It may not get as much attention as its neighbor, but Canada is still a surveillance nightmare for its millions of citizens.
It’s part of the Five Eyes data-sharing agreement, and web users are subject to invasions of privacy. A great VPN is a must.
Of the 80-plus we’ve tested, the five VPNs on this page are the best possible options to help you stay secure online in Canada.
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Our top picks for Canada offer excellent speeds on their Canadian and US servers in particular, but also perform very well in the UK and across their wider global networks. They also offer the most consistent access to major streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. We chose providers with the most transparent, privacy-friendly logging polices along with advanced privacy features such as DNS leak protection.
We are constantly testing all the VPNs for Canada on our site to make sure our reviews and recommendations are kept up-to-date. We run daily speed tests on our Canadian servers to monitor VPN performance in that country. We inspect the apps to make sure they’re easy to use, as well as checking that the customer service on offer is of a high standard.
A VPN is an absolute necessity in Canada if you want to keep keep your online activity private. It is not much better than the US in terms of online privacy, largely due to the 2015 Anti-Terrorism Act which gave intelligence agencies the power to collect and share information for security purposes.
It is also a Five Eyes country, meaning it shares intelligence with the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, therefore your personal information is most likely accessible to law enforcement agencies in each of these countries.
Canada also has some pretty invasive legislation that was originally intended to mean good, but now poses a massive infringement on the privacy of everyday internet users. This includes the Copyright Modernization Act, which requires 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”.
If you use a VPN, all of your online activity will be encrypted and therefore inaccessible to anyone other than yourself, preventing your privacy from being violated.
The majority of popular VPNs will have at least one or two server locations in Canada, if not more. The nearer the VPN server to your physical location, the better the performance, so you should try and find a provider that offers city-level servers so you can determine which is closest to you. As a rule, more servers means less congestion and improved speeds, however this isn’t always the case.
Canada is a big country so you need a provider that offers a consistent level of performance across all of its servers there, especially if you’re going to be streaming or gaming. Look for high upload and download speeds as well as low latency and short connection times. Check out our speed test results to get the best idea of what performance is like in specific locations.
Not every provider will work with websites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, especially since streaming sites have massively cracked down on VPN users. We’re constantly testing whether each VPN is working with Netflix and other apps, and share these results in our VPN reviews.
All VPNs will claim to be “zero logs” and collect no personal information, however this is very rarely the case. In order to maintain a high level of performance across a global server network, providers usually need to collect at least some basic collection metadata from their users. We look through all the privacy policies so you don’t have to, and write them up in plain English in the logging policy section of our VPN reviews. Ideally you want a provider that doesn’t collect any logs, but failing that, one that just collects timestamps or bandwidth usage would be the next best thing.
Almost all VPN software will work on Windows, Mac and Linux machines, along with iOS and Android mobile devices. However, some VPN services are also compatible with other internet-connected items, such as routers, games consoles and streaming devices, such as the Amazon Fire Stick.
Do you want to protect your family’s devices as well as your own? Look for as many connections as you are likely to use at the same time (most providers will allow around 3-5 simultaneously).
No-one likes a clunky, confusing app. Look for a VPN with software that’s well-designed, simple and powerful and you will be much more likely to use it all the time. We share the results of our hands-on testing of each VPN app in the the Ease of Use part of its review. We spend all day testing VPN apps, so hopefully we know a thing or two!
Even the most expensive VPN plans can be made affordable by taking out a longer subscription.
Don’t bother with a one-month plan – 12-month plans typically offer the best value and you can reduce the risk of buyer’s remorse by choosing one with a long refund period.
We’d advise a 30-day no-questions-asked guarantee – they essentially act as a free trial period.
Make the right choice, though, and you hopefully won’t be thinking about a refund at all.