Surfing the Internet privately and securely seems a challenge today, so the use of so-called VPN, or Virtual Private Network, has increased in recent years. Within this market we find a name that has been maintained as favorite for the users during several years: TunnelBear. This VPN offers different options and features of which I will tell you next in this TunnelBear Review.
TunnelBear is a VPN service available in the market since 2011, when it was founded by Ryan Dochuk and Daniel Kaldor. This VPN is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, which many don’t like for security reasons: Canada is a member of the Five Eyes alliance, the union of countries that exchanges intelligence and monitors communications. Experts believe this aspect may be limiting for a VPN System, but let’s not jump to conclusions before we know all its aspects.
More technically speaking, TunnelBear VPN offers a 256-bit AES encryption system. In this way it guarantees a secure connection with advanced data protection. In terms of security and privacy, TunnelBear ensures that it doesn’t keep any kind of record or information about its users, but you have to be careful about that, because if the Canadian authorities ask for some information, the company may be “forced” to provide such information. At first glance, this is very contradictory, but the information the authorities can ask for is limited.
Among its applications or extras, we find VigilanBear and GhostBear, which offer Automatic Disconnection and a way to disguise your connection to circumvent certain international boundaries or country bans.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what TunnelBear VPN offers.
The TunnelBear VPN interface is simple and very easy to use, making it the recommended VPN for beginners. In the configuration we can find the tabs of General, Security, Trusted Networks and Account.
- General: It lets you decide if you want TunnelBear to start when you turn on the computer, disable notifications and minimize the screen.
- Security: You can block network traffic while using one of its features, the so-called “GhostBear”, which allows you to mimic a real connection and make the pages believe that it is not a VPN.
- Trusted networks: Here we can designate some trusted networks, allowing TunnelBear to be activated automatically when you leave them.
- Account: everything related to your account, subscription and miscellaneous data.
In the mobile versions of the application, the interface remains similar, both in Android and iOS.
In the section on speed, it is necessary to know that a VPN reduces your download and upload speed a little, as the data must be encrypted and take a bit of the process.
TunnelBear VPN offers a browsing speed that although it is not the best, it is more or less halfway between the best and the worst. Other VPN services offer higher speeds, so if you want to use bandwidth to download torrents or watch videos, TunnelBear can be a bit slow.
If you intend to use TunnelBear to visit pages that you can’t access from home, but don’t require a high internet speed, you can do it without fail. In addition, TunnelBear offers TCP Override, which in some cases increases bandwidth.
Servers and connection
TunnelBear has more than 1500 servers in different countries worldwide, 20 of them to be specific. If this is the first time you are running the program, it will look for the nearest server and connect automatically. This can be changed very easily from the map that comes with the application. Just click on the server of your choice and the program will do the rest. Easy, right?
By having the option to connect from different countries, you can access internationally blocked services, such as Netflix USA. This is one of the strengths of VPN.
Among its other services, TunnelBear offers GhostBear. What can it do? GhostBear simulates a regular internet connection, hiding that it is a VPN. Many websites have VPN protection and all kinds of remote connections, so this option adds an extra layer of security and tries to circumvent all protections of the websites you are trying to access.
It also has VigilantBear, a system that allows you to disconnect your connection automatically if it detects any type of security breach, and automatically connects when a more secure connection is achieved. This is an option designed for anyone looking for more privacy when surfing.
A point against it is the blocking of P2P downloads, which are not allowed by the program. If you are interested in make downloads using this type of method, TunnelBear is not for you.
Rates and prices
TunnelBear comes in different presentations:
- Little Bear: the most basic plan of all, and completely free. You get 500 mb per month to use, which is renewed after the month, and you have access to all servers. The company also offers the possibility to increase this rate to 1.5gb if you tweet about the program.
- Giant Bear: the first payment option. It offers a monthly subscription system that is renewed the same day every month. You get unlimited service.
- Grizzly Bear: This package offers the same as the Giant, but its half price. The contra? You must pay 1 full year, which will be renewed at the same date every year.
The free package is a very good option, but it falls a little short compared to the free versions of the competition. Also, within the VPN market, this price is a little bit high compared to other systems that offer the same features.
- Easy to use
- Free Plan available
- Simple interface
- A little expensive
- Speed should be improved
- Short on options for advanced users
TunnelBear is a VPN that although it is not the best or cheapest on the market, offers competitive options that make it attractive to users. It guarantees secure connections, is multiplatform and very easy to use. It is the right VPN if you are starting in the world of secure connections and Virtual Private networks.
Generally speaking, it is a quite solid application and recommended for beginner users. It has some flaws that an advanced user could find, but nothing very serious for newcomers.
A negative aspect is its price, a little high for its services, and its decrease in the forms of payment available. Anyhow, give it a try to the free version and find its benefits by yourself!
You can download TunnelBear on the official website.