Being concerned about your online privacy and security does not mean you have to wear a tinfoil hat on your head. Staying safe while browsing the web has never been easier thanks to virtual private networks, or VPNs. You can easily protect your data, effortlessly browse the web, and even access all your favorite geo-restricted content without any barriers.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN service for Canada thanks to its reliability, a high degree of security, anti-logging policy, as well as its fast connection speed.
Per a report released by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), over 70% of Canadians spend up to four hours a day on the web. Meanwhile, Most citizens don’t even realize that most of Canada’s internet infrastructure is based in and runs through the United States. Those that know this are rightfully worried about the privacy and security of their personal data and information.
The 2016 CIRA report also showed that nearly a quarter of Canadian residents use the internet regularly to download files. While 60% of younger Canadians stream videos and audio online, over 20% of streamers admit to using a VPN or other “legally gray methods” to access their preferred content.
Legislative Changes Impact Canadian Citizens’ Privacy
Digital privacy should be a major concern for Canadian citizens since the country is home to strict legislation regarding cybersecurity. Since 2012, the country has enacted numerous legislative changes which give the government a strong hand in accessing the data its citizenry regularly produce.
For example, the 2015 Anti-Terrorism Act opened the ability for Canadian intelligence agencies to share and gather online user data. More recently, an agreement between the US and Canada stipulated that law enforcement officials could demand internet communications of specific users from cross-border companies without having to go through official police or government channels. Overall, this paints a scary and worsening picture of privacy in Canada.
Canada is Part of the Five Eyes
If you are concerned about your privacy and security in the online sphere, you should know what the Five Eyes are. With origins in the first half of the 20th century, Five Eyes (or FVEY, for short) is a multinational intelligence treaty shared by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Created to spy and share intelligence information on suspicious individuals and groups, the organization reportedly acts above the laws of its countries. Canadians should assume that any private data and data gathered about them is also being shared with the other FVEY nations. The agreement has been roundly criticized, even within Canada, but continues to move on with impunity and the cover of governments.
Maintain Your Digital Privacy with a Canada VPN
A virtual private network, or VPN, is a means to encrypt your internet connection and browse the web with an IP address from another geographical location. Internet users concerned about their privacy and those who want to access geo-restricted content often browse the web with a VPN. Moreover, VPNs are an excellent way to add extra protection when going online via an unsecured public WiFi network. Using an IP based in another country also allows you to access local geo-restricted content such as Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services.
Canadians concerned with their online privacy should consider using a VPN. There are several VPN services available, each with their own pros and cons. We have examined the most popular VPN’s below to give you a better sense of what to look for. Read on to learn about the best VPN service for Canada.
ExpressVPN stands out for their commitment to protecting users’ digital privacy. They have a no logging policy and do not collect any records about your activity online or the IP addresses you used. ExpressVPN has fast connection speeds for both downloads and uploads and is based out of the British Virgin Islands, safe from many countries’ data retention laws. The company’s monthly service costs $12.95, but you can also choose a six-month subscription for $59.95, or a 1-year plan for $99.95 which gives you three free months on top. ExpressVPN’s annual subscription includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN delivers an extremely high level of security with its double layered encryption while still maintaining reasonably fast browsing speeds. With over 2000 servers available worldwide, there are plenty of opportunities to unblock your favorite streaming service. NordVPN is affordable but still packs a punch. The company offers a monthly plan for $11.95, a yearly subscription for $69.00, and a two-year plan for $79.00. All NordVPN’s plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
HideMyAss provides users with a simple and compact interface, making it easier for less tech-savvy web surfers to stay protected. Users enjoy the automatic connection feature, which connects the VPN after powering up the computer. No matter what hardware you are running, HideMyAss has your back with an easy-to-use platform and a fast connection for both downloads and browsing. Plans for HideMyAss start at $11.52 for their monthly subscription, $49.99 for six months, and $78.66 for annual plans. All three plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
SaferVPN’s Smart Wi-Fi feature is especially helpful for Canadians browsing on the go. When users connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, like at their favorite cafe, or in one of the many wireless hotspots offered by the city of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver…etc., SaferVPN automatically boots up to mask their connections. Moreover, users can connect up to five devices simultaneously and choose from servers in 36 countries. SaferVPN’s no-logging policy also helps users rest assured their privacy is protected. The company offers a monthly plan for $9.99 a month, a one-year subscription for $59.78, and a two-year subscription for $83.86. Each plan includes a 30-day money-back guarantee and a credit-card-free 24-hour free trial is also available.
While many VPNs might experience trouble connecting to Netflix, PrivateVPN has the ability to circumvent local restrictions, which is a huge selling point for many in Canada. While it does not have as many server connections as some other services, PrivateVPN does include customizable connection protocols to keep you safe and protected no matter what hardware you are running the VPN on. PrivateVPN starts their monthly plan at $8.21 a month, with three-month subscriptions for $16.88, and $54.00 for a one-year subscription, which includes an additional free month. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What are the Most Popular Streaming Services in Canada?
While many streaming services are available in Canada, some are offered in a limited format due to copyright issues, and others are blocked entirely. With the right VPN, Canada locals can access all the streaming services easily. Some of the most popular streaming services include:
- Amazon Prime
- HBO Go
- YouTube TV
- BBC iPlayer
The Best Things in Life are Free… But Not a Free VPN in Canada
Many people may scoff at the idea of paying for VPNs. After all, there are many free VPN options available. However, while the thought of a free VPN can be tantalizing, you should only use them as a last resort. Free VPN services are notorious for being unreliable and most companies will block off many of their useful privacy tools in free versions. Free VPNs are often unclear about their logging policies and whether they will share your data and browsing history. Many popular free VPNs have even been accused of selling users’ browsing data without their knowledge.
Instead of making your situation worse by using a free VPN, you should go the extra step and invest in a tool that will keep you safe while opening the internet’s wide doors for you.
Get the Best VPN for Canada
Canada’s strict legislation regarding access to your privacy makes it more important than ever for you to stay protected with a VPN. While we recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Canada, we encourage you to find the best match for you, and most importantly to protect your data and privacy.