Bringing to the table a more laid back, less serious attitude while providing one of the simplest VPN services for those with little knowledge of VPN, TunnelBear offers a slick and minimalist product.
Pricing plans & signing up
Offering increasing discounts per subscription length, TunnelBear offers the same packages throughout any subscription length you choose. They also offer the free “Little bear” version that works just like the “Giant” and “Grizzly” plans, but with a download limit. Using the free version, you can earn extra 1 GB download limit by tweeting about them, as TunnelBear keeps a competitive service for compromising prices.
Jokingly stating that they accept payments in jars of honey, they were contacted with inquiries about this and they did indeed accept said payments in the sweet food provided you contacted them prior a the USD exchange rate. More practical forms of payments such as BitCoin are accepted as well. The sign-up was made simple, only requiring a username and password until you reached their larger plans so payments could correctly process.
Features & performance
The speeds of their platforms were more than bearable, with fairly decent results that left no need to make comparisons to other providers, as TunnelBear was more than adequate for the day-to-day usage. The features offered by this Canada-based service include servers in 9 well-located countries with good speeds driving them. While targeting everyday users, they do not let their security lack in the process.
Privacy & security
Primarily providing a 128-Bit OpenVPN connection, chances of this being broken are slim at best, optimizing connection speeds while extending their shared IPs to improve identity protection. While they do not offer a complete no-log policy, their logging service is possibly the best you will find. The information collected and logged is visible to everyone who wishes to view it as well as their reasoning behind keeping it. They make it visually clear that there is no possible way to collect any identifying information from these logs.
Web & support
The website of TunnelBear features a very simplistic, but well laid-out interface that is both approachable and clean. Highlighting their Twitter promos and ease of use, all the major information is clearly displayed and easy to find. Their social media is well-kept to prevent it from becoming too grizzly focusing on their important information output to their followers and friends.
Their technical support was more than helpful and experienced, making sure to provide quick answers from their ticket support system. However, they have a very basic and helpful forum covering a range of topics that answered many of the common questions that arose.
Windows, Android & other platforms
TunnelBear covers all of the main platforms, including Mac and PC, and also has Android and iOS apps. The Windows version of the TunnelBear client is very simple to use in its default state, asking only that you choose your location and click On. Providing users with advanced options, such as “Maul Trackers,” “Vigilant Bear,” and “Intellibear,” they remove any web tracking, similar to AdBlock, blocking all traffic upon a disappearing internet connection, and allowing tunneling of only the focused websites.
The test performed upon the Android app did not disappoint and offered features that were very appreciated, such as the zoom function. The connection remained stable with this app, and its speeds rivaled those achieved through the computer service.
This is a fantastic ally for the day-to-day web surfing, targeting just that, a privacy focused user. The price ranges were favorable, and TunnelBear holds a clear market advantage having the user in mind.