You might think that VPNs are only for activists, technophiles or people who have something to hide. But the reality is that if you use the internet for any reason, you need a VPN in Canada.
Canada may not be one of the first countries that comes to mind when you think of restrictive internet laws. However, Canadians still put themselves at risk every time they go online without a VPN.
Here are the top 10 reasons why a VPN is an essential part of every Candian’s web toolkit.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a VPN While in Canada
1. Canada Is a Member of the Five Eyes Surveillance Group
If you’ve never heard of Five Eyes, there’s a reason: it’s a highly secretive group that’s dedicated to monitoring communications, especially online.
And Canada, along with the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, is one of its founding members.
The countries in Five Eyes collaborate with one another to develop new surveillance methods and exchange intelligence. Upon request, they even spy on one another’s citizens, reading their emails and logging their web activity.
But no amount of fancy Five Eyes technology can break a VPN’s encryption. Using one will protect your traffic from this international surveillance group.
2. Canada Has Tried to Create an Internet Censorship Committee
In 2018, Canadians faced a serious threat to their online freedom. A group of corporations, headed by Bell, announced a plan to create an internet censorship committee.
This committee would have made it mandatory for ISPs to block websites at the committee’s behest, without court approval. Piracy was the main target, but the policy could have applied to any type of website that the corporations didn’t approve of.
Thankfully, the plan was struck down before the committee could be created. But that doesn’t mean that censorship is dead in the water — if they tried once, they’ll likely try again.
Hopefully we’ll never see that future, but if we do, a VPN will let you keep accessing the sites you want.
3. Canada Conducts Mass Surveillance of Its Citizens
We all know about the mass surveillance conducted by the US, but Canada isn’t innocent, either.
For instance, its LEVITATION program monitors and analyzes up to 15 million file downloads a day. It logs IP addresses, file names and more, and it does it all by tapping directly into the nation’s internet cables.
The government also spies on and tracks people by monitoring airport WiFi networks.
If you don’t want Big Brother watching your every move online, use a VPN. Its encryption makes it impossible for any known technology to know what you’re doing on the internet.
4. ISPs Are Required by Law to Block Certain Websites
Canada’s proposed internet censorship committee may not have materialized, but other means of censorship are still in play.
In 2019, the Federal Court officially ruled that ISPs must block certain websites at the government’s request. The website in question during this precedent-setting case was an IPTV site that sold pirated content.
The court ruled that this type of censorship does not violate net neutrality or any of Canada’s laws. Now the path is paved for other websites to be censored as well.
To continue accessing censored websites, you’ll need to encrypt your traffic with a VPN.
5. A VPN Protects Your Data When it Leaves Canada
It’s not just Canadian internet laws you need to worry about — it’s the rest of the world’s, too.
If you visit websites that are based outside of Canada, at some point, your data will leave the country. When it does, it’ll be subject to other countries’ laws and practices.
For instance, if your data crosses the border into the US, it’ll likely be monitored by the NSA as part of its infamous PRISM program.
You need to protect your data as if it’s under attack from the worst possible enemy. For that, you’ll need a VPN’s military-grade encryption.
6. VPNs Let You Torrent Without Worrying About Lawsuits
The Canadian government isn’t known to prosecute those who download torrents. But if you torrent without a VPN, you’re likely to get threatening letters from your ISP regarding your activity.
And it’s even worse if you upload torrents that contain copyrighted material. Copyright trolls track down uploaders using IP addresses, then demand thousands of dollars in damages.
That’s why all torrenters should use a VPN. It encrypts your data so your ISP can’t see what you’re doing, and it hides your real IP address so copyright trolls can’t find you.
7. You Can Stream Movies and TV Shows from Other Countries with a VPN
Canada has some respectable streaming libraries, but sometimes, you just want something different. Heading south to the US will unlock thousands of new shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu and more.
Or you could just change your location with a VPN and access that same international content without going anywhere.
8. A VPN Helps You Avoid Annoying Web Trackers
Sick of seeing personalized ads everywhere you go? Tired of having everything you do online logged by some faceless company and sold to the highest bidder?
If so, get a VPN. It lets you change your IP address whenever you want, which makes it much harder for web trackers to do their dirty work.
9. You Can Get Better Prices when Shopping Online with a VPN
Would you spend a few bucks to save hundreds? If so, then you should definitely get a VPN — especially if you plan on booking any hotels or plane tickets.
Airlines and hotels show different prices to users from different countries. You may see a ticket for $400 when using your Canadian IP address, but that price could drop to $300 if you use a US IP!
A VPN makes it easy to change your IP address and see different location-based prices.
10. VPNs Keep You Safe on Public WiFi Networks
Hackers and public WiFi go hand-in-hand, and that’s because public WiFi networks leave your data vulnerable. Being accessible to all means that their security isn’t the best, and that allows hackers to intercept and steal your private data.
However, a VPN’s encryption makes your data indecipherable to hackers and keeps it safe.