CyberGhost VS TunnelBear

Figuring out which VPN provider to sign up for can be difficult if you only focus on each provider’s marketing materials – which often bear striking similarities. This is particularly true when they’re both well-established and reputable VPN providers. But there are, of course, differences. Some are more subtle, while others are more obvious. We’ll be focusing on both in this comparative review.

So, in this post, we’re comparing CyberGhost and TunnelBear to try to determine which one of the two provides the best value to a typical VPN user.

Highlights

CyberGhost

  • Excellent for streaming
  • Extremely fast
  • User-friendly app design
  • Adheres to a robust no-logging policy
  • Provides apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire

TunnelBear

  • Unlimited connections
  • Very fast speeds
  • Very good no-logging policy
  • Supports secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, IPsec)
  • Not the best VPN for streaming for streaming

CyberGhost vs TunnelBear pricing

The table below displays the average speed for each provider in the given region. It then lists the global average speed, which is the average of all three regions.

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Subscription periodsOne monthOne month
One yearOne year
Two yearsTwo years
Three yearsThree years
Special offer
Highest price per month$12.99$9.99
Lowest price per month$2.75$3.33
One-year price $71.88$59.88
Money-back guarantee 14 days for monthly subscriptions, 45 days for others7 days

For a monthly subscription, CyberGhost charges $3 more than TunnelBear. For its longer six-month subscription, CyberGhost charges $6.99 a month. TunnelBear doesn’t have a six-month subscription, but it does have an annual plan. This costs $4.99 a month.

The only way to save money using CyberGhost is to opt for its two-year plan, which is a very reasonable $2.19 a month. This is better value than TunnelBear’s longest plan, which is $1.14 a month more and requires you to subscribe for an additional year.

So if you’re looking to sign-up long term, CyberGhost will leave more money in your pocket. But if you prefer shorter commitments – as many people do – then TunnelBear will be cheaper.

CyberGhost has two refund policies. For a monthly subscription, it’s 14 days. This gets extended to a generous 45 days for all other (longer-term) subscriptions. TunnelBear, on the other hand, offers a seven-day money-back guarantee for all subscriptions.

Features

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Simultaneous connections75
Operating system appsWindows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon FireWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Manual install devicesLinux, routers, set-top boxesNo
Split tunnelingYes (with the Exceptions feature)Yes (mobile only)
Free extrasAd-blocking, malware scanning, browser extensions for Chrome and FirefoxAd-blocking, browser extension for Chrome and Firefox

CyberGhost allows up to seven simultaneous connections, whereas TunnelBear allows subscribers to connected as many devices as they like. This is great news if you’re in a larger household and plan on sharing an account.

CyberGhost’s device support includes an extra Amazon Fire app. It also supports manual configurations on Linux, routers, and TV set-top boxes.

Both providers support ad-blocking. CyberGhost has a bit of an edge as its blocker also includes malware scanning. And they both provide browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The providers are very similar on this front.

Both VPNs also support split tunneling. CyberGhost supports it with its Exceptions feature and TunnelBear, with its Splitbear feature. These features, though they’re named differently, work the same way. They allow you to specify a list of websites that will go through your ISP connection instead of the VPN.

Typically, split tunneling works on an app-by-app basis, so the implementation from both these providers is a bit simpler and somewhat less useful. Still, it’s better than not having it at all.

Note that you have to use the OpenVPN protocol for CyberGhost’s Exceptions feature to be available. There’s no such restriction with TunnelBear.

Speed

SpeedCyberGhostTunnelBear
North America845 Mbps434 Mbps
Europe480 Mbps406 Mbps
Asia312 Mbps266 Mbps
Global548 Mbps368 Mbps

It’s clear from the numbers above that CyberGhost has the edge over Tunnelbear regarding speed – it scores higher in all regions. However, Tunnelbear is no slouch and its speeds are excellent. Both providers made it into the top ten during our most recent round of speed tests.

In most scenarios, when browsing the web, streaming content, or downloading large files/torrents you would be unlikely to feel a speed hit from either of these providers. Still, this is a “versus” post, and CyberGhost is the faster provider of the two.

CyberGhost vs TunnelBear streaming capabilities

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Streaming service
NetflixUK, US, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, and a few othersNo
HuluUS, JapanNo
Sky GoYesNo
Amazon Prime VideoYesYes
BBC iPlayerYesNo
ABCYesNo
CBSYesNo
NBCYesNo
ITV HubYesYes
Channel 4 (All 4)YesYes

TunnelBear’s streaming capabilities are pretty limited compared to CyberGhost. CyberGhost supports almost every streaming service out there. And in our tests, it supported every site we threw at it.

TunnelBear does support streaming, but the number of sites it works with is pretty meager. Using TunnelBear, we could only access Amazon Prime Video, All4, and ITV Hub. Not exactly a stellar performance. So if streaming over VPN is important to you, TunnelBear may not be your best provider.

CyberGhost’s app also displays sublists of servers based on the task you’re looking to accomplish. A list of tasks is displayed on the left side of the UI. If you select “For streaming” on the left side of CyberGhost’s app, it shows a sublist of dedicated streaming servers. As a side note, it even lists the services for which the server is optimized in the sublist.

Server selection in TunnelBear’s app is list-based and doesn’t provide dedicated streaming servers.

China

Out of our two providers in this comparative review, only TunnelBear works in China.

CyberGhost states that its software rarely works in China and wouldn’t even work if it could bypass China’s Great Firewall. Its support team informed Comparitech that some Chinese ISPs actually block access to CyberGhost’s website altogether. So just installing CyberGhost’s app would be a technical challenge in China.

TunnelBear, for its part, work in China when we tested it. It achieves this by using its obfuscation feature, called “GhostBear.” GhostBear “disguises” your VPN traffic to make it look like regular traffic to sidestep any blockades. Note that GhostBear is only available for macOS, Windows, and Android. Chinese iOS users are out of luck.

Setup and interface

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Automatic setup wizardWindows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV/ FirestickWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Main location selection List-based or task-basedList-based
Extra settings pages YesYes
Mobile friendly YesYes

CyberGhost’s desktop app is well-designed and easy to understand and navigate. It lets you search for servers by country or city or, as mentioned above, by selecting a task on the left side of the app. After choosing a task, a subset of servers optimized for the selected task is displayed on the right.

CyberGhost - Server Selection

TunnelBear’s server selection approach is list-based, the most common approach with VPN apps. There are no task lists within its app. With TunnelBear, you also have the option to connect to the fastest server available automatically. I think both approaches (list or task-based) are fine and come down to individual preference.

TunnelBear - Server Selection

Both apps have a Settings page where you can customize your settings. And both are somewhat simplistic – although CyberGhost does expose slightly more settings to its users than TunnelBear. Both apps are easy to use and navigate. And neither app’s Settings page should overwhelm users, regardless of how “green” they may be. And that’s a good thing.

CyberGhost - App Settings
CyberGhost app settings
TunnelBear - App Settings
TunnelBear app settings

Both CyberGhost and TunnelBear provide mobile apps for iOS and Android. And like their desktop counterparts, both providers’ mobile apps are well-designed, intuitive, and adapted to smaller screens.

CyberGhost - Mobile App
CyberGhost mobile app
TunnelBear - Mobile App
TunnelBear mobile app

Servers and performance

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Server countries9148
Total number of servers8,999Undisclosed

I’m afraid there’s really no contest here. CyberGhost’s network is obviously much larger than TunnelBear’s network. The latter applies to both the number of countries and the number of servers. Although TunnelBear doesn’t disclose the number of servers in its network, I think it’s safe to assume it’s nowhere near CyberGhost’s 11,000+ servers.

Below is a table listing all the countries where each provider hosts VPN servers:

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Andorra
Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Algeria
Armenia
Australia
Bahamas
Belarus
Belgium
Bangladesh
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Greeland
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Macedonia
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nigeria
Norway
Pakistan
Panama
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Venezuela
Vietnam

Security

CyberGhostTunnelBear
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, IPsec
OpenVPN data encryption AES-256AES-256
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-4096
Cloaking technologyNoneNone
App securityAutomatic wifi protection, kill switchKill switch
DNS statusPrivate DNSPrivate DNS

Both providers are very similar in terms of VPN protocol support. The only difference is TunnelBear’s IPsec support alongside IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. None of these protocols are problematic, although I would recommend using IKEv2 over IPsec. With IKEv2, OpenVPN, or WireGuard, you’re getting similarly high levels of security.

Both providers rely on 256-bit AES encryption with 4096-bit RSA keys for OpenVPN and IKEv2. WireGuard uses different ciphers that are also deemed very secure.

CyberGhost V TunnelBear - Encryption

Again, both providers include a kill switch in their apps. They also use their own DNS servers within the VPN tunnel. It would have to be a draw regarding security; CyberGhost offers the convenience of having IKEv2 available.

Privacy

CyberGhostTunnelBear
HQ baseRomaniaCanada
Connection logsSomeSome
Activity logsNoneNone
User details for sign-upEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoinBitcoin

CyberGhost is based in Romania. And thankfully, Romania does not have mandatory data retention laws. CyberGhost will collect limited connection logs for statistical purposes, although that data can’t be used to identify an individual user. So some data collection is happening with CyberGhost, but besides the above, CyberGhost adheres to its strict no-logs policy and doesn’t log any of your internet activities. It has brought in third-party auditors to verify this.

CyberGhost allows you to sign-up with a disposable email address and to pay using Bitcoin if you’re a privacy-minded user.

Despite most of CyberGhost’s privacy practices being solid, I still need to mention that in 2017, CyberGhost was sold to Crossrider, which had previously specialised in creating ad-injection software. Crossrider has since morphed into a cybersecurity company and purchased several other VPNs, including ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

As far as TunnelBear is concerned, it doesn’t have any shady connotations, but it is based in Canada, a Five Eyes nation. And Canada is not a particularly good jurisdiction for data privacy. The government has passed legislation in recent years that gives it the authority to collect all sorts of data on its citizens. Like CyberGhost, TunnelBear has a no-logs policy and allows you to sign-up with a disposable email and accepts bitcoin payments.

Configuration

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Address allocationSharedShared
Static IP address possibleNoNo
DDoS protectionNoNo
Ad & malware blocking YesYes

Shared IP addresses are the norm in the commercial VPN space because they’re better for user privacy. With a shared IP address, all the users on a given VPN server use the same IP address as they access the internet. Because all users have the same IP, it’s more difficult to correlate the server’s traffic to a specific VPN user.

As they should, both CyberGhost and TunnelBear provide shared IP addresses to their users on all servers. They both also include an ad blocker, which works by using a method called DNS blackholing. As you access websites on the internet, your DNS requests are referenced against your VPN provider’s list of known ad networks. Anytime there’s a match, that connection gets blocked. DNS blackholing is something that I use all the time.

It should be noted that CyberGhost’s ad blocker also extends to blocking malware sites.

CyberGhost vs TunnelBear customer service

CyberGhostTunnelBear
Live chatYesNo
Ticket supportYesNo
Email supportYesYes
Average email response time49 minutes9 hours
Phone supportNoNo
Searchable knowledge baseYesYes
Video guidesNoNo

Both CyberGhost and Tunnel provide email support. CyberGhost goes the extra mile and also supports live chat and a ticket system. You’ll also find a searchable knowledge base and several FAQs on both providers’ websites. The most common questions users have are answered in the FAQs.

To test each provider’s response time with support emails, we sent them each three questions in three separate emails. The first two questions are pretty generic and probably get asked very often. So, for those questions, we’re expecting canned responses – there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. The third question is purposefully more challenging to answer and requires an understanding of how VPNs work to answer it. We also wanted to assess how knowledgeable each provider’s representatives are.

The results are below:

CyberGhost
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
What kind of logs does CyberGhost keep?1 hour, 5 minutes1Yes
CyberGhost on a DD-WRT router?48 minutes1Yes
What's the difference between the CyberGhost app and the browser extension?34 minutes1Yes
TunnelBear
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
What kind of logs does TunnelBear keep?111Yes
TunnelBear on a DD-WRT router?91Yes
What's the difference between the TunnelBear app and the browser extension?71Yes

Both providers answered all of my emails. And their answers were polite, informative, and to the point. CyberGhost’s response time was much shorter than TunnelBear. TunnelBear still managed to reply to me in under 24 hours (and even under 12 hours), so I still consider that excellent support.

Both providers also asked me if there was anything else they could help me with in each of their responses. And both sent me follow-up emails to rate my experience with their respective support department. Both providers, in my view, offer excellent support.

The winner: CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost - Winner

I have to say that this one was really close. CyberGhost and TunnelBear are both excellent VPN providers and offer similar services at comparable prices. And I could easily recommend signing up for either of them. But I have to choose one, and that one is CyberGhost.

CyberGhost’s victory over TunnelBear should be seen as very narrow. But it gets the edge over TunnelBear for two main reasons:

  1. CyberGhost’s streaming support blows TunnelBear out of the water. So anyone wanting to stream over VPN will be better served with CyberGhost.
  2. Its VPN network is much bigger than TunnelBear’s network. And that kind of goes hand in hand with streaming support, which tends to require a bit of trial and error. With an extensive server network, you’re bound to find a working server for the streaming service you want in the location of your choice.

CyberGhost is also cheaper than TunnelBear, as long as you sign-up for a longer term. CyberGhost’s download speeds are faster, too, though TunnelBear isn’t far behind.

But I would say this: if privacy and security are more important to you than convenience, then perhaps CyberGhost having Kape as a parent company will be a dealbreaker. If that’s you, TunnelBear is probably the better choice. And it’s a solid VPN provider (albeit based in Canada). You could easily do much worse. But for everyone else, CyberGhost will be the better choice.

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