There are plenty of reasons to use a New Zealand VPN.
The country is part of the Five Eyes intelligence network and has a government that has been known for playing loose with privacy laws. New Zealand’s streaming services are relatively limited – including no Hulu and a smallish Netflix library.
And forget about accessing content geographically restricted to NZ anytime you’re outside the country, too.
A VPN can fix all that (and more).
It can give you the anonymity and internet privacy we all deserve, keep you safe from certain online threats, and let you access just about any streaming service you want – regardless of where you’re located.
So, whether you’re a serial binge-watcher, a P2P user, or a privacy-first netizen, read on. In this article, I’ll help you choose the best VPN for New Zealand – one that that meets all your needs.
The Best New Zealand VPNs: In Short
In a bit of a time crunch? Here’s a quick overview of what I believe to be the top VPN providers for NZ 2023:
Best VPN for New Zealand. Excellent speeds, thousands of servers, top-notch security and privacy features, and a third-party confirmed no-logs policy. Works with Netflix and every other streaming service you can think of – big and small.
Surfshark is an up-and-coming provider with unbeatable prices and unlimited simultaneous connections. With excellent speeds and a vast network, they’re perfect for streaming, torrenting, and everything in-between.
A big network with specialized streaming servers to unlock all major Netflix libraries and video-on-demand services. Blazing speeds for buffering-free watching and fast P2P downloads.
Top-notch security and stellar performance at a reasonable price – CyberGhost is a great all-rounder. Try it risk-free with an industry-best 45-day money-back guarantee.
A well-established provider with a great reputation. Reliable connection with excellent download speeds. An intuitive, feature-packed client app and the best customer support in the industry.
Why Use a VPN in NZ?
VPNs let you stream content from abroad, protect you from hackers, and give you online privacy and anonymity. Those the top reasons to use a VPN in New Zealand in a nutshell. Here they are described in much greater detail:
Watch New Zealand Programming Abroad
Whether you’re an expat or just briefly out of the country, you likely know the struggle. Popular New Zealand channels aren’t available abroad due to territorial restrictions.
VPNs can trick any streaming service into thinking you’re in NZ. Just connect to a local server and enjoy your favorite programming from thousands of kilometers away.
The right provider will let you watch any TVNZ show, rugby on Spark Sport, Netflix NZ, and so much more.
Enjoy Foreign Content
VPNs make you a citizen of the world. Just like they can unlock New-Zealand-only content in other countries, they help you stream international content at home.
Only a few clicks of the mouse is what stands between you and watching Hulu, the BBC iPlayer, or any Netflix library in the world.
Hide From the Five Eyes
New Zealand is a part of the Five Eyes alliance – an intelligence-sharing agreement that also includes:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Members of this spying network are obliged to share intelligence information with other member states. That makes it entirely possible for the CIA to be “perusing” your internet browsing habits without you ever leaving New Zealand.
If that doesn’t sit well with you, VPNs can give you back control of your online privacy. They encrypt all your traffic, keeping it safe from any potential eavesdroppers.
Avoid Government Surveillance
Speaking of eavesdroppers, New Zealand government agencies are known for site-stepping privacy laws.
In 2014, journalist Nicky Hager released documents showing that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) was spying on online activity in the Pacific.
The communications of New Zealanders were also swept in that mass surveillance.
And, when institutions looked into this, they found that:
- Yes, there was bulk online activity monitoring in the Pacific.
- Sure, the GCSB also intercepted Kiwi communications.
- There was nothing illegal about this.
Or, in other words:
The GCSB had spied on its citizens, but this wasn’t against the law.
New Zealand also has one of the most permissive intelligence and security legislations in the world. Agencies have colossal leverage to track private information – and, for more than just fighting terrorism.
Sadly, government spying is not going anywhere anytime soon. Your best bet is to take privacy into your own hands. By using a VPN, you encrypt your traffic and keep your internet activities to yourself.
The governments of many countries are cracking down on torrent websites in the name of stopping copyright infringement. And in New Zealand, things look much the same.
Some trackers are blocked, making finding torrents frustrating while using others could get you flagged. Get caught downloading copyrighted content, and you could be looking at ISP bans and steep fines, too.
Getting around tracker blocks with a VPN is easy – simply route your internet connection through another country. And because VPNs anonymize your data, no one will know you’re using a P2P network.
Are VPNs Legal in New Zealand?
Since the New Zealand governments seem somewhat enthusiastic about gathering netizen data, it’s worth asking:
Can you even use a VPN in NZ?
You’ll be happy to know that yes, VPNs are perfectly legal.
Of course, if you commit a crime online, it is still a crime. Using a VPN doesn’t make copyright infringement or a questionable shopping spree on the Dark Web any less of an issue.
But, as long as you stay on the right side of the law, using a VPN in New Zealand is A-OK.
What To Look for in a VPN for NZ
Before digging deeper into the top New Zealand VPN providers, let’s talk about what makes a good VPN in the first place – which features matter for NZ and which are marketing fluff.
VPN Servers in New Zealand
To get the best connection speeds, you should always use a VPN server located as close to you as possible. The closer it is, the smaller the distance data has to travel, the quicker things load.
So, when in New Zealand you want to keep a New Zealand ip address and a server in the country is what you’re after.
Access to local servers also makes sure you’re covered when abroad. If you’re not in New Zealand, you can’t watch most local channels, remember?
Connecting to a VPN server in Auckland or Wellington will fix that right up.
Long Server Lists
Assuming you want to access sites and content in other countries, the longer the VPN server list, the better.
At the very least, you should make sure the locations you’re interested in are available. If, for example, you’d like to stream Netflix Japan, the provider should offer Japanese servers.
You also never know what country you may want to connect to in the future. A geographically diverse network should future proof your VPN use.
Streaming music, watching movies, playing games, and video chatting – all of these online activities consume a lot of data. Hence, a VPN well-optimized for speed and with no bandwidth limits is a must.
It’s how you avoid buffering when streaming and lag when gaming or using Skype. Pick a provider with sub-par speed results and expect to often run into both issues.
Encryption is what keeps your information safe and private when using a VPN. It protects you from your nosy internet service provider, the controlling New Zealand government, and cybercriminals.
The best VPN providers use long encryption keys and state-of-the-art algorithms to secure your data. That makes it next to impossible for anyone to look in on your online activities.
Aim for 256-bit AES encryption at a minimum. It’s a standard that’s never been broken – and trust me, plenty have tried.
A no-log policy means the VPN won’t store any data that travels through their network. With a zero-logging provider you leave no tracks of your online activities for someone to potentially look in on in the future.
While many VPNs promise no logging, what you ideally want is those claims verified by an independent third-party audit.
Top-rated provider NordVPN, for example, gave auditing firm PwC full access to their installations, processes, and employees to confirm their no-log status.
If you use BitTorrent, make sure the VPN service both allows it and can handle it. Not all providers are optimized for P2P file sharing, and some ban the practice altogether.
On the flip side, some VPNs are super P2P-friendly. CyberGhost, for instance, even has dedicated P2P servers with it in mind!
Solid Customer Support
None of us get a VPN subscription thinking we’ll run into problems. But, when issues come up, it’s always at the worst time – at 3 AM, on New Years’ Day, or just as the game enters extra time.
Get a VPN with 24/7 live chat support, and you’re set – no matter when disaster strikes. All the best VPN providers have it these days, and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.
Best VPNs for New Zealand
Do any VPNs check all the boxes we just went over above? Yes, many do.
Before you make a choice, I strongly recommend doing your own research. Only you can say with certainty which provider will meet all your needs.
But, if you need a place to start (or can’t be bothered to dig through Reddit, review sites, and tech blogs), here are my top picks for the best VPN in New Zealand.
With a vast server network, breakneck speeds, excellent streaming support, and top-notch privacy features, NordVPN is hands down the number one VPN for New Zealand.
You get access to nearly 5600 servers in 60 countries – there are several dozen in New Zealand alone.
NordVPN unlocks just about any streaming service imaginable without a hitch, no matter where you are. And their performance guarantees uninterrupted viewing, even in 4K.
Along with the regular servers, NordVPN has dedicated P2P, obfuscated, and double VPN options for all your privacy needs. The provider also maintains a strict no-logs policy – backed by an independent third-party audit.
Overall, NordVPN is the most well-rounded and full-featured VPN on this list. Top it all off with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you simply can’t go wrong.
- Excellent download and upload speeds
- Large ever-expanding server network
- Great privacy with independently verified no logging policy
- Specialty servers (including double VPN, obfuscated, and Tor over VPN)
- Clean, easy to use client
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- No split tunneling feature
- A bit pricey on shorter-term plans
If you’re looking for a fantastic bargain, top-rated Surfshark should be on your shortlist – they’re the least expensive top-tier provider around.
But don’t let the affordable pricing fool you. This VPN newbie offers so much more.
In an ocean of VPN services, Surfshark stands out with unlimited device connections (no one else does this), a clean client interface, and fast, reliable connection speeds.
Those excellent speeds translate to buffer-free streaming and quick P2P downloads (which are allowed network-wide).
With a big server list, plenty of privacy features, strong encryption, the latest VPN protocols, and helpful customer support, Surfshark does it all – for less.
- Excellent privacy and security with no logging
- Great server performance
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC, and many others
- Easy to use client
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Torrenting support network-wide
- Very inexpensive
- Inconsistent speeds at a few locations
- Fairly slow customer support
PureVPN is an excellent performer with a big server network of 6535 servers in 74 countries – every location you could want is present and accounted for.
In New Zealand alone, they run 90 servers (all located in Auckland), extensively optimized for speed and privacy.
A popular choice for streaming, PureVPN also gets high marks for security features. They support multiple protocols, strong encryption, split tunneling, and safety features like a VPN kill switch.
With ten simultaneous connections and no bandwidth limit, PureVPN will let the whole family enjoy a more secure, private, and geographically unrestricted internet. And with their current sale, you’re looking at one excellent deal, too.
- Fast speeds
- Big server network (74 countries)
- Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, and over 70 other streaming services
- Compatible with over 50 devices and platforms
- Independently verified zero log VPN provider
- Dedicated IP option
- Great value
- Apps could use a bit more polish
- Some intermittent connection problems
CyberGhost is a well-established (and well-loved) VPN provider that offers an impressive 9131 servers across 91 countries.
With such an extensive network, this VPN can get you access to geo-restricted content pretty much anywhere in the world. Server speeds are consistently high, too – perfect for lag-free streaming and gaming.
A slight downside for Kiwis is CyberGhost’s P2P offering. While they run multiple New Zealand servers, none of them are torrenting-optimized. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them for P2P. But, to get the best performance, you may have to connect to a server abroad.
CyberGhost does everything else so well, though, they’re still more than worth considering. And with the longest in the industry 45-day money-back guarantee, you get plenty of time to make sure it’s right for you.
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with over 9100 servers in 91 countries
- Very fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money-back guarantee
- Parent company with a questionable reputation
- Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
- Doesn't work from China
Last but certainly not least, is reviewer favorite ExpressVPN. Often praised for their security and privacy features, this provider does just about everything else right, too.
Performance is top-notch, making ExpressVPN a great choice for streaming and downloads. Server counts are also impressive, with 3000+ servers in 94 countries.
As eluded to earlier, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for protecting your information online, too. Military-grade encryption, secure protocols, and a third-party verified no-logs policy are all part of the package.
And their customer support is second to none.
If there’s a downside to ExpressVPN, it’s the cost – they’re not an inexpensive provider. If you’re considering them (and I certainly would), look in on any discount deals they may currently be offering.
- A feature-rich and intuitive client
- Strong back-end technology
- Plenty of servers and server locations
- Fast and consistent connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix
- Top-notch customer support
- Some aggregated logging
- Not the cheapest
Can You Use a Free VPN for New Zealand?
Yes, you can use a free VPN in NZ. That said, expect a bumpy (and sometimes downright dangerous) ride.
For one, free VPNs rarely unblock streaming services. Platforms like Netflix have excellent VPN and proxy detection methods, and free providers are the first ones to get banned. These days, only a handful of subscription-based VPNs have the resource needed to work reliably.
Most free providers also have data and bandwidth caps. Even if you get lucky and find one that gets you Netflix access, you likely won’t be able to finish watching a single movie before your monthly allowance runs out.
But, most importantly, many free VPNs are a security risk.
Up to a third of them are infected with malware, and most will log and sell your data. Some also engage in dubious advertising practices, going as far as rerouting you through secret servers.
The bottom line is this:
Free VPNs, while tempting, come at a price. I firmly believe that our sanity, safety, and privacy are not worth the savings – especially when excellent providers like Surfshark cost but a couple of dollars per month.
Whether you want to catch a Super Rugby game from abroad, watch Hulu (not available in NZ), or evade the ever-so-invasive Five Eyes alliance the New Zealand government is a part of, a VPN is the tool for you.
Remember, to choose the best VPN for New Zealand:
- Consider the server network.
- Look into server performance.
- Insist on a no-logs policy.
- Prioritize strong encryption.
- Check for P2P support.
- Make sure there is 24/7 live chat customer support.
There are several providers that are an excellent choice. Among them, though, NordVPN is my favorite.
On top of checking all the above boxes, Nord is also affordable, streaming service friendly, and dead simple to use. And with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try the service for a whole month completely risk-free.