NordVPN vs Tunnelbear

NordVPN vs Tunnelbear

NordVPN vs Tunnelbear

In recent years, the internet has taken the world by storm. The number of people online has reached staggering amounts. But while this is all good, several problems have arisen.

Key among them is cybersecurity concerns. There are numerous online threats and for this reason, VPNs are a must-have for all online activities. But which among the many VPNs is the best?

NordVPN is a better VPN service than Tunnelbear. It is currently one of the leading VPNs in the world and offers a wider range of features than Tunnelbear. It has security and privacy policies that are unmatched in the business, even by Tunnelbear.

In this article, we will put NordVPN and Tunnelbear in a head to head comparison.

We will analyze both VPN services under several categories, comparing their capabilities and in the end coming up with a winner. So stick around and read on as we endeavor to enlighten you on the best choice.


There are numerous VPNs out there, each with its unique brand of features and capabilities. The truth, however, is that very few of them are reliable. So it’s only natural to want to use the best of the best.

Even if you are not an online security expert or a VPN geek, you’ve probably come across NordVPN.

As we’ve already mentioned, NordVPN is one of the leading VPN providers all around the world.

Since it was founded in 2012, NordVPN has been providing reliable online security solutions to millions of users around the world.

The popularity of this VPN service has to do with a large number of features it boasts and its superb credibility in the VPN business.

NordVPN is located in Panama, which is outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. and the EU. Because of this, most of the data retention laws in place do not apply to it.

The company claims that it has a zero-logs policy and its location seems to back up this claim. It also has strong encryption protocols and other robust security features that ensure the safety of users’ data from online threats.

It also has excellent speeds that support all manner of online activities from browsing to streaming to torrenting. It also has the largest global server coverage.

Some of its Pros and Cons are:

Pros of NordVPN

·   It has superb and stable speeds no matter your location in the world.

·   It has a proven zero-logs policy ensuring the privacy of users.

·   It has the largest global server coverage- Over 5500 servers in over 60 countries.

·   It has strong encryption and security protocols that ensure the safety of its users’ information.

·   It offers capabilities for a range of online activities and gives a great user experience.

Cons of NordVPN

·   Some servers don’t have stable speeds.

·   Torrents don’t work on all servers.

·   It’s a little pricey.


Just like any other company, NordVPN has competitors, and Tunnelbear is one of them. More often than not, VPNs may seem like complicated tech with lots of geeky details that most people don’t understand.

If you check out Tunnelbear’s website you’ll realize that this service does things differently.

It was founded in 2011 and is based in Canada. The company doesn’t drown you in industry jargon. It allows you to decide for yourself.

It offers you a free trial that is limited to 500Mb of data per month. Its paid version offers more features.

Tunnelbear has some of the industry’s strong encryption and security protocols to ensure the safety of users’ data.

It has a relatively smaller server network but this too works well and is effective. It’s affordable and is good for lots of online activities.

Pros of Tunnelbear

·   It has a free version that most VPNs don’t.

·   It doesn’t log users’ data thus ensuring privacy.

·   It’s affordable.

·   It has good speeds.

·   It has security features to ensure the safety of users’ data.

·   It’s easy to use.

Cons of Tunnelbear

·   It doesn’t support some streaming services.

·   It’s under Canadian jurisdiction which means it can be legally forced to share users’ data even though they have a zero-logs policy.

·   Customer support isn’t the best.

·   It has a few advanced features.

·   Lacks geographical diversity in locations of servers.

NordVPN vs Tunnelbear: Which One Is Better?

Before we begin comparing these two VPN services, it’s worth mentioning that they both are good. The only difference is in their capabilities and features and because of this, one is bound to be better than the other.

They both claim to have the industry’s best privacy policies, security features, performance, and speeds but which one will come out on top?

We’ll give you the best pick for each category and in the end, see who the overall winner is. So read on!

1. Pricing

Both NordVPN and Tunnelbear are reasonably priced for the variety of features they offer. But since both offer different combinations of features, their prices are bound to be different.

More often than not, the VPN that offers a wider range of features is destined to be pricier than the other, and this is just the case here.

In terms of short-term subscriptions, Tunnelbear is the cheaper option for clients. NordVPN on the other hand offers better discounts for more extended plans.

NordVPN offers 1-month, 6-month, and 2-year. For the 1-month plan, NordVPN is at $11.95. For the 6-month plan, NordVPN is at $9 per month while the 2-year plan is at $3.71.

Additionally, NordVPN gives a 30-day money-back guarantee to clients who don’t like the service.

Tunnelbear is quite a different case. It has a monthly, yearly, and 3-year plan. For the 1-month plan, it’s at $9.99. For the 1-year plan, Tunnelbear is at $4.99 and for the 3-year plan $3.49.

Tunnelbear however, doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. What it does offer is a free trial for up to 500Mb a month.

When you compare NordVPN and Tunnelbear prices, it’s clear who wins this round. Tunnelbear is far much cheaper than NordVPN. So if you’re looking to save a little extra cash, Tunnelbear is the right choice.

1-month$11.95 per month$9.99 per month
6-month$9 per month
1-year$4.99 per month
2-year$3.71 per month
3-year$9.99 per month
Free versionNoYes
Money-back guarantee30 daysNo

2. Servers

One of the major parameters that most people consider when choosing a VPN is global server coverage.

The size and distribution of a VPNs server network are of utmost importance. A well-distributed server network usually means better speeds and access.

A good VPN service has a large number of servers worldwide. The more servers that a VPN service has, the lesser the congestion there will be.

This, therefore, means that you will have a lot of servers to choose from. In the long run, this will enable you to get a fast connection no matter where you are in the world.

Also, with servers well distributed across the globe, you get a variety of servers to choose from to effectively hide your IP and spoof your location.

In this regard, NordVPN is virtually unbeatable. It has one of the largest global server coverage. When compared to Tunnelbear, it has a far much bigger and diverse network.

Currently, NordVPN has over 5500 servers all of which are spread out over 60 countries. This is quite possibly the most number of servers than any other VPN provider.

Tunnelbear on the other hand has a little over 350 in about 20 countries. This number is small when compared to NordVPN. It’s almost 16 times less!

NordVPN offers a wide array of servers for different purposes such as P2P servers, obfuscated servers, onion over VPN servers, and double VPN servers. Tunnelbear doesn’t offer this selection of servers.

It should be noted that there are very few VPN providers out there who have such a large number of servers as NordVPN does.

It requires a lot of resources to run and maintain a large number of servers and NordVPN is one of the few that has this advantage.

So in this scenario, the undisputed winner is NordVPN.

Number of serversOver 5000Over 350
Countries 6020

3. Speed

Speed is one of the most important things to internet users today. No matter where a person is or what online activity he/she is engaging in speed is a necessity that can never be overlooked.

In this day and age, most Internet Service Providers (ISP) throttle internet speeds, frustrating millions of users all around the world.

This is why many people have resorted to using VPNs because they make it impossible for ISPs to throttle speeds.

Despite the geographical location on earth, an ideal VPN is one that gives top speeds at any time of the day. Not only that it should maintain a consistent connection and stable speeds throughout.

Inferior VPNs, on the other hand, deliver slow and unstable speeds that make it impossible to do anything worthwhile.

Different VPNs have different speeds. One of the major factors that affect speed is the number of servers.

A VPN with a large number of servers that are well distributed globally often has the best speeds. So with this in mind, we already know who wins in this category!

We carried out a test to determine the difference in speed. The base speed test was around 160Mbps.

In Europe, the speeds for NordVPN were quite higher than those of  Tunnelbear. In Germany, a NordVPN server clocked average speeds of up to 150Mbps.

A Tunnelbear server clocked 55Mbps. In the UK, a NordVPN server had speeds of about 130Mbps while a Tunnelbear server had speeds of 39Mbps.

In the U.S., a NordVPN server in New York clocked average speeds of 148Mbps while a Tunnelbear server in the same location clocked speeds of 60Mps.

So NordVPN is better than Tunnelbear in terms of speeds. It’s worth mentioning that NordVPN could also maintain a steady speed, something Tunnelbear’s servers couldn’t do.

NordVPN wins this category without a doubt.

Server LocationNordVPNTunnelbear
U.S. (New York)148Mbps60Mbps

4. Privacy

One of most people’s major concerns nowadays is online privacy and anonymity. This is the reason why VPNs have become a necessity to allow people to maintain a degree of anonymity whenever they are online.

VPNs ensure that your online traffic is encrypted thus allowing you to remain anonymous and safeguard your information from third parties such as hackers and government agencies.

So failing to use a VPN whenever you are online puts your privacy at risk.

Several factors affect online privacy when using VPNs and these are the logging policies of VPN providers, their jurisdictions, as well as their payment methods.

A VPN provider’s logging policies determine whether it tracks, collects, and stores users’ information. An ideal VPN service is one that has zero-logging policies.

Such a company will keep users’ information private since they have no stored data of the users. Most VPN services claim to have zero-logging policies, but very few of them can be trusted.

The jurisdiction of a VPN will determine if it is legally required to keep users’ information and hand it over when requested by the government.

VPNs that are located in countries that are members of the 5 Eyes (i.e. Australia, Canada, U.S., UK, and New Zealand) are legally required to keep users’ data.

VPNs under the EU jurisdiction are also legally required to keep logs.

An ideal VPN, therefore, is one that is in a country that falls outside of these jurisdictions. 

Payment methods also determine the privacy of a VPN user since some payment methods can be traced back to a person. An ideal VPN, therefore, is one that will provide payment options that assure anonymity.

So with all the above factors in mind, it’s time to see which is the better VPN between NordVPN and Tunnelbear.

NordVPN has a proven no-logs policy. The company was audited by a private auditing firm which confirmed that it is fully compliant with its no-logs policy. In terms of jurisdiction, it is based in Panama.

The country has no data retention laws and therefore users’ privacy is guaranteed. Payment for NordVPN is through a bunch of different cryptocurrencies.

You can use a throwaway email account for these cryptocurrencies. This makes payment untraceable.

Tunnelbear on the other hand doesn’t have a proven no-logs policy. They just claim that they do. In terms of jurisdiction, it’s located in Canada which is a member of the 5 Eyes.

So it’s legally required to log users’ data and this, therefore, is a huge red flag. Payment for Tunnelbear is through Bitcoin which uses a person’s email. So in such a case, it’s easy to trace the payment.

So as you can see, NordVPN is the best option for privacy!

Proven no-logs policyYesNo
JurisdictionPanamaCanada (5 Eyes)
Payment methodDifferent cryptocurrenciesBitcoin

5. Security

Concern for security is the main reason why most people use VPNs. Owing to cybersecurity risks, more and more people are turning to VPNs so that they are safe and secure when online.

Both NordVPN and Tunnelbear offer strong encryption. They allow AES-256 encryption via OpenVPN with IKEv2 and IPSec/IKEv2.

The only difference is that NordVPN has additional protocols of PPTP and SSTP, which Tunnelbear lacks. Both also have obfuscation protocols.  

Both of them also offer Killswitch and DNS/IP leak protection. The advantage that NordVPN has over Tunnelbear is that it has onion over VPN and double VPN both of which give more protection.

So both have some of the best security and encryption protocols in the industry. But just because NordVPN has more security features, it’s the winner in this case.

Security FeatureNordVPN Tunnelbear
AES-256 encryption via OpenVPN with IKEv2 and IPSec/IKEv2YesYes
PPTP and SSTP protocolsYesNo
DNS/IP leak protectionYesYes
Onion over VPNYesNo
Double VPNYesNo

6. Streaming

Streaming has become a popular online activity for most people today. For this reason, having a VPN with the best streaming capabilities is a must.

Most streaming services geo-block their libraries making it impossible to access them when one is abroad.

VPNs allow us to mask our real IP addresses and appear to be in different countries than we are. We can then access these streaming libraries.

They also encrypt our online data and allow us to stream in safety and anonymity. An ideal VPN for streaming would have unblocking capabilities, strong security protocols, and stable fast speeds. 

In this category, NordVPN wins hands down! For starters, NordVPN has excellent speeds for streaming and great security features.

It can unblock a whole variety of streaming services in the U.S. and abroad. These include Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, Showtime, and others.

While Tunnelbear has speeds that can support streaming and strong security protocols, unblocking capabilities isn’t one of its strengths.

It cannot unblock most streaming services and for this reason, isn’t a good choice if you’d like to stream your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.

So NordVPN is the clear winner.

Streaming ServicesNordVPNTunnelbear
Amazon PrimeYesNo
BBC iPlayerYesNo

7. Torrenting and File sharing

Torrenting and P2P file sharing has become a popular activity for most internet users. Using torrenting applications without protection can open one up to security threats.

This is why most people use VPNs for all torrenting activities.

Torrenting is also quite controversial. It’s considered illegal to share or download copyrighted material.

There’s a thin line between legal and illegal torrenting actions and it is therefore easy to get on the wrong side of things.

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting. It has dedicated P2P servers with excellent speeds and security for all your torrenting purposes.

It’s also located in Panama and copyright infringements are handled differently there.

Tunnelbear on the other hand doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to torrenting.

It does allow torrenting on its servers but there’s a slight reduction in speeds and is thus only good for sharing less bulky files. It’s located in Canada where copyright infringement is illegal.

So NordVPN is the best choice for all torrenting purposes.

Dedicated P2P serversYesNo

All in all, NordVPN is better than Tunnelbear and is therefore recommended for the best results!

Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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