NordVPN vs TunnelBear VPN
Bottom Line While both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN are very good provider choices that will help make your internet browsing safer and more secure, NordVPN edges out the competition when it comes to things like server coverage and overall performance. However, TunnelBear also provides great security and a fun and easy-to-use interface while being a more budget-friendly option for those who don't want to commit to a long-term contract.
While there are many VPN providers available, NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN are two of the most popular. If you’re having a hard time choosing between them, this review is for you. We considered the key measures you want in a good VPN and did a deep-dive on each company to compare how they perform. With this info, you can evaluate and compare NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN based on what factors are most important to you.
How We Evaluated NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN
There are a lot of VPNs available touting multiple features and services. However, not all features are created equal. We cut through the noise and evaluated these two companies based on what’s most important. Keep in mind that the best company for you also depends on how you plan on using a VPN. For example, if the VPN service looks great from a security standpoint but won’t cover all your devices or isn’t compatible with your preferred browser, it might not be the best choice for you.
Common Features We Looked For
1. Security & Privacy Privacy is the primary reason most use a VPN is for enhanced security, so it only makes sense that your VPN should have the most up-to-date standard security features. For example, your VPN should use the highest level of available encryption (currently 256-bit AES with PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA512). Also look for “no-log” policies, which state that the company won’t track, collect, or share your private data.
2. Server Coverage Any good VPN service will have a large server list spread out over multiple geographic locations. The VPN should have servers available in the places you need with numerous servers available in each country or region to spread out the load of multiple users. This makes the service more versatile for you and helps guarantee optimum performance.
3. Performance We made sure to include important performance features in our comparison such as how many devices you can have connected to the VPN simultaneously, download speeds and monthly data limits, all of which can affect your streaming capabilities, particularly if you have multiple members or the same household or workplace using the same connections.
4. Price We compared free and paid plans and broke down the various options, including monthly subscription plans and plans for family, team or enterprise use.
NordVPN vs TunnelBear VPN Comparison
We spent over 10 hours researching NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN to see how they compare with each other on the four most important features. Below is our comparison breakdown.
Security & Privacy
Security and privacy concerns are usually at the top of the list for VPN users. Fortunately, both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN deliver on this point with serious security credentials. Both VPN services use AES 256-bit encryption, the current gold standard. This is the same type of encryption that banks and governments use to keep important data secure. NordVPN also uses the IKEv2/IPsec or OpenVPN encryption protocols for its app for further protection.
Both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN have no-log policies, which ensures that your private information won’t be stored on VPN servers or sold or shared with third parties. Furthermore, both VPN services also offer a kill switch that activates if one of your devices is unexpectedly disconnected from the VPN servers. The kill switch prevents your device from accessing the internet until you disengage the kill switch so that your information isn’t vulnerable while you are disconnected from your VPN.
Both companies are also outspoken and transparent when it comes to security. TunnelBear VPN performs annual security audits to identify any security issues before they become problems and regularly publishes the results. NordVPN, on the other hand, is an open-source security protocol. This means that members of the cybersecurity community can regularly challenge it to seek out any security flaws and strengthen the system accordingly.
For VPN services, the more servers the better. With more than 5,300 servers in 59 countries, NordVPN clearly outmatches TunnelBear VPN, which has more than 1,800 servers in 23 countries. More servers means better performance even at peak times, and servers in more geographic locations means more flexibility for users who would like to view content that is only available in specific countries or regions. This is particularly useful for those who travel often or live abroad and who want to be able to access their favorite websites and other online content no matter where in the world they are.
NordVPN also allows users to connect through specific server types such as dedicated IP servers, P2P servers or obfuscated servers for extra protection. Though NordVPN is a superior pick when it comes to server coverage, both services clearly list the countries where they have servers, allowing you to verify that your required regions are included.
VPN performance hinges on many factors including ease of use, customer service, the number of connected devices allowed and compatibility with browsers and streaming services. First off, both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN are very user friendly. Users can enable both VPN services simply with a few clicks. Some users may prefer the clean, modern look of NordVPN while others are drawn to the cute bear-based interface employed by TunnelBear VPN, but both work equally well.
When it comes to customer service, NordVPN gets the win since it offers 24/7 live chat while TunnelBear users have to rely on email. To stay fully protected, you need to use your VPN service on all your devices. NordVPN allows up to six connected devices on one account, and TunnelBear VPN allows five, either of which is sufficient for most individuals.
Regarding compatibility, NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN both work on any Windows, macOS, iOS or Android device. NordVPN also supports Linux devices, and TunnelBear VPN does provide instructions for using its VPN on Linux devices but only provides limited support. NordVPN can also be used on your home or office router to quickly secure all devices on that connection, whereas TunnelBear does not have that capability at this time. NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and TunnelBear has extensions for both of those browsers plus Opera.
Sometimes, using a VPN can slow down your connection. Both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN have developed a way to combat this problem and ensure speedy performance. TunnelBear VPN makes it simple by allowing you to select the “Fastest Tunnel.” This means it connects to the server location closest to you so your data travels the shortest distance possible and keeps your connection speedy.
Meanwhile, NordVPN offers the “QuickConnect” button, which automatically chooses the best server for you based on factors like location and how many other users are accessing that server at the same time. NordVPN also employs NordLynx, a VPN protocol designed to increase speed and provide better performance.
With these safeguards in place, both NordVPN and TunnelBear VPN are great choices for those who want to use a VPN with data streaming. Plus, using a VPN can prevent your ISP from punishing you with buffering and bandwidth throttling while you are enjoying your favorite streaming services since it keeps your traffic private.
If you are looking for a low-priced option, it doesn’t get better than free. TunnelBear VPN does have a free plan while NordVPN does not, but it limits users to only 500 MB of secure browsing. That doesn’t go very far for most users; it’s only equivalent to about six hours of internet browsing or one hour of streaming video (in standard definition). Still, it’s nice to have the option for users who just want to try out the service or who only plan to use a VPN for specific tasks, such as online banking.
For unlimited use, TunnelBear VPN still comes in as the cheaper option with a plan costing only $3.33 per user per month for individuals or families. There is also a $5.75 per user per month plan for team, business and enterprise use that comes with a dedicated account manager and centralized team billing and management. NordVPN, on the other hand, offers subscription-based plans, with the monthly price decreasing based on the length of the subscription. For those willing to commit to the 3-year plan, the monthly rate of $3.49 winds up being pretty much the same as the $3.33 TunnelBear charges. Plus, since it doesn’t offer a free version, NordVPN does have a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who want to try the service without paying the high one-month price. Team, business and enterprise users can contact NordVPN for customized subscription offers.
3-year plan $3.49/month2-year plan $4.99/month
1-year plan $6.99/month
|Free for limited usage (500mb of secure browsing)
3-year plan $3.49/month2-year plan $4.99/month
1-year plan $6.99/month
|Teams||Custom quote with NordVPN Teams||Teams $5.75/user/month|
|Business||Custom quote with Office VPN or Remote Access VPN||Teams $5.75/user/month|
|Enterprise||Custom quote with Enterprise VPN||Teams $5.75/user/month|
Overview: NordVPN vs TunnelBear VPN
Both these VPNs are solid choices, but as with any service, what matters to you may not matter as much to someone else. Below is a comparison table of the main features of a VPN for each company.
NordVPN vs TunnelBear VPN Comparison Table
|Free Trial||30 days||None|
|Customer Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Platform/Browser Compatibility||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox and Opera|
|Server Coverage||5,300+ servers in 59 countries||1,800+ servers in 23 countries|
|Number of Devices||6||5|
|No-log Policy||no-log policy||no-log policy|
|Torrenting||No (but has P2P servers)||Yes|
|Streaming Services||Netflix, Hulu, the BBC, YouTube, Prime Video, Kodi, HBO, Disney, Showtime||Netflix|
|Security Encryption||AES-256-GCM||AES 256-bit|
|Learn More||Visit NordVPN||Visit TunnelBear|