Tunnelbear VPN - Review

Tunnelbear VPN - Review

TunnelBear VPN is a service aimed primarily at users who are not very familiar with VPN services. Therefore, it is characterized by the user-friendly approach and the simplicity of the service. And while it doesn't offer who knows how many apps or features, TunnelBear has one of the best privacy policies, with annual independent audits. Surely the more experienced users will want to move towards more complete services, but for those approaching VPNs for the first time, it could really be worth trying.

One of the aspects on which the company (acquired in 2018 by McAfee), in fact it is the desire to be 100% user-friendly. Basically, all the communication focuses on why it is important to use a VPN for privacy purposes, without going into the more technical details. Furthermore, TunnelBear reiterates that it relies annually on external companies for the security audit, sharing all the details transparently on its blog, as well as adopting a very strict no-log policy.

Read also: The best VPNs of 2022

Plans and prices and TunnelBear

Probably, TunnelBear does not shine too much compared to other far more famous services, also and above all considering the prices offered. First of all, we must remember that there is a Free plan, 500 MB of data traffic per month, then the Unlimited plan is available with unlimited traffic, up to 5 devices connected at the same time and priority customer service. Finally, the Teams plan replicates what the Unlimited plan offers, with a focus on a greater number of users, with centralized billing and management for teams.

Images Tunnelbear VPN review On the other hand, all offers are more or less in line with the market. Express VPN, for example, costs € 5.83 / month, but the maximum commitment period required is 15 months, so in the end it costs € 30 less.

Unlimited plan

1 year | $ 4.99 per month with one-time billing every 12 months 2 years | $ 4.17 per month with one-time billing Teams Plan: $ 5.75 per month per user

One interesting thing is still there: TunnelBear offers a free plan with 500MB of data per month. Maybe not a lot, but it can be useful to try the service before committing. Also because, there is no refund in case of return, except on a "case by case" basis, so there is a risk of not being able to go back once the subscription has been made.


The privacy issue, with TunnelBear, is a bit complex. First of all, we must admit that their privacy policy is one of the most comprehensive in the sector, with many details on the data collected and on cookies.

On the other hand, however, we need to reflect: TunnelBear, is a Canadian company, then created in one of the founding countries of the 5 Eyes group (which agreed to share, among other things, data on the Internet traffic of their citizens), then acquired by the British / US multinational McAfee, which led to the company under the jurisdiction of the United States. Considering there is no way to know if TunnelBear's privacy claims are 100% true, one might remain a bit skeptical.

That said, the company has been relying on outside specialists for several years. for the security audit, the results of which are freely available on the official TunnelBear blog. Furthermore, from our tests, there are no DNS or WebRTC leaks that have compromised our privacy, not to mention that the killswitch works very well.

TunnelBear practices a fairly strict No-Log policy, however the fact raises some perplexity. that it is possible to pay only by credit card. Furthermore, payment data is recorded for anti-fraud purposes. The problem is that, given the location of the company and the reference jurisdiction, user data could be delivered to the Canadian, US, New Zealand and UK security services even in the absence of any evidence of a crime. In any case, in its support area, TunnelBear claims to encrypt credit card data and only store the information necessary to comply with anti-fraud regulations. In addition, TunnelBear also keeps other operational data (which includes for example the version of your operating system, information on connections and the amount of GB downloaded) for 30 days, while the metadata on online activities are kept for as much as 60 days.
If you want to learn more, the app's Privacy tab is very detailed and full of information.

TunnelBear uses a 256-bit AES encryption algorithm, but no other security protocols are mentioned , whereas some competitors also boast military-grade protocols.

TunnelBear, however, uses a data authentication system that should prevent "man-in-the-middle" attacks and, in case of special needs ( such as the censorship of some states or some organizations), makes available an enhanced version of its app called Ghostbear, available on Windows, macOS and Android. Even if, on the latter aspect, what has been said at the beginning of this section still weighs: there is no anonymity that is important, if it is the manager himself who provides the data he keeps to the applicants (and if you are subject to a particular jurisdiction , it is impossible to oppose the related laws), even if we imagine that TunnelBear could probably oppose requests to this effect from the Chinese or Russian government.

Speaking of security audits, as we said TunnelBear relies on external entities, such as Cure 53, since 2017 and the results of which are published on the TunnelBear blog and on the official website of the examining company (in this case, it is a group of German white hats working to certify large companies in the field of cybersecurity, which has become famous after having obscured a Korean government app, as it was deemed unsafe). Here you can read the latest Cure 53 report from 2021.


From a performance point of view, the connection speeds are adequate. The European and British servers are quite fast, as well as the tests in the USA have proved satisfactory. Even to remote locations such as in Asia, we found speeds of 20 Mbps, more than acceptable.

From the standpoint of unblocking streaming services, TunnelBear did not stand out particularly. Aside from Disney Plus and the US version of YouTube, we were unable to unblock services such as BBC iPlayer or Netflix. So, if your main goal is to access geolocated services, you should definitely look elsewhere.

App and Installation

One of the pros of TunnelBear is the simplicity of the interfaces of its Apps, also because there is not much to choose from when connecting: we display a fairly stylized and "cartoonish" map of the world, with representations of the tunnels in the locations where TunnelBear is present with servers. To connect, just choose the preferred tunnel and wait for the roar and the bear (representing the user) to emerge from the corresponding exit. At that point it's all done: our traffic has the selected IP.

The biggest advantage, however, is that of the free version of the app: while everyone, in fact, uses the trial period principle , after which, either you switch to the paid version, or you renounce the service, TunnelBear assigns each user a certain amount of traffic (basic 500 MB), renewable from month to month. This is a more unique than rare aspect in the VPN landscape.


As we have already outlined in the course of the review, TunnelBear can be an interesting VPN service especially for newbies and for those who want to try a VPN without necessarily having to subscribe to a paid plan and then ask for a refund. The free version, albeit limited with its 500 MB of traffic per month, can be very useful for making you decide whether or not to invest in the service. In the face of a strict no-log policy, with some privacy concerns, and considering that the most popular streaming services are not unblocked (apart from Disney Plus and YouTube USA), it may not be too attractive, especially for older users. experts.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a simple service without too many frills or technicalities, then it might be worth taking a look at TunnelBear's range of services, which will not be as numerous and complex as others. competitors, but who may offer you what it takes to use a VPN and start understanding what it's for and how to use it without going crazy behind convoluted interfaces.

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