managed to offer mostly stable speeds across the board no matter how far from my physical location. The Australia servers performed strongly and should be more than capable of managing almost any line in the country.
ExpressVPN may not be the cheapest VPN service in the business, but that is more than offset by their sterling performance.
Read our complete review on ExpressVPN to learn more!
Atlas VPN currently offers only around 700-odd servers. Yet these seem to be finely tuned, and the service, as a whole, runs at remarkable speeds. That’s pretty rare for a new service provider in this space.
The brand also offers some features that will fill the needs of various use cases. If you’re focused on privacy and security, SafeSwap servers and ad-blockers are available. Fast speeds also mean that those needing geo-unblockers for streaming services like Netflix will have a great time.
Atlas VPN’s relatively new entry into the market and extraordinary performance mean it’s a great time to buy into an extended contract. It shows all the traits of a formidable player that just needs some time to prove itself.
See our full review on Atlas VPN to learn more!
Although not an unknown in VPN circles, CyberGhost nonetheless doesn’t really fit into what I consider top-tier VPN criteria. While its true that in some cases it toes the line of features and performance, there remains enough doubt for me to not feel fully comfortable in recommending them.
In terms of offering, CyberGhost has enough servers to match VPN giant Nord yet lags in performance despite that infrastructure. One primary reason for this could be that most of their servers are congregated in Europe.
For me in Malaysia and for those of you seeking a good VPN for Australia, this might not be the best news. On a 500Mbps connection, I could barely sustain a fraction of that when connecting to one of their Aussie servers.
Then again, what it may lack in performance it seems to make up for in security add-ons. For example, it blocks online tracking and does its best to force HTTPS to most websites AND even has built-in virus protection and ad blocking.
With prices for long term plans dropping to as low as $3.50 (AUD 4.81) a month, this might be a bargain if you’re merely seeking anonymity and aren’t too concerned about maxing out your line speed.
See our full review on CyberGhost to learn why it’s one of our top picks!
With controversy on the cardinal sin (for VPNs) of providing user logs to authorities, IPVanish started out in my review with a dark cloud hanging over it. This was compounded by efforts of its marketing team to swept facts under the carpet claiming they didn’t know and weren’t aware since the company changed hands.
YET, looked past that I had to, or the review would have gone down the drain before it began. Very unfortunately, IPVanish had little to recommend itself. Admittedly, some of the thing they do such as enforcing 256-bit encryption on its users would be a plus from some points of view.
Although I managed to get decent speeds out their Singapore based server, other options I tried were lacklustre in performance. For Australia, I managed to eke out barely more than 10% of my actual line speed, which was also a little disconcerting.
Normally in these cases I would attempt to work with the service provider to see if the situation could be remedied, but sadly IPVanish had terrible customer service. From late responses (3 days by email!) to unhelpful instructions – there was no way I was going to waste weeks working on a problem with them.
Overall a very controversial result from a company that is already working with a tarred reputation.
Read our in-depth review on IPVanish to find out more!
ProtonVPN is based out of Geneva, Switzerland, and has been around for some time now. Yet despite a lot of conversation seen about them, slightly weak marketing seems to be a bit of their pain point.
Yet despite a more limited network compared to many providers they do show some decent numbers in speed tests – depending on location. Their speeds in Australia seem fine, plus Aussies have many good alternative choices for servers in the Asia Pacific region.
As one of the top VPNs for Australia, they managed to eke out just acceptable qualities for us to recommend them. Of course, that is keeping in mind that we expect quite a lot for our money! Speeds to a Perth server were noted at over 60 Mbps – which is all right.
In the past there was a downside for younger users since the original ProtonVPN interface looked like something from the past. Today they have it in a sleek, futuristic map laid out nicely within the application frame.
Read our complete ProtonVPN review for more information!
Virtual Private Network, or VPN, are private networks of servers. They help users increase digital privacy while adding additional layers of security at the same time. They can be used by both businesses and individual consumers.
In a major business context, most VPNs are built and run by the companies themselves, or customized by special service providers. This allows them to offer off-site employees to access confidential information safely.
We mainly look at VPNs from an individual consumer or small business context. Part of this is due to the fact that consumer VPNs are significantly easier to access and use. However, they are also priced for the consumer market – more affordably so.
The main objectives are still the same though – privacy and security. By routing your data connection through secure VPN servers, you adopt the physical characteristics of those servers in some way.
Your point of origin is masked, along with many other details of your own device and internet connection. What you’re showing to the outside world is essentially your representation online – the VPN server.
While all this is going on, VPNs also help by encrypting your data. If somehow data is lost or stolen during transmission, that encryption will prevent anyone else from being able to read and use the information.
Australia Bureau of Statistics data has shown that Internet access in the country has been climbing sharply over the years. Research also indicates that there will be 311 million connected devices in homes across Australia by 2022.
Combine that with ISPs collecting data and government censorship in Australia, it would probably be a good idea to start shopping for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provider now.
Officially, Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are required by the government to collect data on their customers use of their services. This means that your ISP is not only going through your communications with a fine-tooth comb but is also storing lots of your personal information.
Everything from the type of communication service you use to your location and times of usage is being dutifully recorded. Not even in the United States has the state of consumer digital freedom been so officially impinged as it is in Oz today.
If in case by now you haven’t realised what this means, in a nutshell; Australian Police, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and some other agencies can access all the data your ISP is happily collecting – anytime.
When we talk about Internet censorship the first countries that come to mind are often China or Russia. Yet it might come as a shock to most of the known world that many traditionally democratic and free countries have been censoring the Internet, or at least attempting to.
In 2012, the Australian Communications Minister said that because of notices that the government sent to ISPs in the country, over 90% of Australians using the Internet were going to have their content filtered.
Originally the censorship was mean to stop serious crimes such as child abuse and the like, but in 2015 it was expanded to cover the infringement of copyright material. That’s right, P2P users that means you!
In fact, the government has been having a heyday ordering ISPs to censor more and more websites due to the perceived notion of them carrying copyright material. These include The Pirate Bay, Torrentz and TorenHound.
As almost any P2P user can attest to, that’s utter hogwash and simply shows that most governments are simply claiming ignorance and using it as an excuse to shut down sites that commercial companies object to, regardless of the realities of the situation.
Using a VPN would help overcome this prejudice and stop the overbearing behaviour that is currently on display.
Privacy is of the utmost concern when dealing with a VPN service provider and there are two aspects to that – whether they keep records of your usage activities (logging) and the options they provide you with for making payment.
Some VPNs, in fact many, nowadays offer the option to pay via gift certificates of some sort or cryptocurrency. This leaves no paper trail back to you as the user which is a step further than what has been available traditionally.
In terms of security, there are again, two aspects of it – the protocol which the connection is to be established with as well as the encryption method used to secure the data travelling between your device and the VPN servers.
Each protocol has its own merits and some disadvantages, such as being faster but having some security loopholes or some other balance of security versus performance. Encryption-wise, it is common that a higher level of encryption will usually lead to slower performance, since more data will be added on to the data packets.
Other security additions are usually just icing on the cake, such as having built-in ad blockers or the capability to block tracking data on some websites.
Speed, of course comes next since obviously we won’t want to pay to use a service that will slow down our Internet speeds too much. I would say that a good VPN should be able to offer you a minimum of 70% of your actual line speed (not theoretical!) at the very minimum.
There is also the issue of server location, since that helps in geolocation spoofing. Let’s take for example that you are in Italy and want to use BBC’s iBBC Player service to stream videos. Signing up with a VPN that doesn’t have a server in the UK will thus present a slight technical problem.
The final point will be about P2P file sharing. P2P file sharing places a heavy load on Internet lines and is therefore frowned upon by some ISPs and even some VPN service providers. This is unfortunate, since P2P file sharers are often persecuted in some countries like the United Stated and Singapore (I once had a friend there who received a warning letter from his ISP for downloading a single movie!).
While it may be unreasonable to expect all VPN service providers to cater to P2P file sharing users, there should at least be several servers set aside for their use. This would open the client market considerably and cater to an underserved profile of users.
By their very nature, VPNs are intended to help mask your identity and secure your data. However, they also come along with many other redeeming capabilities. Let’s consider how they can be used:
There are many web services that restrict access based on where in the world you come from. One major culprit that behaves in this manner are media streaming services such as Netflix. All of us pay the same fees to Netflix, so why should we not get equal access?
Using a VPN will help you bypass the geo-blocks that most of these services put into place. For example, by connecting to a US server, a good VPN service will give you access to US-region Netflix content.
We don’t all live in free countries. Some governments are more oppressive than others. The more totalitarian among them may attempt to curb digital freedom. This is generally done by issuing instructions to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telling them what sites to block.
Since VPNs encrypt our data and route information through their own servers, ISP-implemented blocks generally fail. Using them, you can regain your digital freedom and access any sites which may have been blocked.
The problem with the Internet today is that everyone wants a piece of you. Data has become a much-wanted source of currency and companies and hackers all chase after it. Some tracking is even done more legitimately, but at the end of the day – they know who you are and what you do.
VPNs help avoid this and for regular folks, it helps that you know people can’t follow your data trail.
Torrenting has become a very touchy subject in today’s world. The problem isn’t with the technology itself – it’s simply for file sharing. However, copyrights and intellectual property laws intervene.
Because of this many countries have imposed various laws on torrenting or file sharing. The situation can be very murky sometimes. Using a VPN can help you ease your worries since you can torrent safely – and no one will know where you’re doing it from.
The use of a VPN secures your connection, no matter where you link to. This ability makes it perfect for business use. Anyone who is outside the office can easily and quickly access information on company servers.
This process helps you protect the information you’re getting to, such as invoices, customer information, billing details, and more.
While VPNs are awesome, there do remain some limitations that you need to pay attention to. They aren’t blank cheques that will allow you to do anything you want online without heed. For instance, they:
While aiming to achieve many similar things, VPN, Tor, and Proxies are not really the same thing. You might be able to get away with using either for some purposes, but the technology is fundamentally different.
The Onion Router, or TOR, is more of an anonymizer that works by routing packets of data though a massively conflagurated network of hubs and nodes. It does this in the hope of making things as difficult as possible to trace the origins of the data.
It’s free to use, but the way it’s built makes it very slow to use. At the same time it does not offer the same level of protection to either the source or the data itself that a VPN service does.
Proxies only serve to route your connection through a third party server. It doesn’t mean your data is safe, especially since the provider of the proxy server itself can be shady at the best of times.
It is possible to combine these services with a VPNs service to improve your overall security profile. Honestly though, in most cases, simply using a VPN is sufficient.
To recap, here is a side-by-side comparison of VPN service for Australia:
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As some of you may have noticed, I have bashed about some of the service providers while at the same time feeling that I have judged others too harshly. To put things into greater context, I feel the need to advise you that aside from pure performance figures, individual needs are another important factor to consider.
From my point of view, I have been assessing VPN service providers and thus will have high standards for all of them to meet in every area – which is usually impossible. On that note, to some of you, speed is everything, to others, anonymity and privacy may be. Some are willing to sacrifice on less while others will prefer to pare costs to a minimum.
Given that, I hope you’ll read between the lines and make a choice which offers a balance that suits your needs.
From a pure quality point of view, I think I have made clear where my preferences lie with this ranking. In the context of what would be the best VPN for the Australian market, I think that many of you will heave a relieved sigh to realise that Singapore is quite close to you and the servers there perform well almost entirely across the board.
Hence, in terms of performance, I guess Australian users are lucky, being able to opt for almost any one of the above. As I’ve mentioned, do consider other factors and whether you can live with them.
I, for one, would never opt for a service provider that sucks in customer service, for example.