The Five Best VPNs For 2018

If there's one basic, essential security feature that you should be using whenever you're online - it's a VPN. In 2017, we rounded up the best five but as our desire for increased privacy and unrestricted access on the internet grows, so do the amount of providers. It can be hard to sift through them all to find what the service you're looking for.

So we've taken a look at the best VPNs for Australians over the year and for the upcoming year.

ExpressVPN

Best Australian VPNs


    At a glance:

  • Monthly Subscription: ~$17
  • Yearly Subscription: ~$130 ($8.32/month)
  • Ultrafast servers in 94 countries
  • Can you access US Netflix?: Yes

ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPNs available, though for good reason. Their support and customer service is stellar, with direct support email addresses listed on their website, quick response times and a 24/7 live chat. It supports an extensive range of devices -- Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV and routers. Each one of these has an easy set up guide on ExpressVPN's website.

It's also one of the few VPNs that has had little trouble with Netflix. While some servers have been blocked by Netflix, the support staff in the website's live chat are able to tell you which server to connect to. The PC and mobile apps offer region switching in order to access different countries' Netflix libraries.

I contacted ExpressVPN via their website’s live chat service and asked how they tackle the problem of Netflix hunting down and blocking VPNs. They responded immediately with this:

We are aware of the statement that Netflix put out regarding VPN providers. We have not been affected, and ExpressVPN continues to allow access to US Netflix library. While we are unsure of what future steps Netflix may take, rest assured that our engineers work around the clock to continue to provide you with the best VPN experience. In case you should ever encounter difficulties in watching Netflix, you may contact us back for assistance :)

Express keeps no logs and its clients do include a kill switch. Despite a high monthly price, ExpressVPN offers a discount on their annual subscription, and comes with a 30-day no-risk money back guarantee. Definitely one of the most highly recommended.


PureVPN


PureVPN benefits from having an easy-to-use desktop client, Firefox and Chrome integration, super-competitive pricing and blazing fast speeds. It's constantly ranked as one of the speediest VPNs available and if you're a heavy downloader, this will be the VPN you're after because download speeds don't take a hit at all - in fact, they often improve.

Some PureVPN users report that access to US Netflix is spotty at best, although PureVPN claim that they are the best VPN to access the site. Ever since Netflix's crackdown on VPNs last year, it's been a little more difficult to get around that geoblock.

However, PureVPN do have a seven day money back guarantee, so you can give them a whirl and if they aren't providing you with the content you're after, you'll still be getting incredibly fast speeds.


VanishedVPN

    At a glance:

  • Monthly Subscription: $11.99
  • Yearly Subscription: $99.95 ($8.53/month)
  • Australian-based
  • Can you access US Netflix?: Yes


Compared to other services, VanishedVPN has two strengths:

1. They're based in Geelong, Victoria so their local support is great
2. They are cheaper when compared to similar services like ExpressVPN and NordVPN because they operate in AUD

Those two points alone are good enough reason to take a look at VanishedVPN, but the core tenet of what makes them great is that they want to ensure Australians can access the content from around the world that they want to. They have an extensive set-up guide section on their site which will guide you through the process of using their VPN on devices from Windows through to Playstations and routers. The process isn't necessarily fast, but the guide is well put together and will have you up and running in no time.

VanishedVPN are constantly working to improve their service for Australian consumers. They proudly state on their website that when Telstra was throttling Netflix during peak hours they established a work-around within one. This is the real advantage of using their VPN in Australia - the knowledge that they are constantly trying to better the service on home turf.


NordVPN

Best Australian VPNs
    At a glance:

  • Monthly Subscription: ~$16
  • Yearly Subscription: ~$90 (~$7.50/month)
  • Two Year Plan: ~$104 (~$4.30/month)
  • Three Year Plan: ~$130 (~$3.60/month)
  • 2479 servers, 56 countries
  • Can you access US Netflix?: Yes


NordVPN is another decently cheap option with good flexibility. It has a standard price of $48 for an annual subscription, though a current offer has the same for $36 at the time being. It offers a wide range of compatibility for a whole bunch of different devices and operating systems.

Although NordVPN isn't quite as fast as other options in Australia, it comes loaded with a bunch of features, including a kill switch. Its support service features 24/7 live chat, a direct email contact for support questions and provides a 30-day money back guarantee if you're unsatisfied with the service.

NordVPN currently works with Netflix services around the world, depending on the servers you are using. To stay up to date with the latest from Nord, make sure to visit their troubleshooting pages. If you run into a geoblock, this should help iron out any issues.


Private Internet Access

    At a glance:

  • Monthly Subscription: ~$9
  • Yearly Subscription: ~$52 (~$4.34/month)
  • 2-Yearly Subscription: ~$92 (~$3.80/month)
  • 3120 servers in 25 countries
  • Can you access US Netflix?: No

Private Internet Access (PIA) is heralded as one of the best VPNs you can buy. It's cheap, has an instant setup and a minimalist, simple UI that's as easy to use as any on this list. They also keep no logs, so you can feel safe and secure in the knowledge that your internet activity is anonymous. Although they don't quite have the round the clock support like other VPN providers might, they do have neat video tutorials that should get you up and going in minutes.

One negative is that PIA access to Netflix is not possible. Netflix blocked out PIA when they cracked down on VPNs and PIA haven't made any effort to rectify this. Largely, that's because PIA are security-focused and less concerned with geoblocks, as is evidenced by the extensive functionality of their VPN.

Weirdly enough, you can pay for your subscription with gift cards - though this feature may not be available to Australians.


Are there any VPNs that we missed out on that you're using everyday? Have you had a good (or terrible) experience with any of the above? Let us know in the comments.

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Comments

    Might want to disable comments on this. It's just gonna be flooded with fake accounts plugging shitty vpns with their referral link and even more terrible VPN ranking sites.

    I've been using CyberGhost for about two years and I find it to be pretty good. They're based in Romania, they keep no logs and they're reasonably priced. I've used their Android and Windows apps and they are great. I've also got a Rasberry Pi set up as a torrent box and I run CyberGhost on it (manual configuration from their website) and it runs like a charm. They've got their own data centres running NoSpy servers that guarantee no spying from the NSA.

    I have been using ExpressVPN for a long now. Earlier I've also used PureVPN and NordVPN but ExpressVPN is by far the most satisfying. It's good and very compiling list thanks for sharing it Ryan. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays :D

    I use PIA, and have had no complaints.

    Strangely enough, my ADSL+ speeds were faster through PIA, than otherwise.

    On the NBN, there is no change in speed.

    I have been using Nord VPN for the past 8 months and it is working pretty great. It deserved to be in the list.

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