Windscribe and TunnelBear are two respected service providers in the industry, but which one is better? In this Windscribe vs TunnelBear review, we will discuss every aspect that needs to be considered when choosing a VPN service that suits your personal needs.
Both services offer attractive browser extensions and client servers, and their pricing plans are also more or less the same. Both offer a free service, but Windscribe offers you more data than TunnelBear. Windscribe also offers more servers in more locations across the globe, with TunnelBear offering only 20.
Both services are based in Canada and form part of the 5 Eyes surveillance, but neither companies log and sell your personal information, so there’s less to worry about if it is privacy that you are after. If it is speed you are looking for, Windscribe will most probably be your best bet. Our test showed that TunnelBear’s upload and download speeds were drastically slower.
We also compared the applications of both services and in this category, they also both offer a user-friendly interface but again, Windscribe walked away with the win because it allows users the flexibility to change more settings.
When we ran our security tests, no leaks or viruses were detected on either application and both have built-in kill switches that provide a second layer of security. TunnelBear has a Ghostbear feature that is pretty cool and the animations found in this application are quite entertaining.
Unfortunately, Netflix cannot be accessed using either VPN, but on the plus side, both are really good for torrenting. Customer service is also something that we checked out and both offer only a ticketing system and no live chat option, but the service we received from both was decent. When it comes to China, TunnelBear struggles to bypass the Great Firewall, whereas Windscribe works really well.
Security is one of the most important parts of a VPN as if your IP address is not being hidden, it’s pointless paying out for the VPN in question. TunnelBear uses AES 256-bit data encryption, which is one of the strongest around, ensuring top-notch privacy.
Similarly, Windscribe has industry-standard encryption, as well as several privacy features in the form of browser extensions, including ad blocker, tracking blockers on social media websites, deleting ad trackers and exposing tracking practices.
Speed and performance
Both service providers limit the amount of data you move around if you are using their free plans, but in terms of speed, Windscribe wins the contest. In our test, TunnelBear ‘s download rate was around 5.34 Mbps while the upload rate was around 3.41 Mbps. Windscribe’s download rate was around 109.76 Mbps and their upload rate was a lot faster as well.
Windscribe has servers in over 50 countries across the globe and seems to be adding more on a regular basis while TunnelBear only offers servers in 20 countries, which in all honesty isn’t really a lot since most VPN service providers cover at least 25 countries on average.
Both companies are based in Canada, which means that they are both part of the 5 Eyes surveillance.
Both Winscribe and TunnelBear are pretty even when it comes to pricing. Users can expect to pay around $5 per month if they subscribe to an annual subscription which is not too expensive.
The great thing about both services is that they offer a free service, if you don’t feel like paying out. If you get to a point where you require more data, you can simply sign-up for the paid services.
Windscribe offers three pricing options:
- Free service – 10GB monthly data cap
- Monthly plan – $9.00 per month
- Annual plan – $4.08 per month.
TunnelBear also offers three options:
- Free service – 500MB monthly data cap
- Giant plan – $9.99 per month
- Grizzly plan – $5.00 per month.
The only major difference is that Windscribe offers considerably more data than TunnelBear on the free service.
Apps and extensions
TunnelBear is one of the easiest VPNs to use. They specialize in ease of use and offer a fun interface. When connecting to a TunnelBear server you will be entertained with animations, but, unfortunately, the settings within the application don’t really offer you much. However, the app does have a built-in kill switch and some other perks, like Ghostbear, that allow you to bypass firewalls.
Windscribe also offers a user-friendly app but users are able to configure more settings such as the firewall settings which makes it more attractive for power users. You are also able to use a proxy and to share Windscribe VPN to a hotspot. Overall, Windscribe allows you more flexibility but TunnelBear’s Ghostbear feature is also pretty awesome.
Netflix has stopped many VPNs from accessing their services and unfortunately, both TunnelBear and Windscribe fall into this category. There are ways to get around it if you are prepared to invest some serious time and effort to changing settings in these applications.
But, if Netflix is a real deal breaker, we recommend that you find an easier solution — use another VPN with better access to Netflix.
Do they work in China?
The Chinese government is doing their utmost to ensure that no VPNs work in the country, but some of the best ones are able to bypass the Great China Firewall (for the time being at least). Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t seem to be one of them.
You might be lucky enough to get it working, but it will disconnect often. Windscribe, on the other hand, works extremely well in China, so it wins hands down in this particular comparison.
Windscribe allows torrenting and even offers tutorials on uTorrent, VUZE, Deluge and qBittorrent. However, not all of the Windscribe servers support torrenting, so it’s best to make sure that they have a P2P-friendly server close to your location.
TunnelBear also allows torrenting. Users can use the TOR network in conjunction with the VPN to maximize anonymity, but when tested, it slowed down our speeds quite drastically. Still, we are really impressed that torrenting is allowed by both service providers.
Both TunnelBear and Windscribe have a decent customer support system although neither of the two service providers offers a live chat option — they only have a ticketing system.
So, if you prefer a live chat option you will need to continue shopping around, but overall we were quite impressed by their service, even on the free plan. Both support teams are professional and reply fast.
It was difficult to choose a winner between these two VPNs, but when all aspects have been thoroughly considered, we think that Windscribe is the one that walks away as the winner.
The fact that it works in China, is quite a bit faster, and that you can configure its settings, is what helped it come out on top.