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Founded in 2011 in Toronto, Canada, TunnelBear believes that the internet should be private and free, and have been backing this up by producing a beautifully designed, easy to use VPN service for the last few years. They’ve gotten great reviews from PC World, Lifehacker, and the Huffington Post amongst others, and are a very popular VPN, in part due to their free offerings and clever Twitter promos. Plus their design is fantastic! I particularly enjoyed the Meet the Team section of their website, in which all of their staff are characterized as bears, but then perhaps I’m too easily pleased.
Is using a VPN to access geographically restricted content legal?
There are many legitimate uses for a VPN. However, the legality of using one to access geographically restricted content is a bit of a grey area. While you’re not likely to attract the attention of the government, you do run the risk of having your VPN or streaming subscription cancelled. There is also the chance that a copyright holder may want to pursue legal action if you’re found to be accessing that content in an unlicensed region. Keep in mind that the very nature of a VPN masks your IP and prevents your online activity, so it’s not for us to say if and how the copyright holders would be able to identify you if you do choose to access their content without the proper licensing. Here at finder.com, we do not encourage internet browsing activity outside the law, we only aim to compare the services available.
Want to know about the content available from Netflix around the world?
- Netflix Global: Check out our A-Z list Netflix libraries from around the world
- Netflix US vs. The World: Content libraries compared
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A VPN provider commended by Lifehacker, PCWorld, Macworld, Yahoo News and the Wall St Journal.View details
What are TunnelBear’s pricing and plans?
The best thing about TunnelBear, except for that sweet little bear that’s featured in all of its branding, is the fact that they’re the only VPN provider who work on the freemium model. Basically, they offer there stuff for free to an extent, and then you have to pay to get more. In their case they offer TunnelBear for free each month, with a limit of 500MB of data – now it’s true that this isn’t very much, but users can also get a free 1GB with a handy promotion, keep reading for details.
For now, however, here are details of the TunnelBear prices and plans:
|Plan||Little Bear||Giant Bear||Grizzly Bear|
|Price||Free||$4.99 per month||$49.99 per month|
|Data transfer limit||500 MB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
What are the benefits of using TunnelBear?
It’s free to an extent, that’s pretty cool. Plus if you use the Little Bear free service, each month you can get an extra 1GB of data simply by asking for it on TunnelBear’s Twitter page. That’s right. Go on Twitter, ask for more data, and they give it to you, completely free! Now 1.5GB is still not very much data, especially if you’re streaming videos, but if you’re not intending to use the VPN to stream, then this is an incredibly cost effective way to access VPN.
How do I setup TunnelBear and what operating systems can I use?
Simply download the little app from their website, log yourself in and welcome to the world of anonymous, location free surfing. As you would probably expect, Tunnel Bear is available on all devices including Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and all Android phones.
TunnelBear Pros and Cons
- Free version with 500MB per month for light users
- Universally loved
- Adorable and hilarious website…
- …that sometimes favors jokes over actually helpful information.
The big pro again, is that it offers a free service. So if you only want to use the VPN a little, then here you can get it without paying. Their website doesn’t give a lot of information, so it is difficult to say how many servers or countries they operate in, but their reviews seem to suggest good coverage.Back to top
What is a VPN and how does it work?
Ever been browsing the web, clicked on a video only to be greeted with a message that reads:
“This content is not authorized for your location.”
Frustrating, isn’t it? Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with it any longer. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an internet service that provides, amongst other things, a way to trick the internet into believing that you’re somewhere that you’re not. It does this by running your devices Internet Protocol (IP) address, through a separate IP address that can be in another country. It’s a popular service with many benefits, including increased security and freedom from tracking.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
Will I use up my free allowance with TunnelBear?
That depends on your usage. If you use TunnelBear for reading a few articles, probably not, but if you use it for streaming videos then almost certainly.
What's the difference between the browser extension and the full desktop app on Windows or Mac OS X?
TunnelBear for browsers is a light-weight browser extension that secures your browser traffic and helps you browse privately as if you’re in another location. The browser extension only encrypts your browser traffic unlike the TunnelBear computer and mobile apps which secures all traffic from the device including other apps and services outside of the web browser.
Do bears really tunnel?
That’s a good question. They don’t tunnel but they can certainly dig. The really name could have been Tunnel Mole, but it doesn’t really have the same ring to it.