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 Max and Netflix U.S.) and has slow connection speeds, as you can read in our TunnelBear review.
- TunnelBear is a great free VPN, but it has its shortcomings.
- You only get 2GB of data 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 four 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 four 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.
08/23/2023 Facts checked
Updated Windscribe pricing: the paid plan increased to $5.75 per month from $4.08. The Build-a-Plan minimum purchase also increased to $3 from $2. Also updated Windscribe’s free data cap to 15GB due to it offering 5GB extra permanently when you tweet about the service.
03/21/2023 Facts checked
TunnelBear changed its free data amount to 2GB per month, up from 500MB per month.
04/24/2023 Facts checked
We removed Speedify in favor of PrivadoVPN, a much more secure service.
08/08/2023 Facts checked
Updated to include correct information about TunnelBear’s free data limit.
TunnelBear still offers a free plan. The free plan lets you use the VPN on one device and offers 2GB of free data.
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
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency2 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, cash
- : 10
Average speedDownload Speed92 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency5 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Amazon, Paygarden, Apple Pay, Google Pay
- : Unlimited
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : 5
What Makes the Best TunnelBear Alternative?
TunnelBear is largely popular because of its free plan, which offers 2GB of free data. For that reason, we’ve put particular emphasis on trustworthy VPNs with free plans, of which there aren’t many.
- Windscribe — Fastest free VPN
- ProtonVPN — Feature-rich free VPN
- PrivadoVPN — Secure, though middling free VPN
- ExpressVPN — Best VPN overall
- Private Internet Access — Pocket-friendly VPN
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.
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free, $3 per month minimum checkout value with the flexible build-a-plan option
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Generous free plan
- Fast connection speeds
- Flexible pricing option
- 3-day money-back guarantee
Windscribe is the best free VPN, the best free Netflix 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 15GB of monthly data and access to server locations in 10 countries. Unlike TunnelBear, Windscribe can also access almost all major streaming platforms.
15GB 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.
The minimum checkout value for the option is $3. 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 $3 is a terrific deal.
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 $5.75 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.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
More details about ProtonVPN:
- Pricing: Free, $4.99 per month
- Provider website: protonvpn.com
- Excellent UI
- Secure core servers
- Access big streaming apps
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 — one of the best ProtonVPN alternatives), 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.
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.
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.
More details about PrivadoVPN:
- Pricing: Free, $4.99 per month (one-year plan)
- Provider website: privadovpn.com
- Free plan with unlimited speed
- Based in Switzerland
- Torrenting servers
- No advanced features
- Poor customer support
- Clunky mobile UI
PrivadoVPN is a secure and free VPN that’s based in Switzerland, one of the most privacy-friendly countries. Although its speeds are decent, even on the free plan, it’s really nothing to write home about. With only 10GB of data per month, it might not be enough for streaming, though it’s enough for browsing the web and some light social media use.
Aside from having the requisite kill switch and split tunneling, PrivadoVPN lacks any advanced features, and its customer support leaves a lot to be desired. Not to mention its mobile app, which can feel cumbersome to use (the desktop app works just fine, though).
Secure Swiss VPN
With the VPN based in Switzerland, your data is protected by the best privacy laws in the world. Plus, PrivadoVPN offers only secure VPN protocols, including the tried-and-tested OpenVPN and IKEv2, as well as the modern and fast WireGuard protocol.
PrivadoVPN’s free plan comes with only one simultaneous connection, leaving you to choose whether to protect your computer or mobile device. If you want to raise that limit to 10 connections and get rid of the data limit, you can get it for $4.99 on a yearly plan. Plus, you can try it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unlimited GB
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $6.66 per month
- Provider website: expressvpn.com
- Fast connection speeds
- Top-notch security
- In-app split tunneling
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 doesn’t come cheap. Its best value is a one-year plan that costs $6.66 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
More details about Private Internet Access:
- Pricing: $2.19 per month
- Provider website: privateinternetaccess.com
- Pocket-friendly VPN
- Features like proxy & MACE
- User-friendly interface
- 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.
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.
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 three-year plan that costs $2.19 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.
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.
Since TunnelBear is slow and fails to unblock some popular streaming websites, you might want to look for a better alternative to TunnelBear. The four VPNs listed here include excellent free and paid alternatives that beat TunnelBear in multiple aspects.
For similar guides, check out ExpressVPN alternatives, NordVPN alternatives, ZenMate alternatives and IPVanish alternatives articles.
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.