We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield vs TunnelBear VPN 2024

Table of Contents
    Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Catherine Ablett
    Catherine Ablett

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    On the surface these three providers, Hotspot Shield, PIA (Private Internet Access), and TunnelBear all offer similar services, all of which allow users to securely access the web while safeguarding their privacy. However, there are some considerable differences that need to be highlighted. All offer reasonable speeds and good encryption, but only PIA and TunnelBear offer a choice of connection methods, since users of Hotspot Shield can only connect via OpenVPN. All three providers have server locations across the globe with Hotspot Shield leading the way with over 90 server locations, however, PIA leaps ahead with in the region of 3000 servers, compared to Hotspot Shield’s 200. No server numbers are given by TunnelBear. All three offer mobile solutions and are suitable for public Wi-Fi hotspot usage. They also can be used to access geo-restricted content, although access is to Netflix is not guaranteed through TunnelBear. TunnelBear does not support the use of BitTorrent at all, while both Hotspot Shield and PIA can be used for Torrents; PIA does not support torrenting on its US servers.

    Our Score

    Features 9.5/10
    Pricing 9.5/10
    Ease of Use 9.6/10
    Reliability & Support 9.8/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10
    Features 9.0/10
    Pricing 9.3/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 7.8/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.5/10

    Private Internet Access (PIA) offers one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions, starting at just $2.03/month. With such a low price, I wondered whether PIA could really stand out against its higher-priced competitors. However, it prides itself on a 10-plus-year reputation of being safe and trustworthy, so it’s also one of the best-value VPNs available. I’ve used PIA for a while and have examine...

    Read all
    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
    M
    Mike Johnson
    2.0/10
    PIA no longer works on Amazon Fire devices.

    I have used PIA for several years with no issues. Currently, amazon fire devices can no longer sign i... n to the account. Used on 3 TVs with 3 different fire devices with the same result. There is no way to resolve the issue.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Lawrence Wachira
    Lawrence Wachira

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.1/10

    Hotspot Shield is a VPN that’s undergone many changes recently. After dealing with several controversies, it overhauled its logging policy and is under new management. So, has it gotten better? I tested everything it offers to see if HSS is safe. I fully explored its logging policy and found out if its security features can prevent data leaks. I also tested its speeds, customer support, stre...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    H
    Howard Rosenbrook
    10.0/10
    Had for 3 years no problem

    Kept cable providers off my ass just dont like that you cant pay a week or so early and dont like the ... auto renewal i should beable to pay my bill on my own when i want as long as im not late it shouldnt be a problem with your companyMore

    Latest negative user review
    A
    Alt
    2.0/10
    Blocked by Real-Debrid on just about every us city and nearly all countries

    Easy to connect speed pretty good multiple platforms not great from streaming.. which is where you nee... d the speed. Nord vpn and Express are both cooperative providers with real-debrid meaning no connection problems. Even if you do find a server that connects frequently this is blocked during streaming.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Lawrence Wachira
    Lawrence Wachira

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.0/10

    TunnelBear is one of the most beginner-friendly VPNs, offering a solid free version. Despite its adorable design, it’s also renowned for its security and privacy features. But can you truly rely on this lighthearted VPN to protect you the way the best providers can? After extensive tests, I can confirm that TunnelBear is an excellent VPN with great potential. It’s straightforward to use, d...

    Read all
    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

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.03/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 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

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    PIA is a user-friendly VPN with loads of servers in over 30 countries. With regards to security this provider wins the game, not just in terms of encryption but also by strictly keeping to its no logs policy. Due to its high security level, PIA's speeds are affected, but do remain consistent. For a free vpn, TunnelBear offers amazing services and features. It is easy to use and has just enough servers and speed to ensure smooth streaming and access to restricted content. The only problem is that it does partially store logs and also does not always manage to unblock Netflix. Lastly, Hotspot Shield is a provider with a large server base, ideal for streaming, considering its unlimited bandwidth feature. Even so, it does store logs partially which should be taken into consideration by users that thrive for their complete online safety.

    Best VPN for Torrents
    Best VPN for Windows
    Best VPN for Android
    Best VPN for Mac
    Best VPN for iOS
    Best VPN for USA

    Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

    The Bottom Line

    PIA is a clear winner when compared to these two other providers. It offers the stronger encryption, security and privacy, and better customer service. It is the only one of the three that guarantees not to keep any logs of any type, and which provides users with a kill switch. It offers better value for money in relation to the service levels it provides, with subscriptions prices being related to length of subscription rather than bandwidth or speed allowances. It also has the best customer service options and, of course, the greater choice of servers that can be accessed.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Private Internet Access better than Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear VPN?

    Yes, Private Internet Access is better overall than Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear VPN. It has 29650 servers in 91 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, Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear 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 Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear VPN?

    Yes, Private Internet Access is faster than Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear 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, Hotspot Shield or TunnelBear VPN offer any deals?

    Private Internet Access, Hotspot Shield, and TunnelBear 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.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Catherine is an advocate of net neutrality.