VPNs are handy tools that allow you to protect your personal identity online and also gain access to the international versions of streaming websites like Netflix, which will allow you to unlock thousands of TV shows and movies you wouldn’t normally be able to watch.
However, there are so many VPNs out there that it can be difficult to find one that’s good for you. NordVPN and Tunnelbear are just two out of many VPNs, but they’ll be the ones we are discussing today.
NordVPN is one of the most well-known VPNs and is popular with users as it performs well with all its features and security. Tunnelbear is also well-known in the VPN world and most people associate good security with them as they’ve had their software independently audited.
We’ve done thorough tests and research to compare NordVPN and Tunnelbear so we can recommend the best one for you today.
Comparisons were made upon 8 categories including:
- Background Information
- Ease Of Use
- Speed Tests
- Security & Encryption
So if you’re interested to see which one came out on top, because there’s a definite winner, then keep on reading to find out.
Background Information: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
There’s no use using a VPN for security and to protect your identity if the companies aren’t trustworthy themselves. We delved deeper into the company backgrounds of both these VPN software to see how well they ranked.
NordVPN is owned by Tefincom S.A which is a company registered in Panama, which also means that the company must abide by that country's laws.
Panama doesn’t get involved in data alliances with the big tech companies like other countries do, so there should be no chance of you getting spied on. Panama has no data retention as a mandatory rule and also ranks as a no-logs VPN software where the government won’t interfere.
Unfortunately, the same praise cannot be given to Tunnelbear as they’re owned by the US cybersecurity company McAfee and from experience, we know that the US is not a good jurisdiction when it comes to privacy.
The country is infamous for bypassing security and privacy laws and is also a part of the surveillance alliance called Five Eyes which involves many other jurisdictions spying on each other and also sharing the information.
Winner: Whenever possible we’d avoid using VPNs from the US as their privacy laws are more lenient, and it would be better to go for one that’s from a jurisdiction that has strict privacy laws, such as Panama. For this reason, NordVPN wins in this category.
Pricing: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
This is one of the most interesting categories as it is probably the one that would sway users to opt for one VPN over the other.
NordVPN’s best current deal is their 2-year plan which costs as little as $3.30, but you’ll be billed $89 annually for the first two years and then it will return to $322.65 after the deal has ended.
This price plan saves you 72%. You’ll also get an additional 3 months of VPN for free as a gift with this deal.
They currently offer a 1-year plan for $59.00 for the first year ($4.92 a month) which is a 58% saving from their normal rate of $143.40 a year.
NordVPN also has a monthly plan which costs $11.95, which is ideal if you don’t want to commit to a long membership.
They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you’re not happy with the service then hopefully you should be able to get a refund.
You can try out Tunnelbear’s VPN using their free plan before committing to a paid plan, however, it is capped at 500MB.
They offer an unlimited plan for $3.25 a month which is billed annually or a team plan for $5.75 per user per month.
It’s important to note that Tunnelbear does not offer refunds if you’re unhappy with the service, which is a big red flag in our eyes and would warrant us to never go for this option as they don’t value customer satisfaction.
Winner: Despite Tunnelbear being the cheaper service, the fact that they don’t offer refunds means that NordVPN wins.
Ease Of Use: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
We’re quite tech-savvy but that’s not to say everyone is, so having a VPN that is generally easy for anyone to use is important.
NordVPN is incredibly easy to use and has a user-friendly interface that means even the least tech-savvy people will be able to navigate through the software.
NordVPN also has several setup tutorials on their site to help people download and navigate the software on a multitude of platforms.
Tunnelbear’s software is very cute and simplistic in design, but it’s not the most helpful when you’re struggling to use a feature and the site also seems to lack help or FAQ resources for users.
Winner: There isn’t much between them, but NordVPN takes the trophy for its easy navigation and abundance of helpful resources.
Speed Tests: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
People use VPNs for high bandwidth tasks and activities like downloading or streaming movies online. To find out how these two VPNs affect internet speeds, we tried running them on our 500Mbps connection.
When NordVPN was connected to its US server on our 500Mbps connection it got 445 Mbps which is pretty impressive especially when you compare it to Tunnelbear's connection to its US server which only got 52mbps.
Many US residents like to connect to European servers like ones in the UK to gain access to online streaming services in that country.
NordVPN got 295 Mbps when connected to its UK server whereas Tunnelbear only managed a lousy 5 Mbps.
Winner: NordVPN easily outranks Tunnelbear when it comes to speed and will provide the best performance for streaming and downloading.
Security & Encryption: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
Audits on security will show that a VPN service holds its promise when it comes to security and up-to-date audits will show that it’s something that the company holds in high importance.
- 2021 audit by Versprite
- 2020 no-logs audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland
- 2019 no-logs audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland
- Severs run in RAM-disk mode so serves can store data
- No bugs or leaks were found when testing NordVPN encryption
- 2017 audit by Cure53
- 2018 audit by Cure 53
- 2019 audit by Cure53
- No audit results present for 2020
- No RAM-disk servers or steps taken to ensure extra security
- VigilantBear prevented leaks and bugs
- Does not support WireGuard as NordVPN does
Features: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
- Advanced privacy and security features
- Double VPN serves for extra security
- P2P servers for the best torrenting experience
- Obfuscated servers to get around internet censorship (e.g. China)
- Tor-over-VPN to provide extra anonymity when online
- IP servers that provide you with your own IP address
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Split tunneling allows you to reroute traffic outside an app
- Cybersec blocks ads and malware
- 5000+ servers in 59 countries
- Easy to use apps for smartphones and computers
- Browser extensions
- Only 23 worldwide server locations
- VigilantBear feature blocks all traffic when disconnected
- GhostBear disguises VPN traffic to avoid government blocking (doesn’t work in China)
Streaming : NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
Ever had someone recommended that you watch Netflix from a different region? They do this through a VPN service and is the most common reason why people choose to use VPNs.
So if this is what you’ll want to use it for then you’ll need to make sure you choose the best one for the job.
NordVPN is very fast and has tons of servers all across the world allowing you to unblock most, if not all streaming services. It also has a dedicated app for Amazon Fire Stick so you’ll even be able to watch a streaming service from a different country from your TV.
Tunnelbear is incredibly slow compared to VPN and you’ll experience numerous connection errors when trying to stream, even for servers in the US.
Winner: The winner is NordVPN, hands down.
Torrenting: NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear
For transferring huge important files, we recommend using a VPN to ensure fast speeds and so your IP address doesn’t get leaked.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs around for torrenting generally, so it ranks very high in this category against Tunnelbear. They have P2P servers for torrenting and won’t leak any data due to the killswitch feature.
Tunnelbear can do torrenting but it’ll be so slow and because the jurisdiction is part of the Five Eyes alliance then privacy is considerably speculated. There aren’t as many servers compared to NordVPN so it’ll be difficult to find one that has enough bandwidth.
NordVPN Vs Tunnelbear: Which One Is Better?
NordVPN outranks Tunnelbear in nearly all the categories, and despite being more expensive by a margin, it is the most secure and trustworthy VPN around.
We wouldn’t recommend going for Tunnelbear and there are plenty of other more affordable VPN options you can go for that are better than them.
So if you’re serious about security and ensuring your privacy when you’re online but still want to access limited websites or services, then we recommend going for NordVPN.