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tunnelbear-logo
  • Speed 85% 85%
  • Servers 86% 86%
  • User Experience 87% 87%
  • Support 88% 88%
  • Pricing 82% 82%

Overall Rating: 4.1 / 5

Official Information

Grizzly regards from Toronto
Canada
support@tunnelbear.com

About TunnelBear VPN

This TunnelBear VPN review covers everything required for basic and advanced secuirty nerds

TunnelBear is a Canada-based VPN provider that has its affiliation with the renowned brand McAfee, the company behind the popular antivirus software services. TunnelBear is one of the few VPN providers to come with free and paid versions. While the free version can unlock the complete list of TunnelBear’s VPN servers, it comes with a trivial 500 MB of data per month. If you look at the promising side of TunnelBear, it comes with excellent encryption standards to secure your online privacy.

TunnelBear also claims to be the only consumer VPN to perform an independent security audit every year. Is it legit to describe TunnelBear as a feature-packed VPN? Was it developed to best meet the needs of both professional and basic privacy seekers?

Our TunnelBear VPN review helps you evaluate and understand if this provider truly satisfies your privacy needs.

Table of Contents

Features of TunnelBear VPN

  • Encryption Standard: AES-256
  • Automatic Kill Switch: Yes
  • Version: 3.0.13b1
  • Tunneling Protocols : OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPsec
  • IPv6 Leak Protection : Yes
  • DNS Leak Protection: Yes
  • Ad Blocker: Yes (Chrome extension)
  • Simultaneous Connections: 5
  • Data Logging: Minor logging
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Torrenting Capability: Allows P2P file sharing
  • TOR Compatibility: Yes
  • Split Tunneling : Yes
  • Browser Extension: Available
  • Netflix Accessibility: Doesn’t work with Netflix
  • Server Details: 22 countries (The exact number of servers are unknown)
  • Business Headquarters: Canada (5 Eyes)
  • Lowest subscription cost: Free/$4.99 per month
  • Device Compatibility: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Opera

Additional Features of TunnelBear VPN

  • TunnelBear comes with an automatic Wi-Fi protection option that secures you when connected to an open encrypted Wi-Fi network.
  • The GhostBear feature makes your VPN undetectable, which means that your VPN-encrypted data is away from the prying eyes of your ISP, advertisers, snoopers, and even the Government.
  • TunnelBear’s term to the internet kill switch is VigilantBear. This feature automatically disconnects your traffic and protects you against data leaks when your connection is unstable.
  • Split tunneling at TunnelBear is known as SplitBear. This feature allows you to choose the applications that require VPN protection.
Apart from the prominent features specified above, TunnelBear comes with DNS and IP leak protection. It also supports a range of platforms, including Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Remember that TunnelBear’s browser extensions encrypt your browser traffic and do not protect your entire device. It also has an ad blocker that works only with the Chrome browser.

Unfortunately, you can’t configure TunnelBear with home routers, which is a downside when it comes to platform compatibility. It also doesn’t offer dedicated IPs like some of its competitors on the VPN market.

When it comes to data logging, TunnelBear VPN doesn’t track sensitive user information like traffic or IP logs. This provider logs minor user details like account and billing information to ensure that you are not exceeding the number of parallel connections. Not to forget the fact that this VPN provider is based in Canada that comes under the Five Eyes data surveillance program.

Pricing and Payment Structure of TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN comes with three simple categories of subscription plans:

  1. Free plan
  2. Monthly plan
  3. Annual plan
Plan Monthly Price Billing Amount Billing Cycle Benefits
Monthly $9.99 $9.99 Every month N/A
Annual $4.99 $59.88 Once in a year 50% discount

1 Month

Save 0%

$9.99 billed for first month

$9.99/month

1 Year

Save 50%

$119.88
$59.99 billed every year

$4.99/month

If you wish not to pay for the VPN service you are using, you can go for TunnelBear’s free plan. But you will miss a lot of features this provider offers. TunnelBear’s try-before-you-buy plan comes with a data cap of 500 MB per month, yet it grants access to the complete list of servers. TunnelBear’s free plan is a good way of testing before going for the upgraded paid version. It is simple and straightforward to use, as it doesn’t ask for your credit card information.

If you wish to get unlimited data, you can go for the paid plans of TunnelBear and pay on a monthly or annual basis. With the yearly subscription plan of TunnelBear VPN, you can unlock its comprehensive features at a discounted rate of 50%.

TunnelBear VPN offers the following payment methods:

  • Master card
  • Visa card
  • Amex card
  • Bitcoin

Interestingly, TunnelBear VPN also accepts jars of honey as payment.

TunnelBear doesn’t have a defined refund policy. It states that the refund requests will be processed at the sole discretion of the provider.

Speed & Performance – How Fast is TunnelBear VPN?

TunnelBear VPN is not a streaming-friendly VPN provider. If you are someone that is looking to unblock strict streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or BBC iPlayer, you have to look elsewhere. Initially, TunnelBear VPN prohibited torrenting. Currently, it supports secure P2P file transfers through specific servers, making it a desirable option for torrent freaks. You can also use the TOR browser with TunnelBear at maximum anonymity over the Internet.

As you could see the speed test results below, TunnelBear’s overall speeds were fairly average. We did not experience any disconnection or instability though.

Country Location Ping Download Upload
The United States New York 21ms 52.12 Mbps 27.11 Mbps
Europe Germany 119ms 33.04 Mbps 12.63 Mbps
Asia Japan 327ms 15.18 Mbps 7.57 Mbps

Server Coverage of TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear covers a limited number of servers, located in just 22 countries. Unlike other VPNs that will allow you to choose a state or city while connecting, TunnelBear doesn’t have this option. Hence, the exact server count remains vague and unknown.

TunnelBear VPN allows you to access the Internet from the following countries securely:

United States

Australia

Brazil

Denmark

France

Germany

Hong Kong

United Kingdom

India

Ireland

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Romania

Singapore

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Usability

TunnelBear VPN client comes with an unrealistically simplified design and interactive animations, which is fun to use. The interface is in the form of a map, and as soon as you get connected, a bear digs away from your current location to the VPN location, turning everything green. When you disconnect the VPN client, everything turns grey, indicating that you are not protected. TunnelBear has an auto-connect option that connects you to the best server depending on your current location. It also allows you to choose a VPN location of your choice. TunnelBear VPN comes with an option that notifies the amount of data remaining on your account.

Customer Support Service

TunnelBear VPN doesn’t have super impressive customer support. There is a help bar that assists you with the installation and troubleshooting process for beginners. If you are looking for real-time support, you can get in touch with the support team using a contact form. Their executives are most likely to come up with a resolution within 24 hours.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t have a live chat option. Their email support is also slow.

Pros of TunnelBear VPN

  • User-friendly client
  • Free version available
  • Impressive security features
  • Accepts Bitcoin payment
  • Allows torrenting
  • Works with the TOR

Cons of TunnelBear VPN

  • Servers located in just 22 countries
  • Doesn’t unblock streaming applications
  • Inside the Five Eyes (Canada)
  • Mediocre customer support
  • Not compatible with routers
  • Vague refund policy

Bottom line – Is TunnelBear VPN a safe/good VPN?

TunnelBear is not an all-purpose VPN. It comes with subscription plans that are roundabout the industry average for top-rated providers. Moreover, it offers a free plan for users. If your primary goal is secure and private browsing, TunnelBear is a good fit. But it is certainly not recommended for advanced users. With TunnelBear VPN, you have no access to streaming content that is incapable of reaching due to geo-barriers. So, if you are looking for dedicated streaming or gaming VPN, TunnelBear doesn’t help.

We hope this TunnelBear VPN review gave you an honest outlook of this provider. You can also add your thoughts on the comment box below.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is TunnelBear VPN free?

Yes, TunnelBear VPN comes with a free version of its service, offering 500 MB of data per month, with complete access to all VPN servers.

Is TunnelBear VPN good?

TunnelBear is a good VPN if your privacy intent is going to be a basic one. It comes with advanced encryption standards, offering the best security on the market. Some users might consider TunnelBear as an incomplete VPN, due to its inability to unblock streaming applications.

Who owns TunnelBear VPN?

The renowned antivirus giant McAfee owns TunnelBear VPN.

Does TunnelBear VPN work in China?

While, TunnelBear VPN works inside China, you might experience frequent and unexpected connections drops.

Does TunnelBear hide your IP address?

Yes, TunnelBear masks your real IP and replaces it with the temporary VPN IP. Apart from hiding your IP address, TunnelBear also protects you against DNS and IP leaks.

Does TunnelBear have a kill switch?

Yes, TunnelBear has an in-built kill switch known as VigilantBear. It protects your data by stopping all traffic when your connection gets disrupted.

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