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Hotspot Shield vs TunnelBear VPN 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield are two well-known providers that offer limited free VPN services and unlimited data and extra benefits when you pay. Both VPNs provide applications for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and a browser extension for Chrome. TunnelBear offers an additional extension for Opera. Both TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield employ strong 256-bit encryption and allow you to use five simultaneous device connections per account. Hotspot Shield has servers in 25 countries, while TunnelBear has servers in over 22. Both VPN providers offer unique features to improve the VPN experience. TunnelBear offers GhostBear, a double VPN you can use to bypass content censorship. Meanwhile, Hotspot Shield offers “Catapult Hydra,” a data compression technique used to provide faster VPN service. Hotspot Shield offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and you can test the VPN with its free services, while TunnelBear does not offer a money-back guarantee.


Features 8.8/10
Pricing 9.0/10
Ease of Use 9.0/10
Reliability & Support 8.6/10
Features 8.7/10
Pricing 7.5/10
Ease of Use 8.4/10
Reliability & Support 9.0/10


Review by our expert
Author Image Kennedy Otieno
Kennedy Otieno

Cybersecurity Researcher


Hotspot Shield claims its proprietary Hydra protocol makes it faster than most VPNs — but is that true? I tested HSS on my fast internet connection (it allows up to 1Gbps speeds) to discover how it does with streaming, gaming, and torrenting. Mostly, I had a seamless internet experience — watching shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without buffering. Its 1,800 servers in 80 countries ...

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Latest positive user review
Great Interface, easy to use and smooth/zippy.

It just feels well put together. Turns on automatically, which is no bad thing (if you don't like that... , turn the damn thing off with a click). The speed is consistently above average, and on a couple of inadvertent occasions, the Kill Switch operated as it should. I especially like the GUI, which is really simple, solid, yet has a refined/slick feel - far superior to a few I've tried but won't name here. I see no issues with it, although the security issues pointed out in the article are a bit alarming. I'm using the 'Business' version. Nice VPN, IMO.More

Latest negative user review
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 Andreea Juganaru
Andreea Juganaru

Senior Editor


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
Iqra Muneer
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
David Ross

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


Starting price $2.99/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices
Starting price $3.33/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 0 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices

Best VPNs by category

Security is a huge consideration when it comes to VPNs, and TunnelBear ensures a high-security standard by conducting independent audits on a regular basis. Hotspot Shield offers value here with a proxy browser that protects you from malware.

It is not possible to use Hotspot Shield with P2P services like torrents. TunnelBear allows P2P sharing.

TunnelBear enhances Windows security with the ability to connect or disconnect based on a list of trusted networks. Meanwhile, Hotspot Shield focuses on usability with an easy setup process and a one-click connection feature.

TunnelBear offers an app for Android with an easy to use widget that allows you to connect in one tap or choose a server country straight from your home screen. Hotspot Shield also has a dedicated Android app that includes features like “start on boot” which launches the VPN as your device powers on. The app also provides the ability to automatically turn off the VPN while your phone is in sleep mode.

TunnelBear provides an easy to use interface for Mac users that features two buttons: one to turn the VPN on or off, and another to easily choose the VPN server country. Hotspot Shield focuses on high speed, reliable streaming, allowing you to get the most out of your Mac’s high-quality screen display.

TunnelBear is directly integrated into 3D touch, allowing you to save time by accessing its network from the home screen. However, you can enjoy the speed you’re used to on the iPhone with Hotspot Shield’s data compression feature that accelerates network service.

TunnelBear offers users the ability to make encrypted data less detectable by the government and ISPs on their networks with an extra layer of security. If your priority is streaming, you’ll benefit from HotSpot Shield’s lightning-fast speed that allows you to connect to services like Netflix, Hulu, and more.

The Bottom Line

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

Hotspot Shield and TunnelBear share similarities such as the inclusion of a kill switch and a no-logging policy. However, users more interested in secure connections may favor TunnelBear, a company that conducts regular independent security audits. Users who are more interested in streaming may take more interest in Hotspot Shield, with its proprietary data compression that speeds up connections.

Time to decide which one is best for you


Is Hotspot Shield better than TunnelBear VPN?

Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than TunnelBear VPN. It has 1800 servers in 80 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.99 a month.

What should I keep in mind when choosing between 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 Hotspot Shield may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

Is Hotspot Shield faster than TunnelBear VPN?

Yes, Hotspot Shield is faster than 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 Hotspot Shield or TunnelBear VPN offer any deals?

Both 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.