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The best Canada VPN 2021

Best Canada VPN
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

Canada VPNs are only becoming more and more desirable, as millions of people around the world both realise the power of the best VPN and begin to understand better the vast surveillance just about every country undertakes on it citizens. 

Canadians don't get off lightly, either. Thanks to ever-changing privacy laws, invasive anti-terrorism acts and the fact that most of the country's Internet traffic flows through both Canadian and US data centers, it's no wonder VPNs for Canada are selling like hot cakes.

However, it's not just about privacy. A Canada VPN will get you access to tons of geo-blocked movies, TV, and sporting events, including US-exclusive shows on Netflix and geo-restricted services like BBC iPlayer and CBS, alongside others like NBC's Peacock. If you're headed abroad, you'll also 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 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.

You’ll also want a service that can access plenty of streaming media and deliver swift 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.

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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.

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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. 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

ExpressVPN best canada vpn

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

1. ExpressVPN

The best Canada VPN on the market

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Excellent connection speeds+Great streaming power+Polished apps for all devices+Stellar support
Reasons to avoid
-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, Express is excellent for unblocking Netflix libraries around the world, as well as Hulu, 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 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.

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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.

Surfshark best Canada VPN

2. Surfshark

The best value Canada VPN

Specifications
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+
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value+Simple, usable apps+Excellent for streaming
Reasons to avoid
-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, 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, 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

Specifications
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+
Reasons to buy
+Top streaming power+Excellent speeds+Great for privacy nuts
Reasons to avoid
-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, 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 5,000 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

Specifications
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+
Reasons to buy
+The fastest VPN around+Mega 45-day trial+Unblocks just about every streaming site
Reasons to avoid
-Privacy not class-leading-No manual setup

In our testing for our Hotspot Shield review, we found the provider to be swift and excellent for streaming, and it's definitely a tempting option.

With some of the 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 up to 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

Private Internet Access

(Image credit: Future)

5. Private Internet Access

More Canadian servers than any other provider

Specifications
Available on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Simultaneous connections: 10
Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Peacock, Disney+
Number of servers: 10,000+
Server locations: 78
Reasons to buy
+Loads of servers+Good for P2P+Excellent privacy features
Reasons to avoid
-Can't access BBC iPlayer-Speeds aren't class-leading

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, YouTube, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. However, we did have issues accessing some Netflix libraries, so it's not perfect in this regard.

Privacy-wise, PIA is seriously impressive. With a comprehensive zero-logging policy alongside interesting features like port forwarding and a command line tool which allows you to write your own scripts that automate the program.

One of the few negatives is that PIA's connection speeds are fairly average, but with WireGuard connections reaching more than 300Mbps, these speeds should be satisfactory for just about ay user – and for the price, it's a great value Canada VPN.

Sign up now on the Private Internet Access 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.

Mo is eCommerce Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees privacy and security content, and his product guides help his readers find the best software and products for their needs. When he's not testing VPNs, you'll find him working on his classic car or plugged into a guitar amp.