TunnelBear offers fast servers in 20 countries and is easy to use. Given how many functions it has, then we give TunnelBear a solid 8.5 / 10 rating. There are of course a few questions that pull him down, so keep reading for a full review of the TunnelBear VPN service.
Servers, server status page
TunnelBear VPN servers are located in 20 countries. This line of servers means that users of the service can change their IP address to make it appear that they are located in these countries. This allows them to bypass local censorship and other geographic restrictions. Users will have to invest in a paid plan to access each server in the list; for example, servers in Australia are not available to users in a free trial version.
We tested TunnelBear on our own by our dedicated VPN test servers. This allows us to get accurate results about the speed of the VPN. TunnelBear turned out to be one of the fastest VPNs around and ranks in the top 5 when it comes to VPN connection speed. Of course, users can expect some slowdown when using VPN. The farther the server, the more significant the deceleration. TunnelBear has an average download speed of about 28 Mbps, which is well above average for a VPN service.
TunnelBear can outperform many other VPN providers on the market. The average connection speed with this VPN is more than enough to download and stream HD content without problems. One of the features of TunnelBear, which can slow down your, even more, is the GhostBear stealth mode, but we did not encounter problems when using it.
We also tested TunnelBear for DNS leak through ipleak.net. We are pleased to announce that when using TunnelBear there were no leaks of IP or domain names (DNS). There were also no IPv4 leaks or real-time web communications when using the service.
Unfortunately, we were unable to check for IPv6 leakage due to our internet provider. There are some reports of IPv6 leaks, but TunnelBear is continually being updated to fix such problems. It also has the function of a switch, called VigilantBear, which minimizes the risk of leakage.
The server status page also displays the skeuomorphic design of the service. The interface consists of cartoon graphics, including bears and trees, with trees on the interface, depending on which part of the map you are viewing. There’s a drop-down menu if you want to select a specific server.
TunnelBear VPN works fine on Windows, Android, iOS, OS X and even Linux. The VPN client itself looks quite similar on all these platforms, except for Linux. Linux users will also need OpenVPN for the service to work correctly. The iOS version of the application offers L2TP / IPsec encryption via OpenVPN encryption, which means that iOS users will also need OpenVPN. Each client provides the same servers and connection speed. Site TunnelBear has a guide on how to use the application on each platform.
TunnelBear also has several browser extensions that allow users to integrate it directly into browsers. It has options for Chrome and Opera, but, unfortunately, is not compatible with Firefox. The browser extension is a nice little feature, but keep in mind that it works only as a proxy, not as a full VPN. It can only proxy the data in the browser itself and not other online activities. As the main application, the browser extension works with Windows, Chrome OS, OS X, and Linux.
Protocols and Encryption
As for protocols and encryption, TunnelBear offers access to two main VPN protocols with Windows, Android and Mac OSX clients using OpenVPN. IOS users can use either the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) / Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) or the Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2). This means that anyone who wants to connect to iOS via OpenVPN must first download and use free OpenVPN software. The good news is that OpenVPN is just as easy and convenient to use, so this should not be a big problem.
Each version of TunnelBear, except for iOS 8 and earlier versions, uses a robust 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with SHA256 authentication. iOS 8 and lower is encrypted over 128-bit AES encryption with SHA-1 for data authentication.
This information can be found directly through the TunnelBear blog, which is incredible transparency for the service. TunnelBear also does not use the outdated VPN Point-to-Point Encryption Protocol (PPTP).
In addition to providing secure encryption and strong privacy policies, TunnelBear recently invested in third-party audits. This audit allows TunnelBear to state that their platform provides greater security and privacy proudly. It also provides evidence that TunnelBear can support its security and privacy requirements.
While there have been some IP leak issues lately, TunnelBear is already working on patches for them. Improvements prevent IPv6 and IP leaks, and they will be deployed shortly if they haven?t yet come out by the time you read this.
TunnelBear and Netflix
This is where we get one of the main drawbacks using TunnelBear. The service is based in Canada, and it does not unlock US Netflix and does not work with Netflix at all. This also applies to other streaming services. One of the main reasons people take VPNs is to access the full content library using streaming services such as Netflix. Although there was a time when Netflix quietly resolved this, they recently began to push and block VPN services. One of these services is TunnelBear. If you want to get free access to Netflix, then you can search for another VPN service. Although it is harmful to TunnelBear, this is not a problem directly related to this service, since Netflix is ??working hard to prevent VPN.
Additional services TunnelBear
One of the main benefits of TunnelBear is that it is simple and easy to use. This simplicity does not mean that there are no extra features. The service offers several personal settings, such as the ability to alert when connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi access point. Other services provide a similar function, but TunnelBear only warns you about really unsecured networks, such as those that lack security or do not require a password.
Another great feature is the Kill Switch feature. TunnelBear calls them a VigilantBear switch, and it works to
protect you in case of falling connection. The disconnect switches prevent data leaks from the VPN tunnel if the link to the VPN server is lost. This prevents unencrypted traffic from leaking to your ISP or other organization that monitors your Internet connection. Kill Switch ensures that your privacy is protected, which we will discuss in more detail in the section on privacy and security.
Another essential feature of TunnelBear is the GhostBear feature. GhostBear can be considered a ?stealth mode? service, which works like a VPN obfuscation service. This masks traffic from OpenVPN to allow users to break through firewalls, such as China’s Great Firewall and other monitoring programs. This is done using obsproxy, which stops Internet service providers, governments, and businesses from detecting VPN encryption, making it appear to be regular HTTPS traffic.
It is important to note that you are no less secure when GhostBear is turned off. This is an excellent feature for those who want to hide not only their IP but also the fact that they use a VPN for this. Stealth mode will also prevent ISP from throttling data in places where it is familiar to traffic throttle from OpenVPN; essentially punishing VPN users and slowing down Internet speeds even more.
The only problem with using GhostBear is that theoretically, it can reduce the speed of the Internet more than a regular VPN. That is why you should use it only when you need it. You can get high velocity and stay safe using a regular datagram of the user OpenVPN (UDP). Also, note that GhostBear is not available on iOS because Apple restricts third-party application providers.
TunnelBear also offers trusted network settings. This option allows users to automatically connect to TunnelBear when accessing a network that is not listed in the list of trusted networks. Simply ?trusting? the network. Connect to it, open the TunnelBear settings and click the “Add to trusted networks” button.
If you are not sure which server is best for you, and all you want is to remain secure, then the nearest tunnel is for you. This button connects users directly to the most adjacent tube for quick and easy online security. This is another feature that makes software so easy for new users.
Privacy and Security Policy
TunnelBear does keep some logs for a month, but they only store a very minimal amount of data. The company does this to comply with Canadian authorities. If TunnelBear is legally obliged to comply with law enforcement requirements for subpoenas, warrants, and other valid legal documents, then they are required to transfer data. The only data they provide is personal information that users have subscribed to, how many VPN connections they made per month, and how much data was transferred.
TunnelBear does not collect the IP address from which you connect to the VPN, and does not register what you do when using the VPN. You only need an email address to subscribe to the service, but users can tweet about TunnelBear to get some free data; this means that TunnelBear can collect your Twitter account if you are interested in this offer. TunnelBear provides information about your team and its address, which can be found on your website. The main offices of the company are located in Toronto, ul. Bathurst, 141, of. 101. The company’s CEO, Ryan Dochuk, information about the rest of the team is available on the company’s website.
Although this policy sounds excellent, there is still one thing to be taken into account. TunnelBear collects information about the total amount of data used, which means that they can detect when a user violates their rules prohibiting the use of TunnelBear to download P2P. Given that VPNs are used for streaming on services such as Netflix, using a large amount of data is not necessarily a sign of downloading torrents.
Nevertheless, it is better to avoid using the service for Torrent, which is what TunnelBear requires. This is because the service may not store long data, but they can track the usage of server traffic to use P2P and deny accounts before receiving DMCA alerts. If you want to download a torrent via VPN, then you should consider another service.
The fact that TunnelBear keeps such minimal entries should reassure subscribers that they are free to use VPN for what they want. Even if the authorities maintain a TunnelBear with an order, they will not have much information to transmit and very little personal data directly related to the user.
Support service TunnelBear
A support system is an integral part of any service. Users need to contact someone if they have questions. The good news is that TunnelBear is equipped with a unique reference page, accessible through any page on the website. Their page is full of information about the status of updates, reports, and payments, how to get started with the service, help with browser expansion, help with Windows, applications, help for Mac OSX application, iOS and help for Android. Use the search function to find a specific article and a solution to your problem.
Anyone who cannot find the right answer on the TunnelBear help page can directly contact customer support. Unfortunately, there is no chat feature, which means that you must use the contact form and wait for an answer, and not receive it immediately. And those who have subscribed and not subscribed to the service can contact TunnelBear with questions about their service.
We sent them a question about encryption to support staff to check their customer support and see how the service changed. We received an automatic email telling us to expect a response within 24 hours, which he did, but the answer was not very clear, and we had to ask for some additional support. However, the support staff was friendly, knowledgeable and willing to help. This may not be the best support service, but it still does its job.
TunnelBear: plans, payment methods, return policy
TunnelBear offers three payment plans for users: Little (Little), Giant (Giant) and Grizzly (Grizzly). A small program is a free trial, which we will talk about in a minute. At the moment we are going to focus on paid plans, including how users can pay and the return policy.
Giant’s large plan is a monthly plan. Giant subscribers can get access to an unlimited amount of data and all TunnelBear functions and services for $ 9.99 per month. The Grizzly Plan offers the best value for money and is also the most popular plan. This option provides users with access to all TunnelBear services for just $ 4.16 per month (with annual payments of $ 49.88). Both paid programs offer the same level of service and unlimited access to servers.
There is still bad news – TunnelBear has no return policy. The reason for this is that they have such an extensive free trial program. Users can try the services and therefore do not see the need to provide a refund. That is why anyone interested in the service should try a small TunnelBear plan before purchasing. With that said, let’s take a look at Little’s little project.
Free Trial of TunnelBear
As mentioned earlier, there is a free version of TunnelBear called a small (Little) TunnelBear data plan. This rate can be obtained by providing only your email address. Of course, there are some restrictions on the free trial. The first limitation is the traffic restriction. Small users of TunnelBear are limited to only 500 MB per month. This is not enough to use the service for essential tasks, such as secure streaming and movie downloads. It also comes with a limit on available servers, as free users cannot access Australian servers. They still have access to 19 places out of 20, although this is not bad at all.
TunnelBear does not use the free version. For starters, this is a great way to try out a service and see if it is worth investing in a full account. Given that there are no returns, this is an essential step for anyone interested in the service. It is also a good idea for people living in conflict zones or areas where severe censorship exists. 500 MB is more than enough to access news sites and perform resource-intensive tasks when necessary. This is also a good idea for people who do not plan to use too much VPN. Why pay for what you don’t need?