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Best VPN for Canada

Illustration of the flag of Canada
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Despite what people assume, Canada is no privacy haven. It’s part of the Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement alongside some of the worst spying offenders on the planet, like the US and UK. It’s got strict cybersecurity and copyright laws and its Supreme Court has even supported internet censorship. Do you need a VPN for Canada? Whether you live there or just visiting, if you want to secure your anonymity and right to privacy, a VPN is an absolute necessity.

We highly recommend using one of the best VPNs for Canada to protect your online anonymity. When you use a VPN you’re assigned an anonymous IP address to hide your web activities from indiscreet eyes, like your ISP or even the CSIS.

Since 2016, we’ve spent tens of thousands of hours testing over 70 VPN services for Canada. The five VPN providers we recommend in this guide are the fastest and safest you’ll find. If you want to browse the web privately and securely, torrent anonymously, or stream American Netflix from Canada, these VPNs are for you.

Top Canada VPN Features

  1. VPN servers in East & West Canada
  2. Quick & steady connection speeds
  3. Strong privacy & security features
  4. Reassuring privacy & logging policy
  5. Isn't blocked by Netflix
  6. Apps available for all popular devices

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

5 Best VPN Services for Canada

1. ExpressVPN

Ranked #1 out of 70 VPNs for Canada

  1. Impressive VPN speeds in Canada
  2. Best speeds connecting to the US
  3. Fast servers in three Canadian cities
  4. Supports Netflix, Hulu & P2P traffic
  5. Full-featured Chrome and Firefox extensions
  6. Excellent 24/7 live support
  1. Shorter plans could be cheaper
  2. Firestick app needs a refresh
  3. No dedicated streaming servers
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

At the moment ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Canada – it’s a very fast VPN with servers in three Canadian cities: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

In fact, ExpressVPN’s download speeds are some of the fastest we’ve seen, as are its speeds from Toronto to both US coasts.

It’s also a great VPN for streaming and for anonymous torrents. ExpressVPN works very well with US Netflix and Hulu, and there are no restrictions whatsoever on P2P traffic. Paired with the great connection speeds, and you’ve got a top VPN for your entertainment needs.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN’s apps are easy to use and available for all popular devices. And you can have up to five simultaneous connections per account.

ExpressVPN also comes with fully-featured browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These VPN extensions are great, because you can essentially control your VPN software from your web browser. Again, ExpressVPN’s user experience is outstanding.

Ultimately, this VPN will appeal to both experienced VPN users and beginners.

It’s certainly more expensive than some of the other top VPNs in this guide but, in our opinion, ExpressVPN still represents great value for money given how good it is.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

Ranked #2 out of 70 VPNs for Canada

  1. Fast speeds within Canada
  2. Very good download speeds in the US
  3. Quick, hassle-free access to streaming sites
  4. P2P permitted on Canadian servers
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  6. Helpful 24/7 customer support
  1. Netflix & other streaming services not supported on Fire TV Stick
  2. Alternative VPN protocols for Windows & Android apps require manual setup
  3. Doesn't accept PayPal
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,394 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

NordVPN has a market-leading 453 servers in Canada spread across Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

For starters, it reliably works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer (except on streaming devices like Amazon Firestick). Its SmartPlay technology makes it one of the very best services for unblocking video content.

And just like ExpressVPN, all of NordVPN’s Canadian servers allow torrent traffic.

Truth be told, NordVPN’s download speeds on Canadian servers aren’t as quick as ExpressVPN’s, but the speeds are still impressive and more than fast enough for fast streaming and downloads.

Like all the other VPNs in this guide, NordVPN is very easy to install and use on all popular devices. It also comes with browser addons for Chrome and Firefox.

However, if you want to use VPN protocols other than OpenVPN on Windows or Android devices, you’ll have to manually configure them. We don’t love this, as a selection of secure protocols should be available for all popular devices. ExpressVPN’s usability and user-friendliness is simply better.

Nevertheless, NordVPN is a very good choice for Canada, and its cheaper price point is certainly appealing for readers on a tighter budget.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

3. CyberGhost

Ranked #3 out of 70 VPNs for Canada

  1. Very fast download speeds
  2. Unblocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  3. No user logs stored
  4. Huge server park: over 6,000 servers
  5. Optimized servers for P2P and torrenting
  6. User-friendly apps for a range of devices
  1. Torrenting not available on Australia servers
  2. Won't work in China
  3. Limited browser extensions
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    87Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is our budget pick for Canada and isn’t too far off ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

It has 199 secure VPN servers spread across Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. And all the servers we tested recorded extremely quick speeds.

One of CyberGhost’s strengths is how easy it unblocks streaming services. It has dedicated streaming servers for typical services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer to less common choices like Crunchyroll and HBO Now.

And, you can torrent anonymously on all servers apart from Australian ones. Frankly speaking, that’s not an issue for Canadians.

Additionally, all the CyberGhost apps have gone through a revamp in recent years and they’re all very easy to use. However, the Mac client defaults to IKEv2, which is a strong and secure protocol, but OpenVPN is our first choice. Unfortunately, to get OpenVPN on the CyberGhost macOS app, you’ll need to download and manually configure the OpenVPN file.

Another limitation affects CyberGhost’s Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. They only serve four countries, and Canada isn’t one of them. While it’s not a huge issue, VPN extensions are increasingly popular and CyberGhost needs to do a better job there.

Overall, CyberGhost is a great VPN that’s been shooting up the rankings. If you’re looking for a click-and-play streaming VPN, CyberGhost might just be what you’re looking for.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost review.

4. IPVanish

Ranked #4 out of 70 VPNs for Canada

  1. Outstanding download speeds
  2. No logging of user activities
  3. Works well with Netflix
  4. Torrenting allowed on all Canadian servers
  5. User-friendly apps for popular platforms
  6. Very good customer support
  1. No browser extensions
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
  3. Mediocre international speeds
  4. Doesn't work in China
  5. Doesn't unblock BBC iPlayer
  • Best Price

    $5.20 over 12 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    84Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    57 countries, 1,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

One of the standout features of IPVanish is its speed on Canadian servers. In fact, its VPN speeds in Toronto are some of the fastest we’ve seen.

While it doesn’t have the 450-plus Canadian servers NordVPN has, IPVanish’s 33 servers still perform highly across Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. The excellent speeds we recorded are evidence of how good IPVanish’s Canadian server infrastructure is.

Also, many of IPVanish’s US servers currently work with Netflix, and P2P traffic is permitted on all Canadian servers, without restrictions. Unfortunately, IPVanish can’t unblock BBC iPlayer, which is a shame.

The desktop software isn’t perfect, either. While it has improved considerably over the years, the user interface is still not as friendly as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. However, it does the job just fine.

Another issue we have with IPVanish is that it won’t work in high censorship countries like China. If you’re travelling to a highly-censored nation, this isn’t the VPN for you. Instead, you should choose ExpressVPN.

But, IPVanish is still one of the best VPNs for privacy in virtue of its strict zero logs policy and suite of advanced security features, including a VPN kill switch.

For a more in-depth look, read our full IPVanish review.

5. PrivateVPN

Ranked #5 out of 70 VPNs for Canada

  1. Very good speeds in Canada
  2. Works with US Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  3. All Canadian servers are P2P friendly
  4. No logging of web activities
  5. Simple custom apps for popular platforms
  6. Connect securely to 59 countries
  1. Small server park (150 servers)
  2. No browser extensions
  3. Unreliable live chat support
  • Best Price

    $1.89/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    60 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is another budget VPN option for Canada.

VPN speeds on the Toronto server are remarkably fast and impressive when we connected to the nearby US East Coast.

Unfortunately there are only two Canadian cities to choose from on PrivateVPN: Montreal and Toronto. While Canadians on the West Coast should still experience very good speeds, VPN servers in Vancouver are recommended.

On the streaming front, PrivateVPN does a remarkable job, especially at unblocking over 19 Netflix libraries! It also works really well with BBC iPlayer.

And, in terms of P2p traffic, there are no torrenting restrictions on any of PrivateVPN’s servers. Considering it won’t log any web activity whatsoever, PrivateVPN is certainly a very good choice for torrenters.

However, it’s a shame that PrivateVPN doesn’t come with any browser extensions. And customer support is hit-and-miss, with live chat support disappearing at times.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.

VPNs in Canada

Why You Need a VPN in Canada

A VPN is an absolute necessity in Canada if you want to keep your web activities anonymous.

Canada is not much better than the US when it comes to online privacy. The 2015 Anti-Terrorism Act gives Canadian intelligence agencies, like the CSIS, the power to collect data for “security purposes.”

And collect data they do: the CSIS has been monitoring and storing data on millions of ordinary Canadians.

Canada is also a member of the Five Eyes alliance. As such, it shares data on ‘people of interest’ with the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. That means that each of their spy services have potential access to your personal information.

And it doesn’t finish there. The Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C:11) requires Canadian ISPs to “retain records that will allow the identity of the person to whom the electronic location belongs to be determined, and do so for six months.”

The evidence is compelling: Canada is a privacy-unfriendly nation that will regularly monitor and log your web activities.

How do you combat Canada’s surveillance?

One of our preferred privacy tools to combat online surveillance is a virtual private network (VPN).

When you use a VPN and connect to a VPN server:

  • You’ll get an anonymous IP address, and your ISP can’t see what you do online
  • As a result, web activities can’t be linked back to your real IP location
  • Your internet connection will be far more secure (especially on public WiFi)
  • You’ll be able to access geo-blocked or censored websites

Here’s an illustration of the advantages of using a VPN:

illustration showing the advantages of a VPN vs a Proxy

Remember, though: if you log into your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account, you’re no longer anonymous to those specific services.

Based on the above benefits of using a VPN, you’re probably wondering if VPNs are actually legal in Canada.

Don’t worry, VPN services are perfectly legal in Canada, and in many other countries like the US, UK and Australia.

There are no laws, in any Canadian province, that ban or restrict VPN use. What you do with your VPN, however, is still subject to the laws of Canada.

However, you should be aware that VPNs are not legal, or are restricted, in certain other countries – see the illustration below:

Map showing where VPNs are illegal or restricted

Is Torrenting Illegal in Canada?

Whether torrenting is legal or illegal is one of the questions we get asked the most.

Downloading and sharing movies, music, software and more, is legal. As long as the material isn’t copyright-protected, though. If it is, and you don’t have the necessary permissions, you’re breaking Canadian copyright laws.

Typically, Canadian ISPs will send a cease-and-desist notification to all web users found to illegally torrent files.

Additionally, the Copyright Modernization Act compels Canadian ISPs to store download and upload data of violating subscribers for at least six months. What’s more, ISPs can also start throttling your download and upload speeds.

However, unlike the US or the UK, copyright holders can’t sue copyright violators for more than CAD$5,000 if the copyrighted works are used for non-commercial purposes.

If you’re not using a VPN to hide your torrent IP address, the risk of being identified as a copyright violator is much higher – whether you meant to download copyrighted material, or not.

How to Unblock American Netflix

A screenshot of the home screen of the US Netflix library, as accessed through ExpressVPN

Canada’s Netflix library counts 3,571 titles. In comparison, the US Netflix library has over 5,500 titles. That’s a big difference!

Unsurprisingly, many Canadians have been using VPN software to bypass Netflix’s geo-blocks and unlock all the additional US-only video content.

Luckily, accessing the American Netflix library is very easy to do if you follow these steps:

  1. Select and download one of the best Netflix VPNs
  2. Connect to a Netflix-enabled US server
  3. Clear your web browser cookies*
  4. Visit the Netflix site or open up the app
  5. Start streaming

* If you streamed Netflix prior to downloading a VPN, Netflix cookies will be stored in your web browser. These can sometimes interfere with bypassing Netflix’s geo-restrictions.

How to Get a Canadian IP Address

In case it wasn’t already clear, getting a Canadian IP address is easy using a VPN. It makes no difference if you’re already in Canada, or you want to surf the web as if you are there.

Follow the steps below to get an anonymous Canadian IP address:

  1. Choose a reliable VPN

    Select a VPN that has fast VPN servers in Canada that don’t leak your true IP address. Pick one of the VPN services in this guide and you’ll be all right.

  2. Download & install the VPN software

    Then, download the your VPN software of choice and set it up on your device(s) following the installation prompts. You can also follow our detailed installation guides.

  3. Connect to a Canadian server

    Once the VPN is up and running, pick a server in Canada from the VPN’s server list and connect to it.

  4. Check for IP leaks

    To be extra sure that you’ve been assigned a Canadian IP address, go to browserleaks.com and you should see a Canadian IP address that’s replaced your real one. If you see your true IP address, then the VPN isn’t working properly.

What's the Best Free VPN for Canada?

Free VPNs are very popular, but a lot of them are best left alone. Worrying security flaws and shady ownership spell trouble to people who use them.

But, we understand that a free VPN may be enough for what you need it for. And the good news is that there are a few good free VPNs for Canada.

Currently, Windscribe is the best free VPN (it’s also based in Canada, which has its pros and cons). It’s one of the faster free VPNs we’ve tested and its 10GB monthly data cap should be fine for casual web browsing.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list, head over to our dedicated guide on the best free VPNs for 2020.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio