TunnelBear Not Working With Netflix? Here's What to Do
If you’re new to VPNs and you’re looking for something easy, smooth, and affordable (or even free), then TunnelBear is a great VPN to start with. It’s not perfect though, and one of its main imperfections is that it doesn’t work too well with Netflix.
I’ve been testing TunnelBear’s servers with Netflix and other streaming platforms such as Hulu and HBO Max from time to time, precisely to see how well this VPN works for streaming each year. While it does offer access to some of Netflix’s main libraries such as those in the US, Germany or Canada, the access it offers just isn’t reliable enough for long-term use.
I’ve prepared a short guide on how to get the most out of TunnelBear when it comes to Netflix in particular, how to get it to work with the platform, and what to do if you’re not satisfied with the experience.
Quick Guide: How to Watch Netflix With TunnelBear in February 2023
- Sign up to TunnelBear.
- Download the app, install it on your device, and connect to a server in your prefered country.
- Go to Netflix and start watching.
Already Have TunnelBear but Can’t Access Netflix?
If you’ve just gotten TunnelBear and you can’t get it to work with Netflix or if you’ve been using it for a while but it has suddenly stopped working with the platform, there are a few things you can try before moving on to another VPN.
The main reason you may be facing problems is that Netflix is especially harsh on VPNs - the platform has very strict geo-restrictions and it’s quite good at identifying and blacklisting VPN servers.
TunnelBear is not the best at dealing with Netflix’s counter-measures but there are a few simple tricks you can try even if you’re not too tech-savvy.
- Disconnect and reconnect the VPN - As with any other software, turning TunnelBear off and then on again can be surprisingly effective at solving most issues.
- Clear your cache and cookies - Your device’s location data can leak through a lot of spaces and even premium VPNs often can’t stop that. So, an easy solution is to clear your browser’s cache and cookies when you’re having connectivity issues.
- Use an Incognito browser window - Another easy solution to browser data leakage is to use an incognito window. It sounds simple but even with the best VPNs on the market, this is a very effective extra step you can take to keep Netflix off your trail.
- Change the VPN’s protocols - Changing a VPN’s encryption protocols can sound daunting and complicated but it’s actually very simple. Every good VPN has multiple protocols to choose from, each with different security measures to keep your data from leaking. TunnelBear offers two main choices - OpenVPN and IKEv2 and switching between them can solve your Netflix connectivity issues. To do that, just go to the app’s settings, select Protocols, and switch them up.
- Switch to a different VPN server - Netflix is pretty good at blocking VPNs’ servers so it’s normal to have to periodically switch to a different server to keep viewing the platform. TunnelBear has 2,600 servers in 47 countries to choose from so you should usually have enough options to choose from when your current server doesn’t work.
- Update the VPN - Both VPNs and streaming platforms are constantly updating to try and one-up each other with their blocking and unblocking tools. Netflix is very good at this so you should always keep your VPN updated to try and counteract the streaming platform’s firewalls.
- Check if your data is leaking in any way - Performing a data leak test is a good way to see if Netflix is able to see your location data through your VPN. Aside from your browser, your data can leak through other ways such as your WiFi extender, for example.
- Contact customer service - TunnelBear has a decent support service which you can always contact to try and find a different solution to your connectivity issues.
- Try a different VPN - Even with all the possible fixes I’ve listed above, TunnelBear often just doesn’t work with Netflix. In my experience, this VPN was able to get me access to many of Netflix’s most popular libraries such as those in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico, and others. Even there, however, the connectivity was still a bit spotty, and many other countries such as Australia, Israel, and France were completely inaccessible. In these cases, the best option is usually to just switch to a different and better VPN. Many premium providers have a much easier time dealing with Netflix than TunnelBear. My prefered choice at the moment is ExpressVPN. Not only does this VPN work much better with Netflix, but it’s also generally better for streaming with its much faster speeds and its MediaStreamer feature. ExpressVPN also has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try it out risk-free.
Why Use TunnelBear to Watch Netflix?
Despite it’s issues, TunnelBear is a decent choice for Netflix, especially if you want to watch things on a smaller screen and on SD video quality. The VPN’s free version isn’t suitable for streaming because of its limited bandwidth but the paid plans are not that bad.
As of today, TunnelBear can unblock Netflix’s libraries in nearly 20 countries, according to my testing, including the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, India, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, and multiple EU countries. TunnelBear’s speeds are good too, as long as you’re using local servers and you’re not looking for the best possible 4K HD definition. TunnelBear’s app is also very user-friendly and simple to use, plus this VPN works with many other streaming services such as HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others.
If all this plus TunnelBear’s good privacy and security features sound good enough for your needs, then great - I give TunnelBear my blessing. However, there are considerably better options out there.
A premium VPN service such as ExpressVPN also unblocks Netflix in lots of other countries, for example. With its new Lightway protocol it offers much greater speeds than TunnelBear too which is fantastic for HD streaming on any device and in any resolution. In contrast, if you want to watch an HD video in peak hours through TunnelBear you may have to reconcile with a low resolution or wait for a different time of day.
There’s also ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature which allows you to watch Netflix even on devices that don’t typically work with VPNs such as an Apple TV. Add the much larger and stabler server network, the better privacy and security features, the many other quality-of-life features, and the 30-day money-back guarantee, and I’d say that ExpressVPN is a much better and risk-free VPN you can try.
FAQs on Watching Netflix With TunnelBear
What’s the best VPN for Netflix?
My top pick at the moment is ExpressVPN. I will continue to perform regular checks and tests but the fast server speeds, reliable server network, great unblocking tools, and the MediaStreamer feature just put ExpressVPN ahead of its competition. For streaming platforms such as Netflix, there just aren’t many other options that can even come close to ExpressVPN in most regards.
Can I use a free VPN to watch Netflix?
There are some free VPNs you can try with Netflix as well as some decent providers with free versions such as TunnelBear. Overall, however, free VPNs just don’t have the server networks or the unblocking tools to properly deal with Netflix’s stringent geo-blocks. Besides, even if you occasionally manage to connect to the streaming platform, the speeds you’d get from most free VPNs just aren’t good enough for HD streaming anyway.
A much better option is to go for a premium provider such as ExpressVPN. Thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee you can enjoy a premium and risk-free service for Netflix for quite some time.
Which VPN is the fastest?
The race for the “fastest VPN” title is quite competitive and the winner changes often. At the moment, however, I’d recommend ExpressVPN if you’re looking for speed thanks to this provider’s new Lightway protocol. Great for streaming, this VPN gave me a buffer-free and HD video experience in all my testing.
How can I get an IP address in a particular country?
Getting an IP address in a country whose Netflix library you want to unblock is pretty easy. For example, if you want to get a US IP address to watch Netflix's popular US library, what you have to do is:
- Log into the VPN’s app on your preferred device.
- Go to the app’s list of supported countries.
- Choose the US.
- Pick any server.
That’s all - you should now be given access to a US IP address through the server you picked. To watch a different Netflix library, just switch to the corresponding country and pick a new server there.
Watch Netflix With Tunnelbear Today
If you’ve already got TunnelBear, there are a few things you can try to make it work with some of Netflix’s libraries. That said, connections to Netflix are unreliable and even Tunnelbear says it doesn’t focus much energy on unblocking streaming services, so who knows how long it will work for Netflix.
The simpler solution is to just switch to a premium provider such as ExpressVPN. It’s easy to install and use, it has a much easier time breaking through Netflix’s firewalls, it offers very fast speeds for streaming, and even its privacy and security features are top of the line.
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