Home

 › 

Articles

 › 

Vs.

 › 

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: Which One Is Better?

VPN security

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: Which One Is Better?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, security and online privacy have become increasingly important. Due to the rise in cyber-attacks and data breaches, more people are turning to VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, to safeguard their online activities. TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN are two of the most popular VPNs today.

While both VPNs offer a wide range of features and benefits, picking the best VPN for you can be challenging due to the vast array of services available, each presenting different features. In this TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN comparison, we will compare the features, speed, security, pricing, and overall performance of both VPN services to help you determine which is the better option for your needs and preferences!

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: Side-By-Side Comparison

TunnelBearExpressVPN
Launched20112009
Number of servers3000+ servers in 48 countries3000+ servers in 94 countries
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2OpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2
Free planYesNo
Monthly cost rangeUnlimited: from $4.16/mo
Teams: $5.75/mo
$6.67 – $12.95
Supported devicesAndroid, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux (limited support)Chromebook, Linux, routers, Apple TV, PlayStations 3 and 4, Xbox One, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Kindle, Blackberry
IP addressesDynamicDynamic
Simultaneous connectionsunlimitedUp to 5
Streaming supportNetflix, BBC iPlayer, HuluNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+
Customer supportSupport tickets, knowledge base, FAQs24/7 live chat, FAQs, knowledge base, email
Built-in ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router
$189.90
  • Built-in VPN when used with an active ExpressVPN subscription (sold separately)
  • Connect to multiple VPN locations simultaneously
  • When the VPN is in use, enjoy speeds of up to 180 Mbps for multiple devices at once
  • ExpressVPN protection 24/7 for any connected device
  • Covers up to 1,600 sq. ft.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/29/2023 01:06 pm GMT

TunnelBear vs. ExperessVPN: A Quick Overview

ExpressVPN is a top VPN provider known for its first service, whereas TunnelBear is known for its straightforward services and the availability of a free VPN version. ExpressVPN offers a 24/7 live chat with knowledgeable and responsive agents, while TunnelBear relies on a web contact form to handle inquiries. In terms of network size, ExpressVPN surpasses TunnelBear, as it offers a wide range of server locations with over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, compared to TunnelBear’s 3,000 servers in 48 countries.

Despite their differences, both VPNs share several similarities. They provide unlimited bandwidth and 256-bit encryption, as well as a kill switch and protection against third-party tracking. Dedicated apps for Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Android are available for both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN. However, ExpressVPN also allows for easy installation on a broader range of devices, including routers.

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: What’s the Difference?

While both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN offer well-designed VPN applications, it’s clear that ExpressVPN is significantly more advanced than TunnelBear. TunnelBear has a straightforward design, but its device support and features are limited.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN offers excellent protocol selection, support for various devices, streaming capabilities, and robust security features. That said, let’s not assume ExpressVPN will emerge as the winner. Here is our in-depth comparison of the two popular VPNs.

Plans and Pricing

Similarly to most VPN providers, the longer the duration of your subscription, the better the price tends to be. These hold for both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN. Although the companies offer varying subscription lengths, going for a plan that can at least last for a year results in the most attractive pricing options.

Express VPN limits you to 5 simultaneous device connections regardless of the plan selected. In contrast, with any paid plan on TunnelBear, you will get unlimited devices connected. TunnelBear has a free version, while ExpressVPN doesn’t. However, it’s worth noting that TunnelBear’s free version is quite limited, with a 500MB browsing limit per month. Given you will run out of data pretty quickly, the free version works more like a free trial version than a full-fledged VPN service.

ExpressVPN provides a 7-day free trial for mobile users via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Additionally, it also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee the moment you sign up for a plan, allowing for a risk-free trial period. In contrast, a TunnelBear subscription involves more risk, since they do not offer a money-back guaranteed policy. Instead, each refund request gets reviewed once it comes up, potentially leading to a declined request. This is not an ideal mechanism for anyone after a risk-free trial period.

ExpressVPN accepts various payment methods, including PayPal, credit and debit cards, cryptocurrencies, and UnionPay. On the hand, TunnelBear only accepts credit cards and has recently started accepting Bitcoin. Those looking to make anonymous payments with cryptocurrency get more options with ExpressVPN, while Bitcoin holders can choose from either provider.

Netflix and Streaming Performance

If you are after accessing geo-restricted content and still enjoy the unlimited streaming libraries regardless of your location, you need a VPN with excellent streaming performance. While TunnelBear can access some popular streaming platforms, ExpressVPN remains a better choice for overall streaming capabilities.

When it comes to Netflix, both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN can access far more libraries. This includes the most popular ones, such as the US, UK, Germany, Canada, and Japan. On the other hand, TunnelBear’s performance is inconsistent and it experiences challenges when connecting to libraries in Australia, Japan, and even Canada. Although, when switched to different servers in the US and UK, the libraries are accessible.

ExpressVPN effortlessly connects to various other popular platforms, like Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. TunnelBear also connects to these platforms, except for BBC iPlayer or Disney+, but it’s worth noting that connecting to these platforms with TunnelBear is not always consistent.

Security

When comparing the security features of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN, both VPNs have the necessary functions to maintain your online safety. However, ExpressVPN offers additional features that may be appealing to privacy enthusiasts.

In terms of location, ExpressVPN has an advantage over TunnelBear, since the latter operates in Canada, making it a member of the 5-Eyes Alliance. This might not be an ideal option for users who want to avoid government monitoring.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the 5-Eyes alliance jurisdiction and is not affected by data retention laws. Unfortunately, this is a privacy issue that emerged in recent years. One of its executives was involved in a cyber-security espionage scandal, which certainly shook the VPN’s reputation with users worldwide, even though the scandal didn’t directly involve the VPN. 

Privacy

Both VPN services use AES-256 encryption to keep your data safe from unauthorized access by attackers and other third parties. Whether you are at home or on a public Wi-Fi network, this encryption safeguards your online activity. However, ExpressVPN offers an additional layer of security with its SHA-512 hashing, which has more advanced security features than TunnelBear SHA-256.

ExpressVPN also has an advantage over TunnelBear when it comes to privacy since it is based in a jurisdiction that prioritizes user privacy. This is a result of strict laws and policies against the collection of online activity data.

In contrast, TunnelBear is based in a  privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction that is part of the 5-Eyes alliance. As a result, the government can request Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to collect user data and share it with other alliance members.

Configuration

TunnelBear and ExpressVPN use shared address allocation where multiple users share an IP address while connecting to a server. This improves your privacy by making it difficult to track individual user activities.

Neither VPN provides anti-DDoS servers or the option to purchase a dedicated IP address. However, both VPNs can handle small-to-medium scale DDoS attacks due to their large server networks. That said, ExpressVPN is more effective than TunnelBear due to its large server network.

ExpressVPN includes a NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall, while TunnelBear does not. This means VPN encrypts your traffic, making it difficult for your router to identify the device each packet is intended for. With a NAT firewall, VPN directs encrypted traffic to the correct destination and blocks suspicious or unauthorized packets.

Speed

When choosing a VPN, speed is an important aspect to consider. With the new protocols, slow VPNs are becoming a thing of the past. TunnelBear and ExpressVPN offer multiple tunneling protocols to choose from. TunnelBear utilizes the next-gen WireGuard protocol, as well as OpenVPN and IKEv2. ExpressVPN has its own Lightway protocol and also provides IKEv2 and OpenVPN. While TunnelBear is adequate for several online activities, ExpressVPN is a better choice for activities that require seamless uploading experiences, such as gaming, video conferencing, and torrenting.

Customer Support

TunnelBear offers good customer support. If any assistance is needed, you can submit a ticket or write an email, with a response time of just a few hours. Additionally, they provide a searchable knowledge base to assist users in finding solutions to common problems.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers more comprehensive customer support. Apart from reaching out through email, they provide 24/7 live chat, which is a feature not commonly found in free VPN providers. They have knowledgeable staffs who offer instant responses to raised issues.

Split Tunneling

It’s unnecessary to encrypt all web traffic, especially for non-sensitive information. Split tunneling, a feature that allows you to access both public and private networks simultaneously, is available on both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN. While it works across all platforms on ExpressVPN, split tunneling works only on Android applications in TunnelBear.

VPN Logging

Both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear have a no-log policy that has been independently audited. However, there are some expectations for both VPNs based on these policies. ExpressVPN collects minimal data to improve its services, like the number of successful connections or the amount of data transferred. Users have the choice to opt out of this data collection if they prefer.

TunnelBear, on the other hand, does not provide users with the option to opt out of data collection. It collects and stores some personal data, such as email address, total data used, OS version, and last name on the payment card. If you opt to grab special promotions, you’ll also need to provide your Twitter handle, which is another bit of valuable personnel information that TunnelBear will retain. While both VPNs have audited no-log policies, ExpressVPN has more consistency with its promise not to collect any data, making it a more secure choice overall.

User-Friendly VPN
TunnelBear VPN | Wifi & Internet Privacy, Unlimited Data, 5 Devices | 1 Year | PC Code
$16.99
  • Currently only available in the U.S.A.
  • AES-256 encryption
  • No logging policy
  • Routine security audits
  • Offers 24/7 support
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/28/2023 08:29 pm GMT

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: 9 Must-Know Facts

  • ExpressVPN has a wider server network and covers more countries than TunnelBear.
  • ExpressVPN offers a 24/7 live chat with knowledgeable and responsive agents, while TunnelBear relies on a web contact form to handle inquiries.
  • ExpressVPN offers more privacy since it’s based in a jurisdiction that prioritizes user privacy, whereas TunnelBear is based in a privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction that is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance.
  • Both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN offer strong security features, like AES-256 encryption. However, ExpressVPN provides enhanced SHA-512 hashing, a NAT firewall, and split tunneling across all platforms, not just Android.
  • Express VPN limits you to 5 simultaneous device connections regardless of the plan selected, whereas, you can connect unlimited devices on TunnelBear.
  • ExpressVPN includes a NAT (Network Address Translation) firewall, while TunnelBear doesn’t.
  • TunnelBear has a free version, with a 500MB browsing limit per month, whereas ExpressVPN does not offer a free version.
  • ExpressVPN unblocks popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube TV, something that TunnelBear still struggles with.
  • Unlike TunnelBear, ExpressVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee the moment you sign up for a plan, allowing for a risk-free trial period.

TunnelBear vs. ExpressVPN: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

TunnelBear is a user-friendly VPN service that is best suited for casual internet users. Its free tier offers more features than most competitors. However, trying to cater to both free and paid users results in slower speeds and higher server loads, thus the service isn’t seamless for the paying users. It also lacks live chat support, a standard feature for most major paid VPNs.

In contrast, ExpressVPN has a much bigger network and covers more countries than TunnelBear. It also unblocks several major streaming platforms abroad, something that TunnelBear struggles with. As a result, ExpressVPN emerges a better option for people looking for a robust VPN service.

Finally, while both services are secure, ExpressVPN intentionally chose a location outside of 5-Eyes jurisdiction. This prevents any other country from collecting and sharing the little information it collects about its users.

  1. TunnelBear VPN | Wifi & Internet Privacy, Unlimited Data, 5 Devices | 1 Year | PC Code
    $16.99
    • Currently only available in the U.S.A.
    • AES-256 encryption
    • No logging policy
    • Routine security audits
    • Offers 24/7 support
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 08:29 pm GMT
  2. ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router
    $189.90
    • Built-in VPN when used with an active ExpressVPN subscription (sold separately)
    • Connect to multiple VPN locations simultaneously
    • When the VPN is in use, enjoy speeds of up to 180 Mbps for multiple devices at once
    • ExpressVPN protection 24/7 for any connected device
    • Covers up to 1,600 sq. ft.
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/29/2023 01:06 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ExpressVPN better than TunnelBear?

Yes. ExpressVPN surpasses TunnelBear in several aspects. Firstly, it has a larger network and more servers located in more countries than TunnelBear. It also operates outside of the 5-Eyes jurisdiction, which is a plus in terms of privacy. ExpressVPN, unlike TunnelBear, provides split tunneling across all platforms, not just on Android. Additionally, it can unblock popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu, and YouTube Tv, something that TunnelBear still struggles with.

Is ExpressVPN faster than TunnelBear VPN?

Yes. If speed is crucial to you, ExpressVPN is your go-to VPN provider. It offers unlimited bandwidth, ensuring your connection won’t slow down even when connected to a distant server. Additionally, you can try it out risk-free, as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Does ExpressVPN offer unlimited device connections?

Unlike TunnelBear, ExpressVPN allows only five simultaneous connections, regardless of your subscription plan. It’s worth noting that with ExpressVPN, you can connect unlimited devices, but you are limited to only five simultaneous connections. If you want more than five devices, there is a simple fix. You can use your ExpressVPN on your router to connect unlimited connections, as the router counts as only one connection.

Which VPN is more secure, TunnelBear or ExpressVPN?

Both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN are considered to be highly secure VPN services that offer a range of security features. However, when it comes to comparing the two, ExpressVPN is generally considered to be more secure. ExpressVPN offers military-grade encryption using the AES-256 encryption algorithm, which is one of the strongest encryption methods available. It also has a strict no-logs policy, which means it does not collect any user data that could be used to identify or track its users. Moreover, ExpressVPN provides enhanced SHA-512 hashing, a NAT firewall, and split tunneling across all platforms, not just Android.

TunnelBear, on the other hand, uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm as well, but it collects some basic user data like the user’s email address and payment information. While TunnelBear does have a no-logs policy, it does collect some data for troubleshooting purposes.

What is the disadvantage of ExpressVPN?

One drawback with ExpressVPN is that it’s not a cheap VPN, compared with TunnelBear and other rivals. With regular pricing, it ranges from $6.67 – $12.95 per month or $99.95 per year. While it’s costly compared to its rivals, here are some of the factors that make it stand out:

  • Offer 24/7 live support
  • Full-time access to streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Faster speeds, thanks to its Lightway protocol.
  • Secure and reliable apps with built-in leak protection.

Which VPN is better for torrenting, TunnelBear or ExpressVPN?

When it comes to torrenting, ExpressVPN is generally considered to be the better choice of the two. This is because ExpressVPN offers fast download speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and a large network of servers that are optimized for P2P file sharing. In addition to these features, ExpressVPN also offers advanced security features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy, which ensures that your online activity remains private and secure while torrenting.

To top