Pricing, Ease of Use & Safety

TunnelBear VPN quick information

Our score: 3.1 stars out of 5
Pricing: Begins at $3.33/mo (annual)
Key options:

  • Enjoyable, beginner-friendly interface.
  • Annual unbiased safety audits.
  • Limitless system connections.

TunnelBear’s distinctive, bear-themed method to its VPN service units it other than the extra technical and standardized implementations of different VPNs. TunnelBear is obtainable on Home windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox and Edge, providing 5,000+ servers, limitless system connections and a subscription possibility for groups and organizations.

Regardless of its enjoyable design and accessibility, TunnelBear’s slower speeds and buggy app are causes for concern. As well as, its server fleet solely spans 47 international locations.

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TunnelBear VPN pricing

PeriodTunnelBear FreeTunnelBear LimitlessTunnelBear Groups
1 12 monthsFree$3.33 fall sale
3 yearsFree$3.33
1 monthFree$9.99$5.75 per consumer, per 30 days
Notable Options2GB knowledge cap

  • Limitless knowledge
  • Limitless system connections
  • Metropolis-level server choice
  • Precedence Buyer Help

  • Limitless knowledge
  • Limitless system connections
  • Metropolis-level server choice
  • Precedence buyer assist
  • Centralized crew billing
  • Admin and account supervisor instruments
  • 7-day free trial

TunnelBear presents TunnelBear Limitless at a reduced charge of $3.33 per 30 days. When you go for the TunnelBear Limitless paid plan, this discounted annual charge is a steal. Nevertheless, as a result of it is a sale provide, costs could differ sooner or later.

I might counsel making an attempt TunnelBear’s free model earlier than buying a subscription. Whereas knowledge is capped at 2GB and a few options are omitted, the free model means that you can get a really feel for TunnelBear’s desktop VPN implementation.

For enterprise house owners, TunnelBear Groups is a sensible possibility. You get all of TunnelBear’s paid options along with extra team-based add-ons, equivalent to centralized billing and account supervisor instruments.

TunnelBear VPN free model

Considered one of TunnelBear’s standout options is having a devoted free model of its VPN. These inquisitive about making an attempt the service don’t have to fret about offering fee data.

Nevertheless, there are notable variations between the free and paid variations. The free model has a 2GB knowledge cap that resets each month. So, realistically talking, free customers will solely have the ability to check out the VPN for round a day or two earlier than knowledge runs out.

As well as, solely paid customers will have the ability to choose city-designated servers on TunnelBear’s community. Free customers are solely ready to select from out there international locations (Determine A).

Determine A

TunnelBear VPN Free.
TunnelBear VPN Free. Picture: TunnelBear

Regardless of this, TunnelBear states that their free and paid variations don’t have any distinction performance-wise, making the free model a viable technique to take a look at if the VPN is best for you.

Safety and privateness: Is TunnelBear VPN safe?

Specs-wise, TunnelBear has all of the requisites wanted for a contemporary VPN to be thought-about safe. It has OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2 — the three industry-standard safety protocols we wish in a VPN. It additionally makes use of AES 256 encryption, features a kill change (VigilantBear) and break up tunneling (SplitBear).

TunnelBear has a no-logs coverage, which states that it doesn’t acquire any consumer’s looking data, IP addresses, DNS queries and purposes used whereas linked to the VPN.

TunnelBear additionally has a formidable observe report of present process annual unbiased testing. Since 2016, TunnelBear has accomplished 5 annual unbiased safety audits. The latest third-party audit was completed in 2021 by Cure53. This dedication to annual testing is a particular plus for shoppers who worth a VPN that’s clear and prepared to be audited.

On the flipside, there are two doable causes of concern with TunnelBear VPN. The primary is that in the course of the 5th annual audit, Cure53 found ” … 4 low, 9 medium, three excessive, and three critical-risk vulnerabilities.” TunnelBear mentioned their crew was capable of rapidly resolve the vulnerabilities after Cure53’s report — and I personally respect their candidness on the matter.

Some folks may additionally be cautious of TunnelBear being based mostly in Canada, one of many members of the 5 Eyes intelligence alliance, together with Australia, New Zealand, the U.Ok. and the U.S. If authorities intervention is one thing you’re making an attempt to keep away from, TunnelBear is probably not for you.

Total, TunnelBear’s security measures, transparency and annual unbiased testing make it a safe and reliable VPN in 2023.

Key options of TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear has a number of key options that set it other than different VPNs. Let’s try 4 particularly that you must learn about.

Newbie-friendly interface

In comparison with different VPNs, TunnelBear has a really user-friendly, bear-themed interface. Servers are represented by tunnels, and once you join or change to a brand new tunnel, a bear will pop up (Determine B) from contained in the tunnel — therefore the title, TunnelBear.

Determine B

TunnelBear main dashboard.
TunnelBear major dashboard. Picture: TunnelBear

The bear theme is enjoyable and foregoes the very technical method that almost all safety software program normally have. If that is your first VPN, this whimsy consumer interface could make studying the software program much less complicated. The navigation expertise itself can also be very intuitive, with most options or choices being positioned the place you’d count on them.

For customers which might be solely beginning to discover VPNs and desire a much less daunting expertise, TunnelBear could be a good choose.

TunnelBear Groups

TunnelBear Groups (Determine C) is their model of crew accounts for his or her VPN subscription. It nets customers the paid service and extra options tailor-made to companies equivalent to centralized crew billing; the power so as to add/take away customers and edit billing information from an admin account; and an auto-join characteristic that mechanically enrolls customers with a selected electronic mail handle.

Determine C

TunnelBear Teams.
TunnelBear Groups. Picture: TunnelBear

When you’re a small enterprise excited about getting a VPN to your workflow, TunnelBear Groups presents a handy possibility that reduces quite a lot of legwork usually related to establishing a VPN for a corporation or enterprise.

Limitless system connections

TunnelBear VPN permits for an infinite variety of simultaneous system connections to 1 subscription. Because of this any mixture of computer systems, smartphones or browsers could be protected by way of a TunnelBear server at no further price.

It is a significant characteristic provided that a number of the high VPN suppliers solely provide round 5 to eight simultaneous connections with one account. The flexibility to attach an infinite variety of units supplies customers with added worth, eliminating the necessity to buy further connections.

Pace and efficiency: How briskly is TunnelBear VPN?

Efficiency-wise, my expertise with TunnelBear wasn’t nice. Throughout my first day of testing the VPN, I couldn’t set up a connection utilizing TunnelBear’s “quickest” server connection possibility (Determine D). It was irritating because the VPN was capable of finding the server closest to me — however was nonetheless not ready to connect with it reliably.

Determine D

Connection problems with TunnelBear.
Connection issues with TunnelBear. Picture: TunnelBear

Even after I uninstalled and reinstalled the VPN, the difficulty remained. Once I was capable of join, it took virtually three minutes to take action; and once I disconnected, it was virtually unattainable to re-establish the connection. What’s bizarre is that once I linked to a server farther away from my location, I had no points.

Once I was linked, the speeds have been slower in comparison with different VPNs. Throughout my testing, I used TunnelBear primarily to do work in Google Workspace apps equivalent to Drive and Docs, browse social media and analysis with a number of tabs open. Webpages appeared to take a bit extra time to load and the connection was unstable. 1080p YouTube movies additionally had extra buffering time than anticipated whereas linked to the VPN.

A day after my horrible expertise with TunnelBear’s quickest server characteristic, the difficulty appeared to have resolved itself. I used to be ready to connect with the server nearest to my location and disconnect/reconnect with none problem. The slower speeds, nonetheless, persevered even when the connection bug appeared to have been mounted.

TunnelBear carried out decently by way of uploads and obtain speeds. In my pace take a look at, TunnelBear had a lower of 38.46% for downloads and 11.64% for uploads — with the add pace being one of many sooner speeds I’ve recorded in comparison with different VPNs.

TunnelBear additionally carried out nicely on the DNS leak safety entrance. After a number of rounds of testing by way of a public DNS leak software, I obtained zero leaks even whereas I used totally different places.

After all, VPN pace and efficiency will differ relying on components equivalent to your location, your web service supplier, server visitors and your machine. Nevertheless, my testing confirmed that TunnelBear could offer you a buggy and slower expertise in comparison with different VPN suppliers out there in the present day.

TunnelBear VPN servers and places

TunnelBear presents round 5,000+ servers from 47 international locations worldwide, placing TunnelBear’s server fleet within the middle-to-upper vary in opposition to the competitors. That is helpful for individuals who need flexibility by way of server selection.

Whereas TunnelBear’s server depend is on the upper finish, I would favor a extra geographically various community. At 47 international locations, TunnelBear has some catching as much as do as different VPNs are providing round 60 to even 100+ international locations of their server unfold. So should you’re particularly in search of a VPN to unblock geo-restricted content material, TunnelBear is probably not the optimum selection.

I like that TunnelBear options P2P-friendly servers particularly optimized for duties equivalent to torrenting and file sharing.

Customer support

Customer support (Determine E) is one other side the place TunnelBear might see some enchancment. Particularly, I consider TunnelBear ought to provide 24/7 dwell chat. As a result of VPNs can have sudden technical points, most of the high suppliers provide a service for answering questions and troubleshooting.

Determine E

TunnelBear's Support Page.
TunnelBear’s Help Web page. Picture: TunnelBear

TunnelBear’s Help Web page. Picture: TunnelBear

In the meanwhile, TunnelBear has an internet type and electronic mail, on-line guides, and an AI chatbot (Determine F) known as RoboCub for buyer assist.

Determine F

TunnelBear's RoboCub.
TunnelBear’s RoboCub. Picture: TunnelBear

In equity to TunnelBear, RoboCub was capable of present pretty useful solutions once I requested a number of questions.

TunnelBear VPN execs

  • Newbie-friendly UI.
  • Free model.
  • Reasonably priced one-year plan (fall sale).
  • Annual unbiased audits.
  • Limitless system connections.
  • TunnelBear Groups for companies.

TunnelBear VPN cons

  • Buggy app expertise.
  • Gradual real-world pace.
  • Connection could be unstable.
  • Smaller nation depend for its servers.
  • Vulnerabilities in most up-to-date audit.

Who’s TunnelBear greatest for?

TunnelBear is greatest for customers who desire a beginner-friendly VPN that doesn’t have an uber-technical interface. Its bear-themed UI is a enjoyable tackle a VPN desktop app, particularly should you’re not a tech-savvy consumer or are simply beginning to get acquainted with VPNs. Its devoted free model additionally provides customers entry to the service with out having to spend any cash.

As well as, TunnelBear’s Groups subscription could be a sensible selection for small companies who need a simple technique to handle a single VPN for his or her crew.

Sadly, TunnelBear VPN’s lower than preferrred efficiency and pace forestall it from being a high advice for individuals who fall outdoors these classes.

If TunnelBear VPN isn’t preferrred for you, try these alternate options

When you discover that TunnelBear isn’t the perfect match, we’ve listed related VPNs that might provide a greater expertise.

ExpressVPN icon.
Picture: ExpressVPN


When you’re in search of a VPN with an easy-to-use interface and quick efficiency, ExpressVPN is likely one of the greatest choices out there. It has sturdy security measures, servers throughout 90 international locations, and a password supervisor included at no further price.

Proton VPN icon.
Picture: Proton VPN

Proton VPN

Proton VPN is a superb choose should you’re in search of a VPN that operates in a privacy-friendly nation. Based mostly in Switzerland, it complies with the nation’s sturdy privateness legal guidelines that supply a further layer of safety to your knowledge. Proton VPN additionally has a free model with no knowledge cap.

Personal Web Entry

Private Internet Access logo
Picture: Personal Web Entry

Customers who desire a large server suite ought to think about Personal Web Entry VPN. PIA reportedly has round 10,000 to 35,000 servers throughout 91 counties, making it a sensible selection should you plan to make use of a VPN to unblock content material. Its Home windows app can also be one of many extra customizable VPN purposes out there in the present day.

Overview methodology

My overview of TunnelBear VPN concerned an in depth evaluation of its security measures, worth and real-world efficiency. I had hands-on expertise with TunnelBear by way of its free Home windows utility, and I supplemented my findings with consumer testimonials and respected critiques.

For obtain and add speeds, I ran TunnelBear by way of Ookla’s public Speedtest. For DNS leak safety, I examined TunnelBear a number of instances utilizing DNSLeakTest.

Lastly, I scored TunnelBear VPN on varied components, together with its safety protocols and worth, based mostly on an inside algorithm to get a score of three.1 out of 5 stars. I checked out TunnelBear VPN each by itself and in relation to different VPN options out there in the present day.

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