In a Nutshell…
VPNs, short for “Virtual Private Networks“, are online network services used by millions of people around the world to encrypt their private data on the internet. While a user’s data and personal information, like: geographical location, passwords, credit card information, etc. can be easily traced by third parties through the user’s IP address, a VPN is designed specifically to encrypt this data by cloaking the user’s real IP address (location) and replacing it with another one selected from the service’s list of servers in order to provide the user with optimal privacy online and protection from cyber threats, like: hackers, phishers, data sniffers, etc. Moreover, VPNs are used by internet users in countries enforcing censorship over the internet, such as: China, Iran, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and many others; to unblock restricted web content and gain free access to all websites, social networks and services, like: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Viber, Skype, Hulu, Netflix, …
Virtual Private Networks can be used on all operating systems, computers, smartphones and tablets. In addition, it doesn’t require rocket science to set up a VPN on your device, you might just need to create a VPN account online, or like in most cases, sign up for an account and download the VPN software to your machine. Though there are free VPN softwares available online, most VPN services require a paid subscription in order to make use of their full service. The question is, do Canadians need VPN services?
Why do Canadians need VPN?
Canada is considered to be among the the most advanced countries in terms of free internet networks. If this is the case, then why do Canadians need VPN although they who enjoy free internet? We will cover a few reasons for why Canadians should start turning to VPN services.
• Canadians need VPN services, firstly because, like many other countries, the Canadian government has recently issued a copyright law that obligates Canadian internet service providers (ISPs) to retain access logs of customers in order to process piracy notices. This means that ISPs in Canada are forced to:
“retain records that will allow the identity of the person to whom the electronic location belongs to be determined, and do so for six months….”
Even though this law applies to VPN services and in fact, many VPN services have considered pulling out of Canada, Canadian users have found a way to still use VPN service without being detected by their ISP, using double encryption methods.
“It’s possible that this legislation will require us to discontinue our servers in Canada, but we will find a solution and our services will continue where it’s legal to be anonymous without causing you any inconvenience,” BTGuard, a popular Canadian VPN provider announced.
• Like we said above, there are many restrictions over internet use in many countries, and as a result, a lot of websites and services are blocked in those countries. Therefore, another reason why Canadian need VPN services is that Canadians who are planning to travel to Dubai or China, for instance, will have to use a VPN service to access their Gmail, Google and to communicate with their friends and family on Facebook, Viber or Skype. Without services like VPNs, it will be almost impossible to bypass internet filtering systems and gain access to these websites.
• Furthermore, Canadians need VPN services to access American and British websites blocked in their country, such as: Hulu and Netflix. Many Canadian video addicts rely on VPN services to unblock US entertainment companies, like: Netflix and Hulu due to geo-restriction policies preventing them from watching videos on those sites from Canada. Also, BBC iPlayer is restricted to UK citizens and is blocked in Canada. But, because a VPN gives you a US or a UK IP address, you can use this IP to overcome geo-blocking policies and watch as many videos as you like in the US and the UK.
• Last but not least, Canadians need VPN providers to securely use the internet on public networks, such as: Wi-Fi and hotspots. Karl Kathuria,CEO of Psiphon, a Toronto VPN company explains:
“Anyone accessing the Internet over open Wi-Fi connections, for example in hotels or cafés, can be vulnerable to threats from the logging of traffic by the service provider, or even network “sniffing” by someone else on the network.
“A VPN gives you more control over what you reveal on the Internet, and to whom — just make sure you know you can trust the VPN provider not to track or log your data themselves.”
For the reasons above, it is obvious why Canadians need VPN services in their country, even with their sophisticated and free internet network.