It's fair to say having a VPN just about wherever you are across the globe is a handy tool to have with its IP spoofing qualities, alongside making streaming more accessible and boosting online web security. That said, it seems even more important if you're based in Canada, where it has some of the strictest cybersecurity laws in the west.
This is due to the government's attempt to keep the country safe and free from terrorism, instigating extensive legislation in order to combat this. Subsequently, residents in Canada may feel this is an attack on their privacy rights - which is where a Canada VPN can ensure better reassurance of your private information.
On top of security, a VPN for Canada can help bypass any geo-locked content, including certain websites, or even streaming platforms. This includes watching shows exclusive to US Netflix, or ensuring you can tune into TSN or DAZN when abroad. It can even help you work around blocks while in the office or at college.
Most top providers have servers located within the country's borders, but which is the best Canada VPN for you? Well that's where this guide comes in...
Today's top 3 best Canada VPNs:
1. ExpressVPN - the #1 best Canada VPN
From our in-depth testing, we found ExpressVPN to be the greatest VPN out there - and it's no different if you live in or are visiting Canada. Use the 30-day money back guarantee to try its fast connections, servers in 90+ countries, and unblocking of geo-restricted streaming content completely risk-free.
2. Surfshark - the best priced Canada VPN
We should say first of all that Surfshark is an excellent, friendly-to-use VPN in its own right. But probably its biggest draw is the fantastic pricing on offer. Sign up for an annual plan and you'll be spending less than $2.50/CA$3.50 per month - none of the other main players can match that.
3. NordVPN - huge name in security around the world
NordVPN has doubled-down on anonymity and security, with features like 'Double VPN' for yet another layer of encryption and a no-logging policy given the thumbs up by independent auditors. But it's fantastic at unblocking restricted websites at home and abroad, too. It really is the complete package.
Top 5 best Canada VPNs 2021
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 - and they're only getting faster with Express's proprietary Lightway protocol now in full flow.
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, it of course offers the industry standard 256-bit encryption, and privacy-wise there is no logging of traffic data or any online activity.
But forgetting all the specs and protocols on offer, possibly the most enticing things about ExpressVPN is just how easy it is to download and use. Whether that be on your computer, mobile or streaming device, this provider makes a potentially daunting piece of software a doddle to use. And if you do find yourself getting tangled in knots, its awesome 24/7 live chat support will come to your rescue in no time.
All subscriptions are covered by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. Out of the three plans on offer, the 1-year subscription is by far the best value, especially when you consider the special offer available to TechRadar readers...
Grab the best Canada VPN 2021 with 3 months extra FREE
As if the quality of ExpressVPN wasn't enough on its own, it also has some great pricing to tempt you in. Opt for an annual plan and you instantly get three months free and a whole year of secure cloud backup from Backblaze! Still not sure? Then you can always take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee.
Let's be honest... it's Surfshark's pricing that really makes it stand out from the crowd. If you're willing to commit to two years with the same VPN provider, then nobody tops the pricing that Surfshark offers.
But don't for a moment imagine that means you'll be palmed off with an inferior service. Surfshark has pretty much most of the things you would demand of your Canada VPN: around one hundred servers north of the border in three separate cities, helpful 24/7 live chat support, a variety of protocols to choose from (including the super speedy WireGuard), and the ability to easily unlock content from foreign TV streaming catalogues including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Disney+.
As well as the pricing, we really like Surfshark for how approachable it is. From the landing page on its website, all through installation and then when you eventually come to use it, we found the messaging clear, simple and to the point. And it also boasts that ability to use your VPN on as many devices as you choose at once (ppsssst... you might want to give your login details to family members).
If security is your main concern, then NordVPN is a great pick. NordVPN’s ‘Double VPN’ feature sends users’ internet activity through two VPN servers. And that's just for starters!
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 ‘zero logs’ policy that's been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It's all pretty impressive stuff from the most famous name in the game.
There’s plenty of coverage with 400+ local servers for Canada, and another 1,700 south of the border, with most of them being P2P-friendly. The client is simple and straightforward, and performance is very good.
Hockey fan abroad? NordVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs out there, allowing you to watch domestic coverage that you wouldn't normally be able to watch overseas as if you were back on your couch at home.
The monthly plan aside, NordVPN is an affordable VPN, and another one that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. The limited multi-year plan offers fantastic savings if you are looking for something longer-term.
IPVanish may not have the quantity of servers of some competitors, but the quality is undeniable. The US-based provider has proved itself as a secure no-logging VPN with fast connection speeds in North America, so you shouldn't experience too much lag when you're surfing, streaming and downloading.
It offers over 30 server locations in Canada alone, with an additional 800+ servers located in the US, so there’s certainly no shortage here.
The software clients are rather impressive and intuitive, with just the right balance of basic and advanced options to suit new and more experienced users. If we're quibbling, we'd welcome improvement and more regular updates to its Android and iOS apps, but they're far from bad.
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, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2 protocols are supported here, and there’s no logging of your internet activities. We have to admit that it's a bit surprising to note that it hasn't yet adopted WireGuard or developed its own speedier protocol like a lot of the competition have, but perhaps IPVanish are satisfied that its connection speeds are fast enough without those.
It will easily unblock foreign Netflix and Hulu catalogues from the cross-border neighbours and beyond. Just a shame that fans of British TV can't say the same for BBC iPlayer. IPVanish's pricing has really improved lately, too - it's one of the cheapest about if a one month sub is all you're after, or go all out on an annual plan and know that there's a a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don't get on with it.
Hotspot Shield has 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 higher than our normal rates without a VPN, which is pretty impressive. Yes, this provider tops our list of the fastest VPNs.
In recent times, Hotspot has really upped its streaming game, too. If you're north of the border and trying to stream Netflix content that is only available on another country's Netflix, this VPN will help you access it. And vice versa, too, for natives wanting to stream content (whether that be Netflix, sports streaming, or other networks) exclusively available in Canada when abroad.
Hotspot Shield offers a choice of three price plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee and the longer plan of course provides the best value.
Canada VPN FAQ
How to choose the best Canada VPN
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.
What is the best VPN for Canada?
The competition is tough, but top of our list at the moment is ExpressVPN. You can see from our full guide all the reasons why, but in short its about speed, security, service, streaming, and pure ease-of-use. ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes, with servers in 90+ countries (including in three Canadian cities) and a 24/7 live chat support team that will come to your rescue in the rare event that you're having trouble connecting.
Why get a Canada VPN?
VPNs were originally designed with online security in mind - using encrypted tunnels and faceless servers to ensure that your activities could not be traced - and for many Canadians, that will remain the main reason for getting a VPN.
But it's the flexibility and extra use cases that have contributed to the massive growth in the VPN industry. The fact that you can use them to make your laptop or mobile think they're in Canada, even when they're not, has become a lifeline for travellers and expats to watch Canadian sport and TV even when they're on the other side of the globe. And logging on via a server elsewhere also means you can access websites that may otherwise have been blocked in your corner of the country - hence why VPNs for streaming have become so popular these days.
Is a VPN legal in Canada?
It's a fair question, considering there are some countries in which the use of VPNs have been banned. However, in Canada, using a VPN is completely legal, though it is fair to say the anonymity awarded from a VPN doesn't automatically exempt you from any illegal activities you may choose to carry out while connected to one.