TunnelBear Free VPN Review | Full test on VPN

Looking for the best free VPN in 2021? Want to get an opinion on TunnelBear’s free VPN to find out what this software’s performance is and if it would be useful to you daily? Know you’re in the right place.

To help you make your choice, we’ll review the Virtual Private Network from different angles. Speed, streaming, security, servers… you will know everything about the supplier and will be able to make your choice at the end of this article! If you have any additional questions, please ask us at the end of this full review on TunnelBear free.

 

What is TunnelBear and its free VPN?

TunnelBear is located in Canada and was recently purchased (in 2018) by McAfee, a U.S. online protection company. These two countries (Canada and the United States) are part of the Alliance of Five Eyes. We will therefore have to pay particular attention to the data protection and privacy policy section.

In this article, we will write a review of TunnelBear’s free VPN. Thus, the goal is not to look at the supplier’s paid offers but to focus on the company’s free offer.

But before that, here’s a quick summary of the strengths and weaknesses of the free solution proposed:

Its strengths:

  • Price: Free VPN
  • The simplicity of installation and use
  • Unlocks Netflix (but watch out for limitation!)

Weaknesses:

  • Limited to 500MB, which is extremely low
  • Speed, especially for France.
  • Number of servers
  • Customer support
  • Not translated into French

 

How do I install the app?

The installation is speedy. We personally tested the solution on Mac and Android, and in both cases, it went without any problems.

Just select the operating system you’re interested in, or go to the Google PlayStore or AppStore if you’re on mobile or tablet. Then you have to follow the different steps.

We appreciated this accessibility, which allows everyone to download the application, even if they don’t have many computer skills.

 

How do I use VPN?

Is the use of VPN well thought out and easy? This is what we will see in the rest of this review on the free VPN TunnelBear.

The disconnected interface looks like this.

To connect to a server, click on the “tunnel” corresponding to your chosen country. This will automatically start the connection.

And here’s the interface once the free TunnelBear VPN is up and running.

The use is straightforward, and we particularly appreciated the interface and the interactive map. If you log on to a remote server in a different country, then a yellow line will tell you the location. And the bear’s little head changes tunnel.

In terms of use and interface, our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN is particularly positive. There is research at the graphics level to create accessible software, which is excellent news for all computer novices in particular.

Note, however, that the free version is limited in terms of data: you will only be able to use 500 MB per month! This is often the case with free offers, as with free VPNs for Android. Therefore, this is very little to be taken into account throughout this opinion, as this will greatly limit you in your activities.

 

Speed test

To find out what speeds tunnel bears free VPN has offered, we’ve done some testing. Without waiting, here are the results we have achieved.

Speed without VPN

Here are the results when we did the speed test of our basic connection:

These figures will serve as a reference to assess the quality of the servers offered by the provider.

 

The speed with a server in France

For this second test, we chose a server located in France.

As you can see from the picture, the fall is quite drastic because we divide the results no more than 2! Even if these speeds remain honourable and allow, for example, downloading (if you have content less than 500 MB …), expect slowdowns.

 

The speed with a server in the United States

This is the third test.

Surprisingly enough, servers in the USA allow you to have speeds almost similar to those you get by connecting to a French server. This probably means that the Canadian supplier has developed a network of high-quality servers in its neighbouring country and that European servers have been left behind more.

Overall, our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN and the speeds it offers is quite mixed.

This is not catastrophic and could lead to the streaming of content. however:

  • on the one hand, other suppliers offer much more attractive speeds, such as ExpressVPN for example;
  • on the other hand, with 500 MB, you will not be able to download or stream content for more than an hour… over the month!

 

TunnelBear free VPN test for streaming

Still, wondering why using a VPN can be convenient for streaming in 2021? Be aware of the protection you will enjoy, which allows you to access exclusive content, such as Netflix national catalogues or foreign TV channels.

So a good way to multiply your content! But for that to happen, your provider still needs to allow you to unblock geo-restricted content. So we did the test before giving you your opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN.

And we’re happy because the VPN allows Your.C. to unblock Netflix and access all the content you want on this platform. The advantage is that the interface stays in French if you leave it like this, but the content is much more numerous!

However, the amount of data in the free version of TunnelBearVPN will not be enough to stream HD content. Indeed, you will quickly reach the limit of 500 MB …

But it proves that the provider can override the famous “Proxy error”, so that’s good news in case you want to take a paid subscription for your streaming activities. You can find our favourite VPNs for Netflix here.

 

Security and privacy policy

We couldn’t give you our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN without making a point about safety. Indeed, to use a VPN, you must be able to trust it with your eyes closed, being fully satisfied with its performance in terms of data protection.

So we did several TunnelBear’s free VPN tests to get a global view of the proposed safety.

 

Security

Global security is based on several criteria.

In addition to encryption, which is of high quality at this provider with 256-bit AES encryption, you will have access to:

  • VigilantBear, the built-in kill switch that automatically blocks your internet connection in case your VPN is momentarily cut off;
  • GhostBear, the provider’s Double VPN that doubles your data protection by connecting to 2 VPN servers.

But you also need to see if the VPN can properly hide your IP. So we did an IP test.

In this first image, you will find our actual IP address, as well as our location. We have not used a Virtual Private Network, so as you can see, this information is obvious, and our protection is zero.

For this second test, we connected to one of the supplier’s servers: Spain. Thus, we could see that our IP address was completely changed and that the Spanish server’s location replaces our actual location.

Therefore, the provider can hide your IP, a good first point in this review on the free TunnelBear VPN.

 

Privacy policy

The provider’s privacy page is very well written and very clear (but only available in English). Here is a summary of the information you can find there.

When you create your account, certain information is retained: your ID and your email. In a sense, it makes sense; even if some companies in the market allow their users to create an account without any email address, thus with better anonymity. But nothing prevents you from creating an address for the occasion.

During your activities and connection to the VPN, your IP address, the IP address of your VPN server or your activities and sites visited are not kept! So it’s a no-log provider, which is excellent news for your online protection, especially since one could have doubted it by the parent company’s location.

This way, no one will be able to trace it back to you, even if the company gets hacked (simply because it has no information about your connections in its data).

 

Does circumventing censorship work?

We have had some feedback from users regarding the circumvention of censorship, particularly in China. If the solution, because of its security, can override the censorship, our opinion on the free VPN of TunnelBear is not positive at this level because with 500 MB per month, and it will be totally impossible to consult your social networks or access your emails regularly.

Indeed, the number of data exchanged is too small. We, therefore, advise you to turn to other suppliers in case you soon go to a censored country (China, but also Russia, Iran, United Arab Emirates…),” for example, ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

 

The network of countries and servers

At the moment, it’s hard to know how many servers the company has. Indeed, if one can read the information in certain sites’ reviews, there are nevertheless no figures mentioned on the website or in the company documents. So it’s hard to believe the reviews saying that the provider has a network of more than 1000 servers.

Rather, if this figure is not disclosed, the number of servers is minimal and does not weigh in on its competitors.

However, you can find out which countries these servers are located in: you will have access to 23 countries globally.

As you can see, we are very far from the 94 countries of ExpressVPN, for example… Our opinion on TunnelBear VPN is free, and its network of servers is therefore rather mixed.

 

TunnelBear Free VPN Customer Support Test

In terms of customer support, we don’t have a lot to say. As is often the case, there are detailed FAQ pages to answer the most asked questions and installation and user guides to help you in the various choices to be made to set up the application.

It is also possible to chat with a robot to quickly obtain the requested information, but they remain relatively vague and lack customization. We find it a pity that there is no instant messaging with an expert advisor in the field to answer our questions directly.

The only thing you can do if you can’t find an answer anywhere else will be to send a ticket. But the response time is relatively long, unfortunately…

Therefore, our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN is not really positive in terms of customer support because it is far below what can be seen in other suppliers.

 

Offers and pricing

Today, we carry out this review on TunnelBear regarding the free VPN, which is, therefore, as the name suggests… completely free. But be aware that other formulas are also possible at this supplier. Although they are not worth the best-paid VPNs, they might still be of interest to you.

For $3.33 a month, you’ll be able to enjoy the same features and performance but without data limits.

TunnelBear’s free VPN is particularly interesting if you want to test the solution and make your own opinion on TunnelBear before opting for a complete subscription.

 

More information

To conclude this review on TunnelBear and its free VPN, we wanted to review the various features that you will have access to using the solution.

 

The number of simultaneous connections

The number of simultaneous connections offered by the provider is 5. Therefore, our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN is mixed, as it is the minimum of connections offered by competitors, except for a few exceptions that offer their solution on a single device.

 

Compatibility

Whatever your device, you’ll have the option to install the free TunnelBear VPN. Indeed, the software is available on Mac and Windows, but also on iOS and Android. So you can enjoy your 5 simultaneous connections as you see fit.

 

Conclusion: 

You’ll understand: our opinion on the free TunnelBear VPN is pretty positive because the features and performance are interesting for a VPN at 0. However, it is impossible not to be disappointed by the 500MB per month limit, making the Virtual Private Network much more complicated to use in the long run. Indeed, you will very quickly get to the end of this 500MB. And then what to do?

It seems that the free solution was not created to offer effective protection at a lower cost but only to seduce and encourage users to test the solution before committing to the longer term. So don’t hesitate to test to make your own opinion on the free VPN of TunnelBear.

But if you’re looking for the best VPN in 2021 and you’re willing to pay a few euros a month for optimal protection and functionality, other providers are better able to satisfy you (including ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, for example).

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