What Is The Best VPN for Canada in 2018?
NordVPN is the best choice for a VPN to protect your online activities from prying eyes while in Canada. The provider offers fast connection speeds, total privacy protection and tip-top customer support. By using NordVPN for your VPN needs, you’ll keep your personal information safe when connecting from the less-than privacy-friendly Great White North.
The provider also comes in handy when you’re using your laptop or mobile device while connected to an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot at your local Tim Horton’s coffee shop.
Canada is located in the northern section of the North American continent. (Just head west from France, and turn right at Buffalo, NY.) The country’s total area of 3,855,100 sq mi is sparsely populated with a population of a little over 35 million polite citizens as of the 2016 census.
The country is sparsely populated because the majority of the country’s land is dominated by forests or tundra. The climate is severely cold in the winter, although southern regions do warm up nicely in the summer. 82% of the country’s population is concentrated in large and medium-sized cities.
Canada ranks as fifteenth-highest in the category of nominal per capita income globally and ranks among the highest when it comes to civil liberties, economic freedom, quality of life and education.
Top 5 Best VPNs for Use in Canada
Why Do You Need a VPN in Canada?
Canada, which is populated with generally well-liked people who receive free healthcare, is a pretty cool place to reside in if you don’t mind generally chilly weather. However, the country’s laws in relation to data retention, net neutrality and mass surveillance are less than favorable.
The country is a member of Five Eyes, an alliance of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Members of the alliance are bound by agreement to share information about its citizens, which is gathered by each country’s intelligence agencies. This can include almost any type of information, including info about a citizen’s online activities.
In addition to being able to keep your online activities safe from the prying eyes of the Canadian government, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) also keeps your personal and business information safe from hackers and even your own Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Furthermore, while Canada doesn’t actively block access to any websites or services located outside of the Great White North, many websites and services are geographically blocked by the content provider themselves, due to contractual requirements or other issues.
A VPN allows users to access Netflix content from other countries, as well as content from services such as Spotify, Hulu and other popular streaming services. Among these services are BBC’s iPlayer. Although Canada is a possession of the United Kingdom, iPlayer content is not available from within Canada. (Wow! Those BBC blokes are strict!)
Choosing the Best VPN for Use in Canada
When deciding on which VPN is right for you, there are numerous considerations to keep in mind. Always look for a provider that offers fast connections, tip-top customer support, great global server coverage and excellent privacy protection.
In this section, I’ll go over all the features that merit consideration when researching the available VPN providers and include a table in each section which ranks my top 10 VPN providers in order of how well they perform in each individual category.
No matter what purposes you plan to use your VPN connection for, privacy is one of the most important considerations when researching which provider is the right one for you. “Privacy,” in this case, does not refer to encrypted connections, but instead to how well a VPN provider protects information related to your online activities and subscription payment information.
Research the following: which country a provider is based in, what that country’s data retention laws are, what types of customer usage logs the provider saves and whether or not the provider accepts privacy-friendly payment options, like Bitcoin or merchant gift cards.
The table below lists VPN providers in order of best privacy protections to worst.
Connection speed is one of the most important categories for consideration when deciding on a VPN provider. No matter what online activities you use your connection for, a fast connection will make them more enjoyable. (Okay, not when you’re paying bills, but nothing can make that online activity more enjoyable.)
I calculated the rankings by measuring my usual ISP-provided connection speed, connecting to each VPN and measuring my connection speed again. The speed percentage was calculated by making a comparison of both speed measurements for each provider. (I used the Speedtest website to measure all connection speeds.)
The list below ranks my top 10 VPN providers in order of the fastest to the slowest.
If a VPN provider does not offer kill switch protection for the connections they offer, immediately drop them from consideration. A kill switch protects your personal information and online activities by automatically disconnecting your internet connection in the event that your connection to the VPN provider fails.
Kill switch protection prevents any server you’re connected to from detecting your actual IP address (and therefore your actual location). It also protects your connection from suddenly becoming vulnerable to parties who are trying to monitor your internet connection.
Since “kill switch” is a “yes/no” type of feature, the providers are listed alphabetically in the table below. Of the 10 providers, only VPN Unlimited doesn’t offer a kill switch.
Other Factors to Consider
I would never wish that any VPN user would have any technical or billing issues with their VPN provider. That said, there is a good chance that you may need to contact your provider’s customer support team about one issue or another. When that happens, you’ll want to feel secure that the support personnel will be able to quickly and knowledgeably assist you.
Look closely at the types of customer support a VPN service provides. Support can and should include an online text chat support option, an email or trouble ticket submission form, and a searchable support library.
My top 10 VPN providers have been ranked from best to worst according to the types of support they offer, in addition to the promptness and accuracy of their replies.
Note: Phone support is not offered by any of the providers on my list.
I would venture to say that while it would be wonderful if the price wasn’t a factor in a VPN buying decision, for most of us it is, indeed, a factor.
When researching a VPN provider’s pricing, don’t automatically opt for the provider with the lowest price. Make sure the provider doesn’t cut corners in important categories, such as connection speed or customer support, in order to offer a low price.
Also, keep in mind that quite a few VPN providers will, on occasion, offer special deals on subscriptions. These deals can substantially reduce the price you’ll need to pay for VPN service.
Such deals usually do require a user to commit to at least a full year of service, but if you can afford to pay for a year up front, you’ll save some money. Visit a provider’s website to learn about any deals they may currently be offering.
Month-to-month subscriptions are usually available, which is an option for those who are unable to pay for an extended period of service up front. Be advised, however, that paying monthly will likely cost you more in the long run.
*The prices in the table reflect the monthly cost when paying for an annual subscription. (Annual Subscription Price / 12 Months.)
Global Server Coverage
Comprehensive global server coverage is an excellent benefit provided by many VPN services. A provider that has a large number of VPN servers, located strategically in countries around the globe, offers an excellent way to access streaming video and audio content, gaming servers and other services that might normally be blocked in your Canadian location.
A VPN allows users to appear as if they are located in another country, allowing them to access services such as Netflix, Hulu and Spotify, that might be blocked in their home country due to content licensing or other geographical restrictions.
Ideally, a provider will offer global server coverage like that shown in the screenshot below.
The list below sorts the VPN providers according to their global server coverage, best to worst.