In this article we've been testing a whole host of leading VPN services for use in Canada and reduced it down to the top 7 options. We'll be explaining their benefits (and negatives!) and looking at some specific usage scenarios to help you choose.
Some complacent Canadian's may think they don't need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). After all, Canada has a reputation for being a free and liberal country. But they'll need to think again.
Canada is part of the ‘Five Eyes‘ online surveillance network, along with the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand and your government is keen to know what you are doing online.
Many Canadian's also need a VPN service to access streaming sites and other content from neighbouring USA which is usually blocked in Canada.
We have recently road-tested all of the major VPN providers to help you choose the best service for you in Canada.
In this article, we will reveal our top seven and also advise you which is the best one for various different uses.
How to choose a VPN for Canada
Almost every major VPN provider has VPN servers in Canada and offers a strong service to users there. But some are definitely better than others. This is why it is vital to do some research before you choose a Canadian VPN.
Generally speaking, there are a number of features that most Canadians should be looking for from their VPN. These are:
- VPN Servers in Canada and the USA – While a large network of VPN servers is always an advantage, if you are looking for the best Canada VPN, it is usually the Canadian server options as well as how many are available in the USA that matters most.
- Multiple apps and connections – Many Canadians use several devices to go online. If you want to keep all of these VPN device options safe, you need to choose a VPN which has apps for all the major devices and allows several concurrent connections with each account too.
- Cost effective – No-one wants to pay over the odds for their VPN, so you should be on the lookout for a provider which offers good value for money and a decent money-back guarantee. Don't just look for the cheapest VPN and certainly avoid free VPNs at all costs.
Top VPN for Canada
Below you'll find our seven top most recommended VPN services for use in Canada.
- ExpressVPN – Top pick for Canada
- CyberGhost VPN
Below you can read more in detail about each provider.
Our number one recommended VPN service for Canadian internet users right now is ExpressVPN. Their all-round service ticks all of the boxes above and has plenty more to offer besides.
ExpressVPN offers some of the most secure encryption options of any mainstream VPN. Their 256-bit AES encryption is on a par with what the US and Canadian governments use to keep their data safe. There is also a wide selection of VPN protocol options including their own lightweight protocol, which is a rival to WireGuard.
Connection speeds are fast and consistent with ExpressVPN regardless of which VPN protocols you choose. Your internet speed on incoming and outgoing connections will be fast enough to enjoy most streaming sites and the good news is that ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime video, and many more.
Their VPN server network is a substantial one with more than 3,000 servers available in 94 different countries. Crucially this includes hundreds of servers in locations across both Canada and the USA meaning Express VPN can offer the server coverage you need.
ExpressVPN have a great range of desktop and mobile apps for almost any device. They do only allow 5 concurrent connections with each account, but in our experience, that is enough for most people.
Subscription costs are not the cheapest you will find but they still offer fantastic value for the service you get. And with a 30-day money-back guarantee you have plenty of time to try before you buy.
Best VPN for Canada
30-day money back guarantee
IPVanish is another great choice for Canadian internet users, especially if you want to connect a number of devices to their service. With IPVanish you can enjoy an unlimited number of simultaneous connections with each account, meaning you can hook up as many devices as you like.
This offer is not unique among VPN service providers but it is rare and is a real USP for IPVanish.
IPVanish has the same strong encryption as the other providers on this list and there is a range of internet protocol security options available. T
IPVanish is based in the USA and they claim to offer a completely no-log service which includes no logs of your activity or your VPN data. We have seen nothing which disputes this and we are confident that IPVanish will keep your information safe and protect a VPN user's real IP Address.
VPN speeds with IPVanish are good and they are capable of unblocking different streaming services although IPVanish can only unblock a few.
There is also a sizable server network with multiple North-American servers to choose from. There is a good range of apps too and prices are at mid-market level which still offers decent value for money.
They've got an industry-standard 30-day money back guarantee these days too which will give you more than enough time for you to get a feel for their service.
If any provider challenges ExpressVPN for the top spot on this list, it is NordVPN.
They can match the 256-bit AES encryption and also offer a range of additional security features that more experienced VPN users will love. These include double VPN servers that redirect your data through not one server but two and VPN/Tor servers as well as the option of dedicated IP Addresses.
NordVPN have a sizeable and growing VPN server network with plenty of servers in Canada and the USA to choose from.
They allow six concurrent connections with every account and also have a large range of desktop and mobile VPN apps to choose from.
The VPN cost with NordVPN is extremely competitive when compared to other VPN providers, especially if you sign up for a year or more, and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee too. For low cost VPN usage, few VPNs can compete.
4. CyberGhost VPN
If you are new to all this VPN stuff and a bit wary of investing, then CyberGhost VPN will be the provider for you. They are the most user-friendly provider out there and their great range of apps enable users to configure and optimise their VPN settings with just a single click.
They also have a huge 45-day money-back guarantee, which gives you plenty of time to road-test this Canada VPN for yourself and while their prices are not the absolute cheapest, they are certainly competitive.
These benefits do not come at the expense of other areas of their service either. CyberGhost's encryption and privacy protections are both robust while they also offer reasonable connection speeds too.
Their server network is not the biggest, but there are still plenty of servers in the USA and Canada to choose from. They also allow seven concurrent connections too, which should let you share the service with family if you so wish.
If privacy is your primary concern, then VyprVPN is what you are after.
While we have confidence in the privacy protections of all the providers recommended in this list, VyprVPN is one of just a few of the very best VPN providers to have had their no user logs policy independently audited to prove its authenticity.
There is plenty more to praise about their service too. Their encryption is on a par with the other providers we have recommended and while their connection speeds can sometimes let them down, they are generally speaking pretty dependable.
VyprVPN has a good selection of apps and a decent number of servers as well, including a plentiful supply in Canada and the USA. Prices are also very competitive and there is a full 30-day money-back guarantee available too.
Surfshark VPN is relatively young when compared to most others on this list. But this doesn't alter the fact that it is one of the best Canada VPN providers on the market.
This service has excellent connection speeds, as well as plenty of server locations around the world that can let you unblock just about anything.
There are more than 3,200 servers in 65 different countries with the US and Canada both well catered for.
Surfshark VPN also offers easy to use apps for many of the most popular devices, mobile devices, and systems including iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and even browser extensions.
It claims a no-logging policy and says it stores no user data or user activity. Some of this VPN service has been audited and these claims proves, but not all of them yet.
A real highlight of Surfshark VPN is the fact that you can have unlimited simultaneous connections with your subscription. This makes it ideal for families, businesses, and people with multiple devices with an internet connection.
Surfshark also comes with a built-in Whitelister feature that allows you to give certain apps or sites permission to bypass your VPN via split tunnelling. They also have a built-in kill switch to prevent any of your web traffic personal data from leaking.
Surfshark VPN is well known for being very compatible with streaming services (one of the best UK VPNs for video streaming in my opinion) such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
Surshark is one of the lowest priced VPN provider on the market and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so that just in case you change your mind, you can try the VPN risk-free.
If you need a great Canada VPN that's easy to use, has great connection speeds, works well with streaming services such as Netflix, and has great customer support, Surfshark is a great choice for you.
7. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access, or PIA for short, is one of the oldest VPN services that has been around for a long time. Today, PIA offers some of the lowest prices around, while at the same time, working well to protect a VPN user.
It offers thousands of servers in 78 countries, and you can use it to protect up to ten devices at the same time. This means you can access their myriad of Canadian and American servers to unblock streaming services and other geo-restricted content.
PIA is available on countless different devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Private Internet Access does not keep logs, and this was confirmed when Libsodium audited it. Owners of CyberGhost, KAPE acquired the service but some have raised questions about this acquisition which you can read more about here.
If you want a Canada VPN that offers an all-round good VPN service, then you won't go far wrong with PIA.
Which Canada VPN is best for you?
ExpressVPN is our top overall recommendation for Canada, but it might not necessarily be the best VPN if you need it for specific purposes.
This is because choosing the right Virtual Private Networks for a country or an individual can depend on what you are going to use it for.
If you spend most of your time streaming movies or torrenting files then the best VPN for you may differ from those whose priority is security. The fastest VPN is not necessarily also going to be the safest VPN service.
To help you decide, here is a short rundown of the best VPNs for Canadians for some of the most popular VPN uses:
Keeping data private
If you are wary of the Canadian government's surveillance and data retention and want your online activity to be private, ExpressVPN is our top pick.
However, VyprVPN's no user logs policy runs them pretty close and there are other VPN companies in our list like NordVPN worth taking a look at too.
Staying secure online
ExpressVPN would be our pick here too.
The main VPN protocols work with them and they offer there own faster and more lightweight protocol too. NordVPN and Surfshark are worth considering if you want WireGuard too.
Protecting all your devices
If you use multiple different internet-connected devices, choose either Surfshark or IPVanish. They offer unlimited simultaneous connections which means you can connect all your devices at the same time.
Streaming US Netflix and other American content
If you plan to use your VPN to unblock US Netflix and other streaming services from across the border, NordVPN is a great choice as they can unblock just about anything.
None of our recommended VPNs has restrictions on torrenting, but if you plan to torrent a lot, we would suggest using either ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Connecting multiple devices
If you want to connect a lot of devices to your VPN, then either Surfshark or IPVanish's unlimited simultaneous connection offers you the best deal.
If you want a VPN that keeps things simple and is so user-friendly even beginners will have no problem, then CyberGhost VPN is the best on our list.
How to get a VPN in Canada
If you want a VPN Canada, the process of downloading and installing one onto any device is pretty straightforward.
To help, here is our simple step-by-step guide:
- Choose the best VPN from our recommended list and click on the link provided. We recommend ExpressVPN.
- Select your preferred subscription package and follow the onscreen instructions to sign up.
- Download the VPN app onto your device – be sure to always do this from either your official app store or the VPNs own website.
- Open the app and log-in to your account using the details given to you in step 2.
- Once you are logged in you can either select the quick start button to get connected to the fastest VPN server available or choose a server from your preferred location.
- Wait a few seconds for the connection to your VPN to be established.
- Start using the internet as normal, safe in the knowledge that all your internet data is encrypted and secure.
It really is as simple as that.
If you do have any problems connecting, try the same process with a different server. Nine times out of ten this will fix it.
If you still have issues, just drop a line to customer support. All of our recommended VPNs have excellent customer support teams that will be more than happy to help.
Why do you need a VPN in Canada?
You might be wondering why, if you live in one of the most free and progressive countries in the world, you need a VPN at all.
The sad truth is that there are a number of reasons:
Online Privacy and Security
Canada is part of the Five Eyes group of countries. These nations have signed an agreement with each other to share intelligence on request. Unfortunately this includes their own citizens online data.
Canada was revealed to be spying on its own citizens in the revelations made by Edward Snowden in 2013.
Subsequent media investigations have found evidence of Canadian government officials exploiting security vulnerabilities in software to harvest user information (essentially hacking).
Among the software that has been exposed is UC Browser, which reportedly leaked user information such as users' identity, location data, and communication activities to the Government as well as telecoms companies and other third parties.
It is not just the government who are after your data either. Hackers and other online bandits will target Canada as one of the world's most affluent countries and therefore one of their most lucrative markets.
A VPN helps to prevent this by encrypting all of your online data and masking your real IP Address. Just make sure the logs policy is a credible one as it is with all the VPNs on our recommended list.
This makes it much easier to stay private online in Canada.
Evade Internet censorship
Even in free democratic societies like Canada, internet censorship is a growing problem.
The most prominent example of this in Canada is the case of FairPlay Canada, a coalition of telecommunications and entertainment companies that has tried to propose the blocking of multiple websites that they claim are involved in copyright infringement.
This group, which has no independent oversight, wanted to form a body that could submit lists of such websites to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The proposal came in for fierce criticism and was ultimately shelved but this was only on a technicality since the CRTC said copyright infringement was not within its remit.
The prospect of such industrial-scale censorship in a country like Canada might seem remote, but it was far closer to reality than most people realise. And the idea still isn't completely dead.
Even as things stand, there is still significantly more online censorship in Canada than a lot of people realise.
Back in 2017, a legal case between Equustek Solutions and Google saw the Supreme Court of Canada approve efforts to get Google to censor whole swathes of the internet where Equustek claimed fake versions of their products were being sold.
This is just one example of how the Canadian system has consistently leaned towards censorship rather than online freedom. But the good news is that a Canada VPN can help you to evade this and enjoy free and uncensored internet access.
If we are honest, the streaming sites available in Canada are not a patch on those just across the border in the US. But to access these from inside Canada you will need a VPN.
Not all VPNs are able to do this. You will need the right encryption protocols, explained in more detail above, and a good number of servers located in the USA.
But with the right VPN in Canada, it is possible to watch all the US streaming sites and those from further afield as well.
Are VPN legal in Canada?
Yes. Using a VPN Canada is 100% legal and you are not breaking any law by doing so.
Having said that, just because using VPN services in Canada is legal doesn't mean you can do illegal things once you are connected to a VPN.
A VPN might make it harder to get caught breaking the law online, but it is not a guarantee and illegal activity can still come with severe penalties if you are caught.
Can I use a VPN for torrenting in Canada?
All of the VPNs recommended in the above list permit the use of torrenting on their networks, albeit some are more welcoming of it than others. See our full reviews for more details on that.
However, it is also important to note that torrenting copyrighted material is illegal in Canada under the Copyright Modernization Act.
Canada has a notice-and-notice system that targets people who torrent copyrighted movies, TV shows, books, and music. This law requires ISPs to send notices to any copyright violators they identify on their networks and keep records.
Damages for people caught torrenting copyrighted materials are capped at $5,000.
So, while it is possible to use a VPN for torrenting in Canada, unless you are torrenting copyright-free materials, it is illegal to do so and obviously we would not condone that.
What is the best free VPN in Canada?
The phrase ‘best free VPN' is a bit of an oxymoron. Free VPNs are almost exclusively bad, from either a performance or a security point of view.
VPNs cost money to operate and as a result they need to make money to cover these costs and generate profits. The best VPNs, such as the ones recommended above, authenticate users by charging a small fee for log-in details.
Those that don't have to make their money in other ways.
This is usually done to the detriment of the users. It can mean a free VPN compromises its users online privacy by collecting user data and selling this to third parties to make money.
Some free VPN services also use excessive ads or even bundle software together with malware.
Others will have severe service limitations such as a very limited number of servers or speed throttling that makes streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer impossible.
A small number of incredibly cheeky ones have even been found to not encrypt user data at all. They are essentially a proxy server provider and redirect your data through proxy servers which collect information without actually protecting it at all.
If you are using this type of free VPN, the only possible encryption you will be getting is from the secure socket layer (SSL) encryption that most websites use as standard anyway.
If your budget is such that you need to use a free VPN, our advice would be to use ProtonVPN, a trusted premium VPN provider from Switzerland that has strong encryption (better than secure sockets layer encryption anyway).
However, the free account is severely limited.
But the VPNs we recommend cost from just a couple of dollars a month and we think they are well worth this extremely modest outlay if you can afford it.
Choosing the best Canada VPN is a tough job as there are many providers out there vying for your custom.
That's why we have done the legwork for you and tested all the major VPNs in Canada to see which is best for 2021.
The results are in and ExpressVPN has emerged as our top recommendation.
Their overall service ticks all of the boxes. ExpressVPN will protect your data from snooping by the Canadian authorities and your internet service providers.
It will also provide you with the speed and usability you need to do everything you want online. It has a great number of servers, excellent apps and can unblock just about all geo-restricted streaming services.
They are not the only good VPN for you to choose from and depending on what you get up to online, a different provider might suit you better.
We have outlined where this is the case and given details on no fewer than seven different VPNs that work well in Canada.
All of these VPNs will deliver the basic protections you need from a VPN and with Canada's increasing surveillance of citizen's online activity, it has never been more important to get a VPN.