TunnelBear VPN Review 2018: Everything You Need to Know

Man holding VPN ilustration.
TunnelBear VPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS users. It’s also compatible with Chrome and Opera browsers. Here’s a detailed review.

TunnelBear is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service founded in 2011 in Canada.

This company offers 500 free megabytes for new users, and if you need more, you can tweet about the service for an extra 1 GB.

All of the TunnelBear apps (for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android) offer users many useful features in order to protect their privacy.

If you are a detail-oriented person, you will be more than thrilled with the company’s website that is filled with cute bears and witty content.

Needless to say, the apps themselves are designed to be user-friendly and pretty much self-explanatory.

Features

Servers

TunnelBear has servers in more than 20 countries worldwide. That allows its users to access all restricted websites and browse the web without limitations.

Even with the free version of the app, clients can choose the server they want to connect to.

That implies that you will be allowed to watch the U.S. version of Netflix and Hulu from your current location if you’re not in the U.S.

You can also connect automatically to the service and it will connect you to the nearest server, which means higher speed.

Encryption

TunnelBear uses 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN, IKEv2 and IPSec security protocols, which are considered the most reliable.

This strong encryption is designed to keep users protected from hackers and other potential threats that lurk online while browsing the web, such as malware developed to steal users’ personal data.

Kill Switch

TunnelBear features a kill switch called Vigilant. If you enable this option, your privacy will be protected even if you lose your internet connection.

GhostBear

GhostBear is a feature that will make your encrypted data safe from government detection.

It do so by mixing up your VPN communications. You can find this feature in the settings section, and it is available on Windows, Mac and Android apps.

The downside is that GhostBear can make your connection slower.

Always On

In the settings section, you can enable the always on option and never have to stress about whether your VPN service is on or off. Once the operating system runs, the app will be turned on automatically.

Multiple Devices

For premium members, TunnelBear provides simultaneous use on five different devices, which makes it a great option for family use.

Performance

The speed of TunnelBear is quite satisfying, especially if the GhostBear option is disabled.

Also, you can be sure that you are protected even if you are connected to public Wi-Fi.

When you are in a coffee shop or at a bus station connected to a public network, your device is susceptible to cybersecurity risks if you do not use a VPN.

The TunnelBear app will work in the background so that you will be able to use your phone or laptop without any worries that your privacy will be compromised.

Additionally, to save battery power, you can add certain networks to the trusted networks list, and the app will automatically start only when you are connected to untrusted networks.

Customer Support

If you have issues with the service, that might be a problem because TunnelBear does not have a live chat system.

You can type your question in a contact form on the company’s website and try to find a solution to your problem there, or you can send an email to customer support.

If you click on the Contact us button, first you will have to check a box in front of one of the presented categories.

Then, a message box will pop up where you’ll be able to describe your problem.

You can also add a screenshot if needed. After you enter your contact email address, all you have to do is hit Send.

Compatibility

TunnelBear is available for iOS and Android devices, Windows, Mac, Chrome and Opera. However, the app for iOS users does not support the GhostBear feature.

If you want to install the TunnelBear app on your mobile device, first you will have to download it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, depending on whether you’re an iOS or Android user.

The installation process is pretty straightforward. When the process is completed, enter your credentials or create an account, and you are good to go.

TunnelBear for Teams

Another great feature TunnelBear offers is a package for teams. TunnelBear for teams is convenient for companies and professional use. It allows your team to work safely from anywhere.

The package includes easy administration, security for all your devices and a trusted support team that will make you their priority.

All you have to do is enter your friends’ or colleagues’ emails and send them the invitations to join your team.

The costs of the service is $69 per team member, billed annually. However, you get a seven-day free trial period.

Installation

Installation of TunnelBear VPN is quite simple. First, you will have to go to the company’s website and create an account.

Once the first step is completed, the download will start automatically. All you have to do is to run the installation wizard and follow the instructions.

The installation wizard will ask you to select the folder for the app.

After that, you will be presented with a quick demo, which you can skip if you want.

The final step is to enter your credentials, confirm your email address to activate your account, and run the app.

User Interface

TunnelBear’s interface is quite simple yet elegant, which makes the app easy to use. Once you log in to the service, you will be presented with the home screen.

In the top left corner, you can find the options section.

If you click on those three little lines, you will be presented with the servers map and settings.

The settings section has several tabs:

  • General
  • Security
  • Trusted Networks
  • Account

Within the General tab, you can turn on/off Launch TunnelBear on startup. You’ll also find the TCP override button as well as the information and settings regarding notifications.

In the Security tab, users can find the kill switch and GhostBear button.

If you click on Trusted networks, you can find a switch to automatically activate TunnelBear if you are connected to any network that is not listed in the trusted networks section.

And finally, in the Account tab, you can upgrade your service or log out.

The overall impression regarding TunnelBear’s user interface that it is a mix of simplicity and modern and fun design, which makes it perfect for beginners.

Security and Privacy

TunnelBear does not keep logs about their clients’ activity.

However, the company does store customers’ account data such as email address, Twitter IDs, whether or not the service is paid and payment expiration date.

The company collects operational data, as well as data necessary for payment transactions—with the exception of customers’ complete credit card numbers.

Data TunnelBear doesn’t store includes IP addresses, DNS queries and user activity.

Price

TunnelBear offers three payment plans:

  • Little TunnelBear—this is a free version that provides you with 500 MB every month.
  • Giant TunnelBear—$9.99 a month, unlimited data, monthly payment.
  • Grizzly TunnelBear—$59.99 per year, unlimited data, yearly payment.

Clients can choose to pay with Visa, American Express, Master Card or Bitcoins.

Unfortunately, the company does not offer a money-back guarantee.

But that should not be considered as a flaw because users do get a one-month free trial. Also, the price of a monthly subscription is reasonable compared to competition.

Users’ Reviews

According to some users, there were certain issues with TunnelBear’s mobile app.

Namely, the app requested a password, did not accept it and the user was unable to use their phone at all.

On the other hand, the majority of other users’ reviews are positive.

Clients report that all of the apps are quite simple and easy to use even for inexperienced users, and that the bear theme and funny notifications are a nice touch for the brand.

Another issue includes problems with watching Netflix. Some users claim that they cannot connect to the service every time.

Alternatives

If, for some reason, you do not like TunnelBear VPN, you can always try one of the following alternatives:

The major advantage of the listed VPN services is the number of servers they offer.

TunnelBear only offers servers in 20 countries; that’s much less than their competitors—IPVanish, for example, operates on over 1,000 servers worldwide in more than 60 countries.

But, on the other hand, using TunnelBear has its perks. You can give it a go by trying the one-month free trial option and then selecting a long-term subscription plan if you are satisfied with the service.

Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

500 free megabytes and an additional 1 GB if you tweet Servers in only 20 countries
Top-notch encryption protocol There is no peer-to-peer sharing
Kill switch GhostBear is not available for iOS users
Free trial period Customer support only via email
GhostBear feature No money-back guarantee
Always on feature
TunnelBear for teams

Conclusion

VPN letters on lock dials.
If you are a detail-oriented person, you will be more than thrilled with the company’s website that is filled with cute bears and witty content.

TunnelBear is a reliable VPN service provider founded in 2011 in Canada.

The company offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS users.

You can install the software for Google Chrome and Opera as well.

TunnelBear has many useful features including a kill switch, GhostBear, the always on option, and uses top-notch encryption protocol.

Unfortunately, the company does not offer a money-back guarantee, but users can subscribe for 500 free megabytes per month.

Also, premium members can use the service on five different devices simultaneously.

The overall impression is that TunnelBear is a decent VPN service that operates quite smoothly and does not affect connection speed.

For amateur use, even a free subscription plan will do the job. However, for professionals, clients will probably have to opt for premium membership.

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