NordVPN vs TunnelBear VPN 2019

We put these VPNs to the test to find out which is the best!

At first glance this hardly seems like a fair comparison, TunnelBear only has servers in 20 countries compared to the over 60 countries that NordVPN users can choose from.
However, TunnelBear does have something that NordVPN doesn’t, and that’s a free VPN option. While the number of servers and data is even more limited in the free version, it does work well and is a good option to have.
Both NordVPN and TunnelBear can bypass the Great Firewall of China. However, thanks to their multiple servers in and around Hong Kong, NordVPN will give you a faster connection. Bypassing the Netflix geo block is one of the bigger differences between these two VPNs, as only NordVPN will grant you access to the US Netflix library. When it comes to pricing, NordVPN beats TunnelBear hands down with a package that goes as low as $2.77 a month, compared to a $5.00 plan from TunnelBear.
Lastly, there is the location of the VPN company. TunnelBear is located in Canada and was purchased by McAfee (a US based company) in early 2018, both countries are part of the Five Eyes Alliance. NordVPN on the other hand is located in Panama and has a good record of not retaining any logs and refusing to cooperate with the authorities. More Info

How do these VPNs Compare?


NordVPN is consistently one of the fastest VPNs that we’ve tested. With over 4,400 servers around the world, odds are pretty good that they have one near you. TunnelBear isn’t slow per se, and it’s cute watching their bear tunnel its way to your destination, but you won’t be browsing the internet with blazing speeds.

VPN Vendor NordVPN TunnelBear VPN
Download speed Reduction 19% (UK) 17% (UK)
Upload speed Reduction 17% (FRA) 17% (FRA)
Ping time to 25ms 321.83ms
Average time to connect (sec.) 9ms 12ms
Unblock successful for Netflix-logo Hulu-logo Kodi-logo Espn-logo Youtube-logo Bbc-logo Netflix-logo Hulu-logo
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Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.


Once again NordVPN comes out on top in this head-to-head comparison. NordVPN is constantly adding more servers to their network. In early 2018 they had just broken the 4,000 mark and by June they had amassed over 4,400 servers in more than 60 countries. Meanwhile, TunnelBear doesn’t publicize the number of servers they have, but you can only connect to 20 different countries.

VPN Vendor NordVPN TunnelBear VPN
Server Locations 59 20
Server Countries 60 20
IP Addresses 2819 20
Dynamic Server Switching
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The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow


TunnelBear uses a ticketing system to answer any questions that might arise. They also have a very thorough FAQ and knowledgebase section on their website. NordVPN sets themselves apart in this competition with a 24/7 Live Chat that has a real customer support staff (we tested them and they aren’t robots) that are ready to answer any questions that arise.

VPN Vendor NordVPN TunnelBear VPN
Email Response Time 3 6
24/7 Support
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Video Tutorials
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How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Ease of Use

NordVPN is really a simple program to use. The downloading and installing process goes by very quickly and then all you need to do is login with your username and password and you’re all set. NordVPN has OpenVPN programmed as the default security protocol, but it can be changed with a quick click of the mouse. One of the great features that NordVPN has it the system will recognize what you’re doing online and recommend the best server for your needs. This comes in handy when downloading torrents or streaming videos.
TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear is an extremely user-friendly program. That, together with the cute bears that will tunnel on-screen from your location to the server, make it fun to use. To change your location you can just click on the tunnel icon on the map and the bear will build a tunnel for you so you can start browsing from there.




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Which VPN Will You Choose?

TunnelBear is known for their free VPN, but unless you just need a quick IP address change, it’s worth paying a couple of dollars a month for increased security, access to US Netflix, and multiple specialty servers. When looking at both paid versions, there is nothing that TunnelBear can do that NordVPN doesn’t do better, and for less money. This makes it a no-brainer in our opinion. More Info

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