PureVPN vs TunnelBear VPN Comparison: Security, Privacy, Pricing & More – 2022
TunnelBear VPN has a lot of free features, but even its paid version does not offer much value when compared to PureVPN. Get a clear view in this PureVPN vs TunnelBear comparison.
With the paid TunnelBear VPN, you get access to excellent security features, such as an efficient kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, and double VPN. But PureVPN’s customer support, server coverage, and connection speeds make it a better choice overall. TunnelBear is equipped with some impressive features that some may find useful.
I’ve come up with a side-by-side PureVPN and TunnelBear comparison to let you see the weaknesses and strengths of each VPN. Read on to determine, which is better PureVPN or TunnelBear?
PureVPN vs TunnelBear: Quick Overview 2022
Short on time? Here are some worth-knowing features of PureVPN and TunnelBear:
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||Canada|
|Current Offer||82% off for 24+3 months free||Unlimited security for $3.33/mo|
|Subscription Packages Start From||$1.99/mo||$3.33/mo|
|Money-Back Guarantee||31 days||30 days|
|Simultaneous Device Connections||10||5|
|Platform Compatibility||Dedicated apps for all major platforms||Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices|
|Logging Policy||Audited no-logs policy||No logs|
|Servers||6500+ servers in 78 countries||Servers across 48 countries|
|VPN Protocols||Supports WireGuard, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2|
|Streaming||HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix||HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime|
|Torrenting||Supported||Supports torrenting on most servers|
|Customer Support||Decent customer support||Email support|
PureVPN vs Tunnel Bear – Which is the Best One in 2022? 10 Factors!
I’ve judged PureVPN and TunnelBear against the following criteria:
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Prices and Discounts
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Important Features Comparison
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Netflix & Unblocking Other Streaming Capabilities
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Setup and User Interface
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Servers
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Security
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Logging and Privacy
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Configuration
- PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Customer Service
- PureVPN vs Tunnel Bear – Device Compatibility
1. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Prices and Discounts
When choosing a VPN, it is crucial to check the subscription plans offered by the VPN. Currently, PureVPN offers three subscription plans: 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year. TunnelBear offers a free plan and two other paid plans.
For PureVPN, the lowest pricing plans start from $1.99/mo for a 24 + 3 months subscription. On the other hand, TunnelBear comes with a free plan that comes with a 500 MB data cap. TunnelBear also has two other plans Unlimited ($3.33/mo) and Teams ($5.75/mo).
As per my testing, PureVPN and TunnelBear are fairly priced considering what they offer to the subscribers. However, TunnelBear wins this round for offering a freemium pricing model unlike PureVPN.
PureVPN Special Offer: 82% off on a 2-year plan (24+3 months free)
|Highest price per month||$10.95||$5.75|
|Lowest price per month||$1.99||Free|
|One-Year Price||$38.95 (70% discount)||$59.88 (50% discount)|
Mode of Payment
When it comes to modes of payment, PureVPN accepts several modes of payment including anonymous payment methods. You’ll not find this broad range of options with TunnelBear, however, it does accept payments made via Bitcoin.
Money Back Guarantee
As far as money-back policies are concerned, PureVPN offers a 31-day refund guarantee. Meanwhile, TunnelBear used to offer a 30-day refund, but it no longer offers the feature. PureVPN free trial is not absolutely free, users have to pay a minimal cost of $0.99 for a 7-day PureVPN free trial. Therefore, the only way to access PureVPN free is its 31-day money-back guarantee.
Winner in Prices and Discounts
TunnelBear wins this round of prices and discounts because it offers a free version to users. You can upgrade to a premium plan by becoming a paying subscriber. As per my analysis, the subscription plans are flexible and competitive for PureVPN and TunnelBear.
If modes of payment is a concern, then TunnelBear’s options might be feel too limited. Other than this, the free version might tempt you as a user.
2. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Important Features Comparison
|Operating System Apps||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV||Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices|
|Manual Install Devices||Linux, Routers, Set Top Boxes||None|
|Split Tunneling||Yes (All Apps)||SplitBear (iOS and Android)|
|Free Extras||Official Kodi add-on, ad-blocker, malware-scanner, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox||Offers free 500MB with free plan|
PureVPN gains an upper hand over TunnelBear in terms of features. It stands as an innovator and influencer, thanks to its many advanced technologies for security and privacy.
Not to mention, you have apps available for every platform/device, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVs, and even an add-on for Kodi.
TunnelBear also offers the compatibility of the same app, excluding a dedicated add-on for Kodi. At the same time, it lacks many useful features available with PureVPN that are necessary for VPN users. Although, you get access to features like VigilantBear (kill switch), SplitBear (split tunneling feature), and a GhostBear feature that grants more security.
As compared to these minimal features, PureVPN offers dedicated IPs, ad/tracker blockers, malware scanners, NAT firewall, and a myriad of other technologies to boost your security and privacy.
Winner in Features Comparison
PureVPN is a clear winner in terms of features because it is backed by exceptional features that are not available in TunnelBear.
3. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Netflix & Unblocking Other Streaming Capabilities
Since TunnelBear is famed among “freebies”, I did not expect much in the way of unblocking streaming platforms. My assumptions proved true, after testing their free and premium version on different sites.
The VPN failed on unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Voot, Hotstar, Disney Plus, and other popular sites. As such, it may not be the best option for users, who want a VPN for streaming. TunnelBear Netflix was especially a big no for me as a binge-watcher.
PureVPN, on the other hand, defied all odds to deliver excellent unblocking capabilities. The VPN uses strong obfuscation technologies for bypassing geo-restrictions around the world.
Testing it on different streaming platforms revealed that the provider faced no issues in unblocking popular services on all of its apps, thus it’s one of the best streaming VPNs. These include their “browser extensions” too.
Not many providers can claim they can unblock VoDs like Netflix through a Chrome or Mozilla extension. However, PureVPN makes this possible, giving it an edge over other providers.
It also gives users a “popular websites” option across all devices that lists all famous streaming sites. Simply click on the channel you want to unblock and get access to it instantly, minus any hassles.
Winner in Netflix & Unblocking Other Streaming Capabilities
PureVPN is the winner for unblocking Netflix and other streaming services reliably and consistently. In my tests, TunnelBear failed at bypassing the geo-block on most platforms therefore, it’s definitely not recommended to use for streaming.
China & Internet Restricted Countries
The “Great Firewall” in China deploys various VPN blocking techniques like Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) attacks, DNS Hijacking, DNS Poisoning, and Blackholing VPN servers that make bypassing geo-restrictions incredibly difficult.
Sadly, TunnelBear offered no incentives to expats or residents in China. You do not have a mirror website available for downloading their apps in the country, and neither do you have Chinese servers available.
The provider does offer a “GhostBear” feature that uses obfuscation on servers using the TCP protocol over port 443 to cloak the VPN connection as regular “HTTPS” traffic, but this proved ineffective in our tests. This makes it an excellent VPN to get into China.
Meanwhile, PureVPN worked better for both: Chinese expats and residents. Hence, it’s one of the best VPNs for China.
It offers a mirror website and is the only provider in the marketplace that offers 12 Chinese servers (6 in Beijing and 6 in Shanghai).
Winner in Working for China & Internet Restricted Countries
Although PureVPN is not the best VPN to get into heavily-restricted sites like China – it’s still better than TunnelBear. In my comparative analysis, I observed that PureVPN worked way better than TunnelBear so it earns the point in this round.
4. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Setup and User Interface
PureVPN offers apps for major platforms and devices, thus it’s often considered among the best VPNs for multiple devices. These are not limited to Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The VPN supports larger screens of Android/Apple TVs and even Fire TVs.
Best part of all; the ease of use and intuitiveness does not get compromised on small or larger screens. PureVPN remains consistent in excellent user-friendliness across all devices.
The desktop apps have a design that caters to both rookies and experts. The mobile apps adopt a darker appearance with easy accessibility of servers, features, and configurations.
Meanwhile, the browser extensions are just as amazing, and even give users the ability to unblock streaming platforms like Netflix from directly within the browser. TunnelBear does not offer the same level of app compatibility. You do have desktop, mobile, and browser apps, but support for Fire TVs, Apple TVs, and Kodi are missing.
As far as design is concerned, all the clients look great and tend to be “fun to use”. In comparison to PureVPN, their clients are filled with amusing bear graphics and bear puns.
The “General” tab gives options related to the VPN client like “run when computer starts”, meanwhile the “Security” tab gives access to features like the “VigilantBear” and “GhostBear“.
All in all, the VPN apps of both providers are quite amazing, but in terms of “appearance”, TunnelBear definitely gains the upper hand among varied services in the marketplace.
Winner in Setup and User Interface
TunnelBear earns the point for setup and user interface because its apps are extremely easy to use. Although PureVPN apps are considerably sleek as well, TunnelBear is simpler to use.
5. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Servers
|Total Number of Servers||6500+||1,000|
As compared to PureVPN, the Canadian-based TunnelBear falls awfully short in numbers, based on overall network infrastructure. They only have 1,000 servers in a limited 40+ countries worldwide.
Meanwhile, PureVPN has a larger network of 6500+ servers in 78 countries around the world. This makes it the only VPN that offers support in so many locations worldwide.
Therefore, it is not a difficult challenge to determine a winner in this aspect. TunnelBear has to improve its server count massively, if it wants to compete with premium VPNs.
For this TunnelBear vs PureVPN review, I ran rigorous speed tests on the three shared protocols across three different locations (Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom). I recorded the download and upload speeds which helped me determine which server location has a better average speed.
Both PureVPN and TunnelBear use WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols. They are quite common VPN protocols, so the speed results have a huge say in which VPN should you opt for.
|Download||90.45 Mbps||70.21 Mbps|
|Upload||79.02 Mbps||65.33 Mbps|
|Download||85.36 Mbps||62.30 Mbps|
|Upload||76.25 Mbps||58.43 Mbps|
|Download||88.19 Mbps||56.12 Mbps|
|Upload||82.22 Mbps||50.23 Mbps|
I also performed a speed analysis on both providers to ease the decision-making process for users. The process involved testing different servers for all internet-related activities. These include simply browsing the internet, playing online games, downloading torrent files, or streaming on sites like Netflix. For the task, we picked up 3 random servers from PureVPN and TunnelBear.
On my base connection of 100 Mbps, PureVPN indicated a speed loss of 10%. Meanwhile, Tunnelbear recorded an average speed of 70 Mbps in downloads, indicating a speed loss of 30%. It is safe to say, PureVPN wins this aspect by a huge margin!
Winner in Servers, Performance, and Speed
As evident from the speed results above, PureVPN is the overall winner in terms of speed and performance. If we compare the server networks, then PureVPN has a broader server network as well.
6. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Security
|VPN Protocols||WireGuard, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec||WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2|
|Data Encryption||AES-256||AES-256-GCM, AES-256-CBC|
|App Security||Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection||VigilantBear and GhostBear|
|DNS Status||Private DNS||Private DNS|
PureVPN offers support for a huge range of protocols. This includes WireGuard, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) to give users of all kinds freedom of choice. For encryption, the provider utilizes AES 256-bit encryption symmetric keys to protect your sensitive data from agencies, government, and online snoopers.
On the other hand, TunnelBear only supports the WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. The WireGuard protocol is supported on the Windows and iOS apps. The OpenVPN protocol is available on all the apps but the IKEv2 protocol is only supported on the Windows and iOS apps.
iOS users get the choice of either utilizing the IKEv2, OpenVPN, or WireGuard protocol. Encryption is provided with AES-256 ciphers, but some apps may use the older 128-bit encryption and SHA-1 for data authentication.
To get a better idea of app security, I conducted a leak test on PureVPN and TunnelBear. The process involved the usage of 6 different tools to check for:
WebRTC and HTTP Request Leaks
IPv4/IPv6 and Torrent IP Leaks
PureVPN aced all the tests from the 6 different tools above and did not reveal our original IP, DNS, or WebRTC information. TunnelBear also was free from IP leaks on IPv4 and IPv6.
However, when using IPv6, the tools did detect WebRTC leaks on both Windows and Mac apps. A simple solution to this is disabling IPv6 connections on your device.
Winner in Security
Overall, PureVPN guarantees better security than TunnelBear VPN by supporting more VPN protocols and robust security features.
7. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Logging and Privacy
|Headquarters||British Virgin Islands||Toronto, Canada|
|Sign Up Information||None||Stores Account Data, Personal Data, and Operational Data|
|Anonymous Payment Methods||Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin||Bitcoin|
One glimpse at the above table and it becomes clear that PureVPN gains an edge over TunnelBear in terms of overall privacy. PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, away from the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances.
TunnelBear, on the other hand, has its headquarters in Canada. As you probably know, Canada is a founding member of the Five Eyes, and indulges in mass surveillance and data retention. If it receives a gag order accompanied by a subpoena, the VPN may have to comply with legal requests from the government. As such, there is always a risk of trusting the provider.
Not to mention, TunnelBear also does not support a huge range of cryptocurrencies, except for Bitcoin. As far as logging is concerned, PureVPN did store logs initially, but have now joined the ranks of logless VPN services. PureVPN was recently audited by AltiusIT.
Winner in Logging and Privacy
When it comes to logging and privacy, PureVPN is the undisputed winner. It’s because PureVPN does not store connection logs, assigned VPN IPs, user’s browsing activities or history, original IP addresses, and VPN session timestamps.
8. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Configuration
|Address Allocation||Static/Dedicated IPs of USA, UK, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Malta, and Australia (add-on)||Dynamic|
|NAT Firewall||Yes (add-on)||Yes|
In terms of configuration, PureVPN once again gains an upper hand over TunnelBear. This is because PureVPN supports a shared infrastructure with dedicated IPs of the USA, UK, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Malta, and Australia.
On the other hand, TunnelBear does not support static IPs. You only get dynamic IP addresses with TunnelBear. Furthermore, TunnelBear does not ensure DDoS protection which is ensured by PureVPN.
Winner in Configuration
In this TunnelBear vs PureVPN review, PureVPN is the obvious winner because it offers static and dedicated IP addresses. On the contrary, you only get dynamic IP addresses with TunnelBear without DDoS protection.
9. PureVPN vs TunnelBear – Customer Service
Here’s a quick look at the customer service offered by PureVPN and TunnelBear:
|Searchable Knowledge Base||Yes||Yes|
|Average Email Response Time||39 Minutes||1 Hour|
|Live Chat Support||Yes||No|
PureVPN has better customer service than TunnelBear. When choosing a VPN, it is extremely important to have a reliable support team that responds to your concerns promptly.
Although TunnelBear has an extensive FAQ section with helpful answers, PureVPN takes the trophy home by offering real-time support. You will not get instant answers to your queries with TunnelBear because it lacks the live chat feature.
PureVPN and TunnelBear both offer a sufficient knowledge base and email support. All of these are good options to receive support. To test the customer service, I analyzed the email response time of both VPN providers. Below you can see the stats of both providers on the basis of four different questions:
PureVPN Customer Service
PureVPN has a 24/7 support feature to cater to user concerns. I tested the chat feature at different time intervals and got instant solutions every time. The support agent asked a few questions to fully understand my concern and then suggested me a workable solution.
To test PureVPN’s customer support feature, here’s a breakdown of the questions I asked and their response time:
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Is PureVPN good for torrenting?||25 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does PureVPN work with Netflix?||39 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Can I install PureVPN on LibreELEC?||50 Minutes||1||Yes|
|How to set up PureVPN on Firestick?||44 Minutes||1||Yes|
TunnelBear Customer Service
TunnelBear has good customer service. You can easily get in touch with a Support Bear by visiting the official website.
I tested the TunnelBear support by asking these questions. Here’s a quick analysis of the questions, their initial response time, and the number of emails I sent to get the issue resolved:
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Is TunnelBear safe for the dark web?||1 Hour||1||Yes|
|How do I cancel my TunnelBear subscription?||48 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does TunnelBear work for Netflix?||52 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Who owns the TunnelBear VPN?||59 Minutes||1||Yes|
Winner in Customer Service
PureVPN is the clear winner for customer service because it is backed by real-time support. It can be frustrating to wait for at least 48 hours to get an answer from the VPN service, therefore, PureVPN is better in this regard. You can easily start the chat with a support agent and get instant answers.
10. PureVPN vs Tunnel Bear – Device Compatibility
PureVPN and TunnelBear are compatible with the following devices:
TunnelBear only offers limited support for Linux. Additionally, you cannot use the VPN on Windows mobile devices, Android/Apple TV, and gaming systems as a TunnelBear subscriber. You cannot even manually configure TunnelBear on modems/routers.
On the contrary, PureVPN is more compatible with a range of devices than TunnelBear. You can easily set up PureVPN on gaming consoles like PS4 and Xbox One. Additionally, the PureVPN Android TV app ensures a consistently smooth streaming experience without any buffering.
Where TunnelBear offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, PureVPN gains a point for offering an Edge extension.
Winner in Device Compatibility
In this TunnelBear vs PureVPN review, PureVPN is the winner as it supports the broadest range of systems and OS than TunnelBear.
PureVPN vs Tunnel Bear – FAQs
What is better than TunnelBear?
Many premium VPN services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN are better than TunnelBear. They’re better than TunnelBear because of their huge server networks and dedicated servers for different activities. Additionally, these premium VPNs offer protection against harmful malware and other threats.
Is PureVPN better than NordVPN?
No, PureVPN is not better than NordVPN. It’s because NordVPN offers far better speeds than PureVPN using its NordLynx protocol. You can check out our NordVPN vs PureVPN comparison for more details.
Which is better PureVPN or TunnelBear?
PureVPN is better than TunnelBear. If we compare the connection speeds, customer support, and server network, PureVPN earns the winning trophy by a huge margin.
PureVPN vs Tunnel Bear – Wrapping Up
I hope this PureVPN vs TunnelBear guide helped you make a decision. Although undoubtedly, PureVPN wins the title in the list of top VPN comparison, due to its larger server infrastructure, ability to bypass the GFW in China, Netflix unblocking capabilities, and zero leak issues.
TunnelBear is a good VPN too, but it does not come close to PureVPN in terms of features. PureVPN wins the competition here, but choosing a VPN depends on your needs and preferences as a user.