Is It Legal to Use VPN in Australia

Is it Legal to Use a VPN in Australia?

Like most people around the world, Australians too love streaming the best content the world has to offer. We all love to Netflix and Chill on our spare weekends. Streaming amazing content is the best way to relax after a hefty day at work.

But while you look for the best streaming content, you would be surprised to learn that the best streaming websites are not even accessible in Australia. You won’t be able to access amazing streaming services such as HBO Now, Amazon Prime, and more in Australia.

And even the services that are accessible in Australia, these are actually toned down versions of the actual services. For instance, Netflix is one amazing streaming service. However, most of the content the service has on offer is only available in the United States. That means that Australians can only watch a small percentage of the content that a viewer in the US can stream on Netflix.

The only way to sidestep this situation is to use a Virtual Private Network, more commonly known as a VPN. VPNs are amazing tools that let you access your favorite content regardless of wherever you live. But is it legal to use a VPN in Australia? The answer is yes. More details will follow below.

Content Restrictions on the Web

To our annoyance, a lot of online restrictions exist on the web. Some exist in the form of censorships. Others are restrictions that are enforced by content producers and streaming services. The latter type of restriction usually involves copyright control. So how does copyright control work? Allow me to explain.

A production company releases its content, i.e. movies and TV shows, periodically and expects to make the most money out of it. An easy way to make money is to let streaming services license it and run it on their channels. These licenses are sold for a pretty large sum.

Most often than not, production companies give away multiple licenses at a time to different streaming services. But these licenses are of a different nature because they require the streaming service to only show this content in certain regions only. The production company usually requires streaming services to only show this content in their respective regions. Which is why you’ll find these streaming services inaccessible outside their respective countries so that people from abroad can’t access or stream on them.

What Does a VPN Do?

When you connect to a Virtual Private Network, your IP address usually changes from your own location to that of the server’s. Depending on the VPN server you connect to, you can change your IP location to anywhere you want.

This is helpful in many cases, especially if you love to stream online. Streaming channels, and the entire World Wide Web in general, depend on your IP address to trace your exact location. But when you change your IP address to another location, you can trick these services into considering you a resident of another country. Hence, you will be able to access and stream on any channel online, even if it is unavailable at your location.

When you connect to a VPN service with servers around the world, you can virtually access any website or channel regardless of your current location. This means that if you connect to PureVPN, which has over 2,000 servers in 141 countries, you can access your favorite channels from anywhere including Netflix US, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, and more!

And if you live abroad, you can continue to access your favorite Australian channels from anywhere just by connect to PureVPN’s VPN server in Australia.

Is it Technically Illegal to Use a VPN in Australia?

Back in 2005, a copyright law came into existence which restricted access to content that is made unavailable in Australia. The country’s harsh stance against piracy and copyright infringements made it difficult for people to access restricted websites. Even the use of VPNs was frowned upon by the government.

However, people soon started to realize that streaming services were exploiting Australia’s harsh stance against piracy. Streaming services started charging more for their service to Australians than they did to people who live abroad. Realizing what was happening, the Productivity Commission recommended that the Copyright Act be amended to expressly state that the use of VPNs to access restricted content from abroad is no longer restricted in Australia.

The same is mentioned in the brief written the Australian Prime Minister’s official website in the section concerning the copyright law:

“The Copyright Act does not make it illegal to use a VPN to access overseas content. While content providers often have in place international commercial arrangements to protect copyright in different countries or regions, which can result in ‘geoblocking’, circumventing this is not illegal under the Copyright Act.”

Hence, we can state without any hesitation that the use of VPNs to access any restricted content in Australia is perfectly legal. You can continue streaming your favorite content in Australia by connecting to the best VPN service!

Sheheryar Ahmed Khan is a privacy enthusiast, currently affiliated with PureVPN. His reporting covers subjects related to online privacy, anonymity, and security. Also a believer in online freedom, Sheheryar likes to spend his free time streaming football matches and TV shows online.

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