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Private Internet Access vs TunnelBear VPN vs HMA VPN 2023

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Catherine Ablett
Catherine Ablett

Cybersecurity Researcher

For those looking for good security and privacy with reasonably fast speeds, it can be hard to choose between PIA (Private Internet Access), HMA, and TunnelBear. However, while on the surface these 3 providers may seem similar, there are some significant differences. HMA is miles ahead in terms of server locations, with over 5 times more locations than its nearest rival PIA. However, when it comes to actual servers PIA takes the lead. All three providers offer good speeds, no restrictions on data, and apps that work on mobile devices. However, only PIA and HMA guarantee access to geo-restricted content such as Netflix. When it comes to torrents, PIA allows them over non-US servers. HMA supports Torrenting, but within its fair usage policy, and TunnelBear clearly states that it does not support BitTorrent at all. Both PIA and TunnelBear offer 5 simultaneous connections, while HMA only provides users with 2 per license.

Rating

Features 9.5/10
Pricing 8.0/10
Ease of Use 9.6/10
Reliability & Support 9.8/10
Features 9.0/10
Pricing 7.5/10
Ease of Use 8.4/10
Reliability & Support 9.0/10
Features 8.2/10
Pricing 8.8/10
Ease of Use 9.4/10
Reliability & Support 8.0/10

Reviews

Review by our expert
Author Image Matthew Amos
Matthew Amos

Senior Editor

9.7/10

Private Internet Access has one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available — you can sign up for as little as $2.19/month. With such a low price, I wondered whether PIA could really stand out against its higher-priced competitors. It’s been around for 10+ years, so it could be one of the best-value VPNs out there. I decided to find out just how good it is by looking into the company’s lo...

Read all
Latest positive user review
B
Bert
10.0/10
Best VPN I have used

I have been using PIA for three years and I have been very pleased. My internet connection is 270MB up...  and 270MB down. I get on average 250MB up and 250MB down. I have found that turning on the wire guard speeds up my internet speed by 50mb.More

Latest negative user review
A
Artaban
2.0/10
PIA is a perfect backdoor to your computer

Briefly said, all my accounts were compromised few days after PIA installation only on Chrome, includi... ng services that I have never used like Facebook Ads (corrupted from far far away in Kazakstan). Yesterday, someone changed my PIA email for a one-shot usage email @yopmail.com and stole around 100 euros on my VISA for payment to PIA - Private Internet Access. There is no doubt that PIA is a perfect and complete security hole direct to your computer and personal stuff.More

Review by our expert
Author Image Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Senior Editor

9.0/10

TunnelBear’s team does an excellent job in branding the VPN but is that all it takes to create a great service? With over 300 VPNs out there, the competition is fierce so I had to take it for a test and see if there’s more to it. I looked into its privacy policy and security features to see if it’s really safe. I ran many tests on its servers, checked the speeds, how many streaming platf...

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Latest positive user review
I
Iqra Muneer
10.0/10
100% Working VPN

TunnelBear is no doubt a great VPN for all the users, when I am facing server difficulty this helps me...  very much. It provides Good OpenVPN speed. Also, Control full security every year. This software package does not require detailed knowledge; all you have to do is click on the program and establish the connection. You can access global content from anywhere.More

Latest negative user review
D
David Ross
2.0/10
DANGEROUS for CANADIANS

I live in the GTA, everything was fine "until" I installed TunnelBear on one of my 7 devices, now I ca... n no longer watch any USA TV stations on line on any of my other 6 devices, this company is scum, they hid something in there that disabled all my other devices unless I buy their VPN, well, not going to buy their garbage, can't believe how much it slowed my device, I would rather wipe all my drives than give TunnelBear one cent!More

Review by our expert
Author Image Kristina Joshevska
Kristina Joshevska

Managing Editor

9.4/10

Being on the market for more than 15 years, the UK-based HMA has established an excellent name for itself (literally). But, is HMA really worth a shot when there are so many other high quality VPNs out there? To find out, I performed extensive tests on its speeds, security, unblocking abilities, and more. I also explored its no-logs policy and money-back guarantee to see how trustworthy it is....

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Latest positive user review
P
Paulo
10.0/10
Excellent value for money!

First, it's a full VPN. Very intuitive and easy app. Lots of connection options and without much loss ... of speed. The official website has the payment method in my local currency, with a localized value and thus leaving a fair value through the VPN. Thank VPNMentor for the product recommendation and targeted discount.More

Latest negative user review
K
Kaan
2.0/10
Terrible Support

I had a return request. because my ISP blocked their servers and I contacted their support team. My ti... ckets have not been answered for 14 days. I do not recommend them with this terrible support and no wireguard support. 1/10More

Pricing

Starting price $2.19/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
Number of devices per license 10 devices
Starting price $3.33/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 0 Days
Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
Starting price $2.99/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices

Best VPN by category

If you're looking for a VPN for security and privacy that’s also affordable, PIA could be the VPN for you. HMA, on the other hand, is more recommended for streaming, as it can bypass geo-restrictions at higher speeds. TunnelBear provides a free (but limited) version, and is a good choice for travelers and beginners.

You can use any of the three for P2P and torrenting, but only on selected servers. However, TunnelBear is not an ideal choice for torrenting, as it keeps partial logs and is based in Canada - not to mention its inconsistent speeds.

All three VPNs offer user-friendly and customizable Windows apps with a built-in kill switch. HMA’s sleek and multi-optional client for Windows has servers categorized according to different types of internet activity, such as streaming and torrenting. TunnelBear offers a fun and quirky Windows client that’s ideal for beginners, and also has an Obfsproxy mode called “GhostBear” to bypass DPI. PIA has the least attractive Windows client, but it comes with a bunch of features, including an adblocker and DNS and IPv6 leak protection.

While Android users will find it easy to download and use all three VPN's Android apps, PIA is the one that the comes with a built-in kill switch. HMA employs a better-organized Android client, whereas TunnelBear has put more focus on design than adding more features to its Android app.

Similarly to their Windows clients, all three VPNs offer intuitive and customizable client apps for Mac users with a kill switch included. HMA keeps it tidy with separate modes for different purposes, while TunnelBear makes it using a VPN fun with a good feature selection and goofy style. PIA’s app for Mac may not be an eye-catcher, but it’s packed with all the essential features you need for a secure internet connection.

HMA, PIA, and TunnelBear all allow you to run their software on 5 iOS devices at the same time. Although all 3 iOS clients are attractive, engaging, and easy to use, they don’t have kill switches and include limited features compared to the apps designed for other platforms such as Windows, Mac, and even Android.

Even though PIA has 1000+ servers in the US, it fails to overcome the VPN blocks streaming services like Netflix USA and Hulu have in place. HMA, on the other hand, has 190+ servers in the US and can give you access to geoblocked websites and streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. As for TunnelBear, it operates some servers in the US and can sometimes get around geo-restrictions, but there's no guarantee it will work at all times.

The Bottom Line

Overall PIA provides the better service; it is the only one of the three that does not keep any logs at all, reducing the potential risks to your data. It also has a variety of encryption levels to choose from and is more customizable that the other two providers. When this is combined with its speeds, server numbers, functionality, and ease of use it is a clear winner.

Time to decide which one is best for you

FAQ

Is Private Internet Access better than TunnelBear VPN and HMA VPN?

Yes, Private Internet Access is better overall than TunnelBear VPN and HMA VPN. It has 29650 servers in 84 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.19 a month.

What should I keep in mind when choosing between Private Internet Access, TunnelBear VPN and HMA VPN?

When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

If you’re ready to commit, then Private Internet Access may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests.

Is Private Internet Access faster than TunnelBear VPN and HMA VPN?

Yes, Private Internet Access is faster than TunnelBear VPN and HMA VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free.. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

Do Private Internet Access, TunnelBear VPN or HMA VPN offer any deals?

Private Internet Access, TunnelBear VPN, and HMA VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.