As an Australian, you might be wondering if you need it. Read ahead to find out why.
Is A VPN Necessary in Australia?
Wherever you live, using a VPN is useful. It completely safeguards your privacy. In some countries, this is vital as they may actively monitor you.
The Australian government does not do this, for the most part. ISPs are ordered to provide authorities with your metadata, which includes basic information like your location.
They are supposed to hold it for 2 years so that the relevant authorities can access it without a warrant.
That being said, these claims are not completely accurate. There have been reports of them providing the authorities with user web history.
Telecommunication services are handing over information like web history because the law is very grey. They aren’t wrong; the Attorney General, George Brandis, once struggled to explain whether URLs were supposed to be passed when metadata was asked to be handed over.
What’s more, cyber-attacks have been on the rise. They are especially common in more developed countries, like Australia.
A VPN would encrypt your connection so that no one would know what you’re up to. Your IP address would be concealed as well, keeping you out of harm’s way.
You’ll also be able to bypass blocks. The Australian government not only collects metadata, but they keep increasing the number of piracy sites blocked. A federal court judge recently ordered that over 80 websites be banned by internet service providers. A lot of the sites blacklisted are major names that you probably use, like Piratebay.
How Do I Get an Australian VPN?
Getting a VPN in Australia is not hard. There are a plethora of options available. However, there are no real Australian VPNs. You can make use of any of the available, connecting to a server in any part of the country. This would keep your IP in Australia while safeguarding you.
As mentioned, the number of VPNs that let you do this are immense. That’s why you should avoid free ones. They have to make their money somewhere, and many are known to sell information to third parties.
Free virtual private networks also don’t protect you as well. They use weak encryptions, and any trained hacker would be able to bypass their locks. You might also suffer a similar experience with one that’s paid. That being said, it would probably be one that’s quite affordable.
When picking a virtual private network, what do you look for?
There is a range of locks available. You are in the best hands if the company you’re working with offers a military level one. This would most likely be 256-bit. The only people that have the key to deciphering your data is your computer and the server you’re being bounced to.
Good Server Selection
You’ll be connected to whatever server you want. The best VPNs would have servers in a wide range of locations. This doesn’t mean that they should have too many, just a variety.
To ensure that they don’t track what you do, they need to offer a no-logging policy. Although the VPN you’re working with may offer one, it sadly may not honour it. That’s why you should do your research before picking one. Industry giants like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are known to have the strictest policies, which they adhere to.
At some point, you might have trouble with your virtual private network. If you’re smart, you would have worked with one that had great customer support. Once again, a little research would help you achieve this. By going through forums, you can see what others have said about their customer reps.
You don’t need to be well-versed in VPNs to have heard about Nord before. They’re famous, so you might have thought about working with them. However, they have been hacked in the past. They claim that were infiltrated because the hacked server was being rented out. You want your data in the best hands, so someone with a squeaky-clean track record is needed.
Now that you know everything you need to look for, you might be wondering how to choose the best. We recommend searching for major names like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and IPVanish. Once you visit the site, you’ll have to click something similar to a ‘Start Now’ button. You’ll be met with the packages available. You’ll also have to create an account. With that done, the program would download.
You can get hold of a VPN on a handheld device too. You’ll most likely be met with the most options on the Google Play Store.
Is VPN Illegal in Australia in 2020?
Considering how the programs work, it’s no surprise that you could get into trouble using one of these.
Thankfully, virtual private networks are not illegal in Australia.
The Copyright Act on the Prime Minister’s site specifically states that VPNs will not get you in trouble.
However, this is only the case with the Australian government. As mentioned earlier, virtual private networks let you access sites that are not available in your country. Some of these sites may not have been blocked by your government, but they may have geo-blocked you themselves. Streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix are well-known for doing this. A VPN would let you connect to a location where they are available so that you can overcome this problem.
There are two available down-under. That being said, you’re not getting a library that is as extensive as the US’. America is known to have the widest selection of shows. If you bounce your IP to a location in the States, you’ll be able to make use of this. But if Netflix catches you, you might find that your account has been banned. Thankfully, the best VPNs would never allow this to take place.
Do I Need A VPN At Home?
Considering that Australian ISPs collect metadata wherever you may be, you need to safeguard yourself at home. You could also click on a risky site, sending them your IP. If you were connected to a private network, they’d get the wrong address.
Once you sign up for a virtual private network, you’ll be able to connect many accounts to it. A lot of the time, it’s 5 or more. When you’re not at home, this is great. That’s because you might be using public Wi-Fi. It’s one of the worst things you could do. Someone could easily infiltrate the data that’s passing through. As your VPN encrypts your data, you will not have to worry about this.
What Are the Advantages Of VPN?
To being with, you’ll be able to use any streaming service you like. If you’re from Asia, you’d most likely not have access to Disney+. With a VPN, you’d be able to connect to a server in a location that it’s available in. Similarly, you’d be able to access other country’s video library. The hit FX series, American Horror Story, is known to not be available down under. By connecting to a location in the United States, you’d be able to watch the show as it has the largest Netflix library around.
Another one of the biggest advantages of using a VPN is that you won’t be censored. Unfortunately, some countries restrict everyday sites for their citizens. It’s widely known that apps like Facebook and Twitter are barred in China. Heavy-duty virtual private networks like ExpressVPN would let them bypass this. Sadly, the Chinese government has been cracking down hard on the programs. But more thorough services are still standing.
Of course, you’ll be able to safeguard yourself online. As your IP address is protected, you’ll never fall victim to IP grabbers. Your data is encrypted and this would not let hackers know what you’re up to either. This is useful as public Wi-Fi tends to be weak, and your connection can be easily tapped into.
You would never be a victim to state monitoring either. Your data is not sent back to your ISP, so they won’t know what you’re up to. Although they are only supposed to track metadata like your location, telecommunication providers in Australia have handed over web history to the authorities, which is very worrying.
What Are The Disadvantages Of a VPN?
When it comes to these services, there aren’t too many disadvantages. You will only have a bad experience if you use a VPN that is super affordable or free.
If it is one of the two, it probably wouldn’t honour its no-log policy, or even have one. Your data would be sold to third-parties, without a doubt. They’d use this information to bombard you with specific ads, and you won’t be safe.
If not for this, their program may be full of ads. Not only would this be annoying, but they could be malicious, and harm your device.
Free VPNs are not known to offer the best encryptions. You might think you’re safe, and visit risky sites. Doing so would seal your faith as you could easily click an IP grabber.
They most likely won’t have a good server pool. You may want to access the Netflix library in the states. Using free VPNs would not make this possible. They all share the same servers, which Netflix has black-listed. You’ll also get in trouble if you use a free one to access sites in China.
As mentioned, you should watch out for certain paid VPNs too. Hola VPN is notorious for being bad – their privacy terms are terrible. And yes, they are affordable.
Using a more expensive VPN comes with certain drawbacks too. They’ll slow down your internet. Keep in mind that your data isn’t sent to your ISP. It’s encrypted and tunneled elsewhere, so this is to be expected. Thankfully, the best private networks make this the least obvious.
Even if you’re using a trustworthy, fast VPN, your connection may occasionally break. This would send your data back to your internet service provider. It would also show streaming platforms that you’re trying to overcome their geo-blocks. To avoid this, you need to work with a company that offers a kill-switch. It would automatically send you offline if your VPN stops working.
Can You Be Tracked If You Use a VPN?
If military-level encryption is in place, it would be very hard for you to be tracked. That’s why we recommend that you use a program that’s not free or too affordable. Industry giants like ExpressVPN have the best locks.
Virtual private networks tunnel your data to their servers through protocols. There are many available and some are more secure than others. You can adjust which protocol you want to use in the program’s settings. If you make PPTP your protocol, you’d be trackable. It’s sadly not very secure. Make sure that it’s set to options like OpenVPN or SSTP.
Is Using VPN Dangerous?
If it’s not full of malicious ads, it should not be dangerous. In Australia, you won’t have an issue using them either, as they are completely legal.
VPNs are necessary if you live in Australia. The country’s data laws make metadata like your location mandatory to be collected. Although only basic information tends to be collected, several telecommunication services send user histories to the authorities. Many of them claim this is due to the greyness of the law. VPNs are also needed down-under as piracy sites are increasingly being blocked. The nation does not have the best Netflix library either, so being able to access America’s large library is useful.
Overall, VPNs come with a range of benefits, though there are some drawbacks too. However, the pros of using a virtual private network outweigh the cons. Your time online is encrypted and kept anonymous after all. Just make sure that you’re using a trusted private network.