IPVanish vs Tunnelbear: 2017 Comparison

IPVanish vs Tunnelbear

IPVanish Small Logo

Jurisdiction : USA
Locations : 60
Connections : 5
Apps : Win, Mac, Android & iOS
Protocols : PPTP, L2TP & OpenVPN
Guarantee : 7-Days
Monthly Price :

  • 1-Month $10.00
  • 6-Months $8.99
  • 1-Year $6.49

Tunnelbear Small Logo

Jurisdiction : Canada
Locations : 20
Connections : 5
Apps : Win, Mac, Android & iOS
Protocols : IPSec & OpenVPN
Guarantee : None
Monthly Price :

  • 1-Month $9.99
  • 6-Months –
  • 1-Year $4.99

IPVanish is one of the biggest VPN providers in the industry and Tunnelbear are widely known for their limited free offering.

Tunnelbear have recently been pushing their paid-for service more and are starting to compete with some of the bigger players out there.

But how does Tunnelbear compare to an industry leader like IPVanish?

In this head-to-head guide we look at the pros and cons of both services looking at their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision if you’re torn between signing up between the two.


IPVanish is no newcomer to the industry and has been around since 2012.

Over the years they’ve built an extensive network and amassed a large and dedicated customer base.

In our 2017 review we awarded them the highest ever score achieved on our website and they also topped the bill in 2016 too.

It isn’t by accident that they’ve become one of the biggest and most trusted VPN providers in the industry.

Some of the best features of the service are:

  • Over 60 countries available.
  • Software for Windows & Mac.
  • Easy to use Android and iOS apps.
  • Zero logging of what you do online.
  • Torrent use allowed.
  • 7-day money back guarantee.
  • 5 concurrent connections allowed.

It’s difficult to find many negatives to the service but our dislikes are:

  • No live help

VPNCompare Overall Rating: 4.6 / 5


Tunnelbear is best known for its free service.

They offer a completely free service with a 500mb limited data use. For nearly every purpose this tiny data limit will be insufficient but the free service is what has made Tunnelbear a household name.

Thankfully they also offer a more useful paid for service and while the standalone monthly price is similar to most other providers the 12-month package sees the price slashed in half which is certainly a good deal.

With the paid for service quite clearly paying for the free service is this a service that is sustainable?

Comparing this model to a truly paid-for provider like IPVanish will help you come to your own conclusion.

Some features we liked best:

  • Free service allows you to trial it.
  • Software is user friendly.
  • Apps are really easy to use.
  • Great for beginners.
  • 5 concurrent connections.
  • Servers in most major countries.

Things we didn’t like include:

  • Not the fastest.
  • Not too many servers.
  • Too basic for experts.

VPNCompare Overall Rating: 3.8 / 5

IPVanish vs Tunnelbear Comparison

  1. Price

Most VPN providers are priced basically the same. There may be a difference of a few dollars which when converted to pounds won’t be all that noticeable.

However, once you’ve signed up for a VPN service you’re likely to keep it for a long time so those differences can add up over time and why pay more if you can get an equally good service cheaper elsewhere?

On a monthly basis, both IPVanish and Tunnelbear are priced the same, the only difference being Tunnelbear is 1 cent cheaper.

Tunnelbear doesn’t offer a 6-month price but IPVanish does which will cost you US$8.99 p/m. If you need a 6 month account then IPVanish is your only choice.

A yearly package is where you see the biggest savings. IPVanish will cost you $6.49 p/m and Tunnelbear just $4.99.

Don’t forget Tunnelbear also offer a completely free service but it won’t be suitable for 95% of needs.

On price alone, Tunnelbear is the obvious winner.

Winner: Tunnelbear

  1. Security & Privacy

IPVanish offers access to PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols.

Tunnelbear on the other hand only offer access to IPSec and OpenVPN which is rather limiting.

Concentrating on OpenVPN alone, Tunnelbear offers AES-256-CBC encryption and a 4096-bit RSA handshaking key.

IPVanish also offers AES-256-CBC encryption but with a 2056-bit RSA key.

The encryption from both providers is industry standard and will protect your privacy.

In terms of protocols, IPVanish have more options available which gives you the choice if you need different protocols for different purposes which makes them the clear winner.

Winner: IPVanish

  1. Server Locations

When you’re paying the industry standard price you want the most service for your money.

IPVanish and Tunnelbear couldn’t be further apart in the server locations department.

While IPVanish currently has servers in 60 countries across the world, Tunnelbear have a lacklustre 20.

Tunnelbear does have what would be considered some major countries covered but with 3 times the amount of servers available from IPVanish and there not a massive price difference it is easy to crown IPVanish the winner in this category.

Winner: IPVanish

  1. Device Compatibility

Both IPVanish and Tunnelbear are pretty equal in this category.

The both offer software solutions for Windows and Mac desktop and laptop computers.

They also both offer apps for Android and iOS devices which means connection is possible on phone, tablet and other devices running those systems.

Tunnelbear also offers a web proxy for Opera and Chrome but as this isn’t a true VPN connection it doesn’t fall within the scope of this comparison.

Both provider’s software and apps are extremely easy to use so it’s difficult to choose between the two, for that reason this category is certainly a draw.

Winner: Draw

  1. Customer Support

Both IPVanish and Tunnelbear offer support via Support Ticket.

This is accessible on their respective websites.

There isn’t really a lot to say about either support service. They both respond quickly but they are both lacking other support methods.

It would be nice to see a live help feature or some alternative methods of contact.

With so little between the two, it is a clear draw again in this category.

Winner: Draw

Our Verdict: IPVanish

When you break down the two providers into key categories it appears there isn’t much between them.

IPVanish however far outperforms Tunnelbear in both security and server locations and as these being two of the most critical considerations for a VPN service it makes them a clear winner.

Outside of the above categories we also found IPVanish to be considerably faster than Tunnelbear and it isn’t without reason that IPVanish has been voted our Editor’s Choice for 2 years running.

If you’re undecided between the two then we recommend you sign up to IPVanish as they provide more for your money.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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