Best VPNs for Australia in 2021
Australia has a privacy problem. A part of the 5-Eyes intelligence alliance, it shares information with other participating countries. Also, Australian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to store your connection logs for at least two years, keeping track of all your data.
In order to browse online safely and anonymously, you need to get a VPN.
A VPN can keep your browsing information private from ISPs, government bodies, and other third parties. Better still, a good platform also lets you access streaming services and online portals from back home while you’re traveling.
But with so many VPNs to choose from, which one is right for you? We tested some of the top solutions and picked out only the most secure and fitting options.
Let's have a look at them – and see how to choose the best VPN for Australia.
Best VPNs for Australia – our shortlist
- NordVPN - Best VPN for Australia
- Surfshark - Cheapest VPN with Australian servers
- PIA VPN - The largest server fleet
- ExpressVPN - Great speeds for streaming
- Mullvad - Privacy-oriented solution
The best Australian VPNs - our detailed list
When compiling this list, we put loads of providers to the test to find the best VPNs for Australia. Every VPN that made it onto our list has a healthy fleet of Australian servers, along with strong security measures. On top of this, we also chose the options offering top-notch customer support and a money-back guarantee, so you can try it out before you commit to a long-term payment plan.
- Baseline testing speed: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
After taking all of this and more into consideration, we decided these five VPNs are best for use in Australia.
1. NordVPN - Best VPN for Australia
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
|Current deal:||Get NordVPN, now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!|
With around 200 servers in five Australian cities, NordVPN is the best VPN for Australia. The security features will keep you safe from the prying eyes – and locations in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Melbourne will let you access any major streaming service, such as Amazon Prime Video or Netflix.
NordVPN does an excellent job keeping your connection as fast and stable as possible. With their own version of WireGuard called NordLynx, the connection hits an average of 249mbps. That is more than enough to achieve smooth, lag-free streaming.
Aside from its excellent choice of Australian servers, NordVPN also has an impressive fleet worldwide, with over 5,400 servers in 59 countries. You’ll also get a ton of other neat features, such as SmartDNS, split tunneling, and ad blocking.
But our favorite thing about NordVPN is that it’s the most secure VPN we’ve ever used. It has a large security suite of features, including a customizable kill switch, dark web monitoring, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols. Even better, it’s based in very privacy-focused Panama, operates a no-logs policy, and is independently audited.
NordVPN is great value for money, delivering all this from just $3.30 a month.
To find out everything you need to know, read our detailed NordVPN review.
- 200 Australian servers
- Can bypass region restrictions on any streaming service
- NordLynx makes it remarkably fast
- No-logs policy and independently audited
- You get a lot for your money
- Plenty of useful features
- Large fleet of servers around the world
- Most secure VPN we’ve tested
- There’s no router app
2. Surfshark - Cheapest VPN with Australian servers
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Current deal:||Get Surfshark, now 81% OFF!|
If you want a cheap VPN with plenty of Australian servers, Surfshark is an obvious choice. It has approximately 70 Australian servers in five cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
It’s very suitable for streaming. On all of our tests, we were able to bypass region restrictions on all major streaming services. Equally, you’ll be able to use it to access foreign content from Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max – and the list continues.
Visibly, it’s the cheapest VPN on our list - and the fastest, delivering a staggering average speed of 263mbps. This all seems to be thanks to its use of the WireGuard protocol. It’s also really secure, with 256-bit encryption, as well as DNS, IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch, alongside a strict zero-logs policy.
This provider has more than 3,200 servers in over 60 countries to give you plenty of options. Finally, a cherry on top – you will get unlimited simultaneous connections, so all your family can use it at once.
I mentioned the price twice already. So, what is it? Well – with the available features, it’s an absolute steal, with prices starting at just $2.49 a month.
For more information, read our Surfshark VPN review.
- Servers in five Australian cities
- Can bypass geo-restrictions with ease
- Excellent security features
- Fastest VPN on our list
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Helpful customer support
- Free seven-day trial
- No independent auditing
- Doesn’t work quite as well on iOS
3. Private Internet Access - The largest server fleet
|Locations:||35,550+ servers in 70+ countries|
|Current deal:||Get PIA, now 83% OFF + 2 Month FREE!|
Private Internet Access (PIA) currently boasts the largest VPN network in the world, with more than 35,400 servers in 78 countries. Out of these, you’ll find 1,988 servers in three Australian cities.
It’s also capable of bypassing location restrictions on some streaming services, including YouTube, Netflix, and Disney Plus. And you get up to 10 simultaneous connections, allowing you to connect all of the household's devices into one platform.
Even though it uses the WireGuard protocol, PIA is by far the slowest provider on our list, delivering an average speed of 201mbps. Don’t worry, though, because this should be fast enough for streaming.
It has a decent offering of security features, including sophisticated encryption to keep your data safe from online snoops. Unfortunately, it’s based in the US, which is a member of Five Eyes like Australia. So, if you want a VPN to keep your online activity completely private, PIA might not be the right provider for you.
It’s good value, though, with plans starting at $2.85 a month.
For everything you need to know about PIA, read our in-depth PIA VPN review.
- Largest VPN network
- Strong security
- Easy to use
- Good choice for torrenting
- Kill switch included
- Based in the US, which isn’t privacy-friendly
- Not independently audited
- Slowest VPN on our list
4. ExpressVPN - Great speeds for streaming
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Locations:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||Get ExpressVPN, now 35% OFF!|
ExpressVPN is the most expensive VPN on our list by a long way, but luckily, the experience is more than justifying the price. It’s an excellent VPN for Australia – with Australian servers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.
It works well at unblocking any international streaming service you could want to watch. We had no issues unlocking YouTube TV, but also managed to get into through stricter restrictions and watch Hulu, and FuboTV.
It’s pretty fast, too, with an average speed of 226mbps, thanks to its very own Lightway protocol. There were no latency issues, and the video quality was excellent: so we heartily recommend ExpressVPN for streaming, video calls, and even online gaming.
This provider comes with more than 3,000 servers in 90 countries, putting it right with the industry leaders, and a total of 5 simultaneous connections isn’t something special, but still gives you a fair amount of options.
More importantly, those five connections don’t have to be a limit for you. You can connect ExpressVPN to a router via its excellent router firmware, protecting all of your connected devices automatically.
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN is one of the best around, with a raft of features to keep your data private. These include DNS, WebRTC, IPv6 leak protection, and 256-bit encryption. It also operates an audited no-logs policy and is located outside of the Five Eyes jurisdiction.
Prices for ExpressVPN start at $8.32 a month.
To read more, have a look at our full ExpressVPN review.
- Router firmware could make it worth the cost
- Lightway protocol delivers fast speeds
- Can unblock any content you want
- A genuinely secure option
- Strong coverage
- Independently audited
- Intuitive browser extension
- Really pricey
- Speeds aren’t always consistent
5. Mullvad - Privacy-oriented solution
|Servers/countries:||761 servers in 36 countries|
If security is your main concern, Mullvad is an excellent choice for you. It operates a strict zero-logs policy and is regularly audited, including an independent verification of the no-logs policy.
Security doesn’t stop there. It uses a completely anonymous sign-up process. Remarkably, you don’t even need an email address to create your account, so there’s no way anyone will ever be able to work out it’s your account. The payments can be done via cash or crypto as well.
With all this even before you start using the VPN, it’s no surprise to see the actual product wield some top-class security features: including military-grade AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and OpenVPN protocol.
Crucially, Mullvad has 26 Australian servers in six cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. However, it did not perform well in unblocking streaming services, only managing to get around Youtube in our tests. Its speeds are a bit sluggish, too, so it’s not the best option for watching movies and shows.
Mullvad has a smaller fleet of servers than most of its competitors, with 761 servers in 36 countries. Plus, it’s not very well-suited for streaming. Aside from that, it’s a very solid, privacy-driven VPN.
Prices start from $6 a month. However much that is in Bitcoin right now.
To find out more information, please read our full Mullvad VPN review.
- Regularly and vigorously audited
- Port forwarding support
- Very private
- Servers in six Australian cities
- Completely anonymous sign-up process
- Bridge Mode keeps things extra secure
- Only 761 servers
- Mediocre speeds
- Based in Sweden
How we selected and tested these VPNs
To find the best VPNs for Australia, we focused on the following criteria:
- Australian servers: Naturally, any VPN for Australia will need to have a choice of Australian servers – with different cities to connect to, and plenty of room for everyone to easily use the service. Each of the VPNs on our list has loads of servers in different cities across the country.
- Security: One of the main benefits of using a VPN is that it protects your data. When looking at VPNs for this list, we paid particular attention to no-log policies, independent security audits, and the country where the VPN is based.
- Speed: Fast speeds are crucial for torrenting, video calls, and other online activities. We chose VPNs that deliver fast enough speeds for streaming, gaming, and calls.
- Good for streaming: Whether you want to catch up on your favorite Australian shows while you’re traveling, or you want to access content from other parts of the world, you’ll want one that can unblock all the main streaming services.
- Customer support: Should you encounter any issues, good customer support might help you solve your problem.
- Price: As with any long-term purchase, price matters. That’s why we made sure to choose providers that bring the best value for money.
How to choose the best Australia VPN
Seeing all the available options, it might be intimidating at first to choose the best Australian VPN. However, you can make this process a lot easier – just follow a few key rules, and you'll narrow the list right down.
Here's how to choose the best Australia VPN:
- Choose local servers. This one might sound obvious, but it's perhaps the most important thing to look for when choosing the best VPN for Australia. Look for options with plenty of different cities – so you get the best coverage.
- Streaming service unlocking. If you want to bypass region restrictions on different content, pick a VPN that can unblock the streaming services you want to watch. Once more – look at what different locations it can unlock!
- Solid speed retention. Pick a VPN that keeps your connection speed as close to the original as possible. The faster it is, the better the overall experience will be.
- Data security. A VPN should keep your data secure. A strict no-logs policy is a must, a location outside the Five Eyes jurisdiction is a solid bonus.
Luckily, there are some VPNs that can do all this and more. In fact, the first two VPNs in our list of favorites above will tick all these boxes, so you won’t have to compromise on features – and all other options are excellent as well. But you don’t need to take our word for it.
Most VPNs offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out before committing to a long-term payment plan.
Why do I need a VPN in Australia?
You need a VPN in Australia because Australia is not a privacy-oriented country. For starters, it’s a part of the Five Eyes intelligence network – but the problems don't stop there.
In September 2021, the Australian government pushed a Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) bill, allowing police to hack your device and access all your private and public data. It can be acquired from both separate devices and the networks they use – now, to keep your data private in Australia, you absolutely need to use a VPN.
Also, Australian internet data is heavily monitored by the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs). In turn, it can restrict you from accessing P2P (torrent) data or sites. A VPN allows you to bypass these restrictions and download with ease.
Even if you’re not concerned about your ISP logging your data, you should still want protection from cybercriminals and other third parties. A VPN will offer you just that, which is particularly useful if you ever connect to an unprotected network, such as public Wi-Fi in cafes, hotels, or airports.
Speaking of which, if you’re jetting off on holiday, a VPN can unblock streaming services and shows, so you can keep up with all your favorite Australian content while away. Similarly, if you’re at home but want to watch shows from other parts of the world, a VPN will bypass these geo-restrictions. So whether you want to watch Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or even a different version of Netflix, a VPN can unlock it for you.
Are VPNs legal in Australia?
VPNs are legal in Australia, there are currently no laws that prevent you from using them. However, it goes without saying that you should only use a VPN for legal activities.
If you’re wondering whether or not VPNs are legal for unblocking streaming platforms, you don’t need to worry. At the time of writing, using a VPN to get around location restrictions on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or any other streaming service is perfectly legal. However, it usually goes against the Terms of Service.
It’s also worth noting that streaming platforms are getting better at identifying and blocking VPN traffic. But the good news is, your account won’t be banned if you’re caught.
Can I use a free VPN for Australia?
Technically, you could use a free VPN for Australia, but we’d strongly advise against it. For one thing, free VPN providers are known to collect and sell browsing data to advertisers and other third parties. So if you’re looking to use a VPN to improve your online security, a free VPN might actually make your data even more accessible.
And if that hasn’t put you off, you’ll find their server infrastructures don’t tend to be maintained well, resulting in slow speeds. This will also prevent you from accessing region-locked content because they’re a lot easier to spot and block.
However, if you definitely don’t want to pay for a VPN, you’d be much better off using a freemium service, which is a free version of a paid VPN. Typically, they’re more limited than the corresponding paid packages, as they have fewer features and often aren’t able to unblock streaming platforms. They also usually come with a data cap, so they’re not great for anything other than basic browsing.
Australia isn’t a very privacy-friendly country. So, if you want to keep your data safe from your ISP and other online snoops, a VPN is vital. Beyond this, a VPN will protect your online activity from cybercriminals, even if you’re connected to a network that isn’t secure, like public Wi-Fi.
A strong VPN will also help you access content from anywhere in the world. It does this by letting you connect to a server in another location, which will then help you bypass region restrictions on any streaming service you like. This is ideal if you’re traveling outside Australia and you want to catch up on your favorite shows. On the other hand, if you’d like to watch TV or movies on streaming platforms in other countries, such as the UK, the US, and Canada, a VPN makes this not only possible but easy.
Has our guide answered all your questions about the best VPNs for Australia? Let us know in the comments section!
What VPN works in Australia?
Luckily, there are no blocks in place in Australia that might prevent you from using a VPN service. Therefore, pretty much any VPN should work in Australia. Having said that, it’s a good idea to choose a VPN that has a range of Australian servers.
Does NordVPN have an Australian server?
Yes. In fact, NordVPN has almost 200 servers in five different cities across Australia: Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, and Melbourne.
How much does a VPN cost in Australia?
Prices for VPNs vary depending on the provider and the plan you choose. But for a decent VPN with good security features, you can expect to pay somewhere between around $2AUD and $10AUD a month.