Best VPN Services

Almost every part of every person’s life includes using the internet at some point, and the more we go on, the more this part grows. It is used for numerous purposes; users want to watch a new TV show or sporting event that isn’t broadcast in New Zealand.

There might be some websites that are blocked by the government, or you want your online ID to be safe and secure.

There is nothing wrong with a person wanting an extra layer of privacy, and the best ways of doing all of these are by using VPN’s.

ServiceBenefitsRatingPrice
Express VPN Review- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Fastest VPN
- Zero Logging
$11.50 NZD
Nord VPN review- Double Encryption
- Kill Switch
- No Logging
$8.00 NZD
IPVanish Review- 750+ VPN servers
- 256-bit AES encryption
$9.00 NZD
Cyberghost Review- Antifingerprinting System
- Unlimited Traffic
$8.10 NZD
Private Internet Access- Most Anonymous VPN Service$4.60 NZD

The VPN definition is a Virtual Private Network, and what is VPN service benefits in a quick summary, is to mask all your connection data, and thus make you invisible to any outside prying eyes.

These VPN blockers are super versatile and can quickly cover the above, and so much more. However, finding the right one to use in New Zealand can be harder than you first think.

Virtual Private Network for 2019

Here are the top picks should help to narrow down your choice, so you don’t spend countless hours researching the numerous options available.

What are the best vpn services for New Zealand?

We will give essential information and specs on each one. If you are thinking of signing up for a VPN service, and want to know which the best one to use in NZ is?

We’ll help you choose the right one with these VPN reviews, and avoid the ones might be dangerous to your identity.
With all this in mind, here are the top 5 VPN services for New Zealand users in 2018.


Express VPN Features1. Express VPN

Standout Features

  • Works on almost every device
  • Delivers the fastest VPN speeds
  • Best in class 24/7 live customer support
  • Uses its own Zero-knowledge DNS system on all servers
  • Continually accesses Netflix

ExpressVPN delivers outstanding performance in all areas. Their high-speed network is comprised of over 2,000 servers, which are based in 148 locations and found in 94 countries.

The services support a vast range of devices with client software that is easy to use straight out of the box, a VPN comparison between alternatives is, ExpressVPN supports more devices natively.

The most robust AES-256 encryption protocols are used that is the same as the FBI and CIA.

Tunnelling protocols used are OpenVPN, IPSec, and PPTP & L2TP. The company is also based in the British Virgin Islands so it is outside of any governing body.

The Netflix VPN continually works, and torrenting is allowed on many of the servers. Split tunnelling is also included so traffic can be routed through the VPN or via your ISP at the same time. The VPN is also highly robust and has the least amount of downtime in the industry.

User interfaces of the client software are industry leading and set the standards for ease of use without sacrificing features.

Pricing/ Subscription Options

All of the ExpressVPN plans are covered by their 30-day ‘No Hassle’ money back guarantee. This in effect gives a 1-month free trial to the service with no restrictions.

All major credit cards are accepted as well as PayPal, Bitcoin, UnionPay, and Alipay as well as many others.

Pros

  • Strict “No logging” policy
  • Highest levels of uptime
  • Kill Switch included
  • Based outside 14 eyes jurisdiction
  • Super-strong encryption
  • Allows Torrenting
  • Tor Compatibility
  • No DNS or IP leaks

Cons

  • Only 3 simultaneous connections
  • Can be expensive compared to some alternatives

IPVanish Features2. IPVanish

Standout Features

  • Delivers fast connection speeds
  • Zero traffic logs
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Vast server network (40,000+ shared IP addresses)

IPVanish is a US-based VPN provider, so it falls under the 5-eyes jurisdiction. They also claim to be the world’s fastest VPN service.

The company does claim a lot, and most are self-hype because they fail in specific departments.

The company has finally introduced a live chat option for their customer support, which it severely lacked before.

Torrenting is well supported, but Netflix access is still a significant issue. On some occasions, the streaming service can be accessed, but it is so unreliable it is more truthful to say it doesn’t work.

The service does offer plenty of platform support, however many don’t come with their own client apps, and only setup guides are provided.

One thing IPVanish does have over many other providers is they are a top-tier VPN service provider. This means they own and manage their own servers which is rare in the VPN industry.

User privacy is robust by the use of AES-256 encryption and protocol support comes via OpenVPN, SOCKS5, and others.

They also offer an ‘Obfuscate OpenVPN Traffic’ option which will reduce the VPN tunnel being detected in anti-VPN countries. A Kill Switch is provided on the desktop clients but is missing from their mobile apps.

Pricing/ Subscription Options

All major credit cards are accepted, and PayPal is the only other payment option available. The service also comes with a 7-day money back guarantee.

Pros

  • Allows torrenting
  • Fast download speeds
  • Decent working apps
  • Zero traffic logs
  • Bank-grade encryption (AES-256)
  • Free SOCKS5 Web Proxy

Cons

  • No compatibility with the TOR network
  • Mixed third-party reviews
  • Limited payment options
  • Average customer support

Cyberghost Features3. Cyberghost

Standout Features

  • Tor compatible
  • Works with Netflix
  • 3000+ servers
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Smart rules – user-defined privacy triggers

Cyberghost has released version 7 of their client apps, although there are still a few areas where things are amiss.

First, though, the company has increased its network over 150%. During testing, there were no DNS or IP address leaks which are down to their AES 256-bit encryption.

The client software on the desktop provides an easy to use interface. It is split into profiles where you select one for the activity you are going to perform.

The ad blocking feature was found not to work on HTTPS, and it is only available for Windows, Mac OS, and iOS.

Customer support is available via live chat, but at the time 24/7 wasn’t available. A company rep did say they were changing to this soon.

Data logging seems to be questionable because the company claims they are a strict zero-logging company, but they state in their privacy policy they use Mixpanel for anonymous statistical assessment, and another for troubleshooting.

CyberGhost does come with a unique streaming server that continually changes the IP address if Netflix tries to crack down.

This did work during testing, but only from the USA and Canada. Both the UK and Netherlands were blocked. For New Zealand users it could be potluck, and it might be a case of using the free 24-hours to see if it does work.

Pricing/ Subscription Options

CyberGhost offers a 24-hour free trial. When you sign up, you are presented with 2 different money-back guarantees.

For the 1-month package you get a 14-day money back guarantee, while if you sign up for the 6-month or 18-month option, you get a 45-day money back guarantee.

As you can see above, if you sign up for the 18-month package, this reverts back to a 12-month package after the first 18 month period has passed.

It means you get an extra 6-months free when signing up for the 12-month period.

Payments options include a few major credit cards, PayPal and also bitcoin. There is also a few third-party websites that are marketing lifetime subscriptions to CyberGhost, but there is no mention of this on their website.

Pros

  • Located outside the 14-eyes jurisdiction
  • Kill Switch
  • Allows torrenting
  • Live customer support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • Not the fastest download speeds
  • Limited to 3-hours per session
  • Dubious no logging claims
  • Adblocker doesn’t work on HTTPS
  • Owned by a company that is known for malware
  • The website uses session recording scripts (Hotjar)

NordVPN Features4. NordVPN

Standout Features

  • Works with Netflix
  • Kill Switch
  • DoubleVPN servers (double encryption)
  • 5000+ servers
  • SmartPlay technology – access restricted streaming content

NordVPN is a contender for the top spot of VPN services because it does do a lot of things right. It has an extensive network and also provides OpenVPN tunnelling protocols while using AES-256 bit encryption. Users can also opt for double data protection, but this impact speed quite a lot in use.

The VPN service comes with a raft of features such as a Kill Switch which can either close the app being used or terminate the entire system connection.

Native applications are available for all major platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, while there are tutorials available for connecting to many other devices such as routers and Raspberry Pis.

DNS leak protection is well catered for, and no leaks were found to test VPN security. The company is based in Panama which is well outside any 14-eyes/ 5-eyes jurisdiction, but the company does have connections with a USA based company. NordVPN does say this is only a collection service, but you never know.

The company does keep to a strict no log policy apart from service performance data, email address, and payment data. This is common among all VPN’s.

Torrenting is well catered for, and Netflix did work, but not on all of their servers. Since the last review, NordVPN’s network speeds have improved which is a blessing. They also cater well for their live 24/7 customer service they have just started to provide.

Pricing/ Subscription Options

Payment options are a few major credit cards, cryptocurrency payments, PayPal and a few other online VPN payment systems.

30-day money back guarantee is available on all packages, except it can take 30 days to receive a refund.

Pros

  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Kill Switch
  • A wide range of platform and device support
  • DNS leak protection
  • Located outside of the 14-eyes jurisdiction
  • Zero logging policy
  • Good for torrenting
  • Solid security with no leaks
  • 24/7 live chat

Cons

  • The company is not transparent – linked to a USA based company
  • Refund can take 30-days
  • Average US connection speeds

StrongVPN Features5. StrongVPN

Standout Features

  • Good connection speeds
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Best location feature
  • 59,500 VPN IP addresses
  • StrongDNS

StrongVPN is one of the oldest VPN providers going. However, they are still relatively unknown in some parts of the world.

Encryption is well taken care of with AES-256 bit encryption, and OpenVPN protocols are used as a standard as with other alternatives.

The user interface is still outdated and still needs work, but at present, they are still able to access Netflix. Customer service is continually improving and is fast and responsive with their 24/7 live chat help.

When you sign up, there is a separate StrongDNS service that is included, but this needs a separate login to use.

StrongVPN supports a wealth of devices, but the clients or features aren’t uniform across different devices.

An example being the Kill Switch not working on the Mac. On the server side, it doesn’t have a diverse spread like other companies so any NZ VPN might suffer as a result.

One of the most significant drawbacks with the VPN network is still its speeds, even if they have improved. From NZ to the USA for Netflix, this might actually be unbearable to use.

The final major downside to StrongVPN is the cost to feature ratio. They are expensive, and when you look at what you get for the price, many other options deliver faster speeds and more features. It is overpriced for what they provide.

Pricing/ Subscription Options

Payment options are a few major credit cards, PayPal and Alipay.

30-day money back guarantee is available on all packages.

Pros

  • Kill Switch
  • A wide range of platform and device support
  • DNS leak protection
  • Zero logging policy
  • 24/7 live chat customer service
  • Apps for iOS, Android, Mac OS, Windows, and more

Cons

  • Outdated and technical interface
  • No split tunnelling
  • Complicated server switching process
  • Mac has no Kill Switch
  • Located inside the 5-eyes jurisdiction

Benefits of Using a VPNWhat are the Benefits of Using a VPN service?

VPN’s provide many benefits, so here is a rundown of the top 5 you can receive with a top-class VPN provider:

Online Privacy

A VPN will secure your connection and hide your IP address from any prying eyes.
They can also go a long way to enhancing your security. All the time there can be people looking to steal users data, and this only gets worse if public Wi-Fi hotspots are used.

When you use VPN servers, you know where your data will be heading without any diversion along the way.

Ad and Tracker Blocking

Some VPN’s offer built-in ad, malware, and tracker blocking as standard. With these in place, you will see less targeted ads as well as fewer advertisements in general. The blocking will generally be carried out at the DNS level.

Bypass geo-restrictions

This can be one of the top reasons people turn to use VPN’s. Bypassing geo-restrictions is a must if a New Zealand user wants to watch US Netflix or the BBC iPlayer.

It can even go as far as being a YouTube video that isn’t accessible to other countries apart from their own.

This will also allow content to be viewed in countries where there are restrictions while also hiding any content you might be sending or uploading, in these repressed countries

Bypassing Internet Throttling

ISP’s are well known for throttling their connections when users are streaming.

Even YouTube can suffer from this, and as soon as your IP address is shown to be accessing streaming content, your connection speed drops.

There is also torrenting or watching unlicensed content that could attract the attention of copyright infringement officials, so for using your connection for any of these activities, using VPN companies could be a must.

New Zealand VPNAre VPNs Legal in New Zealand?

Since 2010 the New Zealand government has been monitoring the activity of internet users. They do this using an internet filter.

However, since this has been in place, there has not been any credible reports being made public where the internet has been censored or suppressed.

Although the use of VPN’s is legal, it is what they allow you to do that falls into a grey area.

Accessing geo-blocked content is enjoyed by thousands of New Zealanders, and there has been no effort to stop this. It would though be a different story if the material were pirated, then the user would be breaking the law.

This, however, has nothing to do with the VPN provider apart from the user is using one to break the law.

Torrenting, for example, would be seen as downloading pirated material, and if this was found out, the user could face penalties.

As of yet, until laws are passed, that says any different. New Zealand VPN is still legal.

VPN features and benefitsAre VPNs Safe to Use?

In general VPN’s are safe to use if you choose the correct VPN provider. Much of this is down to the fact that not all VPN’s are created equal. Many of the services are promoted as keeping your connection secure and encrypted.

Most follow this, but some don’t take user privacy as far as some of the top providers, and they can even be harvesting user data for their own benefit. With this in mind, there are a few things you should look out for when choosing which VPN to use.

Kill Switch

Any good VPN will include a Kill Switch by default. When you are connected to a VPN, and you lose your connection, all of the applications you are using lose all of their internet connection until the VPN is restored. This stops your IP address from being seen.

Public Wi-Fi

Reliable VPN services provide apps for mobile devices, these will protect you while using public hotspots or Wi-Fi access points.

Check the terms and conditions

This might sound boring, but checking if the company will log any data can throw up some surprises.

The best providers won’t log or keep any data. Also, the country where they are based plays a big part in this. Any logs might be asked to be handed over by governing bodies.

A VPN should be as safe to use as the company behind it, if there is any question of their reliability, even if it is the best cheap VPN, they should be avoided.

Encryption and Security – The top providers also use high-grade security measures to protect your anonymity and stop any malicious attacks against your connection (hackers).

The best VPN services use the same security and tunnelling protocols as banks, the FBI and the CIA. Some, however, offer a lower level of encryption to make the speeds of their connections faster.

Shared IP addresses

The majority of top VPN’s use shared IP addresses as a means of keeping your identity even more secure.

When this happens, you will be assigned an IP address that is being used by another user at the same time, this makes it almost impossible for any governing body to find out your identity.

It is safe to use a VPN, but knowing if your VPN is safe to use can be harder, here are some questions you can ask as you search to see if they are a reliable VPN provider, and thus giving you the confidence they are safe to use.

  • Is the VPN based in a privacy-friendly country (outside 5-eyes/ 14-eyes jurisdiction?).
  • Does the VPN have a large server’s network spread across the globe?
  • Does the VPN cap your bandwidth?
  • Is the VPN easy-to-use on all apps and for all major platforms?
  • What protocols and encryption does the VPN offer?
  • Does the VPN deliver on all privacy and security features?
  • Does the VPN access geo-blocked content? (Streaming friendly)
  • Does your VPN support P2P file-sharing? (Torrenting)

Is a paid VPN worth the money? (Paid vs. Free VPN)

There is nothing that is totally free in life, and most things do come with a cost. This hits home when you come to the internet even if we don’t realise it.

All of the free services we use on a daily basis are a means of large companies to get personal information and sell it to third-parties for profit.

Much can be said with free VPN’s, or instead, it should be said, is it worth paying for a VPN?

To make things much more apparent, we will take a look why you shouldn’t use a free VPN, even if they do appear to be a good option.

So, what is a free VPN? It is a service that would allow any user to browse the internet without any restrictions, and at no cost.

Below, you can see how these free VPN’s operate, and also why it’s a bad idea to use one.

Reasons not to use a free VPN

You are continually tracked

A VPN is supposed to prevent tracking, but free VPN’s are well known for tracking all that you do online.

They record the tunnelled VPN sites you visit, how much time you spend there, and where you are accessing the internet from. And, the list goes on.

A free VPN collects data in precisely the same way that your ISP, governments, and hackers collect data.

Sold data to third-parties

If it wasn’t bad enough, it is what they do with your data once they have hold of it. Once your data has been passed on, it is used to bombard you with targeted ads.

This is the number one way a free VPN can make money. Selling user data allows them to carry on functioning their operation.

No shortage of companies or advertisers will pay a fortune for this wealth of information.

Malicious ads are served up

If data being sold on was bad, then free VPN’s that are used as an advertising board is even worse.

This way, there is no getting away from annoying adverts because if you stop them, you stop the VPN service.

There is also the chance that some of the ads if clicked on lead to further malicious activity. Malware can easily be installed without you knowing, and then you are in a very different load of trouble.

Limited features and security

Many free VPN’s use older less secure encryption protocols such as PTTP. This is unsecured and does little to hide your identity.

Free VPN’s also operate small networks, and bandwidth is shared between users (slower speeds).

Features are also missing from VPN’s such as a Kill Switch, multiple logins, and leak protection.

IP address leaks

The secure tunnel that is created isn’t as reliable as it is supposed to be. Your personal IP address can be exposed, and then it could be monitored and tracked. This is as good as not using a VPN at all.

Part of a Botnet

Some free VPN’s are used as a means to create botnets. A few years ago, one was found to be performing DDoS attacks from users computers. One of the more common uses a free VPN made, was to be selling on user bandwidth.

Now you can see why you shouldn’t be using a free VPN, but, you should see the answer to should I use a VPN? If you still aren’t convinced, the reasons below should help make up your mind.

Top Reasons why you Should be Using a Paid VPN

Paid VPN featuresBetter Security

A paid VPN will use the highest levels of security. This comes in the form of AES-256 encryption. This will conceal your activity when you are online and ensures your data stays confidential.

Faster Download Speeds

Because of the more extensive infrastructure and network size, the best VPN’s will be able to handle thousands of connections at the same time without any slowdown in their service.

A lot of this is down to the fact, these companies have servers in many countries, such as New Zealand.
The closer a server is to you, the better the connection speeds you can receive.

Customer Support

The VPN industry as a whole is regarded as having bad customer service, but there are many of that do take this seriously and offer 24/7 customer support.

Ones that provide live chat are the best VPN to choose because you can get an instant response.

Unlimited Data

Free VPN’s restrict or throttle their connections to save bandwidth. Paid options deliver unlimited bandwidth on all of their servers, and as a result, you can stream with no restrictions, and also do any torrenting if you so wish.

Platform Support

The number of differing devices continues to grow so a paid for VPN will provide apps to be installed onto these devices.

This can range from desktops to laptops, mobile phones, tablets all the way to game consoles, smart TV’s and home routers.

Full Feature List

The best value VPN service will provide a complete list of features. This can include a Kill Switch, DDoS protection, multiple user logins, Firewalls, Leak protection, split tunnelling plus many more, and all the time they are keeping your connection secure and confidential.

 FreePaid For
Access Streamed ContentNY
Unsecured Protocols (PPTP)YN
Mobile Devices Protocol EncryptionNY
Selling Browsing ActivityYN
Selling BandwidthYN
Limited Server LocationsYN
Data CapYN
Fast SpeedsNY
24/7 Customer SupportNY
Full FeaturesNY
Records Banking Details?N

As you can see, the benefits of a paid option totally outweigh the fact there is a cost associated with them.

The above also shows, you should never use a ‘Free’ VPN at any cost because you are leaving yourself open to having your data misused in one way or another. You might still be wondering what is the best VPN?

This is the one that fits all of your needs, but remember, the only time you should ever use ‘Free’ and VPN in the same sentence is when offers a money back guarantee, which equates to a ‘VPN Free trial.’

Conclusion

The best one on the VPN list offers 30-days and no restrictions.

The more time we spend online, and this is even more crucial when families and children are involved, the more we need protecting. A leading VPN can protect your connection and all of your family’s data.

The need for using a VPN will never disappear and will only become stronger over time. They are an investment that will pay for themselves for many years as would any good security device.

The best VPN NZ users could opt for is in the above list, so all the hard work has been done. Make your choice and buy VPN services from the number one in the world.