Best TunnelBear alternatives

We’ve seen an influx of freemium VPNs in recent years. These allow you to try them without spending a cent, but have the option to upgrade to a paid subscription that unlocks more server locations or higher speeds. Unfortunately, the restrictions placed on free users often make it difficult to tell if a particular service is right for you. TunnelBear, for instance, limits you to 500 MB of data per month – enough to watch a half hour of standard-definition video.

Here’s the good news: there’s a huge amount of competition in the VPN market. Consumers willing to do a little research can often find similar (or better) services at a lower price.

That’s where we come in: our team has extensively tested dozens of VPNs, rating their suitability for secure browsing, streaming, and torrenting, before finding the six best alternatives to TunnelBear. There are even a couple of other freemium providers included. Short on time? The best alternatives to TunnelBear are:

  1. NordVPN: Our top Tunnelbear alternative. Works with a huge range of streaming services, keeps no logs, and delivers impressive speeds. There’s a risk-free money-back guarantee included too.
  2. Surfshark: The best low-cost alternative to TunnelBear. Lets you connect all of your devices at once, has apps for all major platforms, and excels at streaming. Follows a true no-logs policy.
  3. ExpressVPN: Novice-friendly VPN that’s extremely easy to install on a router. Ideal for day-to-day tasks like streaming, torrenting, or playing online games. Offers 24/7 live chat.
  4. CyberGhost: Speedy and great for beginners, with servers in over 90 countries. Highly versatile, with reliable performance, around-the-clock support, and a wealth of security features.
  5. ProtonVPN: Freemium service with no bandwidth cap. Paid users gain access to servers in 60+ countries and an expansive security toolkit, plus faster speeds and a higher connection limit.
  6. AtlasVPN: Free users get 10x the bandwidth that TunnelBear offers, plus streaming-optimized US servers. Significantly better at avoiding detection and has no connection limit.

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Recommending a VPN isn’t as straightforward as you might think. After all, everyone uses the internet differently, so our top TunnelBear alternatives have to be able to deal with anything. That’s why our preferred services had to have:

  • High-speed servers in at least 40 locations
  • Good streaming abilities and no rules against P2P file-sharing
  • Robust customer support, ideally over live chat
  • Industry-standard encryption and a no-logs policy
  • A way to try the VPN for free (whether it’s a trial, free plan, or guarantee period)

Of course, this is just one small part of our VPN testing methodology. As you’ll see from the reviews below, we like to explore providers’ more advanced tools and see if there’s anything that really sets them apart from the crowd.

Best TunnelBear alternatives

Here’s our list of the best TunnelBear alternatives:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Jun 2023

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our first choice. To begin with, it offers more server locations than TunnelBear (60 instead of 47), works with streaming platforms such as Netflix, and provides similar speeds. There’s also 24/7 support available via live chat, plus a MeshNet feature that can help you securely access your other devices, even if they’re on totally separate networks. Now, this VPN isn’t free, but it does offer a money-back guarantee which lets you try it without any limits.

This VPN includes a wealth of security features. There’s 256-bit encryption, a no-logs policy that’s been repeatedly verified by independent auditors, automatic wifi protection, tracker-blocking, and a kill switch, and that’s just for starters! NordVPN is one of the few services to offer Onion over VPN servers, allowing you to access the dark web without using the Tor Browser, and has special obfuscated servers for even greater privacy.

NordVPN has its own MacOS, Linux, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. Unlike TunnelBear, it also works with routers, though you’ll have to set them up manually.

Pros:

  • Allows for customized security setup
  • Fast enough for flawless streaming
  • Around-the-clock live chat available
  • Servers available in more than 60 countries

Cons:

  • May take a few tries to find a server that works with a specific streaming platform

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST TUNNELBEAR ALTERNATIVE:NordVPN is our #1 alternative. It’s more secure and versatile than TunnelBear without compromising on performance. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee meaning you can try it risk-free and get a refund if you’re not impressed.

Read our complete NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is the best budget option but it’s more than capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with more expensive services. After all, it’s faster than many of its rivals, provides access to servers in 100 countries, and works with a huge range of streaming services (including Netflix). Unlike TunnelBear, it offers support via 24/7 live chat, works with just about every platform, and offers a guarantee period.

Security is where this VPN really shines. Surfshark has everything that TunnelBear does (256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection), but also automatic wifi protection, a stealth mode, and a tool that changes your IP address regularly. It’s undergone independent audits to prove that it doesn’t log any personally identifiable data. Finally, users can hide their devices from others on the network, or allow certain apps to bypass the VPN entirely.

Surfshark apps are available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Users can also follow manual setup instructions to get it running on most types of router.

Pros:

  • Reliable servers in 100 countries
  • P2P-friendly
  • Very strong security offering
  • No limit on number of devices connected

Cons:

  • A few tools that aren’t accessible without an additional monthly fee

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is the best budget alternative to TunnelBear. It’s far better when it comes to streaming, has lots of security tools, and even allows you to secure all of your devices simultaneously. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Interested? Find out more in our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is a fast, reliable service that outperforms TunnelBear in a few different ways. First off, its network covers more than twice as many countries, meaning the range of content you can access is effectively limitless. On that note, ExpressVPN works with popular platforms like BBC iPlayer and Netflix, whereas TunnelBear struggles to get consistent results on smaller streaming services. ExpressVPN even offers 24/7 live chat, something its rival doesn’t.

This VPN is also more customizable, with the ability to block other devices on the network or let certain apps pass through unencrypted. Naturally, it uses effectively uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection to shield your activities from snoopers. ExpressVPN has its own protocol, named Lightway, that boasts higher speeds than OpenVPN and the ability to keep your data hidden even while switching networks. Crucially, this VPN has undergone multiple independent audits to prove that its apps are secure and its no-logging claims are true.

ExpressVPN provides apps for iOS, MacOS, Windows, Linux, and Android. It’s the only major provider to offer its own router firmware too, so it’s easy to secure your entire home network.

Pros:

  • Impressive speeds for your activities
  • Reliable everyday VPN
  • Offers 24/7 live chat
  • Easier router installation

Cons:

  • Not the cheapest for monthly subscribers

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

NOVICE-FRIENDLY:ExpressVPN is a good mid-point between TunnelBear (which has effectively no customization) and a more complex service. It boasts solid all-round performance, is suitable for any everyday task, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost might not have a free plan but it is much faster than TunnelBear, averaging nearly 300 Mbps in our latest tests. It also offers access to more server locations (91 instead of around 40), works with a far greater range of streaming services, and supports router installation. You’ll have an easier time getting in touch too, since CyberGhost provides 24/7 support over live chat whereas TunnelBear users have to wait up to two days for an email response.

This provider offers more control over its security tools than TunnelBear. For instance, it complements its 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection with a smart rules feature. This allows you to tell the VPN exactly when to connect, what apps it should open when it does, and whether any sites should bypass the encryption. What’s more, CyberGhost follows a strict no-logs policy so there’s no need to worry about anyone finding out what you do online. Unlike TunnelBear, CyberGhost also provides 24/7 support over live chat.

CyberGhost offers its own iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux apps. Alternatively, it can be manually installed on a wide range of wireless routers.

Pros:

  • Ideal for streaming and gaming
  • Exceptional speeds
  • Scores highly in terms of security and privacy

Cons:

  • Not suitable for use in China
  • Can be tricky finding a specific option in the menu

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

SPECIALIZED SERVERS:CyberGhost has specially-optimized servers for users looking to stream, torrent, or simply maximize their privacy while browsing the web. It’s quick, versatile, and includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full review of CyberGhost.

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5. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.protonvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ProtonVPN stands out from the crowd by being one of the only freemium VPNs without a bandwidth cap. It refuses to throttle the speeds of free users, though you’ll have to subscribe to gain access to the full network of 67 countries (including servers specifically optimized for streaming and accessing the dark web). Paid members can get help instantly using the 24/7 live chat service, which is a huge advantage this VPN has over TunnelBear.

As well as 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch, ProtonVPN has a few other tricks up its sleeve. For instance, there’s an alternative routing feature designed to help you access ProtonVPN’s website in places it might normally be unavailable. This service has undergone an independent audit to prove that it doesn’t keep any logs; this is a rarity for paid VPNs, and almost unheard of for freemium services. In other words, your privacy is in good hands.

ProtonVPN supports MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux devices, with a graphical interface on all platforms. Users can manually configure it on their routers too.

Pros:

  • Some of the highest speeds we’ve seen
  • Can handle whatever you throw at it
  • No bandwidth limits at all

Cons:

  • Live chat only available to paying subscribers
  • Can’t use kill switch and split tunneling feature simultaneously

Our score:

4 out of 5

BROWSE WITHOUT LIMITS:ProtonVPN doesn’t limit your bandwidth, even on free plans. Upgrade, however, and you’ll notice better performance, access to a far wider set of servers, and several new security tools. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included with all plans.

Why not read our in-depth ProtonVPN review?

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6. AtlasVPN

AtlasVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.atlasvpn.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

AtlasVPN has a free tier that gives users access to three server locations and 5 GB of bandwidth each month. Upgrading unlocks around 50 locations, faster speeds, unlimited data, and streaming-optimized servers, though, so it’s well worth considering if you’re someone who uses platforms like Netflix or Disney+ often. You’ll also gain access to 24/7 support over live chat, the ability to secure as many devices as you like, and exclusive apps for Linux, Fire OS, and Android TV.

As you might expect, this provider offers uncrackable encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. You can also have it connect to a specific server location automatically when you turn on your device or open the app. AtlasVPN offers a couple of more advanced tools, such as its SafeSwap servers (which change your IP address periodically), automatic tracker-blocking, and a data breach alert system. Despite its unclear privacy policy, AtlasVPN doesn’t log any identifiable data, and has verified this with multiple independent audits.

AtlasVPN apps are available for Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to install this service on a router at the moment.

Pros:

  • Speedy no-logs provider
  • Connect any number of devices
  • Prioritizes your privacy

Cons:

  • Privacy policy could be clearer
  • Can’t be installed on routers

Our score:

4 out of 5

GREAT FOR STREAMING:AtlasVPN has the speed, security, and multi-platform support you’ll need to stream securely across all of your devices. What’s more, it offers 5 GB of free bandwidth each month and a 30-day money-back guarantee on paid plans.

Interested? Find out more in our complete AtlasVPN review.

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TunnelBear FAQs

Does TunnelBear work with Netflix?

Netflix, like most major streaming services, has its own VPN-detection system. While these are designed to restrict which content is available in which countries, it also means that users have to disconnect their VPN before streaming, or find a VPN that works for changing regions on Netflix.

Unfortunately, in our most recent tests, TunnelBear was not able to securely access Netflix. It has worked sporadically in the past, but if you’re looking for a reliable alternative, NordVPN works with a wide range of international Netflix libraries. 

Is TunnelBear free to use?

TunnelBear is a freemium VPN. You can use it with some restrictions for free. Alternatively, you can pay a monthly fee to gain access to the full service.

Normally, freemium VPNs will limit your speeds, prevent you from using most of their servers, or disable certain security features until you pay up. TunnelBear is different: free users effectively get the exact same service as premium subscribers, except they’re restricted to 500 MB of data each month. This gives you a chance to try the VPN out for free but isn’t enough to use it regularly.

Can I trust TunnelBear?

A VPN can have the strongest encryption in the world, but if it’s handing out user data to anyone who asks, it’s unlikely to survive in the industry. TunnelBear claims to follow a no-logging policy, storing only payment information and diagnostic data, such as whether you were active this month and how much data you used. Luckily, it’s one of the few providers to have backed this up with an independent audit – something it has done every year since 2017. 

So, in other words, TunnelBear is trustworthy. The only downside is that it is based in Canada, a member of the Five Eyes alliance. But because no personally identifiable data is stored, this doesn’t really matter; it can’t reveal what you did online while connected anyway.