Internet filtering in New Zealand has been relatively lax, but there is still some content that remains censored.
Since the quiet introduction of an internet filter in 2010, New Zealand netizens lost access to a number of adult sites, gambling sites, certain Wikipedia entries, websites of fringe religions, and a slew of others.
So, if you’re looking for a VPN, where do you start?
It’s exactly what I’ll be showing you in this guide. We’ve tried all the providers recommended on other sites and cut it down to the Top 10.
Aside from accessing nationally blacklisted sites, if you’re a New Zealander with a VPN, you can hop the geofence and enjoy foreign content from various multimedia providers. Although there are many entertainment uses of a VPN, it also serves a larger purpose – privacy.
In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to maintain your online anonymity, but a VPN will help you come pretty close. Top providers offer a secure service that will encrypt your internet connection, protecting your data from prying eyes.
As the use of VPNs is becoming increasingly more popular, more and more service providers are popping up left, right, and centre.
In the sea of hundreds, it can be difficult to sort out the white noise from those actually worth your money. This hand-selected list will help narrow down your search to just ten outstanding providers and let you find the best for your needs.
Top VPNs for New Zealand
If you’re looking for somewhere to start give ExpressVPN a shot as they make an excellent choice for New Zealand and are our best VPN choice.
Express stays true to their name, claiming that they offer the fastest VPN service on the market, which makes it a good choice for watching Netflix but their robust security policies also help keep you secure.
In my experience, ExpressVPN is leaps and bounds ahead of other providers in the market.
If you do go with Express, one way to ensure you’re getting the fastest speeds is by connecting to one of the local servers. As of now, Express has servers in Auckland, and if you’re willing to “travel” a little bit further – Australia.
In total, ExpressVPN offers access to over 100 servers spanning 78 countries, with new IPs and server clusters being added on a regular basis.
As far as pricing goes, ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than some. If you sign up for a whole year, you’ll be billed at US$99.95, which comes out to just over $8.32/mo.
However, we’ve managed to secure you an exclusive deal to get three months entirely free, making the price only $6.67 a month.
That said, ExpressVPN accepts nearly any payment method. From Paymentwall support to Bitcoin, signing up with Express is easy. The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is essentially a month-long trial.
Our #1 Recommended VPN
30-day money back guarantee
The next on our list of the best VPNs for New Zealand is NordVPN. NordVPN is a long standing and reputable VPN service, used by internet users across the world. It is available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, browsers, Smart TVs, routers, and many other devices.
It also offers top-notch privacy and security features, such as AES 256-bit encryption, which is often referred to as ‘military-grade’ encryption, as well as strong security protocols, a kill switch, and more.
NordVPN also has a massive server network, which offers servers worldwide. Naturally, New Zealanders will find some in their own country, too. In total, this VPN service provider has 5,507 NordVPN servers, located in 59 countries around the world.
More than 20 VPN servers are available for use in New Zealand, so there are many options for locals or foreigners to browse New Zealand’s content with NordVPN or watch foreign streaming services, such as Netflix.
Lastly, in case NordVPN doesn’t work well for you, you can always use its 30-day money-back guarantee to get a refund.
3. CyberGhost VPN
Another VPN New Zealand users might find interesting is CyberGhost – a Romanian service that is among the most trusted best VPN providers in the world.
CyberGhost has a lot of features that make it a desirable VPN in New Zealand, as well as anywhere else in the world. For example, it offers up to 7 simultaneous connections, which makes it a VPN that can protect all of your devices.
It has strong security protocols, and like many others on this list, it uses military-grade encryption – AES 256-bit encryption.
Then, there are additional features, such as its kill switch, DNS leak protection, IP leak protection, unlimited bandwidth which makes it great for watching streaming services like Netflix, and more.
In terms of servers, CyberGhost has an impressive network that has over 6300 servers in 87 countries, with 13 servers in New Zealand. There are also servers in other nearby countries, such as Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and many others.
However, its most notable feature is its 45-day money-back guarantee, which lets you test it for a month and a half, and still request a refund if you decide not to use it.
Another good VPN in New Zealand would be Surfshark, a VPN located in the British Virgin Islands.
Like many of the previously mentioned services, Surfshark has it all – strong security features, it unblocks Netflix, it doesn’t keep activity logs, it is very easy to use, and its app comes from one of the most reliable VPN service providers.
Remember that the best VPN providers have a strict no-logging policy, as this is extremely important to ensure that your internet activity will be hidden from your internet service provider, government, and others.
Like the others, Surfshark has a very large server network. It offers 3,200 servers in 65 countries, including New Zealand, but also Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, and many others.
It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, but its most notable feature is the fact that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. You can use it to establish a VPN connection on as many devices as you like, all at the same time.
IPVanish is certainly one of the best VPN choices when it comes to selecting a VPN for use in New Zealand. Not only are they one of the fastest expanding providers on the planet but they also have a lot of local servers – perfect for maximizing download speeds.
Currently, IPVanish has 8 servers in Auckland, and more than 30 in Australia.
If your primary concern is simply increasing your anonymity while maintaining your download speeds, then IPVanish is a great solution for you.
If you do decide to go with IPVanish, you’re not limited to local servers by any means – in fact, the IPVanish server selection is quite impressive.
As of now, they offer more than 40,000 IPs on 500+ servers in over 60 countries, making it incredibly easy to hop the geofence and access the internet via another country.
To sweeten the deal, IPVanish offers an attractive 30-day money-back guarantee, so make sure to take advantage of it and see if it’s the right fit. If you do decide to commit, IPVanish is very affordable, and at just $6.49 USD a month (when signing up for a whole year) you can’t go wrong.
If a larger server selection is what you’re after, then VyprVPN might be the best VPN choice for you. On top of their server cluster in Auckland, the provider offers access to more than 200,000 IP addresses across more than 700 servers.
With such a vast selection, you don’t need to worry about not finding a fast connection.
As far as the rest of the experience goes – Vypr offers one of the most appealing user experiences out there. Additionally, Vypr holds a unique advantage over the rest of the providers listed here – they’ve built all of their own infrastructures, and written their own code, meaning that a third party never handles your (encrypted) data.
If you’re new to using VPNs, Vypr will be a great provider to start with. Pricing wise, Vypr will run you between $6.67-10 monthly, depending on the package you choose.
If you do want to try Vypr, they offer a thirty-day money back guarantee.
If none of the other providers listed so far check off all of your boxes, then consider giving StrongVPN a shot. It doesn’t hold any technical advantages over other providers listed here, but it’s one of the most economical options out there.
At just $5.83/mo (on a yearly plan) it’s hard to go wrong.
As far as the user experience goes, StrongVPN offers a very friendly application, making it easy for new users to feel comfortable. Should you need any help setting up, though, the Strong technical support team works around the clock to help you work through any challenges that you may face.
Despite not having any servers in New Zealand, New Zealand users rate their experience quite highly and your nearest locations can be found next door in Australia.
So if you’re willing to sacrifice some speed for a more affordable solution, StrongVPN might be right for you. If you’re not ready to bite the bullet, give their 30-day money-back guarantee a shot, and see if you enjoy the service.
8. Private Internet Access
Nearing the end of our list, we have another excellent New Zealand VPN – Private Internet Access, or PIA.
This is not exactly a New Zealand VPN, as it is not based in New Zealand, but in the US. However, it is more than capable of protecting New Zealand users from online dangers and allowing them to access geo-blocked content.
PIA is very easy to use, with strong security features, and support for up to 10 different devices. That means 10 simultaneous connections per single license, which makes it great for entire families.
It is no secret that many doubt US-based VPN providers, as the country doesn’t have much respect for online privacy. But, audits have shown that PIA takes security and privacy very seriously and that it has a strict no-logging policy.
It also has 19,379 servers in 74 countries, including New Zealand and surrounding nations, as well as very low prices. Like many others, it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which makes it a good choice for your iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, and other devices and systems.
Second to last, we have WeVPN, which also deserves the name of the best VPN New Zealand-based users can use.
WeVPN is a simple but fast VPN, which has a lot to offer. For example, it is excellent if you want a VPN for streaming Netflix and other geo-blocked services, or simply by hiding your own geolocation.
It can protect your privacy from any website simply by allowing you to connect to its servers, which is the best way to achieve anonymity on the internet.
It can also help you protect all of your devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and more.
It has a strict no-logs policy, P2P-friendly servers, military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and other top-notch security and privacy features.
Now, when it comes to the number of servers that it has to offer – there are a little over 100 of them, with server locations in 40+ countries.
However, despite the small number of servers, WeVPN is still able to develop excellent speeds. And, of course, it also has a server in New Zealand, for everyone who wishes to access the country’s content remotely or safely, from within New Zealand itself.
If you’re either looking for the fastest connection speeds or if you’re new to VPNs, then Overplay is probably not the best option for you.
The main reason behind this is that if you want to install the Overplay on your smartphone (Android or iOS), you’ll need to setup everything manually. The process isn’t complicated by any means, but for a new user, this could be intimidating.
Despite not having any servers in New Zealand, Overplay offers a relatively modest selection.
Currently, they have servers in 48 countries, including 29 in Australia. Australian servers provide decent speeds for New Zealanders, so if you decide to go with Overplay speed shouldn’t be a problem.
Pricing wise, Overplay is right up there with ExpressVPN – plans start at $8.33 monthly if you opt to be billed annually. They’re certainly not the best option but we’ve included them if you’ve exhausted all other options.
How to choose a VPN for New Zealand
When it comes to choosing VPNs for New Zealand, there are numerous factors that you should take into the calculation.
All VPN providers claim that they are the best, but by looking into what they have to offer, you can quickly discover which VPN services are telling the truth.
For example, you should look into:
In order to have your internet freedom, privacy, and security on all your devices, you must choose a VPN that offers dedicated apps for the devices that you are using.
Many VPN service providers offer apps for all popular devices and systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac, Smart TVs, and alike.
Some of the best also let you protect your entire household connection by offering apps for routers. You should also keep an eye out on how many simultaneous connections they offer, as you will likely use VPN on multiple devices at once.
Choosing a VPN with as many servers as possible is also very important. Naturally, being from New Zealand (or seeking to access New Zealand content) means that you need to look for those who have at least one server in New Zealand.
But, it is important for a VPN to have servers around the world, too, so you can access overseas Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services that are unavailable due to geo-restrictions.
Also, to achieve good internet speeds, a VPN that has servers in nearby countries is required, such as Australia and other nations of Southeast Asia.
3. No-logs policy
Another thing that the best VPNs for New Zealand need to have is a strict no-logs policy.
There are a lot of entities out there interested in your internet traffic, and it is in your best interest to protect it. You should enable the service’s kill switch for added protection.
But, if a VPN you use is recording your data and selling it to anyone who asks, then you achieve nothing by using it in the first place.
This is why you must use a VPN that doesn’t keep activity logs, as the only way to ensure your privacy and security is to know that the VPN has nothing to offer to those who ask.
4. Registered jurisdiction
Speaking of privacy and security, you should also look for VPNs that are located in privacy-friendly jurisdictions.
You see, there is a group of nations out there called the 14 Eyes Surveillance Alliance. This is a group that is infamous for its surveillance of users and its citizens, in general.
One thing that you should know is that New Zealand is a member of this group. They all share data with one another, and if the VPN you use is located in their jurisdiction, there is a chance that they could force it to give your data.
Even if a VPN is not recording data, they might be able to force it to start doing so and betray you. This is why the best VPN providers are located in privacy-friendly nations, such as Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Romania, and alike.
Lastly, it won’t do you much good if you use a VPN that can let you access geo-blocked content if you don’t get good enough speeds.
This is especially true when it comes to streaming services like Netflix. Fortunately, there are many fast VPNs available in New Zealand, so we do not anticipate that finding them should be a problem.
All VPNs on our list are fast, with servers around the world, that will let you hide your IP address and still remain fast enough to stream anything at full speed.
Why you need a VPN in New Zealand?
Of course, one obvious question that may have already crossed your mind is why you might need VPNs for New Zealand in the first place?
Here are some of the reasons why using a VPN provider might be a good idea.
Let’s start with privacy. As we mentioned earlier, New Zealand is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. In fact, it is one of the founding members, as it joined back when the alliance was called 5 Eyes. As such, everything we said before still applies.
The alliance is determined to gather every piece of information about everyone and everything that it can find.
If this sounds scary, that is because it is.
However, things are not as bad as they seem, and the total privacy price is not higher than a monthly price of a competent VPN, such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or some other service from the list.
It’s worth remembering though if you’re a specific target of interest to the government, there’s likely no public tech that can save you.
2. Unlock content
We have covered this briefly before, but VPN technology is excellent when it comes to unblocking online content.
Any website – be it a streaming service like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+ or some other type of website, such as foreign news, gaming platforms, and more can be accessed with a VPN.
You can make use of a VPN in New Zealand to access foreign content, but you can also go the other way around, and access things in New Zealand from abroad.
All you need is a server location inside the country, and you will be able to access anything available in New Zealand from anywhere in the world.
This is particularly interesting for foreigners, or simply New Zealand travellers who wish to watch their home television, such as TVNZ 1, Bravo, ThreePlus1, Prime, ChoiceTV, HGTV, and many others.
3. Public Wi-Fi protection
Another thing that you need to know is that using public Wi-Fi can be very dangerous. Free internet, such as the one offered by hotels, airports, coffee shops, and even parks, can often be used by local hackers searching for their victims.
You can never know who else is connected or what they might be doing. However, there comes a time when you may depend on public Wi-Fi, which is why you need a VPN service to ensure your security and privacy.
With a VPN, there is no public hotspot that you will have to fear to use in New Zealand or elsewhere as your connection will be fully encrypted, and no hacker will be able to see what you are doing.
4. Torrent securely
Lastly, let’s talk about torrenting with VPNs. Torrenting itself, just like VPNs, is not illegal.
However, it is very easy to download or share copyrighted content by accident, which is punishable by law. This is why you need to use a VPN server to hide your IP address not so that you would be able to break the law, but to protect yourself from facing punishment for something that was an honest mistake.
It is important to hide your IP address while torrenting, as it is perfectly visible to everyone else who uses torrents. This is what VPNs can do by replacing them with their own IP address, tied to the server you have connected to, and its location in the world.
Is VPN legal in New Zealand?
Yes, using VPN services is perfectly legal and allowed in New Zealand, so you can use a VPN without having to worry about getting in trouble with the law.
VPNs are privacy apps, before everything else, and you have a right to protect your privacy, so you get to use them without problems.
Keep in mind that using VPN services still doesn’t justify purposefully breaking the law.
What is the best VPN for New Zealand?
During our research of different VPNs, we found that ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for New Zealand. It has top-notch security and privacy features, it offers unlimited bandwidth, it has over 3,000 servers, with VPN server locations in over 94 countries.
ExpressVPN can also unblock Netflix, meaning that you can access the Netflix catalogue in any other country where it has server locations. That includes US Netflix, UK Netflix, as well as Netflix of most European countries.
It also has server locations in New Zealand itself, as well as in many other surrounding countries.
Furthermore, it has a kill switch, that can protect you if the VPN app ever malfunctions, and it supports countless devices and systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, gaming consoles, smart TVs, routers, and even browsers.
If you want a VPN to hide your location and secure your IP address, ExpressVPN is the best choice.
Is there a free VPN for New Zealand?
The best VPNs that you don’t have to pay for would be ProtonVPN and Tunnelbear, as they both come from legitimate services.
However, there are some things that you should know about these two services, and that is that each VPN provider that offers its services for free comes with certain limitations.
Tunnelbear, for example, only lets you use 500MB of data per month, while premium services, such as NordVPN, offer unlimited bandwidth. So, if you want a VPN for watching Netflix, this is not going to be nearly enough.
ProtonVPN, on the other hand, only offers three servers to free users, which is hardly enough to be able to use the internet freely. Every server location unlocks a new portion of the internet, and if your location count doesn’t go high up, then you don’t get to experience all that the web has to offer.
Other free VPNs are even worse, as many of them tend to collect user data and sell it, or bombard you with ads, If you are really unlucky, you might even run across a VPN operated by hackers who might steal your data.
Free VPNs have other flaws, such as:
- Very slow speeds
- Overcrowded servers
- Poor security
- Low server count
- Netflix blocks them
- They don’t offer support for torrenting
- They only have a browser extension, so other apps on Android, iOS, and similar devices remain unprotected
- They can’t protect you on public Wi-Fi
- They are untrustworthy
So, if you need a VPN provider to protect you, don’t take risks. It is better to pay and have peace of mind than to constantly wonder if you are being scammed.
Hopefully, this list of competitive VPN providers helped narrow down your search.
Just to reiterate, all of the providers listed above will get the job done, the one you choose comes down mainly to personal preference. The best part, all of these providers have some sort of money-back guarantee that you can take advantage of before committing.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for New Zealand because they offer an all-round overall package but the other providers also make good solutions too.
If you’re not currently using a VPN, make sure you start soon. While New Zealand is widely considered as a country with many liberties, it’s not always the case when it comes to your online security.
About two years ago, The Intercept broke the story on the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) working to implement a mass metadata surveillance system – which government officials publicly denied.
If that’s not enough to raise a concern – New Zealand is also an active member of the Five Eyes, a spying alliance of various intelligence agencies from Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
All member nations are complicit in the NSA’s, and the GCHQ’s mission to monitor online activity. Using a VPN is a very easy (and low cost) way to keep yourself hidden from prying eyes.
Aside from the many privacy benefits, there are many other reasons you’d want to run a VPN.
Protecting the integrity of your data is just one example, jumping the geofence to consume restricted content from abroad is another, but regardless of what you’re doing on the internet, it’s important to do it safely. So pick one of the providers and get browsing.
Feel free to take a look at the available options again which will help you select the best VPN for New Zealand.