This post is a complete review of TunnelBear with a comprehensive Guide on the features you need to know.
TunnelBear is a public virtual private network service located in Toronto, Canada. In 2011, the company was founded by two individuals, Daniel Kaldor and Ryan Dochuk.
It can operate on Android, Linux, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows. There’s also a browser extension for both Chrome and Opera
It offers its users both free and paid VPN services. The free version however, is limited to 500MB per month bandwidth.
On a good note, their VPN software uses the industry standard (strong) OpenVPN protocol, as well as 256-bit AES encryption
Post-Overview of TunnelBear
I will keep it simple but concise and straight to the point. You will learn about its products and services offered.
Below is the breakdown of what I would be covering:
- About TunnelBear
- Compatible Devices
- Features of TunnelBear
- Speed and Performance
- Price (Free or Paid version)
- Privacy and Security
- Pros and Cons
1. About TunnelBear
TunnelBear has been on the market for 7 years now. But has it stood the test of time because of good service, or is it just all the adorable bears?
Tunnelbear was created in 2011 by Ryan Dochuk (Corporate Bear) and Daniel Kaldor (Quantum Bear) and is based in Toronto, Canada and has built a pretty strong base as a reliable VPN.
Using AES 256-bit encryptions to protect data, TunnelBear has placed quite a high priority on security and privacy, despite being based in one of the “Five Eyes” countries.
It includes a kill-switch, called VigilantBear, which is constantly being checked, tested, and upgraded. Another feature feature that comes in handy is that, GhostBear, allows you to disguise your connection.
This can help to bypass walls so you can watch US Netflix or BBC iPlayer, however these don’t always work.
With all that in mind, let’s take a closer look at their features and options.
2. Compatible Devices
When we talk of compatibility, it is known to supports only a handful of devices.
From its official website, you can only use TunnelBear on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and browsers (Chrome, Firefox & Opera).
It currently doesn’t support Kindle/eReaders, Windows mobile phones, Apple TV, Android TV, gaming consoles and even modems/routers.
Finding a VPN that supports the devices you use is of course critical. Some VPNs are limited to supporting one single device or operating system, usually Microsoft Windows.
Some services support multiple devices, but you can only use a single type of device with each license.
For example, you would need to buy one license for your Windows devices, another for your Android devices, and so on.
Like other awesome VPN’s, TunnelBear supports various device types, and you can mix and match as you so wish with a single license.
TunnelBear for Windows
The TunnelBear Windows client is attractive and is easy to use that it can be navigated without any difficulty. It is uncomplicated and gets the job done within without any complex menus or configurations.
The client allows you to connect with different server locations through its map. Just by clicking on their respective tunnels, you can access servers from 23 different countries.
The client gives you a choice to toggle between GhostBear, VigilantBear and other security features. It does not confuse you with a plethora of options but does allow you to configure the software as per your liking.
TunnelBear for macOS
The macOS app of TunnelBear is just as good as the window app. Server selection is quite snappy and everything just works effortlessly. Here’s how the user interface looks like:
TunnelBear for Android
As I have explained above, this VPN has a sleek app for Android OS. I used the app myself and my experience was extremely pleasant.
Having same features like the Windows app, the Android app of TunnelBear allows you to easily choose different servers by navigating through a simple and intuitive map.
TunnelBear for iOS
The iOS version of TunnelBear is also good. The app is lightweight and works without any glitches. Not only that but I also really like the subtle animations throughout the app.
The Browser support takes the form of plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. The plugin only supports contents within the browser anything outside the browser is left unprotected.
TunnelBear also support Linux operating system and provides limited support for devices that run the it, but the instructions apparently haven’t been updated since 2014.
Should incase you are interested in using TunnelBear with Linux we advise that you test the connection using the free version before investing your money! All in all, TunnelBear provides support for common devices a typical user is likely to use.
3. Features of TunnelBear
One unique features is the availability to provide native app support for the big 4 device platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows.
They also offer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera platforms. In addition, it doesn’t allows ads by offering an ad blocker extension for Chrome.
Although the provider doesn’t offer a native Linux app, they give information on how to use their service with the Linux operating system.
The service is not compatible with router. So, users who are looking for a way to protect all of their devices at once will be forced to take their hunt elsewhere.
Its apps offer kill switch protection (known as “VigilantBear”), as well as a “GhostBear” feature that makes your encrypted traffic look more like regular internet traffic. (This is also known as connection obfuscation.)
The provider advises to only use GhostBear if you’re having issues connecting to its servers, as the feature will cause your VPN connection to slow down or not work at all.
When you connect to TunnelBear, you will be offered the option to connect to any one of the mere 22 countries where the Bear has servers located.
There are no options for connecting to specific cities, or for special purposes, like streaming or P2P file sharing. The service doesn’t offer any server numbers.
When placed head to head with most of its competitors, TunnelBear’s server network could be considered “bearly” there. (I promise, just a few more bear puns.) The provider does support P2P file sharing, but suggests keeping such activity to its servers in Canada, U.S., U.K., Romania, the Netherlands, Germany or Sweden.
The provider’s apps are arguably the easiest-to-use apps I’ve ever tested. For newbies to VPN, looking for an easy way to keep your online activity undercover, TunnelBear definitely “bears” a look.
4. Speed and Performance
Before sharing the TunnelBear’s connection speeds, I’d like to share with you the methods we used in speed testing that is, the Pixel Privacy’s method
All VPN connection speed tests was conducted using a gigabit Ethernet connection located in the United States. The tests was performed using the provider’s Windows app and was connected via OpenVPN over UDP.
We test by connecting to 3 separate server locations in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Hong Kong. For 3 days, we perform 3 tests per day, spaced at least 4 hours apart. We then average all of the speed test readings.
The average download speed of TunnelBear was measured at an average of 55 Mbps. While these are certainly fast, the provider’s lack of streaming support and limited P2P file-sharing support mean these speeds can’t be put to much use for two of the most popular VPN activities.
TunnelBear has no bandwith or data restrictions and doesn’t restrict your online access with a data cap or bandwith limitation on paid subscription plans only. However, free subscriptions are limited to 500MB data per month, but there are no bandwidth limitations.
5. Price (Free or Paid version)
TunnelBear has two premium subscription options and one limited free account.
Signing up for a free account will grant you 500MB of free data per month, but you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account for unlimited data and other premium features, like multiple simultaneous connections.
You can either choose the monthly or yearly subscription. TunnelBear’s yearly plan offers the best overall deal as it’s heavily discounted.
TunnelBear accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express, and BitCoin.
6. Privacy and Security
TunnelBear does a first-rate job of protecting you, both online and after the fact.
The furry provider uses government-level encryption to protect your internet connection, using the OpenVPN (on macOS, Windows, and Android devices) and IPSec/IKEv2 (on iOS) protocols.
DNS leak protection is turned on by default, and the previously-mentioned VigilantBear feature, like kill switch, disconnects your internet connection if for any reason contact is lost with the provider’s VPN servers.
TunnelBear also protects you from third parties finding out what online antics you enjoyed while connected to the Bear, as it keeps a strict no logs of any kind related to your online activities.
It does, however, record which operating system you’re using, whether or not you’ve connected during the month and the total amount of data you’ve used this month.
The VPN also accepts Bitcoin, which promotes privacy by keeping your payment info completely anonymous.
In addition, TunnelBear allows another payment option, and here’s where things get sticky. This VPN will accept jars of honey as payment for their services.
The USD/honey exchange rate can vary, so you have to check with provider’s customer support bears for the current rate.
7. Pros and Cons
- high security
- utilizes a no-log setting
- fast connection
- Speed Problems (Slow)
- No Router Installation
- No Netflix
TunnelBear is secure and easy to use. It offers an average connection speeds, and has very useful privacy tools, like its GhostBear mode.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t give access to bypass Netflix US’ VPN block. So, if streaming is your main concern, I’d recommend trying a leading vendor instead.
Check out our top five recommended VPNs for unblocking Netflix. With these vendors, you have speed, reliability, and safe streaming.
However, if security is you main aim for using a VPN, or you’re looking for a VPN that works in China, TunnelBear may be the best choice for you.
This is where I will wrap up the post for today.
I hope I did not leave anything? If I did tell me below in the comment section.
Why not download and install TunnelBear, try it out and let’s know your experience in the comment section.
Or maybe you have a question let me know in the comment section.
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