Best VPN Service / TunnelBear Review

Tunnelbear Review 2024: How Safe & Good is the VPN?

Read Our complete Tunnelbear Test - Server, Speed, Pricing & More

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VPN
TunnelBear
Favicon
Rating follows
Works with
Torrents
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
-
T&Cs apply, 18+
Details
User Reviews

TunnelBear is a privacy-focused VPN, providing both free and premium subscription options. It has established itself as a highly reputable player, and as you’ll notice in this TunnelBear VPN review, numerous users express their trust and satisfaction with the company.

Whether new to VPN services or a budget-conscious user, TunnelBear welcomes you to a world of online privacy and secure internet connections. Dive into this in-depth review to discover the essential VPN features and advantages and determine if TunnelBear is the ideal choice for you.

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Tunnelbear vpn speed
Tunnelbear: Pros & Cons
  • Fair pricing with a free trial.
  • It offers robust privacy features.
  • It has undergone several third-party security audits.
  • It offers above-average speeds.
  • It's not ideal for streaming geo-blocked content.
  • It's located in a privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction.
  • No money-back guarantee
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
Bitcoin
Company
TunnelBear LLC.
Founded
2011
Website
tunnelbear.com
Available Languages
EN
Customer Support
Email Support
Email
support@tunnelbear.com
Overall Rating
Rating follows
  • Usability, Look & Feel
    4.6/5
  • Mobile App
    4.1/5
  • Payment Methods
    4.4/5
  • Customer Service
    4.2/5
No review posted yet.
User Rating
0/5
5 Stars
0%
4 Stars
0%
3 Stars
0%
2 Stars
0%
1 Star
0%
Last Updated on 23/05/2024

A quick overview of TunnelBear VPN: Is TunnelBear VPN legit?

When choosing a VPN, several factors come into play. These include security and privacy features meant to safeguard your online browsing. Others are the connection speeds, number of server locations, software design, pricing, and quality of customer support.

Most free VPNs tend to collect your data; some even sell them to the highest bidders, but not TunnelBear. This VPN service provider has tons of independent audit reports, which is a clear sign that the provider is quite transparent regarding data handling practices.

In a nutshell, TunnelBear is one of the best VPN service providers offering free and premium services. It ticks all the boxes regarding reliability, security, and the number of server locations. However, two of its standout features lie with the unique pricing and a focus on user privacy.

But what other factors would make you trust and use TunnelBear and not the other VPNs in the market? Here's a quick look at the key competitive advantages of TunnelBear VPN:

  • It's one of the first freemium VPN services to publish third-party security and privacy audits.
  • TunnelBear lets you review and even delete your account data.
  • The TunnelBear app and website are easy to use.
  • The company is highly reputable and has received several positive reviews from real users.
  • You get 2GB free of monthly data to try the VPN before subscribing to the premium services.

How to start browsing with TunnelBear: Quick download and easy set up 

If you are short on time and would love to try out the VPN instead of reading reviews and second-guessing your decisions, here's a step-by-step download and installation guide for you:

  • Head to the TunnelBear VPN homepage and click "Get TunnelBear now. This will take you to the subscription page to choose your desired plan. There are three plans to choose from: "Free, Unlimited, and Teams."
  • Navigate to the "Download" page and download TunnelBear VPN for your device.
  • Click "Get TunnelBear for a different device" to choose an app for Mac, Windows, Android, or iOS.
  • You can also download the two lightweight extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
  • Complete the installation and log in using the details entered during signup.

Summary of TunnelBear VPN

Jurisdiction/Country Canada
Servers 5000+
Speed Good (average speed drop of 32%)
Countries 47+
Streaming Limited
Security AES 256-bit encryption
Protocols WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN
Number of Devices Unlimited (for premium users)
Data Logs No logging policy
Split Tunneling Yes (SplitBear)
Kill Switch Yes (VigilantBear)
Torrenting Yes
Customer support Email support and ticketing.
Free Trial Yes
Lowest price $3.33 per month billed for a year or three years.

TunnelBear test: Reviewing TunnelBear VPN features 

Every VPN is expected to offer the best privacy, security, and user experience, and TunnelBear has established itself as a reliable VPN that excels in all these areas. Notably, TunnelBear goes the extra mile to offer a free plan, which sets it apart from many VPN providers in its class. And as you'll notice in this review, TunnelBear demonstrates its dedication to accessibility and making privacy-enhancing tools available to a broader audience.

1. TunnelBear speed test: How good is TunnelBear VPN?

Despite being a freemium VPN, TunnelBear doesn't compromise on the connection speed. In fact, it delivers an impressive performance that rivals some premium-only VPN services. It has an advanced network infrastructure and optimized servers that provide a stable and reliable network.

While testing out the speeds, TunnelBear proved to be quite reliable. The internet speeds without the VPN connection came back as 651 Mbps down and 782 Mbps up with a ping time of two milliseconds. Using TunnelBear, the download speed dropped to 426 Mbps while the upload speed dropped to 542 Mbps with a ping time of three milliseconds. This represents an average of 32% speed drop, which isn't perfect, but not terrible either. The low ping time while using the VPN means that TunnelBear supports online gaming and video conferencing.

To achieve better connection speeds with TunnelBear VPN, you should connect to nearby server locations. And since this provider has an extensive server network, choosing a region or city of your liking should be easy, that is, if you're on the premium plan.

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ExpressVPN Highlights
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
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  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee

2. Server location: Several countries supported 

The location of servers often determines how reliable a VPN connection is. For instance, a VPN with servers in multiple locations means that there are several routes for internet traffic in case one location or server is down. TunnelBear has over 5,000 servers in 47 plus countries across five regions: Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

So if you want to access online services or geographically restricted content, you only need to choose a server in that specific country or region, and you'll have bypassed the restrictions. For example, if you're in Canada but want to access discounts for software that currently offers 30% off for Australian users. TunnelBear will help you achieve precisely that.

It's worth noting that several premium VPNs offer coverage for 50-plus countries, with multiple server locations in major cities. Currently, TunnelBear offers fewer cities, but it's still a great choice for those who value flexibility and reliability. And considering this is a freemium VPN, there isn't much to complain about.

3. Streaming services: Can you access geo-restricted content?

One of the main reasons people use VPN services is to enable them to stream geographically restricted content. Streaming platforms such as Hulu, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer have regional restrictions that limit access to their content based on the subscriber's physical location. With the right VPN, you can bypass these restrictions by connecting to a server in a region where that content is available.

And while this sounds simple, it's more complex in real life. Here's why:

  • Streaming services maintain a list of popular or known VPN IP addresses. It then compares the IP addresses of incoming requests and blocks those associated with a VPN server.
  • Streaming channels use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to inspect the data packets transmitted between the VPN server and the user's device. Using this technique, they can identify VPN-specific markers, blocking any connections that exhibit those patterns.
  • Streaming services employ sophisticated methods such as analyzing network behaviors and traffic patterns associated with VPN servers to detect and block VPN usage.

So, can you use TunnelBear VPN to stream? You can, but it's unreliable, and you'll get blocked occasionally. And based on our TunnelBear tests using multiple servers, it's evident that this VPN isn't designed for streaming geo-blocked content.

4. Security: robust features to ensure online safety 

If you are the type that values your online security, TunnelBear VPN offers high-end security features to safeguard your data from prying eyes. One of the robust security features you'll get with TunnelBear is the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption that ensures your online data remains secure. This encryption technology makes your data unreadable to anyone trying to monitor or intercept your data.

The other security features you'll get with TunnelBear VPN include the following:

  • Secure tunneling: Ad services and internet service providers can track and see everything you do online. With TunnelBear VPN, you enjoy a private and secure tunnel between the VPN server and your device, preventing ISPs, hackers, or any third parties from tracking your IP address or accessing your online communications.
  • VigilantBear (Kill Switch): TunnelBear's Kill Switch blocks all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops or is unstable. One of the benefits of this feature is that it prevents your data from leaking or being transmitted over an unsecured network.

Something to note about most VPNs is that they promise to offer high-end security, but they have little to show that they really practice what they preach. However, TunnelBear is committed to user and data security, and they conduct regular security audits to ensure that the features, systems, and policies in place serve the users' interests at all times.

5. Privacy: Is TunnelBear VPN trustworthy?

Online privacy and transparency are the key selling points of this VPN. Looking at the many reviews on the internet, it's clear that TunnelBear VPN is safe and trusted by many people. In fact more people are choosing to work with this VPN due to the transparent nature and robust privacy features, which include:

No-logging policy

TunnelBear has a strict privacy policy against storing user information, browsing history, IP addresses, and more. The company's commitment to user and data privacy is unrivaled, and it remains one of the few American-based VPNs to publish third-party logs audits.

SplitBear

As you would have guessed, this is Tunnelbear's split tunneling feature, recently added to offer convenience, flexibility, and privacy. With SplitBear, you choose the apps and websites you want to be tunneled through the VPN and those to go through your local area network.

GhostBear

This advanced privacy and convenience feature helps you bypass VPN blocking without exposing your identity. It makes your encrypted browsing data less detectable to businesses, governments, and ISPs.

The only concern some users have raised in several TunnelBear reviews is that the company is based in Canada, one of the countries that are part of the Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes Alliance. Countries under these alliances monitor and share users' online activities to protect their national security.

6. Torrenting: Secure and fast file sharing at your convenience 

If you're looking for a VPN that will allow you to share and download peer-to-peer files, TunnelBear VPN now supports this feature. In the past, this VPN had restrictions that blocked torrenting activities. And while this feature is great, torrenting with TunnelBear proved to be a bit hectic while testing out this feature due to the sluggish speeds on most servers. Connecting to those servers close to your physical locations would help you enjoy better and more consistent speeds.

Additionally, it's crucial to adhere to the laws and regulations regarding copyright infringement and use peer-to-peer file sharing legally and responsibly. If you run into problems while torrenting, contact the customer support team, and they may help you choose the best-performing servers based on your location.

7. Pricing: free and premium plans available 

As noted earlier, TunnelBear VPN has some of the best pricing plans. There are three plans to choose from: free, unlimited, and teams, each catering to the unique needs of different users. The free plan offers a 2GB bandwidth, which you can use to test the many VPN features before upgrading to the premium plan. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to enter your card details for the free version. Simply download the VPN and install it.

The unlimited/premium plan offers unlimited browsing and access to premium VPN servers and priority customer support. Under this unlimited plan are three subscriptions. These are: a three-year, one-year, and a monthly subscription. For each of these subscriptions, the monthly charges are $3.33.

ExpressVPN
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Highlights
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee

If you are to choose the "teams" plan, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of the unlimited plan, but with added admin and account manager tools. The cool thing about this "teams" plan is that it offers a 7-day free trial. The monthly subscription is $5.75 per user per month.

Unfortunately, all the premium plans and subscriptions don't have the money-back guarantee feature.

Visa
Mastercard
Bitcoin

8. Customer support: Reliable assistance and support channels 

As much as TunnelBear has made its app and website very user-friendly, it still offers a Help Center and a customer support contact section. In the help page section are online resources that will help you navigate any issues you may encounter while installing or using the VPN. For instance, detailed documentation on troubleshooting the VPN software comes with quick suggestions and solutions to common problems.

You can also contact the friendly customer support team to escalate sensitive cases such as billing challenges and consistent performance issues. TunnelBear VPN offers priority support to premium users, which is great, except that there's no 24/7 live chat feature.

TunnelBear VPN reviews: What customers say 

One of the ways to better understand the TunnelBear VPN is to look at it from the subscribers' point of view. That's why customer reviews play a critical role when making purchasing decisions. A quick look at the TunnelBear VPN reviews on Play Store and App Store points to a user-friendly VPN that's simple, flexible, and functional. Most users are satisfied with the VPN's privacy features and commitment to transparency and data security. However, the poor streaming services and limited server locations are still a cause for concern.

Final remarks: Is TunnelBear VPN good for you?

Whether or not TunnelBear VPN will work for you depends on several factors, from how you intend to use the VPN to your budget and personal preferences. If you are looking for a VPN that offers a free trial and a pocket-friendly monthly subscription without compromising privacy and security, TunnelBear VPN is good for you. However, if you want a VPN ideal for torrenting and streaming, this VPN may not serve you well.

ExpressVPN
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Highlights
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee

TunnelBear VPN Review FAQs

🍒Is TunnelBear VPN good for streaming?

Every VPN has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing one that best suits your browsing needs is up to you. Check out this comprehensive TunnelBear VPN guide to see if this VPN service provider is ideal for streaming and accessing geo-blocked content.

🍑How many devices does TunnelBear VPN support?

Most VPNs often have a limit as to how many unique devices can log in simultaneously using one account. Refer to this TunnelBear VPN review to check if this VPN service provider limits the number of devices using one premium account or subscription.

🍉Does TunnelBear hide your IP address?

Virtual private networks are designed to offer enhanced privacy, security, and anonymity while browsing the internet. Read this TunnelBear VPN review to check the various privacy and security features that TunnelBear has implemented to keep your IP address safe.

🍅Is TunnelBear VPN 100% free?

Most high-end VPNs do not have a free version and even those with a free-trial, the limit is usually only seven days. If you're wondering whether TunnelBear VPN is 100% free, check out this review to learn more about its pricing and subscription plans.

🌷Is TunnelBear good?

TunnelBear is a legit VPN provider offering enhanced security and privacy while browsing online. Like any other VPN, TunnelBear comes with some strengths and weaknesses. Read this review to determine whether this VPN is ideal for you.

User Reviews for TunnelBear

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VPN
TunnelBear
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Rating follows
  • Transparent privacy audits
  • User-friendly app and website
  • Free plan with 2GB data
TunnelBear Costs Offer
from $3,33 / Month
-
T&Cs apply, 18+
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