The latest research shows that 79% of the Australian population is connected to the internet. But many of these internet users have become increasingly concerned with the Australian Governments infamous data retention laws. These are a set of regulations which stipulate that all Australian internet service providers (ISP) must retain their users data for a period of two years. For those that that value their online privacy, this is a well-founded concern.
The Australian Government data retention laws were first introduced in 2015, wherein they allocated a 2 year implementation period for Australian ISP’s to become fully compliant. This compliance period ended on 13 April 2017. Since that date, all Australian ISPs have been obliged by the Australian government to collect user metadata such as:
- your computer IP address.
- the time of day a user connected to the internet.
- the type of web browser used.
- where you are located.
- the URL of the website you visited.
- email address details (To, From).
However, there are steps that users can implement to take back charge of their online privacy – with a vpn service being the most obvious choice. Below are our recommendations for the best vpn for Australia:
IPVanish is our #1 pick for best vpn service provider for Australians for several reasons, with the number of Australian servers the most important. Their server presence within Australia is impressive with a total of 59 servers located in Sydney, along with another 2 servers located in Melbourne. Having access to so many Australian based servers means that users are guaranteed excellent connection speeds and throughput, which is vital for any data intensive only activity (such as streaming of movies and tv shows, online gaming, etc).
IPVanish is also a top-line service provider when it comes to all-round vpn functionality. They offer an unlimited bandwidth policy, which means that they will never throttle your internet connection speed. Users can connect to their vpn service via a range of apps that are tailor-made for your device of choice including: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Chromebook, Routers, as well as Fire TV. Also importantly, they have a strong commitment to customer privacy which is implemented via their Zero Logs data collection policy (metadata about your vpn session, including connection details and user activity logs, are never recorded or stored). Furthermore, they offer a full 7-day money back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Because we take your privacy and security concerns seriously, our review team at VPNCompass will only ever recommended leading vpn service providers with a proven track record. ExpressVPN is one such provider that ticks this box. As one of the largest vpn companies in the world, they have the resources to ensure that they can offer their customers a full featured vpn service.
ExpressVPN has servers that you can connect to in both Sydney and Melbourne. Whilst it may be true that they do not have as many individual servers in Australia as IPVanish, their server speed is something that they pride themselves on. In fact, ExpressVPN offers a Speed Test function in each of their Windows, Mac and Android apps. This app allows users to test the connection speed of each server (whether it be Australian or overseas based) to find the optimum server for your individual location.
Security and Privacy are considerations that feature prominently with ExpressVPN. They use 256-bit encryption with SSL to secure each and every vpn connection. Their Logless VPN policy means that your browsing history, traffic data, and DNS queries are never recorded. They do not ever store any information that can be used to identify you. What this means is that if a Government agency ever came knocking on their door to request your browsing history, they would not have any to provide them. For those of us that value their online privacy, this represents peace of mind.
NordVPN are another of the big players in the vpn market. They are based in Panama, which straight away ticks several boxes, as it tells us that they are indeed serious about your internet privacy and maintaining your anonymity whilst online.
They have an impressive total of 35 servers located in Australia. We were really impressed that their website showed each one of these servers along with details of: current usage capacity, as well as vpn protocols supported by each.
As you would expect of a vpn company of this size, they also offer their access to all of the most important functionality that you will need to stay safe, secure and anonymous whilst online. Unlike many ISPs, the good people do not discriminate against Peer2Peer users – they openly confirm that you are welcome to connect to P2P networks via their vpn service, and they will never throttle connection when you do so. They also have a strict No Logs policy, Double Date encryption, an Automatic Kill Switch, as well as a selection of easy to install/use apps (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS) for your nominated device (with up to 6 simultaneous connections!). Still unsure about NordVPN ? – no problem, they offer a full 30-day money back guarantee so you can try them out risk free for yourself.
The Australian Government data retention laws that they have imposed on Australian ISP companies are no laughing matter for those that value their internet security and online privacy. But there are practical steps that you can take to circumvent these laws, with a vpn service being the most effective. IPVanish, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are three reputable and well-known companies offering excellent network speed, as well as a comprehensive suite of privacy and security tools for their customers. If you are looking for the best vpn service providers for Australia, these three companies have our seal of approval.