Tunnelbear vs PIA: VPN Comparison

Tunnelbear and PIA are two excellent VPNs that offer everything you would expect from a VPN. In this article, we compare the two services to help you decide which is the best service for you!

PIA Top Features

  • Servers in 25 countries
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Ad, tracker, malware blocker
  • Can use with P2P
  • Kill Switch
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited speed

Tunnelbear Top Features

  • Servers in 20 countries
  • Protocols: OpenVPN or IPSec/IKEv2 on iOS
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Free version (up to 500mb)
  • Well designed app
  • Kill switch
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited speed

Tunnelbear vs PIA: Features In Common

Security - AES 256-Bit Encryption

If you are thinking about using a VPN, it is likely that security is one of your top priorities. Both PIA and Tunnelbear give you the option to use AES 256-bit encryption. This is one of the strongest types of encryption available and it should have no problems keeping your connection safe.

Pay Anonymously With Bitcoin

If anonymity is important to you, you may not want to even have your card details associated with your VPN. Because of this, both PIA and Tunnelbear give you the option to pay with Bitcoin. This can allow you to pay without giving over any details that could be tracked back to you.

As well as this, PIA also allow you to pay using popular e-vouchers.

Up To 5 Simultaneous Connections

Want to ensure that all your devices are always protected?

These VPN providers have your back as they both allow you to use up to 5 connections at the same time. This means that your house could use a laptop, tablet, desktop, and two phones at the same time and have the protection of a VPN on all of them!

Kill Switch

A kill switch is a handy feature of both PIA and Tunnelbear that ensures you never connect to the internet without protection from your VPN.

If you choose a VPN with no kill switch, there is a danger that should you lose connection to the VPN, you will continue to connect directly to the internet. However, a kill switch stops this from happening until you are once again connected to the VPN.

On Tunnelbear, you may at first be worried that there is no kill switch. However, this is not the case. They have simply re-branded their kill switch as vigilant mode.

Zero Logs

Neither PIA nor Tunnelbear collect usage logs so you can be sure your browsing will be kept anonymous. If a VPN collect logs, it would be possible for an organization with access to those logs to see your browsing. However, this should not be possible on these two services.

Quick Connect

Quick connect is a good option for when you don’t mind which country you access. By connecting to a VPN using this option, the service will simply select the closest VPN tunnel. This means your data won’t have to travel far which should give you a quick and reliable connection while also keeping all the security and privacy benefits of your favorite tunnel.

Differences Between Tunnelbear and Private Internet Access

PIA Exclusive Features That We Like

Private Internet Access - PIA - Home Page

>>> Click here to learn more at PIA <<<

NAT Firewall

Often, when you connect to the internet using a VPN, you will bypass the firewall on the router. This could leave you open to some malicious incoming connections.

Because of this potential security risk, PIA surround your connection with a NAT firewall. This should reduce the risk of malicious connections being made while you are connected to their VPN.

SOCKS5 Proxy

A SOCKS5 proxy is a VPN-like feature that is often used for P2P transfers. Much like a VPN, a SOCKS5 proxy sends your data through a server on its way from, and back to, your computer. 

Unlike a VPN though, it offers very little encryption (or often no encryption at all). This means it isn’t as secure as a VPN tunnel, although does make it much faster.

> Go to the Private Internet Access website

Tunnelbear Exclusive Features That We Like

Tunnelbear VPN Home Page

>>> Click here to learn more at Tunnelbear <<<

Free Usage (Limited)

Everyone likes a freebie and a free VPN (from a trustworthy source) is no exception. Tunnelbear offer a free trial that gives you up to 500mb of free data every month.

While this isn’t enough to stream videos or download files, if you just want to test their service or if you only need a VPN for very specific, low-bandwidth tasks, then Tunnelbear’s limited free plan is well worth a look.

Ghostbear Feature

Ghostbear is a handy feature that helps to hide the fact that you are using a VPN. While most countries and ISPs are fine with VPN use, some may try to stop you from using an encrypted connection.

Tunnelbear’s ghost bear feature should be a good workaround if this is the case as it is able to wrap the VPN traffic in other tunnels that appear the same as regular encrypted traffic.

> Go to the Tunnelbear website

Servers Available

Neither of these VPN providers have the largest amount of server locations. However, with over 20 servers, they will both offer most users more than enough options.

Both PIA and Tunnelbear have servers in North America, Asia, Europe, and South America. PIA also offers numerous server locations in its most popular countries such as the US and the UK.

Having a large variety of server locations can help you access geo-restricted content in a variety of countries and also ensure that you are more likely to have a server nearby to your physical location.

Are There Any Speed Tests?

We haven’t done any speed tests for the simple reason that there are too many variables to take into consideration when testing. A certain combination of encryption level, time of access, and server location may show one VPN provider to be faster, while the actual combination you want to use may be faster with the other provider.

Because of this, we think it is better for you to test the servers out yourself with the combinations that you like.

Tunnelbear vs PIA: Conclusion

While both these services are certainly decent, we do think that PIA is the slightly better of the two. It has more server locations, some good security features, and comes at a good price point.

However, Tunnelbear will have its fans due to its really well-designed app and also the fact that light users can benefit from its free service.

Remember to leave a comment if you have any questions about either of these VPNs!

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