TunnelBear VPN vs ExpressVPN
Bottom Line: At the end of the day, these are both well-respected VPN services with plenty of features to support privacy. ExpressVPN has more robust server coverage and may support more streaming options, making it a potential better choice for families that rely on streaming for most of their entertainment.
TunnelBear VPN, however, has better overall pricing and even comes with a free option that lets you try it out. While the free trial isn't going to support most people's streaming and downloading needs long-term, it's a good way to test out whether or not the streaming service's performance and customer support options will work for you.
Choosing a VPN service can be overwhelming. If you’ve never had a VPN or don’t know much about the technology, it may seem daunting to research it. And even if you do know a little bit about VPNs, the fact that there are so many options to choose from can make the process of shopping for a service quite tedious. But we’ve done the work so you don’t have to. This review covers the major features to look for in a VPN and compares two high-quality options. After reading this article, you’ll feel confident choosing between TunnelBear VPN and ExpressVPN or going with a different option.
How We Evaluated TunnelBear VPN vs ExpressVPN
When comparing these two VPNs, we looked at the common features that are important to most users and how these services measured up. That information is provided below so you don’t have to go searching for it yourself. As you digest the information, though, remember that you need to choose a VPN that meets your personal needs, so the best option will depend on how you plan to use the technology.
Common Features We Looked For
1. Security & Privacy
You use a VPN because you want a more private network, making security and privacy some of the most important features when selecting these types of services. We looked for VPN providers that offered strong privacy policies and benefits such as kill switches. Kill switches shut off your internet connection if your VPN stops working for any reason. That way, you’re not left browsing unprotected without realizing it. We also looked for services that don’t log your activity online and that provide high levels of encryption.
2. Server Coverage
When you purchase a VPN service, you want to be able to log on at any time and get protection and decent speeds. A key to ensuring that’s possible is choosing a VPN service with a high number of servers that are spread out across the world. This is because each individual server is only able to support so much traffic, so you need the option of switching to another server if you get one that isn’t supporting your needs. Typically, the closer a server is, the faster your connection is, so you also want options that are relatively near you — such as being in the same country or on the same continent.
You want more than connections across the globe, though. You want those connections to work well for you, which is why you should consider performance metrics such as how fast a VPN service is and whether it has download limitations. If you’re going to stream a lot, for example, and the VPN service has download limitations every month, you could run out of safe streaming opportunities before the next month starts. Other considerations are whether the VPN supports the streaming and browsing platforms you use and how many devices you can connect to it at one time.
Once you pare down your choices to a few VPNs that have all the features you want, you can look at which one is most affordable. VPNs typically come with a monthly subscription fee, and you can save a lot of money if you can pay for a year or more at one time. Typical costs range between $2 and $15 per month, with average costs right around $9 to $12 if you pay monthly.
TunnelBear VPN vs ExpressVPN Comparison
We took more than 10 hours to parse the details and reviews about these two companies. Find out whether TunnelBear VPN and ExpressVPN provide the features you want in a VPN service below and how they compare to each other.
Security & Privacy
TunnelBear VPN offers an always-on option that lets you download the VPN onto a device and set it to run at start-up. That way, you never have to remember to turn on the VPN, and you’re always covered. You can choose which VPN server to go through or use the closest tunnel feature to just connect to the closest option for minimal hassle. TunnelBear has a no-logging policy, which means it promises not to capture your activity online in a log that could be accessed or shared with others later. It also has a Vigilant Mode, which operates like a kill switch, blocking unsecured traffic if your VPN connection is disrupted for any reason.
ExpressVPN offers a lot of the same features and benefits as TunnelBear, though they may be called different things. It also has a kill switch feature, a no-log policy and automated connections that help you ensure you’re on the best server for you without messing around with manual connections. Both of these services also support AES 256-bit encryption for high-level security, and ExpressVPN offers IP cloaking that changes your IP address dynamically as you visit websites, reducing the ability to track your habits.
TunnelBear offers 2,200 or more servers in around 23 countries. Locations of servers include the UK and US, Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy, Ireland, France and Spain. In addition to other European locations, TunnelBear has servers in areas that include India, Mexico and Brazil. While the global coverage is not as robust as some other services — which means that TunnelBear has a presence in less countries — it’s still enough to support most residential VPN users.
ExpressVPN does have better server coverage. It has more than 3,000 servers and they’re located in 94 countries. They’re actually located in 160 different places, which means some countries have multiple locations. ExpressVPN servers can be found across Europe and America as well as in nations including Japan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Laos, Poland and Norway. ExpressVPN also has an option that will connect you to the best possible server in any given moment when you launch the service each time, so that can help you make the most of the coverage.
While both of these options do have enough server coverage to ensure you can log in as you need, ExpressVPN definitely has more coverage, making it a clear winner for this feature if that’s a major concern to you.
TunnelBear lets you connect up to five simultaneous devices at once and keep them protected via the VPN service. That means you can browse on your phone while streaming Netflix while your spouse works and your child does homework on a tablet, and everything’s still covered. You can download TunnelBear on Android, Windows, iPhone and Mac devices, and it supports Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers. Customer support is limited to email.
ExpressVPN offers customer support via 24/7 live chat, which might make it a better choice if you want fast answers whenever you need them. Like TunnelBear, it supports up to 5 devices. It also supports unlimited bandwidth on all plans, so you’re never going to run out of coverage in the middle of the month. You can access numerous VPN protocols depending on which server you connect to. So, while ExpressVPN does auto connect you to a server, if you have particularly specific needs, you may need to manage your settings manually sometimes.
Both of these options have fairly robust performance features, though they differ slightly and support unique needs. There are VPN options that offer more than five connections, but if you don’t need more than that, either of these services is a potential solid choice.
ExpressVPN and TunnelBear VPN are both affordable. Even at the most expensive, they’re barely more than the cost of two coffee cups each month. TunnelBear does offer a free plan, but it’s limited to 500MB of browsing, which will not support most people’s streaming habits.
500MB of browsing
1 month, paid monthly
$9.99/month or $59.95/6 months
1 year, paid once annually
$4.99/month, or $59.98/12 months
$8.23/month or $99.95/12 months
$3.33/month, or $120/36 months
Overview: TunnelBear VPN vs ExpressVPN
TunnelBear VPN and ExpressVPN both have a lot to offer, especially when it comes to performance, security and privacy. However, you have to choose the VPN that best meets your needs, which means looking at some specifics whenever possible. Check out the comparison table below to see even more details about the differences between these two companies so you can make the most educated decision.
TunnelBear VPN vs ExpressVPN Comparison Table
24/7 live chat
Chrome, Firefox and Opera
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi
1,800+ servers in 22+ countries
3,000+ services in 160 locations in 94 countries
Number of Devices
Netflix, Hulu, the BBC, YouTube, Prime Video, Kodi, HBO, Disney, Showtime