NordVPN vs. TunnelBear: Which One Wins?

NordVPN vs. TunnelBear

NordVPN vs. TunnelBear: Which One Wins?

In today’s digital world, protecting your online privacy, security, and freedom is paramount. With cyber threats rising and intrusive surveillance practices becoming more frequent, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become essential tools to safeguard your digital life.

NordVPN and TunnelBear are two industry-leading VPN providers that consistently rank among the best for offering top-notch services tailored to various needs. This exhaustive comparison of their key features and differences will examine critical characteristics to help you decide which VPN best meets your requirements.

NordVPN vs. TunnelBear: Side-by-Side Comparison

PricingStarts at $3.29/month (2-year plan);
$4.59/month (1-year plan);
$12.99/month (monthly plan)
Starts at $3.54/month (2-year plan);
$4.17/month (1-year plan);
$9.99/month (monthly plan)
SpeedFast and consistent speedsFast and consistent speeds
SecurityAES-256 encryption, multiple protocols;
Double VPN, CyberSec, Onion over VPN
AES-256 encryption, multiple protocols;
VigilantBear kill switch
PrivacyStrict no-logs policy, based in PanamaNo-logging policy, based in Canada
Server Locations60+ countries, 5,500+ servers40+ countries, 3,000+ servers
Device CompatibilityWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, RoutersWindows, macOS, Android, iOS, Routers
Customer Support24/7 live chat, email, extensive knowledge baseEmail support, extensive knowledge base

NordVPN vs. TunnelBear: What’s the Difference?

When comparing NordVPN and TunnelBear, it’s essential to consider the key features that set them apart. In this section, we’ll go over the essential characteristics of each VPN provider, delivering a detailed account of their differences and similarities.

Security Features

NordVPN is renowned for its robust security measures, having been designed to give users a private and secure online experience. Double VPN encryption encrypts data twice by routing traffic through two separate VPN servers, offering additional protection against potential data breaches or eavesdropping attempts.

Another standout feature is CyberSec, which easily blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites. This integrated tool increases user safety while browsing without needing additional software. NordVPN also offers Onion over VPN so users can access Tor with added privacy and anonymity.

vpn on iphone
NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama, as the country has no mandatory data retention laws.


Contrastingly, TunnelBear prioritizes providing robust security features to protect user privacy. It may lack some advanced options but offers a secure VPN experience. TunnelBear utilizes AES-256 encryption — the industry standard for data security — guaranteeing data is encrypted during transmission.

TunnelBear supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2, so users can select the best protocol based on speed, security, and device compatibility. Furthermore, VigilantBear’s kill switch protects users during unexpected connection drops by shielding sensitive information from exposure.

Speed and Performance

NordVPN takes the lead when comparing speed and performance to TunnelBear, as it offers faster connections. This fast speed can be attributed to their use of WireGuard protocol branded as NordLynx, specifically designed for optimal performance over traditional VPN protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2.

Furthermore, NordVPN’s extensive network of optimized servers further boosts its speed capabilities, providing a smooth and dependable experience for data-intensive activities like streaming, gaming, or large file transfers.

TunnelBear’s connection speeds can sometimes fluctuate due to server load, distance from the server, and network conditions. Despite these issues, TunnelBear still delivers adequate speeds for general web browsing, streaming media content, and geo-restricted content access.

Furthermore, TunnelBear continuously works towards improving its infrastructure so users enjoy better speed and performance.

Privacy and Logging Policies

Privacy and logging policies are critical when selecting a VPN, as they define how providers handle user data and maintain confidentiality. NordVPN stands out for its strict no-logs policy, ensuring no recording or storage of user activity, IP addresses, or other identifiable information.

Moreover, NordVPN is headquartered in Panama — a privacy-friendly jurisdiction outside the 5/9/14 Five Eyes intelligence alliance — further reinforcing its commitment to user privacy. That’s because it’s not legally required to share data with foreign governments.

TunnelBear, while having a no-logging policy, is based in Canada — a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. As such, Canadian authorities could require TunnelBear to share user data with other alliance members.

Despite its jurisdiction, TunnelBear has an unwavering commitment to user privacy with transparent policies and annual third-party audits that demonstrate its adherence to its no-logs policy. This openness demonstrates TunnelBear’s dedication to maintaining user trust and protecting privacy.

Server Locations and Network

A VPN provider’s server network is integral to connection speeds, content accessibility, and overall user experience. NordVPN boasts an expansive network of over 5,500 servers spread over 60 countries, giving users various ways to circumvent geo-restrictions and access region-specific content.

This expansive infrastructure helps distribute user traffic more efficiently, decreasing server load for optimal performance. NordVPN’s diverse server locations also enable users to connect quickly to nearby servers for faster speeds and lower latency.

nordvpn vs. tunnelbear
During the 2014 Venezuelan Protests, TunnelBear offered free service to users connecting from Venezuela.

©Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock.com

Comparatively, TunnelBear boasts a smaller network of over 3,000 servers in 40+ countries. While this may not match NordVPN’s global reach, TunnelBear still provides enough server locations to satisfy most users’ requirements.

Furthermore, their servers are strategically situated in major regions, which enables users to access geo-restricted content and enjoy relatively stable connections. Despite its smaller size, TunnelBear remains a reliable choice for those searching for an easy VPN solution that can bypass content restrictions and deliver satisfactory performance.

Device Compatibility and Simultaneous Connections

NordVPN stands out due to its extensive device compatibility, offering native apps for popular platforms like Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers — providing users with security regardless of the operating system.

Plus, NordVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections, which provides flexibility for individuals or families wanting to secure multiple devices simultaneously.

TunnelBear is compatible with various platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, and routers so that users can secure their devices without hassle. TunnelBear’s user-friendly apps are tailored for beginners and experienced users, so it is simple to establish secure connections across various devices.

Moreover, TunnelBear provides an effortless and unrestricted experience by enabling users to create simultaneous connections across unlimited devices.

Customer Support

With 24/7 live chat support, NordVPN juts with its excellent customer support program. Users can receive immediate assistance from knowledgeable representatives to resolve their problems quickly.

NordVPN provides email support for more in-depth questions and has an expansive knowledge base that covers various topics like setup guides, troubleshooting techniques, and frequently asked questions. With such a comprehensive support system in place, users are sure to get the assistance they need when facing issues with their VPN service.

TunnelBear provides adequate customer support but does not offer live chat assistance. Instead, it relies on email correspondence and extensive knowledge documentation to answer user questions on various topics, from installation guides to troubleshooting tips.

While Tunnelbear’s email response times tend to be fast, users who require immediate help may find it lacking. Nonetheless, Tunnelbear’s documentation is well-organized and user-friendly, allowing users to find answers quickly.

NordVPN and TunnelBear: 7 Must-Know Facts

  1. NordVPN and TunnelBear both support P2P/torrenting on dedicated servers. NordVPN’s service may allow it but may not be optimized for this task.
  2. NordVPN consistently unblocks popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, while TunnelBear’s access to geo-restricted content may be inconsistent.
  3. NordVPN boasts advanced security options like Double VPN, CyberSec, and Onion over VPN, while TunnelBear boasts AES-256 encryption and the VigilantBear kill switch for added protection.
  4. NordVPN uses the WireGuard protocol for faster speeds, while TunnelBear relies on traditional protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2.
  5. Both providers offer native apps on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and routers.
  6. NordVPN stands out for its customizable options, like server selection and split tunneling, while TunnelBear is praised for its user-friendly interface.
  7. Both VPN providers have been highly praised by users and experts alike, but their features and benefits cater to various user preferences and needs.

NordVPN vs. TunnelBear: Which One Should You Use?

Both NordVPN and TunnelBear offer their respective advantages and drawbacks. NordVPN stands out in terms of security, speed, server diversity, and personalization. However, TunnelBear stands out due to its ease of use, free tier, and third-party security evaluations.

Both VPNs have strict no-logs policies, but their jurisdictions differ; NordVPN is based in Panama, while TunnelBear is located in Canada. NordVPN is the perfect option for users seeking advanced security features, faster speeds, and bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming services. Furthermore, it offers more customization options and server selections.

TunnelBear is ideal for users who value ease of use, want a free plan for limited VPN usage, or value independent security audits. Unfortunately, it may not suit heavy streamers or those requiring advanced security features in NordVPN.

Finally, the choice between NordVPN and TunnelBear comes down to your individual needs and preferences. If advanced security features, faster speeds, and a more comprehensive server network are essential to you, then NordVPN is your best bet.

On the other hand, if user-friendliness and independent security audits are your top priorities, then TunnelBear may be ideal for you. Consider all these factors when making your decision to ensure that your chosen VPN provider meets all of your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up NordVPN or TunnelBear on my device (desktop, mobile, router)?

NordVPN and TunnelBear offer user-friendly apps for desktop and mobile devices that are easy to set up. Download the app from their websites or stores, sign in, and connect to a server. Detailed setup guides can be found on each VPN provider’s website for routers.

Can I use either VPN for streaming or torrenting (supported platforms and success rate)?

NordVPN is highly recommended for streaming and torrenting, with an impressive success rate in popular unblocking platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Additionally, it provides dedicated P2P servers. TunnelBear supports torrenting but may have inconsistent success accessing geo-restricted streaming content.

What payment methods are accepted by NordVPN and TunnelBear (credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies)?

NordVPN accepts payments via credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrency, and both, while TunnelBear accepts credit cards and Bitcoin.

Are NordVPN and TunnelBear Compatible with Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles?

Both VPNs can be used with Smart TVs and gaming consoles by configuring them on a compatible router or computer acting as a virtual router.

What Encryption Standards Do NordVPN and TunnelBear Utilize?

Both VPNs use AES-256 encryption for an extra layer of protection.

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