Operating for over three years now, TunnelBear is a pretty neat VPN service. With impressive offerings like extensive server coverage, throwaway prices, free trial and fair customer support, Tunnelbear appears to be an awesome fit for a VPN newbie.
TunnelBear VPN is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Its official mailing address, bearing a ‘Bear Cave’ nameplate on TunnelBear’s website, is 174 Spadina, Avenue, Suite 206, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2C2.
Let’s explore the core features and turnoffs of TunnelBear VPN in this comprehensive review.
VPN’s Packages and Pricing
I have seen a heck of VPN packages of different providers. But TunnelBear cute bearish theme on its pricing page is simply compelling.
The first package is labeled Little TunnelBear. This one is TunnelBear’s free limited service trial which can get you a happy 500MBs of VPN usage every month.
And you can compound the excitement of the freebie with another 1GB of free data by simply tweeting about the offer from your VPN app.
The second package is named Giant Tunnelbear and gets you an unlimited VPN bandwidth for 1 month for just $4.99. If you’re one of the heavy users but need VPN for just one month, think no more.
The third package, called the Grizzly Tunnellbear gets you the unlimited VPN for $49.99 for 12 months. I am no good in math, so my calculator just told me it saves an incredible 17% in relation to the monthly package. But do devour the free trial package before going for this big one.
A single package for desktop, PC or Mac VPN can also get you free tunneling or VPN for 2 additional mobile devices.
USA and UK are two important VPN server locations. Almost every provider takes off business from here because they are relatively less prone to internet censorship, one of the main reasons for which users get a VPN service.
TunnelBear VPN also set off its VPN from US and UK.
But TunnelBear VPN is no longer a beginner, and I am at a loss to understand why TunnelBear hasn’t expanded as much as other providers.
Even though its UK/US servers may be well covering its subscribers, TunnelBear is got to understand that it’s never wise to keep all eggs under a single basket.
Protocols and Encryption
Most big VPN providers are offering a basket of VPN protocol choices for their VPN users. While pro-privacy and security freaks might favor it, a fresh user might just want a basic protocol to get started.
Tunnelbear client currently uses just OpenVPN protocol, applying the standard 128-bit AES encryption.
So if haven’t have heard of other protocols (PPTP, SSTP etc) or their use, you shouldn’t be worrying at this moment.
Multi-device/multi-OS compatibility rests as the central offering of a reliable VPN service, and Tunnebear appears to have adopted a moderate approach towards this.
Tunnelbear VPN works fine on Windows, iPad and iPhone. However, you would need to have Android 4.01or above to get Tunnelbear running.
I was surprised to note that does not support Linux OS and routers. But I am pretty much anticipating a fix in near future.
The mobile version is reported known to use a simpler VPN technology. Particularly, iPhone users have been reported to experience more internet speed loss in comparison to Tunnelbear’s desktop versions.
TunnelBear VPN Speed
After I connected to the UK Server, I had a successful IP change and the most surprising part was the speed test. I have tested quite a lot of Free VPN Services, which completely fail in Speed and Download test but it was not the case Tunnel Bear as I had the same speed while I connected to their UK Server. Now, it was time to connect to their USA server, I had successful IP Change and the speed again was good as I had 10 to 20% drop of speed on US Servers, but that’s quite understandable.
Let’s put it straight – Tunnelbear does not have a large crew of support teams on their premises. There are no options for live chat and I am not sure when my sample query at email@example.com will get answered.
But yes, there are tens of starter guides, FAQs and knowledge base articles on Tunnelbears website.
TunnelBear appears to cover up for this customer support lacking by providing in-depth starter guides, how to articles, and FAQs. Additionally, we found an impressive end-to-end engagement with customers on TunnelBear’s social channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
Unique Selling Proposition
Tunnelbear’s unique selling proposition is one of simplicity. It gives you a quick-hassle free VPN from an instant 500MB trial straight. Get it, test it. That’s it.
TunnelBear accepts payment for paid-VPN packages ‘Giant TunnelBear’ and ‘Grizzly TunnelBear’ via a variety of methods. Specifically, you can check out via Visa or Mastercard, American Express, PayPal and Jars of Journey.
As representative of its little regard for complete privacy, anonymous payment solutions like Bitcoin are not on TunnelBear’s payment gateway.
Software and Tutorials Provided
Software downloads are available for all supported devices on TunnelBear’s website. Every software set and client has built in help guides, tutorials and instructions for easy configuration and setup.
TunnelBear’s simple software also makes up greatly for its inadequate customer support.
I haven’t read all help and manuals, but you’d get answers to the most common queries in an eloquent manner if you use Tunnelbear’s ‘Help’ effectively.
Because of a simpler client, setting and using TunnelBear VPN is relatively easy. What you have to do is directly visit their website and download their app for your PC or Mac.
After downloading it, start the installation. When you have installed and started the application it will ask you, whether you are registered with TunnelBear or you are a new customer, if you are not registered, TunnelBear gives you in-app sign up form.
TunnelBears have developed a moderate data logging policy. It claims to keep zero data about a user’s online activities. However, a minimum set of user Meta data is kept by TunnelBear to deliver the best service.
This set includes log durations, true IPs as well as geo-location of customers. Nothing to worry for that… All others do so.
But yes, a lower basket of encryption protocols can lead data snoopers to sniff into your private communications on a really rainy day.
I have said this before, and I would say it again. TunnelBear’s free trial is simply awesome. With 500MB of VPN straight away, and a bonus 1GB on a easy Twitter promo, I can’t expect a better free offering from a VPN provider.
TunnelBear has stuck itself as a simple yet effective VPN brand. Even though it is not the safest VPN for a pro, an average user can still get all the basic benefits on anonymity, free web surfing and privacy at a fairly economized package.
What’s more? The limited VPN trial can get you an exciting 1.5GB of VPN! Not many providers do that without bombing your internet session with irritating ads.
Few areas need to be particularly improved to make TunnelBear the choicest VPN for everyone. These include addition of servers and locations, live customer support, and improvement in compatibility for Linux and Router VPN users.
That said, TunnelBear VPN review gets 8 of 10 ratings from me. Share your experience in the comments below.