TunnelBear VPN Review

tunnelbear logo

There are many VPN software options available, but one of the most popular is TunnelBear. TunnelBear is one of the top VPN software providers on the market.



  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Excellent privacy policies
  • Annual independent audits
  • Friendly, approachable design (with bears!)


  • No multi-hop connections
  • Split tunneling is not available on all platforms
  • Data limit on a free subscription


Free Version Data Limit500MB – 1.5GB Per Month
Free Version
500+ Servers
Simultaneous VPN ConnectionsUnlimited
Blocks Ads
Server Locations23 Countries
Geographically Diverse Servers

In the past, internet anonymity was common, but now advertisers know more about you. VPNs help protect privacy by encrypting traffic and routing it through a remote server.

TunnelBear VPN is an Editors’ Choice winner with excellent privacy protection. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a great first VPN choice. Additionally, TunnelBear offers a variety of VPN services for different needs.

To use TunnelBear, you only need to provide your email address and create a password.

Top Pick


NordVPN has experienced a significant increase in its features in recent years, despite already being a well-known VPN. This is particularly important considering the service’s high cost.

Proton VPN and Mullvad VPN are noteworthy Editors’ Choice winners. Proton VPN has a five-star rating and the best free subscription. Mullvad VPN prioritizes customer privacy and costs less than the average.

Check out our TunnelBear review to learn more about this VPN provider.

How Much Does TunnelBear VPN Cost?

TunnelBear VPN provides a free VPN service, but it only offers 500MB of data monthly. You can tweet for extra data, which can be repeated each month.

TunnelBear VPN also provides extra bandwidth for users in countries with restrictive internet policies. It allows access to all server locations for free subscribers. While Proton VPN is unrestricted, it has fewer server locations than TunnelBear VPN.

TunnelBear VPN’s Unlimited plan costs $9.99 per month, close to the average. Annual plans cost $59.88, while three-year plans cost $120. Mullvad VPN costs only 5 euros per month and is an Editors’ Choice winner. Other VPNs offer cheaper options than TunnelBear VPN.

It’s best to start with free or monthly plans before a long-term subscription. Test TunnelBear VPN first.

While some VPN providers offer a free plan, it’s important to note that these plans often come with limitations and restrictions.

TunnelBear VPN accepts credit card payments, but other VPNs offer more anonymous options. Mullvad VPN and IVPN accept cash. TunnelBear VPN jokingly accepts jars of honey as payment. However, credit cards are the easiest payment method for TunnelBear VPN.

What Do You Get for Your Money with TunnelBear VPN?

TunnelBear VPN’s new subscription structure eliminates connection limits. It’s an industry rarity. The new structure is family-friendly and device-agnostic. Other VPNs with no connection limits include Atlas, Avira Phantom, and Surfshark.

TunnelBear VPN still lacks extra features beyond VPN protection. Multi-hop connections and Tor access are missing. Editors’ Choice winners NordVPN, IVPN, Mullvad VPN, and Proton VPN offer these features. TunnelBear VPN has room to improve.

TunnelBear VPN offers split tunneling for traffic control, but only on Android, iOS, and macOS. TunnelBear also offers other useful features such as an ad blocker and password manager.

TunnelBear VPN has a feature called GhostBear, which disguises VPN traffic as HTTPS traffic. This can bypass restrictive censorship. Other VPN services offer similar obfuscation but brand it differently. Note that this feature is not available when using WireGuard.

NordVPN and Surfshark VPN provide antivirus features, and Proton VPN offers additional encrypted services. Established antivirus companies are adding their VPN products. TunnelBear VPN provides only a free, standalone tracker blocker for the Chrome browser.

VPNs secure your online activity from your ISP, but advanced tracking methods still exist. VPNs also won’t protect you against phishing and malware. To stay safe, enable multi-factor authentication, use antivirus software, and manage unique passwords.

What VPN Protocols Does TunnelBear VPN Offer?

TunnelBear uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. OpenVPN is preferred due to its open-source and vulnerability scanning abilities. IKEv2 is available for iOS and Windows clients.

TunnelBear VPN has added support for WireGuard, a new open-source VPN protocol. This support is currently available on iOS, macOS, and Windows, and is expected to be available on Android soon. WireGuard is gaining popularity for its faster speeds and improved security.

TunnelBear VPN’s Servers and Server Locations

TunnelBear VPN has servers in 47 countries, which is just below average. It has expanded its collection to include more of South America and Africa. However, it still has a limited presence in regions with repressive internet policies.

 servers are commonly used by VPN companies. Transparency is crucial.

TunnelBear VPN representatives claim the company does not use virtual locations. Instead, they use physical and cloud-based servers. While they do not directly own server infrastructure, TunnelBear VPN builds and provisions its servers.

According to a representative from TunnelBear VPN, the company has implemented measures to minimize the potential impact of a successful attack on its server infrastructure.

 User information is not stored on the servers, and the drives are encrypted. Other VPN companies such as NordVPN and Surfshark VPN use RAM-only settings on their servers to avoid writing data to disk.

Your Privacy with TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN’s top strength is its privacy policy, which explains in plain language what data it collects. It has one of the most comprehensive policies we’ve seen and includes discussion sections explaining how decisions were made. This approach is worth emulating by other VPN companies.

TunnelBear VPN assures users that it won’t share their personal information with third-party companies. The company generates revenue solely from subscriptions and not from data mining or ad retargeting.

It also claims to avoid collecting users’ web activity or storing their IP addresses, timestamps, or DNS queries. However, the company requires some personal information due to its account system. Alternatively, Mullvad VPN has a unique system that doesn’t require accounts and collects minimal user information.

In 2021, the company released a transparency report for 2020, confirming it did not provide information to law enforcement beyond account confirmation. We hope to see a new report soon. TunnelBear VPN does not have a warrant canary, which is uncommon among VPNs.

TunnelBear VPN has completed five independent audits and publicly released the results. This commitment to an annual public review process is commendable. A company representative described the audits as “security audits of our whole stack.” This level of transparency should be adopted by many companies.

TunnelBear is a good VPN provider for secure online browsing. Encryption is an essential feature for safe torrenting with a VPN. Use TunnelBear to enjoy a safe and private online browsing experience. 

If you value your online privacy, you need a VPN to protect your data from prying eyes. 

TunnelBear has always been dedicated to providing its users with fast and secure online access.

I am currently connected to TunnelBear, which provides a secure and private connection.

To ensure a secure connection, you should set up a VPN tunnel before accessing any sensitive information online.

When it comes to online security and privacy, using a VPN like TunnelBear is a smart choice.

Hands-On With TunnelBear VPN for Windows

On an Intel NUC 11 desktop with Windows 11, we tested TunnelBear VPN’s Windows client. The VPN also provides browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, which function as proxies. The browser extensions route traffic through a TunnelBear VPN server.

The TunnelBear VPN app is charming and cute without being overbearing. A recent update streamlined the interface and improved its responsiveness. The app features bear-with hats representative of the country you’re connected to. These design tweaks keep the already winning design feeling fresh.

The app’s world map displays the company’s server locations as Mario-esque pipes. You can select your desired location from the menu or click on the map to switch protection on. The app provides a smooth animation of a bear tunneling to your chosen location. The TunnelBear VPN apps all share the same design.

When toggling the VPN, the app picks the best server location. The full list of options is available by clicking the dropdown box. It’s now possible to select cities within the US and Canada. However, TunnelBear VPN needs to find a simple way to let users select specific servers.

The TunnelBear VPN app offers some handy features, including Trusted Networks and VigilantBear. Trusted Networks is a whitelist for Wi-Fi networks you trust, while VigilantBear acts as a Kill Switch. VigilantBear prevents data leakage in case you lose your VPN connection. However, VigilantBear doesn’t work with WireGuard, just like GhostBear.

TunnelBear VPN now lets users manually choose a VPN protocol in the Settings option. The default protocol is WireGuard. However, it’s an excellent feature for users who may want to switch protocols. The addition shows that TunnelBear VPN is open to experimentation and trying out new ideas. This will likely attract users who value customization and control.

We verify if the IP address changes and ISP is hidden when testing VPNs. We use the DNS Leak Test to check for DNS leakage. TunnelBear VPN easily passed all tests, but we only checked one server. Misconfigured servers could cause issues.

We successfully streamed US Netflix content on a TunnelBear a VPN US-based server, during testing. However, individual results may vary as Netflix continually attempts to block VPNs.

TunnelBear VPN Speed Test Results

Using a VPN can lead to slower download and upload speeds and increased latency. To evaluate this impact, we conduct speed tests with or without the VPN. We use the Ookla speed test tool and compare the figures to find the percent change. Check out our feature on How We Test VPNs for more details.

TunnelBear VPN’s latest speed test results show a significant decrease in download, upload, and latency. The service reduced download and upload speeds by 42.6% and 63.3%, respectively, and increased latency by 48.9%. The results were not better than the median in each category. TunnelBear provides fast download speeds for seamless online activities.

VPN Speed Test Results

When choosing a VPN, relying on speed results alone is not recommended. Speeds depend on many variables and are not as important as a VPN’s features and value. Keep in mind that the performance you experience may differ from ours.

Hands On with TunnelBear VPN for macOS

We tested TunnelBear VPN’s macOS VPN client using a MacBook Air (M1, 2020) running Big Sur version 11.2.2 in 2022.

The macOS app isn’t in the Apple App Store but can be found on TunnelBear VPN’s website. To work, the app requires a helper tool download, which is unique to this app. Other apps we’ve reviewed didn’t require this tool.

TunnelBear VPN’s macOS app has a similar interface to the Windows version. The app’s design is cute and whimsical, and when you connect to a VPN server, an animated bear appears. The bear tunnels through a colorful world map to reach your destination.

TunnelBear VPN’s macOS app delivered impressive speed and performance using a server based in Finland. It allowed us to browse quickly on Google, watch YouTube videos without interruptions, and view Twitch streams with quick loading times.

Hands-On with TunnelBear VPN for iPhone

TunnelBear VPN’s iOS app only allows country selection, automatically finding the server. The gray world map becomes colorful and animated after you connect to the VPN. The app allows icon customization to reflect different sentiments.

During our test on the iOS TunnelBear VPN app, we used DNSLeakTest.com and performed an extended test, which showed no leaks. However, we only tested one server in Denmark, and other servers may have different configurations.

While connected to our preferred server in Denmark, we were able to watch Twitch streams without interruptions and load and watch YouTube videos without much lagging or buffering with TunnelBear VPN.

Hands-on With TunnelBear VPN for Android

The TunnelBear VPN’s Android app has bright and fun graphics with animated bears. The app’s world map has a bear standing in your location while disconnected, and when you connect, the bear takes off toward the VPN server. Compared to its competitors like NordVPN, TunnelBear has a more colorful layout.

TunnelBear VPN for Android provides additional features compared to the iPhone version. It offers GhostBear, a Kill Switch called VigilantBear, and SplitBear. The user can select the server from the list of countries at the bottom of the screen.

During our test of TunnelBear VPN, we used an extended test on a Milan-based server on DNSLeakTest.com. The test showed no DNS data leakage, and the app was able to change our public IP address. However, this is just one test on a single server, other servers may have different configurations.

During our testing, TunnelBear VPN demonstrated good speed and reliability. While connected to an Italian server, we were able to browse the internet seamlessly and stream videos on YouTube and Twitch without experiencing any lags or delays.

Hands On with TunnelBear VPN on Chrome OS

TunnelBear VPN stands out for its cute and whimsical app with bear animations. Although the Chrome OS app has fewer features, it is still user-friendly and performs well. Users can toggle bear sounds on and off within the app.

TunnelBear VPN offers useful features like GhostBear, VigilantBear, and SplitBear. GhostBear enables usage in locations where ISPs block encrypted traffic. The app’s kill switch, VigilantBear, protects VPN disconnections. SplitBear allows users to choose which apps use the VPN connection.

This VPN Is Just Right

TunnelBear VPN’s success lies in its playful, visually appealing design. The company prioritizes user experience and offers a reliable, transparent service. TunnelBear VPN combines both aesthetics and functionality to provide an exceptional VPN experience.

TunnelBear VPN’s lack of improvement raised concerns. VPNs are ever-changing, but they proved to be false. WireGuard support and unlimited simultaneous connections are now available. The company’s future features give us hope.

TunnelBear VPN may not have as many features as other VPNs, but it is a PCMag Editors’ Choice winner. It fits well into daily life, and it is highly recommended alongside other top VPNs like IVPN, Mullvad VPN, NordVPN, Proton VPN, and Surfshark VPN.

Chat is one of the reliable ways to get help from Tunnelbear’s customer support team. TunnelBear offers live chat support to assist users with any issues or concerns.