TunnelBear Review 2019
TunnelBear is a cost-effective VPN service available at $4.99/mo price. It offers in 22+ countries worldwide that support Kodi streaming and torrenting too. TunnelBear has received 3.4 stars rating.
TunnelBear is a Canadian VPN provider that offers its services in 22+ countries internationally.
In this TunnelBear review, I came across with different benefits like no logging, multi-logins, torrenting, Kodi, 30 days refund policy, and compatibility.
You can select its freemium to check the performance of TunnelBear hassle-free. Moreover, you can subscribe to your desired pricing plans like monthly, yearly, and team package too.
You will have to pay $9.99, $4.99, and $5.75 to avail such plans accordingly.
I recommend Tunnelbear to protect your digital footprints from unwanted personnel like ISPs and snoopers.
Besides, you can give a quick overview of hundreds of other top VPN reviews if you want to know about VPNs other than TunnelBear.
My Rating Criteria
I have examined TunnelBear VPN on my own created eight (8) steps criteria. These steps are:
- Pricing – How much is TunnelBear exactly?
- Security – Protocols, Encryption & Features
- Jurisdiction – Does it exist in 5 Eyes Country?
- Speed – Below Average Speeds
- Streaming – Does it Support Netflix, Kodi & Torrenting?
- Leaks – IP, DNS & WebRTC Leak Tests
- Trustworthiness – Logging Policy, GDPR Compliance, Audit Report, Support & Trustpilot Reviews
- Compatibility – Supports Different Platforms & Devices
Pricing – How much is TunnelBear exactly?
Tunnelbear delivers reasonable pricing plans to their users.
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.
The best part is that you can upgrade or downgrade your plans at any time.
At present, Tunnelbear delivers four different types of pricing plans to its users. These are:
All these three pricing plans other than free plan allow you to secure your five different devices at a time.
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.
But here’s the kicker:
You can get an extra 1 GB data by simply asking for it via a tweet.
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.
Accepted Payment Methods
Readers of the TunnelBear VPN review will be glad to hear 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 occurred 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.
TunnelBear Refund Policy: (30 Days)
Tunnelbear provides an exclusive 30 days money back guarantee that allows you to check the performance of the service on your preferred devices in detail.
In case you want to discontinue using the service, you can claim within the stipulated time.
Security – Protocols, Encryption & Features
On security front, TunnelBear has covered all its bases appropriately.
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 the protection level of your desired devices significantly.
Personally, I recommend TunnelBear OpenVPN protocol option as it the most secure.
There is no denying TunnelBear VPN is safe to use.
There is no denying TunnelBear offers a multitude of benefits to its users. These are:
This Tunnel Bear VPN review unveils that the service offers a 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: (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.
Auto Tunnel connects the users directly to the location with the lowest pings. This ensures that your data travels through a short distance and in turn, you get the fastest connection possible.
TunnelBear has included another feather in its cap by offering RememBear feature.
In reality, RememBear works like an app that saves users’ passwords. Hence, you do not have to remember your passwords at the time of login.
In addition to the VPN extension, the brand also offers a blocker for Google Chrome.
This tool is not a simple adblocker; it halts many forms of tracking including Email tracking, Ultrasonic tracking and fingerprinting. It also allows you to manage the flash player with more efficiency.
The People’s Republic of China is one of the countries with the 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 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.
As I have already mentioned, they do not offer a live chat, therefore, I contacted them through email to clear the air about TunnelBear China availability.
Their response was detailed one and to the point. The brand uses IPsec/IKEv2 protocol rather than OpenVPN to deceive Great Firewall (GFW) restrictions.
In addition to this, you may avail an exclusive GhostBear feature through TunnelBear settings to secure your privacy within Chinese territory.
However, China is not alone when it comes to implementing various kinds of online censorship on its users. Other countries like the UAE, Russia and Oman also follow the footsteps of China.
That said, you should not lose all your hopes since you can use an obfuscation feature.
Read our detailed guide that describes how you can bypass VPN blocks and why obfuscation feature is crucial.
Jurisdiction – Does it exist in 5 Eyes Country?
Unfortunately, TunnelBear is a Canadian VPN service.
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.
To know about the consequences of choosing a VPN located in five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes territories, read our exclusive guide.
TunnelBear McAfee Connection
In March 2018, TunnelBear was acquired by the cybersecurity giant McAfee. So far, there haven’t been any ramifications of this acquisition.
The VPN continues to be operated from Canada despite being owned by an American firm. Everything else remains the same.
Server Locations: Limited Coverage
The service has a network of VPN servers spread across 20+ countries around the world.
These 22+ countries include the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Hong Kong and much more.
Below is a screenshot of countries with TunnelBear VPN servers.
Speed – Below Average Speeds
TunnelBear delivers below average connection speeds to their users.
While observing all the virtues of the VPN, I kept thinking that this VPN is too good to be true. Alas, my fear was right as the speed tests showed horrific results.
This was my speed before I connected with the VPN.
After I connected to VPN, the speed dropped significantly.
The difference between the two speeds is astonishing. The providers definitely need to look into this matter.
Streaming – Does it Support Netflix, Kodi & Torrenting?
Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t unblock US Netflix media library.
Still, it supports Kodi and allows torrenting too.
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.
Likewise, BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service that is geo-restricted.
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 for Kodi
Kodi or XBMC is the award-winning entertainment platform that offers thousands of popular channels, movies, shows, sports matches and much more.
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.
Is TunnelBear good for Torrenting?
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 the infringing nature of service, torrenting is banned in the majority of nations today. However, various VPN services can ensure safe torrenting.
Previously, TunnelBear did not support torrenting. But, fortunately, this VPN has started supporting P2P activities of users lately.
Therefore, in TunnelBear review, I have no doubt in recommending the service for uTorrent, BitTorrent or any other torrent client.
Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & App File Tests
TunnelBear is a leak-free service.
IP leaks can be detrimental for your online security. They can give away your location, making your VPN virtually useless.
The IP address during the test was same as the one provided to me by the VPN. Hence, I observed no IP leaks whatsoever. On the same note, there was no WebRTC leak during the tests.
All this shows that your location is safe while you’re connected with this VPN.
For more information about IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks, read our VPN leak test guide.
App File Check
I checked TunnelBear Windows file to see if it had any malware or not. It did not expose any virus at all.
Trustworthiness – Logging Policy, GDPR Compliance, Audit Report, Support & Trustpilot Reviews
You may be wondering: Does TunnelBear log data?
The answer is a bit tricky. TunnelBear does not 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 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.
To know more about different types of logging and VPN services’ logging policies, read this dedicated guide.
Fulfills CDT Criteria
TunnelBear is one of the fewest VPNs in the market that fulfill CDT (Center for Democracy and Trust) in the right way.
The provider has offered valuable insights by answering numerous privacy-related questions of CDT accordingly.
Thus, you can judge their stance over transparency to a certain degree.
Complies with GDPR
TunnelBear is one of those VPN services that take its users’ privacy quite seriously.
This is the reason they have complied with all the recommendations of GDPR appropriately.
On the other hand, users are able to know about the data collection procedure and its usage upfront.
Unlike many other VPNs, TunnelBear is extremely forthcoming about its business. This is the reason why the VPN organizes an independent audit of its service by a third party.
One must commend the providers for taking this extra step to bring subscribers into confidence. You can read the 2018 audit report right here.
When I reviewed TunnelBear thoroughly, I did not find its customer support section up to the mark. I was expecting to see live chat feature in their arsenal.
But sadly, this was not the case though.
At present, Tunnel Bear is catering all the queries of their users through an extensive “Help” section.
When you explore the said section thoroughly, you will find various subcategories. These are:
- Getting Started
- Billing & Payments
- TunnelBear for Teams
- Contact Us
This way, you may get the solutions of all your queries such as general, technical and so on.
That said, I was not unable to use live chat feature, as the provider has not added this advantage in their armory yet.
Being a seasoned campaigner in the industry, TunnelBear must provide live chat benefit to their subscribers. By doing so, they can solve the problems of their users instantly.
TunnelBear Trustpilot Reviews
On Trustpilot, this VPN has several critics. Some subscribers are disappointed about the lack of iPlayer support.
Other users praise the efficacy of the VPN but are bothered about the frequent disconnections.
Compatibility – Supports Different Platforms & Devices
In terms of compatibility, TunnelBear supports all the major platforms and devices including Apple TV and Chromecast.
The good news is that Tunnel Bear is fully compatible on all leading internet enabled devices & operating systems. This includes 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.
You can also use your TunnelBear account on Linux and on TV boxes like Apple TV. The TunnelBear Apple TV service allows you to stream the latest movies and show in high quality.
You can also configure the service on Chromecast by following the user-friendly setup guide on the provider’s website. Tunnelbear works with TOR browser as well.
However, you cannot install TunnelBear on your routers.
Hands-on Experience – 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 a few minutes for the whole process to be completed.
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 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 a plethora of option but does allow you to configure the software as per your liking.
Hands-on Experience – Android
As I have explained above, this VPN has a sleek app for Android OS. I used the app myself and my experience was extremely pleasant.
The first time you start 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 a 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 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.
PureVPN vs TunnelBear
If you wish to know the major differences between PureVPN and Tunnelbear, you should read the below-described table:
|Servers||2000+ in 140 Countries||Servers in 22 Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, Android & iOS|
|Logging Policy||Zero Log||Does not keep logs|
|Customer Support||Live & Email Support & Contact Us||Forum & Email Ticketing|
|Trust Pilot Score||9.5||4.0|
Alternatives to TunnelBear
- Avast Secureline VPN Review
- ExpressVPN Review
- Private Internet Access Review
- PureVPN Review
- Windscribe Review
- AVG VPN Review
Do I Recommend TunnelBear?
Yes, I recommend TunnelBear.
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.
TunnelBear offers both freemium and paid plans along with industry standard OpenVPN protocol that uses 256-bit military grade encryption by default.
Still, the speed factor is on the lower side as compared to other VPNs such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Based on the above review, I have given TunnelBear 3.4/5.0 stars rating.
What has been your experience with this VPN? Do you have any queries? Let me know in the comments below.