Want to begin using TunnelBear VPN to secure your privacy online? That’s understandable! The VPN provider has many users worldwide because they offer 500 MB of free monthly data on a powerful network. While you can then upgrade to a relatively affordable plan, the service never forces your hand. Simultaneously, they permit users who need occasional protection in tricky situations such as logging in and accessing geo-blocked websites. Regardless of the purpose it serves for you, we’ll show you how to use TunnelBear VPN.
1. Use TunnelBear VPN on Windows
Although we assume you read the activation guide, we will give you the abbreviated version. With that mentioned, using TunnelBear VPN on Windows computers works this way:
- Open the TunnelBear software you downloaded.
- If you forgot your free account credentials:
- Enter a new e-mail address and password.
- Tick the box in front of I accept the Terms and Conditions.
- Click the Create button to generate a free account.
- If you’re a user who signed out or reinstalled the software:
- Click the Log in link below Already have an account?
- Type the -mail address and password for the existing account.
- Click the Log In button. You can also select the Forgot Password link to get a reset link to the registered e-mail address.
- You will now see a quick guide. Go through the few simple images or select Skip in the bottom left corner.
- A new tab in your browser will open if you never verified your e-mail address, especially on a new account.
- Click the Verify my account button, open your email service and click the link you received.
- Select the OK, verified! button after you do.
- You will now see a map of the world with pots/pipe endings in locations with country names. You now have three choices:
- Select the icon above the country name to connect.
- Click the Turn TunnelBear On button floating over the map. That will connect you to the fastest server by default.
- Toggle the Off button in the upper left corner to become On. TunnelBear connects you to the fastest server yet again.
- Once you see the “Connection Secured” message cloud, you can begin browsing safely.
How to switch servers and configure settings on TunnelBear for Windows
We already clarified that the On button connects you to the fastest VPN server it finds. In other words, it will connect to the one with the lowest latency and best speed, usually near your real-life location. However, if you want to switch, you can click one of the pipe icons and establish a connection to a specific country. Moreover, you can click the “Fastest” word to see a drop-down menu with country names. The benefit of that option is that you can choose a particular server in the same country. Furthermore, there are three tabs in the Settings (cogwheel icon in the left sidebar):
- General — This tab lets you enable or opt out of opening TunnelBear when you start your computer, meaning VPN can always be on. You can also make the app keep working in the background instead of closing and disable some notifications.
- Connection — You can configure 4 important options for TunnelBear that are disabled/auto by default:
- VigilantBear — turn their VPN kill switch on or off.
- TCP Override — a tool that improves connection stability in some cases.
- GhostBear — Their name for an obfuscation feature that makes your data look more genuine and thus inconspicuous.
- VPN protocol — Lets you switch from automatic protocol choice to OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IKEv2/IPsec.
- Account — Provides an overview and lets you upgrade to a different plan, log out, submit error reports, and more.
2. Using the TunnelBear VPN software on Mac
TunnelBear does its best to ensure smooth cross-platform use. Thus, using a Mac application is almost identical to the Windows one. The primary difference is in the installation process, where you have to extract the TunnelBear.zip file to get the TunnelBear.dmg one. After double-clicking it, select Open → Move to Applications Folder. This is the part that confuses most users. Tunnelbear needs a “helper tool” to install and work properly. It is required since it ensures that your network restores to its original configuration when you turn the VPN off. You also have to enter the password for the administrator user account on your macOS computer.
3. Connect to TunnelBear VPN on Android
Downloading the TunnelBear application through the official website or Google Play Store by clicking on Install. Now:
- Run the TunnelBear Android app by tapping or selecting Open on Play Store.
- You can now create a free account or tap the Log In button as we demonstrated in the Windows guide.
- Reset the password or verify the email if required as explained in the guide.
- Once you’re ready to use TunnelBear VPN, tap the Get tunneling! button.
- Like on Windows, you have three ways to connect to VPN servers:
- Tap the icon of a pipe above the country name on the map.
- Toggle the switch above “Disconnected” to on.
- Tap on the up triangle next to “Fastest” at the bottom. You can now select a country to connect to a server there.
- Regardless of the option you pick, you will get a “Connection request” pop-up. It is generic and states that the provider can monitor data traffic. Luckily, this one has a no-logging policy. Tap OK.
- The switch at the top will become blue and say “Connected”, meaning you’re ready to access the Internet securely.
Can I configure settings for TunnelBear on Android?
Yes, accessing TunnelBear settings requires you to tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner. After going to Options, you can enable or disable:
- Bear Sounds — Turn on or off sounds and notifications.
- GhostBear — An obfuscation feature that makes your VPN connection appear regular.
- SplitBear — Split tunneling feature lets you route some app traffic into a VPN and use a regular internet connection on others.
- VigilantBear — A VPN kill switch feature that protects your anonymity if your Internet connection drops.
4. Use the TunnelBear VPN iOS application
If you read the instructions above, you don’t require a guide to use TunnelBear VPN on Apple iPhone and iPad 12 and newer. After downloading, opening, and creating an account or logging in, only one difference exists. It’s the “Permissions needed” screen where you must tap on Accept and Continue then Allow to create a VPN profile. Enter your device passcode to authenticate. Connecting works identically to Android but GhostBear is unavailable on iOS.