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Private Internet Access vs TunnelBear VPN vs HMA VPN 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

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 9.2/10
Pricing 8/10
Ease of Use 9.6/10
Reliability & Support 9.8/10
Features 8.6/10
Pricing 7.6/10
Ease of Use 8.4/10
Reliability & Support 9/10
Features 8.2/10
Pricing 8.8/10
Ease of Use 9.4/10
Reliability & Support 8/10

Reviews

Review by our expert
Author Image Matthew Amos
Matthew Amos

Cybersecurity Researcher

9.8/10

Private Internet Access has one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available — you can sign up for as little as $2.03/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...

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Latest positive user review
E
Ez
10.0/10
Best VPN Out on The Market

I like PIA VPN the best for the following reasons: ● It's a reliable and trustworthy policy; they don... 't record anything harmful to you; strict no logs. ● I've been using it for one month and there are specific times when it speeds up my internet speed (varies by internet) ● It's a distinctive feature of DIP (dedicated IP) - I think not many popular VPNs have this feature, I also purchased this feature to avoid getting the captcha verification and it never showed up ever since. It's only been a month using this VPN but as I gain more experience with this client, I'm pretty sure I will find more good features and utilize them. Thanks for having read my review:)More

Latest negative user review
S
Steve Taylor
4.0/10
What support ?

Contacted online help service for not being able to install or having an issue trying to install/log i... n with android box - was told that they "still have been unable to find a fix for android box issue (i.e. it does not work ! ) - but - Hey our tech people are working hard at it" Read somewhere that this "issue" existed over 5 years ago. Think they need to work hard at finding competent technicians.More

Review by our expert
Author Image Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Cybersecurity Researcher

9/10

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
W
Whodat
8.0/10
OK for PC & Android, no firesticks

The PC and tablet versions of the paid version differ. Ghost Bear is on all versions, but Vigilant be... ar is PC only. Tried on an older Samsung tablet running kit kat, and a slightly newer one using marshmellow. I Will NOT install it on any of my android phones (they are for work), but I'm confident about them working on 7.1.1 up. Why no fire tv stick version? Have to use a different VPN or cast to it from a tablet that will run it. Their devs should look harder at the noob market they are aimed at, so get cracking develop one soon. In Canada, where TB is based, it's not for Netflix, but fine for IPTV and related stuff. The principal ISP's here (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Shaw) have become more aggressive blocking things lately, so a VPN is a must now. Throughput isn't horrible on a cheap 15/1 line, (the average is around 12/.9 using an in Canada server out of Vancouver) so it's mid-pack.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 Katie Kasunic
Katie Kasunic

Technology Researcher

9.4/10

HMA is a popular VPN provider with a large network of 1,100+ servers in 210+ countries. Some of this VPN’s biggest strengths are its user-friendly interface, impressive speeds, and ability to bypass geoblocks (even Netflix's!) It's newest update, HMA Version 5, includes new design features and an auto-generated diagnostics mode. Arguably the most impressive update is its Lightning-mode feat...

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Latest positive user review
A
Anonymously
8.0/10
Very Good

I use it mainly for gaming, it has high speeds, a fast connection, security and anonymity, two charact... eristic protocols, P2P and split tunneling, I have been using it for a while but it is worth noting that it does not work on some streaming services like Disney+ or HBO Go but otherwise it is perfect and very easy to use.More

Latest negative user review
W
Webhamster
2.0/10
No customer support

It works sometimes (many streaming services block HMA), but if it doesn't work there is no customer su... pport. Their replies never offer any solution and always blame the customer for any problem. Also, they keep asking the same question over and over again, since they don't read replies.More

Pricing

Starting price $2.03/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 5 devices
Starting price $2.99/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
Number of devices per license 10 devices

Best VPNs 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

Author Image Catherine Ablett
Catherine Ablett

Cybersecurity Researcher

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 70 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.03 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 before making a long-term commitment. 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.