|Best VPNs for Canada|
With a growing number of Canadians frustrated over content restrictions and the erosion of online privacy, many are now looking for a good VPN service. Additionally, Canadian expats living abroad are also flocking to VPNs to unblock media in Canada. But with all the VPNs on the market, how do you find the best VPN for Canada while also knowing which ones to avoid?
In this Canada VPN guide we’ll show you which VPNs made the cut with excellent speeds, secure apps, and reliable connections – as well as a few you should avoid…
Alarming trends propel VPN usage in Canada
In the past few years, Canada has passed a number of laws that infringe on Canadians’ right to online privacy. These trends are fueling the widespread adoption of VPNs in Canada:
- Bill C-11 (Copyright Modernization Act) – This requires search engines and internet providers to retain logs of user activity in order to enforce copyright violation claims, such as with songs or movies.
- Bill C-51 (Antiterrorism Act 2015) – This gave the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) broad authority to hack and wiretap any device that connects to the internet.
- Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act – Also known as “lawful access” legislation, this further expands authorities’ ability to monitor, track, and record Canadians’ online activities.
We’ll take a closer examination of each of these issues below, but now let’s look at the best VPN services for Canada.
All of the VPNs for Canada that are recommended in this guide meet the following criteria:
- Located in a good privacy jurisdiction
- Passed all tests with no leaks found whatsoever
- Good performance throughout the server network
- High-quality VPN apps for all major operating systems
- Supports the OpenVPN protocol and strong encryption
- Offers a money-back guarantee
- Trustworthy and well-established VPN provider
Here are the best VPNs for Canada based on the latest test results:
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN service for Canada
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN for Canada. What makes ExpressVPN stand out? It offers the best speeds, excellent security, reliable apps, and is great for streaming Netflix and torrenting. ExpressVPN’s apps include a Network Lock feature (kill switch) that integrates with the operating system firewall to block all non-VPN traffic if the connection drops. Traffic is encrypted via OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption, which offers optimal speed along with the highest levels of security.
As I found in my review of ExpressVPN, the server network offers consistently fast speeds with high-bandwidth data channels. ExpressVPN currently has over 3,000 VPN servers in 94 countries around the world. And while many VPNs are getting blocked with Netflix and other streaming services, ExpressVPN continues to get through and is currently ranked the best VPN for Netflix (with 24/7 access).
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is an excellent privacy jurisdiction, outside of Five Eyes surveillance countries. ExpressVPN is also a verified no logs VPN provider, with an excellent track record going back many years. For support, they offer 24/7 live chat and email, as well as a 30 day money-back guarantee with all subscriptions.
ExpressVPN Canada servers
2. NordVPN – A cheap and reliable VPN for Canada
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
NordVPN is another great VPN for Canada. It is based in Panama and is a well-regarded no logs VPN service with a good track record. NordVPN has apps for all major devices and operating systems. For features, NordVPN offers double-VPN servers, Tor-over-VPN servers, as well as ad blocking and advanced leak protection settings.
While NordVPN doesn’t quite offer the performance you’ll get with ExpressVPN, it performed well for the NordVPN review with good speeds. NordVPN has over 5,200 servers in 61 countries, as well as different specialty servers for different use cases. It is also a VPN that works for China, with built-in obfuscation features and obfuscated servers.
In terms of value and price, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs you’ll find. Right now they’re offering a 70% discount on the three-year plan, which drops the price down to only $3.49 per month. This makes it one of the best cheap VPNs on the market right now.
All NordVPN plans come with a 30 day money-back guarantee, and they also offer 24/7 live chat support.
NordVPN Canada servers
- User-friendly and reliable apps
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Double-hop VPN servers; Tor-over-VPN servers
- 24/7 live chat support
- No logs
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- CyberSec ad-blocking feature
- Variable speeds with some servers
3. VPNArea for Canada
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
Despite not being a big name in the VPN industry, VPNArea is another great VPN for Canada. It offers very secure apps that utilize 256-bit AES encryption while also offering great performance. VPNArea performed well in testing for the VPNArea review and continues to be one of the top-performing VPNs.
In terms of privacy and data security, VPNArea also does quite well. It is based in Bulgaria, another good privacy jurisdiction, and has a zero logs policy and good track record. VPNArea is also a good VPN for Netflix and other services, with dedicated streaming server hubs in different regions.
For price and value, VPNArea is quite competitive, with a three-year plan at only $2.99 per month. Subscriptions come with a 30 day money-back guarantee, along with 24/7 live chat support.
VPNArea Canada servers
- Great speed and reliability
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
- Strong security features, with self-hosted DNS
- Ad blocking
- Dedicated IP addresses available
- 24/7 live chat support
- Limited number of Netflix streaming servers (but still works well)
4. VyprVPN for Canada
|Support||24/7 live chat|
VyprVPN is another great Canada VPN in terms of performance and security. In the past year VyprVPN has transitioned to become a certified no logs VPN provider, with a full third-party verification audit. It is also based in Switzerland, which is one of the best privacy jurisdictions in the world.
As illustrated in the VyprVPN review, the servers I tested all performed very well with consistent speeds. VyprVPN utilizes the OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit AES encryption. They also offer a self-developed obfuscation protocol (also based on OpenVPN) that will allow users to easily get around VPN blocks. This makes VyprVPN a great choice for places where VPNs are blocked, such as work and school networks, or certain countries.
One unique feature with VyprVPN is that they own 100% of the servers in their VPN network. In other words, they never rent servers from third parties. This provides VyprVPN users with better performance and a higher level of security for their data. Customer support is also great, with 24/7 live chat assistance as well as a 30 day money-back guarantee on all plans.
VyprVPN Canada servers
- Exceptional speeds throughout the server network
- Secure and reliable applications
- Obfuscation features to defeat VPN blocking (Chameleon protocol)
- Entirely self-owned and operated server network, including secure DNS (no third parties)
- User-friendly applications for many devices/platforms
- No cryptocurrency payment options
- Basic plan does not include Chameleon (obfuscation) protocol
5. Perfect Privacy for Canada
|Support||Email & forum|
Last, but not least, we have Perfect Privacy. Perfect Privacy is a no logs VPN provider based in Switzerland that offers the highest levels of privacy and security. In terms of features, Perfect Privacy really stands out by offering multi-hop VPN cascades, advanced ad blocking filters (see TrackStop), excellent leak protection, and dedicated high-speed servers.
One main drawback is the price, however, at around $8.95 per month. On a positive note, you get an unlimited number of device connections, which can be useful for power users. Perfect Privacy also may not work well with streaming services, such as Netflix, because it is more of a privacy and security-focused VPN.
While Perfect Privacy does have very high standards for its VPN server network, it’s also somewhat limited on server locations, especially when compared to some of the other big players like ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Nonetheless, with high-capacity bandwidth channels, you should still get good speeds no matter where you are located. It also remains the best option for the highest levels of privacy and security.
Perfect Privacy Canada servers
- Multi-hop VPN chains, up to 4 servers (self-configurable)
- Zero logs with an unlimited number of connections
- Dedicated bare-metal servers with full IPv6 support
- Full obfuscation support (Stealth VPN)
- Customizable firewall and port-forwarding options
- TrackStop filter (advertisement, tracking, and malware blocker)
- Higher price
- Does not work with some streaming sites (such as Netflix)
What about Canadian VPNs?
You may have noticed that there are no Canadian VPN services (VPNs legally based in Canada) recommended above. The reason for that is simple: Canada is not a very good jurisdiction for privacy. Like the United States, Canada has passed many laws that infringe on peoples’ right to privacy, which we’ll cover more below.
Additionally, Canada is also a member of the Five Eyes alliance of surveillance/data collection partners. This means that the Canadian government cooperates with the US, UK, Australia, and other governments to collect and share mass surveillance data. And speaking of Australia, VPN usage there is also growing, thanks to mandatory data retention laws and the loss of privacy – similar to Canada.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with Canada, it would be wise to pick a VPN that’s located in a better jurisdiction.
17 VPNs that are not recommended for Canada
Now that we’ve covered some of the best VPN services for Canada, we’ll quickly go over a few VPNs you may want to avoid for various reasons.
Aside from the concerns about privacy in Canada, the Canadian VPNs I have tested also had some drawbacks:
- Windscribe: Mediocre speeds, connection logs
- TunnelBear: Mediocre speeds, owned by a US cybersecurity company
- Betternet: Poor performance, numerous IP address leaks and DNS leaks, connection problems, connection logs (typical results for free VPN services)
Other VPNs that I do not recommend:
- HideMyAss VPN (UK VPN provider with a history of providing user data to third parties)
- HolaVPN (An Israeli free VPN service that was caught stealing user bandwidth and reselling it through the parent company)
- HotSpot Shield (Caught embedding tracking libraries in its free VPN apps for data collection)
- PureVPN (Found to be leaking IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, as well as DNS requests when tested for the review; also found to be lying about logs)
- RocketVPN (VPN apps found to include malware)
- SurfEasy (Found to be embedding tracking libraries into VPN apps)
- VPN Master (There are many different free VPN apps under the name “VPN Master” that I found to be malicious)
There are many new, shady VPNs coming online, as well as numerous VPN scams to watch out for. Proceed with caution, especially if the VPN is free or suspiciously cheap.
Why use a VPN for Canada?
There are numerous reasons to use a VPN for Canada. Here is a brief overview explaining why more Canadians than ever are using VPN services:
1. General privacy concerns
Mass surveillance is more of a problem today in Canada than ever before. Bills such as the Antiterrorism Act of 2015 (Bill C-51) gave Canadian government agencies broad authority to snoop and record your online activities. Canada’s neighbor to the south, the United States, may also be collecting data on Canadian expats and passing this on to others (as noted in my guide on VPNs for USA).
2. Internet providers recording your activities
Aside from government agencies, internet providers are also snooping on Canadians’ online activities. This is very easy to do by simply recording DNS requests, which reveal all the websites you visit and are sent to your internet provider in cleartext. When you use a VPN, however, the VPN servers will handle all DNS requests and they will be encrypted (hidden) from third parties.
Fortunately, full ISP data collection and recording is not yet the norm in Canada (at least not legally). In the UK, internet providers are forced to record all web browsing of their users and pass this data on to the government – this is why using a VPN for the UK is so important.
3. Copyright violation laws
Canada is also home to harsh copyright violation laws. Thanks to the Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11), internet providers and search engines must record your activity. If you are suspected of infringing on any copyright, such as downloading music or movies, you can be hit with fines in the thousands of dollars. (Time to get the best VPN for torrenting and keep your activity concealed.)
4. Access geo-restricted media and websites
Another reason for people in Canada to use a good VPN is for accessing geo-restricted media and websites. For example, UK expats living in Canada may want to watch BBC, which blocks anyone who does not have a UK IP address. With a VPN, someone in Vancouver, for example, could connect to a VPN server in London and stream BBC iPlayer till their heart’s content.
Similarly, Canadians living abroad can use a VPN to access Canadian Netflix. A VPN is also useful for streaming Canadian TV channels, such as the CBC.
5. Get a Canada IP address
Lastly, there are also people outside of Canada who may want a Canadian IP address. In addition to accessing Canadian media, a Canadian IP address might be necessary for banking and other services.
Are VPNs legal in Canada?
Yes. VPNs are perfectly legal and are used by people in Canada every day for privacy, security, and online freedom.
In fact, Canadian businesses use VPNs every day for data security, especially with remote workers or traveling employees. Even in places like China, VPNs are still legal for everyday use and achieving more online privacy and security.
From Canada to Europe and Australia, VPNs are quickly becoming popular as more people choose to restore their privacy with good VPN services and other privacy tools. In short, you don’t have anything to worry about when using a good, trustworthy VPN, whether you’re located in Canada or anywhere else.
Of course, you should not be using a VPN to break any laws in your country. If you’re like most people, however, a VPN is just an important tool for privacy, security, and more online freedom.
How to get the best VPN speeds for Canada
The main tip for getting the best VPN speeds for Canada is to connect to a nearby server in your geographical region. For each of the Canada VPN services above, I also provided all of the server locations in Canada. If you are in Canada, connecting to one of these locations, or a nearby VPN server in the US, will offer the best performance.
For high-performance VPN services, such as ExpressVPN, speeds should be excellent with nearly all servers, whether you are connecting to one in Europe or North America. As a general rule of thumb, however, you should expect some speed tradeoff for long-distance connections, such as connecting to servers in Australia from Canada.
WARNING: A VPN will not help if you have speed problems from your internet provider.
I have seen numerous complaints from people about Rogers, Bell, and other Canadian internet providers. Issues range from speed problems to connectivity.
If you are having speed issues, you may want to first verify the problem does not reside with your internet provider. It’s also easy to test your VPN for speeds and leaks.
Privacy dead in Canada? Use a VPN
Is privacy officially dead in Canada?
Regardless of how you answer the question, the time to use a VPN is now.
As we pointed out in the introduction to this guide, there are a number of alarming laws that require or authorize surveillance, tracking, and/or some form of online snooping:
- Bill C-11 (Copyright Modernization Act) – Passed in September 2011, the Copyright Modernization Act basically forces data collection by internet providers and search engines to enforce copyright claims. In other words, it forces you to sacrifice your online privacy so large digital media companies can go after someone for downloading music or videos.
- Bill C-51 (Antiterrorism Act 2015) – The Antiterrorism Act of 2015 is also alarming. It provides Canadian authorities with sweeping authority to hack, record, and monitor practically any device that uses the internet in Canada. Of course, the issue of sacrificing privacy to combat “terrorism” is a worldwide trend and is not limited to Canada.
- Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act – This is the “lawful access” legislation that was passed in December 2014. While the legislation was proposed to theoretically protect people from “cyberbullying”, it included many other provisions unrelated to its original intent. This bill broadly expanded the ability of authorities to access online data, phone records, and digital tracking with only a “reasonable grounds for suspicion.”
People in Canada today can now be snooped and surveilled by internet providers, telephone companies, and a broad assortment of government agencies – and it’s all perfectly legal.
The best and most effective solution to these problems is to use a VPN whenever you are online. VPNs work great on phones, computers, tablets, and more. This will encrypt and anonymize your online activity, thereby making it unreadable to third parties.
Conclusion: Best VPNs for Canada
While Canada remains a great country with friendly people, it is also a place where online privacy continues to deteriorate.
Using a VPN for Canada will help you to restore your privacy, secure your data, and access any content you want from around the world, wherever you are located.
Here are the best VPN services for Canada that performed well in the latest round of testing and meet all of the criteria listed at the top of this guide.
(30 day refund)
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