Netflix may be cutting off VPN access for some customers, but Canadians can still take advantage of these iOS apps.

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are traditionally used to shield Internet users from itinerant web trackers and other snooping technology. By diverting traffic through one or more servers, often locate in different cities or countries, users shield their locations and, in most cases, cut off access to their devices by hackers.

But VPNs have a side benefit, too: by routing traffic through other countries, users can often trick services like Netflix into thinking that they are presently located far away, opening up a wealth of content that may not be otherwise available. Netflix recently said that it was cracking down on VPN usage to circumvent its thin geographic walls, but there are still some great options out there for iOS users who want to protect themselves, or watch a great movie — or both.

1. Tunnelbear

A simple, one-tap VPN with extensive platform support, Tunnelbear is as effective as it is adorable. The Canadian company offers secure links to over a dozen countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Spain, with an easy-to-understand iOS app that can be enabled without leaving the app at all. Tunnelbear can be slow at times, especially on the free tier, but I never had problem streaming over the connection.

Tunnelbear offers 500MB of free data per month, with up to 1GB of extra data every 30 days for Tweeting about its greatness. Plans start at $5.49 per month or $39.99 per year for iOS-only connectivity (which is fine for Netflix, which is compatible with AirPlay and Chromecast), or $9.99 per month and $69.99 per year for all platforms, up to five devices total. (All prices in Canadian Dollars.)

2. Hide My Ass

One of the oldest players in the VPN market, Hide My Ass, or VPN HMA! as it's known on iOS, is one of the most comprehensive.

Compatible with nearly every platform, VPN HMA! for iOS has no free functionality, but offers affordable monthly or yearly packages that allow users to connect to 932 VPN servers in 352 locations in over 190 countries, according to the company's support page. While its massive size has often prompted criticism for its slow or inconsistent customer service, HMA is a great choice for someone looking to connect to one of over 12,000 IP addresses from around the world. HMA is also really fast, and can be configured to find servers in a given country filtered by latency and speed — a huge benefit for streaming users.

Prices begin at $11.52 USD (around $15.50 CAD) for a one-month subscription, and drops to $6.55 USD per month ($9 CAD) for a 12-month subscription.

3. SurfEasy

Another Toronto-based VPN service, SurfEasy is likely the best overall service I've used. It is always fast, and has a fantastic, easy-to-understand interface that fits between the simplicity of Tunnelbear and the heavy user profile of HMA.

Recently acquired by Norway's Opera, the company behind the popular browser, SurfEasy has only improved in quality and performance since its corporate expansion. With the recently-released version 4.0, SurfEasy is now now only easier to use, but comes with a useful iOS Widget.

Prices start at $4.99 USD ($6.70 CAD) per month, billed monthly, or $3.99 USD ($5.40 CAD) billed annually.

4. VyprVPN

Another great choice for VPN users, Golden Frog's VyprVPN claims to be the world's fastest, with over 700 servers in 50 countries.

VyprVPN's iOS app is slick and easy to use, allowing users to easily change to any of the countries on the extensive list. Better yet, it offers ping times numerically and in easy-to-understand "green/yellow/red" tiles. For customers connecting to servers in the US, for example, it's easy to distinguish between fast and slow options.

Unlike the other options, a subscription to VyprVPN also provides access to VyprDNS, which claims "defeat censorship" in countries that often engage in man-in-the-middle attacks.

Moreover, VyprVPN offers 500MB of data for free each month, or premium subscriptions starting at $8.33 USD ($11.20 CAD) per month billed annually, or $14.99 USD ($20.10 CAD) per month, billed monthly.

5. Your turn!

Did we miss one of your favourite VPN services on iOS? Let us know in the comments below!