TunnelBear review

December 2017
quote
TunnelBear is a great VPN service provider with strong encryption and a no-logs policy, but definitely has room for improvements.
quote
Overall score
7.0
Rating #7 of 81
Highlights
  • Has its own personality
  • Offers advanced features
  • A free plan available
Best for:
privacy
Gaming
privacy
Sports
privacy
Pandora
privacy
Hiding IP
Supports:
privacy
Roku
privacy
Kodi
privacy
Hulu
privacy
HBO

TunnelBear Ratings

6.9
privacy
Privacy
7.3
speed-performance
Speed & Performance
7.2
apps
Apps
6.8
server
Servers
7.1
support
Support
6.9
Value for Money
Overall score

7.0

General overview

TunnelBear is a VPN provider based in Toronto, Canada founded in 2011. It is attractive and stylish, has its own personality and is really easy to use and understand. While TunnelBear VPN has good encryption and a decent number of servers, it has mediocre speed and no support for P2P, which might be a big disadvantage to some users.

TunnelBear general highlights:

Overall Rank
#7
Money-back guarantee
-
Setup time
8 min.
Device count per license
5
Mobile apps
iOS & Android
Best price
$4.99/month
Overview - conclusion
TunnelBear is a fun-looking provider that has its advantages.
Privacy
6.9

TunnelBear VPN states in their privacy policy that they do not store IP addresses or any other online activity data. However, you cannot use this VPN service for P2P activity or BitTorrent as they do not support the features at all. It is stated in the privacy policy that by using TunnelBear VPN services, you allow the provider to use your information. Canada belongs to the Five Eyes group that collects, analyzes and shares data between the alliance countries (UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia).

Also, if you want more information on what data is kept and why, their policy privacy has it covered. TunnelBear VPN supports OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEVv2 protocols and 256-bit AES encryption, which is an extremely strong one.

Privacy - highlights
  • Strong encryption
  • No P2P support
Privacy - Conclusions
TunnelBear has stron encryption, but does not have the best Privacy Policy.
Features
7.3

TunnelBear VPN is easy to install and use - only a registration is needed. As soon as you register, TunnelBear can be downloaded instantly. When turned on, you will automatically connect to a random server, but the auto connect option can be easily changed any time. TunnelBear offers a network of servers in up to 20 countries, but not all of them are available to free users. TunnelBear has a few really neat features - IntelliBear lets you blacklist or whitelist certain websites and GhostBear is an interesting special feature that makes your data less detectable, be it to governments, businesses or others. GhostBear makes you harder to detect by scrambling your communications, but its drawback is that it slows down your internet connection.

There’s also a kill switch (Vigilant Mode) that disconnects you from the internet if TunnelBear’s connection is disrupted, the kill switch blocks unsecure traffic until you are reconnected. Though in their website TunnelBear promises lightning speed, it is average at best. No matter what server you use, the speed is pretty mediocre and using certain features can slow it down even more. You can use up to 5 devices simultaneously with TunnelBear which isn’t a frequently offered feature by other VPN providers.

Features - highlights
  • Blacklist/whitelist feature
  • Scramble feature
  • Mediocre speed
Features - Conclusions
TunnelBear has some very neat advanced features.
Apps
7.2

TunnelBear is available on Windows, Mac, Android, as well as iOS devices. There’s also a browser extension for Opera and Chrome. But have in mind that while using the browser extension, only your browser data is run through the VPN, other apps and programs are not affected. The browser extension is multi-platform, while the desktop client isn’t compatible with Linux.

Apps - highlights
  • Has a browser extension
Apps - Conclusions
TunnelBear is available on all major platforms and also has browser extensions for Chrome and Opera.
Support
7.1

TunnelBear VPN has a Help page that consists of numerous articles about payments, getting started, app help and more. It’s easy to navigate as you can search for particular keywords if you’re not sure where to find a needed article. But there is only one way to contact the company - filling out a contact form with a question you want to ask. It is a bit of a letdown that there is no live chat and that there’s only one way to get in touch with the company directly.

Support - highlights
  • No live chat
Support - Conclusions
There is no live chat, but a Help page has numerous articles.
Value for money
6.9

TunnelBear VPN has three pricing plans - Little, Giant and Grizzly. The Little plan is a free version, but it’s a limited one (500MB of data every month). You can earn free data if you tweet about the company - your limit can be raised to 1GB per month. It’s a great idea because the company is promoted and the user gets more free data. Giant and Grizzly plans have unlimited bandwidth and offer a full set of features including all available server locations.

TunnelBear accepts MasterCard, American Express, Visa and also BitCoin if you want your transactions to stay fully anonymous. In their terms of service it is clearly stated that they do not offer financial reimbursement.

Value for money - highlights
  • You can earn free data
  • No refunds
Value for money - Conclusions
The pricing plans are attractive, but TunnelBear does not provide refunds.
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