TunnelBear may sound like a fun game but don’t let the name fool you. TunnelBear VPN is an effective Virtual Private Network (VPN) packed full of valuable features and add-ons. As you will discover reading our TunnelBear review, this provider takes the minimalistic approach in comparison with other VPNs making it one of the easiest VPNs to use.
Another upside to this provider is the excellent price. However, you will receive the biggest discount if you are into longterm relationships and willing to commit for a year.
TunnelBear is also known for its sense of humor, but privacy is no laughing matter with this provider. They absolutely keep no logs of your IP address. However, they do keep only a minimal amount of logs to operate the service, little things like what application you use or data usage all of which have no compromising effect.
TunnelBear Review – Pricing And Plans
TunnelBear provides you with three different payment plans. This is one of the best examples of just how strong the influence of bears is by this provider. To keep with its image, the plans are called:
The Little Bear is a TunnelBear free plan and provides somewhat limited use of 500MB of data per month. However, if you Tweet @theTunnelBear every month you are gifted a whole 1GB more of free data. With the TunnelBear free plan, you can access every server apart from Australia. This means that you will not lose the reach just because you are not paying for the service.
A more comprehensive choice is the Giant Bear package. This monthly package gives unlimited data with a price tag of $9.99 per month.
Though that price is very appealing, the best deal is the Grizzly Bear Plan with a year subscription you pay only $4.99 per month for a total of $59.88 annually. The savings for purchasing annual could be tremendous if your into that kind of things.
Also, keep in mind that there is no money back policy that is usually present in good VPN providers. However, this should not be an issue, especially if you remember that this provider actually offers an entire free package. So, before you commit to the annual package Grizzly Bear package give the free Little Bear option a try.
You can pay for your Giant or Grizzly TunnelBear via bank card, credit card or Bitcoin. Although PayPal is not an option anymore, you can still use the card you have attached to your PayPal for your purchase.
TunnelBear Review – Main Features
TunnelBear is a VPN provider based in Canada, with a variety of features. While the majority are common, a handful of their features are hard to find amongst the competitors. Let’s journey through them together.
TunnelBear gives you access to over 1000 servers in 20 countries. The strategic placement of these servers gives you the ability to conceal your IP address and access content restricted by your geographical location.
You will have access to all 20 server locations if you subscribe to the Giant or Grizzly TunnelBear plans. With the LittleBear option, the only server location not available is Australia.
You can also access TunnelBears network through a variety of platforms like a laptop, tablet, smartphone, desktop, or even a router. An added plus is
TunnelBear offers up to five simultaneous connections, so you can choose to access the network on a number of devices, which is great for a small business or family.
The VigliantBear is TunnelBears versions of a kill switch. It’s an additional feature that most VPNs will offer but not all of them.
This feature is a must if you wish to maintain your privacy.
The kill switch monitors your VPN protection and will cut the connection to the internet if your protection drops. It is a handy safety net to prevent you from unconsciously leaking digital data to your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
P2P File Sharing
TunnelBear doesn’t support P2P file sharing. Therefore, doesn’t matter the plan you buy with TunnelBear, torrenting will not work because Canada has a strict policy against this method of file sharing.
If you are looking for the best VPN for torrenting, TunnelBear is limited in this area.
In order to determine how TunnelBear impacts your internet speed, we have conducted two tests during our TunnelBear review. One is without the VPN, and the other after the activation of TunnelBear.
- Without TunnelBear:
- With TunnelBear:
Obviously, a certain impact on the speed exists, which is perfectly normal and expected. However, the impact is much smaller than what another VPN provider would have done to your connection.
Browsing and streaming performances were almost untouched, even though we had no idea ping would go up so high.
GhostBear, or stealth mode, is another great feature if you want to increase your anonymity and access.
This feature disguises all of the internet traffic made through OpenVPN. Its efficiency is seen in the way it makes your encryption seem like normal internet traffic giving you to key to breaking through large firewalls like China.
When GhostBear is deactivated, your privacy is not exactly compromised. However, your VPN may be detected by anyone monitoring the network. Stealth mode gives you the peace of mind, although it may slightly affect your internet speed.
Privacy And Security
TunnelBear has a no logging policy, and won’t record any of your online activity. However, it will keep your connection logs, but only for a month.
That means that, under the hypothetical situation that the Canadian government demands your data, TunnelBear will only have one month of connection data to offer. This includes the time when you connected, as well as the duration of the connection but not sensitive data like what websites you visited.
Additionally, TunnelBear will also have to give the information you provided when you signed up. However, if you use a burner email address, you are basically invisible.
Therefore, since TunnelBear does not log IP addresses, it is virtually impossible to trace your activity to your identity, especially since TunnelBear has no clue about what you access.
TunnelBear gives you a fresh platform with a built-in TunnelBear Blocker which is their version of advertisement blocking that also works as a chrome extension. They also prohibit the injection of ads in your web traffic and keep your data safe by not selling it to third parties.
This claim is backed up by the conscientious role they play when it comes to your privacy; they are the only VPN provider to have undergone an independent third-party security audit in 2016 and 2017.
When it comes to real digital security, TunnelBear has some of the best protocols for VPNs. It uses several of them, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, and IPsec.
It will also encrypt your data with a strong 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and SHA-256 authentication which is the best one you can find. So, no matter what you are planning to use TunnelBear for, you can put your worries aside knowing that they have you covered.
TunnelBear Review – The Website
TunnelBears website, like their application, is user-friendly especially for those unfamiliar with technical terms. The website is calming, disarming, and friendly. The structure of the website is minimal and clear. The clean design makes navigating a breeze and also proves that this provider knows what it is doing, and who is it addressing.
TunnelBear takes a more relaxed approach by not assuming you are an expert on the subject of VPNs and overloading you with information. On the other hand, there is an abundance of helpful information that can be found by exploring their well-organized FAQ, reading their blogs or even sending a question to customer support.
TunnelBear support is easy to find on the homepage. Simply go to Help on the website’s homepage, and you are there.
Unfortunately, TunnelBear does not have live chat support, but through the ticket or email system you can fill out an online form and receive a response in less than 24 hours. Their staff is friendly, helpful and are known to be a knowledgeable group, which makes waiting for their answers a more bearable experience.
In the FAQ section, you will find an array of questions. They are all specially designed to help you answer anything that might make you scratch your head. There you can also find more details about the TunnelBear service.
How To Set It Up
The process of signing for TunnelBear VPN is simple, another plus for you, the user.
You need an email address and password to set up an account.
After you sign in and download the software for your operating system, you will be prompted to choose your plan. If you plan on subscribing to one of the paid plans, have your credit card, bank card or Bitcoins ready.
Upon entering your email and password, the download will automatically start.
If it doesn’t, then choose the device that you are using from the list of the offered ones.
Start the Setup once it gets downloaded, and then follow the installation process.
Agree to terms and conditions.
Start the installation.
Wait until the installation is finished. While you wait, enjoy the process which is, once again, a bear-related one.
When complete, you can log into the app.
Of course, you will have to go to your email address and verify the account by clicking on the button in the email from TunnelBear.
Next is the app. After going through (or skipping) a few pro tips, you will be free to use your TunnelBear.
As you can see, there are tunnels as server makers in every country that has one.
The majority of them are in Europe, but there are several in Asia, North America, and even one in Brazil.
On the side, you can also find settings for this VPN which you can see here.
Inside, there are multiple other options for you to explore and set as you see fit.
TunnelBear Review – Conclusion
Although TunnelBear is limited when it comes to torrenting, it offers a relatively good free package for those who don’t need massive amounts of data. It may be an option for anyone living under an oppressive government that just needs access to certain websites.
If you want unlimited bandwidth, the paid subscription plans are an economical purchase. Also because TunnelBear offers a kill switch and stealth mode options for these prices, it is a solid provider to consider.