If you’re looking for a VPN that will satisfy your needs, then you may want to check out TunnelBear and Windscribe. These two VPNs effectively bypass geo-restrictions and online censorship. However, they come with other extras.
But making the right decision isn’t as easy as it seems because they have slight differences. That’s why we decided to write a detailed Windscribe vs. TunnelBear comparison that will help you choose the better option. So, let’s begin!
TunnelBear vs. Windscribe: specifications
Both services offer browser extensions and dedicated apps for most devices 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 a greater variety of locations across the globe, with TunnelBear offering only 48.
Due to the results from our tests, the overall winner is Windscribe. Now, let’s discover why!
|💸Current offer||Get Windscribe 55% OFF!||Get Tunnelbear 50% OFF!|
|💰Price starts from||$1.00/month||$3.33/month|
|💳Money-back guarantee||3 days||No|
|📖No-logs policy||Not audited||Not audited|
|🌐Servers||480+ servers in 69+ countries||1800+ servers in 48+ countries|
|🔒VPN protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|🍿Streaming||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu||Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV|
|🖥️Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS|
Windscribe vs TunnelBear: pricing
|Plans and payments||Windscribe||TunnelBear|
|Money-back guarantee||3 days||No|
|Payment options||Credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, PaymentWall||Credit Card, Bitcoin|
Both Windscribe and TunnelBear are pretty even when it comes to pricing. The great thing about these VPNs 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.
One of the major differences is that Windscribe offers considerably more data than TunnelBear on the free service. They also offer a customizable plan which can be significantly cheaper for users who only need a handful of locations to choose from. What’s more, is that their refund policy is better. This makes Windscribe a more appealing choice and thus wins in this category.
TunnelBear comes with a free version. However, it doesn’t offer a free trial nor a money-back guarantee, so you can’t really test the premium service without losing money. Although the paid plans are pretty cheap, so let’s explore them:
- Monthly plan for $9.99/month
- Annual plan for $4.99/month
- Three years plan for $3.33/month
Regarding payment, there aren’t many options, just credit cards and Bitcoin. At least the latter allows you to make anonymous payments, which is a plus in our book.
Now, for the free version. It comes with a 2 GB/month data cap and 1 simultaneous connection. And if it stops working or glitches, customer support won’t be rushing in to help you as they prioritize premium users.
Windscribe also has a free VPN plan, but it also offers a free trial. However, its paid plans are a bit more expensive, so the 3-day money-back guarantee is welcomed. Let’s have a look at its plans:
- Monthly plan for $9.00/month
- Annual play for $5.75/month
The best part with Windscribe is that you can create a VPN plan according to your needs, called ‘Build A Plan.’ Its pricing varies accordingly.
You can purchase any of its plans by using a credit or debit card, PayPal, Paymentwall (local currencies), and Bitcoin. As a result, you can get total anonymity.
If you want a VPN experience without any disruptions or failed connections, then you need to get a VPN with fast and consistent speeds. In our TunnelBear vs. Windscribe comparison, that VPN is TunnelBear!
TunnelBear has 1800+ servers in 48+ countries and works with some of the top VPN protocols, such as WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. Therefore, you’ll get amazing speeds and reliable connections.
Compared to it, Windsribe’s server fleet is quite small. It has 480+ servers in 69+ countries and also works with WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. However, this small-scale server network may provide inconsistent speeds and connections.
Windscribe vs TunnelBear: which is more secure?
|Logging||No-logs policy||No-logs policy|
|Leak protection||DNS, IPv6, WebRTC||DNS, IPv6|
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. Both TunnelBear and Windscribe use AES-256 data encryption, which is one of the strongest around, ensuring top-notch security. Both also experienced no leaks when I tested them and the kill switches worked as intended.
However, Windscribe is a more secure option despite its subpar jurisdiction. Although the services are quite similar in a lot of aspects, at least this provider utilizes RAM-only servers across the whole server fleet.
TunnelBear and Windscribe both operate from Canada. In other words, they belong to a not so security-friendly country, as it is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance. More precisely, if the government requests, the VPNs may share your confidential data, such as identity and browsing history. If they collect such information, that is.
The only advantage that Windscribe has over TunnelBear here is that all of its servers are RAM-only. It means that they are unable to store any data long-term.
When it comes to logging, both VPN providers have no-logs policies, but they haven’t been audited. This is a problem as an audit would ensure that the VPNs don’t collect unnecessary information and don’t share them with third parties.
Furthermore, TunnelBear actually does log quite a bit of user information. We’re talking about client app versions, OS versions, connection times, data usage, transaction data, etc. That’s certainly more than what is required to ensure the VPN runs smoothly.
|Owns all servers||No||No|
The location of the servers is crucial so you can have better connections. Although Windscribe has servers in more countries, TunnelBear’s tests show that its worldwide connections are stronger. Therefore, TunnelBear is the winner.
TunnelBear has 1800+ servers in 48+ countries, which allows you to choose another server in your area in case of a server failure. On the other hand, the 480+ Windscribe servers aren’t enough to beat this. Furthermore, such a low server count is more likely to cause congestion problems in the long run.
|Ad & malware blocking||✅Yes||✅Yes (Chrome)|
|Split tunneling||✅Yes (Windows, macOS, Android)||✅Yes (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android)|
When it comes to features, Windscribe is the winner yet again. We won’t waste more time. Here’s what TunnelBear and Windscribe have to offer.
The Smart DNS feature is crucial if you want to have unrestricted VPN usage on any device you need. In other words, this feature helps you use such software on gadgets that don’t support VPN providers. It proves to be extremely useful for such pastime activities as streaming. Unfortunately, Windscribe and TunnelBear lack this feature.
Ad & malware blocker
The ad & malware blocker is great for preventing you from visiting malicious websites and disabling pesky advertisements. As soon as the feature detects them, it blocks the link or the ad, so you remain safe.
TunnelBear has TunnelBear Blocker for this. It prevents pop-ups and blocks user trackers, lessening the amount of targeted ads as well. However, this ad blocker is only available as an extension on Chrome. Which isn’t ideal at all.
Similarly, Windscribe has an ad blocker feature called ROBERT, which is not so limited. Its biggest plus is that it includes a lot of customization options, letting you tweak it until it works as you see fit.
If you have a VPN with split tunneling, you will be able to route your VPN traffic through a particular app, so other apps don’t use VPN connections. As a result, your VPN will have better performance as it won’t be overwhelmed. Luckily, both TunnelBear and Windscribe offer this feature.
Suppose you need the VPN to get around online censorship. Then, you need to hide your VPN usage tracks. The best way to do this, is to find a VPN with obfuscated servers. Such a VPN will encrypt your VPN traffic and show it as a regular browsing one.
Fortunately, both TunnelBear and Windscribe come with obfuscation, meaning they effectively bypass online censorship. With TunnelBear, it’s GhostBear, and with Windscribe, it’s the Stealth protocol.
Additionally, Windscribe offers:
- Windflix – specialty servers for unblocking Netflix US, UK, Canada, and Japan
- Double Hop – your traffic is transmitted through two VPN servers instead of one for an extra layer of untraceability
- Port forwarding – great for boosting all kinds of online activities, especially torrenting
- SOCKS5 proxy – you can configure it on a torrent client so that only it uses a different IP address. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t encrypt traffic.
As for TunnelBear, well, it doesn’t offer anything else.
Netflix and streaming comparison
|Other Netflix libraries||✅Yes||❌No|
|Amazon Prime Video||✅Yes||✅Yes|
Streaming is pretty popular nowadays. Unfortunately, many streaming platforms are geo-restricted, so you need a VPN that works with most of them. After testing Windscribe and TunnelBear with some of the most popular platforms, we have somewhat of a tie.
During testing, both providers ran into roadblocks when unblocking the most popular streaming services. While TunnelBear was able to access one chunk of the batch, Windscribe was able to do so with another. At least the latter has a better time unlocking regional Netflix libraries. But if streaming is the sole reason you’re getting such software, you’ll be better off by getting a proper VPN for streaming.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, and Kodi, Routers||–|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, and Opera||Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Brave|
Both of these providers are available on mainstream devices and they also have extensions for browsers. Yet they start to diverge when it comes to home entertainment systems. WindScribe has additional support for Amazon Fire TV, Fire Sticks, Nvidia Shield, and Kodi, while TunnelBear does not.
Additionally, TunnelBear doesn’t even provide configuration files for routers, while Windscribe does. As such, Windscribe takes the lead.
While TunnelBear offers dedicated apps only for Windows and MacOS, Windscribe additionally has a Linux app. The design choices of these providers also differ, with the former going for a cartoony look, while the latter is more simple and streamlined.
Windscribe’s desktop clients are identical security and feature-wise. This is great as it ensures every user gets the same experience. However, we noticed that the macOS version sometimes had issues when establishing a secure connection using the IKEv2 tunneling protocol.
TunnelBear takes a more whimsical approach by offering bear animations and roaring sounds whenever you connect to a server. As for features and security, your experience will be identical across the board. Yet, we didn’t like the fact that you can’t manually select a tunneling protocol on the macOS version.
If you’re considering using your VPN on your phone, then you can go for both TunnelBear and Windscribe. They both have apps for Android and iOS devices.
Windscribe’s mobile clients actually have more features than their desktop counterparts, well, at least Android does. It comes with GPS spoofing and MTU customization. What’s notable is that the iOS app includes fewer tunneling protocols. And that they vibrate whenever you click anything, which is a nuisance in the long run.
TunnelBear, on the other hand, becomes tricky to use when you switch to the mobile clients. They constantly lagged during testing, some assets failed to load properly, and they are simply cluttered. Worst of all, the iOS app lacks a kill switch.
|Allowed on||✅All servers||✅All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||✅ Yes||❌No|
|Split tunneling||✅Yes (Windows, macOS, Android)||✅Yes (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android)|
Windscribe allows torrenting and even offers tutorials on uTorrent, VUZE, Deluge, and qBittorrent. There’s also the added benefit of a SOCKS5 proxy, split tunneling (Windows, macOS, and Android), and even port forwarding.
TunnelBear also allows torrenting, yet it’s not the best option as there is no additional proxy or even port forwarding. Speed and security are paramount when torrenting, so I can’t give extra points to TunnelBear.
|Works in China||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Stealth VPN||✅ Yes (GhostBear)||✅ Yes (Stealth protocol)|
|Tor over VPN||❌No||❌No|
The Chinese government is doing its 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). Both Windscribe and TunnelBear offer special protocols to get around the Great Firewall (Stealth and GhostBear respectively).
Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t seem to be doing so great. 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.
|24/7 live chat||❌No||❌No|
|✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Knowledgebase||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
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.
However, both services have extensive knowledge bases on their websites. These will allow you to troubleshoot any kind of problems yourself quite easily. The guides are categorized by topic and are easy to navigate through.
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.
Windscribe vs TunnelBear – which is better?
|Total wins||6 out of 10||2 out of 10|
It seems abundantly clear that Windscribe is the winner in this comparison. The service is significantly better when used for free, while the premium version unlocks a huge amount of extra features for a fair price. And if you don’t need all of that you can simply build your own plan.
TunnelBear, on the other hand, offers a measly 2 GB of encrypted traffic per month, which is barely enough for browsing and not even close to what you might need for streaming. But that doesn’t matter because you won’t unblock much geo-restricted content with this VPN. And the lack of support for routers and other devices is very disappointing.
Is TunnelBear better than Windscribe?
No, TunnelBear is not better than Windscribe. Although the difference is minor, Windscribe has many amazing pricing possibilities, torrenting capabilities, and broader device compatibility.
Which is faster – TunnelBear or Windscribe?
TunnelBear is faster than Windscribe. More precisely, TunnelBear has 1800+ servers in 48+ countries, while Windscribe comes with only 480+ servers in 69+ countries.