TunnelBear is a company that provides a secure and reliable virtual private network (VPN). The service is jam-packed with various features and provides software options compatible with all platforms. TunnelBear VPN keeps connection secure and minimally invasive: there are practically no logs about the users.
This service will be suitable for those who:
- Want a secure access without compromising their data and communication. Being a very reliable VPN, TunnelBear does not disclose real user’s IP address and the history of requests. You can be sure that your communication details and browser searching will be 100% safe and secure.
- Need access to websites that are blocked on their region/country, or by their provider. With the help of TunnelBear VPN, you can select one of many available servers so that the visited websites supposed you’re accessing them from a location different from your real one.
Average rating of TunnelBear in independent charts is about 4.2 out of 5. Generally, users are satisfied with the level of service provided, and the vast majority of TunnelBear reviews prove that this is a pretty safe and reliable virtual private network. This company puts focus on data security and agreeable prices and is often praised by beginners.
Pros and Cons
To make our TunnelBear review complete, let’s outline its advantages and drawbacks.
- Excellent price, especially if you order the service for a year
- Free 7-day trial as well as a free package provided
- Simple in use
- Excellent connection speed (the 5th fastest VPN service in the world)
- A huge number of agents provided: TunnelBear Chrome and Opera extensions, Windows, Android, iOS agents, and so on
- You cannot use TunnelBear for torrenting, it doesn’t work with US Netflix – the servers are based in Canada
- Not many servers provided – about 20
- Not so many settings and options compared to other providers
- The long-distance connection can make loading slow
- No Mozilla extension so far
Does TunnelBear keep logs? No, and it’s the best thing about this service. It does not obtain the following information:
- IP addresses when a user accesses websites;
- IP addresses used for service connection;
- DNS queries;
- The data connected with applications, services, and websites exploited by users when they connect to the service.
Expert’s TunnelBear VPN review
The VPN service of the company was tested as a Windows-based software suite and as a Chrome extension. As soon as you register and download TunnelBear (or install the extension for your browser), you can connect up to five devices simultaneously. The vast majority of VPN providers offer support of five devices on basic plans, but some leading companies support 6-7 devices by default.
When using TunnelBear on Windows, you can face some bugs and slow work of the application: if you’re not a tech-savvy user, you may need to make several attempts to establish a connection with the server. If the application gets frozen, you will need to restart Windows to connect to the Internet again.
Here comes another problem. What if you can’t figure the things out on your own and need help? The technical support can be contacted via the email by sending a filled in form. As soon as you write a letter to the tech support department, they’ll have about 24 hours to reply. As a rule, it takes up to 6 hours to have your questions answered. There’s no live chat on the official website, and though you can subscribe to the provider in social networks, it doesn’t mean they will help you on these platforms.
Is TunnelBear good from the point of servers provided? In fact, the provider has only 22 server locations spread over the world – that doesn’t impress, does it? For record: other leading providers, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, operate about 200 servers in almost any country of the world each. However, according to the most recent information, now the system has expanded exponentially, and the company owns over 1,000 servers – most likely, they’ll cover new regions soon. That would make them highly competitive. When you use the VPN, there’s no downtime and no technical issues – the team maintains servers perfectly.
What about TunnelBear torrenting and Netflix? Until recently, the provider didn’t allow for P2P file sharing or BitTorrenting. The terms and conditions still note that you should not use the VPN for illegal activity (in this case, you violate the copyright law). Therefore, you can simply surf the Net with the solution – TunnelBear Torrent loading is impossible. Instead, get torrents with TorGuard that implements static IP addresses and other useful technologies for BitTorrent users. TunnelBear Netflix service isn’t available, as well: the US servers are blocked.
You can use TunnelBear Mac, Windows, Linux and other suites – it offers various clients. Besides, TunnelBear Chrome extension and Opera plugin can be installed on your browser. Unfortunately, there’s no Mozilla extension – probably, it will be introduced a bit later. With VPN browser plugins, you ensure only the protection of your browser – other applications are not protected.
Safety and Encryption
- user’s email address;
- only first name;
- the amount of data transferred monthly;
- OS version of the device (which is actually convenient, because the provider knows which type of agent you need and can send notifications about updates).
All of that doesn’t put you in serious privacy risk. What’s interesting is the data that is NOT collected: records of which services and websites you access, session data logs (IP addresses used). What about SLA? Here, the provider is being fair by claiming: ‘Sometimes things break. We do our best’, and the document is short and simple. Generally, the conditions of use are acceptable, and even with a significant consumption of bandwidth, you’re unlikely to face any issues.
TunnelBear APK consists of several protection protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec) and is protected by AES 256-bit encryption. These are the most powerful security options today.
Pricing plans and payment methods
The TunnelBear download process is started after you select and pay for a certain package. The pricing policy isn’t the best one, but agreeable. First, you can order a free 7-day trial. Secondly, there’s a free plan which includes 500 Mb of monthly bandwidth. If you need more bandwidth, opt for the Giant plan worth $9.99/month (sometimes it costs about $5-6 when the company launches discounts), or the Grizzly plan for $59.88 per year – the most cost-efficient solution. This pricing is below average, while the quality of service is excellent.
You can pay for TunnelBear extension or software by a credit card (most major brands are accepted), or by BitCoin transactions. If you’re a starter and want to figure out what is what in VPNs, TunnelBear free package will be exactly what you need. The only thing you should remember is that software doesn’t have money-back guarantee because this way people start using it for free.
Here and there, you can find a TunnelBear review mentioning lack of customer support options. If you need assistance, you can visit the Help page (the link is at the bottom of pages) – there are several sections like ‘Windows App Help’, ‘Android App Help’, and so on.
However, if you cannot find the answers to your questions on the help page, you have to contact the team directly. They don’t have live chat – you can only use the online contact form. The replies are usually sent within 6 hours to your email, but some users claim they have to wait for 24 hours. Generally, the team is user-friendly and eager to help clients.
How to use and Installing
How to use TunnelBear? The process is quite simple. You need to visit the official website and register: some minimal personal information will be required, including your name, email and a few more credentials. Select the plan (free, monthly, or annual) and pay for it.
After that, you need to download the corresponding agent for the platform you need. The setup process takes 5 minutes and is a no-brainer: you will be shown the steps. As soon as the software is installed, you can log in with your email and password. Then the software will quickly explain you the features and abilities of the platform. Don’t forget to check your inbox for account confirmation email. When the account is verified, you can start using your VPN.
Now you need to select the server location: choose one of 22 servers available according to where preferable websites are hosted. Additionally, you can change the settings. To boost security, you may activate VigilantBear – the in-built kill-switch, or GhostBear – double VPN that adds a new security level to your data (the encrypted data is less visible for Internet providers).
The bottom line
In this TunnelBear VPN review, we’ve observed the basic features and peculiarities of the service. The company puts focus on quality rather than quantity. Although there are not so many server locations available, the network is functioning quickly, and the risk of data compromising and downtime is minimal. Unfortunately, the provider lacks a few important features, for instance, if you compare TunnelBear vs Pia, the last provides access to Torrents which makes it a bit more convenient for everyday use.
Let’s face the truth: it’s not a perfect product. TunnelBear clearly lacks the locations of servers, as well as some extra features for advanced users. From the speed standpoint, it shows average values – again, the location of servers is what makes up for a huge distance for data traveling and, as the result, high latency. The strong side of this VPN is the security: you can be sure your data won’t be leaked. IP tests prove that the service really hides your actual IP address.
All in all, program is a perfect choice for those who need VPN for simple browsing and communication. If you’re going to download torrents, visit some UK websites, and watch Netflix streams, you should definitely search for an alternative solution. Thanks to its stylish and minimalistic interface design, as well as fair pricing policy, this VPN service can be recommended to beginners.