NordVPN vs TunnelBear 2018 Comparison
Have you watched the TV series ‘Persons of Interest’? If you haven’t, here is a heads up – it will cause you to become increasingly paranoid about your internet safety. But if you have, then you know what we are talking about. Though governments and independent security bodies are doing their best to try and improve online security and privacy, they can only do so much. And unfortunately, the number of online privacy scandals hitting the airwaves is too much for our liking.
For this reason, most netizens, with the help of tech gurus have resulted to taking matters into their own hands using VPNs to protect against snoopers and thieves. With increased VPN demand, it’s only natural that ‘supply’ would skyrocket. Consequently, deciding which a VPN is perfect for your needs isn’t a walk in the park. Fortunately, such comparison reviews are here to shed more light on the final decision you will be making.
NordVPN vs TunnelBear – Comparison
TunnelBear and NordVPN stand out from the sea of VPN services in the world. This alone is enough to afford them the respect they deserve. But despite them being ‘beasts’ in the industry, they excel at different fronts. Yes, their end goal is similar, and they have comparable features, but their price models are different. Ultimately, you can say they are designed to appeal to different markets. Below is a quick comparison of the two VPNs to help you decide which suits your needs best.
NordVPN is a perfect choice for individuals looking for fast speeds, commercial level privacy and security, access to Netflix and lots of gaming and streaming content. The Panama based VPN was started in 2012 and boasts of 4870 servers spread-out in 62 countries, top-tier privacy protocols including DNS leak protection, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, SSTP, Kill Switch, and double VPN. More to this, it has a no-logging policy and allows simultaneous connection of 6 devices.
- Zero-logging policy.
- Double VPN protection.
- DNS leak protection.
- 6 simultaneous device connections.
- Kill-switch technology for added protection in case the VPN connection drops.
- Super-fast speeds.
- 24/7 Live chat support.
- No free plan.
- The VPN could improve transparency and service information.
Though it’s comparatively not a large company, with the features it offers users, its quality and value are right on the heels of NordVPN. First off, TunnelBear is based in Toronto Canada and was started in 2011. It has servers spread out in 20 countries. For privacy and security, TunnelBear uses OpenVPN, IPsec, and IPsec/IKEv2 protocols. Its encryptions include AES-256-CBC, SHA-256, and RSA-4096. Additionally, it has a no-logging policy which stirs confidence in its users.
- No logging policy.
- Has a free plan.
- Easy to Download and setup.
- Supports 5 devices simultaneously.
- Intuitive and simple UI.
- Kill-Switch technology.
- No P2P and BitTorrent support.
- Lacks specialized servers.
- Lacks a Live Chat for instant user support.
- Few servers and server locations.
NordVPN vs TunnelBear in terms of speed
Before we get into the price comparison, there’s one thing you need to understand – VPN use affects ISP browsing speeds. Why is this? Well, generally VPNs cause the connection to take a longer route. Think about it, the whole concept behind a VPN is to mask your IP address. It does this by bouncing off your connection on remote servers issued by your VPN services provider. This inevitably increases the time taken to service your requests though you might not notice it, especially when you’re connected to the super fast internet. Websites like speedtest.net will paint a clear picture of the speed drops. For this reason, to compare the speeds, you have to test ISP-provided speeds and the VPN speeds. For consistency, each VPN should be allowed same time. Our speed test results were as follows:
Local speed (U.S servers)
- NordVPN: 69.5 Mbps
- TunnelBear: 31.6 Mbps
International Speed (U.S to U.K)
- NordVPN: 41.1 Mbps
- TunnelBear: 30 Mbps
NordVPN vs TunnelBear in terms of price
Both VPNs are quite impressive with their pricing. TunnelBear features a 7-day free trial along with a free version. However, with the free version, users have limited server access and 500MB monthly limited data. Certainly, this might not be practical for some users, but for those who need a VPN for a short period when they are on vacay to unlock some urgent geo-restricted content, the free TunnelBear VPN plan can be a perfect choice. On a different note, if you are one of those looking for a permanent solution, you could try one of the premium versions which include The monthly and annual plans billed at $9.99 p/m and $5.00 pm respectively. Compared to the free version, the premium versions sport similar features but vary in time.
On the other hand, NordVPN doesn’t have a free version. However, it features a 3-day free trial, and 30-day money back guarantee on its four plans. For purposes of comparison, the monthly costs of the two VPNs are relatively the same ($5.00 p/m vs. $6.99 p/m for the annual plans). Most people wouldn’t care for an extra $2. But note: NordVPN’s 2-year plan costs $3.99 p/m which tramps TunnelBear’s pricing by far.
Overall, for ‘small-scale’ VPN users, TunnelBear’s free plan is a winner. For those looking for a permanent solution, NordVPN’s 2-year plan is recommended.
NordVPN or TunnelBear – which is safer?
For high-quality VPNs, you expect nothing short of high-end security and encryption from both services. And fortunately, these VPNs don’t disappoint. Despite their superior privacy and security protocols, they do have some differences.
With TunnelBear, users select between IPsec connections and OpenVPN connections. In addition to this, it offers support for up to 5 simultaneous device connections which should be sufficient for most users and has a kill-switch feature. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support P2P and BitTorrent traffic. This is sad news if the sole purpose of getting a VPN is torrenting.
With NordVPN, users also enjoy IPsec, OpenVPN connections and Kill-switch. In addition to these, NordVPN has PPTP and special Double VPN servers that offer an extra security layer. Torrent downloads is also a viable option with NordVPN. More to this, it allows up to 6 simultaneous device connections. Though they are each secure, on many fronts, NordVPN is clearly more reliable than TunnelBear.
Lastly, with regards to customer support, NordVPN offers support via 24/7 Live Chat, Email support, FAQs and Tutorials while TunnelBear only offers a support forum and email ticketing. Here NordVPN stomps TunnelBear.
Without a doubt, TunnelBear is recommended for free use. But on the flip side, NordVPN provides users with a comprehensive package especially with its biennial plan costing $3.99 p/m. Though the features of the two VPN services providers are quite similar.
NordVPN wins courtesy of the following features;
- Servers spread out in 50+ more countries.
- Supports torrenting.
- Cheaper pricing (the $3.99 biennial plan).
- An extra device on simultaneous connection.
- Double VPN encryption.
Overly since the above features are available to you at a lower price point, it only makes sense to declare NordVPN is the winner. But even with that said, TunnelBear remains a perfect choice for those seeking free VPN.
Thank you for reading through our TunnelBear vs NordVPN comparison. For more information on other VPNs, you are welcomed to navigate through to our other pages.