What Does A VPN Client Do Exactly
To use VPN software, you need something called a VPN client. “Client” is really just another term for app, but the difference is that clients act as a gateway between your device and the service you’re trying to connect to. Clients aren’t a standalone app.
Your device connects to the VPN server through the VPN client. Once you’re connected, the client gives you access to the VPN service.
VPN aren’t the only software that use clients. Some well-known examples of clients are online games like Fortnite or the Adobe Creative Suite.
…clients act as a gateway between your device and;the;service…
When Should I Use Tunnelbear With Kodi
You should always use;TunnelBear;and;Kodi;together, but if;VPNs put too much of a strain on your Internet connection, you should at least use it when streaming content through some of the riskier;Kodi;add-ons, including Hulu,;IceFilms, BBC;iPlayer, and those that source their content from torrent files notorious for recording and broadcasting the IP addresses of file-seeders.;
Tunnelbear Privacy & Security
TunnelBear also conducted an independent audit in 2017, 2018, and 2019 for holes in its codewear, infrastructure, website, and apps, and it published the findings of each audit on its website.
To back up its no-logs policy, TunnelBear also issues an annual transparency report that shows how many times government or law enforcement agencies requested user data and how many times TunnelBear complied with the requests .TunnelBear is based in the US, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances .;But if the US government requested user data, TunnelBear wouldnt have any to turn over because the VPN doesnt store user data.
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Terrible VPN Terrible Support
This VPN has never worked properly since Id purchased it in February. The biggest issue being it doesnt allow communication from my five iOS devices and two Mac OS devices to Google search engine. And customer service is pretty much redundant. You know, is the app current? or did you turn it off and turn it back on again? Okay, the latter is something Apple does. Be advised that TunnelBear does not refund one bloody zinc Abes head for this alleged VPN. They politely guide you to Apple, and Apple has become the largest money grubbing, fraudulent, dont give one half a care about their customers. So one has to fill out the report a problem on the Apple site. And, suspiciously, at least in my case, the refund portion is greyed out. And then Apple responds with brilliant links to forums, etc. Gosh, why didnt I think of that? I asked Apple to stop jerking me around and refund my $63 and some odd cents USD. I was told it would have to be elevated to the BoD because, clearly, Apple and their crony developers need the money.EDIT: As suspected, Apple denied my refund request. As far as TunnelBear goes, I just tried opening a .PDF email attachment and after 15-20 seconds, I was greeted with the all too familiar no connection banner. This happens when TB is active. Turn off TB and BAM! The doc opened immediately.No sense in contacted TB no-support.
Tunnelbears Servers Are Secure
TunnelBear is a secure VPN and independently audited by Cure57 every year since 2017. The audit team analyzes TunnelBears codebase, websites, apps, and infrastructure, looking for security flaws and data breaches. This makes it easy to find and solve potential problems, thus keeping the VPN secure. However, TunnelBear has been caught leaking WebRTC information in the past, which is a bit suspicious.
All the data is public, meaning that TunnelBear is transparent about it. The audits are posted on its website all the problems and fixes are highlighted. This is a level of transparency not many VPNs have. Its also worth mentioning that every TunnelBear server is protected by malware scans, full disk encryption, and intrusion protection software.
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Does Tunnelbear Work For Torrenting
In years past, we saw that TunnelBear would actively block torrents on its network. Today, however, torrenting does seem to work. But dont hold your breath.
TunnelBear was very slow in our tests. Therefore it would not be a good VPN for torrenting due to slow file transfer speeds. And of course there are very few servers to choose from, which hinders your ability to find a fast server for torrenting near your location.
Recommendation: Dont use TunnelBear for torrenting.
Why Netflix Blocks A VPN Provider
According to data collected from GlobalWebIndex, a leading audience analytics platform, VPNs are used by 25 percent of all internet users. Theyre faster, offer greater privacy, and are more secure.
However, VPN users around the world, regardless of which VPN they subscribe to, are experiencing the same issues with Netflix.
Since 2016, Netflix has been waging a war against VPN users by blocking their IP addresses and keeping them from accessing their content.
Prior to this, TunnelBear and other VPNs provided quick and easy access to Netflixs never-ending stream of content goodness. However, keeping Netflix off your IP address coattails takes effort, and TunnelBear seems to have thrown in the towel.
As a TunnelBear user, where does this leave you?
Dont worry, you have options. But first.
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Ghostbear Makes Your VPN Vanish Sometimes
When you turn GhostBear on, it changes your VPN traffic signature to look like a different kind of traffic. Its still encrypted VPN traffic, but if someone were to use DPI on it, all they would see is regular internet data. To do this, GhostBear uses a technology called Obfsproxy. Originally designed to work alongside Tor, Obfsproxy can be used as a standalone software that changes traffic signatures to look like traffic that isnt normally blocked by DPI.
Obfsproxy alters a number of identifying features like how big a packet is or the order that theyre sent in. It can add or remove data to a packet by padding or trimming them into sizes that are less recognizable.
How Netflix Prevents A VPN Provider From Connecting
I would argue that while many VPN users may have subscribed to a service for one particular benefit or another, most soon discover a VPN is a great way to protect their online activities, no matter what those activities might be. For that reason, many users stay connected to their VPN service whenever theyre online.
When a user connects to their VPN service of choice, they are connected to one of the providers servers, as are a large number of other users. When they sign in, they receive a new IP address, which makes their connection appear to be from the VPN servers location. That location could be on the other side of town, or in another country on the other side of the world.
Users connected to a certain VPN server all receive the same IP address as the other users. This makes all of the connected users appear to be connecting from the same location, as they all share the same VPN-assigned IP address.
While this provides an extra layer of security, due to every users online activity coming from the same IP address, it also makes it easier for a streaming service like Netflix to detect that a VPN is being used.
If a substantial number of VPN users on the same VPN server are using it to connect to Netflix, this clues the streaming provider in on the possibility that the IP address is being provided by a VPN service.
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Tunnelbear VPN Review: Our Final Verdict
TunnelBear VPN;is a great option for anyone new to the world of VPNs or anybody that just wants a simple service that’s easy to use. This extends to those using the platform for torrents or for streaming from BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video.;
For anyone that wants more complexity, greater protocol options or to access Netflix and Disney Plus, this isn’t the best service for you.
Read more about VPN:
Does Tunnelbear Unblock Netflix And Other Popular Streaming Sites
No, TunnelBear doesnt unblock Netflix. We typically try at least a few US servers with Netflix, but there is only one US server option with TunnelBear. We tried this one with no luck. One of the recommendations on the TunnelBear FAQ page is that you try disconnecting and reconnecting to switch IP addresses, in the hopes that youll land with one that isnt blocked. We tried this several times, but again, had no luck accessing Netflix.
We contacted customer support, and a representative gave us a bit of a vague response, stating that we have many users able to use our services to access region-blocked content and directing us to a troubleshooting article. Unfortunately, we were still unable to get Netflix to work.
We also tried Netflix while connected to servers in other countries, including the UK, Canada, and France. These didnt work either, although this isnt a big surprise, as very few VPN services can unblock Netflix libraries other than the US one.
In attempts to access other streaming services, we had mixed results. While a Canadian server worked to unblock Amazon Prime Video, a US and UK one didnt. The UK server was unable to provide access to BBC iPlayer, although it did enable access to All 4 and ITV Hub.
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Does Tunnelbear Work With Netflix In 2021
Its a rainy Sunday afternoon, the pizza is ordered, and youre ready to Netflix and chill. So, you grab a warm blanket, switch on your TunnelBear VPN connection, open up your Netflix account and get ready for some much-needed downtime.
Then, this happens: You get the dreaded Whoops, something went wrong message of doom. You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy. Please turn off any of these devices and try again.
What? Not again! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. Whats gives?
Tunnelbear VPN Browser Extensions
The TunnelBear browser extension is a lightweight encrypted proxy that you can control from the browser window. TunnelBear offers browser extensions for:
I tested the TunnelBear Chrome extension for this review and found it to work alright.;Here is the TunnelBear Chrome extension in action, which you can see in the upper-right corner of the browser.
Many VPNs now offer browser extensions. In some cases, such as with TunnelBear, the browser extension acts as an additional proxy for the browser itself, changing the IP address and DNS requests within the browser. In other cases, such as with ExpressVPN, the browser extension just extends the VPN desktop client into the browser for easier functionality. In this case, you can simply control the desktop VPN client through the browser.
We discuss this topic more in our post on the best VPN for Chrome.;There are also a few other VPNs that offer browser extensions, including VPN.ac, ExpressVPN, and also NordVPN and CyberGhost.
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Are Tunnelbears Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming Yes But Only On Local Servers
TunnelBears local servers are good for gaming, but its impossible to play something on a long-distance one. I tested this aspect using Nvidia GeForce Now to see if I could stream and play both single and multiplayer games.
The network test analyzes 3 metrics:
- Bandwidth measures the maximum amount of transferred data in a given amount of time
- Packet loss measures the percentage of data lost during file transfer
- Latency/ping measures the time between the users action and the networks response
Naturally, I need different speeds to play single and multiplayer games. To successfully stream a single-player game from Nvidias servers, I need 25 Mbps, while a multiplayer game takes up to 30 Mbps.
On the local server I connected to, all these metrics were within the required intervals. Bandwidth was at 32 Mbps, I had no packet loss, and the latency stood at 29 ms. I could stream and play both single and multiplayer games without any issues. The overall experience wasnt as smooth as I was hoping for but the speed was good.
When I switched to an international server, the situation took a turn for the worst. I connected to one of TunnelBears Netherlands servers, and it was impossible to play any game. The bandwidth was low at 12 Mbps, I had a packet loss of 13.3%, and the ping was 46 ms. I couldnt stream and play any games.
Long Distance Speed Tests
We were surprisde by TunnelBears international speeds. We recorded a speed loss of just 30% connecting from the UK to the US, down from 96Mbps to 67Mbps. More or less what the fastest VPNs deliver.
TunnelBears speeds connecting to Europe were also very fast. This means you can stream video content from overseas without experiencing significant speed drops.
Below are the average download and upload speeds we recorded connecting from the UK to servers in Germany, Singapore, Australia, and the US:
- USA: 67Mbps &16Mbps 30% download speed loss
- Germany: 81Mbps &91Mbps 15% download speed loss
- Singapore: 54Mbps &20Mbps 43% download speed loss
- Australia: 56Mbps &10Mbps 42% download speed loss
Connecting to Australia was slower a 43% drop but this is typical considering the distance, and is actually a very good result. Just 15% speed loss connecting to Germany from our UK location is also very strong.
However, TunnelBears speeds arent the best international ones weve tested Hotspot Shields are even quicker. Nevertheless, theyre more than fast enough for smooth HD streaming.
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How To Fix Slow Speeds
Before we try to troubleshoot issues related to slow server speeds, its essential to understand that a drop in connection speed is inherent to all VPNs. After all, users are practically routing their online activities to a middle man for encryption.;
Also, it is well worth noting that TunnelBear doesnt offer the fastest VPN server speeds in the market . Users can experience up to a 50 percent drop in connection speeds. It gets worse if youre connecting to a server that is far away from your current location.;
Of course, that doesnt mean that theres nothing you can do to troubleshoot slow server speeds when using TunnelBear. One option that could prove helpful is to turn on a feature called TCP Override which optimizes server performance under slow or unstable networks.
You can turn on TCP Override by navigating to the settings page and selecting the gear icon on the left. From there you will see the toggle button for the said feature.
Tunnelbears Optional Extras Password Manager To Keep Your Logins Secure
TunnelBear has a carefully branded password manager called RememBear. Just like the VPN, it has a free plan usable on 1 device only. However, you can upgrade to the Premium plan for $6 USD per month.
The problem is that I couldnt download the desktop app the download links for macOS and Windows are broken. The Android and iOS apps worked just fine, though. I managed to save my passwords, as well as credit cards.
RememBear also has a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, but since you also need the app which couldnt be downloaded, I couldnt test it.
This is a feature you can definitely go without. Its not mandatory, but can be useful at times.
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Why Use Expressvpn With Netflix
While their numbers have dwindled, there are still a few VPNs advertising Netflix connectivity. However, not all VPNs are created equal.
Heres why we like ExressVPN, especially with Netflix:
With more than 1,500 VPN servers in over 90 countries, ExpressVPN is an excellent option for accessing Netflix and other streaming services.
ExpressVPN does a great job with privacy protection. Based in the British Virgin Islands, theyre not required to keep user logs. In fact, they actually have a strict No Logs policy to protect the privacy of each of its users.
Granting Netflix access is one thing, but youll also want a VPN provider with fast connection speeds in order to minimize buffering and maximize your enjoyment of your favorite content. ExpressVPNs connection speeds are pretty fast for a VPN, nearly matching the speeds of most ISPs.
You can access Netflix from virtually any connected device, and ExpressVPN will allow you to do exactly that. From iOS and Android devices to Apple or Amazon Fire TV, Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles, macOS native apps, Windows desktop platforms, Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, and more, you can access Netflix from just about anywhere.
Is Tunnelbear A Good Fit For Me
If you put a check in the following three boxes, TunnelBear is probably a good candidate for your next VPN:
Im tired of VPN services that look like they were designed by the CIA
TunnelBear is a different sort of VPN company. They want you to enjoy using their apps and seeing their bear They also want to make the whole process of using a VPN as simple as humanly possible. So if youre looking for a VPN thats people-first with straight-talking policies and features, this is your VPN.
Im into privacy, but Im not going to be spending too much time under the hood of my VPN
If the first thing you do when you unbox a VPN is head straight for the settings to check out the protocols like a kid at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning sorry, youre not going to have that kind of fun with TunnelBear. TunnelBear doesnt even let you choose protocols. On the other hand, if you dont care how you connect to your VPN as long as its ultra secure and keeps your online activity hidden, then youre going to be roaring happily with TunnelBear.
I want a VPN thats affordable and reliable, but Im not looking for a fire sale
Bottom line: TunnelBear is a very cool-looking, budget-friendly, privacy-focused VPN service that takes great pains to keep all their tech where many of us want it: under the hood and out of the way.
FYI: There are currently 51 bears working behind the scenes at TunnelBear, including Jean-Luc Bearcard, Obi-Wan KenoBear, WereBear, Meme Bear, and GodzillaBear.
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