Mandee Rose

Mandee Rose

April 23, 2018

Canada is frequently seen as the friendly neighbor in the north. However, when it comes to government surveillance, it’s no better than the US.

For Canadians who want to maintain their digital privacy, a virtual private network (VPN) is an easy solution. To save you the headache of finding the best VPN for the Great White North, we’ve rounded up the best providers for you.

List of the best VPNs for Canada

If you’re looking for a quick answer, take a look at the table below to see what our experts rated as the best VPN for Canada

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
Buffered review »
From
$6.60
/month

10.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
Buffered review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2
ExpressVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$6.67
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
3
CyberGhost review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
CyberGhost review »
4
PrivateVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

8.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »
5
VyprVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

7.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »

Canadian VPN FAQs

What is a VPN?

Using a VPN gives you the opportunity to browse the web in complete anonymity. By masking your IP address via connecting to a private server, a VPN can help protect your online identity and your online security. For those of us that reside in Canada, a VPN is more than necessary. Why?

When it comes to the government surveillance of our online activities, many of us instantly think of the United States. While we’re not entirely wrong, Canada also happens to be a top contender. With an overreaching intelligence agency, a legislation used for notorious purposes, and a government that monitors its citizens’ digital lives, Canada easily introduces a right-to-privacy issue.

That lack of privacy is exactly why Canadian citizens and visitors of the country need to secure their devices with a VPN. We would even go so far as to say that a VPN service is essential for anybody in Canada that wants true digital privacy! After all, privacy is – or should be – a basic human right. The Canadian government has taken that right away from its citizens in an effort to strengthen national security.

We believe its time to take that basic human right back.

Are there other reasons to use a Canada VPN?

There are a wide variety of reasons to use a Canada VPN service. Since 2012, legislation chances in Canada have severely impacted the digital privacy of its citizens. Even more alarming, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) now has unprecedented powers to snoop on Canadians, as well as visitors to the country.

By using a Canada VPN, you not only ensure your own digital privacy, but you obtain:

  • An encrypted tunnel that ensures your online security
  • Easy installation whether it’s on your router or PC
  • An extra layer of security to protect against hackers and other cyber criminals
  • The ability to bypass blocked websites like TV streaming services
  • Avoidance of targeted advertising
  • Safe P2P downloading capabilities

In addition to the legislation chances that stir up right-to-privacy issues, Canada is also a member of the international intelligence alliance known as the Five Eyes.

Five Eyes and Canada

The Five Eyes intelligence alliance is an international private organization that involves the surveillance of the following countries: Unites States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. Each country enlists their national security teams:

  • Unites States – National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Canada – Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC)
  • United Kingdom – Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • New Zealand – Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)
  • Australia – Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)

Back in 1946, the alliance began with the intention of sharing intelligence. The participating countries used the treaty to monitor communications of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.

70 years later and all five countries have been actively involved in the global surveillance of communications across the world. The ultimate goal of the Five Eyes intelligence allegiance is to master internet surveillance in order to strengthen each country’s national security.

That’s not all though – on top of being a part of the Five Eyes alliance, Canada is also home to some worrisome bills that jeopardize the digital privacy of their citizens.

Bill C-11

Bill C-11 – also known as the Copyright Modernization Act – aims to fight copyright piracy. However, it also gives the Canadian government significantly more power to monitor its citizens’ internet activities.

To do this, the government 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.” Failing to forward a notice may result in “statutory damages in an amount that the court considers just, but not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000.”

Since the introduction of this mandatory data retention law, the online freedom and privacy of Canadian citizens and visitors has been virtually non-existent.

Legislative Bill C-51

Bill C-51 – otherwise known as the Anti-terrorism Act – was a law rushed through in 2015. It followed the terror attack on the Canadian war memorial and parliament building in Ottawa.

The bill allows the government, police, and CSIS to share data across the administration (and with other members of Five Eyes, which we’ll go into more below). Human rights activists fear that those in power could use the bill to suppress reasonable dissent within Canada.

In addition, the draconian legislation could be used for other purposes. Examples include impairing the actions of campaigners and environmental protestors.

Is it safe?

Using a VPN in Canada is legal and safe, provided the Canadian VPN is being used for legal purposes. If your intention is to secure your online identity for the sake of your digital privacy, then we push you to start signing up for a VPN service immediately. Even if your intention is to bypass certain websites or services that are blocked in your country, a VPN can still help you to achieve that in safety.

With that being said, it’s also important to know that a VPN cannot be used for illegal activities like hacking, spreading viruses, spamming, fraud, theft, or viewing illegal content like child pornagraphy. As long as your VPN’s purpose is to exercise your right to digital privacy, you can go forward knowing that using a Canada VPN is not only legal but actually safer than not using one.

Choosing a VPN for Canada

When choosing a Canadian VPN, you will want to consider various things to ensure the efficiency of your chosen VPN service. Some VPN companies will commit false advertising and some will even scam you; leaving you with no money and less security than before.

Your chosen VPN service should be speedy, efficient and true to its word – among other things. In order to find a Canada VPN with those qualities, we suggest:

  • Assessing any bandwidth or service restrictions
  • Reviewing the number of offered servers
  • Reviewing the claimed speeds before purchasing
  • Checking the locations of the offered servers
  • Checking the number of allowed connections
  • Reviewing any log policies
  • A VPN with a kill switch option
  • A VPN with positive reviews or endorsement

As a general rule, we don’t recommend free VPNs because for most tasks a free service will not be robust enough. However, if you are sure you don’t want to spend money on a VPN, then take a look at our vetted and trusted providers on our free vpn page.

How to Setup a VPN for Use in Canada

Setting up a VPN for use in Canada is simple. There are minimal requirements for a VPN setup, and the few requirements that do exist are easily achieved. You will need:

  • A router and firewall that allows VPN connections
  • Your IP address (if you don’t have it, visit www.ipchicken.com)
  • A VPN service to establish a secure remote connection

After obtaining all of the necessary requirements, you can begin setting up your VPN for use.

  1. Navigate to the website that offers your chosen VPN service and download it Air VPN download
  2. Install your chosen VPN service onto your system (instructions are usually provided) AirVPN Instructions
  3. Read the terms of use to better understand the legalities surrounding your specific VPN
  4. Launch your VPN software to start the configuration AirVPN start menu
  5. Register with a username and password if necessary AirVPN start up window
  6. Follow the directions or prompts – usually very straight forward AirVPN connection server
  7. Run your VPN and enjoy browsing the web in anonymity AirVPN connected

How to Test

Testing your Canada VPN is simple, and there are a variety of different tests that you will want to try to ensure that your VPN service is working as it is supposed to. These tests include speed, malware, and possible IP leaks.

Testing for Speed

When choosing a VPN, it’s important to find a service that offers high speeds. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for a VPN company to offer a higher speed but then provide a lower speed. Luckily, testing your VPN’s speed is easy:

  1. Open your VPN service
  2. Connect to a recommended server
  3. Navigate to a website like speedof.me or testmy.net
  4. Compare the results to what your VPN service claims to offer

Testing for Malware

Lately, tons of free VPN services have been popping up – mostly on Google Play and Apple Stores. The free services claim to offer security when in reality they collect your personal information and sell it to third parties. This is why it’s important to test your VPN service for malware:

  1. Locate the VPN application in your directory
  2. Navigate to the website www.virustotal.com
  3. Upload the application to the website
  4. Scan the file for viruses
  5. If it comes back negative, proceed with use!

Testing for IP Leaks

The entire point of a VPN is to mask your identity. If your IP address is leaked, this defeats your VPN’s main purpose. Don’t stress – it’s easy to check for IP leaks:

  1. Disconnect from your VPN
  2. Navigate to www.ipchicken.com
  3. Make a copy of your IP and name address
  4. Exit out of www.ipchicken.com
  5. Log back into your VPN
  6. Select a recommended exit server
  7. Navigate back to www.ipchicken.com
  8. Compare the IP address listed with the IP address you copied earlier
  9. If the IP lines up with your chosen exit server, you’re good to go!

Best Canadian VPN Protocols

The two general VPN types – Remote Access and Site-to-Site – are based on different VPN security protocols. Like the VPNs themselves, each protocol offers different features and levels of security. As a Canadian citizen, some protocols might work better than others:

OpenVPN

The OpenVPN protocol is an open source VPN that offers Point-to-Point connections and Site-to-Site connections. By using a custom security protocol that’s based on the SSL and TLS protocols, OpenVPN is one of the top contesters for those of us in Canada.

PROS CONS
  • High level of security via 1024-bit encryption
  • Complex installation for new users
  • Peer authentication & pre-shared keys
  • Some proxy servers are blocked
  • Network safety with OpenSSL library
  • High amount of overhead
  • Active updates and improvements
  • Worldwide customer support

Internet Protocol Security or IPSec

The IPSec protocol secures an internet connection across an IP network by verifying the session and encrypting each data packet during the connection.

By operating in two ways – Transport and Tunneling – IPSec protects your data as it transfers to another network. Due to its extra layers of security, IPSec remains a top choice in Canada VPN protocols.

PROS CONS
  • Identification via data origin authentication
  • Compatibility issues
  • Secure site-to-site connectivity via encryption
  • Inflicts high CPU overhead on VPN gateways
  • Network level allows 100% invisibility
  • Broken security algorithms
  • No application dependency

Layer 2 Tunneling or L2TP

The Layer 2 Tunneling protocol is combined with another VPN protocol in order to establish an extremely secure VPN connection. By creating a tunnel, L2TP encrypts its data and provides secure communication to each network. This protocol is strongly recommended for Canadians due to its high levels of security.

PROS CONS
  • Ultimate security via no major vulnerabilities
  • Speed issues (use OpenVPN to fix)
  • Reliable & Stable
  • Use of fixed ports cause some restrictions
  • Compatible with all operating systems
  • Configuration can take a while
  • Easy setup with integrated L2TP support
  • Issues with Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Encrypts authentication process

Get a Faster Canadian VPN

While getting a faster VPN is not always an option, improving your VPN’s speed is. Starting out, you might be put off at how slow your VPN connection can get at times. This is usually due to different internet routes becoming unavailable, causing traffic to be temporarily re-routed.

Normally, your speed issues will be resolved as new routes are added and old routes are repaired and optimized. However, if you’re in a hurry to improve your VPN’s speed, there are a few tips and tricks that you can try for maximization:

  • Change to another device
  • Try a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi
  • Power-cycle your router and modem
  • Try different servers until you find one with optimal speeds
  • Switch your VPN protocol/port

Unblocking Regionally Restricted Content in Canada

Bypassing restricted content, websites, and services in Canada is as easy as utilizing a VPN. In fact, one of the most popular reasons for getting a VPN in the first place – whether you reside in Canada or any other country – is unblocking regionally restricted content.

How-To

  1. Choose a fast and reliable VPN service
  2. Download and install it
  3. Open up your VPN application
  4. Select a server that belongs to the country where your blocked content is unblocked
  5. Connect to that server
  6. Enjoy your unblocked content!

What’s Available

Regionally restricted content is a joke. We strongly believe it shouldn’t even be a thing – and with a VPN, it isn’t. Enjoy regionally restricted content from these services (and more) when using a Canada VPN:

  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • HBO Go
  • HBO Now
  • YouTube
  • Foursquare
  • Spotify
  • Google Voice
  • BBC iPlayer
  • DisneyLife
  • Crackle
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Vevo
  • Pandora
  • Sling TV

Torrenting in Canada

The laws that surround torrenting have always been a little fuzzy to citizens across the globe. When it comes to Canada, many citizens tend to wonder how exactly torrenting works. Due to the different legislation and bills, as well as Canada’s involvement in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, torrenting can be a dangerous game for Canadian citizens.

Copyright Material vs. Non-Copyright Material

Torrenting non-copyrighted material is not illegal in Canada. If you want to use torrenting platforms to access free media or services, you can do so as you please. However, if your intention is to commit criminal activities, using a torrenting platform to do so is extremely illegal.

Criminal activities can include torrenting pirated content. With Canada’s strict surveillance tendencies, we strongly recommend not using torrenting platforms to obtain copyrighted material. However, if you still plan to proceed regardless of the law, it is heavily advised to proceed using a VPN.

Torrenting with a VPN

By using a VPN when torrenting, you’re protecting yourself and those you’re torrenting from. You are also avoiding ISP monitoring and the global surveillance of national security measures like the Five Eyes intelligence allegiance. To add an extra layer of protection, you might also try disabling seeding in your torrenting application.

Android and iOS

VPNs are as necessary for mobile devices as they are for PCs. With the number of cyber threats appearing lately – especially on mobile devices alone – it is becoming necessary to utilize a VPN on top of various other security measures. Luckily, there are several reliable mobile VPN options for iPhone and Android users.

VPN for Android

One of the best Canada VPNs for Android is ExpressVPN. With high performance levels, security, and an easy setup, ExpressVPN provides you with the digital privacy you so desperately need. In addition, ExpressVPN doesn’t log your traffic data or online activity and offers super secure 256-bit encryption.

VPN for iOS

While ExpressVPN can also be used for iOS, another great VPN for iPhone is IVPN. With fast performance and a three-day free trial to test its abilities, IVPN offers optimal services to its clients. Even more, IVPN does not keep logs and offers ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. If you’re still wondering “what is a VPN on iPhone” then take a look at our VPN for iPhone Guide.

The Risks

While everyone likes free things, it’s true that you get what you pay for when it comes to VPNs. It takes time and money to run a strong, secure VPN service. That means if the provider is not making money directly from you, they’re making money in other ways. Namely, they’re probably selling your user data to third parties.

This practice goes against one of the main reasons we turn to VPNs in the first place – to secure our data and keep our online activities safe from prying eyes. In this way, using a free VPN largely defeats the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.

Affordable vs. Free

There are plenty of strong VPN providers on the market that give you stellar security for less money than your daily cup of coffee. An example of this is CyberGhostVPN – ringing up at a mere $3.50/month with the purchase of a 2 year subscription. What’s more, for both CyberGhostVPN and many others, there are money-back guarantees that allow you to test their service before committing to spending your money.

Free Canada VPNs

If you’re still set on a complementary service beyond a trial period, there are some decent free Canadian VPNs that you can try. You can read about them in our comprehensive collection of the best free VPNs. However, you should always keep in mind the old adage that if you’re not paying for it, it’s likely you that’s the product.

The Best VPNs For Canada

For an in-depth look at our experts favourite VPNs for Canada, take a look at the summaries below

10.0/10.0

Editor's choice

Editor's choice

Buffered Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Servers in 45 countries
  • Keeps no usage logs
  • Fast speeds
  • 24/7 Live chat support
CONS:
  • Bit expensive but worth it

Buffered is one of the newer VPN providers, based in Gibraltar, and it's really amazing. Its server count stands at 45 countries, with the number rising all the time. In addition, it boasts super fast speeds. It has five simultaneous connections, allows P2P, and even unblocks BBC iPlayer and US Netflix (a rarity nowadays in the VPN world!).

Buffered is always in our 5 fastest VPNs list out of almost all VPN providers, so their speeds are great (especially in Canada). Their software is excellent, and they keep no usage logs. They also have a 30 day moneyback guarantee so you can test them beforehand!

Try out the best VPN for Canada today!

Visit Buffered »30-day money-back guarantee

9.4/10.0

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 49% off today!
  • Very fast speeds
  • Allows torrenting
  • Three simultaneous connections
  • No logs
  • Great customer service
CONS:
  • A bit pricey - but worth it!

The company has a strong privacy policy and keeps no usage logs. Not only does it have a number of Canadian server locations, it also has some in over 94 other countries! Better yet, the servers are all lightning fast, so you can securely use the internet in Canada without it costing you speed.

When reviewing ExpressVPN we were pleased to find that it's available on all popular devices. It installs in a snap and is really use to use. As well as intuitive design - it’s incredibly secure and includes privacy-conscious features like Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection and a kill switch, which disconnects you from the internet if your VPN stops working.

9.0/10.0

CyberGhost Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Offer: 77% off 2-year plans!
  • Airtight logs policy
  • 5 simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • Free 7-day trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 61 server locations
  • P2P support
CONS:
  • Some servers slower than others

CyberGhost ranks in number one for the best Canada VPNs, with an airtight privacy policy, no logs, 24/7 live chat support, and 61 server locations worldwide. Furthermore, CyberGhost is also based in Romania – where there is no government surveillance – adding on even more to their privacy implementations. CyberGhost offers up to 5 simultaneous connections at a time and includes DNS/WebRTC leak protection and WiFi protection.

In addition, CyberGhost also offers free browser add-ons that are perfect for accessing geo-restricted content. Their software is user-friendly and easy to use. CyberGhost offers a free 7-day trial for users than prefer to shop first and buy later, otherwise you can use their 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with their services.

8.0/10.0

PrivateVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Fast for streaming
  • Unblocks everything
  • Servers in over 50 countries
  • Easy to use Apps for all platforms
  • Excellent customer care
CONS:
  • Not much

This Swedish provider has everything you need from a Canada VPN. Consumers rate this VPN highly because it is superb for privacy and unblocking. It has servers in over 50 countries, and all those servers provide lightning fast connections for streaming in HD. The software is easy to use and available for all platforms. This VPN keeps unblocking services like iPlayer and Netflix US: unlike most VPNs. Encryption is strongly implemented OpenVPN, and this VPN has a zero logs policy.

With so much available at such a low price, there is no wonder that this VPN is a fantastic choice for people living in Canada. Why not try it thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee and 7-day free trial.

7.4/10.0

VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Chameleon technology
  • Three-day free trial
  • Five simultaneous devices
  • 70+ server locations
  • Strong encryption protocols
  • No usage logs
CONS:
  • Not a good choice for torrenting
  • Connection logs stored for 30 days

VyprVPN is a great VPN choice for Canada, but rates fifth on our list due to its not-so-private privacy policy. Despite claiming complete privacy, VyprVPN does store connection logs for 30 days. In addition to that, despite being based in Switzerland, they are not a great choice for torrenting or P2P file sharing either. That being said, VyprVPN is excellent in terms of security – with military-grade encryption protocols and proprietary technology.

In addition to that, VyprVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections and offers better than average server speeds, with 70+ servers to choose from. If you prefer to sample first and commit later, you can try their free 3-day trial.

Best VPN for Canada: Conclusion

Over the last few years, Canada has forced invasive new laws on it citizens. The legislation forces Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to keep web browsing histories and meta data on behalf of the government. The authorities package the draconian legislation under the guise of national security. They tout it as necessary for protecting citizens against the likes of terrorism and cyber-warfare.

In the end, these are only a few out of the millions of reasons why you need a Canadian VPN if you reside in Canada. No one should have the right to go through your online traffic or activity. It’s time to put your foot down and demand your right to privacy.

ProviderPriceOur ScoreVisit
1Visit Site »
Buffered review »
From
$6.60
/month

10.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
Buffered review »
Special Offer: 49% off today!
2
ExpressVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$6.67
/month

9.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
ExpressVPN review »
3
CyberGhost review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.75
/month

9.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
CyberGhost review »
4
PrivateVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$2.73
/month

8.0

Our Score
Visit Site »
PrivateVPN review »
5
VyprVPN review »
Visit Site »
From
$4.17
/month

7.4

Our Score
Visit Site »
VyprVPN review »
Mandee Rose
May 3rd, 2018

I’ve been writing professionally for the last 4+ years. My two passions in life are computers and journalism. Before dedicating my time to writing, I spent two years studying Cyber Security. Now I enjoy the opportunity to combine my two greatest loves in life at BestVPN.com.

2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Canada That Work in 2018 – Canadian VPNs to Keep You Secure Online

  1. 55forty says:

    Just for clarification, CSIS is not the Canadian equivalent to the NSA; that would be the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). CSIS is closer to your MI-5 in that they investigate crimes, but do not have powers of arrest. Other similarities is that CSIS normally only operates in Canada and do carry firearms, however, recently it was reported that CSIS agents were operating in Afghanistan and while there they carried weapons for self-defense.

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi 55forty,

      Thanks for that clarification. Working out the jurisdictions of alphabet agencies in different counties can be confusing. I have amended the article to say “In particular CSIS , which is Canada’s version of the FBI” (instead of the NSA).

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