TunnelBear or Tunnel Bear is a VPN service that knows how to standout. Its distinctive gimmick and top-notch features make it one of a kind VPN service. So bear with me as I inspect this VPN service in this detailed TunnelBear review.
In this review, I am going to evaluate this VPN as per the standards set by the top players of the VPN industry. My review provides a fair chance to all those who promise digital safety.
Therefore, I will examine this VPN with no bias whatsoever. Lastly, I will tell you if this VPN is one of the best VPN on the internet.
- Offers 20+ servers worldwide
- Provides multi-login benefit to users
- Has an exclusive GhostBear feature for subscribers
- Has an impressive 256-bit military grade encryption
- Secures users from DNS leaks issues
- Does not offer a huge list of servers
- Live chat feature is missing in official site
- 500 MB data limit applied on free version
Tunnel Bear Comparison: How it fairs against Competitors
A lot of subscribers wonder how this VPN compare against some of the top dogs of the VPN industry. But, due to complexity of tech-jargons, privacy features, and other service offerings, subscribers went confused.
Thus, in this review, I have created a head to head comparison of this VPN with other mainstream VPN services.
Here’s how TunnelBear is different from other VPN providers:
|Servers||20 Countries||94 Countries||60 Countries||18 Countries|
|Money Back Guarantee||None||30 Days Money Back Guarantee||30 Days Money Back Guarantee||45 Days Money Back Guarantee|
|Protocols||IPSec & OpenVPN||OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, SSTP, PPTP||IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP||OpenVPN, SSL, L2TP|
|Compatibility||Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Routers||Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, Android, iOS, Routers||Mac OSX, Windows, Android, iOS|
|Customer Support||Forum and Email Ticketing||Live Chat, FAQs, Tutorials, Knowledgebase, Email Tickets||Live Chat, E-mail Ticketing||Forums, Email Ticketing|
|Payment Methods||American Express, PayPal and Visa/MasterCard||Credit Card, PayPal, Bitcoin, Paymentwall||Bitcoin, American Express, PayPal, Visa||American Express, PayPal, Visa/MasterCard|
Jurisdiction: The Elephant in the Room
When it comes to this VPN, there is a massive elephant along with a big brown cuddly bear.
The VPN is based in Canada, which so happens to be the member of the much-hated Five Eyes alliance.
Five Eyes is an alliance of five countries, who share intelligence with one another. Therefore, it is better to avoid a VPN based in a Five Eyes country.
Free Service: Online Privacy without Any Cost
While covering the TunnelBear review, I was amazed with the “Little Free”. It is a free version for users who wish to test the service before proceeding with final subscription.
Nevertheless, TunnelBear free plan has some limitations. The TunnelBear free data limit is 500 MB per month.
Since the service is already free, there is no need for you to look up TunnelBear crack. Overall, this service is one of the best free VPN in the market.
Note: checkout the list of 5 Best Free VPN providers 2018.
GhostBear: An Added Feature of Extra Security
This TunnelBear VPN review unveils that the service offers Stealth Mode feature to the subscribers. With the help of this amazing benefit, you can get around the Firewall restrictions in China. The users can avail the feature to secure their online privacy because the service applies the notion of obfsproxy.
Moreover, the said feature allows the users to overcome ISP throttling hassles without much effort.
VigilantBear: A Capable Kill Switch
Using a VPN ensures that your online profile remains anonymous. However, sometimes VPN connections can drop causing data to leak out of the secure tunnel.
To stop that from happening, kill switch acts as a safeguard. They kill your connection to protect your sensitive information.
This VPN has an efficient kill switch by the name of VigilantBear.
Pricing & Plans: Great Value for Your Money
Besides its free service, this VPN offers a monthly package called Giant and a yearly plan called Grizzly. Tunnel bear also offers a Mobile-Only pricing plan along with a Team package.
Best part is that you can upgrade or downgrade your plans at any time.
TunnelBear Little Plan
As I previously mentioned in this TunnelBear VPN review, the service offers a free plan to its users. The subscribers can avail this plan without paying a single penny.
But as with most free VPNs, this plan has bandwidth cap. Regardless, I commend the providers for including this option in their service.
Giant TunnelBear: 1 Month Plan
The Giant TunnelBear plan is the most frequently bought plan. It is available for $9.99 per month.
Unlike the Little plan, this plan gives you permission to use an unlimited amount of data and usage flexibility.
As a bonus, the Giant Plan lets you use your Tunnel Bear account on one Windows/Mac computer system and two additional mobile (Android and/or iOS) devices.
It is straightforward that no offers no discount or any other perks.
Grizzly TunnelBear: 12 Month Plan
The Grizzly plan is the jumbo version of the Giant plan. Available for $59.99, the Grizzly plan provides a whopping 50% discount.
Compare to Giant plan, which comes at $9.99 a month, Grizzly plan only costs $5.00.
The grizzly plan is one of the best VPN package you will find on the internet. It is inexpensive and offers a year’s worth of online privacy.
You can look up TunnelBear coupons for further discount options.
Team Pricing Plan: Online Privacy for Entire Team
In this TunnelBear review, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this VPN provides a team plan. Since most VPNs don’t go this route, I am glad this VPN is taking a chance.
In the team plan, you are required to pay $69 on yearly basis. This package provides:
- Unlimited data
- 5 connections per person
- 20+ Servers
- Easy team billing
- Convenient team management
- Priority support
However, do keep in mind the said pricing applies to the individual users.
Mobile-Only Pricing Plans: For Mobile Privacy
Unlike most traditional VPN service providers, this VPN has special plan for the mobile users.
The Giant and Grizzly plans are designed to ensure VPN protection on one computer and one mobile device simultaneously, but the Mobile-Only plans are specifically for mobile devices (smartphone/tablet users, etc.). Or you can buy a Mobile-Only plan in addition to a regular (Giant or Grizzly) plan in order to secure an additional mobile device!
The Mobile-Only pricing plans are:
- 1 month for $2.99
- 3 month for $7.99 (coming to $2.66 per month)
- 12 month for $29.99 (coming to $2.49 per month)
Accepted Payment Methods: Credit Cards and Bitcoin
In my TunnelBear VPN review, I discovered that this VPN accepts payments from multiple channels. These include VISA, Master Card, American Express and Bitcoin. Until recently, the providers accepted PayPal but they discarded this option due to some technical issues.
Of all these options, many would categorize Bitcoin as the most secure and convenient. This is because a Bitcoin transaction can be occur with both parties remaining completely anonymous.
However, Bitcoin is an unpredictable currency that fluctuates consistently. The service also mentions Jars of Honey but they do not tell where we can send them.
The service does keep any IP logs or records of the websites, services, and applications accessed by its users. The only data it collects is meta-data – which is basically a log of the time duration during which users are connected and the amount of bandwidth utilized.
This data helps the VPN optimize its VPN servers to ensure maximum speed and server performance for its users.
The personal information collected during the account opening process is kept confidential by the provers and is not shared with any third party under any circumstances.
TunnelBear Refund Policy: No Guaranteed Refunds
Unfortunately, Tunnel Bear does not offer any money back guarantee or refund. This is a bummer as most VPN providers give refund option in one way or another.
Although one can accredit this policy to the VPN’s confidence in their service, I still believe users should have the option to attain refunds.
The VPN provides superb speed with top-notch security. However, a money back guarantee if some users complain about TunnelBear not connecting.
Is TunnelBear Safe?
In my TunnelBear review, I examined various users’ reviews of provider and came up with different queries. Many users have asked that is TunnelBear safe? The answer is Yes. Although, provider keeps log of bandwidth usage and timestamps but has clearly stated that it doesn’t share logs with any third parties.
Also, some users have asked about TunnelBear not working on their smartphones and laptops. Therefore, I have created a simple three-step solution that will fix the issue in a matter of seconds. Here’s how to solve TunnelBear not working issue:
- Make sure you’re connected to a working internet connection
- Open your browser, clear cache and restart browser
- Try switching VPN servers
- Finally, access websites with TunnelBear connected. VPN will work fine now
Server Locations: Limited Coverage
The service has a network of VPN servers spread across twenty countries around the world. These twenty countries include US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Hong Kong and much more. Below is a screen shot of countries with TunnelBear VPN servers.
You can connect to any of the Tunnel Bear locations through its custom apps. Once you select the country of your choice, the sophisticated VPN network architecture will connect you to the fastest server available in that region.
Compare to some top VPN providers, this TunnelBear country list is somewhat limited. Regardless, I conclude in this TunnelBear VPN review that the service provides adequate options to unblock geo-restricted content.
Compatibility: Support for All Leading Platforms
The good news is that Tunnel Bear is fully compatible on all leading internet enabled devices & operating systems. This includes total and complete compatibility on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices.
Tunnel Bear has custom software for all of these devices. In addition, the TunnelBear free download service means you do not have to pay a single penny.
Keeping in line with the mission to ensure users’ convenience, all these applications have in-built option to different pricing plans.
In addition to the above mentioned platforms, you can also use your TunnelBear account on Linux and on TV boxes like Apple TV. The TunnelBear Apple TV service allows to stream the latest movies and show in high quality.
You can also configure the service on Chromecast by following the user-friendly set up guide on the provider’s website.
TunnelBear Mac OSX Client: Online Privacy for Mac Users
The VPN offers an elegantly designed client for Mac OSX. The app features a unique interface with handy features placed in sleek manner. In addition, there are two buttons located in main window, where one lets a user choose between VPN servers and other allows to connect and disconnect. In addition, the exchanged data is monitored in the main window of app. Below is a screenshot of TunnelBear Mac OSX app.
TunnelBear Linux Client: No Custom Client but Still Supported
The service has taken lead among other VPN providers in market and offered service on Linux platform. However, in Tunnel Bear review, I discovered that there’s no dedicated application of this VPN available at the moment.
That said, subscribers need to manually configure on their Linux systems. You can find detailed information and step-by-step assistance about the installation on Linux here.
TunnelBear VPN for Windows: User-Friendly Client
The Windows client of this VPN offers a wide range of secure features. After installing the Windows client, subscribers can instantly access Fox Go, HBO Now, Seven Network and more geo-restricted sites from anywhere in the world.
In addition, the service ensures top-grade online protection to Windows users, protecting them against phishers, snoopers, identity thieves and severe cyberthreats.
I used TunnelBear’s Windows 10 service and I was not disappointed.
Tunnel Bear for PC can be downloaded from downloads section of their website.
TunnelBear Chrome Extension: Added Security
Among various offerings of provider that I discovered in TunnelBear review includes a handy Chrome browser extension. The cherry on top is that you can avail TunnelBear free download option even for Chrome.
After equipping yourself with TunnelBear Chrome, you can instantly access tons of geo-blocked websites and social networking platforms from within schools, libraries and other public places.
You can add TunnelBear to Chrome and connect to 20 different countries.
The providers also offer a custom add-on for Chrome. The TunnelBear blocker protects your browser from ads and tracking attempts. It is free and can be integrated with the VPN for an added layer of security.
TunnelBear Firefox Extension: Still Rough around the Edges
The VPN has only just released its extension for Firefox. This extension is still a work in progress. Especially, when compared to Chrome, the Tunnel Bear Firefox extension is somewhat unreliable.
I hope the providers continue to work on this matter and bring us a good Firefox extension in the near future.
Other than Chrome and Firefox, this VPN has a powerful add-on for Opera. This extension is user-friendly and extremely easy to set up. Unfortunately, there is no TunnelBear Safari add-on but as I mentioned before, the VPN can be used on Mac.
TunnelBear VPN Custom Clients: Installation Process on Windows
The TunnelBear Windows 10 client is attractive and can be navigated without any difficulty. It is uncomplicated and gets the job done within without any complex menus or configurations.
The software is easy to install, starts up quickly, and does not require you to go through entire training programs to run it. In fact, the installation process may amuse a lot of users as it is filled with bear puns.
After downloading the TunnelBear client, click ‘I Agree’ on the terms of service of the VPN.
Choose the file destination and click ‘Install‘.
The installation will now begin with the client keeping you entertained with quirky humor. It will hardly take few minute for the whole process to be completed.
Using Tunnel Bear VPN Client on Windows
Once you are finished with the whole installation process, you will end up on the Login screen of the client.
Here, you can Login either wtih a paid account or access the VPN for free.
The client allows you to connect with different server location through its map. You can access servers from 20 different countries by simply clicking on their respective tunnels.
Once you click on a tunnel, the bear will dig through and establish your connection.
The client allows you to toggle between GhostBear, VigilantBear and other security feature. It does not confuse you with plethora of option but does allow you to configure the software as per your liking.
TunnelBear VPN App for Android: Digital Privacy on the Go
Tunnel bear offers an exclusive app for Android devices. In this Tunnel Bear review, I examined the TunnelBear app and discovered that it offers one-click access to thousands of geo-blocked sites and services. With the VPN installed on your Android phone or tablet, you’re secured against unjust ISP monitoring, state surveillance, hackers, intruders and other cyber threats. Also, Wi-Fi protection is an added advantage of using the TunnelBear android app.
The first time you start the the Android app, you will be greeted with a small little form that will let create your very own free VPN account.
You can also log into your pre-existing account if you have already created one through the official TunnelBear website.
Once you have logged in, you will be presented with small Tutorial on how to operate the app.
You can always skip the tutorial if you are a veteran VPN user.
After this, you will can use the map and connect with any of the server provided by the VPN.
Once again, just like the Windows client, the Android app is simple and aesthetic. It allows you to attain digital privacy without putting in any effort at all.
TunnelBear iOS App for iPad/iPhone
The iOS app is one of the best software innovations to have ever been released by this VPN.
The TunnelBear iOS VPN app lets you scroll through well-designed maps to find the VPN server you wish to connect to. The app gives you access to a variety of VPN server located around the world. VPN server locations include popular countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Netherlands.
In addition, the TunnelBear iOS app offers a few very nifty features.
Closest Tunnel Auto-Selection: The app boasts an intelligent feature that lets you connect to the ‘Closest Tunnel’ when you want to encrypt/tunnel your data without any specific geo-restriction concerns. Selecting the ‘Closest Tunnel’ function is a great feature because it guarantees great speeds.
Always On: The app also offers a nifty little ‘Always On’ feature. Activating the ‘Always On’ feature activates your Tunnel Bear iOS app whenever you switch on or unlock your iPhone/iPad. Locking your iOS device sends the app into a suspended state where it has very little data consumption overhead so you never have to worry about battery life or data plan exhaustion. 24/7 online protection!
The TunnelBear iOS app will run on any iOS powered device that is running on iOS 7.0 or later. That means it is fully compatible with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
TunnelBear Kodi – Explore World of Endless Entertainment
With an appealing interface, handy features, and cross-platform availability, Kodi is an exceptional service for nonstop entertainment. However, like every on-demand entertainment services, geo-restrictions apply on streaming of leading channels on Kodi.
To bypass the geo-restrictions, subscribers find this VPN as the safest and fastest solution.
After connecting to the providers, subscribers can freely access Kodi and stream BBC iPlayer, CNBC, ABC, Fox Go, HBO Now, ESPN, and more channels without facing any restrictions.
TunnelBear Torrenting: Does TunnelBear Allow Torrents?
Torrenting or P2P sharing is the most popular file sharing method today. In essence, Torrent offers access to millions of blockbuster-hit shows, movies, games, software and other content.
Due to infringing nature of service, torrenting is banned in majority of nations today. However, various VPN services can ensure safe torrenting.
But, unfortunately, this VPN doesn’t allow torrenting. Large numbers of users have reported degraded bandwidth speed when downloading torrents through this VPN.
Therefore, in TunnelBear review, I don’t recommend the service for uTorrent, BitTorrent or any other torrent client.
For more details, visit my detailed guide on TunnelBear for torrenting.
TunnelBear China: Bypass the Great Firewall Instantly!
People’s Republic of China is one of the countries with most aggressive censorship regulations. The State imposed censorship has banned nearly all leading social networks, search engines and sites. These sites include YouTube, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more.
Many VPN services have been shot down by the DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) mechanism used by the Chinese government.
Fortunately, Tunnel Bear VPN is among services that have stood hard against Chinese censorship.
It has provided Chinese users with an unrestricted access to all blocked sites and services. With TunnelBear client installed on your mobile or laptop you’re all set to bypass the great censorship wall of China.
TunnelBear Security: Robust Protocol with Efficient Protocol
According to my review, the service offers an efficient 256-military grade encryption level that sufficiently improves your privacy.
Interestingly, organizations like Apple and Microsoft implement the same level of encryption to protect their crucial data from online hackers.
TunnelBear offers a comprehensive list of tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, IPsec, and IKEv2. Thus, you can enhance protection level of your desired devices significantly.
Personally, I recommend TunnelBear OpenVPN protocol option as it the most secure.
Speed (DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)
My review discovered that the service does provide fast internet browsing speed. The users are able to watch their preferred content be it movies, TV shows and much more.
Download speed of Tunnel Bear is around 29 Mbit/s on average.In addition; you may find the maximum downloading speed of the VPN to be around 120 Mbit/s.
Furthermore, I was able to test the IP leaks and DNS leaks. Fortunately, I did not find any IP or DNS (Domain Name System) leaks while using this VPN.
Also, I did not find any WebRTC leaks during my TunnelBear test. Unfortunately, I was unable to note the IPv6 leaks test results due to internet connection issue.
Tunnelbear Netflix: Unblocking the Streaming Site
Netflix is a fans’ favorite on-demand entertainment service that has millions of subscribers around the globe.
Fans can stream tons of blockbuster hit movies, shows, documentaries and much more on Netflix. But, surprisingly, Netflix’s offerings vary from region to region and viewers in the United States get the best and most.
Considering the discrimination, viewers from different regions strive to access Netflix US library and find VPN as the safest solution.
But when it comes to Tunnelbear Netflix, the provider sadly doesn’t allow users to bypass Netflix VPN detection mechanism. Thus, I suggest users to choose a true Netflix VPN service, that ensures unrestricted access to Netflix US from anywhere in the world.
My TunnelBear Netflix review was sadly a disappointment but there are other reasons to consider this service.
TunnelBear BCC iPlayer Review: No Compatibility
BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service that is restricted to the United Kingdom. Due to the quality of content available on this service, many users from outside the UK seek to access this service. For this, they use VPN services.
Unfortunately, TunnelBear BBC iPlayer service is not up to mark. You cannot unblock the streaming service with this VPN.
TunnelBear Alternatives: Some other Options
If you do not want to avail TunnelBear for any reason, I have got you covered in this area too. Here is the list of alternatives VPNs you could try.
TunnelBear Twitter Review: Top-Notch Customer Service
In my TunnelBear VPN review, I was particularly impressed by this VPN’s presence on the social media. For instance, the twitter account of this VPN is unlike anything I have ever seen.
With its bear puns and typical witty style, this account keeps the users engaged. It also makes important announcement related to the service.
For instance, to announce TunnelBear Russia, the account used the country’s connection with bears.
Lots of TunnelBear coverage in Russia today, finally a country that understands bears! #russia
— TunnelBear (@theTunnelBear) March 6, 2014
It is also keeping TunnelBear Venezuela users updated after the service faced restrictions in the country.
— TunnelBear (@theTunnelBear) March 13, 2014
While on Twitter, I also found some reviews.
On twitter, some users recommend TunnelBear Australia servers to watch geo-restricted streams.
Vpn mate, use tunnelbear and put Australia as location
— Joe (@cfcjoew) July 23, 2018
Another TunnelBear review for Australia highlighted that free version has some restrictions.
TunnelBear, but I had to get the paid version – free version doesn't work for Australia!
— Kristine (@KristineNYC) April 24, 2017
Consumers on twitter also use TunnelBear UK to access the content limited to the region.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) February 5, 2016
TunnelBear Reddit Reviews: VPN on the Popular Forum
Reddit is one of the mainstream platforms for socializing, discussions, debates and sharing graphical and textual media.
The forum has over 543 million monthly visitors, who actively submit, comment, upvote and downvote threads. Therefore, in this review, I surveyed Reddit to discover the most unbiased and impartial reviews about provider.
Below is how Redditors have found Tunnel Bear as a VPN service:
A Redditor has expressed his concern about using this VPN for torrent downloading. Interestingly, The VPN has itself stated that it doesn’t support torrenting or P2P file sharing activities.
That said, it is clear that provider should not be optioned for torrenting activities, else a user can face copyright infringement notices.
A users has inquired on reddit about using Tunnel Bear in China. Interestingly, the VPN is entirely functional in Peoples Republic of China.
But when Chinese government started imposed VPN detection and blocking, some users faced issues in using the VPN service on mobile devices and Mac OSX.
However, at present, the VPN is working fine on mobile, laptop, tablets, Mac OSX and more devices.
Interestingly, a Reddit user suggested that the users could opt the service for the torrenting purpose. When they want to visit the torrenting site of their choice, they can turn on this VPN.
Thus, you can explore your required stuff from the site and turn off the service after obtaining your objective.
This TunnelBear review on reddit reveals that many customers are satisfied with this VPN.
Some users are concerned their data will be stored on TunnelBear Australia server.
Overall, my TunnelBear reddit showed that this VPN has both loyal users and critics on the forum.
You can also find VPN ratings as per cNet and to better make your choice toward a service.
A short TunnelBear Australia review shows that customer is unhappy with the service.
On the popular reviewing site Trustpilot, a TunnelBear Review for UK servers has several complaints.
Writing this TunnelBear review was an enjoyable experience. The cute little bear is very well designed and is a sight for sore eyes. It never freezes and gives 100% up-time.
The pricing structure offers great value for money, and the server spread is perfect for internet users on the lookout for a VPN for personal and private use.
It does not matter if this is your first time using or VPN, or if you are a social media fanatic tired from the quest of searching for a VPN you can rely on, Tunnel Bear has your back.
What has been your experience with this VPN? Do you have any queries? Let me know in the comments below.