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The 10 Best VPN for Canada (2023 Update)

By Tibor Moes / November 2022

Why do you need a VPN? Online privacy is no longer guaranteed. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your data from a range of dangers on the web:

  • Protect your identity. Identity theft is becoming extremely common. On public Wi-Fi networks, hackers can easily steal your data, like passwords and credit card numbers.
  • Keep advertisers away. Your online habits have become a commodity for advertisers. Without the proper protection, they track and sell your browsing history.
  • Unlock any films. Many TV shows are only available in certain regions. You can unlock these movies and series with a foreign VPN server.

The best VPN for Canada protects you on public Wi-Fi networks, hides your data from advertisers, and unblocks foreign streaming services. 

CyberGhost VPN - The best VPN

CyberGhost VPN

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  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

CyberGhost is the best affordable VPN of 2023. It’s ultra-fast, private, and secure. And it temporarily offers deep discounts.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 45-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 91 countries
✓ Protect: 7 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN - The most advanced VPN

NordVPN

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  • Security and Privacy 100% 100%
  • Speed 100% 100%

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN of 2023. It has the best privacy technology (RAM-Servers and Double VPN) and a beautiful design.

✓ Stream: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, and more
✓ Torrent: Optimized P2P servers
✓ Return: 30-day money-back guarantee
✓ Privacy: Maximum (no logs)
✓ Servers: 59 countries
✓ Protect: 6 devices

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Ranking of the best VPN services of 2023

We have tested cybersecurity software since 2014. Below, we have selected the top 4 from 30 paid and free VPN services (Virtual Private Networks).

Click the links or scroll down for more.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN Review

Ranked #1 out of 30 VPNs

CyberGhost VPN Review

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CyberGhost VPN Review

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test. It also has the lowest price and the biggest server network. It's one of the best VPN services you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix US, Disney, Amazon, HBO Max, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on P2P servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 9,000 Servers in 91 countries
  • Connections: 7
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.64
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 45 days

Streaming

CyberGhost has dedicated streaming servers for Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and more.

Torrenting

CyberGhost has optimized P2P servers. It is an excellent VPN for torrenting, thanks to its kill switch, IP- and DNS-leak protection, and no logs policy.

Privacy

CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy: It does not monitor or record what you do online, and it does not store your IP address. Therefore, you are completely anonymous when using CyberGhost.

Ownership

CyberGhost is owned and operated by CyberGhost S.A. from Romania. Its parent company is Kape Technologies from the UK, which also owns ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN services:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

CyberGhost applies the most important security and privacy features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling (on Windows and Android)
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP

But it lacks RAM-only servers and Double VPN, which NordVPN does offer.

Censorship

CyberGhost does not use obfuscation technology, which hides your VPN usage. Therefore, it is not the right VPN for high-censorship countries like China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, or the UAE.

Servers

CyberGhost has a huge number of servers: 9,000 in 91 countries.

60 Countries have physical servers within their borders, while the other 31 are virtual servers. Although virtual servers are not located within the indicated country, they will give you a local IP address from that country.

It also offers specialized servers:

  • Servers optimized for P2P
  • Servers optimized for streaming
  • Servers with static IP addresses
  • Servers with dedicated IP addresses
  • Fully owned NoSpy servers

Devices

You can install CyberGhost on 7 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and a range of routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Prices

CyberGhost has the lowest 1-year price in the industry.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is CyberGhost VPN the best VPN software of 2023?

CyberGhost is the fastest VPN in our test and has the most affordable 1-year contract. On top of that, it is secure, private, and has one of the largest server networks. It's excellent.

You can try CyberGhost risk-free, thanks to its 45-day return policy.

NordVPN

NordVPN Review

Ranked #2 out of 30 VPNs

NordVPN Review

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service you can buy. It uses the latest privacy technology, like RAM servers and double VPN, and works in China. It's one of the best VPN providers you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on 80% of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 5,600 Servers in 59 countries
  • Connections: 6
  • 1-Year Price: € 52.68
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

NordVPN unblocks Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Torrenting

NordVPN allows torrenting on most of its servers. On top of that, it has optimized P2P servers for extra high download speeds.

Thanks to its no-logs policy, kill switch, DNS- and IP-leak blocking, it is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. So it does not record your IP address or online activities. It was the first VPN company to subject its privacy policy to an independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ownership

NordVPN is owned and operated by NordVPN S.A. from Panama. Its parent company, Nord Security, merged with the parent company of SurfShark to form Cyberspace BV in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN providers:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It includes both the mainstream security features and the highly advanced ones:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Meshnet (on Windows and Linux)

NordVPN is also available in a bundle, including NordLocker (encrypted cloud storage) and NordPass (password manager and data breach scanner).

Censorship

NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in highly censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. This is thanks to its obfuscation technology that hides your VPN traffic.

Servers

NordVPN has an extensive VPN server network, with 5,600 servers in 59 countries. They are all physical servers, meaning every server is located within the country's borders.

It also offers specialty servers:

  • P2P servers
  • Streaming servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • Obfuscated servers

Devices

You can install NordVPN on 6 devices at the same time. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Considering that NordVPN is the most advanced VPN, it is a bargain.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is NordVPN the best VPN service of 2023?

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN software you can buy, thanks to its RAM servers, double VPN, Onion over VPN, and obfuscated servers.

You can try NordVPN risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

SurfShark VPN

Surfshark VPN Review

Ranked #3 out of 30 VPNs

SurfShark VPN Review

Surfshark VPN Review

Surfshark offers the best value for money. It is fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. It's one of the best VPN programs you can buy.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 3,200 Servers in 95 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: € 47.88
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

Surfshark can stream Netflix in 10 countries, including the United States. It also works with Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Torrenting

Surfshark allows P2P file-sharing on all of its servers and offers optimized P2P servers for higher download speeds. Due to its kill-switch, no-logs policy, and leak-blocking, Surfshark is a safe choice for torrenting.

Privacy

Surfshark has a clear no-logs policy. It does not track what you do online and does not store your IP address. In 2021, Surfshark underwent an independent server audit by Cure53, a German cybersecurity firm.

Ownership

Surfshark BV from the Netherlands owns Surfshark. In 2022, its parent company merged with Nord Security, creating the holding company Cyberspace BV, also located in the Netherlands.

Speed

We test all VPN services on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the best VPN programs:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

After NordVPN, Surfshark is the most advanced VPN in our comparison. It covers all mainstream and advanced features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Rotating IP
  • Override GPS Location on Android

Next to its VPN service, Surfshark also offers antivirus software, personal data breach alert, and a private search engine. These features are sold separately or together with the VPN in SurfShark One.

Censorship

Thanks to its Camouflage and NoBorders Mode, Surfshark works well in censored countries like Russia, the UAE, Turkey, and Iran. However, it does not consistently work in China.

Servers

Surfshark has an extensive network, with 3,200 servers in 95 countries. However, some of these servers are virtual. That means that although you get a local IP address from the country of your choice, the physical server is located in a different country.

Surfshark also offers specialized servers, including:

  • P2P servers
  • Static IP address servers
  • Double VPN servers (Multihop servers)

Devices

Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. It also has browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Prices

Surfshark's price is excellent. Especially considering that you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is Surfshark the best VPN service of 2023?

Surfshark offers the best value for money in the VPN industry. It is advanced, affordable, and allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices. It is one of the best VPN deals out there.

You can try Surfshark risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

IPVanish VPN

IPVanish Review

Ranked #4 out of 30 VPNs

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish: Temporarily get 61% OFF  🔥

IPVanish VPN Review

IPVanish is an excellent VPN. It's fast, secure, and affordable. And it allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices. However, it's not as advanced as the others in this list and has a smaller server network.

Specifications

  • Streaming: Works with Netflix USA, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu
  • Torrenting: Allowed on all of its servers
  • Logging: No Logs
  • Servers & Countries: 2,000 Servers in 50 countries
  • Connections: Unlimited
  • 1-Year Price: $ 47.89
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

Streaming

IPVanish is not the best VPN service for streaming. Although it works with Netflix in the United States, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, it has problems with streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max.

Torrenting

IPVanish allows torrenting on all its servers. And thanks to its no-log policy, kill switch, and no DNS leaks, it is a safe option to do so. The kill switch is necessary because it will block the internet traffic if the VPN connection drops.

Privacy

IPVanish has a clear no-logs policy. However, in 2018, it handed user data to the US government. Data it wasn't supposed to have, according to its log policy. Since then, it has changed owners twice, but the reputation remains.

Speed

We test every VPN service on a 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) internet connection, with the VPN connection set to the WireGuard protocol, which is the fastest. These are the test results of the fastest VPN connections:

VPN WireGuard
CyberGhost 825-850 Mbps
NordVPN 725-800 Mbps
Surfshark 700-800 Mbps
IPVanish 700-725 Mbps

Security

IPVanish is the only VPN in our comparison that owns all of its servers and doesn't rely on third-party server parks, which is excellent. That said, it is not the most advanced VPN in our test.

It includes the following mainstream features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling

But it misses many of the advanced features:

  • Ad, tracker, and malicious website blocker
  • Dedicated IP
  • RAM-only servers
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Obfuscated servers

Censorship

IPVanish does not work in censored countries like China, the UAE, Iran, Turkey, or Russia.

Servers

IPVanish has 2,000 VPN servers in 50 countries. All servers are physically located within the country and entirely owned by IPVanish. Because it doesn't rely on third-party server providers, it has complete control over the hardware and software, which theoretically should increase its security.

Devices

IPVanish allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and some routers. But it has no browser extensions.

Prices

IPVanish has a very attractive price, especially as you can install it on an unlimited number of devices.

VPN 1-Year Price
CyberGhost € 47.64
Surfshark € 47.88
IPVanish $ 47.89
NordVPN € 52.68
ExpressVPN € 99.84

Is IPVanish the best VPN provider of 2023?

IPVanish is fast, secure, and affordable. It owns its entire server network and allows you to install the software on unlimited devices. But it's not the most advanced VPN in our test and not the best option for streaming.

You can try IPVanish risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

Comparison table of the best VPN services 

CyberGhost
NordVPN
Surfshark
IPVanish
Icon
CyberGhost VPN Icon
NordVPN Icon
Surfshark VPN Icon
IPVanish VPN Icon
Ranking
#1 / 30
#2 / 30
#3 / 30
#4 / 30
Logging Policy
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
No Logs
Operating Company
CyberGhost S.A. (Romania)
NordVPN S.A. (Panama)
Surfshark BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
Holding Company
Kape Technologies PLC (UK)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Cyberspace BV (Netherlands)
Ziff Davis, Inc (USA)
VPN Protocols
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, NordLynx (WireGuard)
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, WireGuard
Encryption
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
AES-256
US Netflix




Torrenting




VPN Kill Switch




Split Tunneling




Ad & Tracker Blocker



No
Smart DNS



No
First-Party DNS


No

Dedicated IP


No
No
Double VPN
No


No
RAM Servers
No


No
Works in China
No


No
Countries
91
59
95
50
Servers
9,000+
5,600+
3,200+
2,000+
Speed on WireGuard or proprietary protocol
825-850 Mbps
725-800 Mbps
700-800 Mbps
700-725 Mbps
Comptatible Devices
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Router
Number of Connections
7
6
Unlimited
Unlimited
1-Month Price
€ 12.65
€ 10.49
€ 12.95
$ 10.99
1-Year Price
€ 47.64
€ 52.68
€ 47.88
$ 47.89
2-Year Price
€ 74.88
€ 69.36
€ 59.76
-
3-Year Price
€ 82.29
-
-
-
Customer Support
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
24/7 Live Chat & Email
Free Trial
1 Day
7 Days
7 Days
No
Money Back Guarantee
45 Days
30 Days
30 Days
30 Days

How we test the best VPN for Canada

We tested and reviewed 30 of the best VPN services available today to help you find the right one. Our tests were conducted on Windows 11, Windows 10, macOS, iOS, and Android.

If you’re wondering what makes a good VPN and how we tested the providers, read the crucial factors below.

> Test 1: Logging policy

What is a logging policy?

Your privacy should be a key feature of a VPN. However, not all VPN providers are equal in this regard.

When you use a VPN, you’re putting your data in the hands of the VPN provider instead of your internet service provider. The VPN provider can see which websites you visit, what files you download, and so on. In addition, they will have your IP address, which means they’ll know your approximate location.

You must choose a reliable VPN provider to ensure this decision doesn’t backfire.

Reputable providers will never take advantage of their users’ data, but some free solutions, like Hola VPN, might. As many as 30% of VPN providers store users’ IP addresses. In addition, 5% collect and sell their data to advertising companies.

How can you be sure that your data will remain private?

The answer lies in the provider’s logging policy. This crucial document outlines what information the company logs and stores. Nevertheless, making sense of this document can be difficult, as it’s often written in complex and vague language.

What do we test for?

We studied each VPN provider’s logging policy to see how they handle user data.

Some types of data don’t put users’ privacy at risk. These are only collected to help the company improve its services. Therefore, the collection of the following data is acceptable:

  • Aggregated bandwidth
  • Server load data

On the other hand, the collection of the following data is a major red flag:

  • IP address: Your originating IP address indicates where you live and the identity of your ISP. We checked whether the VPN provider logs IP addresses, which is a privacy concern.
  • Browsing history: There is no valid reason for a VPN to track users’ activity, so we analyzed whether each provider monitors users. We also noted VPNs that delete your browsing data at the end of your sessions, which isn’t good practice either.

> Test 2: Ownership

What do we mean by ownership?

Whoever owns the VPN provider you’ll be entrusting your data with owns your information too. Therefore, it’s essential to know just who’s holding the reins. However, the company owning the VPN provider might be owned by another company, and so on, which can make the matter more complicated.

In addition, while the VPN provider may reside in your country, its parent company could be anywhere.

Why does it matter where the business is registered?

Every country has unique data retention laws that will influence what the company does with your information.

You might think there are numerous VPN options, but a quick Google search about their ownership immediately reveals that most of the popular ones are owned by the same companies. Here are some of the companies in question and the VPN services they own:

  • Ziff Davis (United States): StrongVPN, SaferVPN, IPVanish, Encrypt.me, Buffered VPN, Perimeter 81, etc.
  • Gaditek (Pakistan): Unblock VPN, PureVPN, Ivacy VPN
  • Kape Technologies (United Kingdom): ZenMate, CyberGhost VPN, Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN
  • CyberSpace (the Netherlands): NordVPN, Atlas VPN, Surfshark
  • Aura or Pango (United States): JustVPN, TouchVPN, Hotspot Shield, the VPN technology used for services like Kaspersky, Panda, Bitdefender, etc.

What do we test for?

We investigated the owner of each VPN service on our list and where the company is registered. We also looked into the data retention laws of the jurisdiction where the company is based.

In addition to this basic information, we also did a background check on each company for past scandals. Learning about such incidents often requires thorough research. Companies tend to change their name to mitigate the damage scandals cause to their reputation.

For example, we discovered that Kape Technologies used to operate under the name “Crossrider” until 2018. The company had a browser extension development platform, which was unfortunately abused by ad injectors and malware creators.

Another serious incident is IPVanish’s scandal from 2016. The company not only collected user data that wasn’t specified in its logging policy but also sold the data to Homeland Security. Even though the company’s ownership has long since changed, its reputation remains tarnished even today.

> Test 3: Independent audit

What is an independent audit?

Many VPN provider advertisements sometimes sound too good to be true. Does the company really offer “military-grade encryption,” or is this just a marketing trick? An independent audit can give us the answer.

VPN companies often hire independent auditors to analyze their services. An independent company checking the VPN company’s infrastructure or privacy practices can give customers peace of mind that the provider isn’t all talk.

For instance, NordVPN was audited by PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) in 2020. The audit analyzed the server infrastructure and similar details. The same company also audited ExpressVPN in 2019. Their TrustedServer technology was examined to see whether it deleted all the data at each reboot.

There are numerous other similar examples, like Cure53’s audit of Surfshark in 2021 and Deloitte’s audit of Private Internet Access (PIA) in 2022.

What do we test for?

We investigated whether the VPN provider has been audited and what the investigation covered. We share the results of the audits and whether they uncovered hidden flaws or discrepancies.

> Test 4: Available VPN protocols

What is a VPN protocol?

VPN protocols are the languages VPNs and VPN servers use to communicate. The VPN protocol determines how the app accesses the server, how it sends data, how the data is encrypted, and so on. The choice of VPN protocol can affect users’ experience, from their download speed to their data security.

There are a couple of standard VPN protocols today.

  • WireGuard – The newest and fastest open-source protocol.
  • OpenVPN – The most widely used protocol that has been the gold standard for a long time.
  • IKEv2 – A safe but fairly slow VPN protocol created by Cisco and Microsoft.
  • L2TP/IPSec – A simple but old and somewhat outdated VPN protocol.
  • PPTP – An old VPN protocol that poses security concerns by today’s standards.

Most popular VPN services primarily use OpenVPN since it’s very reliable. Some companies also offer WireGuard and IKEv2.

Besides the VPN protocols mentioned above, there are also a few that VPN companies developed. Some of them are proprietary, while others are open-source.

  • Lightway – An open-source protocol by ExpressVPN.
  • NordLynx – A WireGuard-based protocol developed by NordVPN.
  • Catapult Hydra – A proprietary VPN protocol by Hotspot Shield.

What do we test for?

There’s no such thing as “the best VPN protocol,” and not all of them provide great speed and protection. We checked which protocols are available at the various providers we’ve reviewed and included multiple operating systems in the tests to ensure they are available on all platforms.

> Test 5: Supported encryption standard

What is an encryption standard?

Digital data needs encryption to keep it safe from cyberattacks and similar threats. This is achieved with the help of encryption standards.

The first encryption standard dates back to the 1970s and is called the Data Encryption Standard (DES). This symmetric key algorithm encrypts and decrypts data using the same key. Although it was important for the government then, DES is no longer used today. It was replaced with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in 2002.

The AES is a Rijndael block cipher with a block size of 128 bits and a key of 128, 192, or 256 bits. It is a reliable encryption standard that VPN services rely on, too. Today’s VPN protocols use AES-128 or 256, either in GCM or CBC version. However, GCM is faster than CBC. Additionally, since each block may be encrypted separately in the GBC method, it is more secure.

What do we test for?

Today, AES-256 and AES-128 (GCM) are the preferred encryption standards. We looked at the default encryption standard of each VPN provider to check whether they fulfill these criteria.

> Test 6: Basic security features

What are basic security features?

The users’ security should be a VPN provider’s top priority. The following basic security features are indispensable:

  • Reliable encryption: As mentioned, providers should offer AES-256 or AES-128 (GCM) encryption. Still, AES-256 is the most secure standard, so this is what users should seek.
  • A fast and secure VPN protocol: Since OpenVPN is still the gold standard among open-source options, using this protocol is a basic security feature. We also like it if the provider offers WireGuard since it’s the next generation of VPN protocols.
  • Kill switch: Terminating the connection automatically in case of a problem with the VPN tunnel is another crucial feature.
  • Split tunneling: Some programs need to access the internet directly. Split tunneling makes this possible.

What do we test for?

We checked whether these features are available at each VPN provider. We also conducted additional tests to verify that the kill switch and split tunneling features work properly.

> Test 7: Advanced security features

What are advanced security features?

Advanced security features boost users’ privacy, so they are fantastic perks in a VPN service. Here are a few features you might want to look for:

  • Double VPN: Double VPN means double protection. VPN chaining allows you to route traffic through two VPN servers, resulting in more secure encryption.
  • Blockers: Ads, tracking cookies, and websites filled with malware are a security concern whether you’re using a VPN or not. Good VPNs equip you with protection against these dangerous and disruptive annoyances.
  • Unique IP address: Some VPNs offer dedicated IP addresses to their users. Instead of a constantly changing address, you’ll have your own individual one. This can be useful in numerous situations. You won’t have to deal with constant captchas, blacklists, and similar.
  • GPS spoofing capability: If a VPN can override your GPS location, websites like Facebook and Google won’t know your actual location.
  • RAM-only server availability: RAM-only servers are special VPN servers that only save data to the server’s Random Access Memory. This memory is wiped every time the server is rebooted. Even if the servers are ever confiscated, users’ data will never be accessible.
  • Obfuscated servers: Revealing that you’re using a VPN can be problematic in some cases. In some countries, the government doesn’t like VPN traffic. An obfuscated server can provide a solution to these problems by hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN.

What do we test for?

We checked for the features mentioned above with each VPN provider. We also did some tests to see whether the elements worked as the provider promised.

> Test 8: IP leak

What is an IP leak?

Your devices have private and public IP addresses. The private address is used for local communication, while the public IP is what the device uses to communicate over the internet. Your public IP address is IPv4 or IPv6, and you received this number from your internet service provider (ISP).

Why is your IP address a privacy threat? The following reasons clearly illustrate the issue.

  • Your public IP address can be used to track down your location. It might reveal your city or even your neighborhood of residence.
  • Your browsing history contains personal details about you, which, in combination with your location, can easily identify you.

Clearly, your IP address should be kept private, and a VPN can help. As this service encrypts your data and hides your address, no website will be able to track you. Even your internet service provider will be left in the dark. They’ll see you’re using a VPN but nothing else.

If there is an issue with the VPN service, your real IP address is exposed. This is what we call an IP leak.

What do we test for?

We did an IP address lookup after connecting to the VPN servers. If we see our own IP address, we have a problem which is an IP leak.

> Test 9: DNS leak

What is a DNS leak?

When you type a web address into your address bar, your browser automatically routes you to the website’s IP address. This is made possible by the DNS protocol.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like the internet’s phonebook and works through DNS servers. The DNS server translates domain names for us, so we don’t have to remember complicated IP addresses.

ISPs usually operate DNS servers. Needless to say, this means your ISP can see every single website you visit.

To protect your browsing history, you can utilize a VPN. But not just any VPN will do. To keep your browsing queries private, you need a VPN with its own DNS servers.

Good VPNs utilize dedicated DNS servers, but this still isn’t a 100% guarantee that your browsing activity is safe. In case there’s a problem with your VPN settings and your query ends up being routed through your ISP’s server instead, you have a DNS leak at hand.

What do we test for?

We did a DNS server lookup for each VPN provider on our list. If the provider doesn’t own the DNS servers, DNS leaks are expected.

> Test 10: WebRTC leak

What is a WebRTC leak?

Modern browsers can receive audio and video streams without the necessity for additional software. However, to stream live content, the browser needs to exchange data with websites through special communication channels. This is made possible by WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication).

Why is this an issue?

Your IP address is also included among the data that travels through this channel. Unfortunately, you can’t just turn this feature off, as it’s an integral part of WebRTC. To protect your IP address from a WebRTC leak, you need a good VPN.

Reliable VPN services will swap your IP address for their server’s address without blocking WebRTC connections. You’ll be able to stream content without worrying about your private info leaking.

What do we test for?

We checked whether the VPNs on our list are prone to WebRTC leaks. We connected to their server and executed a WebRTC lookup. Ideally, the server’s IP address should show up instead of our own.

> Test 11: Download speed via OpenVPN

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is the most popular VPN protocol and is widely used among the best VPN services. It was introduced in 2001, and thanks to its open-source nature, it has been continuously improved since its launch.

OpenVPN is not only available on all major operating systems; it’s also fast and secure.

There are two versions of OpenVPN:

  • OpenVPN UDP (User Datagram Protocol): Often used as the default option, OpenVPN UDP offers superior download speeds.
  • OpenVPN TCP (Transmission Control Protocol): Although slower, OpenVPN TCP offers great control over data transmission.

Most VPNs will offer OpenVPN, but we’re curious about each provider’s download speed on this protocol.

What do we test for?

We used the Windows app of the VPN service to test its OpenVPN download speed. We used an internet speed of 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) for our test.

> Test 12: Supported speed via WireGuard

What is WireGuard?

Although OpenVPN has served the VPN industry well for over two decades, recently, another open-source contender appeared on the scene.

WireGuard was introduced in 2018. It is now available on all major desktop and mobile operating systems and delivers impressive download speeds – it can download data 60% faster than OpenVPN.

The WireGuard protocol is also much simpler than previous alternatives, which consisted of half a million lines of code. In comparison, WireGuard only consists of 4,000. Undoubtedly, the leaner code is easier to audit. If there are any issues, debugging is quick, too.

What do we test for?

Many VPNs offer WireGuard for those who want higher download speeds. Using a 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) internet connection and the Windows app, we tested the capability of each provider when set to the WireGuard protocol.

> Test 13: (Virtual) VPN servers and locations

What are (virtual) VPN servers?

The VPN software necessary for creating the encrypted VPN tunnels is hosted on VPN servers. These servers are usually physical and are located in various countries all over the world.

When you open your VPN app and choose a country, you’re essentially choosing the server’s location. So, for instance, if you click the Netherlands, your data will be routed through VPN servers located in that country, giving you a Netherlands IP address. At least most of the time.

While the majority of VPN servers are physical, some providers also offer virtual VPN servers. The physical servers are located in a country other than what the server name says. Virtual servers allow you to get an IP address from a country that doesn’t have physical servers. This way, the provider makes small or developing countries available, too.

What do we test for?

We investigated the server locations that each VPN offers and the number of servers available. We checked how precisely you could select a location, too.

Of course, we also examined whether the provider uses physical or virtual servers. Generally, if the provider offers more than 60 countries, some will be virtual servers.

> Test 14: Streaming compatibility

What is compatibility with a streaming service?

If you use streaming services, you may know that the sites might have much more content than they allow you to see. Some media may be locked behind a geo-block, only available in certain countries.

It would make sense if hiding your IP address with a VPN would provide a quick fix. However, streaming service providers aren’t that easy to fool. Many streaming sites try to keep traffic coming from VPNs away. Therefore, only those VPNs that actively work on overcoming this issue will be compatible with streaming services.

What do we test for?

We checked whether each VPN provider could unblock content in the United States using the following streaming services:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BBC iPlayer
  • HBO Max
  • Disney Plus

We also checked the VPN with Netflix in other countries, such as Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, Germany, and Mexico.

> Test 15: Torrenting compatibility

What is compatibility with a torrent network?

Torrenting is a way to download content. It differs from regular downloads because it builds on peer-to-peer sharing. Torrent users can share content directly with each other with the help of a torrent client. This means the file doesn’t need to be uploaded and hosted on a server, making this form of sharing particularly efficient.

Although torrenting is entirely legal, many still frown upon it as it’s often used for piracy.

What do we test for?

We tested which VPN services are compatible with torrent downloads. In addition, we checked whether all of their servers allow for peer-to-peer sharing.

> Test 16: Annual price and price per device

What is the annual price and price per device?

VPN services offer a variety of payment plans. Of course, the monthly price of a year-long contract is more affordable than short-term agreements.

We looked up how much a one-year subscription will cost using the VPN service providers included in our review. Most services are priced similarly in that regard. ExpressVPN proved to be an outlier with its significantly higher prices.

The number of devices each agreement allows also needs to be factored in, as the price can increase if you’re planning to connect multiple devices. Certain providers offer a good bang for your buck as you can connect an unlimited number of devices. Surfshark and IPVanish fall into this category.

What do we test for?

We figure out the annual cost for each VPN provider under a one-year contract. By dividing the price by the number of concurrent connections permitted, we can also calculate the cost per connection.

What VPNs for Canada have we tested?

We have tested 30 paid and free VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). Proton VPN is the best free VPN service. But if you have the money, we recommend getting a paid VPN service.

In the best case, the free version allows you to protect only one device and doesn’t offer you unlimited bandwidth / unlimited data. And in the worst case, the free VPN providers show you ads or secretly sell your browsing history to advertisers and your internet service provider.

And should you be strapped for cash, don’t opt for an expensive VPN like ExpressVPN. Instead, get a cheap VPN, like Surfshark, that allows you to install it on an unlimited number of devices and share the cost with a friend.

  • Astrill VPN
  • Atlas VPN
  • Avast SecureLine VPN
  • Betternet VPN
  • Bitdefender VPN
  • CactusVPN
  • CyberGhost VPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • HideME VPN
  • HMA VPN (HideMyAss VPN)
  • Hola VPN
  • Hotspot Shield VPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • Ivacy VPN
  • IVPN
  • Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection
  • McAfee Safe Connect VPN
  • Mozilla VPN
  • MullVad VPN
  • NordVPN
  • Norton Secure VPN
  • Private Internet Access VPN
  • PrivateVPN
  • Proton VPN
  • PureVPN
  • StrongVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • Tunnelbear VPN
  • VyprVPN
  • Windscribe VPN

The best are: CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

Frequently asked questions

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects your online privacy. It creates an encrypted VPN tunnel between your device and a VPN server. This tunnel hides your IP address, restores your anonymity online and makes you safe on public Wi-Fi networks.

Why do you need a VPN?

You need a VPN to restore your online privacy and security. Without a VPN, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and advertisers can track everything you read, watch and download online. On top of that, if you don’t use a VPN, hackers will be able to steal your data on public Wi-Fi networks, which can lead to identity theft.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN creates an encrypted connection, called a VPN tunnel, between your devices and a VPN server. This hides your IP address and what you do online. As a result, your ISP won’t be able to see what websites you visit, and advertisers won’t be able to know what your IP address is.

What is the best VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the best VPN services of 2022. NordVPN is the most advanced VPN service. CyberGhost has the highest download speeds and the lowest one-year price. And Surfshark allows you to install the software on unlimited devices.

What is the fastest VPN?

CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark are the fastest VPN services of 2022. Although CyberGhost is slightly faster than the other two, the difference is not noticeable for most users.

About the author

Tibor Moes

Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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