LAST UPDATE: August 29th, 2016
On this article, we will suggest some good VPN services for Canada. The first question that comes to mind, is why you would want to use a VPN in Canada? Well for one, there’s the obvious US blocked Netflix, Hulu and popular streaming services blocked or limited for us northern neighbors, but what about privacy and security?
Once a nation that stood strong for privacy and freedom of speech rights, has taken a sharp turn towards mass surveillance. Even copyright trolls are taking steps towards scaring Canadian subscribers by forcing ISPs to send out illegal downloading notices to torrent users. And, with the latest proposed Bill C-51, Canadians risk loosing almost all privacy with online and mobile subscriber data.
We now know Canadian spying or ‘suveillance’ agencies have been participating in mass data collection for quite some time, and even go as far as snooping on Facebook profiles of Canadian citizens, or CSEC intercepting all Wi-Fi traffic at airports. Last year, the Canadian Digital Privacy Act opened the the doors for enterprises and law enforcement to collect your personal data from internet service providers without the need of a warrant. Millions of requests for personal private data are done every year by various Canadian authorities and government offices. To say that personal privacy has been undermined in Canada in the last few years is an understatement.
VPN services will restore that privacy to your home and office, but there’s plenty more advantages to using a VPN in Canada. Although Canadians have access to mostly unrestricted internet access, you will always have Geo-blocked services that can only be accessed by masking your location. Popular services likes Hulu and BBC streaming are blocked for Canadians, and Netflix Canada has a different selection than Netflix US. Why not have both and access to all other websites as well? With a VPN you can select a Canadian server based on the purpose of having basic privacy and fast access, but you can quickly change to a US server for HULU and Netflix or a UK server for BBC.
As a Canuck myself, I selected the best VPNs for speed, coverage, security and stability. I know how much we love our winter sports, beer, and internet access! Using a VPN will encrypt your data, no longer allowing your internet provider or any surveillance group to see or collect any of your internet browsing data. All while securing your network, and keeping your mobile devices safe on public Wi-Fi networks. Due to Canada’s notice-and-notice system regarding copyright infringement notification emails sent by ISPs, all providers suggest below are also P2P Bittorrent friendly. Let’s get to it and visit the best VPN services for Canada.
VPN for Canada – Top Picks:
For Canadians looking for a top shelf quality, P2P friendly, log-free, and secure VPN service, ExpressVPN is an easy choice. First thing to note is that cost is higher, but each account can be used on 3 devices simultaneously. If you’re on a tight budget, there are cheaper options, but if you want the best of the best, I can highly vouch for ExpressVPN as being a long time user myself. Why are they so great? Speed and an impressive global coverage of more than 87 countries. Canada is covered coast to coast with servers available in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
Their software client is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, and now also provide their own customer router firmware. Smart DNS is included for AppleTV or similar devices that can’t run a VPN natively, such as gaming consoles. Lastly, they offer a no-fuss 30 day money back guarantee that allows anyone to try the service risk free.
PIA – Private Internet Access have been around for a long time, and cemented themselves as one of the most trusted VPN providers. With over 3000+ servers across 24 countries, they offer a respectable coverage of the most important locations. The service works well and provides good protection features. The biggest advantage Private Internet Access offers is cost. If you find ExpressVPN to be expensive, you will be pleased with PIA’s yearly plans coming in at just over $3 per month. Being one of the cheapest yearly plans available anywhere, PIA allows 5 simultaneous connections, making them the best budget choice for Canadian families needing to connect multiple devices. With so many servers, sometimes you may fall on a slow one, but quickly finding and switching to a fast one is quickly and effortlessly done.
As far as Canadian coverage goes, they have hundreds of servers located in Toronto, and North York Ontario, ensuring that you will have access to Canadian content while travelling, for example. They also provide a 7-day money back guarantee, allowing you to test risk-free.
If you wish to support a homegrown service, a new player on the map worth considering is TunnelBear. The Toronto based VPN service has made waves by providing an overly simplistic UI and fun mascot to get you encryption your web data in no time. Cost wise, they are just pennies more than PIA on yearly plans, and even provide a free VPN service, albeit being limited to 500MB per month, it is a good way to test the service out before buying. Some will tell you that using a Canadian service is risky, as they are in reach of government and intelligence agencies, and could face court ordered warrants for disclosing subscriber information. The truth is, since they keep no logs, even in the case of such an event, there would be no web traffic data to hand over. Additionally, unless you plan on breaking laws in such a manner that would peak the interest of high officials, you can consider your data as safe with a Canadian VPN than any other.
Each account can be used on 5 devices simultaneously, and covers a respectable 20+ countries, and continuously expanding. Since they are a new provider, you can expect them to grow out their network in the coming years. Performance is better than average, and I have been overly pleased with speeds. Canadian servers are also available for travelers or if you prefer to use local short routes for minimal speed loss.
PureVPN’s tier-1 network spans across an impressive 140+ countries, providing over 500 high speed servers to their subscribers. They have some of the fastest routes, and most specialized features of all providers. They allow up to 5 simultaneous connections and provide service at a very competitive price, making them a very popular choice. Canadian servers are available in Montreal, Quebec, and Vancouver.
Additionally, Canadians LOVE to STREAM, but we suffer from some of the slowest internet speeds still to this day, this is where PureVPN’s dedicated Streaming browser feature saves the day! PureVPN provides their own service designed for streaming sites and services, which attempts to add up to 20Mbps of streaming cache speed to your internet line. This allows for slow connections to eliminate all that buffering time, and even stream high definition content where it would otherwise have taken hours of buffering. They provide a 7-day money back guarantee that allows you to test the service, but make sure you stay under 3 Gigabytes of usage in order to qualify.
IPVanish claims to have the fastest VPN servers today. They regularly upgrade, adding new locations, making them the fastest growing tier-1 network across all other VPN services. Now providing service across 60+ countries and 500+ servers, you’re sure to be covered. IPVanish has your privacy at heart, and provide solid encryption and security features, without impeding service. The fast speeds are consistent and work well for streaming, VoIP, gaming, and other bandwidth sensitive applications. The software is straight forward and simple to use, but the cost of the service is a little higher than most. However, when considering that each account can be used on 5 devices all at once, they actually have a very competitive price point for fast servers all across the globe.
Conclusion on Using a VPN in Canada
I hope this list has helped in determining what service should fit the bill for your needs, and shed some light on the important reasons Canadians should opt for encrypting their online traffic. Using a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks will keep you safe from malicious hackers, while using it in general will keep you safe from mass data collection, and unwarranted copyright infringement emails. If you download torrents, stream on services such as Popcorn Time, or simply want to unblock Netflix US, a VPN will provide security, privacy, and access to an unrestricted world wide web.