Digital privacy is talk of the town. Due to the recent controversies and data scandals, more and more users are realizing the dangers present on the web.
However, there is little knowledge among the masses about the efficacy of different VPN services.
This is why; it is important to keep the netizens informed about different digital privacy providers.
My TunnelBear vs PIA review aims to educate the users on the strengths and limitations of these services. You should also check this VPN chart where I have provided comparisons of more than 60 providers.
PIA vs Tunnelbear: Head to Head
PIA is the winner!
I concluded that PIA VPN is the winner because it outweighed Tunnelbear in these areas:
- Price: $3.33/month
- Fast Speed: 21.4 Mbps
- Server Network and Countries: 3,200+ servers in 32 countries
- Refund Policy: 7 days
Here is the summary of comparison between Tunnelbear and PIA VPN.
|Logging Policy||No logs||No logs|
|Speed||5.56 Mbps||21.4 Mbps|
|Server Network||22+ servers|
|Customer Support||Email/tutorials||Email/form based|
|Netflix Unblocking||Not supported||Inconsistent|
Result: Both providers are located in Five Eyes countries
TunnelBear is a Canada based while Private Internet Access (PIA) is based in its neighboring USA.
Both countries are the part of the five eyes, which is an alliance of five countries that spy on their citizens and share their information among each other.
Therefore, both providers cannot guarantee that they won’t have to hand over your data to agencies, if asked for it.
Result: TunnelBear has better logging policy
TunnelBear does not keep a log of user traffic, IP address, or DNS requests. It isn’t perfectly clear, however, if they keep other logs such as timestamps.
PIA has a vague logging policy and there’s no clear, unambiguous information about what type of logs, if any, they store. For this reason, TunnelBear has the better logging policy with clearer transparency.
|Does not store personally identifiable information||No traffic logs, but overall policy is vague|
Pricing, Payment, and Refund Policy
Result: PIA is 33.26% cheaper than TunnelBear
TunnelBear can be categorized as a cheap VPN. It is available for $4.99/month through its annual package. In addition, you can avail this service free of cost, but with a 500 MB/month bandwidth limit.
However, PIA bests TunnelBear as a cheaper VPN with the price of $3.33/month on its annual package.
|Monthly: $5.75/mo||Monthly: $6.95/mo|
|6-month: None||6-month: $5.99/mo|
|Yearly: $4.99/mo||Yearly: $3.33/mo|
|Get Tunnelbear||Get PIA|
TunnelBear allows multiple methods of payment. Most notably, it allows anonymous payments through the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
In comparison, PIA accepts payment through numerous ways. It accepts way more anonymous and non-anonymous payments than TunnelBear.
|Credit Cards||Credit Cards|
|Does not accept Mint||Mint|
PIA offers 7-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans. TunnelBear does not have a refund policy, however, their free plan makes up for that.
Result: PIA is faster than TunnelBear
To test the download speed, a 30 Mbps base connection was used.
|Avg. download: 5.56 Mbps||Avg. download: 21.4 Mbps|
TunnelBear only managed to reach 5.56 Mbps of download speed which is quite slow. PIA, however, clocked in an average speed of 21.4 Mbps, making it considerably fast.
Based on these stats, PIA is significantly faster than TunnelBear
Result: PIA has 3,300+ servers as compared to TunnelBear’s 22 servers
Extensive sever coverage is essential for VPN service. This is because many of us utilize VPN for bypassing geo-blocked content.
TunnelBear provides 22 servers in an equal number of countries. This makes the server network one of the smallest in the whole VPN industry.
Comparatively, PIA has 3,300+ servers in 32 countries.
Suffice to say, TunnelBear vs PIA comparison for servers is not even a competition. PIA is a clear winner here.
Result: Both providers are compatible with multiple platforms
Both TunnelBear and PIA VPN are compatible with common popular devices and operating systems. However, PIA is compatible with routers and TunnelBear does not provide such convenience, as shown in the following TunnelBear vs PIA VPN review table for compatibility.
|Does not offer apps for Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, PfSense routers|
Result: Both providers lack live chat support which is disappointing
A good customer support goes a long way in providing a good VPN experience. This is because VPN users require help in variety of things. Sometimes they need assistance in configuring a service while on other instances they have general queries.
The TunnelBear vs PIA match for the customer support can be declared as a draw. Both services provide somewhat similar support options to the customers, but not in an ideal way as there is no live chat support.
This is a little disappointing.
|Email support||Email support|
Result: Both providers lack live chat support which is disappointing
Torrents and other P2P applications provide a convenient way of sharing content. However, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Torrenting seems harmless but it can be detrimental for your online security.
While torrenting, your IP address is exposed to numerous strangers. Moreover, as you may know, that is not a good thing.
Since TunnelBear and PIA are both located in countries with strict anti-piracy laws, these VPNs discourage torrenting. As such, you can’t rely on these services if you want to safely download torrents.
Also check out our article on best VPN for torrenting.
Netflix Unblocking: TunnelBear vs PIA VPN
Result: Both VPNs are blocked by Netflix
Netflix has recently become extremely strict against VPNs, blocking many of these services. Unfortunately, PIA and TunnelBear no longer work with Netflix, so if you’re looking to stream your favorite shows on a region of your choice, these VPNs aren’t cut out for this purpose
For more information about the ability of different VPNs to work with Netflix, see our article on Netflix VPN.
Result: PIA offers better security features than TunnelBear
The core function of a VPN is to protect the users from digital threats. This cannot be achieved without an effective combination of potent security tools.
To secure their users from online ghouls, both TunnelBear and PIA offer several unique features.
|Does not offer ad tracker or malware tracker||Ad, tracker and malware blocker|
|Does not offer SOCKS5 proxy||SOCKS5 Proxy|
|OpenVPN and IKEv2||OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec|
|AES 256 bit encryption||AES 256 bit encryption|
The above information shows that PIA has more tools in the box to safeguard your online activity. With more protocol options and a malware blocker, PIA has the means to defend you on the mean streets of the internet.
PIA vs TunnelBear: Conclusion
With more servers, additional protocols and better compatibility, PIA has a clear edge over TunnelBear. Hence, this TunnelBear vs PIA review concludes that the latter is much more capable than the former.
However, TunnelBear can be useful if you’re looking for a free VPN and aren’t bothered by the small bandwidth limit.