The best VPN for streaming in Australia

Streaming geoblocked content in Australia can be as easy as choosing the right VPN.

Best VPN for streaming
Windscribe
Windscribe
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
US$5.75
/mo
US speeds
Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)
UK speeds
Fast (BBC iPlayer)
AU speeds
Fast (Kayo, Stan)
Best cheap VPN for streaming
Privado VPN
PrivadoVPN
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
US$4.99
/mo
US speeds
Fast (HBO, Hulu); Varies (Netflix)
UK speeds
Fast (BBC iPlayer)
AU speeds
Fast (Stan)
VPN with the best reputation
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
US$12.95
/mo
US speeds
Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)
UK speeds
Fast (BBC iPlayer)
AU speeds
Fast (Stan); Moderate (Kayo)
Best streaming VPN for versatility
Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
AU$11.99
/mo
US speeds
Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)
UK speeds
Fast (BBC iPlayer)
AU speeds
Fast (Stan)
Best VPN deal for streaming
ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
US$4.99
/mo
US speeds
Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)
UK speeds
Moderate (BBC iPlayer)
AU speeds
Fast (Stan)
September 06, 2022
5 min read

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There are many uses for a virtual private network (VPN). Security and privacy are primary functions. Finding cheaper deals overseas. Accessing corporate or university websites. And then there’s streaming video content that’s typically geoblocked.

While NordVPN and ExpressVPN fight it out as the top two VPN contenders as far as our reviews are concerned (we’ve reviewed 15 VPNs), Windscribe comes out on top as the best choice for streaming, with speedy results across US, UK and Australian services. Using a VPN for streaming unlocks new overseas content or allows you to stream Australian content when you’re out of the country.

Compare the best VPNs for streaming
Best for (streaming)
VPN
US buffering speeds
UK buffering speeds
AU buffering speed
Cheapest subscription price
See full features
Best VPN for streaming
WindscribeWindscribe
Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)Fast (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Kayo, Stan)US$5.75/mth
Best cheap VPN for streamingFast (HBO, Hulu); Varies (Netflix)Fast (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Stan)US$4.99/mth
Best VPN reputationFast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)Fast (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Stan); Moderate (Kayo)US$8.32/mth
Best VPN versatilityFast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)Fast (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Stan)AU$11.99/mth
Best VPN dealFast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)Moderate (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Stan)US$4.99/mth
Best rated VPN (overall)Fast (Netflix, HBO, Hulu)Fast (BBC iPlayer)Fast (Stan)US$3.99/mth (initial pricing)

Data effective 26/5/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

1. Windscribe

Best VPN for streaming in Australia

Windscribe
Windscribe VPN
Our VPN scribe takes some of the wind out of the sails of an inconsistent but occasionally impressive service.
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Servers
7,900
Locations
170+
Connections
Unlimited
Speeds
Fast
Starts at
US$9
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Streaming powerhouse
pro Unlimited simultaneous connections
pro Free version available
con
Cons
con Limited servers
con Inconsistent international speeds
con Disconnection/reconnection delays

Windscribe has its fair share of VPN foibles, but streaming isn’t one of those. Assuming your internet connection is fast enough—we recommend NBN 50 as a minimum for seamless VPN streaming—Windscribe was quick to load libraries and fast to buffer for popular US streaming services, including American Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu. While you can expect a bigger speed hit when connecting to UK servers (true of any VPN), Windscribe was still fast to stream BBC iPlayer content. Similarly, for those who use a VPN all the time or are looking to access Australian content while travelling, Windscribe tackled Stan and Kayo with ease, the latter of which is particularly adept at sniffing out VPNs.

For an alternative, consider ExpressVPN (more on that below) or Surfshark if you’d like unlimited simultaneous connections (like Windscribe).

Data effective 26/5/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

2. PrivadoVPN

Best cheap VPN for streaming

Privado VPN
PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN is a newer VPN that may appeal because of a viable free version and cheap monthly pricing.
3 out of 5 stars
3
Servers
60+
Locations
47 countries
Connections
10
Speeds
Moderate
Starts at
US$4.99
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Fast streaming for most services
pro Cheap monthly pricing
pro 10 simultaneous connections
con
Cons
con Inconsistent Netflix US results
con Doesn’t unblock Kayo content
con Low server, country, location counts

Full disclosure: if you’re willing to pay for two years upfront, you can get better overall pricing from Proton VPN, which we rate higher than PrivadoVPN. That said, PrivadoVPN has the cheapest monthly pricing for those who don’t want to pay a lot up front, and the lowest annual pricing if you pay for a year in advance. While Netflix US results varied in our tests, PrivadoVPN was fast at buffering content on HBO Max, Hulu and Peacock. BBC iPlayer was similarly fast on a UK server, while Stan was equally speedy when connected to a PrivadoVPN Australian server. PrivadoVPN wasn’t able to bypass Kayo’s anti-VPN countermeasures, though.

For alternatives, you’ll have to buy two years upfront from Proton VPN for comparable monthly pricing. Alternatively, PureVPN and Private Internet Access VPN also offer 10 simultaneous connections (though their streaming results weren’t as impressive).

3. ExpressVPN

The VPN with the best reputation

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is easily one of the best and most powerful VPN clients around.
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Servers
3,000+
Locations
160
Connections
5
Speeds
Fast
Starts at
US$12.95
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Works with all tested streaming services
pro Very easy to use
pro Lots of server locations
con
Cons
con Moderate Kayo buffering speeds
con Restrictive five simultaneous connections
con Comparatively pricey

According to Australian user-review website Trustpilot, ExpressVPN has a 4.7 out of 5 rating after 11,000 reviews. More than 9,000 of those reviews are five-star scores (85%), too. From a streaming perspective, it’s easy to see why ExpressVPN is so popular. ExpressVPN unblocked every service we tested it with, with the only proviso being that Kayo had moderate buffering speeds. That’s still impressive, though, particularly because only Windscribe and PureVPN were able to bypass Kayo’s VPN countermeasures in our tests (and Kayo had slow buffering with PureVPN). ExpressVPN is held back by five simultaneous connections, but it’s an easy-to-use streaming companion with lots of server locations.

For alternatives, consider Hotspot Shield (more on that VPN below) or TunnelBear if you only want to stream US and UK services.

4. Hotspot Shield

Best streaming VPN for versatility

Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield
The need for VPN speed does indeed start with Hotspot Shield.
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Servers
1,800+
Locations
99
Connections
5
Speeds
Very Fast
Starts at
US$19.99
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Works with most streaming services
pro Fast connection speeds
pro Very easy to use
con
Cons
con Moderate Peacock buffering speeds
con Doesn’t unblock Kayo content
con Comparatively pricey

Hotspot Shield may not have scored as highly as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but it’s still the VPN service I use the most every week. Why? It’s incredibly easy to use, boasts very speedy servers, and does a great job at bypassing geoblocks (US services in particular). Admittedly, Peacock only has moderate buffering speeds and Kayo stops Hotspot Shield from bypassing its VPN blocks. Fast speeds for streaming, though, mean fast speeds for downloading, and Hotspot Shield has such a minimal impact when using Australian servers that you’ll likely forget it’s on. While the main Hotspot Shield subscription only has five simultaneous connections, the Hotspot Shield Premium Family plan covers up to 25 (even if it’s not particularly cheap).

For speedy alternatives that are equally easy to use and have great advanced features, go with NordVPN or ExpressVPN.

5. ProtonVPN

Best VPN deal for streaming

ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN is a great way to ease into the potentially overwhelming world of VPNs.
4 out of 5 stars
4
Servers
1,600+
Locations
89
Connections
10
Speeds
Moderate
Starts at
US$10
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Great two-year deal
pro Fast US streaming
pro Speedy connection/disconnection
con
Cons
con Moderate speed UK streaming
con Doesn’t unblock Kayo content
con Not the fastest speeds

The great thing about ProtonVPN is it has a free version to take for a spin so you can get a feel for it. That won’t offer the best streaming results, though, so we’d advise taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee on a premium plan. Of those, there’s a two-year deal that works out to be around US$80 cheaper than a similar biennial plan from NordVPN. In terms of streaming, Proton VPN offers speedy buffering for all of the US services we tested as well as Stan in Australia. Unfortunately, it couldn’t get past Kayo’s VPN block, and UK tests reaped moderate-speed buffering results.

For a cheap alternative with similar performance, consider PrivadoVPN.

5. NordVPN

Top-rated VPN (overall)

Nord VPN
NordVPN
A VPN that's built for first-time users and experienced users alike.
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Servers
5,500+
Locations
83
Connections
6
Speeds
Fast
Starts at
US$11.99
/mo
pro
Pros
pro Great streaming companion
pro Fast connection time and speeds
pro Good balance of server locations
con
Cons
con Doesn’t unblock Kayo content
con Six simultaneous connections
con Some Windows app quirks

NordVPN is our pick for the best overall VPN. This includes everything from overall value, server locations, connection speed, security and anonymity, and advanced features. There’s a reason that more than 14 million people use NordVPN around the globe. You can also get comparable first-year pricing or cheaper biennial pricing with NordVPN, though the price goes up after those initial long-term periods. Regardless of whatever you pay for NordVPN, it had fast buffering speeds for almost every test service we threw at it. The only exception is Kayo, but that’s not surprising given the popularity of NordVPN and the diligence of Kayo at blocking VPNs.

For a similarly rated contender, consider ExpressVPN.

What to look for in a VPN for streaming

When you’re shopping around for a streaming VPN, it really matters to pick which services you want to stream. If you’re only interested in a particular geoblocked streaming service or a selection from a particular country, you’ll have more options. For those after a more versatile streaming solution, we’d advise going with Windscribe or ExpressVPN.

Use the selections highlighted above as a general guide for accessing content in the US, UK and for Australian services. The latter streaming services will be of interest to expat Aussies or those travelling as it’s a great way to keep up with content back home by connecting to an Australian server. Note that Kayo is very, very good at blocking VPN workarounds.

Once you’ve determined what you want to stream, focus on cost. Generally, you can expect to pay in US dollars for most VPN services, plus they work out cheaper per month if you buy a longer subscription. Use the ranking below as a guide to the most versatile VPNs that we’ve reviewed when it comes to streaming:

  1. Windscribe
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. NordVPN
  4. Hotspot Shield
  5. Proton VPN
  6. PrivadoVPN
  7. PureVPN
  8. Private Internet Access
  9. VPN Unlimited
  10. Surfshark VPN
  11. TunnelBear
  12. Norton Secure VPN
  13. CyberGhost VPN
  14. IPVanish
  15. Mullvad VPN

How we choose the best streaming VPNs

We take a range of factors into account when reviewing a VPN for everyday use. But when it comes to streaming, there are some very focused considerations. For starters, we like a VPN that’s easy to use and has a good selection of platform compatibility.

Most important of all is that a VPN works with common international streaming services, ideally with the default servers per country so you don’t have to click around to find one that works. For testing US streaming services, we connect to the closest US VPN server to test streaming from HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock and the Netflix US library.

For UK testing, we connect to a UK VPN server and see whether it’s possible to access BBC iPlayer, plus how long it takes to load the library and buffer content (true of all services). For Australian services, we connect to an Australian VPN server to test Kayo and Stan, including Stan Sport. Other factors we consider for a great streaming VPN are cost, deals for longer subscriptions, overall versatility, as well as overall rating (our own and user scores).

Frequently asked questions about streaming with a VPN

Here are some of the most common questions readers have about using a VPN for streaming in Australia.
Netflix does allow for VPN use, but if it detects your VPN, the content will be limited to TV shows and movies that have global rights. Using a VPN to bypass this feature may be a violation of user terms and conditions.

Assuming you have a fast enough internet connection to handle the inherent speed drop of using a VPN server, certain VPNs are great for streaming. Consider Windscribe, ExpressVPN and NordVPN as the top three according to our tests.

Some free VPNs may allow for streaming, but free VPNs usually have speed or data restrictions so they’re not the best fit. Free VPNs also tend to have limited server locations, so you might not even be able to access the region you want for streaming geoblocked content.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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