TunnelBear Review – September 2017
|2.5 / 5.0 User Ratings||20 |
TunnelBear is a Canadian based VPN provider that aims at providing internet privacy and offering users to access the same content over the internet from anywhere in the world. Our tunnelbear review reveals all the facts and real time feedback here.
TunnelBear Pricing and Plans Review – How Much Does TunnelBear Subscription Cost?
TunnelBear as a brand rarely changes its packages, keeping its promise to deliver a premium quality VPN & proxy service rooted in its pricing. A third year in a row, TunnelBear has maintained the same pricing plans that include:
- Free – Little Bear (Limited Feature free service)
- Monthly – Giant Bear@ $9.99 per month
- Yearly –Grizzly Bear @ $4.99 per month (onetime $59.88 payment per year)
TunnelBear Coupon Code and Special Discount Review
When I searched for it there wasn’t much I expected in terms of discounts or coupon codes for TunnelBear. TunnelBear offers its own 50% discount on its yearly plan cutting down the subscription cost from $119.88 per year to $59.88 per year.
One trick you can use to get an extra $10 off your yearly TunnelBear subscription is by registering a new account with a new email address. Once registered use up your 500MB data limit, as soon as it’s used up TunnelBear will send you an email to upgrade to the premium package. Within this email, TunnelBear sends out either a $10 discount coupon or discount code that brings the yearly subscription to a brilliant $39.99 per month.
Website WinBeginner also offers an exclusive TunnelBear coupon code to get an instant 10% off the yearly plan. The code only works with new accounts and is activated at the time of subscription, so make sure you have a fresh email address to register with.
TunnelBear Servers Review
TunnelBear has been one of the most consistent brands that I have reviewed over the past 3 years. Although they have steadily increased server count from 11 countries 4 years ago to 20 now, the brand is still a bit thin on its server coverage. TunnelBear offers its premium high speed & free servers across only premier locations including:
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- France, plus 12 more locations.
TunnelBear does not allow using torrent software on its servers because speeds will drop off after every few minutes when using BitTorrent. Unblocking Netflix in US, BBC in UK, Sky in Germany & Italy, Fox in Australia and a long list of streaming services is very easy and offers excellent video quality. All TunnelBear servers encrypt authorization using 2048 bit keys while data encryption depends on the protocol being used. I am hopeful by next year’s TunnelBear review the brand will significantly increase number of servers available to users.
TunnelBear Logs Policy Review And How Safe It Is?
- Account data (Twitter ID, Email, complete name etc.)
- Operational data (user OS version, TunnelBear app version, total data used etc.)
- Financial data (Credit Card info, billing address etc.)
- Your source IP address
- Destination IP address
- Connection time stamps
- Services & websites visited
Do remember that in case of warrants being presented TunnelBear being a Canada based company has to handover data in accordance to Canadian cyber law. My TunnelBear review also found that the provider does not allow P2P & torrents on its network, so no point ringing that bell.
How TunnelBear Is Good For Torrenting?
Our TunnelBear review unveils that the VPN is actually a bad choice, if you are planning on download/sharing torrents. It does not support the use of BitTorrent or any other similar application, as the provider previously received a ton of complaints from content providers. As a result, TunnelBear had to make a choice between two options: start logging user activity or disable BitTorrent ports. The former would defy the entire purpose of a VPN-service, and the latter seemed more of a logical choice. This resulted in the service completely ridding its support for P2P/Torrenting.
Is TunnelBear Legal?
Before asking whether TunnelBear is legal or not, users must be aware of the laws surrounding VPNs generally. Most of you may know that using VPNs does not come under illegal acts. However, majority of it also depends on your country. Some locations may impose restrictions, while others may be open to the idea. It is clear though that VPNs are illegal in Oman, Belarus, UAE, Iraq, Turkey, and China. If you want to check the legality of VPN services in your country.
- Free to use service
- Easy to use VPN application
- Servers located across 14 different locations
- Offers tight security with secure protocol & encryption
- Good overall performance
- Reasonable prices for paid packages
- Limited compatibility on devices
- Limited customer support options
- No live chat feature
- Could had more payment options
TunnelBear VS Purevpn
|141+ Countries||20 Countries|
|7-day moneyback guarantee||No moneyback guarantee|
|24/7 live chat support||Email Support Only|
|Does not keep logs||Does not keep logs|
|Multiple simultaneous login||Single login|
TunnelBear Performance Review
During this TunnelBear review, we tested the overall performance of the service through speed tests and accessing different Geo restricted websites.
The results of both the tests came back positive and TunnelBear provided good performance on all fronts.
The speeds that you might experience depend on various factors and may vary from location to location. These factors include the distance between your location and the server you wish to connect, your ISP’s throttling internet speeds, the privacy setting on your PC or Mac, and other similar factors.
TunnelBear Speed Tests Review
We conducted the speed test through speedtest.net for our TunnelBear review. First the test was conducted without any VPN connection switched on and following results were obtained.
Next, the tests were conducted with TunnelBear VPN connected to US server. Following were the results that were obtained.
The results show that there was a slight drop in download and upload speeds. We didn’t expect the ping to shoot up considerably but there was no impact on the browsing or streaming performance.
TunnelBear Vs Private Internet Access
|Apps||Win, Mac, Android & iOS||Windows, Mac, iOS & Android|
|Support||Email & Website FAQ||Email, Live chat & Guides|
|Tunneling Protocols||L2TP & OpenVPN||PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec|
|Encryption||AES 256bit CBC Blowfish||AES 128 bit & 256 bit|
|Torrents & P2P||Allowed||Allowed|
|Pricing||$59.88 per year||$39.95 per year|
|Money Back Guarantee||15 Days||7 Days|
TunnelBear is a brilliant service to compare with another industry legend, Private Internet Access. TunnelBear VPN does have fewer servers and locations to connect to when compared to PIA VPN, but offers better speed and connectivity compared to PIA. There isn’t a massive difference in prices, with TunnelBear slightly dearer than its US counterpart. When it comes to support services, TunnelBear relies heavily on its email ticket system and the actual knowledgebase is only available to registered users. PIA on the other hand offers a detailed knowledgebase, live support and a ticket system to ensure you are never left without privacy.
Both providers allow P2P filesharing & torrent downloads over their servers, but I wouldn’t trust any of the two with my activity when filesharing. Security provided by both providers is excellent and the availability of OpenVPN is excellent for its ability to bypass firewalls. PIA VPN also offers the PPTP protocol, which may not be safe but an excellent option to unblock streaming services.
TunnelBear and PIA VPN are very close substitutes with similar features and pricing, but, PIA does offer some great add-ons including the internet kill switch, IPV6 protection, DNS Leak protector, and port forwarding. I would pick TunnelBear between the two because of the better speed, but PIA VPN definitely offers better security. Keep in mind PIA VPN is in the USA, hence there is chance the NSA is monitoring its servers.
TunnelBear Apps Compatibility
TunnelBear has limited compatibility on different devices and operating systems. We found this as a downside in this review. The App is only compatible on Windows, Mac OSX, iOS and Android run devices.
To use the app, you would have to download the software and use the application as TunnelBear explicitly states that it does not offer manual configuration instructions for using its VPN.
TunnelBear provides partial support / compatibility on Linux devices. There is no application that can be downloaded to use the VPN service but it has started to offer setup instructions for manually configuring on Linux network; but Linux compatibility is only available on paid packages.
Currently, TunnelBear VPN is not offered on any router, smart TVs or any gaming consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and any third party clients. The limited compatibility does not offers flexibility to users which are looking to unblock geo restricted channels and secure their network on other devices.
How to Use TunnelBear on PC
We tested the service on our Windows 7 PC using the Windows VPN client for TunnelBear. After downloading the software, we used the setup wizard to install the client.
The process for installation and usage is easy:
- Once open the TunnelBear installation file, you will be presented with the Terms of Service. Go through the clauses and click ‘I Agree’ to continue.
- Next, choose the location where you want to install and then hit ‘Install’.
- After the program has been installed, you will be asked if you have a TunnelBear account or not.
- If you haven’t created an account yet, you can do so by selecting ‘I don’t have a TunnelBear account’ and clicking ‘Next. It will take you to a form for creating an account.
- After entering the required details and verifying your account through the email, you are ready to use TunnelBear VPN service.
- Now that you have successfully installed the client, you can get started with the Tunnel Bear VPN service using the application. Select the server you want to connect or leave the option to ‘Closest Tunnel’ and turn ‘On’ the switch.
- Its easy to change the settings of the client by accessing them from the app. Although the settings are limited and brief, we found the IntelliBear feature interesting as it allows you to select specific websites to tunnel (or not to tunnel).
How to Setup TunnelBear on Mac
TunnelBear VPN recommends using the official Mac OS app and does not provide a guide to manually setup the service. The app is available from the download section and is straight forward to setup.
- Download the TunnelBear Mac app
- Click the installer to begin
- Agree to install the Helper Tool (it is necessary to connect with secure servers)
- When setup is complete click the TunnelBear icon on the home screen
- Insert your username & password
- Choose the server you want to tunnel through
- Click Connect
You should now be connected to TunnelBear VPN, enjoy private browsing.
How to Fix TunnelBear Not Working Issue/Error
It’s once in a blue moon that TunnelBear experiences a not working or not connecting error. The apps are simply flawless and are regularly updated to ensure compatibility with Mac OS upgrades. If you still have such issues the best place to get a solution is the TunnelBear support service and you can look up the issue in TunnelBear’s help section.
TunnelBear Application Client Review
The application for using the TunnelBear VPN service is highly user friendly and easy to connect. The software can be downloaded from TunnelBear’s website and following the setup wizard, you can configure the application easily.
Browsing and Streaming Tests
Using TunnelBear VPN, we accessed numerous geo restricted websites including different streaming channels. TunnelBear worked seamlessly in terms of browsing speeds as the websites opened without any increased load time or presented the error of entering geo restricted boundaries.
The streaming performance was good as we accessed Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, BBC iPlayer, Marvel, Pandora, and various other streaming channels using TunnelBear.
Does TunnelBear Work With Netflix? What to Do
TunnelBear is the perfect choice for first-time VPN users, as it offers all the minimum necessities for keeping your identity secure. However, for their pricing, we were quite surprised to find out that the VPN does not support P2P/Torrenting. At the same time, like most VPNs, TunnelBear does not work with Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming sites.
This is mainly because TunnelBear uses shared IPs. A single user is assigned the same IP address, which is used by hundreds around the world for accessing sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. However, the problem with this is that these streaming websites can easily block the single IP. The only solution is to consider using PureVPN or ExpressVPN.
These two providers are among the only VPNs that constantly unblocks Netflix. Since they boast good encryption and geo-unblocking features, you can watch your favorite movies/TV shows, without any hassle. They also offer unlimited bandwidth, allowing you to leverage fast downloading speeds for torrents and file sharing.
Download Tunnel Bear Crack
Similar to other VPN providers you will find numerous websites and torrents claiming the availability of TunnelBear’s cracked premium version. As always I will warn against such apps and torrents since there is a 99.99% chance that these crack versions of TunnelBear are cyber train-wrecks waiting to happen.
Consider these top two results coming up in Google searches, one being a word file (left) the other being a dedicated landing page (right), that provide possible malware or phishing scams claiming it is a patched TunnelBear crack. Never download, let alone install, cracked TunnelBear software for sake of your own personal information, always consider buying the premium service.
Tunnel Bear APK Review
TunnelBear’s APK is available directly from the Google Play Store for Android devices, you can also download it here. You will be required to register and account before start using the TunnelBear app on your Android device. Boasting a massive 5 million Android installs, the TunnelBear APK is also featured on trusted alternative Android app markets including:
Just in case you cannot access the Google Play Store in your country for some reason simply go to the links above to download the TunnelBear APK to install manually on your Android devices.
TunnelBear Extension for Chrome
After much acclaim for its desktop & mobile apps, Tunnel Bear diversified into the Smart DNS niche. The brand now boasts a sleek single click Google Chrome extension. You can add the extension to your Google Chrome browser by simply visiting the Google Web Store here.
TunnelBear has really done well with their superb and user friendly Chrome extension. The TunnelBear Chrome extension is one click install and one click on, making it a brilliant prospect for less tech savvy users who wish to unblock websites without getting into the nuts and bolts of a VPN service. Although Tunnel Bear’s Chrome extension is a proxy rather than a VPN, it is an excellent choice for beginners or those with solely entertainment unblocking needs.
Tunnel Bear’s Chrome extension is embedded with advanced features including its own help & account management tools in case you ever have an issue with the service. Just select &switch locations from within all Tunnel Bear servers using the Chrome extension.The IP leak test on the US, UK, Germany and Netherland servers were spot on and no leaks were detected.
Tunnel Vigilant Bear (Kill Switch)
A feature exclusive to Mac OSX & Windows PC, Vigilant Bear or Vigilant is basically an internet kill switch designed to ensure you never get exposed while disconnected from VPN. Imagine downloading torrents or watching a movie on a free streaming website, what happens if you lose your VPN connection due to a multitude of reasons?
Vigilant is designed to ensure that while the TunnelBear app restores your privacy all online communication is halted. Any unsecured internet traffic will be blocked till the TunnelBear app is back online, consider that the only other way is pulling out your LAN cable or switching off your router.
To turn on the Vigilant Bear service all you have to do is to go to Preferences > General > check the Vigilant box. You can read more on TunnelBear’s official blog.
TunnelBear Peer-to-Peer Review
Tunnel Bear does not support P2P and torrent downloads and mentions this in their blog:
Tunnel Ghost Bear
Available over Mac, Windows and Android devices only, Ghost Bear is a truly unique feature. Ghost Bear is added to TunnelBear tech to ensure that your encrypted communication is radically scrambled making it impossible for Government agencies, ISPs, hackers & cybercriminals etc. to detect your activities.
Ghost Bear is an ideal service for internet users living in countries like the USA, UK, China, India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and any others with authoritarian internet regimes. Do note that Ghost Bear is designed to slow down your internet, so only use in the case you suspect you are being tracked, hacked or snooped on.
To activate the Ghost Bear feature on Windows & Mac, click Settings > Preferences > check the GhostBear option. Android users can do this by clicking the Menu icon > Options > check the GhostBear box.
Our TunnelBear review discovered that the service offers few options for customer support. Upon examining the website and evaluating different methods employed by TunnelBear to respond to customer queries, we found a help & FAQ section, an email address, and a built-in diagnostic tool available in the VPN app.
This was not a pleasing sight as the customer support service could have incorporated greater measures and options to ensure that customers could contact TunnelBear if they run into any trouble.
Help & FAQ Section
The help and FAQs can be accessed from the ‘Help’ option available on website. Under this section, follow different articles, getting started guides, and other material about payment queries and technical support.
You could also use the search bar on the Help page to filter the articles based on the topic/ issue you are looking for. We found this section particularly helpful in retrieving some basic information about the service and its features.
If you cannot find answers or solutions to your problem or question on the Help page then you can email the support staff at TunnelBear.
We inquired about the different security measures, protocols, and encryption provided by the service but had to wait for considerable amount of time to get a response.
TunnelBear offers a built in diagnostic tool with the client software that you download. Before you contact the customer support or look through the help and FAQ page, Use this tool to diagnose the problem with your TunnelBear VPN.
TunnelBear Payment Methods Review
TunnelBear offers different payment methods to users to choose from. These include credit card and debit card payments (MasterCard and VISA), PayPal, BitCoin and American Express.
The payment options includes commonly used methods but there is room for adding more payment merchants. Compared to other VPN providers in the industry, the list is concise and somewhat subdue; TunnelBear has the room to explore and add additional payment methods.
Upgrade / Sign-up Process
The sign-up process for a paid account is fairly simple. Once you have created your account and have logged into the client area, you can easily upgrade / purchase the paid account.
You would have to select the package you want to purchase and then enter the credit / debit card details, personal details (address, city, state, etc.) and a coupon code (if you have any) to make the purchase.
Alternatively, PayPal or BitCoin is also another option to pay for the package; clicking on either of the methods will redirect you to their webpage where payment can be made.
TunnelBear Tutorials & Setup Instructions
TunnelBear does provide setup instructions and tutorials for the devices it is compatible on. These guides can be accessed from the Help page on TunnelBear’s website. The guides provide step by step instructions on how to install the application, creating an account, how to get the application, and uninstalling the client.
There are video guides also available along with the step by step instructions. We were pleased with the detailed instructions provided in each of the guides as users can easily configure TunnelBear on their chosen platform using these tutorials.
TunnelBear Protocols & Encryption
The security levels provided by TunnelBear to protect your data against different cyber-goons, hackers, spammers, and surveillance agencies include secure protocols and encryption levels.
The protocols offered by Tunnel Bear secure VPN include L2TP / IPSec and OpenVPN. If you are using the VPN service on Windows, Mac OSX or Android then TunnelBear protects your data through OpenVPN protocol along with AES 256 bit encryption.
For iOS users, TunnelBear offers L2TP / IPSec protocol to protect the data from various threats. The protocol is suggested to work best with iOS devices by TunnelBear and utilizes 256 bit AES encryption levels.
TunnelBear Free Trial
There is a free version so there is no need for a free trial. Tunnel Bear secures your network with secure protocol and encryption level that is offered in the paid versions; so the free version provides all the benefits and security that paid versions do.
However, with the cap on data usage, you can upgrade to paid versions or use the Twitter promotional scheme to obtain additional 1GB of data usage with your free version.
TunnelBear Affiliate Program
Our TunnelBear review unveils that the service even offers a program for affiliate marketers to earn money promoting the VPN. All you have to do is sign up for the affiliate program here. Enter your company/name, address, city, country, zip code, phone number, email address, password, first name, last name, and PayPal ID.
In the “additional questions” section, select how you will promoting TunnelBear. Marketers have three options in total: website, pay-per-click, and network. If you are using another method, like social media marketing, select the “other” option and fill out the field below. You must also provide a website URL, a little detail in the industry you market, and how many visitors you can manage to attract every month.
After filling out all the crucial details, tick the “I agree to the Terms and Conditions” option and hit the “Sign Up” button to complete the process. This will create an account, which you can use for spreading the word about TunnelBear via your affiliate link. The provider gives marketers the ability of earning up to 100% commission on each sale.
If you manage to sell the “Mobile Giant” package, you get $5. “Desktop Giant” plans have a commission of $10. The same goes for “Mobile Grizzly”. If you want to earn the highest, work on selling the “Desktop Grizzly”, and earn $30. All commissions are paid via PayPal as a one-time payment. However, the service believes in full disclosure, so must reveal that you receive compensation for endorsing TunnelBear.
TunnelBear Apps to Secure Your Team
According to our TunnelBear review, the provider even offers a plan for teams. If you have a small business that requires you to keep your information secure and private, while bypassing geo-restrictions on various websites – the Team Plan is available for $69 per person. It is billed annually and allows you to leverage priority email support, connection to 20+ countries, unlimited data, and 5 simultaneous connections.
One of the best things about the Team Plan is that you have a FREE trial available. This enables users to try out the service for a good seven days, where you can work securely and privately from anywhere. Simply enter your email address here and click on the “Get Started, It’s Free” button. After creating an account, get your team to use the VPN by pasting their email addresses in the invite list.
TunnelBear VPN Review Conclusion
To sum everything up, TunnelBear provides great overall security with the highest protocol and encryption level available in the VPN industry. Combined with good performance with unblocking and allowing fast streaming, it definitely meets our recommendation criteria.
The free to use service provides great option for those of you who are planning to travel aboard or want to get the service to secure your network without heavy data usage. However, there are areas for improvement that TunnelBear should look for such as enhancing its compatibility, adding more customer support options, and payment merchants.
With everything consider, TunnelBear is an easy to use service and provides great value for money to anyone that is new to the VPN industry and looking for unblock and data protection facility.