You might not have heard of TunnelBear, but you’ve probably heard of their parent company, McAfee. The service is known for its user-friendly interface, low pricing, and bear puns. How does TunnelBear stack up to the competition? Let’s see what others have to say.
TunnelBear is one of the only VPN providers that offer a completely free version.
It’s not a free trial, it’s a free monthly plan. But, as you might expect, the free version is very limited with only a 500MB/month bandwidth. You can add to your bandwidth allotment though if you tweet something about TunnelBear.
If you want faster service, you’ll need to pay. But their monthly prices are reasonable. They also offer a discount when you opt for yearly service.
TunnelBear supports Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. You can use browser plug-ins for Chrome and Opera as well. Unfortunately, there’s no support for Firefox, Safari, or other browsers.
If you’re looking for something simple, you’ve come to the right place.
Reviewers found TunnelBear incredibly easy to set up and start using thanks to the software available. All they needed to do was start the app and choose their location.
There aren’t a lot of settings. If you’re a power user, this might not be the service for you. But TechRadar states, “... The few [features] you get are very useful.”
Each account allows for up to 5 simultaneous connections on either the free or paid plans. This is par for the course with popular VPN options. If you need to connect more devices you might be better off with something like NordVPN or VPN Unlimited.
Despite its simplicity, TunnelBear offers useful features such as:
While you might not be able to change your protocol, critics note you probably won’t need to as the client uses OpenVPN, offering government-grade encryption. Unfortunately, iOS users cannot access this protocol and can only use IKEv2. But most experts consider IKEv2 good enough.
For added flexibility, you can use TCP or UDP connections. However, reviewers noticed that they could not get online using the Windows client unless they enabled TCP connections.
Overall, while they collect information, they do not store IP addresses, DNS queries, or information regarding other activities how you use TunnelBear.
More importantly, the company promises they will not disclose, sell, or trade personal information with third-party companies.
If that’s not enough, TunnelBear also completed two independent code audits to find potential security issues with their service. They also explained every aspect of the company’s operation in a recent transparency project.
While all of this is voluntary, PC Mag notes, “Both of these efforts go along way to establishing TunnelBear as a company that takes its role as a security company very seriously…”
While limited to only 20 countries, TunnelBear offers more than 1,500 servers to route your traffic through.
Reviewers had no problems connecting to a server. While their ping times varied depending on which server they used, reviewers made no mention of significant slowdowns using the standard service.
But performance dropped noticeably when using GhostBear. The company itself suggests using this mode only when necessary as it can reduce performance up to 50 percent.
TunnelBear’s help site is the first line of support.
While it appears user-friendly and clear, reviewers found the documentation offered lacking. However, most reviews found that the information available was well presented.
For other questions, TunnelBear has a contact page to message the support team. Though TunnelBear states that support requests may take up to 48 hours, most reviewers received responses to their questions in around an hour. Better still, the replies they received generally provided helpful information and even some documentation.
TunnelBear doesn’t offer a ton of features but reviewers enjoyed using it with many recommending it for most users as a basic level of protection.
Tom’s Guide notes, “It’s moderately priced, has user-friendly software, and offers decent network performance.”
- Deyan Georgiev, TechJury
The answer mostly depends on your preference and needs for a VPN. While TunnelBear is not a power VPN, it is still a suitable option for individuals with limited tech knowledge and first-time users. It is simple to use without any technical jargon to confuse the beginners. This VPN is known for its...
TunnelBear is quite decent with good service but not the best one out there. There are a lot of features that they need to add in terms of accessibility, streaming, and speed.
- Aliza Vigderman, Gabe Turner, Security.org
Audited by an independent third party, we felt confident that TunnelBear's logging policy was as strict as they said. Plus, if we stayed below 500 MB of data per month, TunnelBear didn't cost a dime.
- Sead Fadilpašić, Tom's Guide
TunnelBear is one of the most user-friendly, no-nonsense VPNs. It has important safety features, like a kill switch, a no-logging policy, and frequent third-party audits. Not all tools are available on all platforms, and there are some other hiccups, but overall TunnelBear is a decent choice if you'...
- River Hart, ProPrivacy
TunnelBear is a fundamentally reliable service, with easy-to-use clients that'll make any VPN newcomer feel like a pro, and a charming design (who doesn't love bears?). The free plan is certainly a bonus, though 500 Mb per month won't go far, and won't be enough to use the service when streaming. Ho...
|Starting Price (per Month)||$4.17|
|Plans and Pricing||Visit Site|
|Free Trial||500 MB every Month|
|Money Back Guarantee||No|
|Payment Options||Credit Cards|
|ID Required||Valid email address|
|Server Locations (# of Countries)||49|
|Number of Servers||3000 +|
|Devices Per License||5|
|Double-Hop / Double VPN||Yes|
|P2P / Torrenting Allowed||No|
|Protocols||IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard|
|No Logs / No Tracking||Yes|
|Dedicated IP Available||No|
|VPN Over Tor||No|
|Wi-Fi Leak Protection||No|
|Private DNS Server||No|
|DNS Leak Protection||Yes|
|IP Leak Protection||Yes|
|WebRTC Leak Protection||Yes|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||No|
|Operating Systems||Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Linux, Android|
|Live Chat Support||Yes|
Other Names (AKA): Tunnel Bear
|Terms & Conditions||Official Terms & Conditions|
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