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The best Canada VPN 2021

Best Canada VPN
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

Demand for the best VPN for Canada has only grown in recent years thanks to ever-changing data privacy laws and invasive anti-terrorism acts that many feel overstep the mark. On top of that, thanks to the fact that much of Canada’s internet traffic flows through the US, Canadians are essentially subjected to two sets of rules that are arguably working towards making the internet a less free place.

A Canada VPN can help you sidestep a whole lot of that, and even if you're not too fussed about being tracked, you can still get a whole load of use out of a VPN.

If you watch a lot of TV, movies, or sport, a Canada VPN can also open up a whole range of content including US-exclusive shows on Netflix and geo-restricted services like BBC iPlayer and CBS, alongside others like NBC's Peacock. Plus, if you're heading abroad, you'll be able to access all the same entertainment you're used to back home – all you need to do is switch on your VPN and select a Canadian server.

What makes the best Canada VPN?

If you’re after the best Canada VPN, you’ll want one 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 the government requests details from your VPN, it won’t have anything to show.

You’ll also want a service that can access plenty of streaming media and deliver great connection speeds. There are a number of great VPNs that fall down at this hurdle, and subsequently don’t provide the full package. There are, however, a select few that do.

At the top of that 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
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.
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2. Surfshark – cheap and effective Canada VPN
If Express is a little too pricey, the cheapest alternative is Surfshark. While it's not quite as fully featured, it delivers all the privacy and security the majority of users need – and at just $2.49 a month, it's a serious bargain, too.View Deal

3. NordVPN – powerful, secure, and great in Canada
NordVPN is a hugely popular VPN for Canada, and it's both great for staying secure online and accessing streaming content worldwide – and, at just $3.71 a month, it's good value too.View Deal

The best Canada VPNs today

ExpressVPN best canada vpn

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

1. ExpressVPN

The best Canada VPN on the market

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+ | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160

Excellent connection speeds
Great streaming power
Polished apps for all devices
Stellar support
Max five connections

The best Canada VPN on the market, ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes. Not content with blazing speeds and powerful content unblocking, it provides the fullest package on the market with great torrenting support, serious security and excellent apps.

First things first, ExpressVPN boasts military-grade 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, you’ll also be able to access pretty much any Netflix library from the USA to Japan, Hulu, NBC’s brand new Peacock, 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 vast 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.

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 49% off plus 3 free months of the best Canada VPN
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.
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Surfshark best Canada VPN

2. Surfshark

The best value Canada VPN

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+ | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 100+

Seriously cheap
Simple, usable apps
Excellent for streaming
Apps may be too basic for some

If you’re after a Canada VPN that won’t break the bank, Surfshark is a safe bet. As fully-featured as most people will need, 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, 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

NordVPN - best Canada VPN

3. NordVPN

Security giant is a reliable Canada VPN

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 6 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+ | Number of servers: 5,000+ | Server locations: 80+

Top streaming power
Excellent speeds
Great for privacy nuts
Apps can be awkward

NordVPN is a huge name in the VPN world, so it’s no surprise it works great as a Canada VPN. With great privacy features and streaming power to match, it’s 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 5,000 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 some devices will 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.  

Nord 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

Hotspot Shield best Canada VPN

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

4. Hotspot Shield

Incredible speeds, and great for streaming

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+ | Number of servers: 1,800+ | Server locations: 88+

The fastest VPN around
Mega 45-day trial
Unblocks just about every streaming site
Privacy not class-leading
No manual setup

If you're after a hugely swift Canada VPN that can get you streaming in no time, Hotspot Shield is a seriously tempting option.

Without the outright highest speeds of any service we've tested, it's a fast VPN to say the least – and that's down to the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. It allows for speeds of over 400Mbps (faster than most people's Internet connection is capable of), so whatever you're streaming or downloading, it'll be able to keep up.

However, it's not the most flexible of VPNs, and to use it you'll have to make do with Hotspot Shield's own apps. They're polished and user-friendly, but manual setup isn't an option. It's also worth noting there is some minimal logging, but thankfully it's nothing that could be used to identify you or your activity.

So, if you need an ultra-quick VPN that can stream just about anything, Hotspot Shield could be right for you.

Sign up now on the Hotspot Shield website

IPVanish best Canada VPN

5. IPVanish

Excellent US-based Canada VPN

Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous connections: Unlimited | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Peacock | Number of servers: 1,400 | Server locations: 75+

Great server selection
Top connection speeds
Super customizable
Can't access BBC iPlayer

US-based IPVanish is both a great Canada VPN and US VPN, delivering excellent speeds either side of the border. It also provides a slightly more interesting experience in terms of aesthetics, with an interface packed with information.

If you’re looking to stream, then IPVanish is a good option. While it struggles to unblock iPlayer, pretty much all other streaming services are good to go, so IPVanish may be better suited to Canadians on holiday or business trips wanting familiar shows rather than those staying back at home who want to explore what the world has to offer.

In terms of privacy, IPVanish claims to be a zero-logging VPN. However, it hasn’t undertaken an independent audit of it practices to prove this, so currently you’ll have to take that with a pinch of salt. Also, some more security-focused users may take issue with the company being US-based – if that’s you, we recommend looking back at ExpressVPN.

However, what’s excellent about IPVanish is that it has recently upgraded all plans to have unlimited simultaneous connections, which (other than Surfshark) is almost unheard of and does provide real value for money.

If you’re not sure, like all the providers here IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service, and we can definitely say it’s worth a look.

Sign up now on the IPVanish website

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, 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.