TunnelBear VPN Review

TunnelBear VPN Review

The VPNs can seem like a difficult technology, packed with low-level geeky details that barely anyone understands, but you must watch the TunnelBear site and you’ll rapidly realize this service does effects differently. The Canadian company is prepared McAfee which doesn’t let drown you in jargon. There was little talk of protocols, it no mention of encryption types, barely any technical terms at all. Instead of the site focuses on the basics, such as a clear explanation of why users might need to use a VPN in the first place. This approach won’t work for everyone. If you’re an experienced user and want to get down to the technical details of the service, for instance, you’re likely to be disappointed. For example, the Support site returns one article if you search for DNS, one for OpenVPN, and nothing at all for MTU. This point of view won not to be working for everybody. If you have any experienced user and you want to get down to the technical support of the service, for instance, you’re likely to be dissatisfied. For Example, this Support site returns one article if you are searching for DNS, one for OpenVPN, and nothing at all for MTU.

TunnelBear VPN Review

TunnelBear VPN Review

Want to try TunnelBear?

This service has a comparatively small network, with locations over 22 countries and it only covering Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, North America, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, India, Singapore, and New Zealand. This setup is very easy on all the main platforms, thanks to custom users for iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows, and also the browser extension. But if users are hoping to get the service working on routers, Chromebooks, Linux, games consoles, or everything else even slightly non-standard, there are almost no help to be found. Still, if the users are happy with the regular apps, the TunnelBear has supported up to five concurrent connections which means you will be able to have most of your devices running at the same time. TunnelBear’s free account has provided an extremely limited 500MB of traffic a month, barely enough to run even a single simple speed test.

TunnelBear VPN Review

This VPN’s monthly plan has given you limitless data for just $9.99 per month, however, and if you’re able to pay one year up-front, the company is dropping the price to an effective $4.99 per month. Which’s reasonable value and towards the low end of the usual price range, while if you’re able to sign up for two or more years, the company are savings to be made away (CyberGhost, VPN Unlimited, Surfshark and all have long-term plans for under $3 per month.) If the user does sign up for TunnelBear, just keep in mind that there is do not provide the money-back guarantee. Whereas all payment moths paid are non-refundable, basis certain refunded requests for subscriptions may be considered by the TunnelBear on a case-by-case”, apparently if you’ve had to receive bad service, but it’s completely up to the company to agree what should happen. Not rather as friendly as the soft cartoon bears suggest, then. There is one small loss is the package of payment methods, that only is the company has no Bitcoin supported, the service does not even accept Paypal. It has managed a very strictly credit card only.

TunnelBear VPN Review

ProsCons
Strong encryption and no activity logsDNS leaks
Five simultaneous connectionsNo kill switch
Unblocks BBC iPlayerLong-distance servers are slow
Cross-platform with native mobile appsNo refunds
Sleek, intuitive clientBased in Canada
Transparent ToS and Privacy PolicyTicket-based support
900 servers in 20 locations
Same-continent servers offer reasonable speeds

Servers and Server Locations:

TunnelBear VPN Review

When I try to review a VPN, I thoroughly consider how many servers it has offered, wherever those servers are located, and how many of those servers are simulated. A greater company doing more business will probably have more servers, and companies will rotation servers up and down as wanted, so it’s not a secure sign of network quality. But I have still believed that having more options is generally better. This VPN has over 1,800 servers across the world. That’s a healthy offering, overcoming the majority of VPN services. But it’s not among the main offerings. NordVPN, it would be noted, freshly took the prize for the most servers with some 5,293 servers. Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and TorGuard have over 3,000 servers. Mostly Virtual servers remain software-defined servers, which means numerous virtual servers can be running on a single physical server. It also means that a virtual server can be configuring to act like it’s located in one country, when in fact in another. That can be a big issue if the user needs to know exactly where his data is controlled. This Software told me that it is only using virtual servers to control the unexpected demand, and it has devoted servers in all of its locations.

Privacy and Logging Policy

TunnelBear VPN Review

TunnelBear’s Privacy Policy s one of the most comprehensive we’ve to watch from any other VPN provider, with in-depth info on all the service collects, and the whole thing it doesn’t. its logging policy is clearly defined, with TunnelBear explaining that this VPN does not save “IP addresses visiting our website”, “IP addresses upon the service connection”, “DNS Inquiries while connected”, “Any information about this applications, services or websites our its users which is used this VPN.” After this inquires, the company says, it can’t link any of its users to an action accepted out by a specific IP address. It is very good for us. The service does have recorded what it calls ‘operational data’, and updating it when you connect to their network. That why it is includes the OS version of your device, the TunnelBear app version, whether users have been activated this month and the bandwidth they have used. Not quite zero logging, then, but it far less than users have seen away, and there’s nothing here that anyone could be using to begin to link you to a specific online action. That looks great, there’s usually no way to tell whether you should be trusting what a VPN provides is telling you. But TunnelBear is a little bit different. In 2017 & 2018, this company is hiring autonomous specialists to run the public security audit on its servers, system, and code, also you can read the results for yourself. They weren’t dangerous, though, and TunnelBear got them fixed these problems. Overall, we must have applauded the company for being transparent enough to give others this level of accessing their systems.

Performance

TunnelBear VPN Review

Firstly, check out TunnelBear’s performance, we logged on to each server, recorded the connection time, ran a ping test to look for dormancy issues and used a geolocation check to confirm the server is in the advertised country. The users ran this test twice, in 12 hours apart, and managed to connect to each server without facing any difficulty, no repeats required. The connection times were regularly fast. Its ping times were variable, but not enough to show any substantial issue. Next step, we used benchmarking websites including Netflix’ Fast, TestMy & Ookla’s SpeedTest to check the is TunnelBear’s best download speeds from both the UK and the US?. Our nearest UK server has been given us an accomplished 63-65Mbps, only around 3-4% down on our speeds without a VPN, and we can sensibly be expecting from a 75Mbps line.

Speed Test

TunnelBear VPN Review

It no matter the VPN you have to choose; you’ll see an influence on your web-browsing experience. That is only because you have to add some extra hoops for your internet traffic to jump through. Speeds are returning anxiety for consumers, but I have tried my best and discourage anybody from using speed results alone as a standard for choosing a VPN service. At PCMag, we have been using the Ookla speed test tool to instrument the impact a VPN has on his progress. (Note hare that Ookla is owned by Ziff Davis, that also owns PCMag.) We have a full feature on how we test VPNs, so you must read it for more on our methodology and the limits of our tests.

Netflix

One of the main selling points of this VPN is that it can make you appeared to be visiting a website from another country, maybe giving you access to content you wouldn’t be able to view then. But this doesn’t always work, so we try to test all VPNs to see if they can give us access to BBC iPlayer, US YouTube and US Netflix. When we logged into TunnelBear’s from UK location and tried accessing BBC iPlayer, but this site noticed our VPN-based deception and warned ‘this content is not available in your location.’ There was more success in US-only YouTube channels, where we were able to stream videos without facing any kind of difficulty. That is the plus point, but not the main one, as just about every VPN with a US location can do the same. US Netflix is usually much more of an unblocking challenge, and this time it has seemed too much for TunnelBear. Whatever we have tried (including connecting to the UK and France), Netflix displayed it is normal you appear to be using an unblocker or proxy’ error messages and declined to stream any content.

Torrents Benefits.

Mostly VPNs usually don’t like to shout about their torrenting support, and it’s not difficult to see why. All torrent users are likely to gobble up much more have bandwidth than others, and if that contains downloading illegal data, it could be generating more attention from the copyright police. The TunnelBear takes this quiet approachable to a risky, though, with only one reference to P2P and torrents on the entire TunnelBear website.

Customer Setup

The company has Getting started with TunnelBear begins by handing over the client’s email address to create an account. Accept the free option or hand over their cash for one of the paid plans, and they are offered a choice of apps for Mac, iOS Windows, and Android, also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
If the customer is looking for anything more advanced, they’re going to be upset. They have not provided for routers, or games consoles, or smart TVs, or anything else. They have no links to installation guides or troubleshooting advice. If the customers are happy with TunnelBear’s main apps, they’re unlikely to notice any issues (if anything, the focus on the main platforms makes the website easier to navigate.) But given that the TunnelBear does have more useful setup information about Linux, OpenVPN. We think this website should make this more accessible to its users.

Windows Client

TunnelBear’s Windows client has opened with a grey world map, centered on their current location, with all the other VPN locations highlighted. All the clients can also select their locations in a straighter way, by clicking the current destination at the top of the screen and also choosing from a drop-down list. That’s very simpler, although it would be better still if TunnelBear had thought to list the locations in arranged order (right now it has orders like Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong…) Still, the TunnelBear has so few locations, it only takes a second to scroll down and find whatever you need. Switching locations is very easy if the user does it from the location list (choose a new country, TunnelBear closes the current connection and starts a new one), but more awkward if the user does it from the map (there’s an ‘are user sure?’-just type his question, then the map viewpoint moves from the new simulated location, back to the old one, then to the user’s physical connection, then back to the new one again.) Generally, TunnelBear’s Windows client isn’t bad, and if your requirements are simple you might be finding it works much like any other. But there are lots of scope for improvement, and the client’s interface and basic feature list could be disappointing experienced users.

TunnelBear VPN Review

Mobile Apps

The TunnelBear’s for Android and iOS has a very similar look and feel to the Windows edition. It has a world map with VPN locations highlighted, a list of locations as a simpler substitute (though still not sorted alphabetically), a slight number of useful settings, and not much else. This map works slightly better than the desktop version. It has wrapped as you expected, for example (user can keep swiping left or right and get back to where he started). The VPN’s still no zoom, but the Android app can at least have switched from portrait to landscape to give him a better view. Its Android Settings box has a few fun options, including the skill to enable or disable Bear Sounds, or to display cottony clouds on the map. Not exactly vital, but they raised a smile anyway. Its iOS app’s options are much more basic, as normal. It has no split tunneling, kill switch or GhostBear-type complication. But the user does get the ability to auto-connect with all but important networks, also an option to enable or disable Bear Sounds, so it’s not all bad.

Browser Extensions

TunnelBear VPN Review

TunnelBear VPN Review:

When you Installing TunnelBear’s browser extensions it can make the service easier to operate, by permitting you to choose a location, connected and disconnected from inside your browser. They work as substitutions and so only protect your browser traffic, but if that’s all you need, the additional convenience could be making them worth a try. The Chrome extension has added an icon to our address bar, and tapping this showed our location on a little drop-down map. Its new locations can be chosen from a list (and, at last, it’s sorted alphabetically), & a button is getting you instantly connected or disconnected.

Support

TunnelBear VPN Review

This VPN has been supported starts with its web-based help site. This is obtainable in a clear and simple way, with huge icons pointing you to key areas and basic articles on the most collective questions (‘Why should I trust TunnelBear?’, ‘Does TunnelBear keep logs, ‘Why can’t I access the content I want?’). Go searching for answers and you will be finding TunnelBear’s knowledge base doesn’t have a lot of content, but what you get is well obtainable and gives you a decent range of information. The Connection Issues page doesn’t just offer generic ‘reinstall’-type ideas, for example. This VPN links you to TunnelBear’s Twitter page to look for service information, suggests trying out the service on another network, and points you to settings that might help.

Final Verdict

It’s not the largest, fastest or most powerful of VPNs, but TunnelBear’s ease of use and a strong focus on opening up its systems to scrutiny deserve a lot of credit. Worth a look for all but the most demanding users.