Having a VPN is one of the critical factors for a safe and secure online surfing experience. Although some services may restrict users when using VPNs, having a VPN service is essential. VPNs have gained popularity in the recent past, and there is still potential for growth.
VPN usage is advised since they provide a secure, encrypted tunnel where the exchange of data between the user and the connected server can communicate from. So, that means you are safe from even your ISP from snooping your online activities.
In this article, we take a comparison review between NordVPN, one of the popular VPN services in the world and TunnelBear.
In this article, NordVPN is the winner and is the best VPN service among the two. There are many reasons to love NordVPN like its large number of servers in different locations, military-grade security, a dedicated IP address, unlimited bandwidth, streaming with no buffering, no-logging, Peer-to-peer friendly, automatic kill switch, and also supports streaming content with no buffering. NordVPN offers better value for money. However, TunnelBear is also a great alternative if you do not see the point of paying $30 more for NordVPN.
Interested to know more? Read our full comparison below.
NordVPN VS TunnelBear: Features
NordVPN is one of the most secure VPN services out there. It features military-grade security for your online privacy. NordVPN uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit encryption keys for security.
Strict no-logs policy
Independent Auditors approve NordVPN as one of the best VPNs due to its No-log VPN service. No-Log policy means NordVPN does not collect, track or share any of your private data. Your data remains with you. NordVPN does not keep connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic data, IP addresses, or any other shareable data. As a result, there is nothing to share. This VPN service only keeps the data that is crucial for serving its customers better like an email address, payment data (accepts payment through cryptocurrency too), timestamp if the last connection status, and the customer service information.
NordVPN does not have any bandwidth limitations, unlike most VPN providers. This gives you the freedom to use this VPN almost freely.
Automatic kill switch
As much as you would like to use a VPN service, sometimes the connection may drop, thus leaving your online activity exposed. That is where a VPN kill switch comes into play. A VPN kill switch automatically blocks your device or the specified apps by the user from accessing the web. Take the kill switch as the last line of defence in case your VPN server connection drops. NordVPN has a kill switch integrated into its mobile apps – on iOS and Android, plus there is also a Windows and Mac version.
Using VPN services always has been bundled with one main disadvantage – slow network speeds. This has been the case because the data is routed through a secure encrypted tunnel. So the data exchange is done via the secure encrypted tunnel between the user and the server. However, for NordVPN, the case is different. NordVPN’s faster connection speeds is another critical factor that has made the VPN score well in comparison to other VPN services. NordVPN also promises a way to bypass ISP throttling, but that is dependent on your ISP. NordVPN has also set itself apart from other VPN service providers by providing unlimited bandwidth.
A large number of servers
NordVPN has a ton of servers. Currently, NordVPN boasts having about 5226 servers in 59 countries globally. That means you have tons of options to choose from. For better performance, choose a server nearby or the one with less congestion.
Dedicated IP address
Since VPN usage can be limited for secure services due to IP sensitivity, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses. Dedicated IP address makes it possible to use NordVPN for payments and other IP sensitive services like accessing access to business servers. Using shared IPs also result in a “bad neighbour effect.” This is basically a person sharing the same IP with you being blacklisted for using a particular service which is also applied to you because you use an identical IP address. With Dedicated IP addresses, forget about the browser CAPTCHA authentication checkups.
Multiple platforms supported
NordVPN is available on several platforms. And independent of your primary platform, you can always use NordVPN to secure your connections. NordVPN is available on Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Firefox and Chrome. The browser support for Firefox and Google Chrome makes this VPN service available on many platforms as long as there is browser support.
Although P2P sharing is discouraged, it is one of the most common ways users share data. NordVPN acknowledges security as a problem in this case and ensures that your IP address, as well as the location, is masked while transferring data or browsing the web. NordVPN is also p2p friendly by ensuring your connection is stable and avoid the annoyance of bandwidth throttling and internet roadblocks. Oh, and of course, NordVPN also ensures the data is shared securely via its encrypted tunnel.
Proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox
In addition to its sheer number of applications for different platforms, NordVPN also features proxy extensions for both Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox browser. This ensures that you can access your favourite websites securely, even if they are not protected by HTTPS. If you want a lightweight solution apart from the full apps, this is what you should be going for. You will still get a chance to use any of NordVPN’s 5200+ available IPs in over 60 countries.
DNS leak test
NordVPN’s DNS leak test is a tool that helps you know if the DNS servers have sent any unencrypted queries outside a secure VPN tunnel. To counter this, the VPN service has a DNS leak protection feature that ensures unencrypted queries are not sent outside the secure, encrypted VPN tunnel.
Onion over VPN
This is one unique handy feature in NordVPN for privacy-conscious folks. Using this feature, NordVPN provides you with all the advantages of The Onion Router (Tor) plus a VPN on top for even more security. This helps you stay safe and secure from insecure networks and snooping individuals on the network.
Optimized for streaming
Most VPNs are not friendly for streaming movies and TV shows. You will often experience buffering. However, NordVPN makes it easy for you to stream new episodes of your favourite shows with optimal network connectivity despite the ISP throttling bandwidth speeds.
Smart Play is NordVPN’s feature that is curated for content streaming. This feature helps you access content that would otherwise be unavailable. Smart Play by NordVPN is handy when streaming content on public WIFI, when you travel abroad or when your ISP is throttling your network speeds. With Smart Play, you can access over 400 streaming sites with no issues.
Multiple device connections
With one NordVPN account, you can access use it on six different devices. That is suitable for family sharing or just for those with several devices that they use on a daily basis. The good thing is, the six devices are independent of the platform. Talk of Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, you name it. Furthermore, if you use NordVPN on your router, it will secure all the devices connected, and still, there will be remaining five of the six slots supported.
NordVPN CyberSec is a security and privacy tool that watches out for you. It automatically blocks suspicious websites, that may be harmful to your device. Also, CyberSec blocks those annoying ads that are filled up on some sites, ensuring faster loading speeds hence a better browsing experience. Although the feature does not block ads from NordVPN’s Android from Google Play Store, it still blocks malicious sites. To get the fully functional version, ensure you download the .apk file from NordVPN’s official website. Lastly, CyberSec features botnet control so your device safe from participating in DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.
TunnelBear VPN Features
One of the features available at TunnelBear is vigilant Mode. Well, do not let the naming confuse you – every company has a way of naming its features to set it apart from the rest. Vigilant Mode is similar to NordVPN’s Automatic Kill Switch feature. TunnelBear monitors your VPN server connection and will block all the unsecured traffic as soon as the VPN connection is interrupted.
The service will let you be back up once the connection is fully restored.
TunnelBear ensures that you are always ready to go on your browser adventures when connected to the network. The VPN service will connect automatically on startup. So, you don’t need to worry about reconnecting when you restart your device.
Like NordVPN, TunnelBear does not collect or store any of the customers’ data. As a result, your data stays safe between you. TunnelBear collects minimum data as possible that is essential for the usage of its service, this includes your name and email address, payment information, operational data like app version, OS version, total data used in a month and more. But your online activity is not collected whatsoever.
Lightning Fast Speeds
TunnelBear also ensures that your network connections are always fast despite using its VPN service.
Once connected, you can secure your data exchange even if you are using WIFI connection, whether it is a personal WIFI or public.
TunnelBear features military-grade security, as well. It uses the robust AES 256-bit encryption protocol like what NordVPN relies on, and by default. That way, you are always certain that your connection is secure once connected to the VPN server.
GhostBear is TunnelBear’s feature that allows you to bypass snooping of your online activity by governments, businesses and ISPs. GhostBear is available on TunnelBear’s Windows, macOS, and Android apps. Unfortunately, it does not support iOS due to its framework. However, keep in mind that connecting using GhostBear will result in slow connection or even rendering your network unfunctional.
Multiple devices supported
With one TunnelBear account, you can be able to connect up to five devices simultaneously.
TunnelBear also has servers in several countries globally. As per now, TunnelBear has servers in over 23 countries ranging from the UK, US, Canada, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, among others.
Trusted Networks allows you to choose which connections can be used with no need for any VPN connection. This could basically be your home networks. Also, you can choose which connections should always be used in tow with your TunnelBear VPN.
Multiple platforms supported
TunnelBear can also be used on different devices. These devices range from Windows, Android, iOS, Macs and even inside browsers through extensions.
NordVPN VS TunnelBear: Small Comparison Table
Who is this for?
NordVPN is pretty much for privacy-conscious individuals. Nonetheless, anyone can still use any of the two VPN services to ensure they safeguard their online browsing activities or when sharing files. VPN service also ensures that your connection speeds are stable by bypassing the ISP throttling. In addition to that, the VPN services in question apply to anyone who uses any of the common platforms like Windows, Android, iOS, Mac and more.
Pros and Cons
- Over 5200 servers available to choose from
- Has browser apps
- P2P friendly
- Has had issues with server security recently
- Support multiple platforms
- Supports five simultaneous device
- Automatic connections supported upon startup
NordVPN VS TunnelBear: Pricing
NordVPN and TunnelBear are not all FREE. NordVPN has several pricing plans. You can either choose to pay on a monthly basis, or on yearly. You can even pay for NordVPN three years upfront. NordVPN goes for $11.95 a month. Paying a year upfront will get you a 41 per cent discount. You will pay only $6.99 per month for 12 months.
There are massive savings by opting for up to 36 months upfront. To put this in perspective, you will save 70% is around $125.64 billed every year. In addition to that, you will also get three months free. NordVPN allows payment through major debit and credit card companies, banks and even through cryptocurrency.
On the other hand, TunnelBear has a free plan but is capped at only 500MB data per month. To be honest, 500MB is not helpful for any users who live online. However, there are other plans, but you have to pay for them. There is a monthly plan going for $9.99 a month, which includes Unlimited data, five connected devices and also Priority customer service. Paying 12 months upfront will save almost half of the price at $59.88. In comparison, that is only $4.99 a month. TunnelBear also accepts payments vis BTC.
NordVPN and TunnelBear are both easy to use. There is no complex setup process with any of them so that you will be up and running in no time. Additionally, both VPNs also support mobile platforms with easy tap and connect features.
NordVPN has fantastic customer support. The VPN offers support via several channels like email or live chat. The company also has a well-documented help page that you can use available at your disposal. On the other hand, TunnelBear also promises amazing support by paying for any of their premium plans. TunnelBear offers support via several channels, like email and social media. There is also a knowledge base that you can use to help yourself out.
NordVPN and TunnelBear are both helpful VPN services, but yeah, there is a better one than the other between the two. Without any bluffs, NordVPN is the best VPN service here. It features all the goods that you could need in a VPN service – a large number of servers in different locations, military-grade security, a dedicated IP address, unlimited bandwidth, streaming with no buffering, no-logging, Peer-to-peer friendly, automatic kill switch as well as fast speeds. Although NordVPN costs a little bit more than TunnelBear, it offers the best VPN features out there. Compared to TunnelBear, NordVPN costs about $30 more. But comparing the value of money provided in NordVPN, it is worth paying more for.
That does not mean, it is all doom and gloom on TunnelBear’s VPN service. It also has excellent features like the GhostBear, military-grade security, unlimited bandwidth – under the paid plans, multiple server locations although fewer than in NordVPN, no-logging, automatic kill switch, fast and is also cheap. It falls short due to the lack of a dedicated IP address service, not peer-to-peer friendly. They also have not stated any streaming friendly features, unlike NordVPN. Oh, and NordVPN also supports six different devices connected simultaneously using a single account, and you can as well connect more by connecting the VPN to the router directly.