Canada may not be famous for strict online restrictions, but there are still several reasons you should get one best VPN services to use in or outside the country.
It might be to escape the surveillance practices of the Five Eyes Alliance, for example. Or, you might be worried about the impact of new invasive legislations like the infamous Bill C-11. Perhaps, you just want to keep up with your favorite shows when traveling instead. Well, a Canada VPN is precisely the tool you want to do all this for you.
But, how does a Canada VPN work in practice? As all the top services boast a huge network of international servers, a virtual private network can make you appear virtually just about anywhere around the world. This means that your actual IP address will be hidden, resulting in stronger online privacy for users, together with the ability to access otherwise geo-restricted content.
From TSN to DAZN, CBC, or Crave, if you find yourself outside the country, a VPN will sort you right out. You will also be able to enjoy better and safer online experiences: from torrenting and gaming to simply your everyday browsing. Whatever you're after, here are our recommendations for the five best Canada VPNs on the market right now.
How to choose the best Canada VPN
Now that you know why you need a Canada VPN, you might be wondering what you actually need from your software.
Strong security features and encryption protocols are the first things you should look out for, especially if better privacy is your primary need. The WireGuard protocol is now the best on the market in terms of security and speeds, but also OpenVPN is still a valuable option.
Server coverage is another important factor, as more options mean a better chance of getting a fast and reliable connection. For a Canada VPN, you surely want to have a strong network located in and around main cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
Finally, VPN apps should be straightforward and user-friendly. Also, be sure to check the number of simultaneous connections supported, as it’s always a bonus to be able to use multiple desktop PCs and mobile devices with your VPN.
Our list of today's top 3 best Canada VPN:
1. ExpressVPN - the #1 best Canada VPN (opens in new tab)
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.
3. NordVPN - huge name in security around the world (opens in new tab)
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.
3. Proton VPN - a fast unblocking whizz (opens in new tab)
Get the best of both with worlds with reliably fast speeds, excellent unblocking capabilities across top streaming platforms, and feature-packed, open-source apps for a number of devices. All this with Proton VPN.
Top 5 best Canada VPNs 2022(opens in new tab)
Boasting more than 3,000 secure international servers, ExpressVPN maintains hundreds of these in Canada spread across the three main cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
There are numerous native apps for all major devices and platforms — the mobile clients in particular are some of the best we have seen. In terms of security, it offers the industry standard 256-bit encryption, its very own WireGuard based Lightway protocol and a ton of strong security features like its ultra-reliable kill switch. While privacy-wise, there is an audited no logging policy to secure your data.
Despite not being the fastest VPN around (during our last testing its peak speeds dropped from 630 to 560 Mbps with Lightway and from 385 to 355 Mbps with OpenVPN), its connections are reliable and should be good enough for most users. Plus, its unlocking power is still strong with any types of online restrictions and streaming platforms.
But forgetting all the specs on offer, possibly the most enticing thing 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, it's wonderful 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 2022 with 3 months extra FREE (opens in new tab)
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.
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If security is your main concern, then NordVPN is a great pick. Its ‘Double VPN’ feature sends users’ internet activity through two VPN servers for extra security, for example. It even boasts two kill switches to prevent any data leaks from happening. And, that's just for starters!
The service also offers some pretty advanced 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, too. It has more than 480 local servers across the three biggest cities in Canada, and another 1,900+ south of the border, with most of them being P2P-friendly. The client is simple and straightforward, and performance is almost top of the class. Its WireGuard-based protocol NordLynx produced some spectacular speeds last time we checked, recording highs of 820Mbps.
Hockey fan abroad? NordVPN is also a reliable streaming VPN, 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. In terms of Netflix, while it had some niggles previously, NordVPN is now one strong Netflix VPN, accessing libraries in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and even Japan.
The monthly plan and some small pricing increases aside, NordVPN is still an affordable VPN if you opt for one of its multi-years plans. It's also another provider that offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out for yourself!
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When it comes to privacy, Proton VPN is a secure bet. The same Swiss-based provider behind the encrypted email service ProtonMail, it boasts a strict no-logs policy as well as independently audited and open-source apps. What's more, we couldn't find any trackers on its website nor Android apps last time we checked.
This, combined with 64 servers based across Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto make it a great Canada VPN option, whether you want to circumvent its new laws, or you're travelling abroad and want to access Canadian broadcasts back in the Great White North. It even includes three Secure Core servers rerouting your traffic via Switzerland, Sweden and Iceland for better privacy and stronger security.
Proton VPN is great for that, able to bypass geo-restrictions and access the likes of Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime. While in terms of speeds, its performances were less memorable this time, dropping from 670 to 510Mbps with WireGuard and from 440 to 210Mbps with OpenVPN.
In terms of improvements, Proton has recently enlarged its network coverage, passing from 29 free servers to more than 100. Together with the Tor Project to build a more secure internet, it also rolled out an improved users' experience when connecting its apps over Tor early this year.
Boasting a free VPN with unlimited bandwidth to give some of its less premium features a try, it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Despite this being on a pro rata basis, if you use it for 15-days and decide it's not for you, you will only get a 50% refund.
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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. Good price doesn't certainly mean low quality though, quite the opposite actually!
Surfshark has mostly 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 basically all the streaming platforms on the market.
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 (psst... you might want to give your login details to family members).
Surfshark also comes with many security features like its own obfuscation technology to bypass VPN blocks, DNS protection, split tunnelling and even an extra protection layer with its Double VPN hop. The provider has also recently enlarged its offer with four different cybersecurity tools that can be purchased together with its Surfshark One package.
As an only negative note, we have found its kill switch leaking when tested under extreme situations. These were happening just on its Windows apps, though. So, nothing to worry about if you use Surfshark on mobile or as a reliable Mac VPN.
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For those that want a ton more features and configurable options, Private Internet Access (otherwise known as PIA) is a great choice, especially if you want to load it up across devices, with compatibility across a number of interfaces. These might be a bit intimidating for those new to the VPN world, though.
Load up on all your devices with a generous 10 device limit and benefit from its exceptional kill switch, alongside Smart DNS, P2P across all its servers, and MACE (its built-in ad, tracker, and malware blocker).
In terms of network coverage, PIA is said to have well over 10,000 servers with key cities in Canada within its network of 84 countries including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and even Ontario.
While a bit behind our favorite streaming VPNs, it does work across almost all the key platforms, including gaining access to US Netflix (if you want to watch the same content as your neighbors down south) as well as in the UK and Canada. Plus, it unblocks Disney Plus, and Prime Video. And while this time it managed to unblock BBC iPlayer, it failed to do so with 10Play.
A service that keeps improving, its performances have seen a boost during our last round of testing. And while it isn't yet the fastest VPN around, its speed peaks raised from 320 to 510Mbps with WireGuard and from 320 to 440Mbps with OpenVPN. The provider also finally carried on an independent audit on its no-logs claims, while a more detailed security audit should be coming soon.
Canada VPN FAQ
What is the best VPN for Canada?
The competition is tough, but top of our list at the moment is ExpressVPN (opens in new tab). You can see from our full guide all the reasons why, but in short it's 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 travelers and expats to watch Canadian TV while overseas - 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 has 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.
Which free VPN has Canadian servers?
While we always recommend opting for a paid-for VPN service to benefit from optimum security and full run of all premium features, there are a number of free VPN services that might just tick your boxes, including offering servers based in Canada.
That being said, with many free services offering subscriptions to its fully featured counterpart, you may find yourself limited to just a select few servers. Whether you're looking to connect to one in Canada, or a location elsewhere, you may struggle to do so without becoming a paid subscriber.
How can I use a Canada VPN to unblock geo-restricted content?
Using a VPN to access geo-restricted content is fairly straightforward. Simply get all set-up with your chosen VPN, from subscribing to downloading the right client for your device.
Once you're all ready to go, connect to a server if your desired location. For instance, if you're abroad and want to stream TSN or Citytv, you'll need to connect to a server based in Canada. When you're connected to that server, visit your chosen broadcaster's website or app on your device and watch away.
- And south of the border? Discover the best US VPNs