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Friday, February 23rd
After looking at user reviews for TunnelBear, we can quickly conclude that it is not a service that you want to try at all. The reviews are dismally tilted toward the negative. In fact, TunnelBear has the lowest aggregate rating of all the services we've researched. Definitely skip this one and save yourself time and money.
But, if you do decide to try TunnelBear, how much will you pay for TunnelBear's VPN service? That depends on where you look at the pricing and which timeframe you select.
In one place, we found that with a traditional month-to-month plan, you'll pay $9.99. Pay for a full year upfront and you'll spend just $59.88, which works out to $4.99/month. For the best savings, choose the TunnelBear two-year plan at $99.99 (averaging $4.17/month).
But on the Plans page of the website, we found a free plan (limited to 500 MB of data), an unlimited plan starting from $3.33 per month over three years, and a teams plan starting at $5.75 per user per month.
Lack of Detail About Features
Other VPN services usually have a list of features prominently displayed on the home page or a features page. TunnelBear takes a different approach in "dumbing it down" for non-technical users. That's laudable, but it leaves us - and more savvy potential customers - without much to go on. If you want the most current feedback from TunnelBear, don't rely on their Facebook or Instagram channels. Those went pretty quiet in the fall of 2021. On the other hand, the company maintains a fairly active presence on Twitter if you'd like to see some of their more recent interactions.
Worst Reviews Of All
TunnelBear had a "C-" rating with the Better Business Bureau at the time of this review. That's often a warning sign, but in this case, it was from a failure to respond to one complaint - and because the BBB hadn't received enough inquiries about TunnelBear "to warrant the development of a report" . We thought that was a little strange, considering that supposedly "millions of people trust TunnelBear" , but maybe the company being headquartered in Canada makes for fewer interactions with the BBB.
Users of TunnelBear complain about slow connections, not being able to set it up on their routers, limitations to the free version, inconsistencies with the app functionality, not being able to use it to stream content from another country, random disconnects, unhelpful online help documentation, not being able to log in, being flagged by websites that don't allow use of VPNs, and even overt controversial political messaging on the TunnelBear website.
Way Too Much Room for Improvement
We're going to have to take a pass on recommending TunnelBear to anyone until their user reviews drastically improve and their pricing plans make more sense to the average first-time visitor to their site.
A VPN is a virtual private network that allows you to browse the Internet securely. It makes a private network for you that is encrypted (scrambled) so that all the data coming to or leaving your computer is unreadable to anyone trying to peek at your browsing habits. But if you have nothing to hide, why would you want to use a VPN?
The reality is that there are plenty of people in the world who would love to access your private information such as passwords and bank account numbers. For example, a hacker might want to steal your password as you submit it from your computer to your email provider to log in. There are also people who want to know what you're looking for on the Internet. Marketers want to see your exposed data about what you like to shop for. Governments desire to know at every moment what their citizens are discussing, searching, and browsing.
Your credit card information is particularly important to protect. Most websites these days have end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive purchase information. But for the ones that don't, or for when that technology fails, a VPN adds a layer of protection to keep hackers from "sniffing" out your credit card information.
Another bonus? If you want access to streaming media that is only available in certain countries, a VPN can make it look to the streaming services in those countries as if you're a resident, and therefore you'll have no restrictions on accessing your favorite TV shows and movies.
Do you browse the Internet from public Wi-Fi connections in places such as airports, coffee shops, or shopping malls? If you do this without a VPN, your data is openly exposed to hackers who make a habit of monitoring unsecured Wi-Fi signals for data to steal.
You can't even trust your own internet service provider (ISP) with sensitive information about your browsing habits. They are often looking for additional revenue streams, including selling information about which websites your IP address has been accessing. A VPN hides that information from your ISP.
For people living in countries where the government has little or no respect for the right to privacy, a VPN is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, government bureaus, agencies, and leaders could have full access to everything you say or do online, including planning protests, criticizing laws and policies, or donating money to political organizations.
Therefore, it's critically important that you research the features, reputation, security, performance, customer service, and cost of various VPN services before you decide which one to subscribe to. Here are some factors to consider.
TopConsumerReviews.com has compiled a report of the best VPN services available and ranked them in the order of quality and reliability. We hope these reviews will help you find the right VPN service to make browsing the Web 100% secure!
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