Tunnelbear vpn

TunnelBear

Our rating:

 7.4/10

No. of servers: 1000

Price from: $5.00

#18 out of 60 VPN providers

Read our Full Opinion

Free version

Double encryption

VPN kill switch

Operate their own servers

Easy-to-use

Great browser extensions

What others say about TunnelBear:

You might suffer a bit on the speed side, but there’s no disputing that it’s very easy to use and does offer solid security.

TheBestVPN.com
2018 October

If you're looking for an affordable and user-friendly VPN service to secure and anonymize your Web traffic, TunnelBear is worth checking out.

PCMag.com
2018 May

It's not the largest, fastest or most powerful of VPNs, but TunnelBear's ease of use and strong focus on opening up its systems to scrutiny deserve a lot of credit.

Techradar.com
2018 October

It is a feature-packed VPN with software for all platforms that keeps extremely minimal and non-invasive connection logs about its users.

BestVPN.com
2018 October

What is TunnelBear VPN

Based in Toronto, Canada, TunnelBear is a VPN service used by more than 22 million worldwide. Attracting such a large audience in just 7 years is no easy task for VPN services. TunnelBear managed largely because of their free version. They also have a great brand with a funny attitude, cartoons instead of photographs, etc… But mostly it’s the free version.

TunnelBear’s slogan is “Simple, private, free access to the open Internet you <3”. They hold to the promise of being simple by keeping both their website and their client design minimalistic, free from advanced features and options. “Free access” stands for the free version that they still offer in an industry where paid-only software is becoming a norm.

As for the privacy – TunnelBear has a “no logs” policy and does independent audits of their service on a yearly basis. Yet there’s no way to forget that Canada is a member of the 5-eyes alliance.

In 2018, TunnelBear was bought by cybersecurity grizzly McAfee, meaning the VPN provider now has to comply with the US jurisdiction, which is even more problematic when it comes to privacy and anonymity issues. So, while TunnelBear VPN might not end up on the “Top VPN” lists across the web, it sure is one of the best free VPN options.

TunnelBear Facts

Company name TunnelBear Inc.
Company name TunnelBear Inc.
Global presence 20 countries
Global presence 20 countries
Money back policy Free version, no refund for paid version
Money back policy Free version, no refund for paid version
Business Location Toronto, Canada (owned by McAfee, Santa Clara, US)
Business Location Toronto, Canada (owned by McAfee, Santa Clara, US)
Privacy VPN connection and OS/client version logs, 5-eyes country
Privacy VPN connection and OS/client version logs, 5-eyes country
Domain https://www.tunnelbear.com
Domain https://www.tunnelbear.com
Number of servers 1000
Number of servers 1000
Free / Trial version limited free version
Free / Trial version limited free version
Other Names TunnelBear
Other Names TunnelBear

Where TunnelBear VPN is based and why it's important

TunnelBear VPN is based in Canada which is one of the 5-eyes countries. What is more, the company was bought by security giant McAfee, linking it to the US and its legal context, which is even worse when it comes to privacy and anonymity. So TunnelBear is subject to data retention laws and the power of US intelligence agencies, as well as the 5-eyes intelligence-sharing agreement.

Canada and the US have an intelligence-sharing agreement with the UK, Australia, and New Zealand (and, to a lesser extent, 9 other countries). This means your personal data may theoretically end up in the hands of any of this countries’ intelligence agencies. While VPNs are not as susceptible as regular Internet service providers, one must be aware of possible spying either by the NSA or other government institutions.

What does a TunnelBear location say?

1

Member of 5 eyes international surveillance alliance

2

Potentially liable under Canadian and US laws

3

Tough anti-piracy laws

4

Used to be the biggest file-sharing nation

Compare TunnelBear VPN to other providers

While TunnerBear VPN is yet to win its first comparison on our website, it has to be mentioned that its competition has been fierce so far. All three VPNs are are in our “Best of” list and two sit at the top, fighting for the Number one spot. This means you should expect the results to change in TunnelBear’s favor.

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TunnelBear comparisons written on VPNPro

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0%

comparisons won

Available plans and pricing

The most attractive TunnelBear pricing plan is the free version, which allowed the service to gain popularity across the globe. But there are a few caveats here. One is the bandwidth limit. You can only use 500 MB/month, which you will deplete after watching a few YouTube videos. There’s an option to extend the bandwidth limit to 1.5 GB, but for this, you must have a public Twitter account with a decent amount of followers where you will have to tweet about TunnelBear. Another caveat is that the free TunnelBear version does not include Australian servers.

Free version

500 MB

per month

Data limit

Can be increased to 1.5 GB

1 month

$ 9.99

per month

No savings

Billed monthly

1 year

$ 4.17

per month

Save 58%

$49.99 billed annually

1 year

$ 5.75

month

Business

$69 billed annually

TunnelBear’s plans might seem fishy because there’s no money-back guarantee. We assure this is a legit VPN company with years of experience and one should understand that their free version acts as an unlimited returns policy.

Speaking of the actual pricing plans, there’s only two of them. The first one is a standard monthly deal which is cheaper than those offered by top VPNs. The second one is for 12 months where you pay $49.99 or $4.17/month. This one is even cheaper considering the competition. There is also a special plan for teams, available for an annual fee of $69 (which makes it $5.75/month per person).

It allows 5 simultaneous connections from different devices, meaning you don’t have to buy a plan for every employee. Additionally, team plan owners get priority support, which is important considering TunnelBear still lacks 24/7 live chat support (which is almost a must in today’s business climate).

Payment options available to TunnelBear customers include Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Luckily, there’s also an anonymous option to pay with Bitcoin. We hope that TunnelBear VPN will add PayPal, AliPay and other options in the future.

Want More Insights About the Product?

Check TunnelBear VPN review and get to know it in detail!

Read our TunnelBear VPN review

Platforms TunnelBear VPN supports

TunnelBear VPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There is no Linux app at the moment and we doubt we’ll see one soon – TunnelBear’s target audience is unlikely to use this OS.

There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. One of their best features is that the extensions will work on any operating system as long as it supports one of the three browsers, making it really easy to use the TunnelBear browser extension on different platforms.

TunnelBear Windows
Windows
TunnelBear macOS
macOS
TunnelBear Android
Android
TunnelBear iOS
iOS
TunnelBear Chrome
Chrome
TunnelBear Firefox
Firefox
TunnelBear Opera
Opera

Often a VPN doesn’t have a dedicated app for a certain OS or device but it can still be configured to work. Unfortunately, in the case of TunnelBear, there’s virtually no support for routers, gaming consoles or devices like the Amazon Fire TV stick. It is not clear whether any of this is in their pipeline but we sure hope to see TunnelBear extending the range of supported devices in 2019.

TunnelBear VPN for streaming, torrenting, and China

TunnelBear for Streaming

Understandably, using the free version of TunnelBear for Netflix is not an option due to the limited bandwidth. However, using the paid one we were able to access Netflix US. In short, it seems to be decent for accessing Netflix (although we would still advise trying for yourself with the free version).

We were unable to access BBC iPlayer content using the UK server, getting the message “this content is not available in your location.”

Streaming content

TunnelBear for Torrents

the pirate bay torrenting

Gone are the days when TunnelBear was blocking P2P file sharing and torrenting. That doesn’t mean downloading and sharing copyrighted content became legal. Also, TunnelBear VPN is yet to be optimized for this activity by offering dedicated servers and static IPs.

TunnelBear for China

We can recommend using even the free version of TunnelBear in China. This VPN should work fine. Just make sure you install it before arriving. If it doesn’t work, you can try using GhostBear for Windows, Mac or Android. It should make your encrypted data impossible to detect for governments and internet service providers.

TunnelBear VPN history

As of now, TunnelBear VPN hasn’t been involved in any scandals, maintaining their reputation. On the contrary, they have been submitting to independent audits for the second year in a row. It’s been over seven years since this VPN has started running and we don’t see it leaving the market anytime soon. Nevertheless, the potential for damaging their reputation remains high as both the developer’s company and its owner McAfee are based in 5-eyes countries.

vpn history
brand history
2011

TunnelBear leaves the cave

The company was founded by Daniel Kaldor and Ryan Dochuk in Toronto, Canada.

2017

First self-initiated audit

TunnelBear makes a statement to the VPN industry, announcing an independent audit of their services.

2018

McAfee acquires TunnelBear

On March, McAfee buys TunnelBear, keeping its headquarters in Canada.

2018

Self-initiated audits become annual

On October, a second audit was made, making this an annual effort.

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