New Zealand is a Southern Pacific paradise, with a population of 4.1-million, attracting settlers from all over the globe. It’s a place which continues to enthrall thrill seekers, and those looking to relax. Whether on holiday or living there, it has everything. And just like any 21st-century destination, it offers all of the technological comforts you’d expect including the ability to use virtual private networks.
So, in this article, I am going to explain, why you may want to use one. Including, what the benefits are, the legalities, and any possible pitfalls, and more.
Quick Links to our 3 best VPNs for New Zealand
Not got much time, and already know enough about New Zealand VPN usage to make an educated choice? No problem, below are the top-3 providers you can use as a native or visitor.
- Private Internet Access
Not familiar with one or two of these VPN providers? I’ve added some information below about each one. This will give you some insight into what they have to offer you when in New Zealand.
Considered by many to be the number one New Zealand VPN, ExpressVPN offers fast connections and state of the art security. If you’ve had a look at it previously, yes its prices are above the average. However, with 24/7-support, unlimited bandwidth, no connection, and activity logs. Plus the promise of streaming and browsing anonymously, it’s a great choice.
In addition to that, there’s the peace of mind that a 30-day money back guarantee provides. Meaning, if for whatever reason it doesn’t fit the bill, you can end your contract with a refund.
Next up, I have chosen to include NordVPN. It’s offering although slightly slower on average than ExpressVPN’s is still a worthy choice. Not only will it offer a Kiwi VPN user, and holidaymakers access to their favorite content. But, just like its competitor, it provides the security to browse freely. Meaning you can use P2P software, stream using Kodi, take part in online multi-player tournaments, and access your home country Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and more.
Furthermore, it too offers a 30-day money back guarantee. So, no matter the reason, if you don’t like it, you can cancel.
3. Private Internet Access
With features such as encrypted Wi-Fi connections, P2P support, instant setup, and no traffic logs. Private Internet Access is another, slightly less, known VPN for users in New Zealand to consider. However, its popularity doesn’t prevent it from offering a huge amount of server choice, military-grade encryption, and low prices.
In addition to that, it supports iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android devices with a maximum of five connected at any time. If you’re going to give it a try, its 7-day money back guarantee means; you have ample time to test it.
Why use a VPN in New Zealand
If you’re not familiar with VPN usage and want to know why one could assist you? Here’s a quick explanation of why and how:
As a native Kiwi, your country appears free from censorship on the outside. But with just two ISP’s serving more than 80% of the country, you probably already know better. If you don’t, let’s just say some sites are not accessible, I will talk about legalities/restrictions later.
Now, while I am not advocating you choose one of the above VPNs to view illegal content. What I am suggesting is, using one will aid you when trying to bypass geo-blocked content and other filters imposed by non-governmental entities. Think, choosing a server outside of the country, so that you can view sporting events. Or maybe even access BBC iPlayer to watch the latest series of Peaky Blinders.
In fact, the above mainly forms the reason why anyone visiting the country would also want to use one. Take myself as an example, if I was to visit New Zealand without a VPN subscription. I would not be able to view Netflix’s UK content lineup. Instead, I’d have the choice of what is on offer there.
However, if I was to sign up to a VPN service for New Zealand, before traveling. When in the country, I could just choose a UK based server, and gain access to my home content selection. That approach would also work for YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more streaming services.
Is it legal to use a VPN
In a word, yes, but, you should be aware that New Zealand’s government does monitor internet usage. And during the past few years, some unscrupulous media companies have threatened legal action against ISP’s. Why? Because a legal VPN in New Zealand, allows users to bypass geo-blocks. Which in turn leads to content being viewed, which by design is not supposed to be.
As such, companies have been insisting that service providers conduct deep-packet inspections. However, if that were to ever come about, it would be seen as a severe breach of privacy.
Censorship and Restrictions in New Zealand
The obvious is true: Do not use a VPN to view or share illegal material, i.e., the exploitation of children, both physically and sexually. Doing so is illegal, and no VPN provider will protect those doing so.
As for what censorship activities take place in the country. I hinted earlier that New Zealand’s government actively spy’s on its people. If you live there, you will know that. But, if not here’s what you need to know.
Back in 2010, the Department of Internal Affairs / DIA’s internet filter went live. Meaning at the time, any ISP could sign up and begin censoring internet access. At that time, however, the word was that its sole purpose was to block access to sites distributing, illegal sexual material. But, it has since been revealed that this may have been a smokescreen for deeper intrusions into the privacy of internet users.
In 2013, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden provided documents which showed mass meta-data collection. This intrusion worked off the back of the DIA, allowing the government to collect information about the communications and viewing habits of New Zealanders.
To make matters worse for non-VPN users, New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes group. An alliance of Anglophile nations which includes the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. Its sole purpose is to monitor the internet and other means of communication, using espionage and other not so legal means.
What does all of this mean for a native New Zealander or a visitor? It means that now has never been a better time to use a VPN. In fact, the extra layer of privacy one will afford you, is a near necessity in the modern age.
Can a Free VPN Compete with the Paid VPN for New Zealand?
In short, No.
While a free VPN may sound like an enticing proposition, there are pitfalls. One such being the level of security on offer, often such free services do not feature 256-bit AES encryption, OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, or L2TP VPN protocols. Which means, in a country such as New Zealand you’re at a higher risk of succumbing to security and privacy breaches.
Additionally, free providers do not have as many server locations. That means very slow internet speeds and unreliable connections. Lastly, the all-important Kill-Switch for many is missing. What would that mean for you? It means, that should your server connection fail, you won’t be protected. Prying eyes will be able to discover your Ip-address, location, and more.