According to its website, TunnelBear is an interesting VPN “trusted by millions”.
|Daily Policy||Anonymous Server Usage Data|
|IP, DNS, or WebRTC Leaks||No|
|Support||Email and Online Resources Only|
|Cheapest Price||$ 4.17 / month on a 24-month plan|
- Pretty good VPN speeds
- Privacy-friendly logging policy & no IP / DNS leak
- Simple installation and VPN applications for four popular platforms
- Free plan is a great way to test VPN software
- Very small VPN server network (22 countries)
- Canada based
- Cannot install on routers
- No live support
Ease of Use
TunnelBear’s exclusive VPN applications are cute or flashy, depending on your perspective. TunnelBear desktop client is incredibly simple to set up and use. Due to the small number of advanced features and well-organized, it offers an easy-to-use experience. Mobile VPN applications are very similar.
TunnelBear’s browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera are really fast. Follow the link to the relevant add-on store on the TunnelBear website and download the add-on. Log in, connect and you’re ready to browse the web from one of 22 server locations.
TunnelBear provides a very small VPN server network of only 22 countries.
TunnelBear does not show the number of physical servers. They do not have virtual servers and reserve the number of IP addresses, but the company owns them all, and this is reassuring in terms of privacy.
TunnelBear covers the most prominent locations such as the USA, Australia and popular countries in Western Europe, such as France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. Suitable for countries in Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore; VPN servers in Mexico and Brazil offer (at least) close options for those in South and Central America.
TunnelBear has no VPN servers in Africa.
If you need more server coverage outside the above fields, you might want to browse to another VPN service. Most VPN services have at least 60 country servers.
Speed and Reliability
TunnelBear does not give you an impressive speed, but it will be fast enough for most VPN connections in the same country.
When connected to the nearest VPN server, you should be able to broadcast seamlessly in HD, with a download speed drop of around 13%.
Before using TunnelBear:
When we connect to TunnelBear:
Download speed without TunnelBear: 88.22Mbps
Download speed with TunnelBear: 77.03Mbps
Our download speed loss while TunnelBear is running: 13%
TunnelBear’s load and ping times are very fast when connected to a nearby server, which is a good choice for torrent and gamers.
Platforms and Devices
TunnelBear offers custom VPN applications for four of the four most popular platforms:
- Microsoft Windows
- Apple MacOS
It is possible to use TunnelBear with Linux, but this requires some manual configuration and only a limited amount of support is available.
You can use TunnelBear VPN on up to 5 devices at a time in one subscription.
You cannot install TunnelBear at the router level, so VPN protection is limited to the above supported devices.
This means that you cannot protect any game consoles or streaming devices.
TunnelBear offers proxy extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera web browsers. All of these are very easy to download and add to your browser without the need for manual configuration.
TunnelBear’s proxy extensions do not contain advanced privacy features and do not offer the same encryption level as the desktop VPN client, but they are absolutely useful independently.
TunnelBear does not currently provide a VPN extension for the Safari browser.
Pricing and Opportunities
TunnelBear offers both a free plan and three different paid plans. You can pay monthly for TunnelBear. If you sign up for the annual plan, it saves 50% and reduces the monthly cost to $ 4.99. The two-year plan saves even more. 58% discount and only $ 4.17 per month.
TunnelBear does not offer an official free trial, but you can sign up for a ‘Small’ (free) plan that includes 500 MB of free data about what it’s like to use the software.
Unlike other VPNs, TunnelBear does not guarantee a refund, so if you change your mind, you will not receive a refund.
Encryption and Security
Despite its cute appearance, TunnelBear takes privacy seriously. Encryption level and robust VPN security features effectively hide your IP address and keep you safe online.
TunnelBear uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 (which automatically selects the protocol for you) for Windows and iOS devices, and all other connections (MacOS and Android) use OpenVPN only.
Both of these VPN protocols are secure and perform well, but we would like to see the option to choose between more protocols within applications. However, you can switch between TCP and UPD in Windows and MacOS.
TunnelBear offers encryption with AES-256, which is considered a ‘unbreakable’ password.
We love TunnelBear’s in-app ‘Vigilant mode’ VPN kill key, blocking all web traffic if your VPN connection is disconnected for any reason and preventing your real IP address from being revealed.
DNS leak protection ensures that your ISP cannot monitor your browsing activity at any point.
TunnelBear’s customer support is largely sufficient, but it cannot compete with its competitors.
We are disappointed that TunnelBear does not have a live chat feature, and if email responses sometimes take more than five hours, it can be quite frustrating if you have only a small question. We also don’t like that you need to create an account and sign in to ask a question.
Fortunately, the resources on TunnelBear’s site are very well written and they are working hard to make VPNs accessible to beginners and non-technical people.
Do you recommend?
TunnelBear is cute and simple to use but takes privacy seriously, so we recommend VPN for beginners.
There are not many configurable options and you cannot set up at the router level, but it does the minimum logging and basic features without IP, DNS or WebRTC leakage.