TunnelBear and NordVPN are two of the most famous names in the streaming/gaming/influencers community. Both companies sponsor videos of many YouTubers & Twitch streamers.
But does this make both VPN providers great? Well, let us start by stating, ‘Everything can be advertised, and the quality of the product doesn’t have anything to do with it.’ In this case, as you will see throughout this comparison, NordVPN is a fantastic product, whereas TunnelBear is mediocre at best.
How do these compare?
Ease of use
TunnelBear, on the other hand, offers minimal features & horrible speed. It can’t even unblock Netflix, Hulu, and other mainstream streaming apps. Such a package is what we like to call trash, for lack of a better word.
TunnelBear vs. NordVPN: Features
Securely and privately connecting to a server and using that server as your internet access point. That’s what VPN all is. However, VPN providers pack in many other features to make their offerings attractive. Here’s what TunnelBear vs NordVPN have for you:
Over 21 million people trust TunnelBear...all thanks to their smart marketing and advertising. If looked at objectively, it doesn’t have anything more than some basic features, such as:
- Vigilant mode: Commonly known as “kill switch,” this feature disables all the internet activities if the VPN gets disconnected automatically.
- Always on mode: This feature is to auto-connect to the VPN server whenever you turn on your device. This way, you are always private & secure.
- Closest tunnel: Commonly called “Quick connect,” this option connects you to the fastest available server without you having to look for one.
- SplitBear: On Android devices, there’s a split tunneling option. This feature lets you choose the apps you want to use through TunnelBear and the ones you want to use through your ISP.
- Ghostbear: If you are in a country like China, where VPNs are restricted, this feature lets you bypass such restrictions.
That’s about all the value-added features you’ll get with TunnelBear. Granted, most people need these only, but what’s the harm in having more & better?
Apart from being our #1 choice, it’s also the #1 VPN by market share. A lot of it is due to the number of and the quality of features it offers, such as:
- CyberSec: It blocks all malicious sites, ads, and unsafe connections.
- DoubleVPN: It's their multi-hop VPN feature. Basically, you are connected to a server connected to another server, and that server will be the access point. Sure it decreases speed a bit, but security/privacy multiplies.
- Kill switch: Like TunnelBear’s vigilant mode, this feature kills all the internet activities if the VPN disconnects abruptly. You also have an option to set specific apps. E.g., Your torrenting activities can be stopped while your YouTube keeps running.
- Obfuscated servers: Like Ghostbear, Obfuscated servers let you connect to the VPN in restricted places like China.
- Smartplay: This feature lets you stream content smoothly & securely.
- Onion over VPN: This feature combines the power of the Tor network and VPN, essentially giving you the ultimate anonymity, privacy, and security.
- Split tunneling: On mobile apps and Chrome/Mozilla browsers, NordVPN allows you to use split tunneling.
- Others: They also have P2P servers for torrenting, SmartDNS, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, NordVPN has all the features a VPN provider can offer, or you’ll ever need.
NordVPN has features like Smartplay, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, etc. This is in addition to the features TunnelBear offers. Also, NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which TunnelBear doesn’t. Therefore, choosing the winner is easy.
TunnelBear vs NordVPN: Ease of use
Payment options - Cryptocurrencies?
Map-based & list-based
Apps (Android, iOS, etc.)
All except FIrestick, SmartTV, and routers.
Both VPNs have dedicated apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and browser. In addition, NordVPN has apps for SmartTV, firestick, and routers, which gives it a significant lead at the start. Still, things can change...let’s see.
TunnelBear interface is cool. It uses a map-based UI with locations marked with tunnels. We specifically like the attention to detail here. There’s a “Tunnel,” and there’s a “Bear.” The bear disappears from your current location and appears at the tunnel-end of the location you connect to.
We dig it (pun intended).
NordVPN’s interface is a bit traditional, in comparison. However, from a usability perspective, NordVPN is better due to the extra list-based interface.
Just like TunnelBear, NordVPN has a map interface — sure, they don’t have cool bear and tunnel graphics. In addition to that, there’s a searchable list interface, which makes it easy to find specific location servers.
TunnelBear’s focus is more on the UI side of things, whereas NordVPN takes care of UI as well as the UX. NordVPN isn’t cool per se, but it gets the job done better. Therefore…
TunnelBear vs NordVPN: Servers & Speed
Number of servers
Unknown (somewhere between 1000-2000)
Unblocks streaming platform
Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, etc.
Avg. Download speed reduction
Avg. Upload speed reduction
The geographical diversity of servers and the number of servers are super essential elements when deciding a VPN. The former is important because you will be able to access sites accessible from particular locations...so, the more, the better. The latter is vital because more servers = fewer users per server, which means better speeds/bandwidth.
Talking about speed, the kind of speed reduction you face (and you will) when connected to the VPN is also crucial. It’s self-explanatory...if the speed is low, the downloading time will be high, the streaming quality will be low, etc.
TunnelBear hasn’t mentioned the number of servers they own, but they have mentioned the number of countries they have servers in- 23 countries. We tested quite a few of its locations to check for speed reduction and website unblocks. Sadly, it couldn’t access Netflix, Prime, Hulu, HBO Go, and most other streaming platforms.
As for speeds, on our 100 Mbps plans, the average speed we achieved when connected to TunnelBear VPN was about 25 Mbps...that’s terrible. The internet plan that could handle multiple 4K streams without VPN would now struggle to stream 1440p :(
NordVPN has nearly 5400 servers in 59 countries. Most of its servers can access Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.
As for speed, only about 20% average speed reduction was measured. That’s like being able to stream 4K on two devices instead of three. Pretty solid!
It’s obvious. NordVPN has more servers, better geographical diversity, and is miles ahead in performance. TunnelBear is simply horrible in all aspects.
TunnelBear vs NordVPN: Security & Privacy
OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, WireGuard’s NordLynx
Doesn’t keep logs outside of Canada
Kill switch, DoubleVPN, Onion over VPN
Keeping your data secure and activities & identity private is the primary use of a VPN. In fact, this is the first filter in our testing process. And here’s how the results of checking security & privacy aspects of TunnelBear vs NordVPN look:
TunnelBear uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 VPN protocols, which are standard protocols used in the VPN market. For encryption, they use 256-bit AES with a 2048-bit key for decrypting. In layman terms, it’s practically impossible to break this encryption.
“TunnelBear is a global company. Although our physical servers are located in many different countries around the world, TunnelBear does not store Personal Data outside of Canada's physical borders. By using our services, you authorize TunnelBear to use your information according to Canada's laws, regardless of which country you are located in.”
NordVPN uses OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, and WireGuard’s NordLynx protocols. NordLynx is supposedly faster than the other standard protocols. As encryption, Nord uses the same 256-bit AES but with a 4096-bit key. Practically, it doesn’t make a difference, but theoretically, NordVPN is better.
Their “No logs” policy is genuinely a no-logs policy. Thanks to Panama’s strict privacy laws and Nord’s commitment to keeping zero logs, they don’t even store connection logs!
TunnelBear vs NordVPN: Customer Support
Live chat & Email
Email, Knowledgebase & tutorials
Live chat: < 1 minute
Email: ~3 hours
Email: ~2.5 hours
Quality of response
Things can go wrong...connection issues, server issues, speed issues, etc. are a part of any VPN package. Of course, it doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, what are your options? Only one: support team. And therefore, prior knowledge about the VPN provider’s customer support is essential.
If you have a common problem with your TunnelBear plan, you might find the answers in their knowledgebase. If you don’t, you have the option to email them your query. In our experience, we got email responses in typical time, and the answers were decently satisfactory.
NordVPN, too, has a knowledge base with answers to FAQs. It also has an email contact option. But more importantly, you can instantly connect with them and communicate via their live chat. We did and found their support agents to be knowledgeable & professional.
Simply because NordVPN has a live chat option and TunnelBear doesn’t, we’ll give it to Nord.
TunnelBear vs NordVPN: Pricing
Starting Price Per Month:
$3.71/month (2 years)
Number of connections per plan:
Starting Price Per Month:
$3.33/month (3 years)
Number of connections per plan:
NordVPN can be the best VPN of all time, but if you can’t afford it, you won’t buy it. So, to end the comparison, let’s look at the pricing options & differences.
TunnelBear plans cost $3.33/month at best. For the cost, you can connect to the VPN from five devices simultaneously. If you’d like to pay monthly, there’s a $9.99/month option for that.
NordVPN’s best price is $3.71/month. The plan allows you to connect six devices simultaneously. As for the 1-month plan, it costs $11.95/month.
NordVPN costs a bit more, but it lets you connect an extra device. And from a value standpoint, as you saw throughout the article, NordVPN is a steal deal if we compare it with TunnelBear’s price & what you get for it.
TunnelBear vs. NordVPN: Conclusion
The Winner Is - NordVPN
To wrap up, let’s summarize what we found throughout the comparison:
NordVPN has more and better features than TunnelBear.
NordVPN’s interface is more practical.
NordVPN’s width & depth of servers is superior.
TunnelBear’s speed is awful.
And to top it all, NordVPN’s cost is almost equal to TunnelBear while the value is multifold.
Meaning, NordVPN is way, way better than TunnelBear, and is the right choice to consider. Simple.
Total Score: 10/10
• Uptime 99.99%
• Free SSL certificate
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