The usage of VPN software in Canada, and globally, was a direct result of two ongoing trends in 2019’s internet. One strong motive to the ever-increasing popularity of VPN websites and programs is that media publishers are limiting their offerings based on the location of their users. Another strong motive to seek out a VPN instantly is the lack of online privacy, which worsens as time goes by. With the global pandemic hitting the world in 2020 – the above trends were rather amplified. The journey to find the fastest, cheapest and ultimately, best, VPN service provider has become very common for Canadians.
Regarding geo-targeted content, Netflix is quite famous for its distinct offering between different locales. It’s true that Netflix in Canada is just 200 programs shy of the USA Netflix, but if you want to watch either of these 200 shows, you will need to buy a Canadian VPN with USA IPs.
The same goes for HBO which cracked down on Canadians with USA IPs in the past. There are also sites which explicitly block Canadian traffic, or Canadian ISPs which are blocking certain websites. If you think that showing content to users based on their location is unjust and want to bypass through this system, you could use a VPN provider that accepts Canadians to surpass the mechanisms.
Privacy and protection are definitely popular topics to consider in Canada. A survey has demonstrated that 4 out of 5 Canadians are worried about their credit card information and that two-thirds of the population is concerned with their online privacy. They should be, as it is a global phenomenon that governments are taking more liberty in surveilling civilizations with various excuses such as homeland security. While gully Americans are happy to swallow the garbage being shoved being down their throats, Canadians are a different breed. We do not take these matters lightly. There is a major reason for concern considering the new legislation that PM Trudeau has recently announced.
Canada, like many other countries, has become a “surveillance society,” says Wesley Wark, a visiting professor in the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a long-time scholar of Canadian intelligence agencies. And yet we have only tentatively wrestled with what that means. Canadians in general have not loudly demanded accountability on surveillance from the government, which in turn has shown little desire to provide it.
Bill C-59, tabled earlier this month, is a welcome check on this trend. The bill creates a new watchdog, called the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, that will oversee the work of all national security agencies, including the big three surveillance organizations in Canada: the RCMP; the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS); and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).
The granular merits and shortcomings of the bill will no doubt be discussed and debated at length elsewhere going forward. But as the security landscape evolves and expands, it’s worth taking stock of surveillance in the country as it exists today.
The bottom line is that using a VPN software in Canada isn’t a particularly bad idea. It is, of course, completely legal, unless used for illegal uses.
Discovering the best VPN for Canadians
Here is a list of things that I consider important in differentiating one VPN software from another. At the end of the day, most VPN software providers are pretty much alike and the differences between them will be rather subtle. It’s important to know how to focus on the most important differences:
- The VPN must be known and well-recognized in the VPN industry. The reason is that you wouldn’t want to sign up with a VPN software provider that goes out of business, leaving you to chase money paid in advance and start your VPN in Canada comparison all over again from scratch.
- The VPN you will choose to buy needs to be reasonably priced. There are so many good options at CAD 10 or under (per month), that it would make absolutely no sense to opt for a VPN provider charging more than that.
- The VPN software needs to be smooth and easy to use. It mustn’t crash as if it would, it will interrupt your sessions, and should be easy enough to operate that you could use it to fit your needs optimally.
- Your VPN provider needs to have an application that you could use on your cellphone. It goes without saying that most people spend most of their time online through their phones so a desktop application only is not going to cut it. Additionally, a VPN company will have to be very greedy to charge an extra membership fee for using the VPN app.
- Your VPN needs to be widespread enough so you could choose from a variety of locations. It’s true that you would want to use either local Canadian IPs or USA IPs for most of your usage, but you would want to have access to resources limited to Europeans or Australians as well, if you already bothered paying for a paid VPN service.
- A widespread VPN also means that the company boasts several IPs in each location, or more, so none of their servers will be overloaded or slow.
- In relation to the two points above, you would want a Canadian VPN service that uses the latest technology to make the connection as fast as possible. There is nothing more annoying than a slow VPN connection as it will prevent you from streaming, downloading, or playing (and even video-chatting if the connection is horrible).
- You would want a VPN that can bypass some websites’ security measures. Netflix has notoriously blocked VPN traffic from entering its service sometime last year but the top-notch VPN services have found a solution by now.
The bottom line is that there are quite a few things to consider when choosing which VPN to buy in Canada. It’s not rocket science and it shouldn’t take hours to research the ins and outs of the market, because you can always switch to a new provider (unless you paid a year or two in advance with no refunds as do many companies try to sway you into doing). Discovering the best VPN for you will happen over time, but if you are really anxious to find your dream VPN then consider browsing through this list of the best VPNs in Canada for 2022.
Using Express VPN in Canada
Upon reading Express VPN reviews from all across the internet, I was immediately suspicious. It seemed unreasonable or unauthentic even though the vast majority of websites in Canada and all over the internet are fixated on Express VPN being the top choice for anyone and everyone. I know that VPN affiliation is a very competitive industry, and I know how if one company just pays well for referral clients, it can gain a lot of incredible compliments; however, with Express VPN, I feel this is not the key.
This is why I like Express VPN over other service providers I have tested:
- The Express VPN software loads up very quickly and is fool-proof to use. It’s just a stable, strong desktop application that doesn’t crash often and does what it is supposed to do. I know it sounds a bit too plain and straightforward but other leading companies don’t meet the same software standards. I have been using competitor HideMyAss for years and generally liked their offering but the damned software kept crashing down and it could have been very annoying having to restart my computer to reopen it and reconnect.
- Express VPN lives up to its name being the fastest VPN software in Canada and generally. If you were to log on from Express VPN to a local IP in Canada, or a USA IP, or even a more remote IP somewhere in Europe your response times will be very good. I have been gaming online very smoothly, boasting a ping of 40-60, and stable! For comparison, I also used another reputable VPN provider with twice as much ping. The download speed is also very good and it is definite that on this aspect Express VPN is amazing.
- Express VPN costs just under US $10 per month if paid for a year upfront, which is by no means cheap and has to be slightly more expensive than the vast majority of VPN services operating in Canada but it is still within reason.
- Express VPN has pretty good support. If you ask them a question, they will actually respond instead of trying to avoid it. I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s so much better than the industry standards.
- Express VPN has a fantastic offering of locations and IPs in each location. HMA’s VPN has a bit more IPs over more locations but 150 locations isn’t too shabby.
Using NordVPN in Canada
The second suspicious VPN on my list when looking across the web for the best VPN in Canada is of course NordVPN. Similar to ExpressVPN, NordVPN reviews are suspiciously glowingly positive. While there are NordVPN complaints, it also demonstrates strong scores in objective tests. NordVPN reviews have shown that:
- NordVPN has a lot of available IPs and is reliable.
- Both the desktop and the app versions of NordVPN are strong and stable.
- NordVPN is probably one of the prime competitors to ExpressVPN in terms of speed for Canadians.
- NordVPN has great support via chat or email.
- NordVPN has, periodically and depending on the current NordVPN promo for Canadians, is the cheapest VPN service provider in Canada for 2022.
Compare Express VPN vs NordVPN
When you compare Express VPN and NordVPN upon trying to determine which is the best VPN in Canada for 2022, you very quickly realize these are two highly similar services with a very similar selling points (and negatives, as well). The following statements could be said about either Express VPN vs NordVPN and they would be as truthful.
- Big brand with a strong reputation in the VPN industry and has been working with Canadian clients for a long time.
- One of the fastest VPNs for Canadians.
- Boasts a strong VPN software and a VPN app for Android, Mac, iPhone and most other platforms.
- Has a friendly and useful support.
- Is one of the cheapest VPN options around for Canadians at less than $10/m prior to applying promotional codes and discounts.
That’s why honestly my recommendation is to simply opt for the one offering the best promo at the current moment. There’s a good comparison over here showing Express VPN vs NordVPN with even further detail than our blog post.
VPNs in Canada: final notes
Finding the best Canada VPN isn’t as easy as you once imagined, but there is no reason to stress over this. You can start off by signing up for a one-month trial with Express VPN, NordVPN, or any other Canadian-accepting VPN service, and protect yourself from government surveillance and gain access to non-accessible content.