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The Best TunnelBear Alternative for 2022: Finding a Better Free VPN Service

Most free VPNs are insecure and unreliable. TunnelBear is an exception, but it's slow and often fails to bypass geo-restrictions on major streaming websites. In this guide, we help you choose a TunnelBear alternative that’s faster and offers better features.

Arjun Ruparelia
By Arjun Ruparelia (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-07-20T20:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

TunnelBear is an excellent VPN with a great free plan. However, since McAfee acquired TunnelBear in 2018, there have been concerns that it would start logging user data given that it’s a U.S. company. If you’re not a fan of TunnelBear, you might want to look for a TunnelBear alternative.

The privacy issue isn’t the only concern with TunnelBear, though. If you need a VPN to access geoblocked streaming platforms, TunnelBear offers little help, if any. It often fails to get into major streaming platforms (it does unblock HBO Max and Netflix U.S.) and has slow connection speeds. 

Key Takeaways:

  • TunnelBear is a great free VPN, but it has its shortcomings.
  • You only get 500MB of data (1GB if you tweet about the service) with TunnelBear. It’s also slow and fails to unblock some major streaming websites.
  • If you’re looking for an alternative to TunnelBear, we’ve got five for you in this guide.
  • Windscribe is the best free alternative to TunnelBear, but if you need a more feature-rich service, consider ExpressVPN.

If you’ve made up your mind to switch your VPN service provider, we’ve listed five of the best TunnelBear alternatives below to help you decide on your new VPN, whether it’s a free option like Windscribe or a premium one like ExpressVPN.

  • Many VPNs are better than TunnelBear. A free VPN like Windscribe or Speedify can help you improve streaming experience with better speeds. If you’re looking for a premium service, ExpressVPN is the best alternative to TunnelBear.

  • TunnelBear still offers a free plan. The free plan lets you use the VPN on one device and offers 500MB of free data (1GB if you tweet about the service).

  • You can’t get unlimited data for free on the TunnelBear VPN. You need to switch to a paid plan for unlimited data. If you want unlimited data for free, consider ProtonVPN.

The Top TunnelBear Alternatives

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    $5.75 / month (save 36%) (All Plans)3-day money-back guarantee
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What Makes the Best TunnelBear Alternative?

TunnelBear is largely popular because of its free plan. The VPN offers 500MB of free data, which can be increased to 1GB by tweeting about TunnelBear. For that reason, we’ve put particular emphasis on trustworthy VPNs with free plans, of which there aren’t many.

  1. Windscribe — Fastest free VPN
  2. ProtonVPN — Feature-rich free VPN
  3. ExpressVPN — Best VPN overall
  4. Private Internet Access — Pocket-friendly VPN
  5. Speedify — Free VPN with consistent speeds

You may need a TunnelBear alternative for three reasons. First, there are security concerns given its U.S.-based parent company. Second, it has limited ability to access blocked content on major streaming platforms. Third, even if you manage to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming websites, the slow connection speeds will deliver a terrible streaming experience.

When you select a TunnelBear alternative, you want a service that has none of those issues. All the services we discuss in this guide offer excellent speeds. Of course, you should also look for other features before settling on a VPN provider, such as unlimited bandwidth, DNS leak protection and the ability to access all the major platforms.

The 5 Best TunnelBear Alternatives

We’ve included free and paid alternatives on the list. Some of the paid alternatives to TunnelBear listed below also offer free service, but if the free version is inadequate for your needs, you can always upgrade to a paid plan.

1. Windscribe

windscribe
Windscribe is the best free VPN.

More details about Windscribe:

  • Pricing: Free, $2 per month minimum checkout value with the flexible build-a-plan option
  • Provider website: windscribe.com

Pros:

  • Generous free plan
  • Fast connection speeds
  • Flexible pricing option

Cons:

  • 3-day money-back guarantee

Windscribe is the best free VPN, and per our recent VPN speed comparison, it’s also one of the fastest. If you’ve used TunnelBear for a while, you’ll find Windscribe’s performance a lot better, even on the free version.

The free service offers up to 10GB of monthly data and access to server locations in 10 countries. Unlike TunnelBear, Windscribe can also access almost all major streaming platforms. 

10GB might get you through a month if you stream a few times a week, but if you stream in 4K regularly, you might need more data. Fortunately, you can get unlimited data and access to Windscribe’s R.O.B.E.R.T. (learn more about R.O.B.E.R.T. and other Windscribe features in our Windscribe review) using the build-a-plan option. 

Flexible Pricing

The minimum checkout value for the option is $2. You can add server locations for $1 per month each. If you also spend $1 per month on getting unlimited data and access to R.O.B.E.R.T., you’ll satisfy the minimum checkout value parameter (or you can just add another server location). Unlimited data on a VPN that offers excellent security and online privacy for $2 is a terrific deal.

windscribe home page
Windscribe offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

If you need access to more server locations, you might want to consider the full-access plan. The one-year subscription is the best value at $4.08 per month. Considering Windscribe’s performance, the price seems reasonable. However, if you want to test Windscribe’s paid service, you can use its three-day money-back guarantee.

2. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN app
ProtonVPN offers unlimited free data.

More details about ProtonVPN:

  • Pricing: Free, cheapest plan costs $4.99 per month
  • Provider website: protonvpn.com

Pros:

  • Excellent UI
  • Secure core servers
  • Access big streaming apps

Cons:

  • Slow

ProtonVPN is another reliable free service that offers unlimited bandwidth, a strong lineup of features and an intuitive interface. It also has one of the most transparent privacy policies of any VPN. 

You only get access to three free servers on ProtonVPN’s free plan (compared to TunnelBear’s 48), but that’s a small trade-off given the slew of extra features you get.

You can get into almost all major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (find it on our best VPN for Hulu guide). It’s not the best VPN for 4K streaming, though, since it’s slower than most services on the list. 

However, you can stream in SD or HD without a lot of buffering, especially after you switch to the IKEv2 security protocol (though IKEv2 isn’t available in the desktop app). Learn more about the service in our ProtonVPN review.

Feature-Rich VPN

ProtonVPN offers many features. From basics like a kill switch (blocks internet traffic when the VPN connection drops abruptly) and custom DNS settings to “secure core” servers that work like the double-hop VPN servers you find on NordVPN.

ProtonVPN for Netflix
ProtonVPN unblocks almost all major streaming websites.

While ProtonVPN is popular because it’s a free VPN, it also has several paid plans. Its two-year plan for $4.99 per month is the best value. While that doesn’t make ProtonVPN the cheapest VPN service, it’s still a great service. Plus, you can try it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. ExpressVPN

expressvpn
ExpressVPN offers lightning fast connection speeds.

More details about ExpressVPN:

  • Pricing: cheapest plan costs $6.66 per month (15-months plan)
  • Provider website: expressvpn.com

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Top-notch security
  • In-app split tunneling

Cons:

  • Expensive

ExpressVPN is our best VPN service overall. It offers an unbeatable feature set and delivers excellent performance with fast connection speeds and the ability to bypass geoblocks on all major streaming platforms.

With ExpressVPN, you get all the basic features, like unlimited bandwidth, a kill switch, military-grade encryption and app-based split tunneling, but that’s barely scratching the surface. ExpressVPN is miles ahead of TunnelBear in almost anything you compare between the two services. 

For example, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming and the most secure VPN. Learn more about the service in our ExpressVPN review.

Best VPN for Streaming

ExpressVPN’s streaming capabilities are unmatched, making it the best alternative to TunnelBear for cord-cutters. While TunnelBear has a tough time accessing geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN can unblock all major platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.

When you use TunnelBear, you’ll also likely spend a few minutes waiting for the videos to load. This isn’t an issue with ExpressVPN because it’s one of the fastest VPNs. Even when you stream content in 4K, you’ll experience no buffering, just as if it were a local session.

expressvpn homepage
ExpressVPN is the best VPN overall.

ExpressVPN doesn’t come cheap. Its best value is a one-year plan that costs $6.67 per month. However, if you don’t mind spending a little more for top-notch performance, ExpressVPN is the best VPN provider you’ll find. If you don’t like the service, you can claim a full refund using the 30-day money-back guarantee.

4. Private Internet Access

pia
PIA offers an excellent and detailed user interface.

More details about Private Internet Access:

Pros:

  • Pocket-friendly VPN
  • Features like proxy & MACE
  • User-friendly interface

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on Hulu & BBC iPlayer

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers a detailed but user-friendly interface. Most VPNs keep the app’s home screen clean for ease of use. However, PIA takes a contrarian approach and adds details like the protocol you’re using, bandwidth usage, connection time and other details right on the main screen of its docked UI.

PIA also offers 10 simultaneous connections, compared to only five on TunnelBear’s paid plans. With PIA, you also get better connection speeds and security features. For example, you can use a proxy on PIA to make your connection more secure. Learn more about everything that PIA offers in our comprehensive Private Internet Access review.

Additional Features

PIA has more security features that deserve a mention, too. It has two kill switches, one of which is a regular kill switch and the other is an advanced kill switch that blocks all internet traffic unless your VPN connection is active. 

PIA also comes with a powerful ad blocker called MACE that locks DNS requests without looking at your blocklist. Learn how it works in our DNS records guide.

get pia
PIA is one of the most cost-effective VPNs.

PIA is the lowest-cost VPN provider on the list, except for the free VPN services, of course. The best value PIA offers is a two-year plan that costs $2.03 per month. That’s an attractive price given PIA’s feature set and performance. However, if you’re not entirely confident, you can test PIA with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. Speedify

speedify app
Speedify is one of the fastest free VPNs.

More details about Speedify:

  • Pricing: cheapest plan costs $3.99 per month (two-year plan)
  • Provider website: speedify.com

Pros:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Channel Bonding

Cons:

  • Offer few security features
  • Collects user data

Unlike most free VPNs, Speedify offers a good feature set, has no cap on speed and supports streaming and P2P sharing on select servers. The free version gets you access to servers in over 30 countries, which is more than our best free VPN Windscribe but less than TunnelBear.

However, you only get 2GB of free data, meaning you can browse the internet, but streaming might require switching to a paid plan.

Speedify is one of the few free VPNs that supports the ChaCha20 cipher. You can use AES-128 GCM, too, but ChaCha20 can help improve speeds on a mobile device. Speedify also lets you split your internet traffic into unencrypted and encrypted data with split tunneling or set up the kill switch to ensure complete security if you’re on a paid plan. 

However, Speedify isn’t the best VPN if you want to ensure privacy. It claims to have a no-logs policy, but its privacy policy states that Speedify collects your IP address, device ID and connection timestamps. Learn more about Speedify in our Speedify review.

Fast Speeds With Channel Bonding Technology

As the name suggests, Speedify puts a lot of emphasis on fast speeds. It uses channel bonding technology, which helps use the internet via multiple channels — WiFi, wired and cellular connections — simultaneously. This technology makes Speedify one of the fastest VPNs, matching the download speeds of the best VPNs, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Speedify 2022 homepage
Speedify uses channel bonding technology for fast speeds.

Speedify is a free VPN service, but if you need unlimited data and access to more servers, you can upgrade. Its best value is a three-year plan that costs $4.99 per month. That’s more expensive than some premium VPNs, like NordVPN’s Standard Plan, but if you like Speedify’s free version and want to test the paid plan, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is Windscribe Better Than TunnelBear?

Yes, Windscribe is better than TunnelBear. It’s actually the best free VPN. Windscribe offers excellent connection speeds, more security options, a better server spread and unlimited simultaneous connections. 

It’s hard to beat, especially when compared with other free VPNs, including TunnelBear. Learn more about the difference between the two services in our Windscribe vs TunnelBear comparison.

Final Thoughts

Since TunnelBear is slow and fails to unblock some popular streaming websites, you might want to look for a better alternative to TunnelBear. The five VPNs listed here include excellent free and paid alternatives that beat TunnelBear in multiple aspects.

Have you switched from TunnelBear to a different service before? If yes, which one, and how was your experience? Let us know in the comments below. As always, thank you for reading.

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