Are you living in Canada or planning a trip there? If so, you could benefit from the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet traffic so that it’s unreadable to snoopers such as your internet service provider, network administrators, and hackers. It also tunnels your traffic through an intermediary server in a country of your choice, which means your real IP address is replaced with one from that country.
With the ability to switch IP addresses, you can make it appear to websites that you’re actually in another country. This enables you to bypass geo-restriction measures on platforms like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer, and access them from anywhere in the world, including Canada. If you’re traveling outside Canada, you can use a VPN to access content that you’re missing from back home, such as that from CTV, TSN, and Crave.
I’ll take a more detailed look at the best VPNs for Canada below, but if you’re in a rush, here’s a quick list.
Best VPNs for Canada:
- NordVPN: The best option for Canada. With blazing speeds and excellent potential to access content while traveling, NordVPN will help you browse, stream, and download securely. It’s risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: A great budget alternative, Surfshark is ideal for families. This secure and reliable VPN allows you an unlimited number of connections.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is very fast and secure, and can bypass the toughest geo-restrictions.
- CyberGhost: This beginner-friendly VPN keeps your information safe while you enjoy a stress-free online experience.
- PrivateVPN: A great little VPN for accessing restricted media, PrivateVPN keeps your data secure.
- IPVanish: Fast speeds and strong security are just a couple of features this torrent-friendly service has to offer.
- Private Internet Access (PIA): An efficient, customizable, and fast option that offers servers in Canada.
- Atlas VPN: This VPN offers fast speeds and strong security. A good option for streaming in Canada.
While scoping out VPNs, you’ll no doubt come across a ton of attractive options. However, not all providers offer comparable services. Here are the criteria I want a top VPN to meet:
- Expansive server network
- Fast speeds for streaming and downloading
- Ability to access Netflix and other restricted media
- Prompt customer support
For more information about the criteria I used, check out the testing methodology section found further down this article.
Best VPNs for Canada
Here’s my list of the best VPNs for Canada:
NordVPN is my top choice for a Canada VPN. It operates one of the largest networks in the industry with more than 5,600 servers in 60+ countries. Its speeds are faster than any other VPN on this list which means it’s ideal for streaming HD video and can easily access stubborn sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer while traveling.
Security features aren’t scrimped on either. Military-grade encryption is backed by perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, a kill switch, and automatic WiFi protection. NordVPN offers specialized servers for torrenting, Tor over VPN, and double VPN. It doesn’t log any traffic or connection data.
This VPN has apps for Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android and can be configured with some routers. You can contact customer support 24/7 through live chat. Six devices can be connected at a time.
- Huge global network of high-speed servers
- Easily accesses Netflix and other sites
- Keep no logs at all
- Provides 24/7 live chat support
- Comes with a no-fuss money-back guarantee
- Server switching can be slow at times
BEST CANADA VPN:NordVPN is my top choice for Canada. It easily accesses streaming sites and comes with lots of security extras. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included for a risk-free deal.
Surfshark may not sound as familiar as other VPNs on the list as it’s a bit newer. Regardless, this budget provider means business and is set on delivering a stellar service. With an ample network of over 3,200 high-speed servers in more than 95 countries, this VPN can access almost any site I test it with. This means you can easily stream your favorite shows while in Canada or watch Canadian content from CTV, TSN, and more while abroad.
Security and privacy are up to par and features include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy. Surfshark doesn’t maintain any logs of traffic or connection data.
You can download apps for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, and configure the VPN with certain routers. Each plan allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Support is available around the clock should you need help.
- Grants access to geo-restricted media
- Excellent security
- Allows unlimited connections
- Keeps no logs
- Customer support could be improved
TOP BUDGET PICK:Surfshark is a low-cost VPN that’s worthy of consideration. It boasts fast speeds, strong security, and the ability to access a ton of sites. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included.
ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes for a secure, high-performance VPN. Its network spans a whopping 94+ countries and comprises more than 3,000 servers. All offer solid speeds and a reliable connection for browsing, streaming, and downloading.
ExpressVPN allows torrenting and is impressive at accessing streaming sites such as Amazon Prime Video and Hulu while you’re abroad. It can provide access to lots of Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, and Canada, and help you watch CTV, CBC, TSN, and more from outside Canada.
This provider makes your privacy a priority and will never log your IP address or any other user-identifying details. Its “TrustedServer” mechanism ensures no information is accidentally stored. Your data is secured by 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy. Protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks and a kill switch further guard your information.
ExpressVPN is easy to set up and offers native apps for all the major operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It even has its own custom firmware for router setup and can be configured with other firmware as well. Live chat is always available if you need help. ExpressVPN has upped its connection limit to five devices at a time per plan.
- Has servers in 94+ countries, including Canada
- Speeds are extremely fast
- Accesses the top streaming sites
- Doesn’t log user-identifying information
- Lacks some advanced customization features
FAST, SECURE VPN:ExpressVPN is another great pick for Canada. It runs a large network of fast, reliable servers and can help you access geo-restricted content. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is another strong choice for a Canada VPN. This provider seems to be on a mission to beat out competitors in terms of network size and has amassed more than 8,900 servers in about 90 countries. These offer very fast speeds and many are capable of accessing streaming sites, such as Hulu and Netflix. Apps make it easy to find the right server for a given task, including accessing a specific site or torrenting.
CyberGhost is a true no-logs provider and protects your traffic with 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, and a kill switch. You can activate automatic WiFi protection on networks you’ve connected to in the past to help you stay secure while on the go.
Desktop clients are available for Windows and macOS, along with mobile apps for iOS and Android. The VPN can be configured with Linux and some routers. Live-chat agents are ready to help around the clock if you run into issues. CyberGhost allows up to seven simultaneous connections for each plan.
- Has a ton of server options
- Many servers are optimized for specific tasks
- Strong privacy and security features
- Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t have as many configuration options as rivals
EASY TO USE:CyberGhost is an ideal VPN for beginners. It’s simple to navigate and makes streaming a breeze. Plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN is on the small side with just over 200 servers in 63+ countries. That said, it clearly goes for quality over quantity and still manages to offer a great service. Speeds are fast and PrivateVPN easily bypasses geo-restrictions such as those put in place by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
This privacy-focused provider doesn’t keep any logs at all. Apps employ 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy and come with built-in leak protection. The Windows software comes with a kill switch that stops your internet connection if the VPN connection drops.
Mobile apps are available for iOS and Android, along with desktop clients for Windows and macOS. PrivateVPN has a 10-device connection limit. There is live-chat support but it’s not quite 24/7.
- Fast speeds for streaming
- Provides access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
- Offers strong security features
- Live chat isn’t always available
- Server network is small
PRIVACY-FOCUSED:PrivateVPN doesn’t keep logs and helps you access restricted media on a fast, reliable connection. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish has a loyal following of users and it’s easy to see why. This VPN is fast and reliable and comes with a suite of strong security features. It has around 2,000 servers in over 60 countries and can access Netflix and other streaming sites.
This provider is popular with torrenters; it keeps no logs, designates specific servers as P2P-friendly, and offers a feature that switches your IP address periodically. A full suite of security features is built in, including leak protection, a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and perfect forward secrecy.
IPVanish has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android and can be configured with Linux and select routers. You can connect an unlimited number of devices at a given time under one account. Live chat is available 24/7.
- Accesses Netflix and other sites
- Provides a secure, reliable connection
- Offers around-the-clock support
- Doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments
BROWSE SECURELY:IPVanish has a strict no-logs policy and tight security. It’s fast and accesses some streaming sites. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access (PIA) has servers in 80 countries including Canada and is a proven solid option for streaming. In addition, it is one of the better choices for accessing restricted content while you travel abroad. This is a faster VPN option since it makes use of the fast and efficient WireGuard VPN protocol.
Another positive aspect of this VPN is its strong security measures. Security measures include AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and split tunneling.
PIA apps can be downloaded for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. This service also has a competent customer service team that is available 24/7 via a provided live chat. 10 simultaneous connections are allowed.
- Makes use of the fast and efficient WireGuard VPN protocol
- Can provide secure access to many services
- Several customization options are available
- Can access many streaming services
- Doesn’t work well in China
- App design could be improved
LIGHTWEIGHT AND SECURE OPTION:PIA is a lightweight option that provides fast speeds for everyday use and for activities such as streaming. It is also efficient, secure, and fast. in addition, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Atlas VPN is a smaller VPN provider with around 750 servers in about 40 locations. Despite its small size, this VPN offers quality service and servers in many different countries such as the US and Canada. Though it doesn’t have a large server network, it offers high-quality service without worries of lag or buffering.
The provider also offers strong security features which include AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. This service stores no logs either and has MultiHop servers which add increased security thanks to them encrypting your connection twice.
Atlas VPN apps are available for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. An unlimited number of connections is supported by this VPN.
- Can access many different streaming services
- Fast connection speeds
- MultiHop servers encrypt data twice
- Doesn’t work in China
- Customer service could be better
FAST STREAMING OPTION WITH STRONG SECURITY:Despite having a small server count, Atlas VPN offers fast speeds and strong security. It also has servers in popular locations such as the US and Canada. This service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Testing methodology: how I found the best VPNs for Canada
There are lots of different VPN services out there. However, not all of them are created equal. I reviewed many different VPNs in order to arrive at high-quality, performant VPNs that work in Canada using a stringent list of requirements. Here are some of the factors I considered while coming up with the VPN list above:
- Servers in Canada: Not all VPNs have servers in a wide variety of locations. In this case, we are specifically looking for VPNs with servers in Canada. All of the VPNs listed here have servers in Canada with many of them such as NordVPN having multiple servers in the country.
- Speed: All VPNs slow down internet connections somewhat. However, this should be negligible to enable a frustration-free browsing experience. The VPNs listed here are all fast and allow for activities such as streaming without buffering or lag in most cases.
- Ability to access services: Canadians traveling abroad may not be able to access services such as online banking or even their favorite local streaming services. However, by connecting to a Canadian VPN server from a reputable VPN company, these services can be accessed even when abroad.
- Security: VPNs need to protect users when online in addition to providing other benefits such as accessing geo-restricted services. They can also protect users who are using open WiFi networks. This protection is facilitated through features such as AES 256-bit encryption and protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks.
How to access Netflix US from Canada
It can be frustrating for Canadians when they pay the same amount for a Netflix subscription as their US neighbors, but get access to a smaller library of shows and movies. At least with a VPN, you can watch whatever catalog you like. Here’s how to access Netflix US (and any other geo-restricted site) from Canada:
- Choose a VPN provider and complete the signup process. I recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the correct app for your device.
- Choose a server in the US and connect. (For other services, simply choose a server in the source region, for example, the UK for BBC iPlayer.)
- Log in to your Netflix account. You should now see the US library.
If you get an error, try clearing your cookies and cache and refreshing the page. If you still can’t watch, chances are you need to choose a different server. A quick chat with your VPN customer support team should help you resolve any issues.
How to get a Canadian IP address to watch Canadian TV channels
What about if you’re traveling outside Canada and want to catch up from shows and movies from back home? Or perhaps you want to unlock content from within Canada that isn’t available in your region of the country. A VPN can help.
To watch content from networks such as CTV, CBC, Crave, and TSN, you just need a Canadian IP address. Simply connect to a Canadian VPN server and your real IP address will be switched with a Canadian one. This means you’ll be able to use your regular credentials (where needed) to log in online and watch all the content you would view back home.
What about content that’s blocked in certain regions of Canada, such as games involved in NHL blackouts? Many VPNs have multiple server locations in Canada, for example, in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Select a server in the appropriate location to unblock your regionally-restricted content and you’ll be good to go.
Best VPNs for Canada FAQs
Can I use a free VPN for Canada?
Free VPNs are widely available but I recommend you avoid using one. These services are fraught with issues and you could find yourself worse off than with no VPN. Free services often come with weak encryption and some apps have been found to use no encryption at all. Others carry malware, with one notable case of a free VPN taking over its users’ idle bandwidth to use in a botnet.
Even if you find a relatively secure VPN, you likely won’t get the privacy you’re looking for. These services need to make money somehow, and common tactics include bombarding users with ads or tracking their online activity and selling the information to third parties.
From a practical standpoint, a free Canada VPN will most likely leave you frustrated. These applications have very few server locations to choose from and aren’t usually successful at accessing restricted content. They also suffer from laggy, intermittent connections and impose low bandwidth limits and data caps. This means that anything more than simple browsing will be a chore.
On the other hand, a reputable paid VPN won’t break the bank and will give you a worry and hassle-free experience.
Why use a VPN in Canada?
Canadians enjoy pretty much unrestricted access to the free web, as does anyone visiting the country. There’s plenty of great content available on platforms such as Netflix Canada and Amazon Prime Video Canada, as well as sports streaming sites like TSN and Sportsnet.
That said, there’s still lots of foreign content that residents and visitors might want to access. For example, neighbors in the US get a more extensive Netflix library. Or you may want to unlock content from elsewhere in the world such as BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub from the UK. In addition to shows, movies, and sporting content, a VPN can offer you unfettered access to gambling sites, gaming platforms, and anything else that would normally be geo-restricted.
Switching your IP address with one from your home country can also help when banking online. For example, if you’re traveling outside Canada and want to access your RBC, TD, BMO, or CIBC account, you may find your bank temporarily blocks your account when you log in from an unfamiliar location. A VPN can help you avoid such issues by making it appear that you’re still at home.
A VPN is important from a security standpoint too, especially if you tend to use public WiFi. Unsecured WiFi networks present an ideal opportunity for hackers to steal your information. But savvy VPN users don’t need to worry as all their web traffic is encrypted and unreadable to anyone who intercepts it.
Can a VPN be used to torrent in Canada?
It’s illegal to torrent copyrighted material in Canada, and many Canadians have found themselves slapped with a fine or lawsuit for undertaking the practice.
Early in 2015, Canada’s Copyright Modernization Act went into full effect. Under the law, ISPs are required to send warning letters to customers suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted material.
Many of these letters demanded that the recipients pay settlement fees, often hundreds of dollars, or face legal action, including fines up to $5,000. The government later clarified the rules to state that ISPs could not ask for such settlement fees, although this was after many Canadians had already paid up.
According to various reports published in 2019, ISPs are the least of Canadians’ worries. In thousands of cases, law firms acting on behalf of production companies are suing people suspected of sharing copyrighted works.
So can a VPN help? Using a VPN will hide your activity from your ISP and copyright trolls, but it won’t make torrenting copyrighted material legal. As such, you’re better off sticking to downloading legal torrents only.
- Best VPNs for Canada
- 1. NordVPN
- 2. Surfshark
- 3. ExpressVPN
- 4. CyberGhost
- 5. PrivateVPN
- 6. IPVanish
- 7. Private Internet Access
- 8. Atlas VPN
- Testing methodology: how I found the best VPNs for Canada
- How to access Netflix US from Canada
- How to get a Canadian IP address to watch Canadian TV channels
- Best VPNs for Canada FAQs