Although motivated by good intentions, namely, to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”, such vague terms could mean widespread censorship and could potentially lead to anonymization technology, like VPNs, being banned altogether.
With such restrictions on the horizon, getting a VPN before you travel to Canada is becoming increasingly imperative and, at present, the only question is, what is the best VPN in Canada?
The Best VPNs for Canada
Based on the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN operates in a climate free of data retention legislation and doesn’t keep any logs of its users’ activities or even their original IP address. Each server has its own encrypted DNS, making for safer connections, while the elimination of hard-drive storage means your data is always secure.
Cross-platform compatibility means you can install ExpressVPN on almost any device, from Android to Windows. One of the few drawbacks of ExpressVPN is that it allows for just three simultaneous connections which is limited compared to the competition, some of whom provide for unlimited devices to be connected at the same time.
Nevertheless, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. Cutting edge technology and a strict no-logging policy are further enhanced by advanced features like split-tunneling, which allows safe traffic to bypass the VPN tunnel and a kill switch that will automatically protect you in the unlikely event of a dropped VPN connection.
Although ExpressVPN is at the most expensive end of the VPN range, users can enjoy all its features for 30 days without paying a cent. Check out the full range of ExpressVPN’s power by reading our review here, or simply bite the bullet and sign up for the best VPN in Canada today.
CyberGhost VPN has worked hard to secure its position as a top VPN in Canada. It’s always been a user-friendly way to haunt cyberspace and access content regardless of your geographical location, but it also had to overcome some difficult hurdles.
It’s been accused of associating with malware distributors, keeping logs, and installing a root certificate that enables it to intercept user traffic. These are all in the past now, however, and CyberGhost has proved itself to be a reliable VPN dedicated to user privacy and anonymous browsing with a strict zero-logging policy.
As CyberGhost has grown in maturity, so its network of servers has expanded and it’s now one of the most extensive in the world, with 5,944 in total, and over 400 in Canada. Optimized streaming servers make accessing the US library of Netflix a breeze, even when you’re skiing in Banff, while its ability to block trackers and adverts makes for an uninterrupted browsing experience.
CyberGhost takes a slightly different approach to many VPN providers, focusing on user activity rather than location. For instance, using its preset streaming configurations, users can quickly connect to the right server for accessing BBC iPlayer, or Hulu.
Although CyberGhost’s monthly plans are some of the more expensive, it’s one and three-year subscription options offer excellent value for money, especially given that it allows for 7 simultaneous connections and is compatible with all major operating systems.
While ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN are both household names with a long history of cybersecurity behind them, Surfshark only emerged a couple of years ago. While it’s comparatively young and inexperienced, Surfshark VPN is surprisingly powerful, producing impressive speeds and secure connections despite its tiny server network.
In many respects, Surfshark has imitated many of ExpressVPN’s strongest features, from its location in the British Virgin Islands to its private DNS server technology. In addition to those, however, it’s added a few of its own.
Surfshark VPN offers extra security with its Multi-Hop option, split-tunneling with its WhiteLister feature, and throws in a substantial ad-blocker to boot. Using the best encryption and security protocols, Surfshark makes the most of its 800 or so servers and has positioned them to provide the best international coverage possible.
In addition to a strict no-logging policy, Surfshark VPN has been audited to verify the efficacy of its browser extensions, so users can game or torrent in complete safety. With unlimited simultaneous connections allowed, Surfshark offers excellent value for money, especially for the gadget-crazy, and, although its server network is minuscule compared to CyberGhost, does an impressive job of negotiating geographical restrictions, making it a great choice for a Netflix VPN in Canada.
#4 ZenMate VPN
ZenMate VPN provides a reliable VPN service in Canada, as it does in many other countries thanks to its clever server distribution. It’s not as extensive as CyberGhost VPN but, with 30 countries covered, it goes quite a lot further than Surfshark’s. As Surfshark has proven, however, size doesn’t really count, and technology is more important than having servers in every country.
Although ZenMate won’t produce the high speeds of the likes of ExpressVPN, it delivers an impressive level of consistency in terms of its connections. It also supports both streaming and torrenting and has fast enough speeds to accommodate these bandwidth-heavy activities.
Simple to use and compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows, ZenMate is a versatile piece of cybersecurity equipment which works effectively with Netflix, and offers extra protection with its in-built killswitch. While many VPNs have opted for 256-bit AES encryption, ZenMate has stuck with the simpler 128-bit version which, while still secure, makes for a faster connection.
ZenMate, however, isn’t a strictly no-logging VPN and logs the user’s original IP address and the date and time of each browsing session. Although this information is anonymized, it’s still not ideal for those wanting to remain completely incognito.
Robust and reliable, ZenMate is an affordable Netflix VPN in Canada. Although limited, the free version gives consistent protection, while the paid options are both capable and competitively priced. If this sounds like your kind of deal, why not sign up with ZenMate today?
ProtonVPN emerged as an encrypted mail service but soon developed into a fully-fledged cybersecurity tool with an intuitive user interface and solid online protection. While not quite as speedy as Surfshark VPN, for instance, ProtonVPN produces some surprisingly fast connections from some servers and some disappointingly sluggish ones from others.
While its speeds may be inconsistent, its security isn’t and ProtonVPN is one of the most secure VPNs around, offering only the safest OpenVPN security protocol and Perfect Forward Secrecy features. To boost protection even further, Secure Core architecture is used to direct online traffic through several different secure servers. The only problem is, this advanced security comes at a price, and speeds are inevitability slower as traffic must travel such an indirect route.
Nevertheless, ProtonVPN has its perks, and one of which is that it allows for up to 10 simultaneous devices, albeit only on its Visionary package, which is far from cheap. Those content protecting a single device can do so without any financial outlay at all, while ProtonVPN’s basic plan gives users protection for two devices and supports P2P traffic.
Unlike most VPN services in Canada, ProtonVPN doesn’t offer multi-year subscriptions, but rather a range of one-year plans. Overall, this makes it more expensive than the competition, which is a bit disappointing, although the premium plan is great for those wanting to protect multiple devices and enjoy the benefits of an encrypted mail service.
ProtonVPN isn’t the best VPN in Canada but it does give users the ability to access content from all over the world while enjoying a high level of security and private and anonymous browsing experience. If that appeals to you, you can sign up with ProtonVPN today, or you can find out more about the service in our full review.
The Changing Face of Canadian Cybersecurity
In May this year, the Canadian government, under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, announced its plans to overhaul laws controlling online access and digital privacy. According to the government, its 10-point digital charter is designed to “ensure Canadians can trust new digital technologies and that their data and privacy will be safe”.
Not everyone seems to agree, however, and while Trudeau is proposing to tame “a digital sphere that’s turned into the Wild West”, quite how he can do this without wandering onto the wrong side of the tracks in terms of censorship is anyone’s guess.
Even after the digital charter’s release a few months ago, the vision for Canada’s cyberspace doesn’t look any clearer. While focusing on the protection of personal data and the modernization of privacy laws, the charter fails to address the key points of precisely how the government plans to control hate speech on digital platforms without curtailing freedom of speech.
While the Canadian government’s intentions are good and the problems it faces abundantly clear, how to balance the need for some kind of control over the dissipation of violent content and hate speech with freedom of access and speech remains something of a mystery.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll need a VPN service in Canada if you want to carry on accessing the same digital content as you do at home with the same level of privacy.
How to Access Canada’s Top Streaming Sites
It seems Netflix has the international upper hand when it comes to securing the most online viewers, but not all Canadians are as addicted to its content as the rest of the world appears to be. CraveTV has somewhere in the region of three million viewers who log in to get the best of HBO and some excellent original movies and TV series, like the surreal sitcom, Letterkenny.
Canada even has some impressive free streaming sites, like the National Film Board of Canada where you can watch classic short movies, animated and documentaries to your heart’s content. You will need a Canadian IP address to get access, though, so if you’re not actually within the Canadian borders, you’ll need a reliable VPN to get you around those pesky geographical restrictions.
Parents and children alike can enjoy free entertainment on The Family Channel, while those wanting live news as well as drama can sign up for a CBS All Access Canada subscription which will give them advert-free viewing for just $5.99 per month.
Of course, Netflix isn’t the only American import Canadians enjoy watching, with sites like Amazon Prime also enjoying widespread popularity. However, for those Canadians traveling the world but wanting to keep their finger on the pulse back home, a VPN that can give you a reliable connection and a Canadian IP address is a must.
With hate speech and violent videos traveling across the digital landscape at an alarming rate, it’s little wonder governments across the globe are starting to consider how to control the dissemination of such unsuitable content. The problem facing Canadian authorities is how to balance that control without impinging on individuals’ freedom of speech and right to access digital content.
As the digital landscape becomes increasingly hostile, the best VPN for Canada becomes an increasingly essential item on your packing list. Not only can the best VPNs give you the benefits of an anonymous browsing experience and encrypted communications, but they can also give you access to geographically restricted content and hide your identifying IP address.
Canadians living or traveling overseas also benefit from a reliable VPN service in Canada as it gives them access to homegrown content and popular Canadian streaming sites like CraveTV.
There’s every indication that our digital freedoms will be increasingly restricted in Canada as much as any other country, so investing in one of the best VPNs now is the best way of ensuring your online experiences remain both private and unfettered.