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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

Using a VPN optimized for Canada will help you protect your privacy, secure your internet connection, and unblock restricted content on streaming services like Netflix and CBC. While most top VPN providers have servers located in Canada, not all of them are fast, secure, and trustworthy.

If you’re looking for a VPN to use in Canada, or want to get an Canadian IP address from abroad, we found the fastest and most secure VPNs on the market. With wide server coverage, P2P support, and great customer service, they’ll protect your online privacy, stream Canadian TV content, and unblock websites from any available location.

We’ve spent thousands of hours testing the below VPN services on all major devices. We also update our results every day to ensure our facts are as accurate as possible.

In April 2021, the five best VPNs for Canada are: 

  1. NordVPN: The fastest and overall best VPN for Canada. Read Summary
  2. ExpressVPN: An exceptional VPN ideal for streaming Canadian TV. Read Summary
  3. Private Internet Access: Counts a large number of fast Canadian servers. Read Summary
  4. IPVanish: The best choice for Fire TV Stick, Kodi, and Android users. Read Summary
  5. Surfshark: The cheapest VPN for Canada with advanced security features. Read Summary

Compare the best Canada VPNs side-by-side

In short, the best VPN for Canada is NordVPN. Its fast speeds, no-logs policy, and huge server network make it well-suited for Canadians at home and abroad.

That said, all five VPNs performed well in our speed tests and provide secure connections, advanced settings, and great customer support. If you want a VPN to browse the web privately, torrent anonymously, connect from Canada to the US, or stream American Netflix, these VPNs are for you.

Later in this article you can also see how we test VPNs for Canada, and find out why using a VPN is important.

Best VPNs for Canada in April 2021

  1. 1. NordVPN: Best Overall VPN for Canada

    A fast and secure VPN that comes with a large number of Canadian servers.

    Ranked #1 out of 69 VPNs for Canada
    NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
     94% 
    (246 user reviews)
    Visit NordVPN
    1. Fastest VPN in Canada
    2. 475 servers in Canada
    3. P2P permitted on all Canada servers
    4. Zero-logs privacy policy
    5. Very affordable on long-term plans
    6. Helpful 24/7 customer support
    1. Smart DNS for streaming doesn’t work with Netflix
    2. Limited VPN protocols on Windows and Android
    3. Past server breach
    4. Doesn’t accept PayPal payment

    NordVPN is the best overall VPN for Canada. It comes with 475 servers across three Canadian cities, consistently fast speeds, and robust security.

    These servers are obfuscated and optimized for streaming and P2P traffic, making NordVPN a safe choice for torrenting and unblocking Netflix.

    It’s got easy-to-use apps and a great support system, all for an affordable price.

    Canadian Servers475
    Canada NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    93Mbps
    Countries59
    Servers5,515
    IP Addresses5,515
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionPanama (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Cheapest Price$3.71/mo over 24 Months See all plans

    475 Canadian Servers

    NordVPN is one of the best services available when it comes to the number of Canadian servers on offer. It’s got 475 servers spread across Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal and over 5,400 servers globally, with 1,800+ more just south of the border in the US. This means that Canadian users have plenty of choice for nearby servers, and speed won’t be affected by server congestion. 

    All of NordVPN’s Canada servers have been upgraded to include Double VPN, which encrypts the data passing through its VPN tunnel twice over. This makes it both safe and super fast.

    These servers are also equipped with obfuscation technology to make your VPN traffic appear as normal traffic. This is useful if you don’t want your ISP knowing you’re using a VPN, or want to get around Canadian censorship. 

    They are also optimized for P2P (peer-to-peer) activity. Alongside its no-logs privacy policy and  kill switch, this makes NordVPN a very safe choice for torrenting, or using Kodi or Popcorn Time.  

    The Fastest VPN in Canada

    NordVPN has some of the fastest international speeds of any VPN provider, and it’s currently the fastest VPN for Canada available. You’ll be able to download, torrent, and stream in Full HD no problem. You can compare it with other top VPNs on the market via our speed test comparison tool

    When testing NordVPN’s speeds in Toronto, we found that our connection speed barely dropped by 10%. This is a very strong result. 

    Typically, NordVPN records between 4-8% speed loss in Canada. This makes the VPN connection almost indistinguishable from your normal home internet performance. It’s consistently good too, meaning you won’t experience a sudden, unexpected drop in performance when using the VPN.

    It’s ping score is also low, meaning there’s little buffering required when streaming. This also makes it a good option if you want to use a VPN on games consoles.

    If you’re in Canada and want to connect to a server far away, NordVPN will work for that purpose too. Connecting to a New York server from Toronto, the lowest speeds we recorded was only 7% speed loss. If you want to get a US IP address from Canada, or vice versa, NordVPN is the ideal choice.

    Private and Highly Secure

    NordVPN is a certified zero-logs VPN. It doesn’t even record metadata about you. This is laid out in a simply-worded privacy policy and has been confirmed by external auditors – twice

    As well as Double VPN (also known as ‘Multi-Hop’), NordVPN offers a roster of specialist security features including NordLynx, NordLocker, and NordPass. You can use NordVPN over Tor network (‘Onion over VPN’) and there’s also a feature called CyberSec – an ad blocker, malware protector and anti-DDoS tool. 

    On top of that, you can choose between WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols, and feel comforted by DNS leak protection, military-grade AES-256 encryption, and much more.

    This is a safety-first VPN, but it’s not perfect. There was a server breach in October 2019 and, since then, NordVPN has taken strides to amend its reputation as one of the safest and most secure VPNs, including moving to the much safer diskless RAM servers. Even though its reputation suffered, NordVPN remains one of the most secure VPNs available 

    The company that runs NordVPN is based in Panama. This is the ideal location for privacy, as it sits outside Canada’s invasive surveillance agreements and has no data retention laws. 

    Very Affordable

    NordVPN is our top VPN for Canada but it’s also one of the cheapest options. You can subscribe to and protect all your devices for as little as $3.49 (~CAD$4.53) per month on its three-year deal – almost 50% cheaper than ExpressVPN. 

    This is very competitive pricing, and great for those on a budget who don’t want to compromise on quality either. It’s still not the cheapest option, but it’s a very low price for such a quality service. 

    You can also get your money-back within a 30-day window if you’re not satisfied with the product, with no questions asked. Simply contact a support agent and ask for a refund. 

    As part of its package, NordVPN includes 24/7 online live-chat help from its customer support team. Whether you’re a newcomer in need of advice or experiencing a complex technical problem, you’ll be able to get assistance through this service. There’s also options to contact a support email or consult a helpful knowledge base

    Overall, NordVPN is a fast, safe, and highly configurable VPN service for Canada. It measures the fastest speeds of any VPN provider but it’s also one of the most secure and private services on the market. 

  2. 2. ExpressVPN: Best VPN for Streaming in Canada

    The best VPN for streaming in Canada and a great all-round service.

    ExpressVPN's new app on mobile devices
     96% 
    (1,758 user reviews)
    Visit ExpressVPN
    1. Three Canadian city-servers and 3,000+ servers worldwide
    2. Unblocks streaming services globally, incl. Netflix, Hulu, CBC
    3. Fast international speeds
    4. AES-256 encryption and OpenVPN protocol
    5. Unrestricted P2P-activity for torrenting
    6. Excellent customer support and very easy to use apps
    1. Expensive
    2. No VPN kill switch on iOS app
    3. Fire TV Stick app needs updating

    ExpressVPN is a great service for Canadian users. It has three city-level server locations (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver), fast international speeds, AES-256 encryption, and unrestricted P2P activity.

    Its no-logging policy has been confirmed and its apps are incredibly easy to use on all major devices, including MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android.

    Canadian ServersUndisclosed
    Canada NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    88Mbps
    Countries94
    Servers3,000+
    IP Addresses3,000+
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months See all plans

    Highly Secure & Leak Free

    ExpressVPN is highly secure. It’ll hide your IP address quickly and encrypt your internet connection with AES-256, the highest standard of encryption available. OpenVPN is available alongside other protocols such as IKEv2 and IPSec. 

    ExpressVPN is also completely leak-free, and comes with DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 protection. It also comes with a VPN kill switch called Network Lock (although this is missing from the iOS app), which stops your entire internet connection should your encrypted VPN tunnel stop working for whatever reason, as well as a useful split tunneling feature. 

    ExpressVPN is industry-leading on issues in VPN security, praised by the Center for Democracy and Technology for its practices. It has a bespoke safety feature called TrustedServer that removes the need to store information on hard-drives.

    It’s also based in the British Virgin Islands – far outside the reach of Canada’s surveillance agreements.

    Works with CBC, Sportsnet, and Netflix

    ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming in Canada. Its fast international speeds and MediaStreamer feature ensures reliable access to Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. 

    For those in Canada interested in unlocking US Netflix, ExpressVPN works on almost all of its US servers. It also unblocks geo-restricted content from a number of other countries too, including France, Italy, Japan, and UK. 

    If you’re out of the country and looking to stream Canadian content, ExpressVPN will also work effectively with CBC Gem, Sportsnet, TVA, TSN, and RDS. Whether you want a US IP address or a Canadian IP address, ExpressVPN is highly effective at unblocking geo-restricted streaming content. 

    It also comes with custom firmware for routers and manual setup guides for streaming platforms like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, PlayStation, and more. 

    ExpressVPN is also a great choice for torrenting in Canada. P2P activity is unrestricted on all of its Canada servers, meaning you can download and share files safely and not worry about ISP interference, whether you’re with Rogers, Telus or Bell Canada. 

    Expensive but Worth the Price

    There isn’t much that ExpressVPN can’t do, which is why it’s one of the more expensive VPNs on the market. This might put those on a budget off, but we’re quite sure that its best deal price of $6.67 (~CAD$8.65) per month represents great value for money

    ExpressVPN invests lots of time and resources into providing top-notch customer service and online support. If you encounter a problem, you’re able to use the live chat feature, which runs 24/7, or consult the useful online troubleshooting page.

    All of ExpressVPN’s pricing plans offer the exact same product, so the only thing you need to decide is how much you want to pay up front. Either way, this VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it completely risk-free for a month and then ask for a refund.

    We wrote a step-by-step guide for getting ExpressVPN for free.

  3. 3. Private Internet Access: Best for Canadian Servers

    Comes with a record-size Canadian server network and extremely fast speeds.

    Private Internet Access
     92% 
    (25 user reviews)
    Visit PIA VPN
    1. 907 Canadian servers
    2. Very fast Canada speeds
    3. Zero-logs VPN
    4. Extensive security features
    5. Affordable subscription cost
    1. US jurisdiction
    2. Unable to access Canada Netflix

    Private Internet Access (PIA) has the largest Canadian server network on the market and records very fast speeds, both on local Canada connections and international servers.

    Torrenting is allowed on all of its Canada servers and it comes with customizable encryption for more technical users. PIA is great for VPN veterans and newcomers alike.

    Canadian Servers907
    Canada NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    89Mbps
    Countries77
    Servers35,900
    IP Addresses35,900+
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Cheapest Price$2.69/mo over 26 months See all plans

    907 Servers in Canada Alone

    PIA has more Canada servers than any other VPN. With 907 servers spread across the country, you won’t experience any problems of congestion. For this reason alone it deserves to be on the list of the best VPNs for Canada.

    There are no dedicated servers for specific needs like torrenting, streaming, or selecting static IP addresses. This is good for simplicity, but it could be a negative for people who want to go straight to the server that best suits their requirements. 

    Most of PIA’s 12,000+ servers are located in North America, which makes it perfect for Canada. Nearly 50% of these servers are in the US, so you can connect below the border and pick up great speeds, too. 

    Private Internet Access has extremely fast speeds in Canada. It’s not quite as good as NordVPN, but it’s competing. Testing its local Toronto connection, we experienced very fast results over an eight-week period. It drops below NordVPN’s 10% loss, but not by much.

    PIA never dips below a 13% speed loss, which is minimal. With these speeds you’ll be able to do absolutely anything online. PIA works to unblock US Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, so you can stream knowing that you won’t be interrupted by sudden drops in performance. 

    No-Logs & Private DNS Servers

    One of Private Internet Access’s big selling points is just how safe it is. It hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic with robust encryption and a selection of the best VPN protocols, including support for WireGuard.

    PIA owns private DNS servers. This means your online requests are handled by PIA itself and not by your ISP. It also comes with:

    • Anti-trackers
    • Malware protection
    • Perfect Forward Secrecy
    • Port forwarding
    • SOCKS5 Proxy
    • Split tunneling
    • VPN kill switch

    This is also a completely no-logs VPN. Even though PIA has never produced an independent audit, it doesn’t need to as its zero-logs status has been verified multiple times in court cases. 

    PIA also releases frequent transparency reports and even removed its Russian servers in protest after they were seized in 2016. True to its name, PIA genuinely cares about its users’ privacy. In a country like Canada, this is crucial.

    Sleek Apps and Affordable Pricing

    PIA for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android used to be clunky and outdated, but its clients have transformed into a sleek, intuitive, and functional VPN experience. Even though VPN experts love PIA, it’s also very simple to use and a viable option for newcomers.

    On its 26-month deal PIA only costs $2.69 (CAD $3.49). It’s one of the best VPNs around, and it’s also one of the cheapest. If for some reason you decide PIA isn’t for you, you can always fall back on its 30-day money-back guarantee and ask for a refund.

    For a more in-depth look, read our full Private Internet Access review.

  4. 4. IPVanish: Best for Torrenting

    A private VPN that’s best for torrenting, Fire TV Stick, Kodi, and Android users.

    IPVanish VPN
     96% 
    (175 user reviews)
    Visit IPVanish
    1. Torrenting allowed on all Canadian servers
    2. Very fast Toronto speeds
    3. Best for Kodi, Fire Stick & Android
    4. No logging of user activities
    5. User-friendly apps for popular platforms
    6. Very good customer support
    1. Doesn't unblock Netflix Canada
    2. Could use more Canadian servers
    3. Short refund period
    4. No browser extensions
    5. Based in US

    IPVanish is great if you’re looking to protect your P2P activity or use a VPN on Kodi, Fire TV Stick, or Android devices. It’s fast, anonymous, and secure, but we don’t recommend it for streaming services like CBC, Sportsnet, Netflix, or Disney+. 

    Canadian Servers32
    Canada NetflixNo
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingUnlimited
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    84Mbps
    Countries57
    Servers1,400+
    IP Addresses40,000+
    Logging PolicyNo Logs
    JurisdictionUS (Five-Eyes Member)
    Data LeaksNo
    SupportLive Chat
    Cheapest Price$2.62/mo for 12 months See all plans

    P2P Allowed on All Servers

    IPVanish isn’t the best when it comes to streaming, but it’s our top choice for Canada if you want to torrent, or use a VPN on Kodi or Fire Stick. It’s one of the few VPNs with a native Fire TV Stick app. P2P activity is permitted on all of its servers and it comes with a very strict zero-logs policy.

    It’s equipped with a kill switch to cut your entire internet connection should the VPN connection drop and risk exposing your true IP. 

    It also offers SOCKS5 proxy, which is useful for torrenters as you can configure it directly within your torrent client without having to download any additional software. 

    IPVanish is a great choice if you want to protect yourself and unlock content on the Amazon Fire TV Stick – in fact, it’s our top recommendation. It continues to be one of the few VPNs that offers a well-made native client and installation is super easy.

    The situation is similar with Kodi; no other VPN has put as much time and energy into making its service work so well with Kodi. You can access all add-ons and official plug-ins, and IPVanish comes with the necessary no-logs policy, P2P support, and quick speeds to download large files.

    Its dedicated apps for Windows and Android are some of the best, too. You can also use this VPN on Linux and configure it with your router.

    This VPN can be used on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, and more technically-minded users can manually configure IPVanish for Ubuntu and Chromebook.

    IPVanish makes all of its apps easy to install and use. Even its Smart TV app is incredibly simple.

    Fast Speeds Across 846 North American Servers

    Although IPVanish has nowhere near as many Canada servers as NordVPN or PIA, we still picked up very fast speeds on its Toronto and Vancouver connections. We recorded a minimal drop in local speeds of around 10% and found that its long-distance connections allowed us to stream in Full HD and torrent without problems.

    In our most recent tests, IPVanish never dropped below a 14% speed loss on local connections throughout an eight-week period. 

    IPVanish has 33 Canadian servers in Toronto (20), Vancouver (7), and Montreal (6).

    Globally, IPVanish has over 40,000 IP addresses to choose from – one of the largest networks we’ve seen. Together with the US, there are 846 North America servers available. 

    IPVanish owns and manages its server network, and all of them are physically located where they are advertised. It doesn’t rent its server network either, meaning that IPVanish is entirely responsible for the maintenance and management of its servers. This is an exceptional aspect of IPVanish’s service and one of the key reasons you can trust it to protect your sensitive information. 

    One of the Safest VPNs for Canada

    We consider IPVanish to be one of the safest and most trustworthy VPNs available. It’ll hide your IP, give you anonymity, and encrypt your activity reliably with its robust package of security features. It has industry-leading AES-256 encryption and the secure OpenVPN protocol. You can also select IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP protocols. 

    IPVanish is easy to use and accessible, but it’s got advanced features like split tunneling, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, first-party DNS, and traffic obfuscation. It’s malware and virus-free and the company is untainted by any security breaches or hacks. 

    As it stands, IPVanish will improve your online security massively, make access to Kodi and Fire TV Stick super simple, and ensure all of your activity is as smooth as possible thanks to its fast speeds.

  5. 5. Surfshark: Cheapest VPN for Canada

    A budget VPN and great all-rounder that comes with multiple additional security features.

    Surfshark app
     84% 
    (91 user reviews)
    Visit Surfshark
    1. 100 Canadian servers
    2. Budget price for top service
    3. Very fast speeds in Canada
    4. Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries including Canada
    5. Lots of additional security features
    6. Based in privacy-friendly Panama
    1. Not completely zero logs
    2. Less Canadian servers than our top picks

    Surfshark is one of the most affordable services available, but it’s also one of the most impressive when it comes to additional features. It includes Smart DNS for streaming and gaming, torrent-friendly servers, and an array of bespoke security features and industry-standard protections.

    Canadian Servers100
    Canada NetflixYes
    US NetflixYes
    TorrentingPermitted
    Top Download Speedi

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

    85Mbps
    Countries66
    Servers3,200+
    IP Addresses3,200+
    Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
    JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
    Data LeaksNo
    Support24/7 Live Chat
    Cheapest Price$2.49/mo over 24 months See all plans

    Based in Privacy-Friendly Panama

    Surfshark has all the security credentials you’d expect from a top VPN and lots more bespoke features too. It encrypts data with AES-256 encryption across MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android, and allows you to choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. We’d like to see Surfshark integrate WireGuard protocol, but you can use ChaCha encryption for Android. 

    Surfshark isn’t completely no logs like Private Internet Access, but its privacy policy is sensible and poses no threat to your sensitive information. Although, we’d like to see an independent audit verify this – like NordVPN has done. 

    Being based in Panama makes up for this risk as it’s considered to be a privacy haven. It sits outside the reach of the Canadian authorities and its shared intelligence partners that make up the Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes alliances.

    There are no data retention laws in Panama that infringe on your right to privacy and Surfshark is under no obligation to hand over data on its customers – to anyone. The VPN’s official website even includes a Warrant Canary to notify its users of any gag order, warrant, or national security letter received.

    Unblocks 15 International Netflix Libraries

    Surfshark is a good VPN for streaming, competing with the likes of ExpressVPN.

    It uses Smart DNS and Trust DNS features to unblock content and we’ve found it to be a reliable choice for services like US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Disney+.

    Surfshark works with at least 15 different Netflix libraries across the globe, including US, Canada, Italy, Japan and UK. We experienced no lags or extended loading times testing these. 

    In addition, all of Surfshark’s UK servers unblock BBC iPlayer and it was the very first VPN to work with Disney+. You can access content like The Simpsons and the Marvel Cinematic Universe on every single Surfshark server. It also has a dedicated Fire TV and Amazon Fire Stick client. 

    It’s also excellent for torrenting. With its ‘WhiteLister’ feature, kill switch, strong encryption and safe privacy policy, you have all the ingredients for risk-free seeding. Also, if you connect to a server that isn’t optimized for P2P activity, Surfshark will automatically reroute you to ones that are, which are compatible with Ace Player, PopcornTime and VLC. All the time, its CleanWeb feature will protect you from any malware threats.

    There’s also no device limit, so you can stream and torrent with Surfshark on as many devices as you want. 

    The Cheapest Option for Canada

    Considering the number of features on offer, you might be surprised to learn that Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs around. At $2.49 per month (~CAD$3.23) on its two-year deal, you’re definitely getting your money worth. And you can pay for it via a number of methods, including cryptocurrency – which is more private.

    If you’re unsure about investing, you can always take advantage of Surfshark’s seven-day free trial or its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide Surfshark isn’t for you, simply contact support and ask for a refund; it’s a no questions asked policy. 

    And it’s all packaged in a well-designed, user-friendly interface. Surfshark makes the VPN experience incredibly simple; even the advanced features are easy to use. This makes it a viable option for beginners as well as veteran VPN users.

    100 Servers Across Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

    Surfshark has a large server network with over 1,800 servers in 66 countries. 100 of those are in Canada, spread across Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal like the other VPNs on this page.

    There are 26 cities to connect to in the neighboring US, too. This gives plenty of options in North America and avoids problems of server congestion.

    These servers are split between virtual and physical ones, which Surfshark marks in its app.

    Virtual locations will assign you an IP address in the country of your choice even if the actual server is located elsewhere. Physical locations refer to servers actually located in the country you’re connected to.

Canada VPN Comparison Chart

We’ve put together a table comparing dozens of the most popular VPNs on the market and how they perform in Canada. Here, you’ll be able to compare which service suits your needs best:

If you’re looking to find the fastest VPN for Canada, you can also compare the speed performance of our top choices through our bespoke VPN speed test tool.

Connecting from Toronto to Toronto, these are the average download speed loss results we recorded from the last eight weeks:

VPN Speed Performance Comparison Chart

As you can see, it’s a close call – almost all of our VPN recommendations perform extremely well when it comes to local connections. NordVPN is just about the fastest, but Surfshark, IPVanish and Private Internet Access all come in a close second.

All of these VPNs are fast enough to stream, torrent and browse freely in every country, not just Canada.

Our Method: How We Test VPNs For Canada

We test every aspect of a VPN. People want a VPN for different reasons, but we balance our assessments according to what users want and we, as VPN specialists, think are the most important elements.

Our experts have put every VPN in this list through a rigorous and impartial assessment process. This includes analysing speed on Canadian servers, whether the VPN unblocks streaming services like CBC, how many Canadian cities are available on the server network, and whether its security features will protect you from unwarranted government spying

 

A visualization of Top10VPN.com's 10-step review process

Here’s a full list of the factors we assess when looking for the best VPN for Canada, along with how much of our score they make up:

  1. Privacy & Security – 30%

    Privacy is the most important factor with any VPN, especially in Canada. We want to know whether a VPN stores your data, whether that data could ever be shared with third-parties – corporate or government – and whether it’s safe from hackers.

    We look for a no-logs privacy policy, leak protection, secure protocols and strong encryption to keep your information safe from hackers, shield you from unwarranted Canadian surveillance, and stay secure while working from home.

  2. Speed & Reliability – 25%

    VPN speeds are extremely important as everything you do online is affected by them. All VPNs will slow your internet connection to some degree, especially if you’re connecting to Canada from far away, so it’s just a question of how much. The fastest VPNs will slow performance by as little as 3% on local connections.

    We monitor the best VPNs speeds constantly and recommend those that have as little speed loss as possible on both local and international connections.

    We look at how many Canada servers a VPN has to assess its user capacity and speed performance.

  3. Additional Security Features – 20%

    Some VPNs are incredibly simple while others provide a range of additional security features. Some features, like a VPN kill switch, are essential.

    We also look for split tunneling, browser extensions, ad blockers and any other bespoke tools, like a password manager, private search engine, Smart DNS, and more.

    VPNs are anti-censorship tools, too. The best VPNs will work to bypass censorship in countries across the world, usually with the help of obfuscation tools and specialist protocols. Whether a VPN works in China or not – where censorship is strongest – is the ultimate test.

  4. Streaming & Torrenting – 15%

    Many people use VPNs to access geo-restricted streaming services and share files safely.

    A good VPN will unblock multiple international libraries on streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Canadian services such as CBC and Sportsnet.

    They will also provide P2P-optimized servers and online protections for those interested in torrenting, which is particularly important in Canada due to its strict copyright laws.

  5. Ease of Use – 10%

    It’s important to have a VPN that’s simple to install and easy to use. Privacy is a right and no VPN should be too complicated for someone looking to protect that right.

    We examine every VPN app on MacOS, iOS, Windows and Android to see if it has a simple design and user-friendly interface. We like VPNs that provide plenty of customization options and additional features, but it should come in a nice, easily-digestible package.

    A VPN shouldn’t be too expensive, either. We take value for money into account and highlight the VPNs that are particularly affordable, which often co st under USD $3.00 per month (~CAD$3.89).

  6. Customer Support – 5%

    You shouldn’t have to be a technical expert to use a VPN, so it’s important to have a support system in place should something go wrong.

    We test and examine the quality of support available with each VPN provider, sending technical questions in emails and testing its live chat assistance. This way we can evaluate the support’s level of knowledge, speed of response, and the overall user experience.

    The best VPNs have helpful 24/7 live chat support, an online knowledgebase and FAQ, and an email address to ask technical questions.

Why Do You Need a VPN in Canada?

Despite what many people assume, Canada is no privacy haven. It’s part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing agreement alongside some of the worst spying nations, like the US and UK.

It’s got very strict cybersecurity and copyright laws, and its Supreme Court has even supported internet censorship.

Infographic showing the five eyes countries.

Whether you live in Canada or you simply want a Canadian IP address, a VPN is an absolute necessity in order to secure your connection and protect your right to privacy.

In short, using a VPN in Canada will:

  • Hide your IP address
  • Encrypt your browsing activity 
  • Unlock international streaming libraries
  • Secure your connection on public WiFi networks

Just like the other member nations, Canadian intelligence collects a lot of information from its citizens for reasons of “national security.” In 2015, the Anti-Terrorism Act was passed and mass data has been collected and stored by the CSIS as a result

You might be a Canadian citizen, but you don’t have a say in any of this mass surveillance, and it could be illegal – as NSA surveillance was found to be in the US.

A virtual private network will spoof your location and hide your IP address from your ISP, the CSE (Communications Security Establishment) and the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service). 

Think censorship doesn’t happen in Canada? Think again. In 2015, online gambling websites were blocked by Bill 74 – Canada’s first online censorship law. This was later repealed, but the question of internet freedom in Canada isn’t always certain and we suggest you play it safe.

There are other threats, too. Canada’s 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.” So whether you’re with Bell, Access Communications, or Cable Axion, it doesn’t matter – they’re all in on it.

In short, a VPN gives you back control over your online privacy by preventing unwarranted spying. 

VPNs are also a great tool for unblocking streaming services and accessing restricted websites. Although Canadian Netflix has over 5,000 titles, its content is very different from US Netflix, or Japanese Netflix.

A good VPN will unblock geo-restricted content in Canada and other countries to give you wider access to services like Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sportsnet, and CBC Gem.

Big Canadian companies like Bell Media and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) have also exerted pressure to try and block websites it doesn’t like and even ban VPNs, due to what it sees as copyright infringement. 

In 2005, Canadian ISP Telus blocked a website that supported the views of a labour union. The move was criticized and later undone after the block affected hundreds of other websites accidentally, but Telus defended its action as legal and justified. Online gambling sites were also banned in the country’s first domain-blocking court order.

ISPs and entertainment companies in Canada are particularly keen to crackdown on copyright infringements and exert influence on the government to block certain websites. For example, a powerful pressure group called ‘FairPlay Canada’ formally asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to set up a new body that bans websites it doesn’t like.

The Supreme Court of Canada

The benefits of a VPN don’t only relate to government and ISP snooping. Most internet users today use public WiFi, which hackers can easily take advantage of.

A VPN will protect you from Man in the Middle Attacks (MitM), DNS spoofing, fake hotspots, and session hijacking so that you can enjoy a public space knowing your device and sensitive information is protected.

Overall, a good VPN will encrypt your traffic, hide your IP address, and offer P2P support that’s ideal for safe seeding and file-sharing. You’ll be able to access restricted streaming content and avoid the website bans and privacy threats that come with living in Canada.

How to Unblock American Netflix in Canada

Aside from protecting your privacy, accessing geo-restricted streaming content is one of the biggest benefits of using a VPN. This means that you can access different Netflix libraries from across the globe, even if you’re based in Canada. 

 

A man breaking through a wall with a hammer to reveal the Netflix logo

If you’re out of the country and want to continue watching CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) content, you’ll be able to use a VPN to get a Canadian IP address too. The same applies to CTV, which remains Canada’s most popular TV channel.

By connecting to an IP address in your chosen country, you can unlock shows and movies that would otherwise be restricted. This applies to other popular streaming services, too, like Amazon Fire Stick TV, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus. 

To unblock Netflix with a VPN in Canada:

  1. Choose a reliable VPN: Select a VPN that reliably unblocks streaming services. Fast international speeds and VPN servers in the countries you’d like to access are important, too.
  2. Download & install the VPN software: Choose a subscription plan and then download the VPN you’ve chosen, following the installation prompts.
  3. Connect to a VPN Server: Once the VPN is up and running, pick a server in the country you’d like to connect to.
  4. Check your IP address: To be extra sure that your VPN is working, check your IP address with our tool. Make sure your new IP address is located in the country of your choice.
  5. Access Netflix: Once you’ve got your new IP address, simply navigate to Netflix as usual and sign into your account. You’ll be able to watch movies and TV shows as if you were physically located in the country you’ve chosen.

The same principle applies if you want to access Canadian Netflix from outside the country. Netflix Canada actually has more movie titles than any other library, so there’s plenty to stay connected to. Simply connect to a VPN server in Canada and access your favourite streaming website.

To do this, it’s best to choose a VPN that is specially designed for reliable Netflix access. We recommend ExpressVPN above all others, as it unblocks 19 Netflix libraries on all devices and has exceptionally fast international speeds.  

Other VPNs that successfully unblock Canadian Netflix include:

  • Hotspot Shield
  • NordVPN
  • Private Internet Access
  • PrivateVPN
  • Surfshark
  • Windscribe

Some popular VPNs that don’t unblock Canadian Netflix include:

  • CyberGhost
  • HideMyAss
  • IPVanish
  • ProtonVPN
  • PureVPN
  • TorGuard
  • TunnelBear
  • VPNArea

Why You Need a VPN for Torrenting in Canada

You need a VPN to torrent in Canada. Canada has some of the strictest anti-piracy laws in the world and copyright holders are particularly keen to crackdown on alleged infringements, often taking Canadians to court. 

In 2016 lawsuits were launched against 1,000 Canadians by copyright holders Headhunter LLC and LHF Productions LLC, which won up to $5,000 a piece in damages for torrenting the movie London Has Fallen. In the same year, Voltage Pictures sued 50,000 Canadians over the torrent of The Hurt Locker, which went to the Supreme Court of Canada. 

 

illustration of a character protecting torrent files using a seatbelt

 

The Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11) requires ISPs to retain logs of all your internet activity for the benefit of copyright holders in what is called a “notice-and-notice” regime. If a copyright holder alleges an infringement, the ISP must forward the complaint and sometimes enforce a penalty.

To share files safely, avoid copyright trolls, and stay clear of the Canadian courts, you’ll need a VPN, which encrypts your data, hides your activity, and often protects you from any potential malware threats. 

IPVanish is the best for torrenting in Canada, but NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and Surfshark are safe too. It’s better to pick any of these than continue torrenting in Canada with no VPN at all.   

Canada already has some of the harshest anti-piracy laws in the world, so a VPN with strong encryption and a private logging policy is essential if you want to use P2P-traffic and share files safely.

How Do You Get a Canadian IP Address?

Canada’s Netflix library has more movie titles than any other, so many people want to get a Canadian IP address and access that content. Luckily, it’s very easy to get a Canadian IP address using a VPN. 

First, make sure you get a Canada VPN by finding one that actually includes servers in Canada. Most VPNs do, but you can always check available server locations on a VPN provider’s website. For example, you can learn about NordVPN’s Canada servers via this page

To get a Canadian IP address simply:

  1. Select the option for ‘Server Locations’ on the VPN’s main screen.
  2. Find the Canada server options, which usually include IP addresses in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
  3. Select your city of choice.
  4. The VPN will establish a secure connection from your real location to an IP address in Canada.

It’s as simple as that. You can then check your new Canadian IP address by using our IP address checker.

illustration of a man hiding his IP address.

Are VPNs Legal or Illegal in Canada?

VPNs are completely legal in Canada, and most other countries. There are only four countries on the planet that have made VPNs illegal: Belarus, Iraq, North Korea and Turkmenistan. However, any activity that is illegal by Canadian law is still illegal, even if you’re using a VPN.

Map showing where VPNs are illegal or restricted

Despite the efforts of some Canadian ISPs and corporations, Canada still has a free internet, with the country scoring 98/100 in Freedom House’s freedom score. It still defends net neutrality even as its US neighbors have overturned it. While there has been pressure from private interests to make VPNs illegal in Canada, those attempts have failed – for now.

VPNs That Canadians Should Avoid

Not every VPN can be trusted, so it’s important to avoid the risky ones. As VPN experts, we know which ones they are and can be direct in telling you which to avoid. 

Some VPNs are just bad, while others are actively harmful. A bad VPN can log your data for its own benefit, leak your data due to its poor security standards and weak encryption, or even inject malware or viruses. Many more are based in privacy-unfriendly jurisdictions or have links to China.

These VPNs almost always have very slow speeds and offer little choice of server locations. They’re not optimized for P2P activity or streaming, either. 

You’ll want to avoid these popular ones:

  • Free VPN by FreeVPN.org
  • Hola VPN
  • Psiphon
  • Sky VPN
  • SuperVPN Free VPN Client
  • Thunder VPN
  • Touch VPN
  • Turbo VPN
  • VPN Proxy Master
  • Yoga VPN

We can’t list all the bad VPNs – there are so many of them. However, as a rule of thumb it’s best to avoid free VPNs unless they’re provided by a respected VPN provider that has a premium version also.

Canada VPN FAQs

What Is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) creates a secure connection between your device and the websites you’re accessing.

It hides your IP address (an identifying number linked to all of your online searches and activity) from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and unwarranted government spying.

This gives power, freedom and choice back to its user, enabling you to stay safe online, bypass censorship, and protect your right to privacy.

A VPN also works as a device security tool, encrypting your traffic and protecting you from hacks and data theft.

It also undermines political censorship and opens up entertainment content by removing the geographical restrictions put in place by licensing agreements.

Whether you want to watch a different country’s Netflix library or get around the Great Firewall of China, a VPN can help.

What is the Best Free VPN to Use In Canada?

Windscribe Free is the best free VPN for Canada.

It unblocks 10 Netflix libraries, uses strong encryption, and comes with a built-in kill switch.

It’s even good for torrenting. That said, the free version has limited server choice and comes with a 10GB data cap.

Most free VPNs are not safe to use – whether you’re in Canada or anywhere else. Free services don’t invest in protecting your privacy in the same way as premium VPN services do.

They very rarely come with P2P optimized servers that make torrenting safe, or include the essential security tools like a VPN kill switch.

We would advise against almost all free VPNs if protecting your privacy is the main priority. It’s also very rare that a free VPN will reliably unblock Netflix or offer reasonable connection speeds.

Not only are most free VPNs less effective, they could even be actively harmful – like Hola VPN, which monitors your activity and isn’t safe for anyone.

We understand that many people just don’t want to pay for a VPN. But rather than risk your sensitive information, we suggest you take a look at our recommendations of the best free VPN services.

Can You Trust Your VPN Service?

You can’t trust every VPN service. There are thousands of VPNs out there and, unfortunately, many of them aren’t that interested in protecting your privacy. 

We’ve conducted lots of independent research into identifying these VPNs, which are almost always free VPN services that are easily downloaded in app stores. Many are linked to China and others exist just to retain and sell your personal information – the opposite of what a VPN should be doing. A free VPN like Hola VPN, for example, should be avoided at all costs. 

There are some trustworthy free VPNs, but these services come with limitations, such as data caps or server restrictions.  

Because there are risks involved, we always recommend a respected, premium VPN service that is genuinely interested in providing a secure service and more. 

Can VPNs Be Tracked?

The best VPNs are designed to give you anonymity and privacy. You can hide your IP address and browse the web in the knowledge that your browsing activity is being encrypted.

Some VPNs are more private than others. If you want a VPN that can’t be tracked it’s essential that you invest in one with a no logs privacy policy. This refers to the amount of data that the VPN provider collects about you and your activity when connected to a given server. The less information there is, the harder it will be to track your activity.

If you want to avoid being tracked, you should be wary of VPNs that collect more information than necessary. Avoid any VPN service that records the following data:

  • Browsing Activity
  • Originating IP Address
  • Assigned VPN Server IP Address
  • Individual Timestamps
  • Individual Bandwidth Usage
  • DNS Queries

All of this information can be found in a VPNs privacy policy and if it isn’t you should avoid that VPN.

Your IP address is just one method of tracking you. You can also be tracked via:

  • Cookies and Trackers
  • Browser Fingerprinting
  • IP, DNS and WebRTC Leaks
  • Traffic Fingerprinting
  • Browsing Behaviour

Illustration showing how you can be tracked online.

How Much Do VPNs Cost in Canada?

VPNs come with different price tags, but many of the best VPNs are actually cheaper than a cup of coffee per month. You can get some of the highest-rated VPN services for as little as $2.50 (~CAD$3.24)per month.

A VPN in Canada costs as much as the service is charging, but it’s worth knowing that almost all VPNs offer deals that reward long-term commitment with reduced pricing. When it comes to value for money, a two or three year deal is always better than a one-month subscription, which usually costs over $10.00 (~CAD$12.96) per month. 

If you’re looking for a loose guideline, we’d say anything under $3.00 (~CAD$3.89) per month is cheap and anything over $6.00 (~CAD$7.78) is expensive. ExpressVPN is expensive, but it costs that much for a reason – it’s the absolute best VPN out there.

In contrast, PrivateVPN only costs $1.89 (~CAD$2.45) per month on its two-year deal – which is very cheap.

If you’re looking for good cheap VPNs, we have a list of VPNs that represent the best value for money.

Which VPN is the Best for Gaming in Canada?

Canada has the third largest video game industry in the world. But gaming, whether on mobile, computer, or console, is an online activity too, and there are plenty of security and privacy risks involved.

A VPN for gaming can protect you from DDoS attacks and ISP throttling. It can even unblock geo-restricted content and censorship. For example, PUBG is banned in Iraq, Jordan and Nepal, and there’s a history of video games being banned the world over

Some people want a VPN for Steam too. A VPN will work to access nation-restricted content and maybe even grant access to video games earlier than your country’s launch date. But bear in mind that Steam has a strict anti-VPN policy and you risk terminating your account by using one.

The best VPNs for gaming come with fast speeds, low ping, and ideally a Smart DNS feature for compatibility with PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

ExpressVPN is the best choice if you want to game in Canada. It’s got very fast connection speeds, low ping scores, a Smart DNS feature for consoles, 24/7 live chat support in case you need guidance, and strong security and logging practices. 

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