TunnelBear is a global VPN service provider that is based in Canada. TunnelBear is a fierce contender among many popular VPN providers in the market today. It stands out in a cheeky and eccentric manner to promote a robust service that is extremely secure, packed with lots of features and very easy to use as well. In this review, we will discuss the overall performance & different features provided by TunnelBear based on testing their free VPN service.
You cannot help but feel excited and entertained while navigating the TunnelBear website. Upon visiting TunnelBear.com, you will be greeted by a sassy giant bear that will take you in a tour through the charmingly designed and neatly presented website. There are a lot of very well-placed tabs containing all the necessary information needed to understand what the service is about and what they offer in a very simple manner and uplifting sense of humour.
TunnelBear comes in 3 different sizes. Little Bear (free VPN, 500MB a month, you get 1 extra GB if you tweet about the service), Giant Bear (unlimited data for $9.99/month) and the Grizzly (unlimited data for $59.88/year at $4.99 per month).
Unless you are willing to pay in honey jars, TunnelBear accepts both anonymous and regular payment methods, such as: Bitcoin, American Express, Visa and Mastercard.
Free Trial & Money-Back Guarantee
TunnelBear VPN offers a free VPN service, called Little Bear. It provides you with 500MB of data per month and an additional 1GB of data if you tweet about their service.
As for money-back guarantee, sadly, their services are non-refundable.
We strongly suggest that you go through their provacy policy as it one of the most transparent we have come across. TunnelBear clearly states on its website that it abides by Canadian laws and regulations. Privacy-wise, this is bad news since Canada is part of the FIVEY which practices notorious methods to legally spy on its citizens, such as: metadata retention. This means that TunnelBear is required to disclose personal information of its users to intelligence services upon request without their users’ approval.
” TunnelBear is a global company, with headquarters in Canada. Although our physical servers are located in many different countries around the world, TunnelBear does not store personally identifiable information outside of Canada’s physical borders. By using our services, you authorize TunnelBear to use your information according to Canada’s laws, regardless of which country you are located in.”
Even though TunnelBear does not keep traffic logs of your online activities nor does it keep IP addresses, it keeps records of some personal information including: contact & billing information as well as operational data.
In this section, we will explore the different features and services provided by TunnelBear VPN. Scroll down for more details.
TunnelBear keeps it solid, secure and simple. The VPN relies on 256-bit AES OpenVPN encryption to support Windows, Mac OS and Android platforms. As for iOS, it uses 128-bit AES IPSec/IKEVv2 encryption which is the best for it.
TunnelBear is compatible with several platforms, such as: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, and iOS. It also provides extensions to browsers, like: Chrome.
Servers & Bandwidth
TunnelBear has its servers spread across 20 major countries which is very useful in bypassing geo-restrictions to be able to unblock any web content.
As for bandwidth, TunnelBear offers unlimited bandwidth without any restrictions, except for its free VPN package which is limited to 500MB per month.
TunnelBear comes with a kill switch, called the “Vigilant” feature. When enabled, it keeps your traffic encrypted in case the connection drops and while the VPN reconnects.
” If TunnelBear loses connection for some reason (perhaps you move between WiFi networks, or you’re out of network range briefly) it’s designed to automatically reconnect as soon as it detects the internet again. Vigilant protects you in these brief seconds while TunnelBear is reconnecting.”
Vigilant mode is available with Windows and Mac OS.
TunnelBear also comes with a closed tunnel feature “Auto Tunnel” which automatically selects the best and most secure server for your location.
The “Ghost Bear” feature acts as an additional layer of encryption to make your connection more undetectable by ISPs, businesses or any other third party. Though it strengthens your security on the internet, it might slow down your connection speed.
When subscribing to TunnelBear, it allows you to connect to up to 5 different devices simultaneously.
You can contact TunnelBear support team via an e-mail ticket system. Unfortunately, they do not provide live chat support. In addition, they have a copious Help section for self-assistance.
Software & Performance
We have downloaded Little Bear client for Windows to test the service and its performance. The signing up process was very easy and straightforward. All you need to do is to provide a valid email address and type in a password. You will then receive a confirmation email to activate your account.
Once the sign up is completed, you can easily download and install the software on your system. It took only few minutes to download without any interruptions.
As for performance, at first we did not face any hassle or disruptions. However, after about 30 minutes, our browser started to freeze and we had to stop using the client to get our systems working again. In addition, our connection speed was significantly slow while using the VPN client which was not a pleasant experience at all.
Here is our final verdict:
– Secure encryption
– 5 Simultaneous connections
– Kill Switch
– Server locations in 20+ countries
– Nifty features
– Free VPN
– VPN extension for browsers
– Partially keeps logs
– Unstable connection
– Live chat is not available
– Free VPN plan is slow