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5 Best (Almost) Free VPNs for Canadians


Gary Stevens —

Last updated:

Best Free VPN BadgeWe all like free stuff. But, sometimes “free” comes with a hidden cost.

Take virtual private networks (VPNs), for example.

They promise privacy and anonymity online, and most provide it to the best of their ability. But VPNs that are 100 percent free either offer shoddy, unreliable service or make their money in other ways, often at your expense.

We’ve found a way that you can still have free service from some of the best VPN Canada, and the companies that offer it while putting your privacy at a premium.

👉 TDLR – While there are 100% free VPN services out there, these guys still need to rent data servers and proxy IPs, which means they need a way to make money. They need a product which in this case…is you. They sell your data, meaning that basically whatever you download/upload via your Internet connection while connected to the free VPN is up for sale.

Bottom line – unless you don’t care about your online identity/privacy at all, I would stay far away from a Free VPN. I’ve compiled a few premium picks that are incredibly cheap and don’t sacrifice quality for the price. SurfShark is one of my recommended picks, you can visit their site or read their review here.

VPNPRICESPEEDRATING
1SurfShark$1.77/moDownload/Upload: 82/75 Mbps★★★★★
2NordVPN$3.99/moDownload/Upload: 16.11/12.83 Mbps★★★★★
3ExpressVPN$8.99/moUnlimited★★★★★
4VyprVPN$2.50/moDownload/Upload: 40/32 Mbps★★★★
5WindScribe$1/moDownload/Upload: 39.81/19.77 Mbps★★★★


What is a VPN and Why do You Need One?


Virtual private networks are a necessity in this day and age. More people are connected to multiple devices at home and work, and cybercrime is increasing daily. The past few years have seen record data breaches and ransomware attacks that put all of us at risk. In response, governments have implemented new regulations that are meant to protect consumers but threaten our privacy.

Since 2017, internet service providers in Canada are allowed to sell your personal information to third parties. Some are even legally obligated to collect metadata from users, including your name, address, date of birth, and email addresses.

They’re even allowed to provide information about what websites you visit and who you communicate with online. Due to their participation in the Five-Eyes Alliance, Canadian users could be in jeopardy as well.

The next few years promise more of the same. These factors have led civil rights groups and security experts to recommend installing a VPN on all devices and networks.

How Your Data is Used and Abused


free vpns dangerous

The above circumstances will be true no matter if you choose a free VPN, a cheap service, or a high-end premium network. The reason to avoid a 100 percent free virtual private network is what they do with the data they pretend to protect.

VPNs run on technology, and tech costs money. If they aren’t making a profit from paid subscribers, they’re going to have to find another way to pay the bills. This could be in the form of limited or outdated tech or pushing all of their clients through a limited number of IP addresses.

Totally free VPNs are also about 70 percent slower than paid services due to all of the traffic on a limited network. They also make money by generating ad revenue.

👉 Guess who is the product in that scenario? That’s right, it’s you. 👈

Free VPN providers make money off of their “customers” in several ways:

  • They track everything you do and sell the information to research firms or third-party marketing companies.
  • They collect information ranging from personal identifiers to financial data and store or sell it.
  • IP addresses are visible to other people on the network. Since these services re free, there is little quality control over who uses them.
  • They display ads from third parties, which provides another revenue stream

One of the biggest targets is mobile apps. Of the VPN apps for Android devices, researchers discovered that seventy-five percent used tracking software to spy on customers. Upon installation, 82 percent of apps tested asked for access to accounts, contact list, and text messages.

If you value your data and your online identity, saving a few dollars a month isn’t worth it.

Below I’ve compiled a list of the cheapest VPNs out there to help you save a few dollars and not sacrifice quality.

Let’s get into it!

Top “Free” Options for VPN Service in Canada


Based on our criteria, these are the top 10 VPNs available in Canada. Our picks were based on features, speed, security, price, and available resources.

1. SurfShark – Great Speed and 60% Off Regular Pricing


This is the newest server, and it’s quickly making a name for itself in terms of speed and security. They started with a relative handful of severs, but more are coming online every day.

Resources caps: Unlimited
Servers and locations: 1040 servers, more than 60 locations
Speed: Download/Upload: 82/75 Mbps
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Apple TV, smart TVs, PS4, and XBOX

Visit SurfShark.com
Features
  • Great apps
  • DNS and webRTC leak protection
  • Unlimited devices, connections, and bandwidth
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 256 AES encryption
  • No log policy
  • Expanding base of servers
  • IPv6 protocol
  • Supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols
PROS
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
  • Great for torrenting and P2P file sharing
  • Strict no-log policy
  • No caps on bandwidth or connections
  • Located in a country with no laws regarding data retention or reporting
  • Top-notch security and encryption
CONS
  • Fewer servers than other providers
  • Speeds are variable from server to server
  • App interface could be better optimised

Why it Made the List

This is one of the few networks that offer the IPv6 IP protocol. With this technology, the company has access to virtually unlimited IP addresses. The old standard of IPv4 meant that VPNs needed to recycle the same IP addresses to their customers. After a while, geo-blocked streaming services like Netflix would notice an unusual amount of traffic coming from the same IPs. They would add these suspicious IPs to a blacklist and VPN users could no longer access their content,

The other reasons we love SurfShark is the lightning-fast speeds and top-notch security. It’s everything a VPN was meant to be and more.

Pricing and Plans: This company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and some of the most reasonable prices in the industry. You can get a 27-month contract for just $1.77 per month, which is the best deal. Other plans are $5.99 per month on a one-year contract or $11.95 per month on their pay-as-you-go plan.

2. NordVPN – Best Secure Service for Price


This is probably the best-known VPN service, and it remains one of the best in terms of speed and security.

Resources caps: Unlimited
Servers and locations: More than 5200 servers in 59 countries
Speed: Download/Upload: 16.11/12.83 Mbps
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and smart TVs

Visit NordVPN.com
Features
  • DHE-RSA-AES356-SHA encryption suite
  • IKE ciphers
  • iOS app
  • Smart Play
  • Double VPN
  • Tor-over-VPN
  • Free trial and money-back guarantee
  • Socks5 proxies
  • Killswitch
  • 24/7 live support
PROS
  • Supports Netflix and more than 150 other streaming services
  • Ideal for torrenting and P2P file sharing
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Free trial
  • Supports TOR-over-VPN
  • Double VPNs and dedicated IP addresses
  • Offers choice of IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, or IPSec protocols,
  • Ad-blocker included
  • CyberSec
CONS
  • Slower speeds than other contenders
  • Payments are routed through CloudVPN, Inc. a US-based company

Why it Made the List

Not only has this company been around for a while, but they also offer a lot for a relatively small price. There are thousands of servers in their network, you can also get a dedicated IP address, and their security is state-of-the-industry. The only drawback is the fact that. although the NordVPN is located in Panama, the company you pay through is located in the United States, which means your activities could garner attention.

Pricing and Plans: This company stands behind their service with a free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. Once the trial has ended, you’ll go to a long-term plan of three years for $3.99 per month. This option gives you an additional three months for free. You could also opt for a one-year contract at $6.99 per month, two-year contracts for $4.99 per month, or pay-as-you-go for $11.99 per month. You can even pay with crypto or Alipay, in addition to credit or debit cards and other alternatives.

3. ExpressVPN – Bet Premim Service


Another well-known name and reliable service, ExpressVPN offers virtually unlimited everything and locations around the world. That makes it great for streaming geo-blocked content and guarding your privacy at home or on the road.

Resources caps: Unlimited
Servers and locations: More than 3,000 servers in 94 countries
Speed: Download/Upload: Claims unlimited speeds
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and smart TVs

Visit ExpressVPN.com
Features
  • Chrome and Firefox browser extensions
  • iOS and Android apps
  • Tools for DNS/webRTC leak detection and speed checks
  • No-log policy
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Unlimited access to streaming services
  • Split tunneling
PROS
  • Unlimited data and speed, no throttling
  • Military-grade security and encryption
  • Free trial
  • Thousands of servers
  • Great for streaming, P2P, and torrenting
  • Anonymous payment system for true privacy protection
CONS
  • Pricier than other services
  • No dedicated IP addresses
  • Limited customization

Why it Made the List

This company boasts more than 10 million satisfied customers worldwide, and it has to do with its reliability and great customer service via 24/7 live chat support. They are completely unlimited on everything but connections, which are limited to six devices. However, it supports all devices and operating systems while providing top security. You can try it for 30 days, free of charge, and they also offer a money-back guarantee.

Pricing and Plans: This company offers a 30-day free trial and money-back guarantee. After that, you can opt for one-year contracts at $8.99 per month with three months free, six-month contracts at $9.99 per month, or pay by the month at a rate of $12.95 per month. You can pay by credit or debit, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other alternatives.

4. VyprVPN – Great Service But Overpriced


This relative newcomer bills itself as “The world’s most powerful VPN”. It does offer strong encryption and security standards, including the NAT firewall and proprietary Chameleon Protocol that are provided free of charge.

Resources caps: 1G
Servers and locations: 7,000 servers, 70 locations
Speed: Download/Upload: Average 40/32 Mbps
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and smart TVs

Visit VyprVPN.com
Features
  • VyprDNS™ and Chameleon™
  • Killswitch
  • Unblocks Netflix (most of the time) and other streaming content
  • NAT firewall
  • Encrypted messaging app
PROS
  • Autoconnects when using a public network
  • Superior security
  • Always works on advancing tech
  • Lots of servers and locations
  • No third-party proxies
  • Based in Switzerland
CONS
  • Free trial is limited to only three days
  • Money-back guarantee is only available after paid subscription
  • 1G data cap
  • Some unblocking issues
  • Only two simultaneous connections

Why it Made the List

They may put limits on data, connections, and other resources, but the power and security behind this brand are undeniable. They use standard encryption, leak protection, and security protocols, but add two proprietary bits of technology that out the whole thing on steroids. You’ll also be able to enjoy your favorite streaming services, though it has a spotty track-record with Netflix. They even have an encrypted messaging app.

Pricing and Plans: Three-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee, but only with a subscription. Subscription options are for a two-year contract at $2.50 per month, one-year terms at $3.75 per month, and pay-as-you-go service for $12.95 per month. Payment methods include credit/debit cards, PayPal, and Alipay.

5. WindScribe – Free Option But Limited Speeds


This is a new provider based out of Canada, and they’ve done a lot to earn a solid reputation in just under five years in the business. Their business model is to live up to the promise of a free and unfettered internet without sacrificing security or privacy. Perks include generous bandwidth and an extra 5G of data if you tweet at them on Twitter.

Resources caps: 10G per month
Servers and locations: Just 11 servers in 46 locations
Speed: Download/Upload: 39.81/19.77 Mbps
Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and smart TVs

Visit Windscribe.com
Features
  • Ad blocker
  • Firewall
  • Strict no-log policy
  • Anonymous pay and signup
  • Supports P2P file sharing
  • Max connection speeds
PROS
  • 100 percent free service
  • High connection speeds
  • Absolutely no logging
  • Free ad block and firewall
  • High data cap
  • Supports torrenting
CONS
  • Money-back guarantee only good for three days
  • Free trial limited to 10 locations; US and Canada are among them, though
  • Upgrades or discounts only available via cryptomining
  • Fewest number of servers and locations
  • No OpenVPN
  • Only one connection at a time

Why it Made the List

Despite being new and limited in reach, this company shows promise. They cater to their customers by providing incentives, and they support a range of devices. They’ll also give you a free ad blocker and a built-in firewall for extra protection. This is one of the few VPNs that offer a completely free service without skimping on speed, security, or service. You can even sign up without an email and pay anonymously.

Pricing and Plans: Their innovative “Build-a-Plan” options say “0” on their website, but it amounts to $1 per month, per location. You get a lot for that investment. However, if you want more features and functions, WindScribe offers two premium plans. There’s a yearly contract for $4.08 per month or a pay-as-you-go monthly service for just $9.00.

Free VPNs Versus Paid: What’s the Difference?


Our VPNs are technically free as you can try them out for an average of 30 days before you’re bound to a contract. Premium services are best if you can afford them, but most of us don’t have the budget to accommodate another monthly bill.

We’ve tried to provide you with a list that’s objective and packed with providers that offer free trials and nearly free services, but give you a lot in return. Perks include more gigs, higher bandwidth, and advanced features like intrusion/leak detection and prevention.

No VPN is 100 percent safe and anonymous. But we feel that paying a little to increase the odds that you and your information are protected is worth the price.

Reliable paid VPNs will allow you to enjoy blazing fast connections and download speeds, 24/7/365 support, strict no-logging policies that are backed in writing, and advanced features. These include:

  • Speed tests
  • Ad blockers
  • URL filtering
  • Intrusion protection

According to our research, the most trusted and reliable VPN providers are NordVPN and SurfShark. Both of these services are secure and easy-to-use. They are relatively inexpensive and compatible with all major platforms.

That being said, there are plenty of low-cost VPN providers who deliver sufficient speeds and adequate features. That means you don’t have to pay for services you don’t want beyond basic streaming and surfing.

Best Free VPN FAQs


If you’re just looking for some quick advice about free VPNs rather than going through all the reviews here’s a brief FAQ section for your convenience.

What is the best free VPN for Android?

A: In our opinion, ExpressVPN is the best free choice for Android-powered devices. The company offers a free 30-day trial that lets you try it before you buy it.

What is the best free VPN for torrenting?

A: Any of the VPNs on our list would be suitable because of how VPNs operate. However, totally free services aren’t good for torrenting because the technology and equipment cost money. That means “free” services rout anybody who’s signed up through the same IP address, which would make it subject to flagging and an eventual blacklist.

Are Free VPNs Dangerous?

A: The short answer is yes. Using a free VPN is the same as using an unsecured public network, You won’t get the privacy or security you’d enjoy with a paid service, and the company is likely making their money by selling your info.

Which free VPN is best?

A: As we said before, totally free services aren’t worth it. They’re not secure and third-party sharing/sales defeat the purpose of having a VPN in the first place.

What is the fastest free VPN?

A: They tend to all perform with a lot of lag because most of the traffic is routed through the same IP address. Go for cheap, safe, and reliable instead.

What is the best free VPN for the iPhone?

A: None of those we tried from the iStore were particularly impressive. In fact, 80 percent turned out to be scams.

Final Thoughts


Our goal is to provide you with the most up-to-date information possible so that you can make wise decisions about your services. If you still don’t know why you need a VPN or which is the best, let me provide you with a quick overview. You can also check out our full VPN reviews for Canada for complete details about each provider.

Canadian citizens and visitors alike should be aware that Canada is part of several alliances that allow government spying and information sharing amongst each other. One is the Five Eyes Alliance of the native English-speaking countries, Canada, the US, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Canada is also part of the 14 Eyes Alliance that includes the Five-Eye nations plus several European countries.

To block them from collecting your sensitive personal data and to prevent against malicious cyber attacks, you need to use a VPN. The VPNs on this list are renowned for their ability to block ads, unblock censored content, and provide the utmost security when you’re active on the internet.

For these reasons, you need technology to protect your identity, location, and activity. Not because you’re planning anything wrong, but because you are a private citizen and deserve to surf in privacy and security.

Of our picks, I would personally choose SurfShark. Following a close second would be NordVPN. Even times when there have been a few glitches, they constantly take feedback from customers to improve their services. Both are easy to use incorporate strong encryption standards, have the fastest connection and download speeds, and they’re both priced right.

Another great pick is VyprVPN. It’s fourth on our list, but they’re improving their technology to give the others a run for their money. The service is especially notable for what they’re doing with mobile apps. VyprVPN is great for viewing geo-blocked content and a unique user interface.

Since many of these offer a free trial, why not try a few of our top picks and decide for yourself? What have your experiences been with these or other VPNs? Add your review to our page.

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