The Best VPNs for Canada
5 Best VPNs for Canadians
Canada is part of the ‘Five Eyes,’ which is a group of countries who have signed an agreement with each other to share intelligence infringing upon privacy. A big part of their intelligence sharing is people’s online activities. Canadians need to be aware of the fact that their internet browsing, who they message, and what forums they use can easily be eavesdropped on by ISPs servers which report directly to the government. The same goes for hackers and other people who may be interested in mining your personal data. That’s why using the best VPN is so essential.To protect your privacy and that of the people you may be communicating with it is essential to invest in the best possible VPN service instead of their free counterparts. VPNs are no longer a tool used by computer engineers or hackers as a way to circumvent surveillance. In today’s world, your data is valuable. Millions of Canadians fall prey to their data been stolen, their identities sold online and even the government is sharing their personal information with those of other governments. So, it stands you reason that you don’t just need a VPN but the very best one!
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We have done all the heavy lifting by testing dozens of VPNs right here in Canada, even the freebies to find the best VPN Canada. All that testing has enabled us to whittle all the services down to five of the best ones that money can buy. These VPNs aren’t just easy to use, with a load of privacy and security options but they are also affordable. So, most if not all Canadians who can afford a Starbucks latte can afford to pay an average of $5 monthly for these best VPNs services. But they aren’t free.
Below is our rundown of the five best VPNs services in Canada and why.
ExpressVPN is considered to be amongst the best VPN options in Canada in terms of privacy. One reason is that they have extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Plus, it offers excellent speeds to users in Canada, something we’ve tested personally and been highly impressed by.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, there is no way for the Canadian government to access any user’s records owing to its privacy statement. That said there are a couple of other features which put it amongst the best VPNs worth considering for Canadians.
Why ExpressVPN is Meant for Canadians?
- Excellent Security: ExpressVPN takes server and security very seriously. The service uses OpenVPN to bypass censorship along with 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificates. Also, AES-256-CBC is used to protect any form of data alteration. So, even if the internet connection were compromised those that compromise, it wouldn’t be able to make sense of the data.
- No Logging Policy: The British Virgin Islands (where the company is based) has no data retention laws, so we are inclined to believe that ExpressVPN does not maintain user logs.
- Easy to Use: ExpressVPN’s most significant selling point is it is easy to use. Most users will have no problem using it even if they are new to VPN services.
Why do we recommend it?
We recommend ExpressVPN to Canadians for the money because it is easy to use, the speed is fast, and there is no connection throttling like the way with free VPNs services. Plus, privacy-conscious users will be happy to learn that since the company does not maintain logs, there is no way that any information about them can be disclosed to the government or accessed by hackers in the event of a breach.
NordVPN is without a doubt one of the most highly rated and arguably the best in the world to bypass censorship. However, Canadians should consider this service for an array of reasons.
The most important of which is the fact that the service isn’t based in any of the “Five Eyes” countries. Its headquarters in Panama ensures that the company does not have to comply with US, EU or any other laws for that matter.
Why NordVPN is Best Meant for Canadians?
- Numerous Servers: A large number of servers, i.e. 5118 servers in more than 62 countries makes accessing the internet more secure with better privacy. Plus Canadians can access free content which may otherwise not be permissible in Canada.
- Does not maintain logs: NordVPN is based in a region where neither the US or Canada is unable to subpoena records for user online activity
- Adblocking: Also included is an ad-blocking feature. The feature is important for two reasons. The first being that many ads can be malicious which means that they can access your data. Secondly, advertisements tend to consume precious internet bandwidth.
- Switch locations within seconds: Switching from one location to the next only takes a single click. So, you have the ability to change locations every hour or two which further makes it impossible for an ISP to log your activity.
- Double VPN: The feature encrypts your data twice by connecting to two consecutive VPN servers. Each time it is encrypted using AES-256-CBC, which is military grade encryption. So, even if the VPN server is compromised the data can’t be read.
Why do we recommend it?
Well, there are a number of reasons why we strongly recommend NordVPN to anybody who asks us. For starters, it is pretty easy to use. You can connect up to six devices to the service at the same time. Plus, the speeds are pretty consistent across Canada. Unlike various other VPN services, there are no bandwidth restrictions, and you can even download stuff from torrent aka P2P. You can do all of this without having been watched by the government.
Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN boasts of well over 2000 VPN servers, located in over 140 countries globally.
Plus, PureVPN is worth considering for Canadian internet users mainly because they offer excellent customer service and is relatively easier to use amongst other reasons.
Why PureVPN is Best Meant for Canadians?
- Excellent encryption algorithm: PureVPN encrypts all transmissions using 256-bit encryption. That’s in addition to the availability of various protocols like OpenVPN (default) PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, and L2TP.
- Split Tunneling: ISPs in Canada use advanced AI to find and track specific types of activities. So, it is possible for an ISP to suspect that you’re using a VPN. One way to circumvent that suspicion is to use the service’s Split Tunneling feature. The feature allows users to choose which applications or programs use the VPN and which use regular internet. So, you can choose to route all browser traffic through the VPN, while Skype uses regular internet. That way your ISP can see the is traffic flowing through the connection and will not suspect you’re using a VPN.
- P2P availability: Canada has pretty strict P2P laws which is why many people shy away from using torrents. Though with PureVPN, you can safely download files via P2P or torrent.
Why we recommend it?
PureVPN isn’t perhaps the fastest VPN service on our list, but it is amongst the most secure, easy to use and offers many useful features. That’s why it has made it to our top 5 best list of VPN services. What’s more, it isn’t obscenely expensive for Canadians making it worth considering.
4. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access isn’t a free VPN as some people assume though it certainly is budget friendly.
Canadian VPN users will be thrilled to learn that despite its bargain price each month, it still offers most of the killer features associated with being anonymous you will find with more expensive services.
Why PIA is Best Meant for Canadians?
- Highly Versatile: PIA can be used across Macs, iOS devices, Android and PCs. Since most Canadians own multiple devices versatility is welcome.
- No-logging Policy: Like the top VPNs in this listing, PIA also has a no logging policy. That’s another feature that Canadians will like especially since the government can’t subpoena records, so you’re anonymous.
- Kill Switch: It is perhaps amongst the best features especially for users who often lose or switch internet connections often like from the coffee shop to the office. The feature kills your internet connection until the next one is connected and is stable before it starts transmitting data. The goal is to prevent data leaks.
- Netfilter Project: The feature disallows unwanted connections and malicious software from connecting to the internet. It is perhaps amongst the best features especially since there is a growing concern of apps spying on users.
Why we recommend it?
We can recommend PIA with confidence to Canadians after having extensively tested its speed, comparing its pricing, customer service, and features. If you’re on a budget, we’d recommend PIA.
5. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost is one of the leading VPN services in the world, but it is of particular value to Canadians for many reasons.
For starters the service is easy to use, it also offers a full suite of advanced options. Not to mention the fact that it is priced very sensibly. That said there are many other reasons to choose CyberGhost VPN, we list a few below.
Why CyberGhost VPN is Best Meant for Canadians?
Support for OpenVPN: CyberGhost supports the immensely secure OpenVPN protocol across all devices, i.e. Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
A large selection of VPN servers: CyberGhost has an impressive 3000 VPN servers. The more VPN servers means that it is more versatile.
No Logging Policy: CyberGhost like the others we listed have a straight no-logging policy which is an important feature. Also being based in Romania means that it isn’t part of the “Five Eyes” that Canada has an intelligence-sharing agreement with making it a win for users’ privacy.
Why we recommend it?
We would strongly recommend CyberGhost VPN’s privacy to any Canadian who wants to use a VPN service in Canada that works flawlessly across multiple devices. Since most Canadians own multiple devices with different operating system, this one service can cater to all their needs.
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How to choose the best Canada VPN
The best VPNs Canada will need to also have a large selection of highly secure and yet fast servers. The faster the servers, the lower the latency and hence a faster speed which makes streaming and downloading content less frustrating.
It will be an added plus if the VPN supports multiple operating systems, i.e. iOS, macOS, Windows, Android and Linux. Pus, it being capable of multiple simultaneous connections will mean that it can be used by most devices that people own without having to pay for another subscription.
Above everything else Canadians want a VPN service which is reasonably priced. So, the cheaper a service is with all the bells and whistles mentioned above the better!
Why use a VPN in Canada?
As mentioned above in our review the no.1 reason to use a VPN in Canada is to circumvent surveillance and enforce privacy. Now even if you are not engaging in illegal activities online, there is always the possibility that your passwords, emails, and various other aspects of your online activity may be logged. Plus, if the government can log and record your online activities then so can hackers, advertisers and so many others with worse intentions.
Another perhaps less serious reason to use a VPN service in Canada for online activity is to access content which is otherwise not available in the country. For instance, Canadians will be able to connect to the Google America server and access American Netflix shows, or stream Hulu. They will also be able to connect to servers in the UK and stream British shows. The possibilities a VPN offer is nearly endless in this regard.
Are VPNs legal in Canada?
Yes, VPN services are perfectly legal for use in Canada but finding the best service as we discovered during the reviews process can be tricky. However, the use of VPNs in Canada is only permitted for legal online activity in the country. Though the law does not exclusively cover VPN use, but legal activities would be to cover your tracks when doing online banking, sending a business email or even watching YouTube videos.
Some privacy advocates and internet experts have argued that the use of the VPNs for instance access American TV could be technically a breach of copyright law. Those people could face criminal charges in the US. However, the majority of experts believe that simply violating any website’s or service’s Terms of Service isn’t reason enough to warrant an investigation via the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. What that means is if you as a Canadian are connecting to a US VPN, and accessing Netflix America’s content, while paying for it may breach their Terms of Service, but it does not constitute to breaking the law.
A VPN service user streaming Netflix or Google can’t be put into the same category as someone accessing child pornography or selling and buying drugs online. Breaking the law whether doing so using a VPN or without it will lead to criminal proceedings but not protecting your privacy.
VPNs that Canadians should avoid
Now that we’ve covered the best VPN services, it’s time to talk about the worst. Generally speaking, we would strongly advise Canadians to avoid so-called "free VPN". These free VPN services are free for a reason, and that reason, for the most part, is that they are mining your personal information and selling it to third parties. Also, consider the fact that many of these VPNs are not secure. Most don’t support OpenVPN and other advanced encryption algorithms. Plus, free VPNs have very few servers, and there are data caps along with waiting associated with using them.
Canadians should also avoid the following types of VPN services:
- VPNs that don’t support OpenVPN.
- VPNs that offer hard to understand pricing models or ones that don’t disclose what they charge.
- VPNs that don’t support multiple connections and have data caps.
- VPNs that don’t have an automatic “kill switch” feature to prevent data leaks.
Downloading torrents in Canada
While downloading torrents in Canada isn’t illegal the fact that there is so much copyrighted material available for download is alarming to the government. So, there is nothing stopping you from downloading content but as soon as you download copyrighted content like movies, shows, software etc that’s when you get slapped with a copyright infringement penalty.
While just about every best Canadian VPN we mentioned above can download online torrents they shouldn’t be used to download illegal content. Many of the VPNs support dedicated P2P servers which speed up downloading content from torrent websites. However, if you do engage in downloading of copyrighted or banned material via these servers, it could result in criminal prosecution. That said a good VPN service would anonymize your online activity, but there are other ways for law enforcement to check illegal activities online. Click here to see the best VPN for downloading torrents.
Internet surveillance in Canada
Edward Snowden revealed back in 2015 that Canada was amongst many countries who were actively spying on their own citizens’ online activities. Internet surveillance according to the infamous leaker, was not only real, but it was infringing upon the privacy of all Canadians. Though it is being done under the guise of national security.
Later the CBC reported that Canada was amongst other countries where a team employed by the government was responsible for exploiting security vulnerabilities in various applications online like web browsers to gather information. Hundreds if not millions of people are affected by these hacks. The government-employed hackers instead of reporting these holes in security to the software’s developers, were using the gaps in security to eavesdrop on people.
UC Browser was amongst those mentioned by Snowden which leaked personal information used by the Canadian government to exploit online privacy. Information like users’ identity, their location data and communication activities were all easily accessible by network providers, telecom companies and various other agencies.
The Canadian public as those of other countries has long been told that sacrificing some of their privacy is a worthy trade-off for better security. However, the inability to safeguard more than 500 million mobile users’ privacy, the Five Eyes has sent a message to the public that they need to sacrifice everything for security.
Interestingly Canadian agencies who are charged with finding and patching up online security threats don’t believe that protecting the individual’s right to security is their job. When statements such as these are made it is clear that every Canadian who needs to watch out for him or herself.
The best VPNs in Canada can help users safeguard their safety and security while ensuring that their online activities are nearly invisible to everyone in charge of surveillance. That’s why it is so crucial for Canadians to use a premium VPN service with solid privacy. In this day and age, a VPN does not cost a lot but certainly helps to save people from a lot of embarrassment especially when hacked data is leaked or shared with other agencies.
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VPN providers online and their servers, even the best ones out there along with encryption aren’t perfect for privacy. No software or system is for that matter. Though they do help to create a pretty tough network barrier against those who engage in mass surveillance. Sure, the government has supercomputers and highly talented hackers, but would they dedicate that kind of resource to spy on you? Not unless they are sure there is something worth finding. So, in a way, these tools, i.e. The best VPN service help to work as a deterrent by ensuring your data isn’t easy pickings.