TunnelBear is a Canadian-based VPN service with a strong emphasis on ease of use and bear-related humor. (Ease of use does get priority over the bear puns, fortunately, though sometimes it’s a close-run thing.)
This focus on simplicity means there’s not too much here for demanding users. TunnelBear only offers 20 locations, for instance. There are very few low-level tweaks or settings, not even the ability to change protocol. And if you want to manually set up the service on a router, games console or anything else, the feeble support website leaves you mostly on your own.
But if you’re happy with the basics, there’s plenty to like here. TunnelBear has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, for example, as well as extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. We got connected easily, and had no problems downloading torrents or accessing US Netflix (although BBC iPlayer remained out-of-bounds.)
TunnelBear scores plus points for privacy, too, with the company hiring independent specialists to run a public security audit on its servers, systems and code. If only other providers were that brave.
Performance was another highlight, with speedy UK and European servers, solid results from the US, and even the slowest Asian locations managing a very acceptable 20Mbps.