Best VPN 2019: Top VPNs for Australia and New Zealand

Stay safe online with these reliable and affordable VPNs

Credit: Illustration 121795008 © Artinspiring - Dreamstime.com

When it comes to paying for a VPN, choosing one can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many different VPN companies, brands, apps and website vying for your attention, all claiming to be the best most affordable, most reliable one out there.

Free VPNs are usually a risky choice as they often collect data on you in exchange for being free, as well as not offering as many features as paid VPNs. The VPNs we’ve picked out here are all about the cost of a coffee or two per month – not a lot to pay for the safety and convenience they offer. 

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is software that runs on Windows, Mac, Android or iOS to protect your online privacy and access blocked websites. Using your existing internet connection, you can use a VPN to mask your IP address, making your connection more secure and much less vulnerable to hackers.

VPN services let you choose which country you want your internet connection to act like it is in. This allows you to, for instance, connect to a North American server in order to watch geo-restricted content on services like Netflix. Some let you watch Australian or New Zealand catch-up or live TV while you’re abroad, too. 

Things to consider

We’ve picked out the five best VPNs for you to choose from. Each are quite similar but do offer slightly different features at different prices. 

An important feature we like to see is a no-log policy. When you surf the web, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see your activity and sell that data on. When you use a VPN, you’re surfing anonymously, and your ISP can no longer see this data.

Technically your VPN provider can, though. That’s why some offer a no-log policy, stating that they do not even keep logs of your online activity, giving you peace of mind. This is why all five of the VPNs we’ve picked out have one.

Credit: Illustration 108995068 © Poenya200 - Dreamstime.com

Some VPNs offer extras like firewalls, ad-blockers and browser extensions for a better user experience. It’s also worth noting how many servers each service has and across how many countries – the more of each, the more utility you’ll get. 

VPN companies might tell you their services are not based in countries belonging to the Five Eyes or 14 Eyes collective. The Five Eyes is an agreement between the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada that lets each share intelligence information between the others, including internet activity. 

In recent years Denmark, France, Holland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Spain have joined the agreement, hence the 14 Eyes. It’s a strange bit of terminology that pops up a lot in VPN literature. 

VPNs based in countries outside of the 14 Eyes are not obliged to share information, so may be a better choice for you if data privacy is your primary concern. That said, if a VPN provider is based on one of the 14 Eyes but has a no-log policy, your browsing will likely be just as private as the company will have none of your data to share. 

Credit: Illustration 102840724 © Adonis1969 - Dreamstime.com

The 5 Best VPNs for Australia and New Zealand

Each of our five top VPNs work across Windows, Mac, Android and iOS and you have to install the application on each device and log in with your user account details. 

We’ve listed the prices here in USD$. This is because most of the VPN providers list their prices in USD$ globally.

Nord VPN

Credit: NordVPN
  • Based in Panama
  • 5,000+ servers in 60 countries
  • $11.95 per month
  • 1 year at $6.99 per month
  • 2 years at $4.99 per month
  • 3 years at $3.49 per month
  • Up to 6 devices at the same time
  • Sign up here

Nord is one of the most popular VPNs for a reason – it is one of the most seamless, smooth VPN services to use. The apps on every platform are excellent, with strong connections that don’t slow down browsing noticeably while also allowing for stable connections to streaming services in many countries. It has the most server locations of all five VPNs we tested, too.

We like its Double VPN feature that routes your traffic through an extra VPN for added security.

Its features and reliability are practically the same as ExpressVPN and we recommend them both – though Nord might win out for you as it is cheaper at every pricing tier and lets you use six devices concurrently to ExpressVPN’s five.

You can check out a full review of Nord VPN here.

Express VPN

Credit: ExpressVPN
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • $12.95 per month
  • 6 months at $9.99 per month
  • 1 year at $8.32 per month
  • Up to 5 devices at a time
  • Sign up here

ExpressVPN is an excellent all-round service. It works very fast, and connections to servers is strong. It is particularly consistent at allowing access to geo-restricted streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO and NBC. It also lets you access Facebook from countries that have banned it, though the Chinese government often cracks down on VPNs and blocks their functionality. 

It has a kill switch feature that halts all traffic if your connection drops, an online safety measure that we really like as it is privacy minded. It also works on Windows Vista, XP, 7 and 8 if you don’t use Windows 10 (though you really should). It is quite expensive, but you get a fully featured product for your money.

You can read a full review of ExpressVPN by clicking here.

Surfshark

Credit: Surfshark
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • 800+ servers in 53 countries
  • $11.95 per month
  • 1 year at $5.99 per month
  • 2 years at $1.99 per month
  • Unlimited devices at a time
  • Sign up here

Surfshark offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee on any of its plans and its one-year plan is the cheapest deal on this list. Its mobile app has a great feature called CleanWeb that when toggled on lets you browse the web with no ads and blocks trackers and phishing attempts.

Accessing blocked content works well and its Multi-Hop two VPN connection option adds an extra layer of security. We had trouble connecting to Netflix US on mobile, but it worked with other connections and every time on PC and Mac.

Surfshark’s killer feature is that it allows unlimited connections, so you can always stay logged in on all your devices.

You can read a full review of Surfshark here.

CyberGhost

Credit: CyberGhost
  • Based in Romania
  • 5,000+ servers in 90 countries
  • $12.99 per month
  • 1 year at $5.49 per month
  • 2 years at $3.69 per month
  • 3 years at $2.75 per month
  • Up to 7 devices at a time
  • Sign up now

CyberGhost is a well-known VPN that has reliable connectivity to match. Its apps are well designed and have a handy tab that sorts by streaming service rather than just countries. It is well priced too, with its three-year deal fully refundable within 45 days if you’re not satisfied with the service.

Something that might irk you: in our testing, CyberGhost only worked on desktop when trying to stream Netflix US. With the app running with a US connection on Android and iOS, Netflix wouldn’t even load, citing an error. We saw similar errors when trying to open other geo-locked streaming apps. You’ll want to opt for another VPN brand if video streaming on a tablet or phone is important to you.

You can read a full review of Cyberghost here.

Tunnelbear

tunnelbear-mac-icon-100749594-orig.jpgCredit: TunnelBear
tunnelbear-mac-icon-100749594-orig.jpg
  • Based in Toronto
  • 20+ servers in 22 countries
  • $9.99 per month
  • 1 year at $4.99 per month
  • Up to 5 devices at a time
  • Sign up now

Tunnelbear is the simplest VPN we tested, but mostly in a good way. It has simple pricing and a no-nonsense website and set up that are more inviting than the other slightly techie VPNs (the bear mascot helps). If all you want is an on/off switch for internet privacy, it is a good choice. It also offers a free option of 500MB per month, available with no credit card details required. 

That’s great if you need a VPN occasionally to browse open public Wi-Fi safely or don’t use much mobile data and always want to be fully secure. But a big mark against Tunnelbear is its difficulties in streaming Netflix US and other geo-locked video sites, and server connections are a little slow. It also has the fewest server locations of the five VPNs we tested. It is based in Canada, so is part of the Five Eyes but does claim a no-log policy. 

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Tags VPNsBest VPNs 2019Best VPNs AustraliaBest VPNs New ZealandTop VPNsBest VPNs

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By Henry Burrell

PC World
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