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With internet privacy becoming a bigger and bigger issue as time goes on, it comes as no surprise that more and more Canadians are turning to VPNs to safeguard their browsing privacy. While there are no strict laws governing the usage of VPN services in Canada, the country itself is part of the wide-reaching Five Eyes Alliance, meaning that Canadians could have their data and metrics shared between intelligence agencies in different countries across the globe.
So, if we’re looking for a good VPN that doesn’t break the bank, where can we look to find the best free Canadian VPN? We’ve compiled a list of contenders, based on their price, features, and security. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities and see if we can’t find a definitive front-runner for the best free VPN Canada.
The risk of free VPNs
One thing to think about before moving forward is the risk of free VPN services. Compared to their paid counterparts, free VPNs tend to have more lax security standards, and many will actually serve ads to free users. Some of these ads can track user data.
Overall, free VPNs are a bit riskier and less effective than their paid counterparts, but finding a good free Canadian VPN is a good step towards solidifying your online privacy, nonetheless.
Best free VPN for Canada overview
1. Atlas VPN
Email, tickets, FAQ
- Good security
- 24/7 email support
- Unblocks Netflix US
- Allows torrenting
- Few countries
- Apps lack features
Atlas VPN is the best free VPN for Canada. It is a premium service with a free plan, meaning that it does come with some limitations. Despite that, the VPN comes with a kill-switch, AES-256 encryption, the IKEv2 tunneling protocol, unlimited bandwidth, and good connection speeds. Additionally, P2P traffic is allowed for all users.
The first noteworthy limitation is the number of servers. Free users only get access to three locations – New York, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam. Although there are no servers in Canada, nearby US cities could be enough if your base connection speed is alright.
As is common with most freemium services, free users of Atlas VPN get slower connection speeds than premium users. The reduction isn’t noticeable, but if speed is a priority, you should consider getting the premium plan, which starts at $1.39/month.
The free version is also unable to get around geo-restrictions of streaming services, for example, Netflix. Once again, this issue gets resolved with the streaming optimized servers, which are available for paid users.
Finally, Atlas VPN is based in the US, a member of the Five Eyes Alliance. For many, this could be a red flag. The provider claims to keep no logs, but without an audit, we cannot be certain of anything.
For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.
Email, knowledge base
- Amazing security credentials
- Has a great Free version
- Very user-friendly
- Plus version will get you into Netflix and Hulu
- Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
- 7-day free trial (Plus plan)
- Mediocre speeds
- Not good in China
This one performs very well when tested for vulnerabilities, and won’t reveal your data through DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks. This client also allows for up to 10 simultaneous connections with their paid plans, which gives users a lot of freedom if they choose to upgrade. The service has local clients for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
The paid plans start at $3.29 per month, which unlocks all of the countries, allows for two simultaneous devices, higher speeds, and P2P. The Plus plan for $10.00 per month gives you up to 5 devices, better servers, and some other functionality such as Tor servers. The Visionary plan, for $30.00 per month, gives you access to all countries, and includes ProtonMail Visionary, their secure email client.
Even with their great prices and functionality, ProtonVPN also provides a free service which is one of the best free Canadian VPN Services.
For a deeper investigation of ProtonVPN, read our ProtonVPN review.
3. Hide Me VPN
- Good security credentials
- Decent geographical variety
- Works in China
- Not bad for torrenting
- Minimal logging
- Good connection speeds
- Free version
- No router app
Hide.me is a good option for users in Canada. It uses strong encryption, even for free users. There is no credit card required for the free registration, which is a good sign in terms of privacy. The service uses AES-256-bit encryption, and uses a variety of different protocols, including OpenVPN, SoftEther, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP.
Hide.me is based in Malaysia. There are no strict laws about using VPNs in Malaysia, and there are also no wide-reaching intelligence alliances that users will have to worry about, either. There are some concerns about government censorship when it comes to Malaysia, but most users will not have to worry about this.
The service also employs an effective kill switch feature, which will stop your internet connection in case of VPN failure, which can help protect your privacy if your VPN suddenly stops working. The company has 55 servers in 34 countries, with 5 of these available for free users.
The service, unfortunately, is ineffective for unblocking Netflix services. That being said, the company does allow torrenting on its servers, so this is a good free Canadian VPN for people looking to protect their peer-to-peer traffic.
If you want to upgrade from the free version, the paid package costs $12.95 per month and gives you unlimited data and 5 simultaneous connections.
For a deeper investigation of Hide Me VPN, read our Hide Me VPN review.
4. Windscribe VPN
- No identifying logs
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very fast speeds
- Great free version
- Works with Netflix & P2P
- Ad and malware blocking
- No live chat support
- Complicated refund policy
Windscribe is one of the top options for users looking for a free VPN in Canada. This one comes with a 10GB monthly data cap and unlimited simultaneous connections, even for free users. Additionally, there’s is a limitation on available servers for free users.
This one also includes convenient ad-blocking and tracker-blocking features, things that free VPN services typically lack. Windscribe uses AES-256-bit encryption, which is considered to be some of the strongest encryption out there. That being said, in 2021, two Windscribe servers were seized by the Ukrainian authorities and were found running deprecated software.
The service is based in Canada, and although this isn’t the best jurisdiction for VPN services, users in Canada won’t have anything extra to worry about, since they themselves are also in Canada.
Upgrading to the Premium service will cost you $49 per year, or $4.08 per month.
For a deeper investigation of Windscribe VPN, read our Windscribe VPN review.
- Very fast
- Allows torrenting
- Has a kill switch
- Allows up to 5 devices on Personal Plan
- Offers money-back guarantee
- Great for those with slower or less stable connections
- Limited customer service
- Limited servers in Asia-Pacific
- No Netflix
- Under US jurisdiction
- Doesn’t work in China
This is another good option for the best free Canadian VPN. Speedify uses encryption they refer to as Cha-Cha 256. Their claim is that this standard is even more secure than AES-256, and we have little reason not to believe them.
The company has 200 servers in 35 countries, which gives users a lot of freedom when it comes to connection locations. The service is based in the US, which isn’t the best jurisdiction for a VPN, since the US has a rather spotty track record when it comes to internet privacy. They are also one of the founding nations of the Five Eyes Alliance.
The company has a minimal logging policy with little-to-no red flags and offers a range of paid plans for users looking to upgrade from the free version. They have plans for individuals, families, and teams of professionals. In terms of an individual user, the monthly fee is $9.99, while the yearly fee is $63.
For a deeper investigation of Speedify, read our Speedify review.
FAQ knowledge base, support tickets
- Free Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions
- Easy to install and use
- Great variety of supported platforms
- Works with Netflix US
- No live chat support
- Below-average speeds
- May not work in China
This contender has a bunch of features which make it a good option for free VPN Canada. There are also some drawbacks to keep in mind, however. Zenmate uses AES-128-bit encryption, which is a bit of a downgrade from the AES-256 encryption used by most VPNs. They offer a wide range of protocols, including IPSec, IKEv2, and L2TP. Upgrading to the paid version gives you access to the OpenVPN protocol, as well.
The free version is effective for unblocking region-locked content on Netflix, although torrenting is not allowed with a free account. The company is based in Germany, and although the country has no strict laws governing VPN usage, they are a part of the Extended Eyes Alliance, which can be a red flag depending on what you plan to do as you browse.
For a deeper investigation of ZenMate, read our ZenMate review.
7. Hotspot Shield
24/7 live chat
- Free version
- Fast speeds
- Great for Netflix
- Supports all major platforms
- Super-fast connection times
- 24/7 live chat
- Questionable privacy, invasive data practices
- WireGuard protocol not supported
- Costs a bit too much
This high-speed option gives users unlimited bandwidth, and access to servers in a wide range of countries across the globe.
This one is very easy-to-use, and also supports clients for a wide range of devices, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. There are also Chrome extensions available. These clients use AES-256-bit encryption with OpenVPN, which is considered to be a winning combination. They also offer an effective kill switch, which is important to users looking for uninterrupted protection.
Although the company claims to have a no-logging policy, they also clearly state that “advertisers may be able to collect certain information when serving ads from the Hotspot Shield application”. Statements like this are always a bit of a red flag, since this indicates that the company’s “no logging” claims are not as strict as they may seem.
Plans start at $9.99 per month for their monthly plan. This drops down to $6.99 per month for a one-year subscription.
For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.
- Free version (500 MB/month)
- Kill switch
- Genuine and easy-to-use interface
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Founded in Canada (Five Eyes)
- Only 20+ countries
- No money-back guarantee
- No support for gaming consoles, Fire TV Stick, or routers
- No live chat
- No support for P2P
- No Netflix
This is an option with a cute mascot and a very easy-to-use interface. They use AES-256-bit encryption, and they don’t place a lot of limitations on their free service. The only limitation that free users will have to worry about is the 500MB data cap, which will require you to reconnect after transferring 500MB of data.
The company also has a trustworthy no-logging policy, and server presence in 22 countries. Tunnelbear is also based in the Canadian jurisdiction, which, as we mentioned before, won’t pose too much of a problem for Canadian users.
If you want to upgrade, it will only cost you $5.75 per month, which isn’t bad, and unlocks the 500mb data cap.
For a deeper investigation of TunnelBear, read our TunnelBear review.
So Which Is The Best Free VPN For Canada?
For users in Canada, we’ve found that Atlas VPN is the best option for free VPN services. Their prices and functionality simply beat out the other competitors when it comes to how well their free version performs in Canada.
If you’re in Canada, which of these free VPNs have you used before? Did we miss any great free VPNs for Canada? Let us know in the comments below.
Best VPN for Canada
What is the best free VPN in Canada?
In our opinion, the best free VPN in Canada is Proton VPN. It has no data limit and excellent security credentials. Plus, it has plenty of great features such as a kill switch and a variety of tunneling protocols to choose from. It has apps for all major platforms and a 7-day free trial for the Plus plan.
Is a VPN illegal in Canada?
VPNs are not illegal in Canada. However, you could get into legal trouble by trying to hide illegal activities with a VPN. For example, hacking or downloading copyrighted material. Luckily, most reputable VPNs do not log data about customers.
Are free VPN safe?
Many free VPNs cannot be considered safe. That’s because it’s unclear how these VPNs keep the lights on without premium versions. In such cases, it’s fair to assume that the VPN is keeping logs about you and selling that data to advertisers to make money. It’s important to look into these VPN providers to find out if they’re legit.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.