Australia is a “late bloomer” in terms of internet freedom, and its situation today can be best summed up as subject to change. While you can get along relatively well with Australian content nowadays, the 21st century has brought sanctioning for the worse, unfortunately. A number of blocks mostly related to content based on age restrictions exist. Australian officials are quite sensitive in these matters. So much so that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is in charge of enforcing internet law and maintaining the country’s blacklist, while similarly managing telecommunications, radio and broadcasting. Therefore Australian internet freedom is increasingly regulated by a governmental organization.
Best VPN Services for Australia of 2018
Using an Australian IP
A lot of stereotypes exist about Australia; the country is often pictured as a distant land, full of dangerous animals and a desert. But in fact, Australia is a vast continent with a great variety of life not found elsewhere. Sadly, this uniqueness also resounds on the internet. For general information and more common topics, you can of course get the same great access as any European country. Australia predominantly uses IPv4 protocols at the moment. However, following the global trend, the newer and safer IPv6 is also gaining ground. Connecting to the internet with an Australian IP address can be troublesome, especially if you live on another continent. Great distances can slow down your otherwise good connection speeds. Therefore, we recommend utilizing a VPN service for this goal, as this area of internet business remains one of the few that is barely sanctioned in the country.
Australian Online Privacy Laws
The legal framework for Australian online content is categorized into age restriction groups. According to the 2007 edition of the Broadcasting Services Act, three major groups are identified: R18+ for adult content, MA 15+ which must be paid to view, and other. Both the R18+ content and the MA 15+ are regulated by an Ave Verification System, requiring you to verify your birth date before viewing the content. Serious steps are taken against activities that the Australian government identifies as “copyright infringement”. The corresponding 2015 law essentially gives permission for ISPs to block websites that they think violate copyright via court orders. Australians are already using VPN services to bypass these restrictions.
Internet Censorship in Australia
As it is perhaps apparent from the above mentions in this article, there is quite the number of cases in Australia for censorship. To give you an overview of the situation, we would like to inform you that child pornography material classified as “hardcore pornography” are blocked in Australia. Furthermore, the MA 15+ rating extends to films, too, ranging from comedy to action films and dramas. To give you a place of reference, the film Django Unchained is rated MA 15+, for example. This means that the movie can only be viewed by regular means if you pay an additional sum of money. This clearly means that online distribution of films in Australia is seen as a source of profit by the government and the reason behind at least the MA 15+ blocks has less to do with cultural and/or ethical stance. Overall, the many websites blocked or restricted in Australia remains a controversial topic, as today they can easily be outmaneuvered by using a VPN service.
Streaming Services in Australia
The availability of different streaming services in Australia is good. For one, there is Pandora, which is only within reach for the US, the Aussies and New Zealand. Spotify is also available, and so are Google Play Music and Apple Music. Amazon Prime however, is not available. Despite Australia being a Commonwealth country, it does not gain any advantage in terms of UK internet content. SoundCloud is doable for sure though, and so is Bandcamp. For television and film, Netflix Australia is one possible choice to turn to since the service is available in the land of the kangaroo. Partly because of its young existence there and a vast number of other reasons, Netflix in Australia offers a much more limited choice of series and movies to watch. Popcorn Time is a free streaming service in this regard, while Hulu is restricted to the US only. The same fate is met in the case of BBC iPlayer, as UK content isn’t more available here than in countries outside the Commonwealth.
Free Australian VPN Trials
There are three VPN services that suit Australian connections the best. There is a trend of increasing restrictions and censorship in the country and a VPN service is the safest way of bypassing this problem for all your internet needs. First, to start with a bang, IPVanish is one of the best on the market today with an ever-expanding number of IPs in Australia and elsewhere across the world. For low prices you get such a complete service with steady and speedy connections which are only matched by a few. For a perhaps even better offer as far as payments go, HideMyAss is another top player. With a 30-day no-risk trial and money back policy on top of that, you have plenty of time to test out the many facets of this great provider. And finally, we advise you to check out Romania’s HideIPVPN. With a favorable legal background for VPN, this service is highly competent and even offers a smart DNS branch implemented into every paid package of theirs. If you are interested in unblocking as much content as possible, HideIPVPN is a good choice.