Canada is one of the biggest markets for the best VPN services, but finding a quality Canada VPN isn't quite as easy as it seems. With so many options – and so much at stake – picking the right service can be a minefield.
Like many developed countries, Canada undertakes significant surveillance on its citizens. With invasive anti-terrorism acts, convoluted privacy laws, and the fact most of Canada's traffic travels through Canadian and US data centers, it's quite understandable that residents and visitors alike feel the need to up their privacy game.
That's only half the story, though. A quality Canada VPN should also be able to unblock streaming content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more from around the world, and will allow you to tune into CTV, TSN and Crave when you're away from home. All you need to do is connect to the right server, and you're anywhere you want to be.
What makes the best Canada VPN?
If you’re after a quality VPN for Canada, you’ll want a service that boasts excellent privacy, ideally with a proven no-logging policy. That combination should make sure your data stays safe and your identifying info is never stored – so even if a government requests details from your VPN, it won’t have anything to show.
Access to streaming sites at home and abroad is also a big draw for many users. And, thankfully, the most private VPNs generally tend to be able to access the widest range of libraries of streaming content, so even if it's not something you're likely to use often, we'd still recommend signing up to a provider that has this ability.
At the top of the pile is ExpressVPN. Pretty much the best service for absolutely any job, it’s got an audited no-logging policy, reliably swift connections all over the world, and it can access just about any streaming service you want. However, below we’re going to run down the top five Canada VPN options so you can choose for yourself.
1. ExpressVPN – the only Canada VPN you need (opens in new tab)
Whether you want to access overseas Netflix libraries, avoid intrusive governmental legislation, or simply the peace of mind online anonymity can bring, ExpressVPN is the best service for the job. With a 30-day money-back guarantee and three months free, it's also not bad value.
2. Surfshark – cheap and effective Canada VPN (opens in new tab)
If Express is a little too pricey, Surfshark may offer a better deal. It's powerful and very secure, and currently, Tom's Guide readers can claim both 2 months free, as well as a free subscription to Surfshark One – the VPN provider's antivirus and security suite. Not bad for less than $2.50 a month.
3. NordVPN – powerful, secure, and great in Canada (opens in new tab)
NordVPN is a hugely popular VPN for Canada, and it's both great for staying secure online and accessing streaming content worldwide. It's super fast, has over 5,000 servers worldwide, and also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try before you commit.
The best Canada VPNs today(opens in new tab)
The best Canada VPN on the market, ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes. Not settling for simply providing blazing speeds and powerful content unblocking, it offers the fullest package on the market with great torrenting support, serious security, and excellent apps on all devices.
First things first, ExpressVPN boasts industry-standard AES-256 encryption combined with a selection of protocols, Perfect Forward Secrecy and an audited no-logging policy. It also has a kill switch to protect you if your connection drops, plus split tunnelling, which can route some of your traffic through the VPN while keeping some untouched.
As well as that, Express has a stellar history of unblocking Netflix libraries around the world (including Canada), as well as Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and more. That’s quite a cinematic roster, and much of it will be unlocked as part of your subscription if you virtually relocate yourself to a certain country.
Don’t be intimidated by Express’s comprehensive list of features – if all you want to do is press a button and get connected, you can do that too. While fine-tuning a VPN is fun for some, we really appreciate how ExpressVPN works perfectly out the box, and is perfectly suited for those that just want to plug and play.
Overall, there’s not a VPN service out there that can match ExpressVPN – simply put, it can basically do everything. But, if you’re not sure, it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service. If you change your mind, you’ll get a full refund, no questions asked.
Get 3 months FREE of the best Canada VPN (opens in new tab)
To say thank you, Tom's Guide readers can claim three months FREE of ExpressVPN – that's 15 months for the price of 12. However, if you discover it's not for you, you've got 30 days to request a no-hassle refund.
If you’re after a properly cheap Canada VPN, Surfshark is your safest bet. As fully-featured as most people will need, in our Surfshark review we found the service delivers excellent speeds for a fraction of the price of its rivals – and for many, that’s a deal breaker.
With AES-256 encryption and several protocols including WireGuard, plus an ad blocker, kill switch and more, its desktop clients are powerful and reliable. It’s easy to install and provides quick access to Surfshark’s 3,200+ servers worldwide – with around 90 of them in Canada itself.
Its mobile apps are clean and simple too, and while they might not be as in-depth Express’s, they get the job done admirably. And they also solve one of ExpressVPN’s only downfalls – with unlimited simultaneous connections you can cover as many devices as you like, whether that’s 5 or 105.
Some users may find Surfshark’s apps too simple, and beyond protocols and the kill switch there’s not a lot to change – but that really won’t matter to many, and the provider’s charm is in its simplicity. It’s cheap, easy, and reliable. What more could you want?
Sign up now on the Surfshark website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
NordVPN is arguably the biggest name in the VPN world, so it’s no surprise it works great as a Canada VPN. With quality privacy features and streaming power to match, our NordVPN review found it to be one of the best services around today, and it’s also really easy to use.
The provider has over 400 servers located in Canada, and that all but guarantees you’ll be able to get great speeds for streaming and regular browsing no matter where you’re located. Plus, with over 5,500 servers worldwide, if you’re on holiday or a business trip you should be able to get connected with ease – and it's one of our top-rated Netflix VPN services.
If you’re concerned about staying anonymous, Nord has you covered with its powerful encryption, reliable kill switch and selection of protocols, plus you'll be able to use its WireGuard-based, ultra-fast NordLynx protocol. NordVPN has also recently been independently audited, which should allay any fears about the company’s 2018 data breach.
NordVPN offers a great range of apps for tons of devices, but do be aware that the interface can be a little awkward on smaller screens – we’d much rather see a list of servers than a map. However, if you’re looking for a trusted name in cybersecurity, you could do a lot worse than NordVPN.
Sign up now on the NordVPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Proton VPN has really been on the up in the last year or so, and has addressed the very few issues we had that were stopping it from cracking the top five. And now, here it is.
For those in Canada, its great streaming diversity will be appreciated – not only will you be able to access US and UK Netflix from within the country, but if you're abroad you'll also be able to tap into the Canadian library as well.
Privacy is also a high priority for Proton VPN, and as well as a full bare-metal DNS network and safe servers all over the world, you'll also be able to use the Secure Core feature. Essentially, this routes your connection through an ultra-secure server (Iceland, Switzerland, or Sweden) before sending it on to your location of choice. This is great if you want to connect to riskier locations like the UAE or Turkey.
Overall, Proton VPN is a seriously potent, private VPN, and while it does lack 24/7 support (right now), it's definitely worth considering if privacy is at the top of your list.
Sign up now on the Proton VPN website (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
In our most recent Private Internet Access review we found that the provider has recently upped its game, both in terms of its network and its general usability.
Boasting more individual servers than all of its competitors, PIA has thousands of servers in Canada alone, meaning it's super simple to find a speedy connection wherever you are in the country.
PIA is pretty handy for streaming, with the power to unblock Netflix, YouTube, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. However, we did have issues accessing BBC iPlayer, so it's not perfect in this regard.
Privacy-wise, PIA is seriously impressive. With a comprehensive zero-logging policy alongside interesting advanced features like port forwarding and a command line tool which allows you to write your own scripts that automate the program, it'll definitely appeal to the techier user.
One of the few negatives is that PIA's connection speeds are fairly slow compared to the competition, but with WireGuard connections reaching more than 320Mbps, these speeds should be satisfactory for just about any user – and for the price, it's a great value Canada VPN.
Sign up now on the Private Internet Access website (opens in new tab)
Canada VPN FAQ
Why do I need a Canada VPN?
The two biggies are privacy and streaming.
If you follow the news you'll know that online freedoms are gradually getting eroded in Canada and the US (well, the whole world, really), so having a VPN is the first and easiest step to take in making sure you're looking after your data.
By anonymizing all your traffic, a good Canada VPN can help you avoid hackers and trackers, targeting advertising, ISP throttling and so much more – check out our mega page on VPN uses to learn about everything they can do.
Also, streaming is a huge part of our lives now, but if you head overseas it's quite likely you won't be able to access the content that you're used to. By using a streaming VPN you'll be able to spoof your location back home, giving you access to everything you're used to.
You'll also be able to explore different regional streaming services from your own home in the same way – just pick a server and get going.
Can I get a Canada VPN free?
While free Canada VPNs do exist, you need to be careful. Also, you have to be aware that every free VPN has its drawbacks.
You'll likely be subjected to daily or monthly data caps, ranging from the generous to the pathetic, and you also probably won't get the same high speeds as you would if you paid for a service.
Some are also known to inject adverts into your browsing, which is one of the main things people use VPNs to avoid.
If you won't be using you VPN much at all, a free service could work. However, if you want to stream, game, or even just have it on all day, you'll need something fully fledged – and with Surfshark starting at around $2.50 a month (opens in new tab), you won't have to pay much either.
Is a VPN legal in Canada?
Using a VPN in Canada is entirely legal, and having one installed on your computer does not incriminate you in any way.
However, Just because VPNs can make it possible to 'get away' with illegal activities such as pirating content and software, using one does not suddenly make illegal acts legal.
We in no way condone using a VPN to perform illegal activities, but we can also reassure you that in Canada, having a VPN subscription alone is nothing to worry about.