TunnelBear VPN Review 2019
Just as data security and online anonymity are fast becoming increasingly big concerns with respect to user privacy, it is becoming harder to find a credible VPN.
In this otherwise bleak scenario, few Best VPN can guarantee to match the service and transparency hallmarks set by TunnelBear.
Is TunnelBear Safe?
TunnelBear keeps connection logs but its free version is one of the best Free VPNs as far as security and logging practices are concerned.
Our logging policy study found out that there are loads of VPNs, especially the free ones, which log user data and then use it for nefarious purposes. This makes the presence of a Tunnelbear even more noteworthy since its still persistent in offering a secure service to users when that quality is fast becoming increasingly rare.
Apart from this, during our TunnelBear review, we came across its 3rd party, public security audit conducted recently by the service.
Handled by Cure53, a security company, the audit found some critical vulnerabilities within the Chrome extension of TunnelBear and the provider remarkably, not just made the problem public but went on ahead and got it fixed.
Its Base in Canada, Makes it Insecure to a High Extent
One of the most alarming aspects about Tunnelbear is that its located in Canada, which is a highly notorious location when it comes to data retention laws and being part of international information sharing agreements.
During our extensive survey on information sharing alliances internationally, we found that Canada is part of the Five Eyes Alliance, making it a highly unsecure location for a VPN to be based in.
Being a member of this alliance implies that, Canada can, at any time, be required by its partners in the alliance to share information from any provider based in its jurisdiction. The same applies to Tunnelbear, making it a not-so-suitable service for users looking for a high end data privacy and online security based on this metric alone.
Providing immaculate features coupled with the highest commitment towards accruing online privacy, here is a detailed TunnelBear Review. We will cover all facets of the service ranging from its repertoire of dedicated apps, terms of service, logging policy and a whole lot more.
- AES 256 Grade Encryption
- Multiple Protocol Support
- Incredibly compatible apps for nearly all popular OS
- Free version available
- Unlimited bandwidth in the paid plans
- High degree of security transparency
- Keep Connection Logs (Not 100% Secure)
- Based in Canada (Member of 5-Eyes Nation Alliance)
- Doesn’t offer dedicated Torrenting support
- Not useful for unblocking streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix US
- Servers in just 20 countries
How to Configure TunnelBear for China Users?
Ever since the government has been clamping down on China VPN services, many TunnelBear users have reported various issues with connecting in the country. The provider does offer Chinese servers for those located in foreign countries. This helps in accessing Chinese websites/apps/services. However, if you are residing in China, then you will face trouble in downloading the TunnelBear app for your device. This is why expats are advised to preload the app before landing in mainland China.
The TunnelBear free version is a regular feature of our most Best VPN lists. In our TunnelBear VPN review, we have rated it on an even pedestal with the premium version, despite the limitations on bandwidth.
The free account provides you with 500 MB data limit on a monthly basis and that’s the only drawback. On the other hand, TunnelBear free account will provide you with unflinching security unlike other free VPNs, who are mostly rip-offs and a great risk to user data on all devices.
Just sign up for the service by providing your email address and set a password. Now head over to the download page on the website and get the dedicated app depending on the OS you are using. The free version is simple, easy to use, risk-free and should accompany all systems in the current age.
How to Use TunnelBear?
The OS clients of TunnelBear VPN rank among the very best in terms user experience. Whether it’s the app for Mac or an app for Android, users would face virtually no difficulty in navigating through them and accessing all the available features.
To login, all you need to do is to enter your user credentials i.e. your registered account name and password, which was sent to you when you subscribed to the service.
Once you log in, download any of the app clients depending on the OS you intend to protect. Commence installation and the app will be ready to use. Open the app and just point your cursor to any of the available tunnels on the world map.
These tunnels are the server locations that TunnelBear provides to its users. Click on your preferred tunnel and turn the switch at the top left of the app interface to “On”. The bear will dig a tunnel and come out of the selected tunnel hole to signify that you are now connected to the VPN connection.
TunnelBear Chrome Review
As the Chrome browser remains the most popular internet access platform across nearly OS in the world, many services now offer extensions to pair up with a browser for a better service experience. (Still confused: read our detailed best vpn for chrome guide)
TunnelBear’s Chrome extension is lightweight, fast and nippy. In our TunnelBear review, we found the extension to be more useful and optimized than other OS clients by the service.
The Chrome extension can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
To commence the installation, you need to sign up for either the free service or with the paid version and secure user credentials. Once that’s done, just head over to the Chrome Web Store and click “Add to Chrome” on the top right.
TunnelBear Firefox Review
TunnelBear VPN does offer dedicated browser support and offers an extension for Chrome and Opera, but it still doesn’t feature one for Firefox. This is a big turn-off considering the remarkable support it provides to nearly all OS.
Firefox is one of the most used browsers in the world and TunnelBear should really look into developing an extension for the platform as soon as possible.
TunnelBear Pricing Review
On the pricing front, TunnelBear offers three different categories. The first one is their free service, in which you can secure 500 MB of data bandwidth a month along with all security features.
The remaining two pricing categories are for the premium services and both of them guarantee unlimited data bandwidth to would-be subscribers.
The “Giant” package is a bit pricier at $9.99 for a month’s worth of subscription and this matches the industry norms of offering packages of smaller duration with higher price tags.
According to our TunnelBear review, the best pricing plan is the 1 year plan which is $4.99/mo. It can be bought for $59.88 billed once and will allow you to use the service for a full 12 months.
Get the one year plan if you want to protect yourself online through TunnelBear’s VPN service and you’ll be satisfied with the service quality you get for that low a price tag.
TunnelBear Servers Review
The server count at TunnelBear is quite low and covers just 20 countries. This is nearly one-fourth of the number of countries offered by the Best VPNs. For any VPN service, the strength, performance, and diversity of the server infrastructure need to be top class if they want to provide a good service.
TunnelBear really needs to up its game as far as its server diversity and performance are concerned. It takes ages to connect to the more popular server destinations for e.g. USA.
Even when we got finally connected, the server seemed to be really bottlenecked to allow for a better browsing experience. According to our TunnelBear review, the servers are nothing to write home about, but they can still give a decent experience considering the service’s low price tag.
So, if you are on a budget and looking for a good enough VPN to partially secure your low-intensity browsing activities, then TunnelBear can be one of the better choices you can make.
TunnelBear Torrenting Review
Torrenting users are one of the most dedicated VPN buyers in the world, guaranteeing a steady stream of subscriptions. This is because of the importance of hiding one’s IP to continue torrenting without worrying about copyright trolls.
In our TunnelBear VPN review, we couldn’t find anything that explicitly mentioned anything related to a dedicated torrenting support and when we turned over to contact their customer support, this is the reply we secured from them.
It was really weird on how they evaded using the word torrenting in their reply, instead of resorting towards using the vaguer “Sharing files” terminology.
When we checked the mentioned “supported servers” noted in the reply from their support team for torrenting support, we found them to be working well, but the download speeds remained low consistently.
For those of you who are looking for a Best VPN for Torrenting, then we won’t recommend TunnelBear outright. You can subscribe to it, but it won’t offer you the most premium torrenting services unlike other Top VPN providers in the industry.
TunnelBear Netflix Review
In the current times that we are living in, there is an alternate stream of people who just buy a VPN so that they can gain access to geo-restricted content by using the powerful servers to spoof their IP and get around filters.
Netflix US tops this list as it’s the most popular version of the most popular streaming service that everyone wants to access.
However, in our TunnelBear Review, we found out quite disappointingly that the service doesn’t work well in unblocking Netflix US or other major regions.
During a week of trials, we were able to unblock Netflix US just once after nearly trying more than 30 times.
And even when we got through, we watched the actual show for a lesser period of time than we actually spent on hopelessly viewing the annoying buffering icon hogging the screen.
If unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites is one of you, motivations to get the Best VPN for Netflix, then don’t go for TunnelBear.
TunnelBear for Windows
The UI and UX of TunnelBear’s each app is fantastic and probably one of the easiest that we have used during the course of our countless Best VPN for windows reviews.
People who have not interacted with a VPN in their lives with incredible ease can even run TunnelBear’s Windows client.
There are no complications in setting it up. Here’s how you can get zip through the TunnelBear Windows app installation process:
- Purchase an account and secure user credentials. (For those of you who are subscribing to the free service, just create an account and secure user credentials)
- Visit the downloads page and mostly, the website detects your device OS and commences the download automatically. If that doesn’t happen, click on the Windows app icon on the middle/top left.
- Commence the installation process
- Once the setup is complete, select a server just by clicking on the “Tunnels” on each available location and the bear will start digging through to connect you up!
- You are ready to use TunnelBear for accessing a private online connection
TunnelBear for Android
Just as the Windows app, the TunnelBear app for Android offers a sublime experience to the users. Offering every feature in an optimized manner on the Android OS, The TunnelBear .apk file can be downloaded and run seamlessly on your smartphone.
The process of installation is incredibly streamlined, here’s how you can get it done with little fuss:
- Explore the pricing plans and settle on one you find the best
- Make the payment, after which you will be provided with the user credentials
- Download the TunnelBear apk file/Android app from the Google Play store
- Run the installation and enter your account name and password
- The App is ready to protect your anonymity online
It just takes your 5 minutes to read this awesome best vpn for android guide.
TunnelBear for iOS
Like all other popular platforms, TunnelBear also provides a dedicated app for iOS devices. In our TunnelBear VPN review, we found that on iOS 8 and below versions, the encryption standard is AES 128, while on higher versions, its standard AES 256.
The AES 128 encryption standard is secure but it has its weaknesses, so we recommend that if you have iOS 8 or higher, only then opt for TunnelBear to provide maximum online security.
Let’s run you through the TunnelBear iOS app installation process:
- Sign up for the free service or opt for a pricing plan and secure verified user credentials
- Head over to the IOS store now and download the Native TunnelBear app
- Enter your username and password and then connect to a server of your choice
- The service is now working to protect your online connectivity privately
TunnelBear for Mac
Many people readily buy into the myth that Mac doesn’t get affected by viruses or malware as much as its much more popular counterpart i.e. Windows does. If you are one of these people, you probably need a rethink on how Macs are fast becoming attractive targets of malware artists and hackers to siphon off huge amounts of valuable financial and personal data.
TunnelBear’s Mac client is one the Best VPN for Mac and whether you use its free version or the paid service, it will work seamlessly on the platform.
The installation process for setting up the TunnelBear app for Mac goes like this:
- You have two options when signing up. Opt for the free version or choose a premium plan with unlimited bandwidth
- Select one and secure user credentials
- Download the Mac app from TunnelBear’s website and run the installation
- Enter your user credentials when prompted and select a server to begin with
- Your Mac is now running under optimum security powered by TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear Linux Setup – How to install TunnelBear on Linux
Penguins and Bears never make good friends, although TunnelBear has tried its best to make them co-exist peacefully even when not providing full-fledged support.
Currently, TunnelBear doesn’t offer any dedicated app for you to use on Linux distributions. All they offer right now is a process to conveniently set up the VPN on two different distributions through manual installations guides.
TunnelBear Blocker Review
The most exclusive feature at TunnelBear is its highly worthy “Blocker”. This is not just your average ad-blocker that filters out nuisance video and pop-up ads readily, it offers a whole lot more for users.
When you add the blocker with your VPN, you will be safe from malicious codes, the flash player will automatically be turned off to prevent ads, fingerprint scanning codes will be blocked and even the ultrasonic inter-device tracking services won’t be able to bug you up.
Definitely a great addition, but even this blocker, like the rest of all interfaces of its apps, the blocker will contain multiple quirky bear references in content and branding.
TunnelBear Review Reddit
The biggest hallmark of TunnelBear has been its reliability on all fronts. It doesn’t dupe you with false promises and lofty claims but gains trust continuously by keeping things simple and concentrating on doing the basic things right.
Users on Reddit reflected similar opinions on the service and its standards. Check out why tunnel bear is marked as the best reddit vpn
One user, who was a regular user of TunnelBear and PrivateInternetAccess, found the former to be much speedier than PIA. Furthermore, the user recommended connecting to Canadian servers of the service for the best possible performance.
Another user also compared PIA and TunnelBear and shared its experience of how the latter was more compatible with IOS devices than PIA. The user further pointed towards the ease of connectivity that TunnelBear provided on shared connections like Hotel Wifis.
Being thought of to perform better than PIA by users speaks volumes of how TunnelBear has held its own against much more bigger VPN services.
TunnelBear Not Connecting/Errors/Issues
In our TunnelBear review, we rarely encountered any downtime. Sometimes, the connection to a particular server make take up frustratingly long, but once you are through, the service doesn’t go down.
If you still face connection issues, the best way to go forward is to check up on their Twitter account. This is where they announce scheduled maintenance for particular servers, so keeping a track of TunnelBear on Twitter can allow you to move from one affected server to another within due time.
Still, if you TunnelBear client doesn’t work, then its best to uninstall it and go through the setup process again. Conventionally, this solves most major issues like it happens with nearly all popular software.
You can always contact their support team known as “Support Bears”, to get any help related to any errors and issues you might seem to face. They also have a detailed help section which might also come in handy.
TunnelBear VPN is a great service on the security front but there are things where they can definitely improve. More and more users are now looking for VPNs that provide dedicated support for unblocking streaming sites like Netflix US, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. and allow Torrenting, so it would make TunnelBear even more considerable if they start adding these features to their already amazing service.
These improvements in features can only be done by adding more servers and making the infrastructure more robust in order to provide users with a more balanced experience. But we have reason to remain optimistic with regards to these expectations as TunnelBear was recently acquired by the Security giant McAfee. This welcome acquisition could prove very beneficial towards improving what is now a very simplistic service.
TunnelBear, despite all of its shortcomings, is still a great VPN, irrespective of whether you go for the free version or the paid plans. Concluding our TunnelBear VPN review for 2019, we would recommend this provider to all of our active readers and VPN enthusiasts. This service is only going to get better, so it’s better to hop the bandwagon now and enjoy a seamless, powerful and fantastically internet browsing experience.