The 12 Best VPN in Canada for 2023

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 29 Jun 2023

A guide to selecting a VPN service, ensuring online privacy and security for your internet activities.
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    With every little action you take while connected to the web, you leave behind a digital footprint. That footprint contains data generated by your activities, as well as information about where you are and, in some cases, who you are.

    It’s a privacy nightmare and one that worries many Canadians.

    The vast majority of Canadians (93%) say they’re at least somewhat concerned about their privacy, with 38% claiming they’re “extremely concerned.” Those figures are understandable given the rising number of data breaches (652,298 in the third quarter of 2022 alone) in Canada. Simply put – Canadians want to feel safer online.

    A virtual private network (VPN) service offers that safety by serving as a shield that blocks intruders from seeing what you’re doing online. VPNs also offer other advantages, such as helping you stream content from the US or helping you get around country-specific website firewalls, which can be beneficial for research purposes.

    So, VPNs are useful. But there are also so many of them, each claiming to be the best on the market. With this article, we’ll separate the best VPNs from those that talk a big game without delivering. Here are 12 VPNs that deliver something special in a specific area.

    Our Criteria for Choosing the 12 Best VPN Canada

    We tested the VPNs for several things, including speed once connected, the level of security each VPN in this list offers, and ease of use. The aim was to offer a good spread. Some of these VPNs excel in unblocking services, like Netflix and Disney+, while others take a more business-oriented approach or are easier for newbies to grasp.

    As such, rather than ranking the selected VPNs from 1 to 12, we’ve ranked them based on what they do best (ideally, better than any other VPN out there) to help you choose the right one.

    Surfshark – Best VPN in Canada for Unlimited Devices

    Most homes have a ton of devices all connecting to the same Wi-Fi network. There are laptops, smart TVs, smartphones, and any number of other devices to consider. A VPN that limits how many devices you can connect may not be suitable.

    Surfshark solves that problem.

    A single Surfshark subscription offers unlimited connections across as many devices as you like. There are no additional membership charges, so no additional charge for adding a new account for each person who uses it. The app is simple to set up. Once downloaded, connecting to a server is as simple as choosing the country and hitting the big “Connect” button.

    It’s also one of the faster VPNs available, as it uses WireGuard to help you keep most of the speed of your native connection. Unblocking is great, too, as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are all susceptible to Surfshark’s digital charms.

    Surfshark Pricing

    Here’s where things get a little iffy for Surfshark. The supplier obviously wants long-term subscriptions, which is why it charges $17.23 for a single month, yet only $5.31 per month for the 12-month package. Opt for a 24-month subscription and you’ll only pay $3.18 per month. So, it’s a bargain so long as you’re willing to commit.

    CyberGhost – Best VPN in Canada for Server Volume

    You’ll be swimming in a sea of servers with CyberGhost, as it offers a staggering 9,524 servers spread across 90 countries. In contrast, Surfshark only offers about a third as many servers, though it has similar country coverage. With CyberGhost, you can switch between several servers in the same location on the fly, making it ideal for those days when some servers offer a spotty connection.

    Though it’s one of the best VPN Canada for servers, CyberGhost is not so great when it comes to device connectivity, though the seven simultaneous devices offered should be enough for most households. The privacy policy could also use a little work, as it currently falls victim to jargon and legalese that makes it unclear exactly what, if any, data that CyberGhost collects on its users.

    Still, it’s fast, compatible with an anti-virus add-on for extra protection, and has a huge server fleet to justify its cost.

    CyberGhost Pricing

    CyberGhost pulls the same trick as Surfshark by charging substantially more for a single-month subscription than it does for its longer options. One month costs $12.99, with prices dropping to $6.99 per month for six months and $2.11 per month for a two-year subscription. That two-year subscription occasionally comes with free bonus months on top of what you buy.

    Atlas VPN – Best VPN in Canada for its Free Service

    Let’s get one thing clear – Atlas isn’t a free VPN in the sense that it doesn’t have paid tiers. It does. But it also has a free plan that offers servers in three locations – Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles – with none of the speed throttling that comes with other providers’ free variants.

    This isn’t a trial, either, as you can use Atlas for free for as long as you like, as long as you’re happy with the server limitations. Assuming you go for the paid package, more servers will open, with Atlas also having an IP hopping feature that bounces you from one IP address to another for extra privacy.

    Sadly, it falls when it comes to its confusing user interface. The fact that it has no independent auditing process may leave you feeling wary about data leaks.

    Atlas VPN Pricing

    Atlas has a three-tier pricing structure, starting with a month of service for $16.44. That monthly cost drops to $4.50 for its one-year package (assuming you use the coupon code provided on the pricing page) and $2.50 per month for a two-year subscription.

    IPVanish – Best VPN in Canada for Beginners

    IP Vanish gets a lot of things right to make it one of the best VPN Canada. It has servers in over 75 countries, offering plenty of coverage, and it has apps for practically every type of device, including Android, Apple, and Amazon. It also offers the same unlimited connections capability as Surfshark, though it’s not quite as fast and has about a thousand fewer servers.

    But it’s the user interface that stands out. While some may see it as simplistic, the fact that there are no traffic graphs or complicated data stats means you just pick a server and click “Connect.” It’s simple and fast, though the app ironically struggles to unblock Netflix in Canada. That won’t be a problem for Canadians looking to access content from other countries but could be an issue if you’re abroad and want to connect back to Canadian Netflix to watch your favourite show.

    IPVanish Pricing

    IPVanish keeps things simple with one-month, one year, and two-year paid plans. Its monthly plan is among the cheapest on this list, hitting your wallet for $13.49 (though there’s a sneaky addition of tax once you hit checkout). A one-year plan (plus taxes) is $5.15, while two-year plan costs $3.70 per month (plus tax, again) to save you about $100.

    PureVPN – Best VPN in Canada for its Features

    You get a little bit of everything with PureVPN. Unblocking is solid, with the VPN able to handle Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, and the “Shortcuts” feature allows you to access your favourite apps inside PureVPN itself quickly. That’s a handy step saved. The app also has obfuscation support, which is a fancy way of saying it hides the fact that you’re using a VPN from services that have VPN-blocking tech.

    Combine all of that with a “no logs” policy, meaning the app doesn’t track your usage, and you have a perfect set of features for security and access. Unfortunately, the various apps can be finicky, with the kill switch for the Windows version being hit-and-miss. But if you can get past those minor niggles, there aren’t many VPNs that match PureVPN for the price.

    PureVPN Pricing

    PureVPN takes a different approach than other providers by offering three tiers of pricing within its monthly, yearly, and two-yearly subscriptions. You can get a two-year “Standard” plan for $2.29 per month, the “Plus” (high-speed, secure password, end-to-end encryption) for $3.33 per month, and the “Max” plan (offering better encryption and a password manager) at $4.99 monthly. If you want to pay by the month, expect to shell out between $10.95 and $19.95.

    NordLayer – Best VPN in Canada for Business

    Advertising itself as a business-focused VPN, and made by the people behind NordVPN, NordLayer is far from the most advanced service around – it can be slow, support costs extra, and it’s tough to monitor activity.

    So, why does it make the list?

    It’s the best VPN Canada for business owners.

    NordLayer offers cross-platform capabilities that make it easy to share among workers using all sorts of devices, with turnkey security features offering an “out-of-the-box” set-up experience. There’s no fiddling with configuration here. The “Intelligent Remote Access” feature is also great if you have employees spread across the world. All can fall under the protection of NordLayer, with your IT people also being able to remotely access any connected device via NordLayer.

    NordLayer Pricing

    NordLayer offers “Basic” and “Advanced” packages for US$7 per month (approx. $9.33) and US$9 (approx. $12) respectively. You can also tack a dedicated server with a fixed IP address onto the “Advanced” plan, though that costs US$40 (approx. $53). Custom plans also exist if the standard packages aren’t up to providing what your business needs.

    NordVPN – Best VPN in Canada for Data Encryption

    After mentioning NordVPN in the last entry, it’s worth explaining why it (and the sister product NordLayer) is such a great choice – security. The service offers multi-hop, which is like creating a chain of servers that completely hide your IP address. This feature essentially doubles your encryption, making it so hackers need to break through a metaphorical suit of armour along with the shield that most other services provide.

    Fantastically, NordVPN manages to maintain solid speeds despite these added security features. And it comes with a built-in anti-virus tool, though whether that’s a good thing depends on your opinion of invasive anti-viruses and whether you think the in-built tool is as good as what you already have.

    NordVPN Pricing

    Unfortunately, NordVPN isn’t the best VPN Canada for pricing simplicity. Navigating NordVPN’s pricing gets confusing because it has three plans, each of which is split into three subscription options, to create a total of nine different offers. Going down the monthly route, you can get the “Standard” package for US$12.99 (approx. $17.30), “Plus” package for US$13.99 (approx. $18.60), or “Complete” for US$14.99 (approx. $19.97). One and two-year subscriptions exist for all three tiers, each bringing the monthly cost down substantially.

    VyprVPN – Best VPN in Canada for Custom Protocol VPN

    With the advent of VPNs came companies that want to block people from using VPNs. VyprVPN smashes those blockades down with its unique Chameleon 2.0 technology, which can get past even the most oppressive VPN-blocking tech. That makes it ideal for accessing services like Netflix that try and track VPN usage, in addition to making it useful in foreign countries.

    It’s good Chameleon 2.0 is there because VyprVPN falls a little short in other areas. It has limited server coverage compared to some of the big hitters (700 compared to the thousands that others offer) and it’s not the fastest VPN available. But if you’re having trouble accessing content with another VPN, VyprVPN should be able to slither around the safeguards.

    VyprVPN Pricing

    VyprVPN keeps things simple with a monthly and yearly plan. The latter costs US$5 per month (approx. $6.65), with monthly payments requiring you to shell out double what you’d pay per month on the annual plan.

    VeePN – Best VPN in Canada for Payment Options

    Accessibility, at least when it comes to payments, is the name of the game for VeePN. Along with the standard credit or debit card payments, you can pay using several cryptocurrencies, Google Pay, PayPal, and a few other online payment platforms. So, there are options galore, which are mirrored in the provider’s approach to servers. It runs a big network, with 2,500 servers spread across 50 countries.

    It would be nice to see a feature-rich mobile app, though at least there is one, and the lack of independent security auditing is troubling. But for those who want to avoid paying in fiat currencies, there is no better option.

    VeePN Pricing

    You get a choice of three subscription choices with VeePN – monthly, yearly, and a massive five-year plan. As usual, monthly is the most expensive, though it’s cheap compared to others at just US$10.99 (approx. $14.63). Choose to commit yourself to the provider for five years and your monthly costs drop to US$1.67 (approx. $2.22).

    Ivacy – Best VPN in Canada for Low-Cost VPN

    Ivacy packs a lot into an extremely affordable subscription, with the highlight being its top-tier unblocking that makes it one of the best VPN Canada. VyprVPN’s Chameleon 2.0 protocol is the only thing that comes close to being able to get past as many barriers as Ivacy can. It’s also handy if you have multiple users, as 10 people can use the VPN at the same time.

    But like some of the other non-U.S.-based VPNs in the list (Ivacy comes out of Singapore), the service isn’t heavily invested in independent privacy or security audits. In other words, there are not a lot of guardians at the gate with Ivacy’s privacy checks, which may make you wary about trusting it with your data. Low speeds can also be a problem, especially when trying to stream 4K content.

    Ivacy Pricing

    Ivacy knocks it out of the park with pricing, with its standard monthly package costing just US$9.95 (approx. $13.25). Take on the five-year plan and you’ll spend just US$1 per month (approx. $1.33), but there are also great savings to be made with a yearly plan that drives monthly costs down to US$3.99 (approx. $5.31).

    McAfee Total Protection – Best VPN in Canada for Monitoring and Notifications

    Anybody who’s been subjected to its constant notifications about their anti-virus package expiring knows that McAfee is one of the biggest players in that arena. And it brings some of that anti-virus experience to its VPN, which has a built-in anti-virus and offers some protection against phishing. You’ll also get a ping whenever a data breach occurs, which is a nice bit of transparency.

    So, it’s among one of the most secure VPNs, even if it’s cut the handy spam filtering capabilities it used to have. But many of those features only come if you subscribe to the more advanced VPN packages. Fortunately, the standalone VPN is pretty solid, too, offering decent speeds and a simple interface. It’s a good all-round package.

    McAfee Pricing

    You get a choice of three tiers with McAfee. The “VPN” tier costs $44.99 for the first year, going up to $59.99 for each subsequent year. The other tiers follow the same path, though you at least get an anti-virus with the “Essential” option, and ID restoration features if you go for “Advanced.” Prices are $44.99 and $89.99 respectively for the first year, though “Essential” bumps up to $119.99 and “Advanced” goes to $199.99 per year afterwards.

    IPRoyal – Best VPN in Canada for Customer Support

    Let’s assume you’re brand-new to VPNs and you don’t know a multi-hop from an IP address. You’re going to need some support to get up and running, and IPRoyal comes out on top in that department. It offers support directly, day and night, 365 days a year, meaning you can even get in touch while chowing down on your Christmas dinner. That level of direct support isn’t matched by the resources provided for fixing problems yourself, though.

    Performance-wise, it’s on the slower side compared to premium products like NordVPN and Surfshark, though it makes up for that with lower prices. It also brands itself as a proxy server provider, though the same applies to all VPNs given that a proxy server is simply a server that has its own IP address.

    IPRoyal Pricing

    You pay by the proxy server with IPRoyal, leading to a confusing pricing structure that’s split across private, residential, and business proxies, along with other services. The “Sneaker” proxies are the closest to traditional VPN offerings, and you’ll pay anywhere from US$1 (approx. $1.33) for a day of access to US$1.6 (approx. 2.12) per proxy for 90 days. It’s flexible. But it would be nice to see more standardized tiers.

    Vault Over Online Barriers With a VPN

    “Why do I need a VPN?”

    That’s the main question that should be floating around in your mind when you choose between the best VPN Canada has to offer. Each has its own strengths. Surfshark is great for those who want fast speeds on unlimited devices, for example. VeePN is ideal for crypto lovers, and NordLayer has everything a business owner might need.

    Once you know what you need from a VPN, then you can dig deeper into performance and security issues. The 12 highlighted here all perform well in both areas, though some are superior to others in those regards. So, choose carefully to avoid getting stung by a long-term subscription that fails to deliver what you need.

    FAQs about best VPN in canada

    How does a VPN work?

    On the technical side, a VPN works by routing your connection, provided by your internet service provider (ISP), through a server that the VPN provider operates. That server gives you a new IP address (often in a different country) to make it harder for people to track your actual location online.
    Think of it as a filter through which you run your internet connection. The connection comes out “clean” on the other side, essentially giving you a new virtual identity that’s different from the one your ISP provides.

    How to use a VPN?

    Most VPNs are straightforward. You’ll download an app to your device, open the app, and then select a server to which you connect. Assuming the server has available space, the VPN connects you and you’re off to the races.

    Are VPNs legal in Canada?

    Privacy Canada points out that the law is straightforward when it comes to VPNs – they’re legal to use in Canada.

    Does NordVPN work with Netflix?

    NordVPN works well with Netflix. It can unblock several major regions, including the United States, to give you access to shows you can’t find on the Canadian version of the service.
    But there’s just one more hurdle to jump – Netflix recently implemented IP tracking to confirm that only devices in your household are using your account. NordVPN assigns you a new IP address, meaning you’re not watching Netflix using your usual IP address. The good news is that logging into Netflix at least once every 31 days with your normal IP keeps you from being logged out.

    Do I need a VPN in Canada?

    While nobody technically “needs” a VPN – as you can browse the web freely without one – you may want one for several reasons. Online privacy is the main one, though many use VPNs to access content that isn’t available in Canada.

    How to get a Canadian VPN?

    Getting a VPN is usually as simple as signing up to your provider of choice, downloading their app, and following some instructions to get the VPN up and running. If you’re specifically looking for a VPN that has Canadian servers, you’ll need to research the provider to see what countries are on offer.

    Can you use VPN to play Fortnite?

    It’s possible to use a VPN to play Fortnite, which may be useful for those who have IP bans. But speed can often be an issue, with some VPNs unable to maintain consistently fast speeds to allow you to play without lag.

    Does a VPN work without WIFI?

    A VPN can work without Wi-Fi so long as your device is hooked up via ethernet. You should also be able to use a VPN on 4G and 5G public networks, which is great news given that these are often open networks that are more susceptible to hacking.

    Does a VPN affect other devices?

    VPNs only affect the device on which they’re installed. All other devices in your network use your standard IP address unless you install a VPN onto them and activate it. That’s great if you want to watch something on U.S. Netflix on your laptop and mom’s downstairs watching Canadian Netflix on her phone. You don’t have to pick one or the other.

    How to watch Netflix through a VPN on an iPhone?

    Many VPN providers offer mobile apps for iOS and Android that work much like desktop apps. Download and install the app, log in, and select a server to start using your VPN on your iPhone. Note that your provider needs to offer an iOS app to make this possible.

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    Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications