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The 10 Best VPN for Australia (2023 Update)

By Tibor Moes / November 2022

Why do you need a VPN? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a VPN server. This hides your IP address and makes you anonymous online.

  • Protect yourself from identity theft. A VPN protects your data from hackers on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Hide your data from advertisers. A VPN hides your IP address and stops targeted ads.
  • Unblock all streaming shows. Streaming services don’t show all movies in Australia. A VPN can unblock those.

With the best VPN for Australia you can browse the web safely, anonymously, and without restrictions.

CyberGhost VPN - The best VPN

CyberGhost VPN

Limited Time: Save 83% 🔥

  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

CyberGhost is the best affordable VPN of 2023. It’s ultra-fast, private, and secure. And it temporarily offers deep discounts.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 45-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 91 countries
✓ Protect: 7 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN - The most advanced VPN

NordVPN

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  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN of 2023. It has the best privacy technology (RAM-Servers and Double VPN) and a beautiful design.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 30-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 59 countries
✓ Protect: 6 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Ranking of the best VPN services of 2023

We have tested cybersecurity software since 2014. Below, we have selected the top 4 from 30 paid and free VPN services (Virtual Private Networks).

Click the links or scroll down for more.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN Review

Ranked #1 out of 30 VPNs

CyberGhost VPN Review

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CyberGhost VPN Review

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test. It also has the lowest price and the biggest server network. It's one of the best VPN services you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix US, Disney, Amazon, HBO Max, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on P2P servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 9,000 Servers in 91 countries
  • Connections: 7
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.64
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 45 days

Streaming

CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers for Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and more.

Torrenting

CyberGhost has optimized P2P servers. It is an excellent VPN for torrenting, thanks to its kill switch, IP- and DNS-leak protection, and no logs policy.

Privacy

CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy: It does not monitor or record what you do online, and it does not store your IP address. Therefore, you are completely anonymous when using CyberGhost.

Ownership

CyberGhost is owned and operated by CyberGhost S.A. from Romania. Its parent company is Kape Technologies from the UK, which also owns ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN services:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

CyberGhost applies the most important security and privacy features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling (on Windows and Android)
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP

But it lacks RAM-only servers and Double VPN, which NordVPN does offer.

Censorship

CyberGhost does not use obfuscation technology, which hides your VPN usage. Therefore, it is not the right VPN for high-censorship countries like China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, or the UAE.

Servers

CyberGhost has a huge number of servers: 9,000 in 91 countries.

60 Countries have physical servers within their borders, while the other 31 are virtual servers. Although virtual servers are not located within the indicated country, they will give you a local IP address from that country.

It also offers specialized servers:

  • Servers optimized for P2P
  • Servers optimized for streaming
  • Servers with static IP addresses
  • Servers with dedicated IP addresses
  • Fully owned NoSpy servers

Devices

You can install CyberGhost on 7 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and a range of routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Prices

CyberGhost has the lowest 1-year price in the industry.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is CyberGhost VPN the best VPN software of 2023?

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test and has the most affordable 1-year contract. On top of that, it is secure, private, and has one of the largest server networks. It's excellent.

You can try CyberGhost risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN

NordVPN Review

Ranked #2 out of 30 VPNs

NordVPN Review

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service you can buy. It uses the latest privacy technology, like RAM servers and double VPN, and works in China. It's one of the best VPN providers you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on 80% of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 5,600 Servers in 59 countries
  • Connections: 6
  • 1-Year Price: € 52.68
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

NordVPN unblocks Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Torrenting

NordVPN allows torrenting on most of its servers. On top of that, it has optimized P2P servers for extra high download speeds.

Thanks to its no-logs policy, kill switch, DNS- and IP-leak blocking, it is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. So it does not record your IP address or online activities. It was the first VPN company to subject its privacy policy to an independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ownership

NordVPN is owned and operated by NordVPN S.A. from Panama. Its parent company, Nord Security, merged with the parent company of SurfShark to form Cyberspace BV in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN providers:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It includes both the mainstream security features and the highly advanced ones:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Meshnet (on Windows and Linux)

NordVPN is also available in a bundle, including NordLocker (encrypted cloud storage) and NordPass (password manager and data breach scanner).

Censorship

NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in highly censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. This is thanks to its obfuscation technology that hides your VPN traffic.

Servers

NordVPN has an extensive VPN server network, with 5,600 servers in 59 countries. They are all physical servers, meaning every server is located within the country's borders.

It also offers specialty servers:

  • P2P servers
  • Streaming servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • Obfuscated servers

Devices

You can install NordVPN on 6 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Considering that NordVPN is the most advanced VPN, it is a bargain.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is NordVPN the best VPN service of 2023?

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN software you can buy, thanks to its RAM servers, double VPN, Onion over VPN, and obfuscated servers.

You can try NordVPN risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

SurfShark VPN

Surfshark VPN Review

Ranked #3 out of 30 VPNs

SurfShark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark offers the best value for money. It is fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. It's one of the best VPN programs you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 3,200 Servers in 95 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.88
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

Surfshark can stream Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Torrenting

Surfshark allows P2P file-sharing on all of its servers and offers optimized P2P servers for higher download speeds. Due to its kill-switch, no-logs policy, and leak-blocking, Surfshark is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

Surfshark has a clear no-logs policy. It does not track what you do online and does not store your IP address. In 2021, Surfshark underwent an independent server audit by Cure53, a German cybersecurity firm.

Ownership

Surfshark BV from the Netherlands owns Surfshark. In 2022, its parent company merged with Nord Security, creating the holding company Cyberspace BV, also located in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN programs:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

After NordVPN, Surfshark is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It covers all mainstream and advanced features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Rotating IP
  • Override GPS Location on Android

Next to its VPN service, Surfshark also offers antivirus software, personal data breach alert, and a private search engine. These features are sold separately or together with the VPN in SurfShark One.

Censorship

Thanks to its Camouflage and NoBorders Mode, Surfshark works well in censored countries like Russia, the UAE, Turkey, and Iran. However, it does not consistently work in China.

Servers

Surfshark has an extensive network, with 3,200 servers in 95 countries. However, some of these servers are virtual. That means that although you get a local IP address from the country of your choice, the physical server is located in a different country.

Surfshark also offers specialized servers, including:

  • P2P servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers (Multihop servers)

Devices

Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Surfshark's price is excellent. Especially considering that you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is Surfshark the best VPN service of 2023?

Surfshark offers the best value for money in the VPN industry. It is advanced, affordable, and allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices. It is one of the best VPN deals out there.

You can try Surfshark risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish Review

Ranked #4 out of 30 VPNs

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish: Temporarily get 61% OFF  🔥

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish is an excellent VPN. It's fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. However, it's not as advanced as the others in this list and has a smaller server network.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix USA, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 2,000 Servers in 50 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: $ 47.89
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

IPVanish is not the best VPN service for streaming. Although it works with Netflix in the United States, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, it has problems with streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.

Torrenting

IPVanish allows torrenting on all its servers. And thanks to its no-log policy, kill switch, and no DNS leaks, it is a safe option to do so. The kill switch is necessary because it will block the internet traffic if the VPN connection drops.

Privacy

IPVanish has a clear no-logs policy. However, in 2018, it handed user data to the US government. Data it wasn't supposed to have, according to its log policy. Since then, it has changed owners twice, but the reputation remains.

Speed

We test every VPN service on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN connection set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the fastest VPN connections:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

IPVanish is the only VPN in our comparison that owns all of its servers and doesn't rely on third-party server parks, which is excellent. That said, it is not the most advanced VPN in our test.

It includes the following mainstream features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling

But it misses many of the advanced features:

  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers

Censorship

IPVanish does not work in censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Turkey, or Russia.

Servers

IPVanish has 2,000 VPN servers in 50 countries. All servers are physically located within the country and entirely owned by IPVanish. Because it doesn't rely on third-party server providers, it has complete control over the hardware and software, which theoretically should increase its security.

Devices

IPVanish allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. But it has no browser extensions.

Prices

IPVanish has a very attractive price, especially as you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is IPVanish the best VPN provider of 2023?

IPVanish is fast, secure, and affordable. It owns its entire server network and allows you to install the software on unlimited devices. But it's not the most advanced VPN in our test and not the best option for streaming.

You can try IPVanish risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Comparison table of the best VPN services 

CyberGhost
NordVPN
Surfshark
IPVanish
Icon
CyberGhost VPN Icon
NordVPN Icon
Surfshark VPN Icon
IPVanish VPN Icon
Ranking
#1 / 30
#2 / 30
#3 / 30
#4 / 30
Logging Policy
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
Operating Company
CyberGhost S.A. (Romania)
NordVPN S.A. (Panama)
Surfshark BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
Holding Company
Kape Technologies PLC (UK)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
VPN Protocols
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, NordLynx (WireGuard)
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
Encryption
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
US Netflix




Torrenting




VPN Kill Switch




Split Tunneling




Ad & Tracker Blocker



No
Smart DNS



No
First-Party DNS


No

Dedicated IP


No
No
Double VPN
No


No
RAM Servers
No


No
Works in China
No


No
Countries
91
59
95
50
Servers
9,000+
5,600+
3,200+
2,000+
Speed on WireGuard or proprietary protocol
825-850 Mbps
725-800 Mbps
700-800 Mbps
700-725 Mbps
Comptatible Devices
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Number of Connections
7
6
Unlimited
Unlimited
1-Month Price
€ 12.65
€ 10.49
€ 12.95
$ 10.99
1-Year Price
€ 47.64
€ 52.68
€ 47.88
$ 47.89
2-Year Price
€ 74.88
€ 69.36
€ 59.76
-
3-Year Price
€ 82.29
-
-
-
Customer Support
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
Free Trial
1 Day
7 Days
7 Days
No
Money Back Guarantee
45 Days
30 Days
30 Days
30 Days

How we test the best VPN for Australia

We tested 30 of the most popular VPN services to see which ones are the best. Each service was subjected to the following tests:

> Test 1: Logging policy

What is a logging policy?

A logging policy for a VPN service is a statement from the provider about what information is collected and retained about its users’ activities. A good logging policy should include a detailed description of what data is collected, how it’s used, and how long it’s retained. It should also explain who has access to the data and under what circumstances it can be shared or sold.

This policy is important for both sides. For users, a logging policy ensures that their provider will not keep a record of their browsing history. This allows them to browse freely without worrying that their activities will be tracked or monitored.

For providers, logging policy protects them from being forced to hand over user data to law enforcement or other third parties. It also helps to build trust with users and reinforces the idea that the provider is committed to protecting their privacy.

Unfortunately, our research has revealed that around 30% of VPN companies retain the original IP address used by customers, and around 5% track the online activity of users.

Moreover, VPN companies usually craft logging policies that intentionally use vague or complicated language to provide them with some wiggle room in case they find themselves embroiled in legal matters.

What do we test for?

We comb through the logging policies of VPN companies with the following goals:

  • To find out what user information is retained (if any) and how long the company keeps it.
  • To analyze whether the company tracks the original IP address of users.
  • To determine whether the company can hand over user data to the authorities during a legal investigation.
  • To determine if the provider tracks the online activity of users.

> Test 2: Ownership

What do we mean by ownership?

Most VPN services are part of complex corporate structures where you might find a company being owned by another, probably bigger, company.

The parent company usually enjoys some privileges. For example, the parent company can theoretically access user data or even compel the smaller entity to provide certain information at regular intervals.

To complicate things further, companies that own a VPN service may be registered in different countries. As such, the service may have to comply with different national data retention laws.

For these reasons, it matters who owns your VPN service. Due to the complex corporate structures that exist, it turns out that only a few entities own a majority of the VPN services available to users around the world. To put things in perspective:

  • NordVPN, Surfshark, and Atlas VPN are owned by Cyberspace, a company based in the Netherlands
  • Zenmate, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and Private Internet Access are owned by Kape Technologies from the United Kingdom.
  • StrongVPN, Perimeter 81, SaferVPN, Encrypt.me, and several others are owned by Ziff Davis from the United States.
  • Hotspot Shield, JustVPN, and TouchVPN are owned by Aura from the United States. Aura has also partnered with several companies that produce and sell antivirus programs, including Panda, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky.

What do we test for?

We seek to find out exactly who owns the VPN service and whether there are other structured owners behind the scenes. Also of interest are the data retention laws the service must comply with. In cases where the parent company and the controlled entity are under different jurisdictions, we seek to determine whether the relevant sections of the law are the same.

Finally, we dig into the archives to determine whether the provider has been caught up in any scandal in the past. Some providers are known to have been mired in scandals in their history. For example:

  • Between 2011 and 2018, Crossrider (later rebranded as Kape Technologies) used to run a platform for the creation of browser extensions. Unfortunately, the platform was infiltrated by ad injectors and malware creators. When this information came to light, Crossrider’s reputation was badly tarnished. The company’s share price fell to a record low of £0.27 on the London Stock Exchange.
  • During an investigation in 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security managed to get user logs from IPVanish. The latter had all along claimed strict compliance with its no-logging policy.

> Test 3: Independent audit

What is an independent audit?

An independent audit is an examination of a VPN provider’s systems and policies by an external, independent body. This audit helps to ensure that a VPN provider is operating in a secure and responsible manner and that their systems are up to par with industry best practices.

The operating manuals of major VPN providers often contain colorful language meant to woo potential users. You may have come across terms like zero-logging policy, military-grade encryption, and other similar buzzwords. During an audit, the independent body crawls the provider’s servers and systems to determine whether the provider indeed lives up to its promise to consumers.

Here are a few examples of independent audits carried out on major VPN services in recent years:

  • In 2022, Deloitte was contracted to look into the privacy policy of Private Internet Access (PIA). The audit focused on the server environment and the storage of user data.
  • In 2019, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Limited was commissioned to scrutinize ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology and determine whether the provider’s servers retained user data after a reboot.
  • In 2020, PwC conducted a comprehensive audit on NordVPN, focusing on technical logs, configuration, and server infrastructure.

What do we test for?

We check whether a VPN provider has undergone an independent audit. We’re also interested in the results of such an audit and any recommendations made.

> Test 4: Available VPN protocols

What is a VPN protocol?

A VPN protocol is a set of instructions that allow two computers to create a secure connection over the internet. There are several different VPN protocols, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common protocols are OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, and WireGuard.

  • OpenVPN is a versatile and secure VPN protocol that is widely used by commercial VPN providers. It is open source and can be configured to use various encryption algorithms.
  • OpenVPN is considered the best all-around VPN protocol, but it can be more difficult to set up than other protocols.
  • PPTP is one of the oldest protocols and is very easy to set up. However, it is not as secure as some of the newer protocols and does not support encrypting data.
  • L2TP/IPSec is more secure than PPTP but can be slower.
  • SSTP is only available on Windows and uses SSL encryption, making it very secure.
  • IKEv2 is newer but works well on both mobile devices and desktops. It is also very fast and supports encryption.
  • WireGuard is an extremely simple yet fast and modern VPN protocol that utilizes state-of-the-art cryptography. It’s been designed to be fast, efficient, and secure from the ground up, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a top-notch VPN solution.

So, what’s the best VPN protocol? Simply put, there isn’t a “best” option. It all boils down to the needs of an individual or company.

What do we test for?

We check to determine the VPN protocols provided by the various VPN services. We also check whether these protocols are compatible with all devices, not just a few. For example, it would be inconvenient to be able to connect your Windows PC to a VPN network but not your iPhone.

> Test 5: Supported encryption standard

What is an encryption standard?

An encryption standard is a mathematical formula used by VPN providers to encode data before it’s transmitted over the internet. This encoding makes it difficult for unauthorized individuals to read or access the data, which is why encryption is essential for protecting your privacy when using a VPN.

Most VPN providers use 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, which are both considered to be very strong encryption standards. Other encryption standards, such as Blowfish and Twofish, are also very secure but are not as widely used as AES-128 and AES-256.

Some providers also offer additional security features, such as kill switches and DNS leak protection, which add an extra layer of security to your VPN connection.

What do we test for?

We check to see the default encryption standard offered by the VPN service and whether users are presented with any alternatives.

> Test 6: Basic security features

What are basic security features?

Most VPN services offer a few basic features, including OpenVPN, split tunneling, AES-256 encryption, and a kill switch. It’s a safety measure that ensures your traffic is not exposed if the VPN connection drops for any reason.

OpenVPN and Wireguard: These protocols help to encrypt your data and prevent other people from snooping on your activities.

Split tunneling: This allows you to route some of your traffic through the VPN while other traffic goes directly to the internet. This can be useful if you want to access geo-blocked content or bypass firewalls.

AES-256 encryption: This is the same type of encryption used by government agencies and is incredibly strong.

What do we test for?

We run tests to find out the specific basic features offered by the various VPN services. We grant special focus to split tunneling and kill switches, as these are important capabilities that increase the safety and security of users and their data.

> Test 7: Advanced security features

What are advanced security features?

The best VPN services offer several advanced security features to boost the level of protection accorded to users:

  • Ad trackers and Malicious Website Blockers: A blocker is a software program or extension that prevents advertisements, trackers, and malicious websites from loading in your web browser. This can improve your privacy and security by preventing these entities from collecting data about you.
  • Double VPN: This is a technique that encrypts your traffic twice as it passes through two separate VPN servers. This provides an extra layer of security and privacy.
  • Obfuscated Servers: These are VPN servers that have been configured to disguise their location and identity. This can be useful for bypassing censorship or geo-blocking restrictions.
  • GPS Location Override: This feature allows you to spoof your location by overriding your device’s GPS coordinates with those of a chosen server. This can be useful for accessing region-restricted content or defeating censorship measures.
  • RAM-only servers: These are servers that do not store any data on their hard drives. Instead, all of the data is stored in random access memory (RAM), which is much faster than a hard drive. This makes RAM-only servers ideal for websites that experience a high volume of traffic, as the website will be able to load more quickly.
  • Dedicated IP address: This is a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to only one user or device at a time. This increases privacy by making it more difficult for others to track your online activity. It can also improve website performance by allowing the website to load more quickly due to the lack of congestion on the server.

What do we test for?

We test whether the various VPN services offer these features and whether they work as promised.

> Test 8: IP leak

What is an IP leak?

Whenever you connect to a VPN, your traffic passes through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. This prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or anyone else from seeing what you’re doing online. However, if your VPN connection becomes disrupted for any reason, your traffic may no longer be protected. This is known as an IP leak.

An IP leak can occur if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, if your device’s IP address changes, or if Domain Name System (DNS) requests are not being routed through the VPN. If your traffic is not properly protected by the VPN, it may be intercepted by your ISP or other third parties.

This could lead to serious privacy breaches, including identity theft and data leaks. It is therefore essential to use a VPN that provides a high level of security and reliability. Otherwise, you run the risk of exposing your sensitive data to prying eyes.

What do we test for?

We connect a device (or several of them) to a VPN service and then run an IP address lookup. If all we can see is the address generated by the server, the service has no leaks. When we see our own IP address, there’s a good chance of a leak.

> Test 9: DNS leak

What is a DNS leak?

DNS is a system used to translate human-readable website addresses, like “www.google.com,” into the computer-readable IP addresses that routers use to direct traffic on the internet.

Whenever you go to a website, your web browser contacts a DNS server (usually operated by your internet service provider) and asks for the IP address of that website. The DNS server then looks up the address and provides it back to your browser, which then connects to the website.

A DNS leak occurs when a user’s computer sends a DNS request outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel. This can happen for many reasons, including incorrect VPN configuration or a malicious VPN server.

A DNS leak can jeopardize the user’s privacy, as their true IP address and location may be exposed to their ISP or websites. A DNS leak can also result in slower internet speeds, as the DNS requests are no longer routed through the VPN’s servers.

What do we test for?

We connect to a VPN provider and run a DNS server lookup. If the VPN service does not own the DNS servers, that’s a telltale sign of a leak. This means that our real IP address is being leaked out and could be used by others to track us.

> Test 10: WebRTC leak

What is a WebRTC leak?

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a free, open-source project that enables real-time communication of audio, video, and data in web browsers and mobile applications. Conceived in 2011 by Google, the project has since been supported by major browser vendors, including Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft.

WebRTC utilizes standard protocols such as HTML5 and JavaScript to provide a consistent API across all platforms. This allows developers to create applications that can be used on any device or operating system without the need for plugins or other third-party software.

A WebRTC leak occurs when your browser reveals your actual IP address to a website, even though you are using a VPN. This can happen because your browser is not configured properly or the VPN network itself is not secure. A WebRTC leak can be dangerous because it can expose your identity and location.

It’s important to choose a VPN that provides reliable WebRTC protection. With the right VPN, you can browse the web safely and securely without worrying about exposing your original IP address.

What do we test for?

We connect to a VPN service and run a WebRTC lookup. If our original IP address is displayed, there’s a WebRTC leak.

> Test 11: Download speed via OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is a protocol that allows for the secure transmission of data. It is open-source, which means that its code can be inspected and improved upon by anyone. This has resulted in a more secure protocol that is widely used by VPN providers. OpenVPN can be run using either the UDP or TCP transport protocols. So, what’s the difference between these two options?

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is generally the faster option since it doesn’t involve the same level of overhead as TCP. However, UDP can be less reliable than TCP since it doesn’t include error-checking mechanisms. This means that UDP is more likely to drop packets than TCP. As a result, UDP is usually the best choice for applications where speed is paramount, such as streaming video or gaming.

On the other hand, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is slower than UDP but more reliable. This is because TCP uses error-checking to ensure that all data is delivered intact. This makes TCP a good choice for applications where reliability is more important than speed, such as email or file transfers.

What do we test for?

We measure the download speed of each of the top VPN providers with the Windows app set to the OpenVPN protocol. We do this on a 1 Gbps internet connection to push the VPN to its limit.

> Test 12: Supported speed via WireGuard

What is WireGuard?

WireGuard is a VPN protocol that was designed to be simpler and faster compared to existing VPN protocols like OpenVPN and IPsec. It is open source and compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

WireGuard is much lighter than other VPN protocols. For instance, WireGuard only has 4,000 lines of code compared to OpenVPN’s 5,000 lines.

In our tests, we found that WireGuard outperformed OpenVPN by about 60% in speed.

What do we test for?

We connect each VPN service and then test the download speed while the Windows app is set to the WireGuard protocol. To test the provider’s resilience, we use a 1 Gbps (1.000 Mbps) internet connection to push the VPN to the limit.

> Test 13: (Virtual) VPN servers and locations

What are (virtual) VPN servers?

VPN servers are located in different countries around the world, and when you connect to one of these servers, your web traffic is routed through the server in that country. This gives you a local IP address, making it appear like you’re accessing the internet from that country.

However, not all countries have the same level of server infrastructure, and some countries may not have any physical VPN servers at all. In these cases, virtual VPN servers can be used to give users an IP address from the country they want to connect to.

For example, a user in Andorra could use a virtual VPN server to get an IP address from France or Spain, even though there are no physical VPN servers in Andorra. This allows them to access websites and content that might otherwise be blocked in their country.

What do we test for?

We seek answers to three key questions:

  • How many servers and locations does the VPN provider have?
  • Can a user choose between servers in different countries or cities?
  • Can a user opt for a virtual server if a physical one isn’t available?

> Test 14: Streaming compatibility

What is compatibility with a streaming service?

A VPN can unlock streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, but not all of them.

Netflix and Hulu are the two most popular streaming services in the United States, and both of them are blocked by some VPNs. This is because the companies that own these streaming services have implemented technologies that can detect when a user is using a VPN.

However, there are still many VPNs that can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and other popular streaming services. So, if you’re looking for a VPN that will allow you to stream content, you need to choose one that’s known to overcome geo-restrictions.

What do we test for?

We connect our devices to a VPN provider and then check whether the service can unblock popular streaming services, including Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer in the U.S.

> Test 15: Torrenting compatibility

What is compatibility with a torrent network?

When you download a file from the internet, you usually connect to just one server. This can be slow, especially if many people are trying to download the same thing at the same time. Torrenting (or peer-to-peer downloading) helps to speed up downloads by sharing the load among many different computers.

When you torrent a file, you’re actually downloading tiny pieces of it from lots of different sources. This means that your download is much faster and less likely to be interrupted if one of the sources drops out. Of course, torrenting also has its downside.

Because files are shared among many users, it’s not easy to track who originally uploaded them. This has led to some torrent sites being used for piracy, and many ISP’s now throttle or block torrent traffic.

A VPN can be especially useful when torrenting, as it makes it more difficult for your ISP to throttle your connection or hand over your information to copyright holders.

What do we test for?

We check whether the VPN provider supports torrenting to facilitate the downloading of files via peer-to-peer networks.

> Test 16: Annual price and price per device

What is the annual price and price per device?

Most VPN services have structured their subscriptions around monthly payments, but users also have the option to pay annually. However, single-month subscriptions are the most expensive. Generally, the price per month reduces as the duration subscribed for increases.

For a fair comparison, we look at the price of a one-year subscription and the price charged per device. On this basis, it quickly becomes apparent that the prices of most VPN services are quite similar, except ExpressVPN, which is the most expensive.

Some VPN providers do not limit the number of devices a user can connect. This significantly reduces the price per device.

What do we test for?

We calculate the price charged for a one-year contract by each VPN service. We also determine the price per connection by dividing the total cost by the number of simultaneous connections allowed.

What VPNs for Australia have we tested?

We have tested 30 paid and free VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). Proton VPN is the best free VPN service. But if you have the money, we recommend getting a paid VPN service.

In the best case, the free version allows you to protect only one device and doesn’t offer you unlimited bandwidth / unlimited data. And in the worst case, the free VPN providers show you ads or secretly sell your browsing history to advertisers and your internet service provider.

And should you be strapped for cash, don’t opt for an expensive VPN like ExpressVPN. Instead, get a cheap VPN, like Surfshark, that allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices and share the cost with a friend.

  • Astrill VPN
  • Atlas VPN
  • Avast SecureLine VPN
  • Betternet VPN
  • Bitdefender VPN
  • CactusVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • HideME VPN
  • HMA VPN (HideMyAss VPN)
  • Hola VPN
  • Hotspot Shield VPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • Ivacy VPN
  • IVPN
  • Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection
  • McAfee Safe Connect VPN
  • Mozilla VPN
  • MullVad VPN
  • NordVPN
  • Norton Secure VPN
  • Private Internet Access VPN
  • PrivateVPN
  • Proton VPN
  • PureVPN
  • StrongVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • Tunnelbear VPN
  • VyprVPN
  • Windscribe VPN

The best are: CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

Frequently asked questions

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your online privacy. It creates an encrypted VPN tunnel between your device and a VPN server. This tunnel hides your IP address, restores your anonymity online and makes you safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Why do you need a VPN?

You need a VPN to restore your online privacy and security. Without a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and advertisers can track everything you read, watch and download online. On top of that, if you don’t use a VPN, hackers will be able to steal your data on public Wi-Fi networks, which can lead to identity theft.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN creates an encrypted connection, called a VPN tunnel, between your devices and a VPN server. This hides your IP address and what you do online. As a result, your ISP won’t be able to see what websites you visit, and advertisers won’t be able to know what your IP address is.

What is the best VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the best VPN services of 2022. NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service. CyberGhost has the highest download speeds and the lowest one-year price. And Surfshark allows you to install the software on unlimited devices.

What is the fastest VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the fastest VPN services of 2022. Although CyberGhost is slightly faster than the other two, the difference is not noticeable for most users.

About the author

Tibor Moes

Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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