New Zealand generally provides free online expression and open access to its internet users, although it does restrict access to certain types of websites.
The Department of Internal Affairs runs a filtering system, which restricts access to certain websites.
New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, which also includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Members of the alliance have agreed to share information about their citizens, which can include a log of a citizen’s online activities.
This is where a VPN comes in.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides a way for NZ-based users to access content from nearly anywhere around the globe, whether the government filters it or not. It also provides encrypted protection for a users’ internet connection, hiding all online travels from the prying eyes of the government, ISPs and other nosy types.
Not all VPNs are the same, some are slow and others do a poor job with privacy.
In this article, I’ll be sharing information about the 5 best VPN providers that offer the top protection and enhancement for all of your New Zealand-based online activities.
All of the VPNs also have servers installed inside NZ borders, making it possible for NZ residents who are traveling or living abroad to access New Zealand-only online content.
How to Use a VPN From Inside New Zealand
Using a VPN inside New Zealand borders is a non-dodgy experience if you follow the following steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider. (ExpressVPN is my top choice.)
- Install VPN app(s) on your connected device(s).
- Sign into the VPN service.
- Select a VPN server outside of New Zealand to access geo-blocked local content located outside of the country, or select a server inside the country if you’re looking to protect your NZ-based online activities or if you’re located outside of the country and wish to access geo-blocked content from inside of New Zealand.
- Enjoy your internet freedom!
Best VPNs for Use in New Zealand
The 5 modern VPN providers listed below are the top VPNs for use while inside New Zealand borders:
- ExpressVPN: This is the top choice for internet protection and enhancement while hanging out inside of New Zealand. The provider offers fast unlimited bandwidth, well-protected connections that offer reliable access to content around the globe for all popular connected devices.
- NordVPN: If you’re a Kiwi on a budget, you’ll appreciate this provider’s budget-level annual pricing. The provider’s top-notch protection, reliable content access and great native app support are all available for a low annual price.
- CyberGhost: This provider should prove to be particularly attractive to novice VPN users or to users looking for easy one-click access to excellent VPN protection. The provider’s streaming and downloading-optimized servers should prove to be attractive to movie fans.
- PrivateVPN: While this provider’s global server network doesn’t match up well with any other VPN on this list, it does a good job of working with what it has. The provider offers reliable, fast connections to content housed in the countries where it’s available.
- Surfshark: A small but rapidly-growing server network offers reliable, fast connections to geo-blocked content around the globe. Arguably, the provider’s most outstanding feature is its unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.
When ranking the major VPN providers on this list, I considered the following factors:
- Global server network, with servers in New Zealand
- Optimal security and online privacy
- Connection speeds
- Native app support
- Level of customer support
Here is my list of the 5 best VPN providers for New Zealand residents and visitors.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for use both inside and outside of New Zealand. The provider offers the fastest connections on this list and provides stable performance to content around the globe.
The ExpressVPN global server network covers most of the world, with 3,000+ high-speed servers located in 94 countries, including New Zealand.
Having your online activities eavesdropped on is the least of your worries with this provider thanks to its bank-grade strong encryption, kill switch protection, and IPv6 and DNS leak prevention. A split-tunneling feature allows you to pick and choose which apps will use the provider’s encrypted tunnel.
A strict no-logs-ever policy and a Bitcoin payment option have you covered on the privacy end of things.
Your connection will stay fast when using this provider, as it delivered the fastest VPN download speeds of any provider in my latest round of connection speed tests. 4K and HD video are easily handled, as is online gaming, and sharing and downloading large files. Unlimited bandwidth means no data caps to deal with here.
Native app support from ExpressVPN can best be described as “comprehensive.” The provider offers apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows device platforms.
Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. Router protection protects all of your connected devices. Up to 5 devices can connect concurrently on the same account.
Superb customer service is always available, with 24/7 live support chat, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable support library.
- Top-notch global server coverage, New Zealand included
- 4K-capable connection speeds
- Reliable access to geo-blocked local content
- Optimal privacy and security protections
- Dedicated tech support for most popular devices
- More expensive than many other VPN services
BEST VPN FOR NEW ZEALAND:ExpressVPN is the top choice for New Zealanders looking for a VPN to protect and enhance their online activities. Reliable, safe access to content around the globe from it’s Tier-1 server network, fast downloads, unlimited bandwidth, impressive speeds and excellent online protection are hallmarks of this service. A 30-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is the budget-priced star of this gang of 5 thanks to its low-priced extended subscription plans.
The provider’s global server network includes over 5,700 high-speed servers stationed in 59 countries (including New Zealand), coming in at more servers than some, less than others – let’s just call it average.
The provider’s no-server-logs policy and cryptocurrency payment option have you covered privacy-wise.
NordVPN’s connection speeds can best be described as fair-to-middlin’, meaning they aren’t up to the speeds offered by the other VPN service providers in this roundup, but they’re still not bad. The provider’s connections can handle HD video and online gaming, and they do a decent job of sharing large files. No data caps to worry about here.
App support from the provider includes native apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS and Windows device platforms. Also available are Chrome and Firefox browser extensions and router compatibility. Up to 6 devices can concurrently connect to the service using the same login.
Customer support is always available thanks to around-the-clock live support chat, email support and a searchable support database.
- Servers in New Zealand and 58 other countries
- App support for major platforms
- Budget-priced subscription options
- Comprehensive privacy and security protections
- Slowest download speeds of the bunch
BEST VPN FOR KIWIS ON A BUDGET:NordVPN is the VPN provider for budget-minded New Zealanders who are looking for comprehensive VPN protection that won’t break the bank. The provider’s services match up well with its more expensive brethren. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
If you’re a novice computer or device user, or have no experience with VPN service, I suggest taking a close look at CyberGhost.
The provider has the globe covered, with 5,800+ high-speed servers stationed in New Zealand and 88 other countries. Streaming and downloading-optimized servers are stationed around the globe, making this an attractive option for streaming and file-sharing fans.
CyberGhost offers the same excellent online protection as its competitors via military-grade encryption, kill switch protection, and DNS and IPv6 leak prevention. It ups the ante by delivering ad and tracker blocking, along with the ability to force websites to serve up secure versions of their pages, if available.
Your online privacy is well-covered thanks to the provider’s no-logs-on-the-servers policy, as well as its Bitcoin subscription payment option.
CyberGhost download speeds compared well with the other providers on this list, and are well up to smoothly streaming both HD and 4K video, and can also handle online gaming and sharing large files. No data caps to spoil the fun.
Device support includes apps for the Amazon Fire, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Linux and Windows platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions protect your browsing. A large number of routers are compatible with the service. Up to 7 devices can simultaneously connect to the service using the same set of login credentials.
Around-the-clock support is made up of a 24/7 live support chat option, email support, a trouble ticket system and a searchable knowledge base.
- Wide-ranging global server coverage
- Download speeds can handle anything
- Easy-to-use apps for all popular platforms
- Streaming and downloading-optimized servers
- Advanced users may prefer more setting options
BEST VPN FOR NEW USERS:Computer and device users who are new to the scene will appreciate this provider’s apps, which offer top-notch protection via an easy-to-use interface. Quick connections to streaming and downloading-optimized servers will be appreciated by all users. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
PrivateVPN is a bit of a mish-mash when it comes to its services, performing well in many categories, but still having a way to go in others.
Global server coverage is one category where the provider comes up short, with a mere 150+ servers spread thin among 60 countries, New Zealand included. That said, the servers provide reliable access to content housed in the covered countries.
Online protection consists of banking-level encrypted protection, along with a kill switch feature, as well as DNS and IPv6 leak protection. The service’s “Stealth VPN” option hides your VPN activity by disguising it as regular browser activity.
A no-logs policy and a Bitcoin subscription payment option keep your usage and payment information incognito.
No worries on the connection speeds end, as this provider’s fast connections easily handle HD streaming, file sharing, and online gaming. Don’t worry about data caps here.
App support is in the lacking category, with coverage only for the big 4 app platforms – Android, iOS, macOS and Windows. However, the provider can be manually set up on Linux, and the provider’s router compatibility protects the rest of your connected devices. Up to 6 devices can connect at once on a single login.
While this provider claims 24/7 support chat, I’ve visited the site plenty of times when the support chat balloon was red (when it’s green, someone is available to chat). A non-searchable FAQ section and email support are also available.
- Fast connections
- Stealth VPN hides your VPN usage
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Servers are spread thin
- App support could use a bump
THE “STEALTHY” VPN PrivateVPN:provides reliable, if somewhat limited, access to content located outside of New Zealand. The provider’s most attractive feature for security-minded users is its ability to disguise your VPN use via its “Stealth VPN” feature. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Surfshark is a recent addition to the VPN ranks, and as such, it has a ways to go yet. However, the provider already has a good level of service in place.
Surfshark has over 1,700 servers spread among 63+ countries, including New Zealand. While that server count is a bit low compared to most other VPNs on this list, it’s two times the number the provider claimed this time last year.
Surfshark’s servers provide connections protected with government-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak prevention. A tracking cookie and ad blocking option is available. Plus, a “Multi-Hop” VPN option routes your connection through two servers, adding to your online anonymity.
No logs will be found on Surfshark’s VPN servers, and they also protect your payment privacy with a Bitcoin subscription payment option.
The provider’s connection speeds are easily up to handling most video streaming services, fast downloads of large files, and even online gaming.
Apps are available for most of the popular device platforms, including offerings for the Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and Amazon Fire platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available, as are features for a good number of routers.
Business owners and other users who require online protection for large groups of folks will appreciate the provider’s unlimited concurrent connections policy.
Around-the-clock support includes 24/7 support chat, a support contact form and a searchable knowledge base.
- “Multi-Hop” provides double encryption
- Unlimited simultaneous connections policy
- Connection speeds can handle any online activity
- Global server coverage is lacking but improving
- Monthly subscription options are priced a bit high
UNLIMITED USERS IS THE ATTRACTION:Surfshark’s “Multi-Hop” VPN protection offers added protection by routing your traffic through two VPN servers, providing double encryption. However, the provider’s unlimited concurrent connection policy will be the biggest draw for those seeking to protect large groups of users. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of Surfshark.
Won’t a Free VPN Work in New Zealand?
While I’m sure you can find a free VPN provider that will work in New Zealand, that’s not the problem. The problem is that you’re not going to be happy with the lack of online privacy, lack of stable performance or convenience that you’ll experience when using a free VPN provider.
First, let’s talk about the lack of privacy when using a freebie VPN provider.
“Free” VPNs are still looking to make a profit, so many of them keep their servers humming by monitoring their users’ online activities, then saving all of that info in a big old file to sell to advertisers and other nosy parties.
Others will inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into your browser sessions. (And those tracking cookies stick around even when you’re no longer connected to the VPN.)
Now for performance. Many free VPNs will throttle your connection speeds. They want to save the lion’s share of the available bandwidth for their paying customers. Plus, you may find that your online activities are severely restrained thanks to a daily or monthly data cap. You can use up a data cap allowance much quicker than you’d think.
As for convenience, you may find that when you connect to a free VPN, you’ll be forced to wait in a virtual waiting room before being allowed to connect to a server. Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you’re either connected to a server of the provider’s choice, or you have a severely limited number of servers to choose from.
My advice is to spend a few bucks per month to subscribe to reliable, convenient, high-performance VPN protection. It will pay off in the long run.
What Can I Do With a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) both protects and enhances all of your online activities.
Under the protection category, a VPN encrypts your internet connection, encasing your connection in a protected tunnel of sorts. This prevents interested folks like hackers, your Internet service provider or government agencies from monitoring and logging your online travels.
Since encryption hides your online activities from being observed, that means your ISP can’t throttle or block your connection simply because you’re partaking in “unapproved” activities, such as sharing files via P2P or streaming from certain streaming services.
You’ll also appreciate the reliable encryption when using an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot, such as those found at coffee shops, stores and hotels. Hackers love public hotspots, as they’re unencrypted, leaving a user’s browsing, online shopping and banking, and other sensitive online activities wide open for monitoring.
As for enhancing your online activities, a VPN can temporarily assign a new local IP address to your device. This can make it appear as if you and your device are located in another part of the world.
This location “spoofing” can be used to fool providers of geo-restricted content, like streaming services or game publishers, to allow you to access content that might otherwise be restricted in your area of the world.
I strongly encourage New Zealand residents and visitors alike to protect their online activities from prying eyes with a Virtual Private Network, like ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN excels in every service category. The provider’s comprehensive global server network provides well-protected, fast speedy connections to content round the globe. ExpressVPN app support delivers reliable protection for all popular device platforms, and their 24/7 customer support is always available to help you when issues arise.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.
New Zealand VPN Q&A
⭐Are VPNs legal in NZ?
New Zealand residents and visitors are allowed to use a VPN. However, as I mentioned before, New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, meaning New Zealanders are subject to online monitoring. So, be sure to select a VPN that isn’t based in New Zealand.
⭐What is the best VPN to Access Netflix New Zealand?
ExpressVPN has over 3,000+ high-speed servers located in 94 countries, making it the best VPN to access Netflix in New Zealand and other countries.
⭐How to change IP address to New Zealand?
Purchase a VPN subscription, Install the provider’s VPN app on your computer or mobile device, login to the service, select and connect to a VPN server inside of New Zealand, and enjoy your New Zealand IP address.