Tunnelbear vs IPVanish

TunnelBear and IPVanish are making some noise in the VPN industry. Between these two services, TunnelBear has an advantage because of its security and guaranteed no-logs policy. IPVanish also has a zero-logs policy, but it did face a security scandal in the past.

To further understand both of these VPNs, here is a table to break down each one’s features.

Comparison

logo ipvanishlogo tunnelbear
Logging PolicyNo loggingNo logging
JurisdictionUnited States (Five Eyes Member)Canada (Five Eyes Member)
EncryptionAES 256-bit encryptionAES 256-bit encryption
ProtocolsOpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/IKEv2
IPSec/L2TP
SSTP
PPTP
OpenVPN
IPSec/IKEv2
Ad and malware blockersNoYes
Kill switchYesYes (macOS, Windows, Android)
Leak TestsNo leaks foundNo leaks found
Speed TestSlowAverage
Torrenting & P2PYesYes
StreamingNetflix
Hulu
Firestick
Roku (Via Router)
Kodi
Apple TV (Via Router)
Android TV
Netflix
Hulu
Amazon Prime
HBO Max
Kodi

GamingWindows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via Router)
PS4 (Via Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via Router)
Windows
macOS
Linux (limited)
Android
iOS
CompatibilityWindows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Tor
Selected Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux (limited)
Android
iOS
Chrome
Firefox
Opera
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimited5
Servers1400+3000+
ChinaNoSometimes
Additional FeaturesScramble FeatureGhostBear (Obfuscated Server)
Split TunnelingYes (Android only)Yes
Prices$10.99/month
$44.99 for the first year then $89.99/year

Free (limited usage)
$9.99/month
$4.21/month (1 year)
$3.33/month (3 years)
Our Rating4.04.1
Websiteipvanish.comtunnelbear.com

I’ve summed up all of IPVanish and TunnelBear’s important features. It’s now time to have an in-depth comparison per category.

Privacy and Security

It’s always wise to shy away from a VPN service that does not belong within the jurisdiction of a Five Eyes country. TunnelBear is under the jurisdiction of Canada, while IPVanish is under the USA. Both of these countries are members of Five Eyes.

IPVanish was once involved in a data scandal, where it allegedly gave information to the Department of Homeland Security. Because of that, some became skeptical of IPVanish’s no-logs policy. Still, they claim they don’t log any data of their users.

TunnelBear did not face any similar or related issues.

Both VPN providers have a kill switch and ad and malware blockers.

Encryption

IPVanish and TunnelBear use AES 256-bit encryption. This type of encryption will take a long time even for a supercomputer to decrypt. It is secure and assures users of protection against prying eyes and cyber attacks.

VPN Protocols

Both TunnelBear and IPVanish use OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2. But IPVanish has IPSec/IKEv2, IPSec/L2TP, SSTP, and PPTP.

Leak Protection

To confirm that there are no IP leaks when using either of these VPN providers, I’ve used an IP leak test.

Before turning on TunnelBear or IPVanish, this is what my IP address displayed:

IP Leak Test – No VPN

This became my IP Address when I selected one of IPVanish’s US servers:

IP Leak Test – IPVanish US

Upon selecting TunnelBear’s US server, this is what my IP address showed:

IP Leak Test – TunnelBear US

Both did not fail to hide my true IP address. Either of them is good enough to secure your data and private information.

Server Security

Neither IPVanish nor TunnelBear has a server network that’s RAM-based. They have yet to release an announcement that they’ll upgrade their servers. While they claim to have a no-logs policy, a RAM server is a better option since it erases all data once the device is turned off.

In Conclusion

If I base the level of security on IPVanish’s issue, it’s obvious that they still log their users’ data. It does not make the users feel safe and secure. Even though it’s ahead of TunnelBear in terms of additional protocols, I’d choose a service that doesn’t have a tarnished reputation.

For this TunnelBear vs IPVanish privacy and security category, I’ll give my vote to TunnelBear.

Speed Test

To test its speed reliability, I’ve conducted a speed test on TunnelBear and IPVanish. I’ve recorded my speed before I used either of the VPN services.

Here’s my speed before turning on my VPN:

Speed Test – No VPN

These were my speeds when I tested out IPVanish’s US and Singapore servers:

Singapore:

Speed Test – IPVanish Singapore

US:

Speed Test – IPVanish US

Meanwhile, here are TunnelBear’s results when I selected its Singapore and US servers:

Singapore:

Speed Test – TunnelBear Singapore

US:

Speed Test – TunnelBear US

IPVanish and TunnelBear became slower when I selected their respective US servers. That said, it is not reliable when it comes to connection speeds. I don’t think either one of them exceeded my expectations. With that, I’ll call this round a tie.

Winner: Tie

Torrenting and P2P

IPVanish and TunnelBear are both optimized for torrenting. For TunnelBear, it recommends Canada, the US, servers on European “tunnels” like the UK, Netherlands, and Germany for file sharing. This will minimize any errors or issues.

I’ve tested both of the VPN providers for any leaks.

Before turning on any VPNs, my IP and torrent address appeared like this:

Torrenting Leak Test – No VPN

This is how my address appeared after turning on IPVanish in its Singapore server:

Torrenting Leak Test – IPVanish Singapore

This is what they looked like when I turned on TunnelBear in its Singapore service:

Torrenting Leak Test – TunnelBear Singapore

TunnelBear and IPVanish hid my IP and torrent address. I can say these two VPN providers are good enough to use when it comes to file-sharing.

Winner: Tie

Streaming

IPVanish claims it can open foreign libraries of Netflix, Hulu, Kodi, and Amazon Prime. You can also install it on Firestick, Kodi, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku (you can access IPVanish on the last two devices via a router).

TunnelBear can access the same streaming platforms with the addition of HBO Max. It provides fewer streaming options for its users as it can’t be installed on routers.

Netflix

Both of them can access the US Netflix library. The only question now is how they would fare in terms of resolution. I have my doubts about these VPN services as both did not perform well in terms of speed. So to test it out, I’ve used IPVanish vs TunnelBear when streaming Spotlight on Netflix.

Netflix displayed this resolution when I turned on IPVanish:

Netflix US – IPVanish

TunnelBear also showed high resolution when streaming via Netflix:

Netflix US – TunnelBear

They are both decent when streaming movies on Netflix. Although considering the connection speeds they showed, it will be hard to tell if they are reliable throughout your stream.

This round, I’ll call this a tie once again.

Winner: Tie

Gaming

IPVanish and TunnelBear are both compatible with different operating systems and browsers. IPVanish, however, has an advantage as it can be used on several gaming consoles via a router.

Both of them are good enough to use when you are playing games on your mobile device.

This is what Mobile Legends looked like when I turned on IPVanish on a US server:

Mobile Legends - IPVanish

This is what the game looked like when I turned on TunnelBear on a US server:

Mobile Legends - TunnelBear

There are a few lags, but otherwise, you can use them for mobile gaming. But for this round, I’ll bet on a VPN service that is compatible with gaming systems. This round goes to IPVanish.

Compatibility

Both IPVanish and TunnelBear are compatible with several operating systems and browsers, but only IPVanish is compatible with selected routers. This secures more devices that are connected to your network upon a single installation. TunnelBear, however, does have browser extensions.

For a more comprehensive comparison, here is IPVanish vs TunnelBear compatibility:

IPVanishTunnelBear
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Tor
Selected Routers
Windows
macOS
Linux (limited)
Android
iOS
Chrome
Firefox
Opera

They both have features that are unique from each other. So for this round, I’ll call this a tie.

Winner: Tie

Simultaneous Connections

It would be great if you have a VPN provider that allows as many simultaneous connections as possible. You can use TunnelBear on up to six devices, including your computer and mobile devices, all at once.

IPVanish has no cap when it comes to the devices. You will be able to use it on all of your devices for it offers unlimited simultaneous connection, minus the fact that you can also install it on your routers to secure all the gadgets connected to your network.

For this category, IPVanish can take home the prize.

Servers

You would want to choose a VPN provider with more VPN servers for higher security. IPVanish has 1,300 in around 55 countries. Meanwhile, TunnelBear has 3,000 servers in more than 40 countries.

TunnelBear beats IPVanish in terms of the number of servers. For this round, I’ll give my vote to TunnelBear.

China

The VPN services that can go around the Great Firewall of China are only a few. Unfortunately, neither IPVanish nor TunnelBear can assure that you can bypass the country’s firewall.

TunnelBear says it has users in China and it works as long as there is an Internet connection. Still, it can’t guarantee smooth connection as other areas are more restricted than others.

For this round, I’ll say it’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Interface and Usability

IPVanish has an interface that you can easily navigate. Upon trying it out on MacOS this is what its window looks like:

IPVanish Interface

It displays the time of how long you are connected, protocol, server, and a graph of your data usage. Apart from being user-friendly, IPVanish’s interface is also helpful.

Meanwhile, I can say that I had trouble using TunnelBear’s interface. It only provides you a small window that can’t be expanded. Upon opening, TunnelBear greets you with a map that you drag until you get to your desired location. Because it does not expand, it’s hard to navigate. It has a separate list of server locations, though, that I find more user-friendly.

TunnelBear Interface 1
TunnelBear Interface 2

In terms of interface and usability, IPVanish is my choice.

Additional Features

Both IPVanish and TunnelBear have features that are equivalent to obfuscated servers. This feature comes in handy if you don’t want the prying eyes of the authorities to track down your digital activities. TunnelBear has Ghostbear while IPVanish has the Scramble feature.

Since both of them have the same additional feature, I’ll say this round is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Customer Support

IPVanish is ahead of TunnelBear in terms of customer support features. Unlike TunnelBear, IPVanish has live chat support, phone support, and video tutorials.

TunnelBear responds immediately to your emails via ticket support. It offers helpful content from its knowledge base that may answer your concern. If you are still searching for a more specific answer, a customer support personnel will answer your inquiry within 48 hours. I received the reply to my concern after two hours.

TunnelBear doesn’t have live chat support, though. I prefer a VPN provider with a live chat customer representative to answer questions more concisely.

Here’s a table of comparisons for customer support features per VPN provider:

IPVanishTunnelBear
Live ChatYesNo
Email SupportYesYes
Phone SupportYesNo
Ticket SupportYesYes
Video TutorialsNoNo
Online Knowledge BaseYesYes
Average Response Time20 minutes2 hours

For this category, I’ll go with IPVanish.

Prices

Here are the prices of IPVanish and TunnelBear:

IPVanishTunnelBear
Subscription LengthsNo free tier1 month (Free 500MB/month)
$10.99/month1 month ($9.99/month)
$44.99 for the 1st year
and then $89.99 per year
One year ($4.99/month)
Three years ($3.33/month)
Highest Price Per Month$10.99$9.99
Lowest Price Per Month$3.75$3.33
One Year Price$44.99 for the 1st year and then $89.99 per year$59.88
Money-Back Guarantee30 daysCase-by-case basis
Special OfferSave 50% discount on the 1st yearSave 67% for a three-year plan
Save 50% for a one-year plan

Unlike IPVanish, TunnelBear offers a free plan before you can decide on a paid subscription. You can get 500 MB/month and an additional 1GB if you tweet about them. TunnelBear also appears to be a tad cheaper than IPVanish. My vote for pricing goes to TunnelBear.

Verdict

So, is IPVanish better than TunnelBear?

Overall, it has been a close fight. IPVanish is good enough to use in streaming and compatibility. It is also supported by several gaming systems. Moreover, I am a fan of its interface—it’s user-friendly and useful.

TunnelBear is a bit better though. If you would notice in some categories, I’ve declared these 2 VPNs as ties. But TunnelBear has more servers than IPVanish. And more importantly, TunnelBear did not face any security or data logs issues in the past.

Had IPVanish not faced any security issues, it would have won. But since data logging is a big no-no for VPNs, TunnelBear wins this battle.

About the author 

Erwin Caniba

Erwin, our Chief Editor, has an established career in digital marketing. Since 2012, he’s always used a VPN. As such, it came to his mind to share his experience with every VPN that he’s used. And so, VPN Thrive was born.