The best VPN services have gone from being high-end exclusive solutions meant for big corporate customers to basic commodities for regular internet users over the course of the last decade or so.
This shift in the market can largely be attributed to rapidly growing awareness pertaining to government and another third party (read hacker) snooping activities which have compromised the concept of online anonymity on which the internet was based.
This is quite relevant to Australia – whose spy agency is part of the Five Eyes alliance and whose citizens are currently subjected to data logging laws in the name of combating crime and terrorism.
Not everyone can (or wants to) spend an additional amount of cash on a paid VPN service – thankfully, there are free Australian VPN services around for such consumers.
The problem is that many malicious coders and shady software houses have started exploiting the term ‘free’ to entice users into installing their bloated, ad-infested – even downright dangerous – software by disguising them as VPN Australia free.
Why go for a free VPN?
- No payment commitment: Paid Australia VPNs often require you to submit payment information e.g. credit card data etc., when you’re signing up for them. This holds true even for services with free trials – it’s just that they charge you after the trial period is over. With VPN services that are explicitly free, you’re able to use the software without supplying your payment information.
This works great for casual internet users, or those who are not yet sold on the idea of a VPN service and want to try out a free demo before committing to a paid option.
- Alter your online location for free: VPNs work by installing virtual tunnels through which the entire data stream of your computer/device is conducted to the rest of the internet. Online websites will see you as being located at the other end of this tunnel i.e. the VPN server endpoint. This means you can alter your location to access services that are otherwise blocked/restricted in your country e.g. Netflix US, Hulu Plus, YouTube and so on.
While this could be managed – to some extent – by an Australian proxy server with an endpoint in a different country – you would only be able to fool software and services that communicated with you over the TCP/IP protocol. Modern services can use a plethora of protocols for internet communication, and it would be impossible for you to disguise your location for such services with a simple proxy server Australia.
Why go for a paid VPN?
The best VPN Australia options are paid: they let you do everything you can do with a free VPN and more. It isn’t restricted by a usage time/bandwidth limit and gives you access to a global network of servers.
This means you can change your location to dozens of different places worldwide, can download large files over the internet, stream restricted video content in high quality, and so on.
All this while you’re protected by superior OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec protocols with high-end encryption (some VPNs even use their own proprietary cyphering mechanisms to defeat advanced eavesdropping techniques).
Furthermore, you don’t have to put up with constant advertisements that plague most free Australian VPN services. You would also not have to worry about your personal information being sold to third-parties (some free VPNs do this to keep their services up and running).
Keep in mind that the best VPN for torrents will always be a paid one – no matter where you are present. P2P file transfers are restricted and frowned upon even by many paid services and consume a lot of bandwidths so there’s no chance a free service would allow it (or be good enough even if it does).
CyberGhost Free VPN Review
CyberGhost VPN offers a completely free package that is perhaps the only costless solution that provides meaningful functionality to internet users.
You’ll have to put up with automatic disconnections after a few hours (necessitating manual reconnection), and waiting in queues when the service is under load, but in spite of these limitations, the free package is good enough for basic browsing (even some low-quality video streaming)!
A couple of good paid options
If you’ve changed your mind and want to go for a paid option directly, both Express VPN and NordVPN are decent options. Express VPN is based in the BVI, and Nord VPN is based in Panama, so both services can be regarded as safe as far as data logging concerns go.
Both utilize industry standard OpenVPN protocol for tunneling, with strong encryption to defeat any snooping activity. ExpressVPN edges ahead in terms of connection speed, but only because NordVPN uses extra encryption to provide added security.
If you’re looking to enjoy jerk-free video playback e.g. from BBC iPlayer or Netflix US, you should go for the former.
Express VPN has a server network spread over 87 locations worldwide, while Nord VPN has servers in over 50 countries – if location hopping is your primary requirement, ExpressVPN is the better option here too.
The subscription cost, user interface, and customer support are comparable to both services. Ultimately, we’d recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Australia 2017 because it is able to combine sufficient privacy and security with speed, reliability, and diversity of server locations much better than NordVPN.
If you want better security though (e.g. for ultra-sensitive online communication), Nord may be the better choice for you.