Defending Digital Sovereignty
Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, “All human being have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
Our mission at Privacy Australia is to help you maintain your private and secret lives and to ensure that they don’t interfere with your public life without your consent.
We built this site to help Australians understand the changing world of data privacy and defend their digital sovereignty. We accomplish this with independent research about the best tools and software. Our research team publishes monthly reports to help individuals and small businesses protect themselves from malware, spying or nefarious service providers.
Welcome to Privacy Australia ©
The virtual private network industry is overtly filled with marketing messages that draw you in and fall short in delivery. This website exists for one reason: to be a resource to anyone that values their privacy and is interested in finding out information on VPNs. The internet is home to fantastic resources that cover privacy in many different facets. When I decided to figure out how to take my privacy into my own hands there was almost no reliable and detailed information to be found on VPN testing and research.
About me, William J. Ellis
As a security analyst working in Beijing in 2008, I struggled to connect to basic websites like Facebook and Wikipedia (coincidentally, many more websites are banned in China today than were then). Naturally, I started looking for a solution. VPN services were, at the time, security tools used by large I.T. companies or cybersecurity professionals.
But they were slowwwly becoming commercially available to the average Joe and Jane. I decided to test out a handful of VPN providers. After several years of wading through the murky waters of different VPN apps, I started to see commonalities between the apps that worked and those that didn’t. This sparked a multi-year hobby, formalizing these tests and becoming a sort of at-home VPN researcher.
After I was dead certain which VPNs worked and which were closer to vaporware, I ended up posting all of the results online, hoping other people would find my research useful. The feedback I received was all positive and the collaboration and help I received from the VPN community were fantastic. (Note: I still love getting feedback! Please send any thoughts, comments, or your own research to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Privacy Australia was started as an attempt to take all of the work from scattered documents on my computer and compile the information in one central location.
I’ve spent my life figuring out how to maintain my privacy and security. Growing up, even while playing video games and messing around on the internet, I was worried people would be able to access my IP address. I unintentionally became an expert on VPNs, proxies, and firewalls in an effort to secure my information. I am now acknowledged as a privacy and security expert throughout a handful of industries.
As a security analyst, I am exposed to a wide variety of security categories – from surveillance systems and identity identification to border security policy and biometric authentication. Over the years, I have worked within governments, authorities, corporations, and agencies. As someone who has advised a wide range of corporate, government, and professional bodies, I have had the opportunity to work with technology, privacy and identity issues in more than thirty countries.
The History of Privacy Australia
Privacy Australia is the place to go for any Australian that wants to find in-depth and concise information about how to be secure and private in today’s intrusive internet world. I created Privacy Australia out of a desire to scratch my own itch – I simply wanted to know what security applications (mostly, VPN services) worked and which didn’t.
However, after getting such a positive community response to my research results, I decided to take one *large* step further. I gathered a team of experts to ensure no stone goes unturned in the VPN and data privacy world.
The whole point of Privacy Australia is to promote safer and more secure internet usage. Everyone should be using a VPN – whether for Mac, Linux, Windows, or whatever else you’re using the internet on. Our goal is to let you know if any VPN is pulling off various shenanigans or tomfoolery that we don’t approve of. On that same side of the coin, or maybe it’s the other side of the coin, we want to let the world know about the VPN services that are doing everything right.
There are a lot of VPN services out there in the world, making it hard to come to an informed decision on which one to use. We want to take away your burden of doing a ridiculous amount of research because we are a group of people who actually enjoy doing the research. Comparing VPNs and figuring out how much your data is worth on the dark web just happens to be a hobby of ours. Don’t judge us too much.
Since privacy and web security isn’t just about using a VPN, we also created our research page and knowledge hub to ensure you, our faithful reader, understand internet best practices and have access to the same data we have access to.
Every VPN offers a set list of features and has various capabilities. As you can see from our review process, we utilize the revolutionary strategy of actually testing every feature and uncovering the various capabilities. Groundbreaking, I know.
You aren’t just another website view to us, we truly care about educating you. We want to tell you all about the positives and negatives when it comes to a VPNs support, pricing, usability, speeds and whatever else is important. If it’s important to you, it’s important to us, which is why we’re one of the most comprehensive privacy-focused websites on the web today. I, for one, hope you develop similar feelings of caring towards us as time goes on.
We Operate on Three Simple Principles
HONESTY – While the vast majority of review sites promote to the highest bidder, we won’t. We test and back up our claims with data and evidence.
RESEARCH – Our team of part-time researchers eat and breathe security. Whether it’s WordPress security, VPNs or other exploits we publish all our data in our comprehensive research hub.
COMMUNITY – We value our community and allow any member to leave their own reviews of products or information on our site. Please see this page for more information.
What Does This Mean For PrivacyAustralia.net?
Principles don’t mean much until they encounter reality. Here’s how we walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
No Paid Reviews. None. ZERO.
The growth of the online security space has also attracted some financially motivated third parties that focus on promoting biased reviews for their own gain. The VPN industry is an opaque market with many companies being owned by overseas companies. Despite this Privacy Australia has maintained (and will maintain) a strong dedication to publishing non biased reviews.
Despite getting emails like this almost every day.
Our site uses Clicky Analytics, a paid software that does not track users and respects all “do not track” requests. Clicky adheres to Recital 47 of GDPR laws, “The processing of Personal Data strictly necessary for the purposes of preventing fraud also constitutes a legitimate interest” Find out more here.
How We Support This Site
We earn a small commission from some of the paid services discussed on this site. We use those proceeds to pay our team and maintain this website. You can read more about it here on our detailed advertising disclosure page.
100% Compliant With Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
We place a strong emphasis on complying with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. We strive to help our readers by providing the best quality original objective content. All links from our website are no followed in accordance with guidelines. We conduct monthly reviews to ensure content quality.
Privacy Australia Authors and Contributors
What the bloody hell would we want with a guy with a marketing background? Actually, Kelly Gilderson is more than “just” a marketer. We admired his work wrangling enterprise security solutions in a variety of environments, and really hit it off over a couple of pints.
Furthermore, it’s not often you find in the same body the kind of creative right brain thinking it takes to publicize a company properly AND be able to shift into left brain mode at the drop of a hat, sifting code and enjoying it.
That’s our Kelly and we’re glad to have him on the side of the good guys here at Privacy Australia.
In late 2019 we were looking for an additional contributor to the PA blog and were lucky enough to find Sam.
Sam has over twenty years of experience in IT security. His professional background spans from working with the US military to large fortune 500 companies running security audits. Currently retired and an active thought leader contributing to a number of industry publications including ATT, TripWire, StaySafeOnline and many more.
Sam has helped us write many of our more technical guides including our widely cited Open Source Privacy Tools page which he regularly updates.
We offer network security consulting and DevSecOps integration for small businesses in South Australia, Sydney, and the Gold Coast area. We can help install firewalls, endpoint security solutions, network monitoring software, secure content delivery networks, as well as ongoing consulting and support. We are just three network analysts, so our availability is somewhat limited.
If you’re interested contact me here, or directly via email at email@example.com. We accept payments via most major credit cards, PayPal, as well as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero. Many of our clients work in the infosec industry and prefer using cryptocurrency payments as a way to retain their anonymity.
A word about tracking
Privacy Australia uses Google Analytics to monitor our web traffic. Google Analytics is a free tool free website analytics tool, which is not open source but works better and is more reliable than most FL/OSS alternatives.
It uses basic metadata such as truncated IP addresses (non-identifiable) to tally how many visits are from which countries and directed from which sites. It also tells me which features users like the most based on time spent on a given page. It respects “do not track” browser flags and is configured to not store anything identifiable.