10 Best VPN Extensions for Chrome (Free & Paid)

best vpn extensions for chrome

Whenever you use the internet, your browser is always collecting and sending information about you to every single website you visit.

Some of this information includes data such as:

  • Your IP address
  • Your location
  • Your operating system
  • Your computer hardware
  • Whether any other devices are connected to the same network

While you may not care whether Google knows this information about you, what about other websites that are malicious in nature? When you browse the internet with an unprotected browser, your personal information is ripe for the picking.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though—there are plenty of brilliant extensions for Google Chrome, the world’s most popular internet browser, that you can use to protect your information when you’re online.

These extensions are all offered by leading VPN companies you may have already heard of.

As general consumer awareness surrounding privacy has grown, so has the use of VPNs. There are now several high-quality VPN services out there that you can use to cover your tracks online, hide your information, and unblock regional restrictions through streaming sites such as Netflix.

With just a few clicks on your browser, you can protect yourself from Google tracking your every move.

The 10 Best VPN Extensions for Google Chrome

These are the 10 VPN Chrome extensions that we have come across during our VPN review process and think are the best. Ease-of-use, superior features, and solid privacy protection all factored into our decision.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is by far the best all-around VPN service that delivers fast, secure, and consistently reliable service with its thousands of servers located in over 150 different countries.

With a valid ExpressVPN subscription, you can add their extension to Chrome in a matter of seconds and benefit from comprehensive protection of your Chrome-based internet activity. It’s worth noting, though, that ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension will not work unless you have their desktop app installed.

The Chrome extension itself performs very well, just as you would expect with any ExpressVPN product.

At the time of this review, ExpressVPN boasts having over 501,000 active installs.

Although they do not offer a free trial, their entire VPN product comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. This means you can take ExpressVPN for a spin risk-free and get a refund if you’re not impressed—unlikely!

If you do decide to subscribe, their cheapest plan comes to $8.32 per month for a one-year subscription billed annually at $99.84.

Try ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is almost exactly the same as ExpressVPN, the only difference being that NordVPN is just slightly less expensive.

Just like ExpressVPN, you need a valid subscription to NordVPN in order to use their Google Chrome extension. It can be installed as a standalone extension though—you do not need to have NordVPN installed on your desktop to use it.

Service-wise, there are thousands of servers located across a smaller selection of countries. Performance is consistently great—you don’t lose much speed up or down—and they operate a proven anti-logging policy.

At the time of writing this review, NordVPN has over 236,000 active installs.

You can try out NordVPN with a 7-day free trial. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but go ahead and use their free trial before making a purchase. 7 days is enough time to decide whether you want to buy a subscription or not.

Their lowest price starts at just $2.99 per month on their 3-year plan for a grand total of $107.64.

Try NordVPN

3. Windscribe

Windscribe offers the full and unrestricted version of its service on the Google Chrome store for free. There is a catch, however—you can only use 10GB worth of data per month unless you pay for a subscription.

We aren’t going to pretend that 10GB of data isn’t a lot though, it is a respectable amount of data that you can easily get a lot of use out of. That said, if you’re someone who wants to remain connected all the time and/or stream a lot of content, it won’t be enough.

So far as their service goes, Windscribe offers strong encryption and a decent number of servers while performing at a level that’s good enough for most activities.

Windscribe VPN is quite popular as a freemium VPN – the Chrome web store shows there are nearly 900,000 users.

Windscribe Pro is available from $9.00 per month or $4.08 per month when billed annually at $49.

Try Windscribe

4. TunnelBear

TunnelBear offers a free version of their premium VPN service that offers access to their Google Chrome extension.

The service itself is very good. It has all the features you would expect–it doesn’t log anything, and it doesn’t slow down your speeds.

The Chrome extension is very easy to use… it certainly passes the newbie test so far as we’re concerned! One drawback, however, is that you only get 500MB of free data per month. This may sound like a lot, but it wouldn’t take a regular internet user long to burn through, even if you abstain from streaming content.

Although there’s a cap, it seems over 843,000 users still enjoy this VPN extension on Chrome.

If you like TunnelBear after trying it out, you can buy unlimited data on a month-to-month basis for $9.99, or $59.99 when billed annually.

Try TunnelBear

5. Ivacy

It only takes a matter of minutes, if not seconds, to install Ivacy on Chrome. You don’t need to install their desktop app for it to work either.

Ivacy is renowned for providing fast and consistently reliable service with over 1,000 servers located across 100+ locations. The breadth of locations is nearly as vast as those offered by ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

When you connect via the Chrome app, you are automatically assigned to an optimum server, but you can easily switch to a different one. The app itself is nifty, fast, and simple to use.

The pricing for their premium service starts at $9.95 monthly. But if you usign up for 2 years, you get a crazy 77% discount. The price drops to a mere $2.25 per month if you get it now.

Try Ivacy

6. ibVPN

Don’t let the missing icon fool you, it’s a great VPN!

To install and use Betternet, you need to create an account. Once you’re logged in, you can manage the VPN quite easily; one click connect and even a nice server picker.

You can sign up for ibVPN for $4.95 per month. And you can even try it for free for 24 hours to get a feel for this VPN Chrome extension.

If you want to sign up for a yearly payment plan, it averages to $3.08 per month. Cheap!

Try ibVPN

7. CyberGhost

CyberGhost offers a free proxy for Google Chrome that installs very quickly and is easy to use—there’s only an on/off button and a menu you can use to switch locations.

While it’s free, fast, and easy to use, you’re very limited in server choice—at the time of writing, there are only four locations available—and the performance isn’t as good as their flagship desktop app. When connected, all your traffic is encrypted, and your information is safe.

CyberGhost says it cannot guarantee that their Chrome extension will protect against leaking when using the free version… this seems like a strange way of persuading people to subscribe to their premium service, but they are quite reputable.

Almost 100,000 users!

Try CyberGhost

8. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is one of the cheapest VPNs available at a budget-friendly price of $6.95 per month on a rolling monthly basis. This comes down to a tiny $2.91 per month when you purchase a two-year subscription at $69.95.

Their pricing doesn’t mean they compromise on performance either.

We’re big fans of PIA—although they’re based in the U.S., they came out on top of two court cases where authorities failed to force them to disclose information about their users. Given that PIA has an anti-logging policy, the information they did have probably wasn’t very interesting or substantial.

Their Chrome extension is just as fast and simple to use as their flagship desktop VPN, and they use the latest standards in encryption and tunneling to protect your data.


9. Hide.me

For some reason, hide.me doesn’t have their Chrome extension on Google’s Chrome web store. And don’t be fooled by the one being offered by hideme.io – it’s not reliable and is not the same as the one being offered by hide.me.

The nice thing is, hide.me also has a freemium model – you can use hide.me for free. It comes with a 2GB data transfer cap.

You will definitely want to upgrade, in which case, you should remember their monthly subscription cost – $4.99.

If you pay for the most expensive subscription, it’s $9.99 per month.
Try hide.me

10. GoBestVPN Search Extension

To help you in your search for the best VPN products online, we created a simple extension that lets you search for reviews on your Chrome browser.

If you want quick access to unbiased reviews on over 100+ VPNs, simply install the tool and you’re good to go!

Get GoBestVPN Search Extension



Nearly 1 million vulnerable users.

DotVPN’s free Chrome extension is very basic and limited. It can still be used as a quick and simple solution when you need to temporarily cover yourself online. It’s by no means restricted to the point where it’s rendered useless, that’s for sure.

You do need to sign up if you want to use DotVPN for free and this means you’ll receive marketing emails with DotVPN trying to get you to sign up for their premium service.

DotVPN’s Chrome extension is slow. Don’t even try to stream anything. Also, it’s worth noting that DotVPN is based in Hong Kong and is subject to China’s questionable privacy laws.

The premium version costs too much  for a slow, non-working VPN – $4.99 monthly.

Read Our DotVPN Review


8 million+ users who are vulnerable

Hola is a popular Chrome-only VPN that’s free, easy to install, and comes with unlimited usage. The catch is that you need to connect to Hola each time you visit a site you want to be protected on.

It’s easy to use the Hola app to select and connect to a country and the service works well enough. It’s slow but you can’t really complain when you’re using something that’s completely free.

Each time you navigate to a new site, though, your connection to Hola drops. It’s important to keep this in mind as you could accidentally expose yourself.

The VPN is a P2P network, meaning you’re leaving yourself extremely vulnerable as well.

We do not recommend using the free version let alone pay for this VPN.

Read Our Hola VPN Review

Top 5 Free (or Freemium) VPNs That Actually Work

You know you need a VPN to access your favorite Netflix content, hide your browsing habits from ISPs and governments, or protect your data from third party advertisers. But how does it actually work?

How VPNs Work

To put it simply, VPNs (which stands for Virtual Private Network, in case you’re wondering) work by connecting you to a secure network of servers. When you’re connected to this network, your traffic (Google searches, for example) is routed through the network to a server that acts as an intermediary. This server then sends your traffic request to the site you’re trying to access.

All while encrypting your data.

By doing this, both your computer (your network and anybody watching, such as your ISP) and the site you’re visiting can only see the VPN server. This detaches your internet activity from your IP address and keeps you hidden and secure.

Some VPNs do a better job of this than others. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check if you’re using a good, trusted, and secure VPN, especially when it’s free.

Why use a free VPN? What’s the difference between free and paid?

Glad you asked.

With our extensive testing of various VPN services, we’ve learned that there’s a distinct difference between free and paid VPNs. The bottom line is that you’ll always be better off with a paid VPN. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

Some VPNs start as low as $5-10 per month. If you’re serious about your privacy, this is a worthwhile expense.

But if paying is not an option, read on.

Generally speaking, free VPNs are the same as regular VPNs, but with restrictions such as:

  • Limited bandwidth
  • Limited access to servers and locations
  • Slower performance
  • Limited protocols and encryptions
  • No access to Netflix or torrent-friendly servers

Found a free VPN with high data allowance? It’s probably very slow and useless for streaming. Got a free VPN with good speeds? You’ll probably only have enough data allowance for one episode of your favorite Netflix show. Two if you’re lucky.

Since these VPN services need to earn money somehow, they’re also more likely to mine your data so that it can be sold on to third-parties like marketing agencies.

Not all free VPNs are like this and you’ll be pleased to know that there are some fantastic ones out there. We’ve tested these so that you don’t have to—just download them and go!

It’s worth noting that these are freemium VPNs. This means they have free plans in addition to their paid, premium options. This is because VPNs that are 100% free tend to be really bad because they have no way to make money, which means they have limited resources to develop their service.

Best Freemium VPNs

Without further ado, here are the 5 best freemium VPNs we’ve tested. For in-depth reviews on each one, check out our full list of VPN reviews.

1. Windscribe

Windscribe is our favorite freemium VPN service. It’s very popular with their users, too. A Canadian-based company, Windscribe operates servers all over the world and was founded in 2015 by Yegor Sak (who is quite active in talking to the community!).

Freemium Plan Details
Windscribe’s free version is pretty good as far as free VPN plans go. With the free plan, you get 10GB/month with access to servers across 10 different countries. You also get the same speeds as their premium users, and none of your information is monitored, mined, stored, logged, or sold on to third parties. Plus, there’s a built-in firewall and ad blocker.

Freemium Plan Limits
Limitations with Windscribe do begin to show up when you start to look at what’s on offer to premium members. For premium members, Windscribe offers over 50 different locations and there are no data caps.

Read our verdict of Windscribe here
Get Windscribe Free

2. Hide.me

Another relatively good freemium VPN service is Hide.me. The company’s based in Malaysia and calls itself the “world’s fastest VPN” that lets you “take back your freedom.” Bold statements, right?

Freemium Plan Details
When using Hide.me’s free service, you still get the good stuff like IP leak protection, a kill switch, one-click connect, and split tunneling. Malaysia is not part of any intergovernmental agreements (e.g. 5 Eyes) either, so your information is safe. Also, the connection speeds are respectable, and you won’t be bombarded with ads.

Freemium Plan Limits

On their free plan, you can only connect to certain countries and none of these include Europe or the United States. This might be a dealbreaker for some of you. In addition to this, your data transfer is capped at 500MB that only renews every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hide.me here
Get Hide.me Free

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a well-known VPN provider and you have probably come across them in one form or another before. They have apps for virtually everything, including browser extensions and mobile devices. While they don’t exactly get the best press online, it’s far from being a ‘bad’ freemium service, particularly when you compare it to what’s available!

Freemium Plan Details

When using the free version of Hotspot Shield, you will still manage to pull impressive download speeds and your traffic is protected and encrypted to the same extent as their premium plan.

Freemium Plan Limits

You’ll only be able to use one of their servers based in the United States, and this can only be accessed from a single device. When accessing content from certain sources, (e.g. the BBC or Hulu) you’ll see a premium payment wall. As for Netflix, it doesn’t work at all. They’ve also opted to include banner ads as part of the freemium plan, and you’re limited to 500MB per day. Still, this is far better than Hide.me’s 500MB every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hotspot Shield here
Get Hotspot Shield Free

4. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN hasn’t been around for all that long, but they’ve certainly made an impression on us. It’s a private and secure service that’s available across several devices, including Linux and iOS. Their founders are scientists who met each other at CERN and started the secure ProtonMail project, so they don’t mess around with their technology.

Freemium Plan Details

Built with security in mind, ProtonVPN has an ultra-secure core architecture that is backed up with AES-256 encryption, supplemented with 2048-bit RSA, HMAC, and SHA256. It uses the OpenVPN protocol, too, which is the industry standard for security. All this is available for both free and premium users. Unlike the other freemium plans we’ve looked at, ProtonVPN doesn’t have any data caps or limitations.

Freemium Plan Limits

Although there are no data limits, you can only use ProtonVPN’s free version on one device and, at the time of writing, there are only three countries that include free servers. It also doesn’t work with Netflix. Speeds are OK, but they’re not the best.

Read our verdict of ProtonVPN here
Get ProtonVPN Free

5. TunnelBear

One of the most newbie-friendly VPN services in existence, TunnelBear is known for all the right reasons. The best thing about TunnelBear by far is how easy it is to use; it’s a plug-in-and-play VPN that works without you needing to configure settings or manually install additional components. It’s worth noting that TunnelBear is now owned by McAfee, A US-based company, which brings with it some potential concerns.

Freemium Plan Details

Aside from how easy it is to use, TunnelBear’s free users benefit from not having any of their data or information logged and disseminated. Unlike Hotspot Shield, there are no ads, and the speeds are respectable.

Freemium Plan Limits

Data transfer is capped at 500MB per month on the freemium plan. Tweeting about the company gets you an extra 1GB (clever, right?). Like the other freemium VPNs we’ve reviewed, you can only access a small handful of locations and servers, and it doesn’t work with Netflix.

Read our verdict of TunnelBear here
Get TunnelBear Free

VPNs With Amazing Free Trials

Most VPN providers will offer some form of free trial for their premium VPN service. In almost all cases, a free trial will give you complete access to the VPN product for a certain amount of time. That means anywhere between 1 and 30 days. After the trial period, you’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan to keep using the service.

These VPNs offer the full premium product during their free trial period:

1. Trust.Zone

Trust.Zone’s free trial lets you use their VPN service for 3 days. You’ll be able to access 141 locations—not quite as many as the 164 offered to their subscribers—and unlimited bandwidth.

Also included is 1GB of data transfer and one simultaneous connection at any given time. (Premium subscribers get unlimited data transfer and can have three simultaneous connections.)

Although the Trust.Zone trial is only for 3 days, it still provides you with an opportunity to try out their VPN and test out over 140 different locations.

Read our verdict of Trust.Zone here
Get Trust.Zone Free

2. HideMyAss

HideMyAss is owned and operated by McAfee, the California-based security technology company. There’s a 7-day free trial on offer for all new customers. After the 7 days, you will be automatically billed for a 12-month subscription, so make sure to stop this by canceling before the trial period ends.

During the trial period, customers can access the full HideMyAss VPN product. This includes total privacy and protection, strong encryption, OpenVPN protocol, and consistent server speeds in locations all around the world.

Read our verdict of HideMyAss here
Get HideMyAss Free

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN offers a 3-day trial for either one of their paid plans. So you can choose between the regular plan for up to 3 devices, or the premium plan which gives you a 5-device limit, access to the cloud server, and the Chameleon protocol which blocks VPN blockers.

Its slick desktop app is easy to use and VyprVPN delivers on speed, features, and a variety of locations. Full access to the VyprVPN product includes all the great security features paid-up members get, such as the choice of encryption or protocols used.

Read our verdict of VyprVPN here
Get VyprVPN Free

VPNs With Perfect Money-Back Guarantees

Instead of a free trial, some VPNs offer money-back guarantees. This may be a better option since the “trial period” tends to be longer. As long as you’re willing to pay upfront and get the money back later, this is essentially a type of free trial you can take advantage of.

Typically, the money-back guarantee is valid between 7 to 30 days. If you purchase a VPN subscription and aren’t satisfied, you can get your money back simply by asking for a refund within the given time period.
By doing this repeatedly, you can use premium VPN services for months without spending any money.

Here are three great VPNs that have awesome money-back guarantees:

1. ExpressVPN

Often called the best VPN money can buy, ExpressVPN offers their first-time customers with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Their guarantee lasts for exactly 30 days: if you place an order on the 1st of the month, you can contact customer support for a refund at any point before the 30th.

Money-back guarantees are often much better because you get to access the full product rather than a watered-down version, and this is the case with ExpressVPN. You’ll be able to access awesome features such as:

  • Foreign Netflix content
  • Super-fast speeds on ultra-secure servers
  • Worldwide locations
  • 24-hour live chat support

Read our verdict of ExpressVPN here
Visit ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you explore the full NordVPN service without any restrictions (they also have a free trial, but this is only for 7 days). Their customer support team is available 24/7 and you can get your money back without any questions asked.

NordVPN is another fantastic VPN service that is virtually identical to ExpressVPN in all but name. It regularly features highly on VPN review sites because of its:

  • Secure, strong encryption and protocols
  • Compatibility with Netflix
  • No logging and torrent-friendly policy
  • Double data protection

One downside is that NordVPN is more expensive if you want to pay month-to-month as opposed to annually. So that’s something to consider if think you might subscribe to their service long-term.

Read our verdict of NordVPN here
Visit NordVPN

3. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a well-known VPN provider that offers new customers a 7-day money-back guarantee. Although this timeframe pales in comparison to Express or Nord, it’s still enough time to get familiar with the service and decide whether it’s for you.

All refund requests must be made in writing and submitted via email to helpdesk@privateinternetaccess.com.

Private Internet Access offers fast speeds, a variety of locations, and a budget-friendly price. They don’t log or keep any information. You can also make Bitcoin payments.

Read our verdict of PIA here
Visit PIA

VPNs Don’t Need to Cost Money

If you look around and do your research, it’s easy to get all the benefits of a VPN without paying any money. While we do recommend investing in a good VPN if you plan to use one in the long-run, for occasional or temporary use there are many options available.

Free VPNs, free trials, and money-back guarantees all let you access a VPN at no cost. Obviously, the quality of the service, as well as the service limitations, will vary greatly depending on which plan you go with (hint: premium VPNs are always better). We hope we’ve helped you go over some of these differences in this post.

For those of you that simply want the best with no hassle, check our list of the best VPN reviews.

TunnelBear VPN Review

In this review, we take a look at how TunnelBear is a Virtual Private Network, probably one like you have never seen before.

This VPN was founded in 2011 by Ryan Dochuk and Daniel Kaldor, and is based in Canada with a team of expert bears.

TunnelBear is a VPN provider with a wide pricing range, a simple platform for anyone to use, and branding that’s probably the best you’ve seen in the industry.

This bear-themed VPN also provides plenty of options and features for each customer who takes their online security a little more seriously.

In spite of all this, TunnelBear, just like any other VPN provider, comes with certain drawbacks.

TunnelBear received a lot of media coverage for its branding too.

So, let’s take a look at the features which make TunnelBear what it is – PCMag’s newest Editors’ Choice Winner for a VPN, and the ones completely contrary to them.

TunnelBear VPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name TunnelBear
Leak Test No Leaks
Logging Policy No Logs
Speed Average
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Forbidden
Netflix No Netflix
Jurisdiction Inside Five Eyes
Servers / Countries 350 / 22
Max Connections 5
Kill Switch Has Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Crypto, Honey
Free Trial 500 MB
Refunds (30 Day No-Questions-Asked Money-Back)
Customer Support Email
Price Starting From $5.00

TunnelBear Pros

Security Audits by Third Party

With VPN features becoming more and more similar, VPN providers aim to differentiate themselves by publishing audits conducted by third parties.

TunnelBear is no different here. They’ve invited Cure53 to run a security assessment in 2018 and the results came out great.

There were some issues, but overall Cure53 saw that TunnelBear had improved by “leaps and bounds.”

The TunnelBear application now verges on being impossible to break, with only minor and hard-to-leverage flaws

It should be noted that no VPN is perfect, but by inviting security firms to run audits and by publishing the results, TunnelBear is earning a lot of respect from the community.

IP and DNS Leak Test: All passed!

How can you not trust this bear to encrypt your data?

TunnelBear is strong in terms of leak prevention.

Our tests reveal there is no IP or DNS leak when using TunnelBear VPN.

Encryption and Protocols: Un-bear-akable encryption (expect puns… lots and lots of puns)

Furthermore, TunnelBear uses strong AES 256-bit encryption by default.

There is not even an option for a less powerful encryption.

This means you will be as safe as you can get.

TunnelBear offers 2 protocol options: OpenVPN and IKEv2.

If you are using Windows or Mac OS X, you will be using either one, it is just a matter of which one connects first.

If you are an Android user, you will use OpenVPN and if you have an iOS device, IPSec/IKEv2 is your only option

If you are familiar with data encryption, you must be aware that it consists of 3 concepts: data encryption, data authentication and handshake.

Each one of these options has its own functions and responsibilities.

  • Data encryption is the primary encryption on your data before it even leaves your computer or device and travels across the internet.
  • Data Authentication is used to verify you are who you say you are, and protect you from active attacks.
  • Handshake encryption is used to establish a connection between you and the correct server, and protect you from attackers impersonating a TunnelBear server.

TunnelBear has dedicated a lot of time and effort in order to select the right encryption protocols, so once your TunnelBear is running – especially with a kill switch – you won’t need to worry about security.

Kill Switch: Vigilant mode, activated

Check the box for Vigilant mode and enable the kill switch feature.

TunnelBear offers the optional vigilant mode for your safety.

The vigilant mode is another name for a kill switch. Most successful VPNs provide this feature as it stops your internet traffic if you ever lose connection with TunnelBear.

Payment Methods: Plenty of options (including jars of honey)

Nice varying options in payment methods (including jars of honey!)

When it comes to paying, TunnelBear accepts a few payment methods. More exactly, you can pay via credit card, bank card or even Bitcoin.

PayPal is not accepted, but jars of honey are!

It is also worth mentioning that TunnelBear handles payments very seriously.

More precisely, this VPN operates exclusively with PCI-compliant payment processors in order to protect the transactions.

Sign Up Process: Quick and easy, as it should be

When TunnelBear is turned on, you’re able to get:

  1. Privacy to stop snooping.
  2. Performance-oriented speed.
  3. Encrypted and secure browsing experience.
  4. Access to the worldwide network.

In order to get access to any one of the above, you first need to set up your account first.

Super simple signup process.

For the free version (Little Plan), you only need to enter your email and password.

Remember to use a completely new email and password so they can’t link you to your real identity.

Once you create your account, you will be redirected to the Downloads page.

At this point, you can select the appropriate software for your platform and simply download the TunnelBear client.

Once you have installed it and logged in into this VPN, a quick walkthrough to explain the VPN’s capabilities will be provided.

If you want to upgrade your plan to a paid one, it’s also super easy to do so.

Once you are logged in into your free plan, you simply have to click on the Upgrade button on the top right.

The paid plan subscription process is pretty straight-forward: fill out your billing information.

Your transactions will be secured by a PCI-compliant payment processor.

After you fill out this form, you need to verify your email account, and you will be all set up!

TunnelBear Neutral Points

Pricing & Plans: Nothing unbearable (we promise we’ll stop soon, maybe…)

The pricing plan is pretty straightforward.

TunnelBear’s pricing and plans are simple and quite funny to look over.

The TunnelBear VPN offers 3 different payment plans:

  • Little – Free Plan
  • Giant – $9.99/mo
  • Grizzly – $59.99 for 12 months, or $5.00/mo

The Little Plan is free and grants its users the possibility to use 500MB free data each month.

The only disadvantage of this service is that the Australian server is only available in the paid plans. So, if you want to try out the app and its features, we highly recommend testing the service through the Little Plan and then purchasing the Grizzly plan if you like the product.

The most expensive, month-to-month plan is the Giant plan…

But if you plan on buying the product, why not just go for the more affordable Grizzly plan?

The Grizzly Plan is an annual subscription model and the most popular among their plans.

It costs $59.99 for 12 months, which equals $5.00 per month (-50% discount).

All paid plans allow 5 devices to be connected at the same time and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Device Compatibility: Most devices covered, but router options missing

Basic, but caters to most users.

TunnelBear’s global network can be accessed through a desktop computer, laptop or on mobile devices.

It’s a VPN which is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, and iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

Browser extensions for the casuals.

Moreover, there are browser extensions for Chrome and Opera which only tunnel data inside your browser.

Each premium account comes with the feature of five simultaneous connections, so you can combine the above-mentioned features.

Be that as it may, there is no possibility to install TunnelBear directly on your router. If you were considering this option, you can use a VPN-friendly router, or you may as well find yourself another provider.

We don’t fully understand why it’s a ghost, either.

Another advantage of using TunnelBear is the GhostBear feature.

There is a serious problem with using a VPN – ISPs nowadays are able to detect and block VPN traffic.

The solution to this problem is GhostBear – an advanced tool used to further mask your usage of a VPN.

The downside to using GhostBear is the fact that it slows your connection quite a bit.

So, you should use this tool only when necessary instead of leaving it on all the time.

TunnelBear Cons

Servers and Locations: One hell of a small network

Small but covers major countries.

TunnelBear has a growing list of 22 countries in their network, with a total of 350 servers.

The network is actually quite small if you compare the numbers.

Although as a customer, you’re able to connect to any of these servers to by bypass geographic restrictions and government censorship, there isn’t much choice to go with.

If you wish to try the free plan, you won’t have access to all of the servers. The Australian server, for instance, can only be accessed only with the paid subscription.

VPN Speed and Performance: Not so fast there, friend

Did you know that bears can run up to 35mph?

When it comes to speed, TunnelBear is, unfortunately, slower than its competitors.

Although it is natural for each VPN to slow down your connection, the results from TunnelBear’s speed test are far from satisfying.

On some occasions, TunnelBear’s speed seems to be working just fine.

It is not common for a VPN provider to have this confusing test result, so let’s see what we’ve got.

In regards to the final test result, we have concluded that TunnelBear is a slow VPN provider.

Netflix Test: Bear-ly pass (okay, we’re done now, we promise)

With time passing by, Netflix is getting better at blocking VPNs from all over the world.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear isn’t winning this fight against the Goliath.

We found out that only one of TunnelBear’s servers worked with Netflix and it seems to be quite risky, so we wouldn’t consider this VPN a long-term solution for Netflix.

Torrenting Policy: No, no definitely not

When it comes to P2P and torrenting, TunnelBear doesn’t perform much better.

Because of the local Canadian laws, this provider doesn’t allow P2P file sharing and torrenting.

While lacking the options for Netflix or torrenting, TunnelBear has a somewhat flexible pricing model.

Customer Support: Lacking, really lacking

Having a great support team is an essential element to some customers, especially the newbies.

When you bump into trouble, the customer support team is the first line of defense.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear doesn’t really have a first line of defense…

There’s No Live Chat, you can contact TunnelBear via email only…ugh.

“Can we please get live chat?”

The team of bears, although appearing to be welcoming and helpful, doesn’t offer a live chat, nor a phone number.

The only way to reach the Support Bears is via email.

This can be a problem on a busy day when the customer could be waiting for hours until a resolution is met.

Another point worth mentioning is intended for the users of TunnelBear for Teams. As an enterprise-level customer, you will be granted with a priority support.

Let’s hope you enjoy reading!

The help section is publically available on the website and can be found on the bottom left side.

We personally think the product documentation is quite OK.

Whether you are looking for advice on how to get started, info on how to pay or which service to purchase, you can find your answer in one of the categories.

Privacy and Security: Something to consider

Cheap VPNs often come with the assumption of them being unsafe or insecure.

This is not the case with TunnelBear, but their logging policy is something to consider.

No logging! …Sort of.

When it comes to the Privacy Policy, TunnelBear is strongly committed to providing a solid customer protection.

First of all, they try to collect a minimal amount of information for using their service.

TunnelBear doesn’t disclose any Personal Data to other commercial parties, except for third-party services which are responsible for customer support, DDoS prevention or payment processing.

In addition to this, TunnelBear doesn’t store users’ originating IP addresses or info about the apps, services or websites their customers use.

On the website, however, they collect a ton of information for product research and marketing purposes.

In case of a valid subpoena, warrant or other legal documents, TunnelBear’s disclosure is limited to Personal Data listed within this Privacy Notice.

TunnelBear as a Business

TunnelBear VPN is based in Ontario, Canada.

As they like to present on their website, the team of bears can be found in their cave at 310 Spadina Ave, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2E7. Pretty transparent!

The founders both have a strong technological background; stemming from Microsoft, Goldman Sachs and their own startups in the past.

TunnelBear was acquired by the McAfee organization in March 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

Being headquartered in Canada, they are located under the Five Eyes intelligence alliance.

Conclusion: We Can Do Better

To sum up, TunnelBear is a promising VPN but lacking in some major departments.

It offers nice features, no-logging policy, no leaks and strong encryption methods. Audited by a third party security firm too!

On the other hand, TunnelBear does not work with Netflix.

The organization also does not support torrenting or P2P file sharing either.

Lastly, their customer service department is lacking and does not seem to be improving…

All-in-all, if you’re into their fun branding and you strictly want to get around censorship, this could be a nice option for you.

If you pay just a little more, you can unblock Netflix and torrent as much as you want with a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN.

Ultimately, it’s your call.

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