TunnelBear VPN Review
TunnelBear is a trustworthy and secure VPN. When it started in 2011, TunnelBear was owned by TunnelBear Inc. However, in the year 2018, the management of the service was sold to McAfee, one of the largest cybersecurity companies in the U.S. Though it’s now owned by a U.S company, it’s still based in Toronto Canada. In comparison to other VPNs, TunnelBear is a relatively small VPN service. But despite its size, it enjoys a mass following courtesy of its free VPN service and affordable premium packages.
And here’s the thing; TunnelBear’s free plan is probably the best available. Complementing its free plan is a cute bear theme on its apps. But don’t let the cute bear theme fool you. The features the VPN features are as fierce as grizzly bears.
TunnelBear Features & Specs
TunnelBear is not a large VPN company. But it’s not small either. It boasts of over 900 servers spread across 20 countries. The VPN app supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, it features browser plugins for Chrome and Opera. The setup of this client is easy, as the developers made a conscious decision of leaving out the technical jargon involved in app and plugin installations. With its free plan, you’re limited to only 500MB of bandwidth every month (but more on this later on).
The TunnelBear app is intuitive and super responsive. Once the app is launched, you are presented with a vibrant map showing all the tunnels in the world. A cute bear serves as your dedicated guide to your current VPN server location. Moreover, the interface is stunning and simple. Beginners won’t have a problem finding their way around. Once you get started, you’ll get the hang of it in less than a day.
Overall, TunnelBear is more of a mid-range VPN in terms of performance and speed. When connected to servers in the UK, our speed tests displayed an average of 89% of the normal connection speeds. However, routing to Netherlands servers, the speeds dropped to 44%, which is actually lower than the 47% average we are used to when connecting through U.S servers.
It’s also worth noting that TunnelBear doesn’t give you the choice of which servers to connect to. This can have a negative impact on the speeds. With that said, practically, TunnelBear’s speeds are fast enough to provide a great experience with most applications.
Ease of Use
TunnelBear has made it its mission to make its app easy to use for beginners and pros as well. And honestly, they truly have nailed this mission. The apps are easy to use and simple. Sure it does not provide advanced settings (not like those of ExpressVPN and other high-end VPNs), but if you are just after encrypted browsing, it makes the process of going anonymous much easier.
By default, the app displays the basics including the tunnel the data is sent through, where you are and your VPN IP address. The app has additional settings to explore. However, if you don’t want all the tech ‘complications’, you can enjoy the clean and simple interface. The browser extensions also feature the same simple and easy interface.
TunnelBear features a Help Page located in its small menu. The page contains information regarding ‘Getting Started,’ ‘Status Update’ Browser Extension Help,’ ‘Accounts and Payments,’ iOS App Help,’ ‘Android App Help,’ ‘Windows App Help,’ and ‘Mac OS X App Help.’ You can find the articles fast using the search button.
In case you don’t find a solution to your problem on the help page, you can contact TunnelBear’s support directly. Note that the VPN doesn’t feature live chat support. As such, you’ll have to settle for their contact form. The customer support is friendly and typically gets back to your queries within 24 hours. The answers and solutions provided are clear and straightforward.
Is TunnelBear safe? Privacy and Encryption
Here is how TunnelBear ensures your safety; the VPN makes use of two protocols namely: IPsec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Android, Mac and Windows users are protected by OpenVPN that is strengthened by the SHA256 authentication and AES 256-bit encryption. On the other hand, iOS 9 users are protected with IPsec/IKEv2 with SHA256 authentication and AES 256-bit encryption. Those using earlier versions of iOS are protected by IPsec protocols with SA1 authentication and 128-bit encryption.
Besides the strong encryptions and safety protocols, TunnelBear also actively prevents trackers from blocking the connection. To safeguard your privacy, TunnelBear has a strict zero-logging policy. Additionally, it accepts payment in Bitcoin which adds to your anonymity.
TunnelBear VPN Prices and Packages
Tunnel offers three pricing categories. These include the free, Giant, and Grizzly plans. With the free plan, users are provided with 500 MB of free data every month. In addition to this, you earn a whopping 1 GB when you tweet about TunnelBear.
This free plan is one of the best there is. However, with the TunnelBear VPN free plan, the number of servers and countries you have access to are limited.
The Giant plan costs $9.99 a month. Users pay for this plan on a monthly basis.
The Grizzly plan is cheaper compared to the Giant plan. It costs only $5.00 a month. However, you have to pay $59.99 to cater for 12 months.
With all packages, you enjoy full online protection. TunnelBear accepts using Bitcoin, PayPal, and other main credit cards.
And there you have it – a comprehensive TunnelBear review. TunnelBear VPN is a great VPN service considering its security and price plans. The internet is full of positive TunnelBear VPN reviews. However, there are definitely a few things that it could improve on. Today, there is an increasing demand for VPN services that provide dedicated support to unblocking streaming sites including Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix US. Also, VPNs that support torrenting are on high demand.
TunnelBear’s additions of these features could very well skyrocket it to the top of the food chain. But judging with the service quality and support it offers, TunnelBear VPN download will continue to rise through the ranks. That said, irrespective of whether you are looking for a paid or free plan, TunnelBear is a solid choice. It is fast, secure and has an affordable price tag.
Pros and Cons
- Has a free version
- Has a zero-logging policy
- Wide Range of security and Privacy features
- Supports 5 simultaneous device connections
- Doesn’t support torrents
- Only has email support