TunnelBear VPN Expert Review

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Rating ?
4.0 / 5.0
Features 4.0 / 5.0
Ease of Use 4.2 / 5.0
Pricing 4.9 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 4.6 / 5.0

We recently checked out TunnelBear VPN software and despite a few minor glitches, overall it delivered a positive and streamlined user experience. This is a multiplatform VPN that works on Mac OS and Windows, as well as Android and iOS. With only 20 servers spread out across different locations around the world, we wer...

TunnelBear VPN User Reviews
4.2
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David Cartagena
Mar 28, 2017
  •  5
Sites don't know where I really am

It is VERY satisfying when I visit a site that thinks I'm in a location where I am really not. I like knowing that I am protected by cute bears, who are not distracting at all, and installed it in all the devices we have at home. Pros: -Easy to Use -Cute Bears (that also roar!) -Easy to Use -Neat features under settings (i.e. block traffic while it reconnects) -Affordable -Easy to use I usually only leave it in the country I reside, but I am looking forward to use it when I go out of the country and still get to access my sites, bank portal, etc as if I was in my country of residence! Cons: -Couldn't install it in an old computer but contacted them and got it up and running right away :) -There's the option to show clouds in the map in android, which is pretty cool but I do whish there were more clouds!


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Azu Saucedo
Mar 28, 2017
  •  5
Super Easy to Use

Initially I got it because the interface looked cute and wanted more Netflix access. Once Netflix started blocking VPNs, I started looking at what other uses it had since I had already paid for the annual subscription. Turns out, it protects you from so much more every time you are browsing! I even have it on while at home and the only thing I need to do was to set it up to auto start when I turn on my computer. The bears roar! Its super cute but did give me a scare a couple of times when my volume was at max LOL I use it for Windows and Android


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VPN User
Mar 28, 2017
  •  5
Great VPN

My experience using this VPN has been great. Works out of the box on my Mac and iPhone. Connection seems pretty quick. Honestly it's a lot more straight forward than other VPNs I've used in the past.


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Features 4.0 / 5.0

Servers across 20 countries

  • TunnelBear uses AES 256-bit encryption by default and has 20 servers spread out in various countries around the world including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Mexico and India (note that not all location servers are available via the free version). TunnelBear connects to up to five devices, which is comparable with most other VPNs.

Unblocks Netflix, Hulu and others

  • As the popularity of VPN use soars, many companies, such as Netflix (see other vpns that unblock Netflix) for example, have begun blocking popular VPNs. Luckily, TunnelBear has managed to stay off the radar of services like Netflix, and therefore even with just 20 servers worldwide, you should still be able to access sites like Netflix, Hulu and others. We realize this could change in the future, especially as TunnelBear’s user-base grows.
TunnelBear VPN vs. NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN vs. HideMyAss VPN
Features Description
Number of Server Locations (countries) 20
Does VPN keep logs Partially
Devices per license 5
How to use TunnelBear VPN 4.2 / 5.0

Installing TunnelBear on a Macbook Air running Yosemite was a breeze. Once downloaded from their website, the installer ran itself and installed in the applications folder with one click. A small yellow pull-down icon appeared in the upper menu bar, and from there it was easy enough to turn the VPN on or off and select the closest server marked on a world map. We chose the auto-connect function and decided to stick with the free version of TunnelBear for testing purposes.


The same icon on the upper menu bar allows the user to access the preference pane and change the settings as needed. Two additional features in the settings window, which are switched off by default, are VigilantBear, which stops all traffic if the connection is lost; And GhostBear, which makes encrypted data look more like regular internet data.



You can watch the video below for a quick 1-minute tutorial.






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Pricing 4.9 / 5.0
Free
$0.00/month
Gizzly
$4.16/month
Giant
$6.99/month

TunnelBear offers three pricing options to choose from: a free plan which caps at 500 mb of use per month (or one gig if you Tweet about the service); A monthly pay as you go plan for which allows unlimited data; And a yearly plan, also for unlimited data, which works out to a bit cheaper.


Reliability & Support 4.6 / 5.0

Here’s where we ran into a few glitches with TunnelBear. After installing, all ran smoothly and we were able to browse the Internet without any major hitches or delays. At one point we decided to turn the VPN off but then were not able to reconnect. The first attempt was to toggle the on/off button a few times, however this did not resolve the issue. Next we completely quit and re-launched the application, but still couldn’t successfully connect using the Auto detect option. Finally, a full restart of the computer was needed, and only then were we able to make a connection. Upon disconnecting and reconnecting a second and third time, all went ok. This may simply be a bug that crops up every now and then.


 


Running a speed test with the VPN turned on also proved unsuccessful. We tried a few different browser-based speed tests online, but none seemed to make it past the “choosing optimal server” stage and the speed test simply hung without ever actually starting.


 


As for support, TunnelBear offers a compact resource of support articles organized into various categories. This should be enough to trouble shoot most common problems that arise. Barring that they offer email (but not live) support with a response time of less than 24 hours during the workweek.


Again, browsing most websites and YouTube worked just fine, nor did we experience any major disruptions or severe lag time. Overall, TunnelBear was reliable.


The Bottom Line
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)
A good starter VPN with limited servers but decent quality

In our opinion TunnelBear is a good place to start for anyone new to the world of VPN, looking for a simple and streamlined service that’s mostly reliable and quite affordable. The free version is a nice perk many other VPNs don’t offer, and providing this non-commitment option may help attract anyone interested in trying out a VPN without committing to a monthly or yearly plan. At the same time, Imagine if the movie you are watching stops in the middle due to the data limit. Imagine if it buffers all the time due to overload on the free servers. You better off paying $3-5 and getting fast limitless connection by selecting any of the paid vpns on the top list, or even Tunnelbear for that matter.


4.0 / 5.0
Detailed expert review
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

We recently checked out TunnelBear VPN software and despite a few minor glitches, overall it delivered a positive and streamlined user experience. This is a multiplatform VPN that works on Mac OS and Windows, as well as Android and iOS. With only 20 servers spread out across different locations around the world, we were surprised that lag-time while running the VPN wasn’t very noticeable, despite there being no server in our current location. However, YouTube did play rather slow. In comparison, some of the competitors have over 700 servers worldwide. If you’re not sure which server location to choose, just use the TunnelBear auto-search button and it will find the best connection for you.

 

Rather than claiming, like so many other VPNs do, that no logs are kept, they were a little more up front about it by stating specifically that: “TunnelBear does not collect, store or log IP addresses visiting our website, IP addresses upon Service connection and any information about the applications, services or websites our users use while connected to our Service.”

 

Another plus about TunnelBear is the fact that they offer a free version for anyone interested in trying it out without having to commit to a monthly plan. This is somewhat rare among VPNs, which usually opt for a money-back trial period instead of a free version. However, the free version of TunnelBear is limited to 500 megabytes per month, which isn’t much if you’re planning to stream video (The 500 MB limit means you may not even be able to watch the ending of a film in regular 1080p HD quality, if it is longer than 90 minutes). Via the free version, the user can bump that up to one gigabyte per month by Tweeting about TunnelBear. So if one gigabyte is all you need, then simply drop a tweet each month and continue using the free version. It’s a nice and unique incentive for light and new VPN users.

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
Guy Fawkes
(Various tips from anonymous experts)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

  • Free access up to 500MB per month
  • Private browsing online and a connection for up to five devices
  • Strong encryption with AES 256-bit encryption by default
  • Located in 20 Countries
  • Get started with TunnelBear VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days): 7
Mobile app: v
Devices per license: 5
VPN Plans: www.tunnelbear.com
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