TunnelBear Review

If you’re looking for a reliable and user-friendly VPN website, look no further than Tunnel Bear. This Canadian company got its start in 2011 and has been providing its users online security with simple and easy to use software ever since. TunnelBear offers a solid product with a whimsical and easy-going attitude to boot.

TunnelBear is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices as well as a browser extension for Chrome on Windows, OSX, Linux, and Chrome OS.

The subscription and pricing information is very easy to understand. In terms of pricing and plans, TunnelBear only gives its users a few options: The “Little” is TunnelBear’s basic free VPN apps. Each month, you receive 500MB of data with the opportunity of an extra 1GB if you give them a Twitter mention. This is one of the best free VPN deals you’ll find.

The paid VPN service versions are identical, aside from the length of the subscription. You receive unlimited data use and the ability to connect with up to five devices on both plans, which is a rare and valuable feature. The longer you sign up, the more of a discount you receive. The “Giant” 1 month subscription plan will cost you $7.99. The “Grizzly” is a 12 month subscription for $49.99 per year, which works out to about $4.16 per month. This is a great deal if you are interested in long-term coverage.

Mobile-only plans are available for those on-the-go users who only want the protection of a VPN proxy tunnel on their smartphones or tablets. Prices range from $0.99 to $83.27 depending on the length of the subscription.

TunnelBear accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, BitCoin, and honey (if you take their website seriously).

pro

Pros:

  • Free version (Little Bear)
  • Extremely easy to use (on/off switch)
  • Supports OpenVPN
  • iOS and Android clients available
  • Chrome browser extension available
  • rewards for promoting on twitter

con

Cons:

  • No P2P traffic
  • 128-bit encryption
  • Total number of servers not listed
  • Keeps some logs

Bottom Line:

TunnelBear provides a friendly and simple VPN app for new and experienced users alike. The approachable and easy-to-use private tunnel VPN apps provide reliable performance that is sure to please users who want to get online as fast as possible without having to worry about fiddling with their VPN connection. Try it now!

Getting Started:

With TunnelBear, what you see is what you get in terms of usability. The software itself is easy to install and doesn’t require any research or prior know-how to configure. This makes it a great choice for first time users who do not want to fiddle around with settings.

I downloaded the PC version. After I went through the short process of setting it up, I was prompted with a short tutorial slideshow. This is a feature that I have not seen on a lot of VPN clients since they typically expect you to consult their online guides or support pages, and I found it to be a welcome addition.

A small on/off switch allows for simple control of your connection to the TunnelBear server. A drop down menu allows you to select one of nineteen countries (US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, Australia, France, Italy, Netherlands, or the closest tunnel to your location) to connect. As I mentioned before, the whole process couldn’t be easier. If you are looking for an easy-to-use VPN service that lets you get online quickly and safely, TunnelBear is a great option. I was very impressed by how straightforward the installation and configuration process was.

The customization options and user settings are quite limited, and it is obvious that TunnelBear intends for its VPN client to be used by customers who are newer to using a VPN. If you are interested in fully customizing your VPN experience and taking your privacy into your own hands, then TunnelBear is probably not  for you. However, if you are simply interested in connecting to the Internet using a secure tunnel, then TunnelBear is a solid choice.

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Speed, Performance, and Privacy:

In terms of security, TunnelBear performs well against most of its competition. It uses a 128-bit OpenVPN connection for most of its devices (IPSec is utilized on iOS devices because it is more compatible with Apple products). While this is not as secure as 256-bit would be, it is still a great choice for your average VPN user who likes online browsing and streaming. Shared IPs are an added bonus that will do volumes to help keep your identity private.

It is important to note that TunnelBear is not a 100% logless service. Their privacy policy is very upfront with the information that they collect from their users and how they use and store that information. However, I liked that I didn’t even have to enter my legal name in order to create an account. A simple username and password did the trick.

If you decide to use BitCoin to pay for premium service, you will not be giving any type of personally identifiable information. Their service does a great job at protecting the average user from common forms of privacy invasion.

TunnelBear also does a pretty good job against its competitors in terms of speed. It was slower than its top-tier competition, but the difference in speed was hardly noticeable when I used the service to browse the Internet. As long as you are using the service for lightweight activity not transferring a lot of large files, the speed is just fine. IP tests and DNS leak tests went off without a hitch as well.

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Other Observations:

If you are a casual Internet user who wishes to access the Internet through a secure tunnel for light tasks (browsing and email, but not downloading files), then it might be exactly what you are looking for.

While I was using the VPN service for the first time, I was struck by how simplistic it is. I found myself wishing that there were some more ways for me to customize my experience. Having an L2TP option that would boost my connection speed would be at the top of my wishlist. An L2TP protocol is ideal for those who wish to use their VPN connection to play fast-paced online games or stream online videos. I also wish that TunnelBear would reconsider their stance on P2P traffic. As of right now, they disallow all forms of P2P activity. While this allows them to guarantee their users an increased level of privacy, a VPN connection is ideal for transferring information from one computer to another because of its encryption. By disallowing P2P file sharing, TunnelBear is depriving their users of a safe and efficient way to communicate with one another anonymously.

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