NordVPN vs TunnelBear
NordVPN is amongst the most popular VPN providers today, offering ultra-fast connections and thousands of servers all over the world. TunnelBear isn’t as well known as NordVPN, but it’s an extremely promising VPN with lots to offer. We tested the two side by side to see which offers the better VPN.
While TunnelBear is improving, and fast, it still has some way to go to match up to the finished product that is NordVPN.
Nord offers greater speed, streaming, connection consistency and security however, if you’re looking for an entry level VPN that is well priced then TunnelBear might just be the VPN for you.
|Encryption||AES-256 with 4096-bit DH key||
AES-256 with 4096-bit DH key
Average Server Speed
|115 Mbps||52 Mbps|
|24/7 live chat and email||
|Free Trial||No||Yes (free plan)
|Pricing||Starts at $3.71/month||
Starts at $9.99/month
Money Back Guarantee
NordVPN vs TunnelBear - Full Comparison
Speed and coverage are arguably the most important factors when it comes to selecting a VPN, and NordVPN does a good job at that as it has over 5000 servers in 59 countries. We used a 100Mbps plan to test its speed and we’ve noticed a minor 15% reduction from baseline speed, which is pretty good in VPN world.
TunnelBear doesn’t specify exactly how many servers it has to offer, but it does specify that the servers are in 23 countries. On our 100Mbps internet, we noticed a very significant reduction in speed.
Typically, a 100Mbps is able to stream 4K video content with ease, but with TunnelBear activated, we could barely stream 1440p content. NordVPN is clearly the winner of this round.
If your reason for getting a VPN is improved security, then the number of servers a VPN offers may not be an important issue for you – provided it offers enough to maintain your internet speed, you shouldn’t have any problems with a smaller number of server locations.
However, for many people a VPN is not just for security, it’s a method of accessing streaming content that is not available in their country – and the more countries your VPN has servers in, the more content you will be able to access.
In this regard, NordVPN is the clear victor – with over 5,500 servers in 59 countries around the world, it is one of the market leaders when it comes to global server coverage. By comparison, the 22 countries Tunnelbear provides servers in is quite limiting if you wish to access region-specific content.
In such a competitive market, VPN providers are constantly coming up with innovative features to entice customers – and NordVPN and Tunnelbear are no different.
Both of these VPNs include a kill switch, an essential function that allows you to disconnect automatically from the internet if you lose your VPN connection to ensure your online activity remains private. The two services also offer high-level AES-256 encryption designed to protect your data, adding an extra layer of security – and they both have a no-logs policy, meaning none of your data is stored or shared.
NordVPN now allows you to connect up to six devices simultaneously, which is ideal if you are in a shared house or have a number of different devices you use to connect to the internet. Tunnelbear’s provision is just short of this, allowing for five devices to be connected at once – and in such a tight category, that is just enough to give the win to NordVPN.
TunnelBear has a lot to offer, but when it comes to unblocking streaming services, it falls short compared to NordVPN. It struggles to unblock major streaming platforms, including any Netflix library. However, it does well with smaller streaming services.
NordVPN, on the contrary, is one of the best VPN services when it comes to unblocking streaming platforms. You can use it to unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, iPlayer, and many more. It’s also worth mentioning that all of NordVPN’s servers are able to access Netflix. NordVPN redirects you to Netflix US automatically if it’s unable to access a certain library.
This is one area where NordVPN really comes into its own, while Tunnelbear does not offer an unblocking feature for streaming apps.
P2P file sharing is a totally legal activity, but it’s quite controversial since a lot of people tend to use it to share copyrighted content, including games, movies, apps, and others. This can result in producers and studios suing certain ISPs for allowing P2P activities, which is why many ISPs prevent torrenting.
With the aid of a reliable VPN, you can bypass your ISP’s blockages and engage in P2P activity without any problems, as it’ll mask your connection with potent encryption, hiding your actual IP address in the process and assigning you a temporary address.
Both NordVPN and TunnelBear support P2P activity. NordVPN allows torrenting activities in 46 countries, whereas TunnelBear recommends torrenting in certain countries, including Germany, Sweden, US, UK, Canada, and Romania.
Once again, NordVPN’s larger server base gives it the edge in this category, with a number of servers optimised for P2P usage to ensure fast, reliable connections.
When trying to determine whether a VPN service is good for gaming or not, you must consider its latency. VPN services are notorious for increasing latency (ping), which is why most gamers avoid using them while gaming. The greater the latency, the more unresponsive the server will be and the less enjoyable the whole gaming experience will be.
Throughout our tests, NordVPN displayed considerably lower latency than TunnelBear, which makes it a more reliable service for gaming. Additionally, NordVPN’s larger server base is a key difference-maker. With more servers in more countries, you can access a wider range of region-specific games, while the higher speeds offered ensure you can play games while downloading or streaming other content.
In fact, if you look up any list of the best VPNs for gaming, including ours, you’re likely to find NordVPN at the top of that list.
NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial period and a 30-day money-back guarantee. TunnelBear has a free version that you can use without any financial commitments. However, you’ll be limited to 500MB/month.
TunnelBear is one of the most budget-friendly VPN services available. It has three pricing plans. Its 1-month subscription plan costs $9.99, whereas the 1-year plan will cost you $4.99/m. Pretty affordable, huh? The platform also offers a 3-year subscription plan for only $3.33/m!
NordVPN, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive than its competitor, as it’s one of the very best VPNs out there. Its monthly plan is listed at $11.95, whereas its 6-month plan will cost you $9.00/m, which is considerably more than TunnelBear’s 1-year plan. To add, the platform offers a 2-year subscription plan that’ll cost you $3.71/m.
Pros & Cons of NordVPN
Pros & Cons of TunnelBear
Is it legal to own a VPN?
It is legal to own and operate a VPN in many countries including the United States, Australia, UK and Canada. However, this is on the basis that you use it only for legal purposes.
I’m on a budget – which one is more affordable?
As mentioned above, Tunnelbear offers a limited free option that, if you’re an infrequent user, could be sufficient for your needs. Both NordVPN and Tunnelbear offer premium services with a wider range of functions; NordVPN’s prices start at $11.95 per month and drop to as little as $5.75 per month if you subscribe for a 12-month plan, while Tunnelbear is currently offering massive reductions, with a year-long plan costing just $39.99.
Is there any support if something goes wrong?
NordVPN’s 24-hour live support function ensures you should never be kept waiting for a response for long. Tunnelbear doesn’t offer live chat, however it does provide a detailed help section on the company website as well as support via email.
TunnelBear is a solid VPN which is likely most suited to the entry level market and cost-conscious consumers, but for heavy streamers and professional gamers, NordVPN is the way to go.