ExpressVPN vs Tunnelbear: An In-Depth Overview in 2020
In this comparison, we have tested both ExpressVPN vs Tunnelbear to find out which one of them performs better. As you know that we follow a specific set of rules while comparing top VPN providers, both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear have undergone intense testing by our experts.
So without any further ado, let’s start this comparison.
ExpressVPN vs Tunnelbear: Summary
ExpressVPN is the winner because it offers:
- P2P servers
- Access to geo-restricted websites
- Privacy-friendly features
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||Canada|
|Logging Policy||No Logs||No Logs|
|Speed||18.95 Mbps||13.18 Mbps|
|Server Network||3000+ Servers
|Customer Support||Email, Live Chat, Video Tutorials
First things first! Let’s do a quick summary before we start the comparison of ExpressVPN vs Tunnelbear, to find out where both of these providers stand. ExpressVPN is in the British Virgin Islands which does not come under any data retention laws. Also, ExpressVPN claims and follows a strict no-logs policy where they don’t store any user information except billing information.
Is Tunnelbear a good VPN? The answer is yes but you must know this. Tunnelbear was bought by McAfee (a US company) which is a part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Partnership and does keep tabs on user information. This is the reason why most people don’t trust Tunnelbear because they have to comply with information retention laws. But Tunnelbear uses AES-256 encryption protocol which is considered as a gold-standard security feature.
Furthermore, Tunnelbear does not offer any P2P servers but it does offer you to use Tor network (Onion Router) to remain anonymous. This means you might struggle a bit to download torrents if you are using Tunnelbear. When it comes to bypassing Netflix VPN blocks, Tunnelbear does not seem to do a good job either. You cannot unblock Netflix libraries as well as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, and ABC with Tunnelbear.
What about servers and internet speed? In our comparison, ExpressVPN has crushed Tunnelbear by offering whopping 3000+ servers in more than 50 countries. Tunnelbear hasn’t shared any server-related information but they might have fewer than 300 servers (the exact numbers may vary). Although Tunnelbear does offer greater internet speed and performed really well in our speed test.
Moreover, both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear are best-suited to protect your online information and prevent prying eyes. But to test security features of a VPN, you have to focus on other metrics such as split tunneling, encryption protocols, and no-logs policy. This is the reason why we have tested both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear on the basis of 11 comparison tests. We have gone through every important feature that you need to know before buying a VPN app.
Let’s begin by looking at the monthly plans.
If you pick an yearly deal
Tunnelbear has a free plan of 500 MB but it is not much for streaming. But you can get 1 GB more for free if you tweet about Tunnelbear. Also, Tunnelbear do not offer any long-term plans of 2 or 3 years. If you don’t want to miss out on the major features then subscribe to Tunnelbear’s monthly plans.
Tunnelbear offers a basic pricing plan that many other VPN providers use as well. However, Tunnelbear does not have a massive discounted deal as compared to ExpressVPN. Although ExpressVPN is a bit pricey in the VPN industry, you can enjoy amazing features.
If you take a look at our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN then you must realize that ExpressVPN is truly expensive. Even if you compare ExpressVPN with other VPN service providers like NordVPN or Surfshark then you are only saving money if you subscribe to their 15-month plan.
The bottom line is Tunnelbear’s free plan is exciting for many people. Tunnelbear is attracting customers by sharing their free 500 MB plan as much as they can. But you have to subscribe to Tunnelbear’s monthly plans eventually.
Take a look at the pricing plans of both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear.
As both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear are top service providers, you can get your money back after a month. ExpressVPN does not store any user logs but they might save timestamps, billing information, and some information before you are locked into a long-term contract.
Whereas Tunnelbear is a privacy-friendly VPN that does not store user information but only timestamps and billing information. And you can send an email request for getting a refund or resolve other problems.
Who wins? There is no clear winner in this comparison as both Tunnelbear and ExpressVPN have a rock-solid refund policy.
|Apps||Windows, MacOS, Android, IOS, Amazon Fire||Windows, MacOS, Android, IOS|
|Internet Kill Switch||Yes||Yes|
|Split Tunneling||Yes||Only IOS & Android|
|Customer Support||Email Tickets, Live Chat, Video Tutorials, Knowledge Base||Email, Tickets|
|Added Features||Browser Extension, DNS Leak Protection, No-logs policy, Multi-platform protection, Obfuscation features||DNS Leak Protection, Obfuscation features, Internet Kill-switch|
Do Tunnelbear offer better features than ExpressVPN? The answer is no! But Tunnelbear is competing head to head with ExpressVPN when it comes to features, some of them might include AES-256 encryption, kill switch option, or multi-platform compatibility.
Furthermore, both ExpressVPN and Tunnelbear prevent DNS leaks and IP addresses due to their military-standard security protocols. Tunnelbear is best-known for its security features and hence they are one of the best VPNs that keeps you anonymous.
Also, you can use up to 5 simultaneous connections whether you are using ExpressVPN or Tunnelbear. But some security features of Tunnelbear such as split tunneling or OpenVPN protocol may not work as seamless on IOS or Android. Whereas you can switch on every major feature on ExpressVPN regardless of the device that you are using.
The bottom line is ExpressVPN has advanced security features such as obfuscation and split tunneling. And Tunnelbear is falling behind because it cannot match a few high-end features that ExpressVPN offers.
Geo Unblocking Capabilities
|Geo Unblocking Capabilities||ExpressVPN||Tunnelbear|
|Netflix||US, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, France, Japan||No|
|Hulu||US & Japan||No|
Even though Tunnelbear is a rock-solid security product, it cannot unblock popular streaming websites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. We tried many times to access Netflix US and watch Parks and Recreation but Tunnelbear wasn’t working at all.
This is the reason why Tunnelbear is not in the list of top VPN providers because it cannot unblock streaming websites. And the big reason why you use a VPN is to unblock streaming channels. Whereas ExpressVPN offers all access to major streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO.
Moreover, ExpressVPN can also bypasses heavily restricted UK’s website, BBC iPlayer, without sweating. But you have to connect to the right server to unblock geo-restricted websites such as BBC iPlayer, HBO, or Sky Go.
Is ExpressVPN really the best? If we say yes then we might be exaggerating. But ExpressVPN is a leader in the VPN industry. As the above table shows, Tunnelbear is not even close to ExpressVPN when it comes to unblocking capabilities. And if you look at our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison then you will see that only NordVPN can compete with ExpressVPN’s unblocking abilities.
Simply put, don’t go for TunnelBear if you want to unblock Netflix, Hulu, or any streaming website. TunnelBear will, however, protect your digital footprint and online identity. This is where a 30-day money-back guarantee can come in handy so you can check if a VPN is working or not.
Tunnelbear offers high internet speed which is something not many VPNs are capable of. Even if you are using TunnelBear’s free plan of 500 MB, you can great bandwidth. But when it comes to torrent downloads, TunnelBear is not a good choice.
As Canada started banning torrent downloads a few years ago, TunnelBear disrupted its P2P server connections. And this is the reason why TunnelBear is not a reliable choice for torrent downloads even though some users might be using TunnelBear for torrenting.
Even if you search on Google “What is the best VPN for torrenting?” then TunnelBear will not be the first choice. Because TunnelBear is not reliable for downloading torrents and staying anonymous at the same time. There are many users that are using TunnelBear for torrenting but we would not recommend it.
But do ExpressVPN support torrent downloads? The answer is yes. ExpressVPN do offer P2P servers for downloading torrents. And ExpressVPN is a better choice for torrent downloads because of higher internet speed, obfuscation protocol, and a split tunneling feature.
ExpressVPN: Best-suited for torrenting.
TunnelBear: Not recommended.
ExpressVPN is a better VPN than TunnelBear for unblocking Netflix. Tunnelbear cannot bypass heavy restrictions on Netflix. We checked Netflix US library (Parks and Recreation) and Tunnelbear failed to bypass Netflix VPN blocks.
That is a bummer really. There are many low-rated VPNs that can access Netflix libraries and go around IP blocks. But TunnelBear is not even competing with ExpressVPN or any other VPN in terms of Netflix unblocking. TunnelBear might be facing server-related issues which is why they cannot access Netflix libraries.
ExpressVPN: Highly recommended.
TunnelBear: Cannot unblock Netflix.
TunnelBear may claim to bypass China’s Great Firewall and have a few servers as well but it is not a great choice. After China started banning VPNs, there were only a few VPN providers that combated these VPN blocks. And ExpressVPN is one of them. ExpressVPN was the first VPN provider to notify its customers about China’s Great Firewall and started working on an update.
Although TunnelBear also offers access in China with the help of Tor Network (Onion Router) and Obfsproxy servers. TunnelBear also calls Obfsproxy. Ghostbear, to reshape your internet traffic. In this way, Chinese government cannot detect your IP addresses by connecting to TunnelBear’s Obfsproxy features.
ExpressVPN: Highly recommended.
App User Interface & Usability
|App Interface & Usability||ExpressVPN||TunnelBear|
|User Friendly Apps||MacOS, Windows, Android and IOS||MacOS, Windows, Android and IOS|
|Server Selection||List Based||List and Map Based|
|Automatic setup wizard||MacOS, Windows, Android and IOS||MacOS, Windows, Android and IOS|
|Auto Updates Available||Yes||Yes|
TunnelBear has a few gimmicky features but also includes an internet kill switch option. As an easy-to-use interface, you won’t face any trouble in navigating TunnelBear’s options. TunnelBear has a drop-down server list and server map as well, and once you are connected to a server the whole map turns green. And this is how you know that TunnelBear is working.
However, TunnelBear does not have major security protocols on the primary user interface. To win more customers, TunnelBear have kept a minimal user interface with a few fun features that involve a grizzly bear.
Also, ExpressVPN has a large connect button and a drop-down server list on the main menu. And even if you are using a VPN for the first time, ExpressVPN has easy navigation. You can also customize security protocols from the settings options as well as check account details.
To summarize this, both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear have a user-friendly interface that does not confuses first-time VPN users. But TunnelBear is restricted when it comes to customizing security protocols. And ExpressVPN is winning the race of becoming a customer-centric VPN app due to simpler features.
|Number of servers||3000+ Servers||Unknown Servers|
|Number of Countries||94 Countries||23 Countries|
|Speed||18.95 Mbps||13.18 Mbps|
There is no doubt that TunnelBear offers greater internet speed. With the help of obfuscation feature or Ghost Bear (as TunnelBear calls it), you can enjoy high internet speed. And both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear use an obfuscation feature to boost internet speed.
TunnelBear has fewer servers than ExpressVPN. Although the exact number of servers is not disclosed, there are a few reports that TunnelBear has more than 1500 servers. This is the reason why TunnelBear is closely matching with ExpressVPN’s speed.
When it comes to ExpressVPN, you can enjoy more than 3000 servers that are best for streaming and downloading torrents. Even though ExpressVPN does not offer any streaming-optimized servers, you will face no problem in unblocking Netflix libraries and geo-restricted websites.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN has reliable servers in more countries. This means you can unblock various streaming channels with ExpressVPN as compared to TunnelBear. More servers equal to more access and more speed. That’s why ExpressVPN is considered the best in terms of server speed.
ExpressVPN: Speed Test
TunnelBear: Speed Test
Security & Policy
|Security and Privacy||ExpressVPN||TunnelBear|
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands||Canada|
|Logging Policy (Connection, Usage Logs)||No-Logs||No-Logs|
|Tunneling Protocols||OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, PPTP||OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2|
|IP Leak Prevention||Yes||Yes|
|WebRTC Leak Protection||Yes||Yes|
|DNS Leak Protection||Yes||Yes|
|Secure Payment Method||PayPal||Bitcoin|
Do VPN providers keep logs? You might be surprised to know that many VPN service providers store user logs even if they claim to have a no-logs policy. But do TunnelBear and ExpressVPN keep logs too?
Is TunnelBear offers better security or ExpressVPN? The answer depends on a few privacy-friendly features like AES-256 and Open VPN protocols. And both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear provide bank-grade tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN, IPSec, SSTP, or PPTP.
Word of advice: If you have no clue about PPTP encryption protocol then we would suggest you don’t use it.
Furthermore, both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear follow a strict no-logs policy, prevent DNS leaks, and offer a kill switch option. TunnelBear do keep logs because they want to make sure you are not abusing their policies of 5 simultaneous connections. But TunnelBear might store only timestamps, billing information, and device data.
ExpressVPN is much better in protecting user’s data. Also, PwC (PrivewaterhouseCoopers) has already audited ExpressVPN’s logging policies and notified that it does not store user logs. This is the reason why millions of users rely on ExpressVPN when it comes to data protection and torrent downloads.
Also, we ran DNS leak tests on both ExpressVPN and TunnelBear to check if they honor their pledge or not. Here are the results.
ExpressVPN: DNS Leak Test
TunnelBear: DNS Leak Test
|Searchable knowledge base||Yes||Yes|
So how can you contact ExpressVPN? Or TunnelBear? ExpressVPN provides live chat support so you can get in touch with a support representative within a few minutes. Sadly, TunnelBear does not allow a live chat feature and you have to send an email request instead. TunnelBear does not have detailed guides as well that is important for first-time VPN users.
ExpressVPN, however, has a seamless customer support system. From live chat support to engaging video guides, email tickets, and knowledge base, ExpressVPN is miles better than TunnelBear. Whether you want to install ExpressVPN on your phone, Amazon Fire TV, or Linux, you can find a related video about it.
The bottom line is ExpressVPN is working tirelessly hard in becoming as customer-centric as possible. This is the reason why ExpressVPN helps their users on every step of the onboarding process. Take a look at ExpressVPN and TunnelBear customer outreach options.
In our ExpressVPN vs TunnelBear comparison, there is only one winner. And ExpressVPN wins because it is many steps ahead of TunnelBear. In terms of streaming speed, P2P servers, and unblocking abilities, ExpressVPN has outshined TunnelBear. Some users might argue about ExpressVPN’s pricing plans. But ExpressVPN is worth the price as you are getting top security features.
Moreover, ExpressVPN offers high-end encryption protocols as well as stores zero logs of its users. So ExpressVPN is really a bargain if you worry more about your privacy. Lastly, ExpressVPN is a juggernaut when it comes to unblocking major streaming websites. With the help of ExpressVPN servers, you can bypass restrictions and watch country-specific streaming channels.