If you take a step back and look at how much of your daily life is conducted on the internet, which is inherently insecure. This might fill you with fear when you find that everything you do, and every website you visit is logged and recorded. Each country has specific laws on this and Australia currently runs at 2-years data retention.
VPNs are the way around this, and they do so by masking your identity and your IP address.
Your ISP can’t track your movements, and it doesn’t matter if you are into torrenting or watching geo-locked content, none of this can be traced back to you.
That is if you choose the top VPN for the job. Here we have a VPN comparison to see which comes out on top of the best VPN’s for security, and the means of bypassing restrictions imposed by streaming services.
Table of Contents
- What is the Best VPN?
- 1. ExpressVPN
- 2. IPVanish
- 3. PureVPN
- 4. NordVPN
- 5. StrongVPN
- 6. Cyberghost
- 7. Tunnelbear
- 8. Windscribe
- 9. Avast VPN
- 10. Private Internet Access
- What is a VPN and How do they work?
- Who actually needs a VPN?
- How to Get a VPN
- You get what you pay for!
The best top VPN Australia 2018 might throw up a few surprises, but you will find which the best VPN services for every Australian user are.
What is the Best VPN?
This ExpressVPN review will take a look at what many people regard as the best VPN 2018. The company has made some changes and introduced a couple of new features, but have they done enough to help them stay at the top of the top 10 VPN Australia users can choose?
- Number of IPs: 25000
- Number of Server Locations: 2000+
- Country: 94
- Maximum Devices Supported: 3 devices – Routers supported
- Location: British Virgin Islands
- Money Back Guarantee: 30 days no quibble
|1 Month||$12.95 per month||Billed Monthly|
|6 Months||$9.99 per month||Billed $59.95 every 6 months|
|12 Months||$6.67 per month||Billed $99.95 for the first 15 months (3-months free) SAVE 49%|
All ExpressVPN reviews paint a very similar picture. From the minute you make your ExpressVPN download and install the client on the vast number of devices they support, you are protected by one of the good VPN’s
From the ExpressVPN login, you are presented with a slick interface, and there is no need to change any settings. The VPN uses the best and most secure protocols and offers the fastest VPN speeds.
Torrenting is fully supported, and US Netflix and much other geo-locked contents are accessible.
New features include split tunneling where you can choose which apps are directed through the VPN tunnel, and which go via your ISP.
New browser extensions are included, and the Chrome extension comes with HTTPS Everywhere included.
The kill switch, world-class customer support, and support for the TOR network are still there, so ExpressVPN is making a great start at being one of the best VPN’s. Still.
This IPVanish review looks at a highly configurable service, which does have some fast connections and makes it a popular choice. There are still some niggles in areas which affect users, and the windows client still needs improving. Are these niggles easy to work around, and make it a top choice, or does the IPVanish VPN fall down in other areas?
- Number of IPs: 40,000+
- Number of Server Locations: 1000+
- Country: 60+
- Maximum Devices Supported: 10
- Location: Florida, USA (5-eyes jurisdiction)
- Money Back Guarantee: 7 Days
|1 Month||$6.49 per month||Billed Monthly|
|3 Months||$8.99 per month||Billed $26.99 every 3 months|
|12 Months||$6.49 per month||Billed $77.99 annually|
The IPVanish download now gives 10 devices simultaneous connections which are a first. They now support the Amazon Fire TV app as a welcome addition.
Support is still a major let down, and they are still very slow to respond.
The interface of the client is full of features and could be confusing for new users, but included is a kill switch along with an auto-reconnect option.
A full set of encryption protocols are provided, so security is well catered for, and speeds were consistent, so this is a good VPN for torrenting. Unfortunately, if you compare IPVanish vs. ExpressVPN, you will see they have no US Netflix support which can be one thing an IPVanish Australia user is looking for from their VPN.
*More recently, it was found the company handed over logs it claimed not to keep, and it is also run by a different company who are not 100% fully supporting the actions of the old management.*
This honest PureVPN review looks at one of the oldest VPN providers around which covers plenty of countries so Australian users should be catered for. However, the company recently handed over user data to the FBI, so maybe they retain more information than they state? Is it justified and do they make it up in other areas?
- Number of IPs: 95,000
- Number of Server Locations: 750
- Country: 140
- Maximum Devices Supported: 5 Devices
- Location: Hong Kong
- Money Back Guarantee: 15 Days increased from 7 Days (Limitations apply)
|1 Month||$10.95 per month||Billed Monthly|
|1 Year||$4.15 per month||Billed as $49.80 every year|
|2 Years||$2.49 per month||Billed as $59.76 every 2 years |
(Free Enterprise-Grade Security & Torrent add-on)
PureVPN server list covers plenty of areas like you’d expect when they cover 140 countries. Security and encryption are catered for by 6 of the top protocols PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, and OpenVPN TCP and full 256-bit encryption.
It includes a kill switch, split tunneling, and IPv6 leak protection.
On occasions, US Netflix can be accessed, but it hit a miss with the UK and the BBC iPlayer which didn’t work.
Torrenting is supported on specific servers which are comparable with some other VPNs.
After your PureVPN login, you are presented with some nifty features, but they don’t work all the time such as their kill switch and NAT firewall.
This Pure VPN review finds it difficult to find anything which will redeem this VPN from their weak points.
This NordVPN review looks at a VPN service which doesn’t contain one standout feature, but it remains one of the top contenders for the top spot. You can see this because there is always an ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN comparison made. Is it a comparison where they come out on top, or do they lag behind?
- Number of IPs: 2254
- Number of Server Locations: 4687
- Country: 62
- Maximum Devices Supported: 6
- Location: Panama City, Panama
- Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
|1 Month||$11.95 per month||Billed Monthly|
|12 Months||$5.75 per month||Billed as $69.00 every year|
|24 Months||$3.29 per month||Billed as $79.00 (30 Days refund)|
In the past a Nord VPN review picked up the fact they were slow, this has been remedied with a massive increase in server numbers, however, in some regions they can still be on the sluggish side.
All Netflix services work with NordVPN which makes it a reliable alternative, and torrenting is also supported.
Security is probably the VPN’s strongest point, and it doesn’t let anyone down in this respect.
The NordVPN download is straightforward, and the app is simple to use and navigate around.
The company also offers the NordVPN free trial which lasts for 3 days, and no credit cards are required.
They support a wide range of devices and all provide the same security, and there were no IPv4, IPv6 or DNS leaks found.
NordVPN Cybersec is a new feature which is a malicious site filter with built-in ad and tracking blocker which works well.
NordVPN also comes with 2 kill switches, these are the internet kill switch and the app kill switch. The internet kill switch is recommended.
Tor has supported over 3 servers for utmost privacy, but speeds will suffer drastically, like the Nord double hop feature.
Strong VPN has made a few improvements in the earlier parts of this year. With overhauled apps which used to be buggy and When users made a StrongVPN login, they were faced with an interface which was confusing, have they done enough? This StrongVPN review aims to find out.
- Number of IPs: 87,000
- Number of Server Locations: 660
- Country: 24
- Maximum Devices Supported: 2
- Location: Lake Tahoe, USA
- Money Back Guarantee: 5 Days
|1 Month||$10 per month||Billed Monthly|
|12 Months||$5.83 per month||Billed as $69.99 every 12 months|
This VPN has been around for a good many years so you’d expect them to be top of the game. This VPN comes with all the best encryption protocols. However, OpenVPN needs to be activated manually rather than it being automatically activated. PPTN is the default protocol in use. Is
StrongVPN safe with this in effect? It is, but it could be better protected if they enabled OpenVPN by default.
DNS leaks are protected against, and they include a kill switch, but on the Mac, this isn’t included. This seems strange because they cover a wide selection of devices and do support home routers.
Their network is more than large enough to cater globally, but you are automatically assigned a server which could be in any location, and not necessarily the fastest.
The company allows file sharing and Netflix is working, and their customer support is a ticketing system and is pretty quick in resolving issues. With slow download speeds and a high price for what they offer, it might not be the best solution for Australian households.
This Cyberghost VPN review takes a look at one of the better-known VPN providers who focus on simplicity as well as making sure they offer a full set of features. It can work out expensive in the short term, but prices drop with a more extended tie-in. Is this enough?
- Number of IPs: 2200
- Number of Server Locations: 2200
- Country: 27
- Maximum Devices Supported: 7
- Location: Bucharest, Romania
- Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
|1 Month||$11.95 per month||Billed Monthly|
|12 Months||$4.99 per month||Billed as $59.98 every year|
|24 Months||$3.79 per month||Billed as $90.96|
The Cyber Ghost VPN provides users with top-rated security with the encryption protocols it uses and covers a vast array of devices. They offer a 7 day trial with full services.
A kill switch is included, and the customer support is either chat or email, and they have a strict no log policy. On the network side, a Cyberghost download and installation are more geared to Europe, and they are thin on the ground for servers around Asia and even the USA only has a handful of servers.
Both torrenting and Netflix receiving the full support it is a good thing, but with limited servers, it might throw up problems to Australians attempting to stream.
The interface is free from clutter and very cartoonish which might lead you to ask is CyberGhost safe? You will be happy to know, it is safe. On the whole, it is a decent VPN if you sign up to take off the savings, but for serious users, slow download speeds might be a hindrance.
This TunnelBear review takes a look at what could be the best cheap VPN for beginners. It is another VPN provider who offers a free VPN software trial in the hope of getting them to sign up. Is all the cartoony bears a gimmick or is there plenty underneath to make this TunnelBear Australia a VPN users will aim for?
- Number of IPs: N/a
- Number of Server Locations: 350+
- Country: 20
- Maximum Devices Supported: 5
- Location: Toronto, Canada (5-eyes jurisdiction)
- Money Back Guarantee: No Refund
|1 Month||$9.99 per month||Billed Monthly|
|12 Months||$5.00 per month||Billed as $59.99 every year|
Is TunnelBear safe? Yes is the answer because it uses the full AES-256 bit encryption most other market leader’s use? It also covers a wide range of devices as you would expect.
Browser plugins are provided for Opera and Chrome. This VPN also has Vigilant Bear (kill switch) included and work well with their Android and iOS apps.
One feature they do have is the masking of their traffic as being HTTPS rather than from a VPN, but this doesn’t help much because Netflix isn’t supported and they don’t allow torrenting, which are two major deal breakers. Kodi is supported well supported though so you can stream some content.
Trusted networks are handy where all known Wi-Fi networks you use are whitelisted, and if you try to connect to an unknown wireless network, it reverts to one of these.
For the security conscious, the TunnelBear VPN can be a viable cheap VPN option, but when you want to do what VPN users do in Australia, it falls flat.
This Windscribe VPN review takes a look at a Canadian VPN which now offers both a premium package and the Windscribe free VPN’s it was well known for previously. It has gained popularity around the web, but is this justified? Can it make a jump to the top leagues considering is only 2 years old, and have they learned from where others fail?
• Number of IPs: N/a
• Number of Server Locations: 300+
• Country: 50
• Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited
• Location: Canada
• Money Back Guarantee: 3 Days (with limitations)
|1 Month||$9.00 per month||Billed Monthly|
|12 Months||$4.08 per month||Billed as $49.00 every year|
|24 Months||$3.70 per month||Billed as $89.00 every 2 years |
(includes a free 6-month subscription to Dashlane password manager.)
Windscribe uses their Windflix which enables them to connect to Netflix from anywhere around the globe. They support a wide range of devices (Linux now add) and now where they failed with their Android app, it is up and working correctly as of June.
Is Windscribe safe? Yes, and they go out of their way to make sure users don’t mess with the settings by mistake. On top of the AES-256 Cipher, they also use a 4096-bit RSA key.
A kill switch and DNS leaks are well taken care of which further enhances security.
Customer support isn’t anything to write home about, and that is the same for many other VPN’s, although Windscribe says they don’t trust 3rd party API’s, so that is the reason there’s no live chat.
The Windscribe review also found they include an Ad blocker and firewall as standard in the premium package. If this VPN continues the way they are going, they will be a top runner apart from the fact they are situated in Canada (5-eyes).
This Avast Secureline VPN review looks at an offering from one of the largest antivirus software producers on the planet. Have they made a decent entry into a saturated market, and do they have tricks up their sleeves?
- Number of IPs: 1
- Number of Server Locations: 29
- Country: 21
- Maximum Devices Supported: N/A Depends of the package bought.
- Location: Prague, Czech Republic
- Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
Avast VPN Pricing
|5 Devices for 1 Year||$79.99|
|PC & Mac for 1 Year||$59.99|
|Android & iPhone or iPad for 1 Year||$19.99|
2 or 3 years plans can be selected at the checkout, here you can also see the monthly Avast VPN cost of $8.99. The Avast Secureline VPN license also only allows like devices to be connected.
With a very average network size, the company has some diverse server locations which could make up for this. Australia though shouldn’t be classed as diverse so they might not offer the best speeds.
The app is easy to use, and the customer support is split between using the forums and also being able to call.
Platform device coverage is very average with only the main ones being supported.
The Avast VPN review breezed through the sign-up and installation. We found it to be decent for torrenting and unblocking Netflix, although this has been an on and off affair.
Security is top notch, and Kodi streaming is well catered for, but speeds are not right at the top.
With minimal feature set, no router installation and some logs are retained and the VPN cost, it might be time to let this one slide for now.
This Private Internet Access review looks at one of the leaders in the VPN industry. The PIA VPN focuses on privacy and security with top military grade encryption. Do they deserve to be one of the best or is it all hype? With a 2 year tie in though, they can be the best value VPN.
- Number of IPs: N/a
- Number of Server Locations: 3523+
- Country: 30
- Maximum Devices Supported: 5
- Location: Los Angeles, USA
- Money Back Guarantee: 7 Days
PIA VPN Pricing
|1 Month||$6.95 per month||Billed Monthly|
|1 Year||$3.33 per month||Billed as $39.95 every year|
|2 Years||$2.91 per month||Billed as $69.95 every 2 years|
First, up the Private Internet Access, VPN doesn’t work with Netflix or the BBC iPlayer, but torrenting is supported. It does offer decent speeds, and other streaming can be used in place of.
Private Internet Access doesn’t retain any logs and offers full, robust encryption and caters well for any DNS leaks.
There is also an auto-connect feature which starts the VPN as soon as your device is launched.
With plenty of platform coverage, they compare well with others, and they also allow you to check server counts and locations on the website. This, unfortunately, doesn’t help with the VPN performance or the security of a Private Internet Access download.
It is a worthy contender, but without a full pass on streaming, it slips down a few places as one of the best Australian VPN providers.
What is a VPN and How do they work?
The VPN definition is a Virtual Private Network which will allow you to connect to the internet and protect you from a multitude of threats. Your connection from your device or your home is sent to another router, and the internet is accessed from this location which could be in another country.
You might ask what is VPN connection and how do they work exactly?
Firstly you would need to sign up for a VPN service from where you would download a VPN client. Once this client is installed and it is enabled, no matter how you connect to the internet all the data is passed along a virtual tunnel.
At the same time it is encrypted and passes through your ISP (they don’t know it is you at this stage) and then it is passed to these far-off servers to access the internet.
Privacy and security are solved in the following ways:
- The destination site will see the VPN servers address as the origin of the traffic, and not your IP address.
- No one can identify you or your computer as being the original source of the connection or the data sent. This means no one can see what you’re doing, or what websites you visit or what data you’re transferring.
- The data is encrypted, so if someone does look at what you are sending, they will only see an encrypted stream of information.
Many of the top VPN providers might offer a VPN chrome extension which can do the same as an installed client. However, it is crucial to make sure this browser is used as it is only the browser data which will be encrypted. This is very handy if you are using a Wi-Fi hotspot which can be rife for hackers and intrusions.
Are VPNs Legal in Australia?
To put things simply, there are no laws which prevent the use of VPN’s in Australia. However, some of the actions which can be carried out while using a VPN can be illegal.
To simplify this, if you are using a VPN for streaming, this is okay if it comes from a legitimate source. Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix? No, it isn’t according to Netflix themselves, but they do not encourage it because of streaming problems which might occur due to connection speeds, etc.
It becomes an issue when users download content which is protected by copyright (some torrents) and then are proxy servers legal would be a resounding No. Although this is not the VPN’s fault, it is down to the individual user.
The use of VPN’s in Australia is set to rise due to metadata retention, and at present ISP’s are required to collect this for a period of 2 years. With these metadata laws, government agencies can access your data at any time they wish without needing a warrant.
Data retention Australia residents are faced with is a huge privacy concern and is one which they wish to do something about to protect themselves. As time goes on, this metadata retention will only get worse, so Australians are taking action now by taking up a VPN service while they have the chance.
Who actually needs a VPN?
Here are the most common types of users who can make full use of a VPN service:
Users of online streaming need to make full use of VPN services which allows them to unblock content from different countries. If you want to watch Hulu in Australia, you can bypass the Geo-restrictions in the same way it is possible to watch American Netflix or watch BBC iPlayer. All these can be accessed by using a good VPN. The best Netflix VPN will allow streaming and frequent access with no problems.
As well as these services you can now get HBO Now in Australia by following the same simple process and masking your IP address to show you are in the correct region.
If you decide to use a VPN for Kodi, you can safely access popcorn time as well as obtaining all the other content from the most favoured third-party add-ons.
The Privacy Conscious
As we saw earlier privacy is a huge concern with data retention, so internet privacy is crucial to Australian users. WI-FI hotspots can leave you open to hackers, and ISP’s retain records at the instruction of governments and also for online tracking (advertising). A top quality VPN can give back net neutrality to users who are concerned for their privacy and security when they make online transactions etc.
Sports lovers like to keep up to date with their latest teams and sports and a majority they love to watch live. Unfortunately, many sports are geo-locked or on cable or sky subscriptions. To stream sports, a good quality VPN can make things much easier no matter how you access this content.
Mobile devices can be more restrictive because the phones GPS can inform the broadcasting company where you’re located. Top rated VPN providers can help to bypass all restrictions.
Torrenters and Downloaders
There is a vast number of people downloading content, which can be movies, music or other things. Much of this content might be illegally distributed, so a VPN for torrenting is required. If one is not used, your ISP can see what you access, and this is retained so any infringement of copyright can be traced back. Due to the fact, some VPN’s don’t offer torrenting, and others are not very fast for Australia, there is only a handful which is worth considering.
Many businesses now have workers who are either on the road or work from home, and they might require access to sensitive information. VPN’s can protect VOIP calls, sensitive customer data or a user’s login credentials.
A business can use socket tunneling so a remote or roaming worker can access a business network like they would if they were in the office.
VPN’s for small business doesn’t have to be expensive, yet it’s a cost which is worth bearing if users connect through public WI-FI hotspots.
How to Get a VPN
Signing up for a VPN can be very quick and easy, although the best VPN for Australia might have a more straightforward sign-up procedure than some of the others.
Once you have your VPN list and then compare VPN for VPN and see which one meets your needs. You then need to begin the process and buy VPN in a way which can make you anonymous if this is what you require.
Navigate to the web page of the best Australian VPN
- Create an account – all some VPN’s ask for is a valid email address.
- Select payment method – more on payments below
- Open the welcome email – this will contain all relevant information and a link to set-up your VPN
- Once taken to the Web page and signed in click on download for your device (windows)
- App is downloaded
- Some VPN’s use an activation code for separate devices. Copy this.
- Install the application – you are presented with the welcome screen
- When the installation has been completed, close the window
- Click on the desktop icon to run the VPN
- Paste in your activation code when asked and then sign in
- You might be asked if you want to allow the automatic start of the VPN client on start-up of your device – choose to allow
These are all the steps needed depending on your VPN, some might need a further set-up, but the top VPN providers are ready to run out of the box.
VPN Sign Up and Payment options
For users who wish to be entirely anonymous, there are many ways you can do this.
Firstly you can use an email address which doesn’t contain your name and is classed as a burner email. These can be easy to obtain from Google or Hotmail.
Anonymous Payment Options
Most of the top VPN’s accept plenty of payment options, however some users which to keep these transactions anonymous. There are a couple of ways you can pay for your VPN service without it showing up on any statement or bank record.
Cryptocurrency payments are accepted by some VPN’s so you can make a Bitcoin VPN payment if you have this cryptocurrency.
Some VPN providers will accept store gift cards as a payment method, although this might differ in Australia, so it is worth checking before committing. This method can also come with a price premium.
How to test a VPN service
When you’ve signed up for a VPN service, the one thing you expect is 100% privacy. If you find this isn’t the case, it means you’re paying for something which isn’t doing its job. This can leave you with IP or DNS leaks which can leave you vulnerable, and your IP address can still be spotted. It can also mean you aren’t in a position to stream your favourite content.
If you find yourself asking how do I know if my VPN is working? There are a couple of websites you can use to test your connection.
To quickly check for IP leaks, you can use a simple tool at https://ipleak.net/ Once the tool runs, it is all laid out and easy to understand.
The first box displays your IP address from the VPN provider. If you see your real IP address in the following sections when using a VPN, you have either a WebRTC leak or a DNS leak.
Another site which performs the same sort of function is https://dnsleaktest.com/ this runs its tests and shows the IP address, and you can quickly see if this is from the VPN or your real address. It also has a section on how you can fix the test before re-checking. This can show if the leaks are from a problem in the VPN client is not performing its duty.
Another thing you can perform is a speed test, and the best tool for this is http://www.speedtest.net/ you merely run this, and it will show the speed of your connection using a VPN service. You can compare with the VPN activated or deactivated, and the speeds should be slightly lower when connected to a VPN.
You get what you pay for!
Many people wish to use a VPN service and ponder over why they should pay for one. There are countless best free VPN services on offer. When you take a good look at this, it does appear to be a good question. However, most free VPN services can cut back versions of the premium apps and are only intended to be a sample of what’s on offer.
Some give basic functionality, and nowhere near as many features, or they come with all the features and look like they are the best Aus VPN, but they are limited on data usage.
One of the best examples of a free VPN provider is Windscribe free. Their offering is free forever, yet it does come with limitations. The number of server locations is cut back from 50 to 11, and you are faced with a 10 GB per month data allowance. This could be okay for light casual surfing but stream a few movies, and this will quickly be consumed.
CyberGhost is one other company which offers a free trial. It does give full protection, but you also get limited coverage and lackluster performance because of this. With the premium version, you can add more devices, and you also have access to the built-in ad-blocker.
Here is a table which shows differences between supposedly free VPN’s and top VPN’s of what you stand to lose and what you can gain for going premium.
|Features||Free VPN||Paid VPN|
|P2P (Torrenting) Allowed||No||Yes|
|Limited Server Coverage||Yes||No|
|High Download Speeds||No||Yes|
|Money Back Guarantee||No||Yes|
|Secure Protocols Included||No||Yes|
|24/7 Customer Care||No||Yes|
Here are several reasons why a best-paid VPN is a much better option than looking at the cheapest VPN Australia users could consider using.
Selling User Bandwidth
It has been found some free VPN companies sell your bandwidth which should be allocated to you. This in effect turns your system into a botnet. The company which has purchased the said bandwidth is free to use it any way shape or form, and if anything unscrupulous happens, it is your IP address which shows up.
Selling Your Data
Advertising and Scripts
Some free VPN clients use their software as a means of showing advertisements. A VPN provider can also insert scripts into websites you visit to display targeted ads. These would be personalized from your browsing habits.