Best VPN for Canada: 5 paid VS 5 free ones

Last updated: November 14 2019 By Sam Chester

The best and free VPN for Canada

My name is Sam Chester. I’ve been using a VPN every time I connect to the Internet for the past 8 years. I know everything about it.

Recently, in October 2019, I got a message from my Canadian friends asking me to give feedback about a certain free VPN. They wanted to watch US Netflix and Hulu as well as use torrents safely.

But the situation with free VPNs isn’t so simple unless you only use them for web-surfing. Not to write a wall of text to my friends, I decided to post a new review of VPN services that are good for Canada here on cooltechzone.com.

After conducting a number of tests, I have determined 5 best paid and 5 ‘’not bad’’ free VPNs to help my friends and other people in need to:

  • unblock any geo-restricted content unavailable in Canada;
  • use torrents and apps that give access to free content (Kodi, Popcorn Time, etc.);
  • browse the Internet anonymously and do other things enabled by VPN technology.

Best VPNs for Canada

Express vpn
Zenmate

Best free VPNs for Canada

Hide me
Windscribe
Kaspersky VPN
VPN Gate

5 best VPNs for Canada

In this chapter, I will tell you about 5 paid VPN services that are the best ones for Canada. I took the peculiarities of Canadian legislation and real consumer reviews into consideration and thoroughly tested if the performance claims of those VPNs were true.

1. NordVPN: The best-suited VPN for Canada

NordVPN for Canada

NordVPN has everything that is needed for streaming, torrenting, and other activities the modern user wants to use a VPN for. But what’s more, this service works even in China. Only a few VPN providers cope with bypassing China’s censorship.

The thing I like about NordVPN is its scale. It has more than 5600 servers in 60 countries. Although it is the world’s second-largest VPN, it’s the most popular one.

The hallmark of NordVPN is its ability to unblock Netflix and Hulu with any server. The same thing is true about torrenting. You can choose any location and it will protect your entire torrent-activity reliably.

Besides, the provider allows connecting to the Internet not only with a random IP from the country you choose but also with a fixed (or Dedicated) IP as well as using the double protection of Double VPN.

The speeds of some servers that are close to Canada exceed 100 Mbps. But even if you need to mask your IP address with a location you are far from, it’s hardly a problem. I use virtual IP addresses from all around the world and I am more than satisfied with the performance of NordVPN.

NordVPN: Speed tests results

  US UK JK
Speed, Mbps 100+ 87 54

Its strict No-logs policy and Panamanian jurisdiction further improve the reliability of the VPN.

NordVPN: Features and characteristics:

  • High level of privacy;
  • Reliable data protection;
  • Bypassing of geo-restrictions;
  • Safe torrenting;
  • Apps for all platforms including TV platforms, routers, and browser extensions;
  • Kill Switch;
  • Outside of the influence of the Canadian authorities.

Prices and plans:

  • $3,49 per month ($125.64  for 3 years)
  • $4,99 per month ($119.76 for 2 years)
  • $6,99 per month ($83.88 for 1 year)
  • $11,95 per month with the subscription for 1 month

NordVPN has a 7-day free trial for mobile apps. It does require a credit card and subscribing for a year beforehand. Besides, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Visit NordVPN

You can also read the detailed review of NordVPN.

2. Surfshark: New powerful VPN well-suited for Canada

Surfshark for Canada

Surfshark is a real discovery of 2019. This VPN service that only emerged in 2018, has become one of the best not only in Canada but in the entire world. It has almost all features that NordVPN does (and some of them are even better with Surfshark) while costing as little as $1.99 per month.

The distinctive features of Surfshark are its hassle-free streaming and torrenting support, the new safe Shadowsocks protocol support, the presence of 15 variants of Double VPN pairs and 11 servers with dedicated IPs.

Surfshark controls more than 1000 servers in 60 countries. Their speed allows watching videos in HD as well as seamless torrenting downloads.

Surfshark: Speed test results

  US UK JK
Speed, Mbps 83 79 58

Surfshark keeps no logs and is legally located in the British Virgin Islands offshore.

Surfshark: Features and characteristics:

  • High level of privacy;
  • Reliable data protection;
  • Geo-restrictions bypassing;
  • Safe torrenting;
  • Apps for all platforms including TV and game consoles as well as browser extensions;
  • Kill Switch;
  • Outside of the influence of the Canadian authorities.

Prices and plans:

  • $1.99 per month with the subscription for 2 years ($47.74)
  • $5.99 per month with the subscription for 1 year ($71.88)
  • $11.95 per month with the subscription for 1 month

Surfshark has a 7-day free trial on its mobile apps, no card required. Besides, there is a 30-day refund.

Visit Surfshark

You can also read the detailed review of Surfshark.

3. CyberGhost: Good one-size-fits-all VPN service

CyberGhost for Canada

In the fall of 2019, CyberGhost became the largest VPN service surpassing even the giant NordVPN for a while and extended its coverage to 90 countries. Later, the number of its servers fell to 5300.

Why is it good for Canada specifically?

The hallmark of CyberGhost is its dedicated streaming and torrenting servers. These locations are set up precisely to be used as uninterruptedly as possible. Moreover, you can even choose the server that suits your video service or TV channel the best:

CyberGhost: servers for streaming

A great advantage of CyberGhost is its Romanian jurisdiction. It protects the users’ private data from any potential pressure coming from the authorities. Additionally, Romania is not a member of the political and intelligence alliances that Canada is.

CyberGhost offers apps for all devices including TV platforms and routers. The reliable 256-bit encryption standard, the Smart rules (selecting apps for which the VPN won’t be active), the kill switch being constantly on and the no-log policy make this provider a great choice for all free entertainment content and torrenting.

The speed of a particular CyberGhost server depends on its location. There are fast servers upwards of 60 Mbps and there are ones on which the speed drops to 3-5 Mbps (Hong Kong, Iran, Egypt, and several others).

CyberGhost: Speed test results

  US UK JK
Speed, Mbps 38 68 44

CyberGhost: Features and characteristics:

  • High level of privacy;
  • Reliable data protection;
  • Geo-restrictions bypassing;
  • Safe torrenting;
  • Apps for all platforms including TV and game consoles as well as browser extensions;
  • Kill Switch;
  • Outside of the influence of the Canadian authorities.

Prices and plans:

  • $2,75 per month ($99  for 3 years)
  • $3,69 per month ($88.56 for 2 years)
  • $5,99 per month ($71.88 for 1 year)
  • $12,99 per month with the subscription for 1 month

CyberGhost offers a 24-hour free trial for all platforms and a 45-day money-back guarantee – the longest I’ve seen.

Visit CyberGhost

You can also read the detailed review of CyberGhost.

4. ExpressVPN: Popular premium VPN

ExpressVPN for Canada

ExpressVPN would have been a perfect fit for Canada were it not for these 3 drawbacks:

  1. Its version for Android lacks security in certain circumstances;
  2. The same app eats the battery very quickly;
  3. Its cost is high ($8.32-$12.95 per month).

ExpressVPN used to be the best service for many years. The development of the VPN market along with competition and the growing interest in the anonymous use of the Internet, however, has spawned more technologically advanced providers. They offer more up-to-date functionality for significantly smaller prices while retaining the same level of security.

It bears mentioning that ExpressVPN is still the best in:

  • the number of countries (94);
  • has a very robust knowledge base on how to use a VPN for various purposes and on all available devices.

It also is one of the best VPNs in terms of speed and Netflix support. Its “No Logging” policy has been proven in real life.

So what is wrong with ExpressVPN?

Its Android app loses the VPN protection even with the Kill Switch on when it changes the IP address (reconnect from one Wi-Fi network to another or to the mobile Internet). Then, it doesn’t reestablish this protection even though it displays the VPN connection as active. More on that in our ExpressVPN and NordVPN comparison.

Besides, ExpressVPN’s Android app overloads the CPU, which leads to the battery charge being depleted very quickly.

ExpressVPN: Speed test results

  US UK JK
Speed, Mbps 87 100+ 36

ExpressVPN keeps no logs and is based in the British Virgin Islands offshore.

ExpressVPN: Features and characteristics:

  • High level of privacy (except on Android);
  • Reliable data protection;
  • Geo-restrictions bypassing;
  • Safe torrenting;
  • Apps for all platforms including TV and game consoles as well as browser extensions;
  • Kill Switch (except on Android);
  • Outside of the influence of the Canadian authorities.

Prices and plans:

  • $8.32 per month ($99.95 for 1 year)
  • $9.99 per month ($59.95 for 6 months)
  • $12.95 per month with the subscription for 1 month

ExpressVPN can be tried for free on Android (for 7 days with no credit card required). But be careful when you move from one location and network to another. Additionally, this provider offers a 30-day refund.

Visit ExpressVPN

You can also read our detailed review of ExpressVPN.

5. ZenMate: Suitable for torrenting in Canada

ZenMate for Canada

Bypassing blocks imposed on free content resources is of the primary importance for Canada. ZenMate helps to safely watch such content without a hitch as well as use torrents.

It has other basic features of good VPNs as well. Thanks to its low price (starting at $2.05) and dedicated servers for P2P connections, I recommend this service for free content exchange specifically.

ZenMate also proclaims its streaming support and has a separate list of servers dedicated to it. However, as of this day, the most popular US, UK, and JP locations are unavailable.

ZenMate is built upon the base of CyberGhost. They share the owner, parts of their technological infrastructure and have similar software. Thanks to it, ZenMate supports all major platforms and doesn’t have any “childlike” issues that are common in many simple VPNs.

ZenMate: Speed tests results

  US UK JK
Speed, Mbps 34 28 19

ZenMate claims that it keeps no logs. There is a small drawback, though, as this service is based in Germany. This country is a part of the 14 Eyes alliance.

ZenMate: Features and characteristics:

  • High level of privacy;
  • Reliable data protection;
  • Geo-restrictions bypassing (unpopular countries);
  • Safe torrenting;
  • Apps for all platforms including TV and game consoles as well as browser extensions;
  • Kill Switch.

Prices and plans:

  • $2.05 per month when subscribing for 2 years ($49.20)
  • $3.99 per month when subscribing for 1 year ($47.88)
  • $9.99 per month when subscribing for 1 month

Visit ZenMate


Drawbacks of a free VPN

Remember how I said at the very beginning that my Canadian friends had asked me for advice? They had wanted to find a free VPN.

When I asked them why they wanted a free one specifically, they said that they didn’t need anything “super-secure” or fancy. They only wanted a simple VPN for gaming, free content and, preferably, with US and UK streaming support.

But did my friends know the real differences between a paid VPN and a free one? They sure didn’t! Otherwise, they would have known about the 2 main drawbacks that free VPN services have:

  1. Low speeds,
  2. Limited amounts of traffic.

The problem is that the main area of expenditure for VPN services is paying for the traffic that goes through their servers.

And what is more traffic-intensive than online gaming and watching and downloading video-content (whether licensed or not)? These areas of using a VPN are the most expensive.

That’s why a VPN service can be as vanilla as it gets, without any modern bells and whistles in its primitive apps or not have any apps at all but it won’t allow you to use its servers for free without restrictions.

There are no exceptions to this rule.

Besides, free VPNs do not care about keeping their users’ private information safe. What’s to stop them from just selling it, for example, to advertising agencies or other interested parties?

The situation is made worse by the fact that most VPNs that are called free are, in truth, anything but. They use a common trick: to create a short free trial which is, most often, limited in some ways. The word “free”, however, is the one being emphasized. A person believes it, signs up, gets disappointed but doesn’t want to search for another VPN again. For many people, it’s easier to buy a subscription.

But don’t despair! If a user can’t afford to pay for a VPN, they can find a free VPN that has the fewest restrictions and a good reputation.

Actually free VPNs are very few and far between. Moreover, they are hard to find. I have tested almost all well-known VPNs and I know which ones are honest and which ones are a nothingburger.


Best free VPNs for Canada

Here are 5 best free VPNs that, at least partially, cope with the current tasks that are important in developed countries such as Canada. This list enumerates mainly free plans of normal VPN services. I will mention only one fully free VPN and that is only because it’s funded by a Japanese university.

1. Free hide.me

hide.me CanadaHide.me is one of the fastest free VPNs which has an unlimited free plan and the apps for basic platforms. Good speed for free VPNs is a rarity. I had to test dozens of providers to find a really fast provider.

So, what does Hide.me offer for free? What kind of restrictions does it have?

Restrictions:

  • Up to 2Gb of traffic per month
  • 4 countries (5 locations)
  • 1 simultaneous connection

Advantages:

+ High speed

+ “No Logs” policy

+ Strong AES-256 encryption with 8192-bit RSA key

+ VPN platforms and routers’ support

Disadvantages:

- No torrenting

- Failed to stream the US Netflix 

- Not compatible with Win 8.1 (but it works with Win 10)

Overall, Malaysian VPN provider hide.me offers good conditions for a free version. Of course, 2 Gb per month is too little for full web-surfing, but it’s the best that you can find for Canada with good speed. Hide.me is a bad option for P2P because torrenting is forbidden for US locations. Moreover, I couldn’t open some torrent-websites of NL. Read our review of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Visit hide.me

2. Free ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN CanadaSwiss VPN provider ProtonVPN focuses on high privacy for users and has a free 2 in 1 plan. The first 7 days are a free trial of the “Plus” plan, and after its end, you can use a limited free version without any time restrictions and volume of traffic.

Restrictions (after 7 days):

  • Below-average speed
  • 3 countries (the US, NL, JP)
  • 1 simultaneous connection
  • Torrenting is unavailable
  • Failed to stream Netflix

Advantages:

+ No time or volume restrictions

+ “No Logs” policy

+ Strong AES-256 encryption with 4096-bit RSA key

+ VPN platforms’ support, including Linux

Disadvantages:

- No streaming support

- No torrenting (including KODI)

- Low speed for video content

So, ProtonVPN is a good alternative to hide.me with lower speed without volume restrictions. “No Logs” policy, reliable Swiss jurisdiction and the lack of problems with security make it suitable for use in Canada.

Visit ProtonVPN

3. Free Windscribe

Free Windscribe CanadaWindscribe offers a free plan that has the unmatched 10 Gb of monthly traffic. Moreover, special offers are held sometimes on Reddit that allow expanding this limit up to 15 Gb and more.

I did not, however, put Windscribe first because its speed is dreadful. During my tests, I was unable to accelerate it past 0.1-0.2 Mbps. Such a speed makes even text-based websites load for ages, let alone those with video content (they couldn’t load at all). I have made many attempts but not once did the service work as it should have.

Restrictions:

  • Very low speed
  • 10 countries only

Advantages:

+ 10 Gb per month

+ “No Logs” policy

+ Many options of the VPN connection

+ The VPN supports many platforms including Linux, TV, and browsers

+ Good customer reviews

Disadvantages:

- Its low speed severely limits the use of Windscribe

To use it comfortably, one has to buy the Pro subscription. It lifts the speed limit but costs much more than that of many other VPNs.

Visit Windscribe

4. Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection

Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection CanadaKaspersky knows how to protect your device from any threats. You may use antivirus protection with a VPN for absolute security. However, the antivirus doesn’t have a free version, unlike VPN. Kaspersky VPN offers 200-300MB per day for free, but an active account for the antivirus provides the only 300Mb. 

Restrictions:

  • 200-300Mb per day
  • Limited choice of location

Advantages:

+ High speed

+ “No Logs” policy

+ Strong AES-256 encryption with 4096-bit RSA key

+ VPN platforms’ support

Disadvantages:

- No settings for routers and Linux

- The Russian jurisdiction

Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection is a quality product from an expert in the field of information security. And it has good conditions of using a free VPN if the location isn’t important. But the Russian jurisdiction of Kaspersky is controversial. On the one hand, it is definitely outside the intelligence alliances that can secretly monitor the citizens and guests of Canada. And on the other hand, Russia is not a friendly country for the US and the region of North America.

You may choose this VPN if for some reason other providers didn’t suit you.

Visit Kaspersky VPN

5. VPN Gate: Totally Free

VPN GateVPN Gate is the only fully free VPN that I can recommend to Canadians.

VPN Gate has two main features that set it apart from other services:

  1. It makes the profit not off advertising or selling user data to advertising agencies. Instead, it is funded by the University of Tsukuba, Japan.
  2. It doesn’t have any servers save for computers that act like servers offered by volunteers.

Restrictions:

  • Can’t be used for torrenting
  • Only has a client for Windows. Other OSs are available through third-party apps
  • Very few working US locations

Advantages:

+ Fully free

+ No traffic limits

Disadvantages:

- Low speed on most servers

- Many servers deny the connection. Excessive search is needed

- Mainly the Asian region is represented

- Inconvenient to use on platforms other than Windows

- Keeps logs

- Any person can own a server you connect to

- You can’t predict when each server is going to work

Visit VPN Gate


A VPN and a law

Is it legal to use VPN in Canada?

Yes, it’s absolutely legal. VPN technology doesn’t mean any technologies with vulnerabilities, backdoors or other illegal methods. Moreover, VPN is not only hiding IP and encryption IP addresses. It’s a broad technology, without which any modern company can’t work. Corporate networks are frequently developed on the base of this technology for the establishment a private virtual network. It saves a lot of money and resources and gets rid of installing private networks. So, you are free from any questions if you do not use a VPN to commit crimes.


How to use a VPN in Canada?

The question arises immediately after the user connects to a VPN. Is it enough only to switch on a VPN? Do you need to configure anything else?

Do you need to keep a VPN on all the time? Indeed, there are some nuances of effective using of a VPN. In most cases, you may simply click on the connection, because good VPN apps automatically set up the optimal configurations. You always can find them, if you know, where they are.

There are the main criteria for an optimal VPN connection:

  • Choose the closest location outside Canada for maximum speed. But remember that a VPN will always work much more slowly than your ISP (Internet service provider). That’s why don’t expect the increase in Internet speed. As a rule, all the abovementioned VPNs have “Optimal” или “Best Location” choices for connecting. 
  • Choose a Double VPN or the server located in the countries with laws protected private data for maximum security. For example, in Romania. 
  • Kill Switch or its analog should be included for IP protection. So, your IP will remain hidden during the change of locations or Internet reconnection. 
  • Follow the active VPN connection on Android mobile devices. It can spontaneously turn off while the screen is off. There are Android peculiarities. So, the VPN apps can’t guarantee a 100% active VPN.
  • Try not to use a free VPN, as their IP addresses are listed in various blacklists because of dishonest users.
  • Always use a VPN in public Wi-Fi networks. There is a real threat of hacking mobile devices and the interception of personal data by hackers.

Following the recommendations, you will ensure of comfortable using without additional participation of all advantages of Virtual Private Network.

There is a simple rule for time using a VPN – the more devices and the longer they are connected to the VPN, the better.


The conclusion

Canada is a beautiful and democratic country with a high standard of living. It has no strict copyright legislation that, for example, its neighbor the US does. However, there are reasons to be using a VPN in Canada as well:

  • Accessing free content and torrents if such access is restricted;
  • Unblocking geo-restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, and other services and TV channels;
  • Safer torrenting;
  • Protecting confidential data;
  • Public Wi-Fi networks protection;
  • The government’s attempts to access private data:

All the bills represented here have been adopted or canceled, or have not been accepted over the last 7 years.

2012 – the modifications relating to digital copyright and the responsibility for its violation were added to the Copyright Act (С-11);

2013 – an attempt to push on Bill C-30, which under the guise of children’s protection was supposed to give the Canadian authorities full powers to monitor the activity and to decrypt the citizens' data records by using ISPs (Internet service providers). It was the fourth attempt since 2010 to authorize access to personal data of citizens.

2015 – adoption of Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorism Law), which gives the authorities the power to crack or capture the data of any device. 

Daniel Therrien, the appointed federal Privacy Commissioner considers that Bill С-51 "opens the door to collecting, analyzing and potentially keeping forever the personal information of all Canadians".
It was withdrawn in the same year.

2017 – one more attempt to make changes in the Penal Code of Canada to access private information. It has not been adopted yet.

There is one more serious fact which proves the Canadian government’s been secretly spying on Canadians:

2013 – A federal judge of Canada Richard Mosley criticizes Canadian Security Intelligence Service for the fact that they passed on espionage for Canadians to foreign agencies (“5 eyes” alliance or FVEY). 

More information can be found here.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or thoughts about the use of VPNs in Canada, leave your comments below!

You may also read:

BEST VPN: Complete Guide & Top 7
Free and best VPNs for Netflix: how to find and where to download them?
Roku with VPN: Setup and VPN List

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