Canada has some strict cybersecurity laws, upheld in an effort to prevent the likes of terrorism. And the country’s government has some far-reaching powers in terms of legislation that many believe infringes their personal right to privacy – and naturally a VPN can help with maintaining the latter.
Of course, one of the best VPN services can do much more than that – it can also allow unblocking content such as streaming services, for example. Most providers have servers located in Canada, but which VPN will suit you best? That’s the decision we’re here to help you with.
How to choose the best VPN service for Canada
As ever, in an ideal world, the VPN client should be straightforward and user-friendly. Also, be sure to check the number of simultaneous connections supported, as it’s always a boon to be able to use multiple desktop PCs and mobile devices with your VPN. Bearing all that in mind, we’ve picked out our five favourite VPN providers for Canada.
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Best all-round VPN for Canada
Number of servers: 850+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 5
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IPVanish offers 26 server locations in Canada alone, with an additional 350+ servers located in the US, so there’s certainly no shortage here. The software client is rather impressive and intuitive, with just the right balance of basic and advanced options.
In testing the service we found it gave us a substantial increase in download speeds over our normal rates, making it ideal for torrents. OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols are supported here, and there’s no logging of your internet activities.
IPVanish isn’t the cheapest service around, though, and there isn’t a free trial either – but there is a 7-day money-back guarantee that comes with all three pricing plans. The 1-year subscription is the best and most affordable choice. The packages available are:
Best balance between performance and price
Number of servers: 2000 | Server locations: 20 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
Even if Hotspot Shield’s server locations are limited in numbers compared to most other VPNs, the service does include servers in Canada and the US that deliver blazing speeds. In tests, we found our latency, as well as upload and download speeds, were all a bit higher than our normal rates without a VPN, which is pretty impressive.
Hotspot Shield offers a choice of four price plans, including a free plan (although this is restricted to using one US server only) and a limited two-year offer. If you don’t want to make that much of a commitment, the 1-year plan provides the best value. The packages available are:
- Free Plan
- [$17.13 a month] 1-month
- [$11.85 a month] 6-months - $71.10
- [$7.90 a month] 1-year - $94.80
- [$6.59 a month] 2-year - $158.22
Most secure VPN
Number of servers: 1265 | Server locations: 61 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
If security is your main concern, then NordVPN is your best pick. NordVPN’s ‘Double VPN’ feature sends users’ internet activity through two VPN servers. On top of that, the service offers features like encrypted traffic over the Tor network, encrypted chat, dedicated IPs (at an additional cost) and a strict ‘zero logs’ policy.
There’s plenty of coverage with 83 local servers for Canada, and another 440+ south of the border, with most of them being P2P-friendly. The client is simple and straightforward, and performance is very good.
The monthly plan aside, NordVPN is an affordable VPN, and one that offers a 7-day free trial of the service (though it's hidden away and only mentioned in the FAQ), plus you get a 30-day money-back guarantee. On the downside, there’s no way to cancel your subscription aside from having to get in touch with customer support. (Ed: you can now cancel the recurring subscription directly from the "My Account" panel). The two-year plan offers fantastic savings if you are looking for something longer-term. The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$7.00 a month] 6-months - $42.00
- [$5.75 a month] 1-year - $69.00
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $79.00
Best VPN for mobile use
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 145 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
ExpressVPN maintains hundreds of servers in Canada spread across three locations. Our tests revealed that this provider offers very good performance levels, with consistent speeds that were very close to what we’d normally see without a VPN.
There are numerous native apps for all major devices and platforms. The mobile clients in particular are some of the best in the business, optimized for speed and ease of use. In terms of security, this provider uses the OpenVPN protocol, protecting your data with 256-bit encryption. Privacy-wise, there is no logging of traffic data or any online activity.
Bear in mind, though, that the service hits a snag when it comes to pricing, especially given the steep monthly billing. There is no free trial either, but all subscriptions are covered by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. Out of the three plans on offer, the 1-year subscription is the most affordable. The packages available are:
- [$12.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.95
- [$6.67 a month] 12-months (plus 3 free months) - $99.95
Best VPN for desktops
Number of servers: 37 | Server locations: 22 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 3
The server coverage here is unusually low, with only a handful of servers located in Canada (the US fares better). However, IVPN has a dedicated page on its website where you can check the server load at any time, and in our testing, performance proved excellent.
The desktop client is also very neat and boasts loads of advanced features. IVPN doesn’t offer native mobile clients beyond iOS, but you can set up the service using a detailed guide for Android.
IVPN admits that “you will find cheaper VPN services”. The price of the 1-month plan might be hard to stomach, but there is a 3-day free trial to test things out, and a 7-day money-back guarantee (with unconditional 100% refund). The yearly plan is obviously the best option if you want relatively palatable pricing. The packages available are: