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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 efficacies 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.

FactorsTunnelBearPIA
JurisdictionCanadaUSA
Logging PolicyNo logsNo logs
Pricing$4.99/mo$3.33/mo
Speed5.56 Mbps21.4 Mbps
Server Network22+ servers
22 countries
3,200+ servers
32 Countries
Customer SupportEmail/tutorialsEmail/form based
query submissions
TorrentingSupportedSupported
Netflix UnblockingNot supportedInconsistent
SecurityStrongStrong
WebsiteTunnelBearPIA VPN

Jurisdiction

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.

TunnelBearPIA
Canada
(Five Eyes – Unsafe)
USA
(Five Eyes – Unsafe)

 

Logging Policy

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.

TunnelBearPIA
Does not store personally identifiable informationNo 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.

TunnelBearPIA VPN
Monthly: $9.99/moMonthly: $6.95/mo
6-month: None6-month: $5.99/mo
Yearly: $4.99/moYearly: $3.33/mo

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.

TunnelBearPIA VPN
PayPalPayPal
Credit CardsCredit Cards
BitcoinBitcoin
Does not accept MintMint

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.

 

Speed

Result: PIA is faster than TunnelBear

To test the download speed, a 30 Mbps base connection was used.

TunnelBearPIA
Avg. download: 5.56 MbpsAvg. download: 21.39 Mbps

TunnelBear only managed to reach 5.56 Mbps of download speed which is quite slow. PIA, however, clocked in an average speed of 21.39 Mbps, making it considerably fast.

Based on these stats, PIA is significantly faster than TunnelBear

 

Servers

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.

TunnelBearPIA
22 servers
22 countries
3,300+ servers
32 countries

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.

 

Compatibility

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.

TunnelBearPIA VPN
WindowsWindows
MacMac
AndroidAndroid
iOSiOS
ChromeChrome
FirefoxFirefox
Does not offer apps for RoutersDD-WRT, Tomato, PfSense routers

 

Customer Support

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.

TunnelBearPIA VPN
Knowledgebase/TutorialsKnowledgebase/Tutorials
Email supportEmail support

 

Torrenting

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.

To find safe VPNs, 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.

 

Security Features

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.

TunnelBearPIA VPN
Does not offer ad tracker or malware trackerAd, tracker and malware blocker
Does not offer SOCKS5 proxySOCKS5 Proxy
OpenVPN and IKEv2OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
AES 256 bit encryptionAES 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.

 

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