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TunnelBear Review : Overview
TunnelBear is a popular public virtual private network (VPN) which is a service based in Toronto, Canada. The company was founded by Ryan Dochuk and Daniel Kaldor in 2011.
Ryan also known as the Corporate Bear, believes that he has personally supervised many bears and puns in every product and with plenty of hard work, his team has introduced online privacy to people around the world; whereas the other cofounder Daniel also is known as the Quantum Bear, has architected the TunnelBear tunnels.
The TunnelBear offers the users both free and paid VPN service and the free version is limited to 500 MB a month bandwidth. The TunnelBear VPN software uses the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol and the 256-bit AES encryption. However, when it comes to VPN speed, it is a little slower when compared to other VPNs provider including NordVPN and Express VPN.
TunnelBear has been around since 2011 and was acquired by McAfee in March 2018. TunnelBear’s 350+ VPN servers spread throughout 22+ other countries around the world like United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Brazil, Hong Kong, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, India, New Zealand and Romania and has servers in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
TunnelBear Review : Pros & Cons
Pros of Using TunnelBear
As a provider of an online privacy service, we ultimately strive to collect the minimal amount of information required to operate our service. Except as described, TunnelBear will NOT disclose any Personal Data to other commercial parties under any circumstance.
TunnelBear explicitly does NOT collect, store or log the following data:
- IP addresses visiting our website
- IP addresses upon service connection
- DNS Queries while connected
- Any information about the applications, services or websites our users use while connected to our Service
No Leaks Detected:
When it comes to TunnelBear, it’s a user-friendly interface and has rock-solid encryption that makes it a leak-free VPN choice. It uses OpenVPN by default that is paired with the most advanced, uncrackable encryption standard on the market in that AES-256.
While using Tunnelbear, you would repeatedly come across the words “protected by a bear” while you are browsing as it uses a whimsical-looking cartoon bear to remind you of the point again and again.
The TunnelBear WebRTC detection results were incredible as its installation software also perseveres, delivering squeaky-clean results.
Free Plan & Works on Multiple Devices:
The free plan only offers 500 MB of data per month but it easily lets you check out the app and do a few speed tests on your own. They also provide streamlined apps for Androids, Windows and iOS. You even get a browser extension for both Chrome and Opera and also a tracker-blocking extension that easily compliments all of their services.
Extremely Safe and Secure:
Safety and Security are the two things that matter the most in the VPN. As mentioned earlier, Tunnelbear uses the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol on Android, Windows and iOS devices.
The OpenVPN is a recommended option by default.
The OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2 provide 256-bit AES protection, while the IPSec protocol offers still-respectable 128-bit AES encryption as the US government uses the same 256-bit AES encryption for data protection. TunnelBear services also provide strong data authentication and secure Diffie-Hellman key exchange that ensure direct connectivity to a TunnelBear server.
TunnelBear provides a unique service called VigilantBear, which features to protect you while connecting and disconnecting while browsing. When the network or the WiFi disconnects or interrupts, there is a possibility that some of your data can go out over an unsecured connection. And so VigilantBear prevents that from happening.
When in January 2017, Hackernoon deeply understood the TunnelBear code, they never found any notable vulnerabilities or surprises and were impressed that TunnelBear actually includes functionality to detect both DNS and IPv6 leaks, which proves to be great options for protecting your privacy.
TunnelBear actually comes together with some amazing features, such as:
- Vigilant Mode – when your connection gets disrupted, TunnelBear will block all unsecured traffic until it is safely reconnected.
- Closest Tunnel – when you want to be secure and are not sure which country to connect to, use the closest tunnel for easy security.
- Always On – its set to launch at startup, always stay connected and do not worry about re-connecting on restart.
- No Logging – TunnelBear does NOT log any activity of customers connected to their service.
- Lightning Fast Speeds – get lightning-fast speeds with TunnelBear’s service.
- Safe WiFi Protection – even when you are connected to public WiFi and other untrusted networks.
- Support – TunnelBear has a knowledge base and dedicated support staff for support.
- Worldwide Network – it helps you to connect to the fastest servers in 22+ countries having TunnelBear’s virtual private network.
- Strong Encryption – as it uses strong AES 256-bit encryption by default.
- GhostBear – TunnelBear enables you to defeat VPN blocking with GhostBear that makes your encrypted VPN data less detectable to governments, businesses and ISPs.
- Multiple Devices – TunnelBear allows you to add up to 5 devices to cover your whole device network and be secure across all of them.
Easy to Use:
If you read about the TunnelBear company’s website thoroughly, you would come to know that mission is to make VPN usage easy for everyone and they have actually pretty well done that in the last few years. The App is actually quite simple and easy to use and it may not provide all the advanced settings you want from a high-end VPN, but when you are just getting started with encrypted browsing TunnelBear makes the process much easier for you.
TunnelBear helps you map showing your location and the tunnel being used so that you only see what you need to see, like where you are, which tunnel you are using and where you appear to be browsing from.
Independently Audited for Security:
TunnelBear has an independent organization audit their VPN for security because in recent years there has been quite a bad press for some VPNs for bandwidth selling, logging data, overstated security and much more. So for your benefit, TunnelBear actually publishes the results of the audit that you can read them online.
Furthermore, TunnelBear also claims that it is the first and only VPN service in the world to offer such audited results.
Allows Torrenting and TOR:
Earlier, TunnelBear was a service that did not allow torrenting but that has changed recently. They offer both torrenting and the use of the TOR network. TOR stands for The Onion Router and is a private and encrypted web browser.
Responsive and Thorough Customer Support
TunnelBear’s new commitment to customer support is actually good as it offers services as required. The TunnelBear customer support form has all the adorable cartoon bear because their customer service department is full of them.
The TunnelBear Customer Support Response gets back to you in a general timeframe of 48 hours, but they do get back to you within a few hours say 3 hours also.
Cons : Where TunnelBear Lacks
Everything about TunnelBear sounds great, but when it comes to testing their server speeds, they do give problem. Many users have reported bad download speeds because the speed while using TunnelBear drastically dropped by almost 50 per cent. When it comes to streaming and downloads via a vpn, you should always expect some lose speed.
However, while using TunnelBear you experience a significant drop that affects the browsing experience. I am not saying that they are worse but when compared to other VPN service provider they are relatively slow.
Unfortunately, Netflix is getting better from time to time at blocking VPNs and they have successfully blocked many larger VPN providers with more servers in more places around the world.
No Router Installation
TunnelBear does not support installing its VPN software directly on the router for the increased protection and ease of use.
TunnelBear Pricing, Plans and Facts
Tunnelbear’s pricing and plans are as follows:
- TunnelBear’s Free Plan – If you are new to acquire TunnelBear’s services go for the free plan that offers a bandwidth of only 500 MB per month so that you can experience the services and then upgrade it anytime for unlimited data.
- TunnelBear’s Giant Plan – The plan will run you $ 9.99 per month for unlimited data, 5 connected devices and priority customer service.
- TunnelBear’s Grizzly Plan – It is an annual plan that will cost you $ 59.88 upfront for 12 months for unlimited VPN service.
As each plan stated above offers to cover five devices to protect, you can easily go TunnelBear VPN that will cover your whole family.
Remember that TunnelBear does NOT offer any refunds, so there is no money-back guarantee. To compensate that they offer you to use their free version so that you better be sure before you upgrade.
- No logging: Yes.
- Ease of the VPN software: Their app is quite simple and straight-forward.
- Hidden fees and clauses: No refunds.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Instant access after payment: Yes.
- DNS leaks: None.
- Jurisdiction: Canada.
- Tunnelling Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, and IKEv2.
- Kill-switch: Yes.
When it comes to payment options, TunnelBear allows you to pay via all the major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Other than that they also accept PayPal & Bitcoin, i.e. a digital form of crypto-currency which is 100% untraceable.
Do I Recommend TunnelBear VPN?
First, let me again take you through the pros and cons:
- No Logging.
- No Leaks Detected.
- Free Plan & Works on Multiple Devices.
- Extremely Safe and Secure:
- Amazing Features:
- Easy to Use:
- Independently Audited for Security:
- Allows Torrenting and TOR:
- Responsive and Thorough Customer Support
- Speed Problems.
- No Netflix.
- No Router Installation.
TunnelBear has an explicit no-logging policy and is independently audited for security, which will definitely reassure the privacy-conscious. It blocks standard BitTorrent ports, sometimes citing a high volume of complaints from content providers so that it was not put in the position of having to log user activity in accordance with Canadian copyright law.
The overall Tunnelbear’s performance is consistently decent and even unremarkable compared to other rival VPN’s.
And hence my recommendation would actually depend on what you need a VPN for. If at times you just want a VPN service to protect your privacy while you are browsing or streaming, TunnelBear is a great choice. You might suffer a bit on the speed side but it is very easy to use and offers solid security.
Furthermore, if you are planning to get a plan for your entire family, TunnelBear would be a great choice.
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TunnelBear is great as long as you're not buying a VPN only for using netflix. Start using TunnelBear for FREE today.