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IPVanish vs TunnelBear in 2024

IPVanish vs TunnelBear

US-based IPVanish and Canada-based TunnelBear are two well-known VPN solutions on the market. TunnelBear is known for its free version and love of bear puns. Meanwhile, IPVanish stands out with its online file storage and sync feature.

But a VPN doesn’t need a load of unique gimmicks to make it a viable option. What matters is connection speed, security & privacy features, unblocking capabilities, device compatibility, and much more. I’ll compare IPVanish vs TunnelBear in these categories to see which one is the better choice overall.

IPVanish vs. TunnelBear: specifications

IPVanish is a well-ranked VPN provider that has over 2200+ servers in 51+ countries. Also, it provides decent streaming and torrenting capabilities and supports various devices. On the other hand, TunnelBear has a smaller server fleet of 1800+ servers in 48+ countries, and it has weaker torrenting and capabilities. However, it’s more suited for streaming.

Unfortunately, both VPNs raise concerns about their security as they are located in countries that are part of the 5-Eyes Alliance. Still, IPVanish is the better, safer choice. Now, let’s get into more detail!

IPVanish logotunnelbear logo
⭐Our rating8.4 ⭐7.2⭐
💸Current offerGet IPVanish 75% OFF!Get Tunnelbear 50% OFF!
💰Price starts from$2.75/month$3.33/month
💳Money-back guarantee30 daysNo
📖No-logs policyIndependently-auditedNot audited
🌐Servers2200+ servers in 51+ countries1800+ servers in 48+ countries
🔒VPN protocolsWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTPWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿StreamingNetflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayerNetflix US, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV
🖥️PlatformsAll major OS, Android TV, Amazon Fire, ChromeOS, RouterWindows, macOS, Android, and iOS

IPVanish vs TunnelBear: pricing

Plans and paymentsIPVanishTunnelBear
Free versionNoYes
Free trialYes, 7-daysYes (for Teams)
One month$12.99/month$9.99/month
One year$3.33/month$4.99/month
Three year
$3.33/month
Money-back guarantee30-daysNo
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon PayCredit Card, Bitcoin

The first round of our TunnelBear vs. IPVanish comparison is about pricing. Both competitors are pretty affordable, but IPVanish has a minor advantage in this round because of its lower prices.

IPVanish pricing

IPVanish offers a 7-day free trial for iOS and Android. However, you will also benefit from the 30-day money-back guarantee that comes with its paid plans. So, let’s see what it offers:

  • $12.99/month for a monthly plan
  • $3.33/month for the annual plan
  • $2.75/month for the 2-year plan

You can find plenty of IPVanish coupons for discounts up to 75%. And every subscription comes with a free VIPRE antivirus, which boosts your computer’s security.

IPVanish pricing

The available payment methods are credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay. Alas, the lack of any anonymous payment options is disappointing, as it would boost subscriber anonymity.

TunnelBear pricing

TunnelBear’s greatest advantage is that it has a free plan. However, its free plan comes with only 2 GB/month of data and 1 simultaneous connection. Luckily, its paid plans are quite affordable and have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so let’s look at them:

  • $9.99/month for a monthly plan
  • $4.99/month for a yearly plan
  • $3.33/month for a three-year plan

Regarding payments, you can pay with your credit and debit cards, PayPal, American Express, and Bitcoin. Thanks to accepting cryptocurrencies, you can make anonymous payments.

We don’t appreciate the lack of any sort of money-back guarantee, though. If you want to test the premium service, you’ll have to pick the monthly plan, which is quite costly. And if you end up disliking TunnelBear, you’ll be losing that money when you cancel the subscription.

Speed comparison

IPVanish and TunnelBear have similar speed rates, but IPVanish is a bit faster. IPVanish utilizes more VPN protocols, such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and SSTP, that result in better speeds.

Although TunnelBear offers 1800+ servers in 48+ countries, it works only with WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 VPN protocols. Due to this, it’s slower than IPVanish.

IPVanish vs TunnelBear: which is more secure?

IPVanishTunnelBear
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
JurisdictionUSACanada
LoggingIndependently-audited no-logsNo-logs policy
Kill switch
YesYes
Leak protection
DNS, IPv6, WebRTCDNS, IPv6
RAM servers
NoneNone

Regarding security, both VPN providers are perceived as a bit risky due to jurisdiction. However, IPVanish takes a step in the right direction by at least having its no-logs policy audited by a third party. Therefore, IPVanish takes the lead again. Now, let’s see why these providers are so similar:

Privacy

IPVanish and TunnelBear both are part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. More precisely, IPVanish is located in the US, while TunnelBear headquarters is in Canada. Due to this, these VPNs may collect and share your data with the government if requested.

However, IPVanish adheres to a verified no-logs policy which proves that this provider doesn’t collect user information. TunneBeal doesn’t go this extra step, and doesn’t even utilize RAM-only servers to help mitigate this issue.

Logging

When it comes to logging, only IPVanish has an independently audited no-logs policy which ensures that the VPN won’t collect your data. TunnelBear, on the other hand, states that it has a strict no-logs policy, yet they do log such info as OS version, monthly data usage, payment transaction information, etc.

Servers location

Server specificationIPVanishTunnelBear
Servers2200+1800+
Countries51+48+
All physical serversYesNo
Owns all serversYesNo

It looks like this TunnelBear vs. IPVanish comparison has a clear lead. In this round, IPVanish takes the win.

IPVanish has over 2200 servers in more than 51 countries and manages its network without third parties. TunnelBear has 1800+ servers in 48+ countries and has to rely on others for their server infrastructure. Neither VPN has RAM-only servers, but that’s still a pretty rare feature.

Features

FeaturesIPVanishTunnelBear
Smart DNS
❌No❌No
Ad & malware blocking❌No✅Yes
Split tunneling
✅Yes (Android & FireOS)✅Yes
Specialized servers
❌No❌No

The next round of our comparison goes in TunnelBear’s favor. So, let’s get down to business and find out why!

Smart DNS

If you want to use your VPN on any device, then you should look for a VPN with a Smart DNS feature. Neither opponent has one, which is a shame, since it somewhat limits their usefulness in terms of streaming.

Ad & malware blocker

In order to stay safe from malicious websites and advertisements, your chosen VPN must have an ad & malware blocker. This amazing feature detects suspicious activity and blocks ads, links, and sites that may contain malware.

Unfortunately, the only VPN with this feature is TunnelBear. Thanks to its TunnelBear Blocker, you’ll get top-notch safety while browsing online. IPVanish does have an antivirus, though.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is crucial for better VPN performance. In other words, this feature lets you choose which apps only work with the VPN and which ones won’t.

If this is the most important feature for you, you’ll be better off with TunnelBear, as it offers split tunneling.

Obfuscated servers

Some networks block VPN traffic and certain countries block VPNs altogether. Therefore, you need a VPN with obfuscated servers, which help bypass such restrictions to access the internet however you want.

The best part is that both IPVanish and TunnelBear have this feature, meaning no one will detect your VPN usage. IPVanish offers the OpenVPN Scramble option, while TunnelBear utilizes the GhostBear feature.

Other features

Only IPVanish comes with extra perks, such as a free SOCKS5 proxy.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformsIPVanishTunnelBear
Netflix US
✅Yes✅Yes
Other Netflix libraries
❌No❌No
Amazon Prime Video
❌No✅Yes
Hulu❌No✅Yes
HBO Max
❌No✅Yes
Disney+
✅Yes❌No
BBC iPlayer✅Yes❌No
YouTube TV❌No✅Yes

Both of these VPNs are fairly decent for streaming content. Neither service has dedicated servers for streaming and no Smart DNS, but they did manage to unblock Netflix US. The regional libraries proved to be a hassle, though, so don’t expect to be jumping from one locked library to another with either.

During testing, TunnelBear managed to unblock more streaming platforms than IPVanish. We got a hold of Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and even YouTube TV. In comparison, IPVanish doesn’t work that well with them, but it was able to get past strict Disney+ and BBC iPlayer geo-blocks.

Still, if streaming is a priority for you, you may want to look at our top VPNs for streaming instead.

Device compatibility

Device supportIPVanishTunnelBear
Major dedicated appsWindows, macOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Other dedicated appsAmazon Fire TV Stick, Android TV, ChromeOS
Browser extensionsChrome, Edge, Firefox, Brave, Opera
Manual setupRouters, firewall, NAS
Simultaneous devicesUnlimitedUnlimited

Device compatibility is another crucial factor when you’re choosing a VPN. After comparing both providers, we decided that the clear winner is IPVanish. The fact that you can install it on the router is a big deal, as it allows you to secure all household devices connected to it.

Desktop applications

Both services offer dedicated applications for Windows and macOS users, but only IPVanish provides Linux support. Furthermore, while IPVanish is all about simplicity and sleekness, TunnelBear takes a more cartoonish approach to design.

IPVanish app locations on desktop

IPVanish’s desktop clients are uniform in design and are extra easy to navigate. And picking a server is made even easier with the interactive server map, which we find to be a big plus. The only notable difference between the two operating systems is that macOS lacks split tunneling.

TunnelBear Windows client main screen

TunnelBear seemed cute at first with all those bear animations and roaring sounds, but it got old pretty fast. Other than that, the apps are similar security and feature-wise, minus the fact that you can’t manually select a tunneling protocol on macOS.

Mobile applications

Both IPVanish and TunnelBear have dedicated apps for Android and iOS devices. And the design approaches remain similar to ones taken with the desktop applications.

IPVanish Android settings

IPVanish keeps the interactive server map on mobile. And the service takes great care to provide the same level of security no matter what phone you’re using. However, iPhone owners do miss out on split tunneling and VPN traffic obfuscation.

TunnelBear for iOS Settings

And TunnelBear, well, we had a better experience with the desktop apps. The mobile clients are cluttered and buggy, some visual assets fail to load as intended most of the time, and you get to “enjoy” bear sounds on top of all that. The biggest issue is that the iOS client lacks any kill switch whatsoever, which is a critical mistake in our books.

Torrenting

P2P specificationsIPVanishTunnelBear
Allowed on✅All servers✅All servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy✅Yes❌No
Split tunneling✅Yes (Android, FireOS)✅Yes (Windows, macOS)

Torrenting is another round where IPVanish wins, making it the better choice for P2P activities. It facilitates far better speeds and throws in a SOCKS5 proxy for securing torrent clients. The result is faster download and upload speeds.

On the contrary, TunnelBear lacks a SOCKS5 proxy and has slower upload and download rates. And while it does have split tunneling on PC, it’s not enough to make P2P faster.

China

SpecificationsIPVanishTunnelBear
Works in China❌No✅Yes
Stealth VPN✅Yes (Traffic obfuscation)✅Yes(Ghostbear)
Tor over VPN❌No❌No

As for usage in China, TunnelBear is the favorite pick among users as the GhostBear feature works well there. It masks your VPN traffic and makes it seem like a regular internet connection, making it impossible to block. This feature is available on the free version as well, though the 2 GB/month data cap won’t be enough for most users.

Meanwhile, IPVanish does not have raving reviews about working in China. While it does have VPN traffic obfuscation, it’s not powerful enough for getting around the Great Firewall of China and cannot be recommended.

For other options to circumvent such censorship, check out our list of best VPNs for China.

Customer support

Support optionsIPVanishTunnelBear
24/7 live chat
✅Yes❌No
Phone Line✅Yes❌No
Email ✅Yes✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes✅Yes

IPVanish ticks all the boxes in the customer support area. They have 24/7 live chat, communication through email, an extensive knowledge base, and even the option to call via phone. Users can call American, British, Mexican, Spanish, Australian, Brazilian, and German phone numbers.

TunnelBear, on the other hand, offers no 24/7 live chat support. You only get access to a help database, an FAQ section, and support tickets. The response time for those tickets can range from just a few hours up to one day.

IPVanish vs TunnelBear – which is better?

IPVanish🥇TunnelBear🥈
Pricing
Wins✔️Loses❌
Speed
Wins✔️Loses❌
Security
Wins✔️Loses❌
Servers
Wins✔️Loses❌
FeaturesLoses❌Wins✔️
Streaming
Loses❌Wins✔️
Device compatibility
Wins✔️Loses❌
Torrenting
Wins✔️Loses❌
China
Loses❌Wins✔️
Customer supportWins✔️Loses❌
Total wins7 out of 103 out of 10

IPVanish is the overall winner of our TunnelBear vs. IPVanish comparison. It showcased better speed, pricing, device compatibility, torrenting, and customer support. So, if you want to have an amazing VPN experience, we recommend opting for this provider.

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You may also like to read:
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FAQ

Is IPVanish better than TunnelBear?

Yes, IPVanish is better than TunnelBear. It’s better suited for torrenting, offers broader device compatibility, faster speeds, and various customer support options. Plus. IPVanish is cheaper.

Which is faster – IPVanish or TunnelBear?

IPVanish is faster because of its WireGuard, OpenVPN IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP VPN protocols, which provide consistent connections. Furthermore, it covers more countries, which also contributes to better performance.

Is TunnelBear a good VPN?

TunnelBear is an average VPN. It does not have a lot of security features or tunneling protocols to choose from. But if you’re considering this VPN, you can try out the free version and see if it has what you need.

4 comments
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  1. Thierry J May 15, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I feel that both are decent but none really stands out or even compare to better VPNs like ExpressVPN. I’m not sure I will even try these two out to see if they’re worth it or not. I’ll go with NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Thanks for the article.


  2. VB May 13, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    From your well done comparison, it seems to me that neither deserve our money. Today if you can’t unblock Netflix, work in China (although this is not as important to most people) and offer a high level of encryption of data then you shouldn’t be operating as a VPN.


  3. thumper234 April 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    IP Vanish definitely seems to be winning the race here. Kudos for the excellent comparo!


  4. Roxanna April 18, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Between IPVanish and TunnelBear, IPVanish definitely takes the lead because of the services they offer. Their live chat support feature is the best when it comes to creating brand loyalty.

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