TunnelBear VPN Review 2020

tunnelbear vpn

TunnelBear is a popular VPN known for having a very friendly user interface (UI). Anyone – even those who have not seen a VPN before – would find it easy to use.  It has all the vital functions any VPN should have, such as data privacy, bypassing geo-restrictions, and support for different platforms. The puns on it add comic relief, too, but is it safe? If you’re wondering how good this VPN really is, keep reading this TunnelBear review.

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TunnelBear VPN

Tunnel Bear is a Canada-based VPN provider that sports 900 servers in 20 different countries. While it doesn’t cover as many locations as other VPNs, it still offers adequate security for its price. Tunnel Bear servers also aren’t as lightning fast as those from other VPNs. The lack of speed may be an issue when using Tunnelbear Netflix or when downloading or playing online games.

tunnel bear vpn

Speaking of streaming, TunnelBear Netflix performance is hit-and-miss. It doesn’t work every time, and you may have to do a bit of tweaking.

On the bright side, TunnelBear Netflix boasts a UI that does not intimidate the end-user. You can turn this VPN on and off with just a click on your device. As a result, using TunnelBear Android on your smartphone or TunnelBear VPN Chrome on your computer is not stressful.

TunnelBear Plans and Prices

This VPN has three pricing tiers for one-month, one-year, or two-year subscriptions.  If you compare their pricing with its competitors, you’ll see that it is, in fact, one of the most affordable VPN providers in the world today.

tunnelbear price

Each paid plan supports at most five devices. With TunnelBear Premium, you get unlimited data and the entire selection of servers.

Moreover, there is a TunnelBear free trial too, but you are limited to only 500MB of data per month. It’s a useful way, though, to have a feel for what the VPN is like before deciding to purchase.

Take note that once you do commit, they do not offer a money-back guarantee.

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Summary sheet

FEATURE DESCRIPTION
Servers 900
Countries 20
Headquarters Canada
TunnelBear Free trial Yes
Money-back guarantee None
No-logging policy Yes
Encryption algorithm 256-bit AES
VPN Security Protocols OpenVPN IKEv2 / IPsec
IP / DNS Leak Protection Some leaks detected
Perfect Forward Secrecy No
Kill Switch No
Split Tunneling No
Unblocks Netflix Inconsistent performance for TunnelBear Netflix
P2P (Torrent) Access Yes (but limited)

Using TunnelBear VPN

Netflix

Netflix has strict security measures designed to thwart VPNs. Unfortunately, the Tunnelbear Netflix could not always bypass this, so you may not be able to stream your favourite shows properly. Given its limited number of servers, TunnelBear Netflix may not work in some countries. However, with TunnelBear China sites can be accessed if you go through one of their Hong Kong servers.

Torrent

TunnelBear torrenting doesn’t get a full thumbs-up. The VPN does allow access to P2P file-sharing networks, some torrent downloads are blocked. These kinds of downloads violate Canada’s stringent copyright laws, so only TunnelBear torrenting of ‘legal’ content is possible. Plus, the slower-than-average speeds are disappointing, especially for downloads.

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Is TunnelBear safe?

Encryption and Security Measures

The VPN uses industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption. This is exactly the algorithm that the US military uses, so you can be confident in the security of your data.

This encryption is combined with the OpenVPN protocol, which is another industry standard for VPN providers. There is also the GhostBear protocol, which ‘spoofs’ your data to make it look like it did not come from a VPN. This combination keeps your data and identity as private as possible when you go online. Unfortunately, getting maximum encryption support is possible only with a paid subscription and not on a TunnelBear free trial.

Kill Switch

This VPN has a protocol called VigilantBear, which is a sort of kill switch. It stops traffic whenever you disconnect and reconnect to a network. This way, if your WiFi drops out suddenly, your real IP address and other data will not be exposed.

IP/DNS Leak Protection

Different tests have shown mixed results. Some have shown zero IP and DNS leaks, while others show some evidence of leaking. The latter is a legitimate concern for privacy, as you never want your real IP address to be visible in cyberspace. This feature, however, may not be available on a Tunnelbear free trial. You need a paid subscription.

tunnelbear servers

No Logging Policy

This VPN does not collect data about your activity online. That includes the IP addresses assigned to you per session, the websites you visited, and what you clicked on each site. With that, your VPN-enabled Internet sessions remain secret, even your Tunnelbear Netflix or Tunnelbear torrenting activity.

Windows client

Interface

Tunnel Bear’s interface is as uncomplicated as possible. You could even argue it was made for kids. The only settings you can see on the home screen are the on/off switch and a dropdown menu for server selection. Most of the screen is covered by a map that shows you which server you’re on and what other servers are available.

Settings

How does Tunnelbear work, you ask? You can access the VPN’s settings through a gear icon on the left side of the home screen. It is very minimalist, not showing many advanced settings to tweak. Beginners would find this great, though, as everything is laid out in layman’s terms. Plus, the Tunnelbear extension gives an easy-to-access button on your browser.

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Other applications

This VPN is also compatible with macOS, Android, and iOS. For mobile, you get TunnelBear Android and TunnelBear iPhone, so surfing is not a problem. TunnelBear Android is a nifty app that guarantees the data on your phone or tablet is encrypted.

Using your browser, TunnelBear Netflix binge-watching is within your reach.  TunnelBear VPN Chrome guarantees anonymity from ISPs when you surf the Web.

Customer service

The VPN’s support lines are ticket-based only. They have no live chat. Therefore, you would have to extend more patience when you encounter an issue with the program.

However, they do respond in just a few hours, which is much faster than other ticket-based support lines. The responses are also complete, helpful, and has a personal touch to them.

Conclusion

While Canada is not the best country in terms of privacy protection, TunnelBear still offers sufficient protection for the general Internet user. It is also very affordable, and the UI is designed for ease of use. You can also use the VPN free, but not with the same functionality. Overall, this review shows that this app is great if you’re someone who is not so tech-savvy but is convinced of the need for a VPN.

TunnelBear VPN
7.8 Total Score
TunnelBear VPN

Privacy and Security
9
Features
7
Speed and Performance
8
Value for money
8
Ease of use
7
PROS
  • No logging
  • No leaks
  • Easy to use/ beginner-friendly
  • Simple and uncomplicated design
CONS
  • Not the greatest speeds
  • No Netflix unblocking
  • No live chat
Adam R.

With my expertise in Internet-related topics, I’m trying to make a significant contribution to this site to give back to the community. I have many years of experience concerning Internet and privacy topics. In addition, I’m always up to date and keep the team informed about the latest developments, not only for the protection of privacy but also for legal and regulatory issues.

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