Have you ever thought about how secure and safe your data on the Internet is? Meanwhile, in today’s complex cyber environment a reliable and trustworthy VPN is a must.
However, how to know for sure which of VPN providers are really worth using? It goes without saying that to learn the pros and cons of a VPN one needs to try it first.
Hence, I am going to cover all feature of TunnelBear for you. I will also test it in order to answer the following questions:
- How to use TunnelBear?
- Does it work with Netflix?
- How fast is the VPN provider?
- Are there any IP or DNS leaks with the VPN?
The main question is still: Is TunnelBear safe? Use the navigation below in order to go to the needed section:
- TunnelBear: Unique Benefits and Features
- Pros and Cons of TunnelBear
- TunnelBear: Speed and Security Tests
- TunnelBear: Benefits and Features Tests
- TunnelBear: Frequently Asked Questions
- User Reviews about TunnelBear
After testing and examining TunnelBear features, I was able to make a list of the pros and cons of the provider. Here are they:
|TunnelBear VPN pros||TunnelBear VPN cons|
|⊕ Reasonable price||⊗ Based in Canada|
|⊕ User-friendly app||⊗ Not compatible with routers|
|⊕ Robust encryption||⊗ No live chat|
|⊕ No logs||⊗ Doesn’t work with Netflix|
|⊕ Supports P2P||⊗ Low speeds|
As you can see, TunnelBear is a good VPN for regular safe browsing. However, if you are looking for a VPN for Netflix or online gaming, I recommend you to try the following options:
To begin with, TunnelBear is now owned by McAfee – an American computer security software company. As Ryan Dochuk, a co-founder of TunnelBear, states the service will continue to develop the products. With McAfee, TunnelBear expects to expand its VPN service.
As of now, the VPN offers two paid options to its customers: 1 Month plan ($9.99 per month) and 1 Year plan ($4.99 per month). They both include unlimited data, 5 simultaneous connections, priority customer service, and 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can buy the VPN with all major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) and Bitcoin. Besides, you can use TunnelBear for free! Though, it is limited to 500MB (or 1 GB for tweeting) per month.
As you can see, TunnelBear pricing is quite affordable. Its 1 Year plan is a good offer.
Among other TunnelBear features are strong encryption, GhostBear, worldwide network, Vigilant Mode, etc. Keep reading to learn which of them really work.
Before testing the VPN, I want to cover its main pros and cons. It’ll allow you to see what are the main useful function of TunnelBear and if the service really provides reliable encryption. Let’s go without further ado!
TunnelBear logging policy
Well, the first question that bothered me a lot was “Does TunnelBear keep logs?”
The service claims to have a no-logging policy. However, taking into considerations that a lot of VPNs lie about it, I decided to read their policy carefully. I have found out that the VPN still saves some information about its users:
- Account data
- Operational data (your OS version, TunnelBear version, etc.)
- Payment data (cardholder last name, last four numbers of credit card, etc.)
So, can we still call TunnelBear a zero-logs VPN? So, probably yes. Despite the VPN still saves some data about its customers, activity logs are not kept. It means your real IP address will be hidden on the Internet.
Here is other data that TunnelBear does not collect
Strong encryption of TunnelBear
I am glad to inform you that almost for all operating systems (Mac OS, Windows, and Android) TunnelBear uses industry standard OpenVPN protocol. It means the default encryption of the VPN is 256-bit AES.
However, the data of those users who are going to download TunnelBear VPN on iOS will be encrypted with the help of IPSec/IKEv2 protocol. This protocol also provides AES-256 encryption that is considered to be extremely robust.
Before being decrypted, the information that was sent or received from your computer should be authenticated first. Data authentication is used to make sure you are who you are. As for TunnelBear, it uses SHA1 for Windows and SHA256 – for Android, Mac OS, and iOS.
Other security features
Not only TunnelBear provides robust encryption, but it also has other extra security measures that will help you to stay secure on the Internet.
One of the useful features of the VPN is VigilantBear. In other words, it is the TunnelBear leak protection and Kill Switch. It guards you when you are connecting to another server or disconnecting from one. If you are going to use TunnelBear on your device, I recommend you to turn this function on. It is an extremely useful feature, especially while using unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots that are really vulnerable.
How to switch on VigilantBear in the TunnelBear app
VigilantBear worked properly on my Windows PC. IP leak tests prove that.
In the same settings, you may turn GhostBear on as well. What is it? To be exact, it is TunnelBear VPN’ obfuscation. Its main purpose is to hide a fact you are using a VPN. You know, there are cases when work or school networks block VPN providers. So, first, try to get a certain website without this function. And if the website is still blocked, try to visit it with GhostBear once again.
This function is also crucial when using the VPN in a country with strict Internet censorship. To be honest, I do not know for sure if TunnelBear works in China as there are lots of VPN providers are blocked there.
Did VigilantBear help me to unblock Netflix? Keep reading to learn.
Easy to use
As I have already mentioned, the VPN offers the apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac OS. Despite I prefer more plain and simple VPN applications (as e.g. ExpressVPN and Sufshark VPN have), I liked the TunnelBear app a lot. It has one of the cutest interfaces I have ever seen.
The settings are conveniently categorized. In the app, there are general, security settings, and trusted networks, which allows creating a list of networks that you consider safe (e.g. you can set up TunnelBear to be off when using your home network).
In the main interface of the software, there is a button that allows connecting to one of the TunnelBear servers. You can also pull the map in order to connect to a specific location. As for me, they would make more a convenient connection button as some users may get tired of the bear. On the other hand, it is the distinctive feature of the VPN that makes it stay out from others. Anyway, the app is user-friendly and convenient to use.
I cannot but mention TunnelBear customer support. I have no complaints about the quality of their responses. The team is polite, their answers are full and helpful. To contact them you need to click “Help” on the top of the page and then find “Contact us”. Choose an appropriate topic and write your question. You will get the answer to your email. So, it implies you have to log in to your TunnelBear account first.
However, I find this way of communicating with customer support inconvenient. It took several hours to get their response. Meanwhile, live chat allows getting answers within several minutes or even seconds.
Not compatible with routers
Despite TunnelBear allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, it would be possible to increase the number of devices if set it up on a router. Unfortunately, the service is not compatible with wireless routers. That’s, of course, a piece of bad news. If compare TunnelBear vs NordVPN, the last one can be installed probably on all your home devices. Unluckily, you cannot configure TunnelBear manually on Kindle, game consoles or Smart TVs. I think it is the first disadvantage of the provider that makes users avoid this VPN.
Besides Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android, TunnelBear runs on Linux. It also offers a browser extension for Opera, Firefox, and Chrome.
Server park is not diverse
TunnelBear claims to have servers in more than 22+ countries throughout the world. Of course, today this number cannot impress Internet users. There are VPN providers that own more than 3000 servers worldwide. As for the TunnelBear server network, it is not diverse. Only one country in South America is available (Brazil), four in Asia (India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan).
The list of TunnelBear server locations
Besides, I failed to find any additional information about their server network. Really! What are the exact number of servers? Where are they located?
The main disadvantage of the app is that it is impossible to choose a specific location, you can just click to a country. That’s why a number of TunnelBear servers remain unknown.
Based in Canada
By using our services, you authorize TunnelBear to use your information according to Canada’s laws, regardless of which country you are located in.
So, despite TunnelBear is now owned by the American company, McAfee, the service is still headquartered in Canada. Unfortunately, it is not the best jurisdiction for a VPN. Canada is one of the members of the Five Eyes. Together with Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and the UK, it collects your Internet activity and shares with other members.
Taking into consideration that there were cases when VPN services handed their users information to the government, I would recommend you to pay attention to a VPN jurisdiction while choosing the service.
Undoubtedly, security and speed test results are determining factors when looking for a VPN. Successful tests will guarantee your data will be hidden on the Internet and you will enjoy fast and convenient browsing.
Taking this into consideration, I decided to conduct speed tests, IP and DNS leak tests for TunnelBear servers. I also checked how secure the TunnelBear installation file.
Speed test for TunnelBear
The screenshot below illustrates my internet connection speeds without TunnelBear:
Now have a look at my speed test results with TunnelBear on. Of course, as I am in Europe now, speed test with European servers are higher than with American or Australian. Though, even they are far from being favorable. Here is my best result (the server in Sweden):
As you can see, even the best results reduced my speed without VPN by 78%. Other results for European servers:
Germany: Download speed –16.24 Mbps, Upload speed – 7.11 Mbps;
Denmark: Download speed – 14.42 Mbps, Upload speed – 13.47 Mbps;
France: Download speed – 11.64 Mbps, Upload speed – 10.79 Mbps;
Romania: Download speed – 8.91 Mbps, Upload speed – 4.76 Mbps.
TunnelBear download speed of the American server in New York was 11.26 Mbps, upload speed- 1.63 Mbps. The server in Australia showed the following results: download speed was 3.57 Mbps, upload – 6.63 Mbps.
Well… TunnelBear is far from being a fast VPN provider. Unfortunately,… However, is the VPN secure? Let’s have a look!
I connected to almost all TunnelBear servers in order to check if it really hides my location. Luckily, none of the tests showed my real IP address. I also didn’t detect any DNS leaks.
Successful IP leak test results for TunnelBear
DNS leak test for TunnelBear
So, despite TunnelBear is not the fastest VPN, it is, undoubtedly, a secure one. Its robust encryption, extra features and successful security tests prove that the service is immensely reliable.
I also checked the TunnelBear installation file for viruses. The file is safe. You can not afraid to download TunnelBear on your device:
After testing the VPN, it would be useful to know what are the main benefits of the provider:
- Is TunnelBear good for torrenting?
- Does it unblock Netflix?
Let’s continue. I am going to answer these questions.
TunnelBear for Windows
As we have already know, the VPN does not provide with a large choice of operating systems it can be installed on. Downloading the VPN for Windows was the most convenient way to test the provider. That’s why in this section you will learn how to install TunnelBear on Windows?
First, you should go to the official website of the provider and choose between plans. Of course, you may try the free plan first. However, 500MB per month is not enough. Especially, if you are going to watch videos or browse with the VPN every day. Besides, TunnelBear price is competitive.
Then you have to create your TunnelBear account. Find “My account” on the top of the official website and click it. Then enter your email address and create a strong password.
Sign in to your account and find “Apps”, choose an operating system you want to install TunnelBear, e.g. Windows.
The process of installation will start automatically. Actually, it took me for 10 minutes to get the VPN on my PC. After the installation, you are to fill in your email and password that you used while creating your TunnelBear account.
TunnelBear app for Windows
The VPN will show your location and offer you to turn TunnelBear on. How to use TunnelBear? It is simple, just choose a country you want to connect and click it!
To conclude, as all up-to-date VPN services, TunnelBear is simple to download, install, and use. The app is good for regular internet users who want to improve their security and anonymity on the Net. I should say, the TunnelBear is a good offer for newbies to VPNs.
TunnelBear for Netflix
The service seems to be not bad and I hoped it would be able to work with Netflix. I connected to United States servers several times in order to unblock this popular streaming service. However, all attempts were in vain. The servers in Canada wasn’t managed to unblock Netflix as well.
Then, I tried to turn the GhostBear function. Unfortunately, it didn’t help me. So, I draw a conclusion that the function works only on low-level blocking but it doesn’t help to unblock Netflix.
TunnelBear servers in the USA do not unblock Netflix
So, everything becomes clear now. TunnelBear is a good service for regular safe browsing! It is secure, its apps have a beautifully-designed interface, the service does not save logs. However, the VPN is not suitable for such specific activities like online gaming, unblocking streaming services. It doesn’t provide its customers with high speeds and isn’t compatible with game consoles or Smart TVs. If a Canadian jurisdiction does not bother you, I can recommend TunnellBear for safe Internet surfing.
However, one question still remains unanswered. Does TunnelBear allow torrenting?
TunnelBear for torrenting
I spent a lot of time on tunnelbear.com while writing this review. However, I didn’t find any information about using torrent trackers with the VPN. So, I decided to connect to the TunnelBear customer support to figure it out.
Their answers were helpful as usual. Long story short, you can use TunnelBear for torrenting. For this purpose, the team suggests using servers in Canada, the USA, the UK, Sweden, Romania, or the Netherlands.
Besides, it is recommended to use the desktop application but not the TunnelBear extension. The extensions encrypt only the traffic that is generated in the browser. While a desktop app will guarantee that all traffic is protected.
Actually, the VPN has extensions for three browsers: Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. The main advantages of the extensions are lightweight, easy installation, and simple design. Besides, we can call them multiplatform as they run on all operating systems where your browser works. It is dead easy to install and use an extension. Here is a set-by-step process how to get TunnelBear for Chrome:
- Go to the official website and find apps in the bottom menu;
- Click “Browser” and choose between Chrome, Firefox, and Opera;
- If you like me chose TunnelBear Chrome extension, you will be redirected to Chrome Web store, click “Install” there;
- Click ”Add extension” and wait until it installs;
- To start using it, you have to enter your account. Create one if you haven’t done it before.
That’s it! Enjoy safe browsing.
You will hardly face any problems with deleting TunnelBear software from your device if you want to do this. However, how to delete your account? So, you can use this link in order to remove your TunnelBear account. However, bear in mind that it is possible only in case you have no active subscriptions registered or no remaining unlimited tunneling time. If you are going to delete a Teams account or an account with an active subscription, it’s better to send an email to the TunnelBear team.