30 January 2015
New CHOICE research reveals which Virtual Private Network (VPN) services offer the best privacy protection for internet browsing while also opening up a world of new products and services.
"Businesses use all sorts of tricks to try to keep Australian consumers out of overseas stores. A VPN unlocks a world of options and savings," says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.
"VPNs have a range of uses. They can help you secure your internet connection and hide the data you send and receive online. This helps you keep your personal information private."
CHOICE tested 12 of the most popular paid VPN services, ranking them based on their ease of use and performance. HideMyAss, PureVPN and VyprVPN came out on top.
CHOICE says a reliable VPN service can:
- Protect people from identity theft when using risky public networks, like unsecured café Wi-Fi.
- Open up opportunities for savvy consumers to seek out better shopping deals from international retailers.
- Give TV lovers the ability to access streamed content from overseas that is blocked for Australian viewers.
"Consumers shouldn't be locked in to a bad deal just because they live in Australia," Mr Godfrey says.
"Australian consumers want to be able to purchase things at a reasonable price, and access the products that are available in other countries. Using a VPN service is like being given the keys to the global marketplace, with all of its competitive benefits."
"With the launch of new streaming services and a falling dollar, we are starting to see more affordable streaming and video on demand services in Australia. This is a great win for consumers. However, people don't need to be locked in to local options if it doesn't suit them. There's a global marketplace available with the help of VPNs."
"Some content in Australia is available, but at uncompetitive prices compared to overseas. The award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart can be watched in Australia if you have a Foxtel Play subscription, costing a minimum of $45 for one month, or you can purchase individual episodes on iTunes for $2.99 each."
"With a VPN, consumers can legally access this content online for free with advertisements. Ultimately this about increasing choices for people looking to be safe online and consumer legitimate content."
Read the full paid report VPN service reviews
The Daily Show is screened on the Comedy Channel, only available with the Premium Movies & Drama Premium Pick. iTunes prices: https://itunes.apple.com/au/tv-season/daily-show-jon-stewart/id129455338 US consumers can watch the Daily Show for free online at http://thedailyshow.cc.com/full-episodes
 Foxtel Play price based on minimum 'Single Genre Based Pick plus Premium Movies & Drama': https://www.foxtel.com.au/foxtelplay/build/package?execution=e2s1.