IPVanish and TunnelBear are two of the popular VPN solutions on the market today. If you’ve decided to get a VPN service for increased security and anonymity on the web, torrenting purposes, Netflix, or for bypassing censorship in countries like China, you may be wondering which of these two options is the better solution.
Fortunately, we’re going to compare these services in all the important areas. By the end of this IPVanish vs TunnelBear comparison, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that’ll suit your needs.
Let’s begin with the most important aspect.
Security and privacy
IPVanish does offer a full package in the area of security. With this VPN service, you get AES-256 encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, SOCKS5 proxy service, and a kill switch. IPVanish offers the IKEv2 and L2TP/IPsec protocols in addition to OpenVPN. It also offers over 40,000 IP addresses which is great for privacy.
IPvanish also claims to have a strict “zero-logs” policy. However, its reputation in this regard is quite tarnished as it did provide the authorities with logs of personally-identifiable information in a criminal case, thereby aiding in the conviction of a suspect. Also, the company that owns IPVanish is registered in the US, which is one of the least privacy-friendly locations for VPN companies.
TunnelBear, on the other hand, is based in Canada, a 5 Eyes country just like the US. It was acquired by McAfee in 2018 but still operates from Canada. While TunnelBear claims to have a no-logging policy, it does keep some logs of basic data, including your OS version, app version, authentication time, and monthly bandwidth usage. Privacy-conscious users will also be concerned about TunnelBear’s usage of Gmail as its communication medium.
On the plus side, TunnelBear does provide the solid AES-256 encryption and supports the OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols. It does offer a kill switch feature tagged “VigilantBear” and the similarly bear-themed “GhostBear” feature provides traffic obfuscation.
In all, both TunnelBear and IPVanish deliver in the area of security but leave some things to be desired when it comes to privacy. Both options seem evenly matched here so we’ll call this round a draw.
Speed and performance
When it comes to speed, both VPN services claim to be champs. But are they? Well, IPvanish offers some solid download speeds but upload speeds range from average to low. TunnelBear does the opposite with fast upload speeds and average to below average download speeds.
IPVanish has over 1,100 servers in more than 60 countries and manages its network of servers without help from third parties. TunnelBear has servers in 20+ countries, but there’s no mention of the number of servers or IP addresses on their site. While both of these services don’t exactly live up to their claim of offering the fastest speeds, IPVanish is the better performer in this department.
Ease of use and compatibility
If you’re new to VPNs, you probably want a service with clients that are very easy to set up and use. Fortunately, both of these VPN solutions have very user-friendly apps with simple interfaces. TunnelBear clients are so easy to use that power users might be turned off by the lack of more options in the settings menus.
IPVanish has clients for virtually every popular platform you can think of. Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, Chrome OS, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon Firestick TV, and even routers are all supported. Pretty impressive.
TunnelBear supports mainstream platforms including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Torrenting and P2P
This one’s easy. IPVanish is one of the best options for torrenting and P2P file sharing while TunnelBear simply doesn’t support torrenting. If you’re looking for a VPN service for torrenting purposes, IPVanish is the one to go for. The speeds are decent and the security is robust enough.
Netflix and China
When it comes to Netflix, however, IPVanish is certainly not a great choice as most of the servers are blocked. TunnelBear is also not ideal for this purpose.
As for usage in China, both services simply can’t get around China’s censorship. Although you can manually configure and connect to IPVanish IP addresses instead of their server names, China has blacklisted most of their IP addresses, making this a pointless workaround.
If you’re located in China or you want to unblock Netflix content, neither of these two options is a good choice. Instead, we recommend you check out our lists of the best VPNs for China and best VPN for Netflix.
IPVanish does offer live chat support in addition to an FAQ section on their website, a knowledge base, and email support. However, the replies to customer queries are not always helpful.
TunnelBear, on the other hand, offers no 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 to up to 24 hours.
If pricing is a very important factor for you, TunnelBear does offer sweeter deals than its competitor. It offers a free plan which gets you 500MB free monthly traffic. If you choose to pay for the service, prices start at $4.99 for a 1-month plan and drop to $9.99/month if you opt for the 1-year plan. There is no money back guarantee any of the plans.
IPVanish starts at $10.00/month for a 1-month plan while the yearly plan comes down to $6.49/month. You get a 7-day money-back guarantee for all plans and you can use up to 10 devices simultaneously with a single plan.
IPVanish vs TunnelBear – which is better?
IPVanish vs TunnelBear – what’s the verdict? TunnelBear offers decent security features, easy to use clients, and affordable plans. However, it’s privacy, support, speed and performance could be better. It also is no good for use with China and Netflix.
IPVanish is also not a good choice for Netflix and China and has some privacy issues that may give some users cause for concern. However, it offers robust security, decent speeds, solid performance, support for torrenting, and impressive multiplatform support for reasonable prices. Thus, IPVanish emerges as the winner of this IPVanish vs TunnelBear comparison.
If you’d love to learn more about these services, check out our full reviews linked below.