Even though Australia isn’t typically known for participating in heavy surveillance and internet restriction programs, you still want to stay safe when connecting to the internet in Australia.
The Australian government can perform warrantless searches to spy on your internet activity if they consider you to be a threat or to be performing illegal activities while you’re online.
Hackers also rely on unsecured connections to track what you’re doing and intercept the sensitive information that you’re sending and receiving.
Keeping yourself protected, whether you’re an Australian citizen or are simply traveling into the country for short periods of time, doesn’t require extensive security training.
By connecting to a Virtual Private Network service, you can keep your sensitive information anonymous and secure, and keep hackers and the Australian government from spying on you.
VPN services provide a cost-effective method for keeping yourself safe while you’re using the internet, and they only take a few short minutes to set up and use.
Why You Should Trust Us
At SecureThoughts, our writers have devoted years of their lives to staying at the forefront of internet security, and want to help as many people as possible secure their internet connections.
We’ve spent hours upon hours testing different VPN providers to find the best service available for Australian citizens and people traveling to Australia looking to keep themselves safe.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Laptops
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Table of Contents
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top Three VPNs for Securing Your Laptop
- Wrapping It Up
Subscribing to the first VPN service you come across can be a recipe for disaster because, unfortunately, not all VPN services are created equal and some are substantially better than others.
The purpose of this review process is to uncover VPN services that are worthy of your hard-earned money and eliminate services that aren’t worthy of our recommendation.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To ensure that you’re safe when you are connecting to the internet inside of Australia, we’ve reviewed 173 different VPN services using a three-part process to eliminate low-quality providers.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
To begin, we started eliminating services that are based out of countries where the services can be forced to hand over your activity logs to the local government.
Then, we went through the remaining services to determine if they had a minimum set of features that we believe are essential to keep you safe while you’re online.
We then poured through reviews from other customers to help eliminate the remaining services that have developed a reputation for providing a low-quality customer experience.
Finally, the last few services were compared against each other using a five-part test to determine which VPNs can be recommended to Australian citizens and travelers.
Those criteria are:
Price – Price is an important factor considering so many VPN services are nearly identical in the features they provide, and some expensive services provide a lower-quality experience.
Setup Process – We tested each service by subscribing and then downloading and installing the software to ensure connecting to their servers was simple to do.
Ease of Use – We also tested each service to determine how easy they are to use and whether they cause problems getting and staying connected to their network.
Speed – We’ve tested each service’s network strength by performing speed tests from inside the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, then averaged the results.
Customer Service – We sent each service’s customer support team emails before the sale, and again after the sale with both a billing problem and a technical support problem.
Below are the results of the tests we’ve run each service through.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
With more than 170 VPN services currently available, we needed to easily separate the best services from low-quality VPN providers that will not keep you happy and secure.
To start the elimination process, we immediately eliminated VPN services that participate in the invasive “14 Eyes” program that allows governments to spy on your activity.
If you’re not familiar with the 14 Eyes program, it’s an agreement between governments that allows them to force your internet service provider to turn over your activity and usage data.
Out of the original 173 different VPN services we started testing, 123 of them were eliminated due to their participation in the 14 Eyes program.
Some of the services that were eliminated due to participation in the 14 Eyes program are ChillGlobal and GoVPN.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
After eliminating services due to their invasive practices and participation in government surveillance programs, we began eliminating services that didn’t meet our minimum required feature set.
As we go through our review process, we’ll break down each of the features that we looked for when determining if a VPN service is capable of keeping you safe online.
Criteria #1: OpenVPN Support
VPN services use a few different protocols to manage your connection while you’re on their network, ranging from PPTP, OpenVPN and IPSec.
In general, OpenVPN is regarded as the most secure protocol to use, so services that implement OpenVPN were ranked higher during our review.
Betternet and AnonVPN are two services that were eliminated due to their lack of OpenVPN support.
Criteria #2: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Some VPN services will charge you for consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth while you’re connected to their network.
VPN services that do not offer unlimited bandwidth or throttle your connection speeds due to your bandwidth consumption were eliminated from our review.
Cloak and Celo are two VPN services that were eliminated due to their bandwidth consumption policies.
Criteria #3: No Data Logging Policies
Keeping yourself safe, anonymous and secure while you are online means that you typically want to avoid using services that track what you’re doing while you’re connected to their network.
VPN services that track what you’re doing put you at risk because these usage logs can be turned over to your local government, and the information can be used against you in court.
Seed4Me and Hola!VPN are two services that were eliminated due to their data logging policies and for tracking your activity on their network.
Criteria #4: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
If you’re like most people, you probably connect to the internet using multiple different devices and want to ensure that they’re all protected from hackers and government surveillance programs.
VPN services that provide support for multiple different operating systems were ranked higher in our review process, to ensure that you do not need multiple services for each device you own.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN were both eliminated due to their lack of support for various operating systems.
Criteria #5: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
Having more than one device means that you will also need a VPN service that allows you to connect with multiple devices at the same time without causing connection or reliability issues.
VPN services that throttle your connection speeds or become unreliable when you connect with multiple devices at the same time were eliminated from our review.
IBVPN and HotVPN are two examples of services that gave us connectivity issues when connecting to their network with multiple devices.
Criteria #6: First-Party DNS Servers
Some VPN services outsource their DNS requirements to other companies that may have activity and data-logging practices in place, which could put you at risk.
Companies that do not offer their own first-party DNS servers were eliminated from our review to ensure that you remain anonymous while you’re connected to the service.
UnoTelly is one of the services that has been eliminated due to outsourcing their DNS management.
Criteria #7: No Peer2Peer Blocking
If you regularly download large files using Peer2Peer file sharing networks and software, you will need a VPN service that doesn’t limit or block your connection to P2P networks.
Companies that limit your access or suspend your account for downloading files via Peer2Peer networks were eliminated from our review process.
LibertyVPN is one of the services that was eliminated due to their Peer2Peer network restriction policies.
Criteria #8: Free-Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
Even though we’ve put in the time to find a quality VPN service, your experience may be different than the experience we had during testing.
Because of that, we want to ensure that you can receive a refund if your experience turns out differently, so companies that do not offer free trial periods or a money-back guarantee were eliminated.
VPNBaron and VPN Shield were both eliminated because they do not provide free trial periods or offer a refund policy that they stand behind.
Criteria #9: No Mandatory SMTP Blocking
When you’re connected to a VPN service you will likely want to send and receive emails, and are going to get frustrated if the service has blocked your access to SMTP protocols.
Spammers typically use VPN services to send unwanted emails, causing SMTP ports through these services to be blocked. We eliminated any services that do not allow you to send and receive emails.
Tunnelbear and TorVPN are two services that were eliminated because they restrict your ability to send and receive emails.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
After running each service through those nine criteria, we needed a way to quickly eliminate services, so we read reviews from other customers on each of the remaining companies.
We’ve worked through 100 different websites to read reviews from other customers to help eliminate any remaining VPN services that have developed a poor reputation.
Top Three VPNs for Staying Secure in Australia
After eliminating 170 of the original VPNs using a wide variety of elimination criteria, we have dwindled the list down to three remaining services, all vying for our recommendation.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
After performing our extensive elimination process, we’ve determined that there is only one VPN service capable of being recommended as the best VPN for Australia.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Australia
When you’re looking for the absolute best-of-the-best VPN service in Australia, look no further than the service that ExpressVPN offers.
In terms of pricing, they are mildly competitive, falling in the middle of the pack at $12.95 per month, and only $8.32 per month when you pay for 12 months in advance.
Installing the ExpressVPN software and getting it configured to work with most connections and operating systems is a straightforward and intuitive process.
The actual service provided by ExpressVPN shows that they devote substantial resources to providing a seamless experience and keeping their customers happy.
During testing, ExpressVPN also provided some of the fastest upload and download speeds that we saw and didn’t have any issues with dropped connections.
We contacted their customer support team on three different occasions and they were more than helpful, but it did take them around three hours to respond to the messages we sent.
While ExpressVPN is ranked #1 in our review, they only ranked #2 in speed tests based out of Australia. They ranked #1 during tests performed out of the United States and the United Kingdom.
The overall experience provided by ExpressVPN helped them to secure the top spot, though we do wish they would respond quicker to requests sent to their customer support team.
Summary: When you’re looking for the best VPN for Australia, very few services can compete with the level of service that’s provided by ExpressVPN.
We couldn’t find another VPN provider that offered the same network strength, connection reliability and customer service that ExpressVPN gives you.
To protect your laptop with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
We understand that there may be times when you cannot open an account with ExpressVPN and need a suitable alternative that is somewhat comparable.
While IPVanish doesn’t provide the same service that ExpressVPN offers, they are a decent service to use if you want to stay safe in Australia and cannot subscribe to ExpressVPN.
They are priced competitively, offering single-month accounts for only $7.50 per month, dropping to $4.87 when you pay for 12 months in advance.
Downloading and installing their software is easy enough, and we were connected to their network within a few minutes of making our first payment.
IPVanish offers comparable network strength to ExpressVPN, but their customer service department did cause them to fall behind the customer support team at ExpressVPN.
During testing, we sent their team three different emails, and were forced to wait more than 24 hours for a response to the messages, where ExpressVPN responded within three hours.
When we performed speed tests, IPVanish ranked #2 in tests based out of the United States and the United Kingdom, but did rank #3 in tests performed out of Australia.
Summary: While the service provided by IPVanish is comparable to ExpressVPN, ExpressVPN provides a much stronger network and better customer service than IPVanish.
If you cannot open an account through ExpressVPN, though, and want to secure your connection in Australia, IPVanish may be a suitable alternative for you.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
HideMyAss is sort of an anomaly in that they did rank third in our review, but the level of service they provided would probably have eliminated them earlier had we tested them sooner.
Signing up for the HideMyAss service didn’t provide many problems, but once we connected to their network and started attempting to use it, problems began.
During our speed tests, we experienced reliability issues and noticed that the speeds offered by HideMyAss were substantially slower than both ExpressVPN and IPVanish.
They are also one of the most expensive services that we’ve tested, charging $16.99 for a single month, falling to $9.29 when you pay for 12 months in advance.
The customer support team at HideMyAss took far too long to respond to our requests, forcing us to wait more than 24 hours for a response in most cases.
Summary: The strength of the HideMyAss network, the reliability issues we faced, the slow customer support response times and their high pricing caused HideMyAss to rank third in our review.
If you’re trying to stay safe in Australia, ExpressVPN is a much better solution, providing a stronger network, better pricing and better customer service.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
NOTE: When you’re trying to stay safe, anonymous and secure in Australia, very few methods can keep you protected like using a Virtual Private Network service.
Even though the Australian government doesn’t blatantly track what their citizens are doing online, they can still use warrantless searches to determine what you’re doing.
Hackers also rely on you connecting to the internet with an unsecured connection, and will attempt to steal your identity when you send and receive sensitive information online.
To keep yourself safe while you’re connected to the internet, you’re going to want to connect through a Virtual Private Network service like ExpressVPN.
To protect your internet connection in Australia, get ExpressVPN now by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
Connecting to the internet with an unsecured connection can present all sorts of problems, ranging from identity theft to government surveillance programs and potential prosecution.
To ensure that you are not being spied on or could have your identity stolen by hackers, you will want to connect through a Virtual Private Network service.
After putting more than 170 different VPN services through our rigorous testing, we’ve concluded that ExpressVPN is the best service for keeping yourself safe in Australia.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect your connection, click here now.