How to watch CTV outside Canada (with and without VPN) in 2021

Last updated by   Ruheni Mathenge
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Do you live or are currently traveling outside Canada? Check out how you can continue to enjoy your favorite CTV movies and shows with a VPN quickly. Alongside VPN, the guide covers an alternative method, too.

CTV is a Canadian-based television network featuring a wide range of content alongside up-to-date news. It is home to some of the popular titles, including The Amazing Race, The Good Doctor, Cardinal, and more. On the downside, it is geo-blocked, and you cannot access it outside Canada.

A virtual private network (VPN) is the easiest way to watch CTV’s movies and shows from anywhere in the world. By changing your IP address, you will easily bypass geo-restrictions and access your favorite content. Besides, it will also maintain your online security and privacy.

A quick guide to stream CTV outside Canada

  1. Select a reputable VPN with Canadian servers and create an account with it. ExpressVPN emerged as the winner after thorough testing beating the others in terms of speeds and unblocking capabilities.
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device.
  3. Connect to a Canadian server.
  4. Visit the CTV website and start enjoying your favorite content.

Best VPNs to watch CTV abroad

VPN services are emerging at a rapid rate as more people are becoming conscious of their online privacy.

However, all VPNs are not the same. So, it is good to know the exact features to look out for when choosing a VPN to stream CTV outside Canada. We based our research on the following criteria:

  • Unblocking capabilities
  • Server network
  • Security and privacy
  • Speeds
  • Compatibility

Here are the top 3 VPNs to unblock CTV live online:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 3,000 servers in 59 countries
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Tor compatibility
  • TrustedServer technology
  • Obfuscation feature
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN has trounced the rest to emerge as the best VPN for unblocking CTV outside Canada. The provider has a reputation for offering outstanding speed alongside robust security and reliability.

The VPN has incredible unblocking capabilities and will literally get past any geo-blocks. We used Toronto and Montreal to access CTV live online during our testing. The servers maintain consistent speeds, and you will be able to stream in high definition. Besides CTV, it also unblocks YouTube, Facebook, Google, and other popular sites blocked in workplaces and schools.

ExpressVPN proved to be a high-quality service in our recent VPNs speed test. Our average base speed was 59.76 Mbps but dropped slightly to 57.61 Mbps, enough for streaming without buffering. Your speeds will remain steady even if you connect to international servers to unblock content. In fact, the VPN will improve your speeds if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth.

It is compatible with nearly every operating system and platform. On top of offering VPN clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook, the provider also offers apps for other devices.

You can download its iOS or Android app from the App Store and Google Play Store to get going in a flash. Besides, there are Chrome and Firefox browser extensions if you would like to stream on the desktop client. Unfortunately, the mobile apps do not have Tor compatibility and IPv6 leak protection.

The VPN allows you to have five simultaneous connections with a single subscription. Fortunately, it works well with a wide range of routers, too, meaning you can virtually use VPN on all your devices. That means you can watch CTV online even on devices that don’t support VPNs like your Smart TV and PS4 console.

In terms of security, ExpressVPN keeps you safe with AES 256-bit encryption. The provider fortifies it with SHA-512 HMAC authentication, 4096-bit RSA key, and AES 256-bit cipher for maximum protection. There is also perfect forward secrecy (PFS) that generates a new encryption key each time you start a VPN session. With this kind of protection, your ISP and other third parties cannot see what you are doing.

Many VPN services promise to maintain your online privacy, but it is mostly a ploy to convince you to subscribe. A closer look at ExpressVPN’s privacy policy reveals that it does not collect any connection or activity logs. It is also located in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly country that sits outside the 5/9/14 Eye alliance.

Some of its features that will maintain your privacy include an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection. The VPN is also compatible with the Tor network and even supports Tor over VPN setup for maximum anonymity.

ExpressVPN offers three main premium plans. The service is more affordable with more extended plans where you will also get frequent deals and coupons. It accepts a wide range of payment methods, including bitcoin if you’d like to pay anonymously.

Pros

  • Servers in Canada
  • User-friendly and swift installation
  • Top-notch security

Cons

  • No IPv6 protection on mobile
ExpressVPN Review: A fast and furious solution to your internet privacy
ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN Best VPNs 600x300

Key features

  • 5,505 servers in 59 countries
  • SmartPlay feature
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Unrestricted bandwidth and data
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Double VPN
  • No-logs policy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN is another excellent VPN to watch CTV abroad. It is effortless to use and offers high-quality features at an affordable price.

It operates a network of more than 5,505 servers in 59 countries. Nearly every country has multiple servers, with over 480 servers in 3 Canadian locations. This will enable you to access CTV and other locally geo-blocked content and services.

The company has servers even in intensely restricted regions like the UAE and Turkey. Fortunately, it offers an obfuscation feature so you can access CTV live online even in these locations uncensored.

Most of the servers offer lightning-fast speeds. It muscled its way to emerge as the fastest VPN on the market during our recent VPN speed test. If you have a stable base internet, the drop in speed will be barely noticeable. This means you will be able to stream CTV without buffering or lags. There is also a Quick connect feature that will connect you to the server with the fastest speeds. However, this feature is only applicable if you want fast speeds but not to unblock content like in this case.

NordVPN will protect your activities with AES 256-bit encryption. It combines encryption with a 2048-bit DH key, perfect forward secrecy, and SHA2-384 authentication for maximum security. You will also get OpenVPN UDP/TCP and IKEv2/IPSec, two of the most secure VPN protocols available. This is high-level protection, and your ISP will not throttle your bandwidth because it cannot see your activities.

A VPN is supposed to keep you private when using the internet. However, a closer look at most privacy policies reveals that many VPN providers store browsing activity and personal data. NordVPN has an actual zero-logs policy and does not collect or store identifiable information. In addition, it is registered in a privacy-friendly country, Panama, that is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eye alliance.

It also offers other features that will always ensure your anonymity. For instance, the kill switch will automatically cut your traffic if the VPN connection stops working. In addition, the DNS/IPv6 leak protection will prevent DNS requests and IP address leakage in case of software faults. It also supports the Tor network and even has special Onion over Tor servers for additional privacy.

NordVPN works well with all popular devices, including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. We noticed some significant differences between the Android and iOS apps during our test. For instance, Android users will only get OpenVPN protocol, but iOS users can also switch to IKEv2. The VPN allows you to connect six simultaneous connections. However, it is compatible with a wide range of servers so that you can add unlimited simultaneous devices.

Besides speeds, NordVPN beats its competitors in terms of affordability. It offers three plans with different durations and prices but with the same features. As with other VPNs, the monthly plan is pricier, and the more extended plan comes with better discounts. It also allows you to try the services risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Several Canadian servers to unblock CTV
  • Lightning-fast servers
  • Intuitive interface

Cons

  • Inconsistent features on apps
NordVPN Review: Offers Good Speed and Security But Has a Minor Snag
NordVPN

3. Surfshark

SurfShark 600x300

Key features

  • 3,200 servers in 59 countries
  • CleanWeb feature
  •  AES 256-bit encryption
  • Automatic kill switch
  • MultiHop mode
  • Camouflage mode
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark is the best budget-friendly VPN to watch CTV shows. It is a newbie vendor but growing very fast to establish itself as a reputable VPN option.

It boasts an expansive network of more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. There are over 90 servers spread across 3 Canadian locations, so you can easily unblock CTV. The many servers allow you to switch to another server if CTV blocks your connection. If you are streaming from a restricted country like the UAE, the camouflage mode will disguise your VPN activities.

Reliable and consistent speeds make a VPN more valuable. A VPN with slow speeds will spoil your streaming experience. Sursfshark performance was impressive during our test, with a drop of only 6% from our original speeds. This means you will be able to stream in high definition no matter where you are streaming from.

Surfshark is a secure VPN with some of the latest security features. The first one is AES 256-bit encryption that will prevent third parties from seeing your activities and personal data. There is also a MultiHop mode, Surfshark’s version of double VPN, that will pass your traffic through two servers.

Although that adds an extra encryption layer, it may slow down your connection. The HackLock feature will also monitor your passwords and email for security breaches.

In terms of privacy, Surfshark does not keep any connection or usage data. It is also headquartered in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, outside the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eye countries. There is also an automatic kill switch and DNS/IPv6 leak protection to guard your privacy.

The VPN is compatible with all popular operating systems. It offers easy-to-use and feature-filled apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. The SmartDNS feature will allow you to connect devices that don’t work with VPN, like smart TVs, PS4 consoles, etc. Since it supports unlimited simultaneous connections, you can connect as many devices as you want. 

Pros

  • Unblocks CTV efficiently worldwide
  • Minimal and clean interface
  • Unrestricted devices  

Cons

  • Slow connections on some servers
Ultimate Surfshark Review: Affordable But Does It Provide Enough Value?
Surfshark

Why you need a tool like VPNs to unblock CTV

Many popular streaming services use geo-blocks to restrict specific geographic regions’ content due to licensing and copyright agreements. For example, CTV will block your connection if you try to stream B Positive’s latest episodes from abroad.

How will CTV know you are accessing outside Canada? We hear you ask. Every internet-enabled device has an internet protocol (IP) address that identifies it on the internet. It is this address that shows where you are connecting from.

A virtual private network (VPN) will mask your real IP address and assign you a new Canadian-specific one. As a result, your streaming traffic will seem to be originating from the VPN server instead of your device. This is an easy and safe way to bypass CTV’s restrictions and stay up-to-date with your favorite movies and shows.

Some internet service providers (ISPs) throttle user bandwidth if there is excessive consumption. And, streaming TV shows online is a data-intensive activity. So, the chances are your ISP might throttle your bandwidth, resulting in slowing your connections. By encrypting your internet traffic via VPN and routing it through secure servers, your ISP won’t see what you are doing.

Free VPNs to stream CTV outside Canada

Best free VPN
(Unsplash)

You might be tempted to use free VPNs to unblock Canadian CTV, but we advise you to avoid them. This is because of their inadequacies and can even put you at risk instead of keeping you safe and anonymous. 

Here are some of the common issues with free VPNs:

Can’t unblock CTV

Unblocking geo-blocks requires a robust and stable network. Many free VPNs do not have the resources to get past geo-restrictions of most streaming services, including CTV. Although technically, you can bypass the restrictions with a free VPN, it is not certain that it will work. In most cases, you will get an error message that your connection is blocked.

Limited data

Most free VPNs cap the amount of data you can use. Some of them use this strategy to compel free users to upgrade their plans out of frustrations. TunnelBear and Windscribe are good examples that limit the data to 500MB and 10GB, respectively.

Impede on speed

Slow speed is an issue you will face with free VPNs. They use poor-quality servers that are mostly congested, causing slow speeds. Some providers deliberately slow down the speed to compel free users to upgrade.

Annoying ads

One of the main ways free VPNs make money is by selling ads. These ads are not only intrusive and infuriating but also may slow speeds or contain malware. Also, if a VPN is showing ads, it is probably sharing your data with third parties. This is an infringement of your privacy, yet a VPN is supposed to protect it.

Note: We recommend choosing the free versions of premium services instead of going for a completely free VPN. Although the free versions are highly limited, they are safe and secure. Moreover, you can take advantage of the money-back policies if you only need a VPN for a short period.

How to unblock CTV outside Canada without a VPN

The master of unblocking
(Unsplash)

Kodi is another way you can access CTV from anywhere. It’s a free media player that works with all popular devices and operating systems including Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, tvOS, macOS, and Raspberry Pi. However, remember that Kodi is just a streaming platform and can’t do anything on itself.

You will have to install an add-on to stream CTV outside Canada. The best Kodi add-on to watch CTV is Made In Canada extension.

It is easy to install and will enable you to view content even on other Canadian channels alongside CTV live as well. Follow the steps below to install MIC (Made In Canada) on your favorite free media player:

  1. Run Kodi player.
  2. Head over to its main menu.
  3. Now, go to System.
  4. Next, head over to File Manager.
  5. It’s time to hit Add Source button there.
  6. Then on None.
  7. Now, input https://archive.org/download/repository.mic exactly as it is.
  8. After that, hit Done.
  9. Next, look at the box saying None (visible at the bottom part of the screen).
  10. There you should see Enter a Name for This Media Source text written.
  11. Enter MIC in that box.
  12. Now, hit OK.
  13. Next, head back to the home screen of Kodi.
  14. After that, go to System again.
  15. Now, head over to Add-ons.
  16. Then pick Install from the zip file option there.
  17. Next, hit MIC.
  18. After that, choose the MIC repository.

Now wait for a while and you will see a notification for add-on enabled, which would basically mean ‘all done‘ for you.

That is it. As you now have MIC (Made in Canada) on your Kodi, you cannot only watch CTV anywhere in the world but many more channels online. Again, to access any of your Kodi addon, MIC in this case, you simply head over to your Kodi home screen > System > Add-ons. There you click the Made in Canada and start watching the channel you have been longing for.

You can watch CTV with a wide range of devices. Fortunately, the VPNs we have highlighted on this list offer compatibility across all popular operating systems and platforms. Here are some of the CTV-supported gadgets:

  • iPhone
  • Ipad
  • Web browser
  • iPod
  • Xbox one
  • Android smartphones and tablets with version 4.0 and above
  • Apple TV running version 4+
  • Samsung smart TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • OS version 9.0+

Here is a list of popular shows you can watch on CTV:

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  •  9-1-1 Lone Star (New Season)
  • All Rise (New Season)
  • American HousewifeArrow
  • B Positive (New Season)
  • Shark Tank
  • Key and Peele

Conclusion

Geo-restriction should not prevent you from enjoying your favorite CTV content from anywhere. A VPN will change your IP address to trick CTV into thinking that you are streaming from within.

That is regardless of where you are watching from. The VPNs we have reviewed above offer fast speeds so that you will stream in high definition. Our top pick is ExpressVPN because of its superfast speeds and robust security.

FAQs

Is it illegal to watch CTV abroad with a VPN?
How can I watch CTV outside Canada?
Is Canadian TV available in the US?
Is CTV free on Firestick?
Can you stream CTV Canada with free VPNs?
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About the author

Ruheni Mathenge
Ruheni Mathenge

Tech researcher and writer with a passion for cybersecurity. Alex is a strong advocate of digital freedom and online privacy.

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