The best VPN for Canada in 2018

Canada has some strict cybersecurity laws, upheld in an effort to prevent the likes of terrorism. And the country’s government has some far-reaching powers in terms of legislation that many believe infringes their personal right to privacy – and naturally a VPN can help with maintaining the latter.

Of course, one of the best VPN services can do much more than that – it can also allow unblocking content such as streaming services, for example. Most providers have servers located in Canada, but which VPN will suit you best? That’s the decision we’re here to help you with.

  • Check out the best VPN services of 2018

Best VPN for Canada in 2018

IPVanish offers 38 server locations in Canada alone, with an additional 475+ servers located in the US, so there’s certainly no shortage here. The software clients are rather impressive and intuitive, with just the right balance of basic and advanced options (but the Windows client may be more prone to the odd network issue than rival VPN provider’s software).

In testing the service we found it gave us a substantial increase in download speeds over our normal rates, making it ideal for torrents. OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2 protocols are supported here, and there’s no logging of your internet activities.

IPVanish isn’t the cheapest service around, though, and there isn’t a free trial either – but there is a 7-day money-back guarantee that comes with all three pricing plans. The 1-year subscription is the best and most affordable choice. The packages available are:

  • [$4.87 a month] 1-year – $58.49
  • [$6.74 a month] 3-month – $20.24
  • [$7.50 a month] 1-month – $7.50

Hotspot Shield has servers in Canada and the US that deliver blazing speeds. In tests, we found our latency, as well as upload and download speeds, were all a bit higher than our normal rates without a VPN, which is pretty impressive.

The client is easy-to-use but has very little in the way of configuration options. On the security front, Hotspot Shield offers some nifty additional features like private browsing and virtual location change. The privacy policy clearly states that any browsing or connection information which might be recorded during a VPN session will be deleted when that session ends.

Hotspot Shield offers a choice of three price plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee and the 2-year plan provides the best value. The packages available are:

  • [$12.99 a month] 1-month
  • [$8.99 a month] 6months – $53.94
  • [$2.99 a month] 2-years – $71.76

If security is your main concern, then NordVPN is your best pick. NordVPN’s ‘Double VPN’ feature sends users’ internet activity through two VPN servers.

On top of that, the service offers features like encrypted traffic over the Tor network, encrypted chat, dedicated IPs (at an additional cost) and a ‘zero logs’ policy.

There’s plenty of coverage with 319 local servers for Canada, and another 1,880+ south of the border, with most of them being P2P-friendly. The client is simple and straightforward, and performance is very good.

The monthly plan aside, NordVPN is an affordable VPN, and one that offers a 3-day free trial of the service, plus you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

On the downside, there’s no way to cancel your subscription aside from having to get in touch with customer support. (Ed: you can now cancel the recurring subscription directly from the "My Account" panel). The limited three-year plan offers fantastic savings if you are looking for something longer-term. The packages available are:

  • [$11.95 a month] 1-month
  • [$9.00 a month] 6-months – $54.00
  • [$6.99 a month] 1-year – $83.88
  • [$2.75 a month] 3-years – $99.00

ExpressVPN maintains hundreds of servers in Canada spread across three locations. Our tests revealed that this provider offers very good performance levels, with consistent speeds that were very close to what we’d normally see without a VPN.

There are numerous native apps for all major devices and platforms. The mobile clients in particular are some of the best in the business, optimized for speed and ease of use. In terms of security, this provider uses the OpenVPN protocol, protecting your data with 256-bit encryption. Privacy-wise, there is no logging of traffic data or any online activity.

Bear in mind, though, that the service hits a snag when it comes to pricing, especially given the steep monthly billing. There is no free trial either, but all subscriptions are covered by a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee. Out of the three plans on offer, the 1-year subscription is the most affordable. The packages available are:

  • [$12.95 a month] 1-month
  • [$9.99 a month] 6-months – $59.95
  • [$6.67 a month] 12-months (plus 3 free months) – $99.95

The server coverage here is unusually low, with only a handful of servers located in Canada (the US fares better). However, IVPN has a dedicated page on its website where you can check the server load at any time, and in our testing, performance proved excellent.

The desktop client is very neat and boasts loads of advanced features, plus IVPN has native mobile clients for iOS and Android.

The company’s privacy policy is quite clear regarding the fact that no logs are kept, while on the security front there are interesting features like Multi Hop (entering and exiting through different servers), a firewall to block non-VPN traffic, and more. The provider also allows P2P traffic with ‘unlimited’ bandwidth.

IVPN admits that “you will find cheaper VPN services”. The price of the 1-month plan might be hard to stomach, but there is a 3-day free trial to test things out, and a 7-day money-back guarantee (with unconditional 100% refund). The yearly plan is obviously the best option if you want relatively palatable pricing. The packages available are:

  • [$15.00 a month] 1-month
  • [$13.33 a month] 3-months – $40
  • [$8.33 a month] 1-year – $100
  • We’ve rounded up the best free VPN services of 2018

How to choose the best VPN service for Canada

We’ve already covered the basics of what you should be looking for: strong security and encryption, and a watertight privacy policy. Server coverage is another important consideration, because more options mean a better chance of getting a fast and reliable connection.

As ever, in an ideal world, the VPN client should be straightforward and user-friendly. Also, be sure to check the number of simultaneous connections supported, as it’s always a boon to be able to use multiple desktop PCs and mobile devices with your VPN.

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