Each VPN review is methodically tested using a stringent framework that produces consistent and objective scores across 6 key categories. This document explains the methodology in detail providing the utmost confidence to our readers that the VPNs we recommend to our Australian audience are the best VPNs.
The aim of bestvpn.com.au is to deliver thorough, completely unbiased, and editorially independent VPN reviews to the Australian market. This means we have never, and will never accept any form of compensation or input from VPN service providers.
Every VPN service we test is purchased at full market value & tested from Australia. This ensures no bias or inaccuracies are unknowingly affecting our reviews. We have no personal favourites, no history or existing relationships with any of the VPN services.
Bestvpn.com.au is supported by our readers purchasing VPN services from our reviews, where we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to our readers. For more information on how we earn money, click here.
We review each VPN service as a comprehensive product, assessing the overall quality across key categories:
Speed & Reliability: 20%
Streaming & Torrenting: 17.5%
User-friendliness & Accessibility: 5%
Each category is assigned a score from 0 – 10 using a single-point decimal scoring system, which is then totaled using the weighting percentage detailed above. The reason for the weighting system is to produce an overall score that values the more important aspects of VPNs to a greater degree than the less important aspects.
For example, all modern VPNs are relatively easy to use, particularly for typical use-cases, so a 9.2/10 in that category should be valued less than a 9.2/10 in the privacy category since privacy is the primary purpose of a VPN.
Privacy and how VPN companies log customer data is the most important category in our VPN reviews and are weighted accordingly. Privacy is the primary reason the majority of users purchase a VPN service and poor privacy and logging policies will put customer data at risk and therefore will score badly.
Every VPN company states how they handle privacy and customer data logging in their privacy policies. We read each one thoroughly to determine the effectiveness of their process and how it could affect their users. Some privacy policies are very thorough and provide a transparent and detailed methodology, some are long but obscure and others ask more questions than they answer.
Rest assured, we go through things in detail, then go through them again, and then again. Privacy is so important that we leave nothing to chance.
VPN security is the second most important category in our VPN reviews. Maintaining secure connections with good VPN protocols (OpenVPN, Wireguard, proprietary protocols, etc) and using a high encryption standard (AES-256, AES-128).
We assess the VPN protocol and encryption standard of every VPN we review. We then test each VPN for leaks using industry-leading testing tools.
We test the download & upload speed, as well as the average ping of every VPN we review. We do this by establishing a control score by testing our Australian connection without a VPN active.
We then run those same tests with each VPN activated and on the Australian server, then the US, UK, Indian, Chinese & Brazilian servers. This helps provide useful data for not just Australians, but for the most common international ex-pats residing in Australia.
The ability to stream international media libraries and stream anonymously is high on the priority list for many VPN users. As such we test each VPNs ability to access these libraries and report them in each VPN review.
As we are Australian focussed, we focus on the most popular international streaming services that Aussies like to watch.
To test if a VPN can access the above international libraries we simply activate each VPN, signup for each service, and attempt to watch the media.
Torrent testing requires a couple of different tests. Firstly, we test the download speed of a specific torrent both with the VPN active and inactive.
Secondly, we look at how private the VPN connection is when torrenting and how the VPN service provider manages the connection and data. For added security, we look for port forwarding and a kill switch.
Most modern VPNs are generally relatively easy to use, although this is an objective statement. We try to score this area as objectively and consistently as possible by looking at the following aspects: