ExpressVPN vs. TunnelBear: Which one is better in 2023?


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 18, 2023

Two VPNs that have caught the attention of many users worldwide are TunnelBear and ExpressVPN. TunnelBear is known for its user-friendly interface and free plan, while ExpressVPN is often lauded for its speed, security, and wide server network.

In this comprehensive comparison, we will scrutinize TunnelBear and ExpressVPN under several crucial parameters such as security and encryption, no-log policy & jurisdiction, server network, streaming, torrenting, compatibility and ease of use, pricing, and customer support. This will help users choose a VPN service that best suits their needs.

Security and Encryption

Security is a paramount factor to consider when choosing a VPN. An ideal VPN encrypts all the data you send and receive over the internet, providing an additional layer of security. It prevents third parties, such as hackers and ISPs, from viewing your online activity.

Comparison of the Security Features and Encryption Methods of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear implements AES-256 encryption, the industry standard for secure connections. It offers the VigilantBear feature (a kill-switch) that blocks all unsecured traffic if your connection gets interrupted.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN also employs AES-256 encryption and features a Network Lock (its version of a kill-switch), keeping data safe even if the VPN connection drops.

Security and Encryption ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Encryption MethodAES-256AES-256
Kill-switchYes (VigilantBear)Yes (Network Lock)

Upon analysis of the table data, it’s clear both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN offer robust security features, making them reliable choices in terms of security and encryption.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Security and Encryption

The primary pro for TunnelBear is its simple, user-friendly approach to security. It also offers GhostBear, which makes encrypted data less detectable to governments and ISPs. The downside, however, is that TunnelBear has fewer security features compared to ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN shines with its advanced security settings, such as its choice of security protocols (including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2). The only downside is that these numerous options may be overwhelming for VPN newcomers.

Conclusion on Which VPN Provides Better Security and Encryption

Although both TunnelBear and ExpressVPN provide robust security and reliable encryption, ExpressVPN has the edge due to its more advanced security settings and options.

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III. No-log Policy & Jurisdiction

A. Explanation of No-log Policies and Jurisdiction and Why They’re Important

A no-log policy refers to a commitment made by VPN providers not to collect or log your internet activity data. It is essential for maintaining user privacy. The jurisdiction of the VPN provider also matters because it determines which government laws the provider has to comply with, affecting how they handle your data.

B. Comparison of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN’s No-log Policies and Their Jurisdictions

TunnelBear, headquartered in Canada, a member of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, assures a strict no-log policy, meaning they do not collect any user logs related to web browsing activity. However, they do collect minimal operational data to optimize their service.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, operates out of the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction that isn’t part of any major intelligence-sharing agreement. They also run a strict no-logging policy, guaranteeing no collection of sensitive data such as IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destination or metadata, and DNS queries.

No-log Policy & Jurisdiction ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
JurisdictionCanadaBritish Virgin Islands
No-log PolicyYes (Minimal operational data collected)Yes (No collection of sensitive data)

An analysis of the table data reveals that while both VPNs uphold no-log policies, ExpressVPN’s jurisdiction is more privacy-friendly compared to TunnelBear’s.

TunnelBear’s major downside lies in its jurisdiction. Being based in Canada, part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, it is subject to invasive privacy laws. On the plus side, TunnelBear’s clear privacy policy and commitment to yearly transparency reports instill confidence in its no-log claims.

ExpressVPN’s significant advantage is its location in the British Virgin Islands, away from ’14 Eyes’ countries. It also has a clearly defined and strictly enforced no-log policy. However, the lack of routine transparency reports leaves room for some skepticism.

Conclusion on Which VPN Has a Better No-log Policy and Jurisdiction

In terms of no-log policy and jurisdiction, ExpressVPN takes the lead, courtesy of its privacy-friendly jurisdiction and commitment to not log sensitive data.

For more on the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, refer to this detailed Wikipedia article.

Server Network

A robust server network is crucial for a VPN service as it directly impacts the speed, performance, and versatility of the VPN. A vast, well-distributed server network means faster speeds, lower latency, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions effectively.

Comparison of the Server Networks of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear has servers in over 40 countries. However, the exact number of servers isn’t disclosed publicly.

ExpressVPN, contrastingly, is transparent about its server network, boasting over 3,000 servers across 94 countries.

Server Network ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Number of ServersNot disclosedOver 3,000
Number of CountriesOver 4094

The data from the table clearly indicates that ExpressVPN offers a broader server network than TunnelBear.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN Based on Server Network

The main drawback of TunnelBear is its undisclosed number of servers, and it’s relatively limited global coverage, which may impact speed and the ability to bypass geo-blocks.

ExpressVPN, conversely, offers a robust server network spread across numerous countries, ensuring better speed, stability, and ability to bypass geo-restrictions. Its disadvantage, however, lies in the premium price you pay for these features.

Conclusion on Which VPN Has a Better Server Network

Considering the server network size and distribution, ExpressVPN outshines TunnelBear with its vast and globally distributed servers.


VPNs play a significant role in streaming geo-restricted content. A good VPN enables you to virtually relocate your device, allowing you to access content that would otherwise be inaccessible due to geographical limitations. Streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and others have different content libraries for different regions, and a VPN helps bypass these restrictions.

Comparison of the Streaming Capabilities of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear does not consistently unblock all streaming platforms. It does, however, provide limited access to some platforms like HBO and YouTube, but struggles with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

ExpressVPN, conversely, excels at unblocking a variety of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and many more.

Streaming Capability ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Amazon Prime VideoNoYes
BBC iPlayerNoYes

The table data highlights that ExpressVPN performs better than TunnelBear when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted streaming content.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Streaming Capabilities

TunnelBear’s main con is its inconsistent ability to unblock popular streaming platforms, limiting its utility for binge-watchers.

ExpressVPN shines in its streaming capabilities, offering smooth access to most major platforms. Its only downside might be its premium cost.

Conclusion on Which VPN Offers Better Streaming Capabilities

In terms of unblocking geo-restricted streaming content, ExpressVPN comes out on top.


VPNs play a crucial role in safe and anonymous torrenting. They help hide your IP address, preventing unwanted scrutiny from your ISP or any third parties. They also secure your data, ensuring that your torrenting activity remains private.

Comparison of the Torrenting Capabilities of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear allows torrenting on all its servers but doesn’t have a dedicated profile for it.

ExpressVPN, however, is highly torrent-friendly, offering unlimited bandwidth and robust security features like a kill switch to ensure secure and interruption-free torrenting.

Torrenting Capability ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Allows TorrentingYesYes
Kill SwitchYesYes
Dedicated Torrenting ProfileNoNo

Both VPNs support torrenting, but ExpressVPN provides a more secure and robust environment for torrenting.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Torrenting Capabilities

While TunnelBear allows torrenting, its lack of a dedicated profile and potential speed issues due to fewer servers can be a drawback for heavy torrent users.

ExpressVPN is excellent for torrenting, offering excellent speeds, security features, and unlimited bandwidth. It does not, however, have a dedicated torrenting profile.

Conclusion on Which VPN is Better for Torrenting

ExpressVPN holds the upper hand for torrenting, thanks to its superior speed, security, and unlimited bandwidth.

Compatibility and Ease of Use

Compatibility with various devices and platforms is critical for a VPN. You want a VPN that works across all your devices – Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and even other platforms like routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. The ease of use is another crucial factor as nobody wants to deal with a complicated interface when it comes to securing their internet connection.

Comparison of the Compatibility and Ease of Use of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera but lacks compatibility with routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Its interface is user-friendly and intuitive, with a clean, minimalistic design.

ExpressVPN shines in compatibility. It supports all major platforms, including Linux, routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles. Its app is simple to use, offers a clean design, and provides advanced features without overwhelming the user.

Compatibility and Ease of Use ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Smart TVsNoYes
Gaming ConsolesNoYes
Browser ExtensionsYesYes

The data in the table clearly indicates that ExpressVPN offers superior compatibility than TunnelBear.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN based on Compatibility and Ease of Use

While TunnelBear has a user-friendly interface and provides decent device compatibility, it falls short in supporting platforms such as Linux, routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.

ExpressVPN offers extensive device compatibility and a user-friendly interface. Its advanced features are easily accessible, making it a suitable option for both beginners and advanced users.

Conclusion on Which VPN is More Compatible and Easier to Use

When considering compatibility and ease of use, ExpressVPN comes out on top, thanks to its broad device compatibility and user-friendly interface.


The cost of a VPN service is often a determining factor when choosing a VPN. While free or low-cost VPNs may seem tempting, they often lack in features, security, and performance. A good VPN service balances affordability with quality, offering top-notch features at a reasonable price.

Comparison of the Pricing Plans of TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear offers a free version with a monthly data limit. Its paid plans are reasonably priced, with a monthly plan, a yearly plan, and a three-year plan.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, does not have a free version. Its plans include a monthly option, a six-month plan, and a yearly plan. While it is on the pricier side, it justifies the cost with its extensive features and excellent performance.

Pricing ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Free VersionYesNo
Monthly Plan$9.99$12.95
Six-Month Plan$59.95
Yearly Plan$59.88$99.95
Three-Year Plan$120

Pros and Cons for Each VPN based on Pricing

TunnelBear offers a free version and cheaper plans, making it a more budget-friendly option. However, it’s worth noting that the free version has limitations, and the paid plans may not offer as many features as some higher-priced VPNs.

ExpressVPN is pricier, but it provides extensive features, excellent performance, and top-notch security, making it a worthwhile investment.

Conclusion on Which VPN Offers Better Value for Money

Considering the balance between cost and quality, ExpressVPN offers better value for money despite being more expensive, due to its extensive features and outstanding performance. TunnelBear is a good option for those on a budget or seeking a simpler VPN solution.

Customer Support

Reliable customer support is an often overlooked but crucial feature of any VPN service. VPNs can sometimes be complicated, and even seasoned users can encounter issues that need addressing. Hence, having reliable, accessible, and responsive customer support is invaluable.

Comparison of the Customer Support Offered by TunnelBear and ExpressVPN

TunnelBear offers customer support via email and a thorough online help center. However, it does not provide live chat support, which can be a drawback if you require immediate assistance.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has a comprehensive range of support options. It includes a robust online help center, email support, and most importantly, 24/7 live chat support, which can come in handy for quick issue resolution.

Customer Support ComparisonTunnelBearExpressVPN
Email SupportYesYes
Online Help CenterYesYes
Live ChatNoYes

The data in the table highlights that ExpressVPN provides a broader range of customer support options compared to TunnelBear.

Pros and Cons for Each VPN in Terms of Customer Support

While TunnelBear offers decent support with an email system and an online help center, it lacks live chat, which can be a significant disadvantage in situations that require immediate assistance.

ExpressVPN shines in customer support with email, an online help center, and 24/7 live chat. The availability of live chat means you can get immediate help when needed.

Conclusion on Which VPN Provides Better Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, ExpressVPN takes the lead due to its 24/7 live chat support, providing timely and efficient help when you need it most.


Recap of the Main Points of Comparison

We have taken an in-depth look at TunnelBear and ExpressVPN, considering critical areas such as security, no-log policy, server network, streaming capabilities, torrenting, compatibility, ease of use, pricing, and customer support.

Overall Comparison Table (TunnelBear vs ExpressVPN)

Security and EncryptionGoodExcellent
No-log Policy & JurisdictionGoodExcellent
Server NetworkGoodExcellent
Streaming CapabilitiesFairExcellent
Torrenting CapabilitiesGoodExcellent
Compatibility and Ease of UseGoodExcellent
Customer SupportGoodExcellent

Final Thoughts on the Better VPN Based on the Analyzed Factors

ExpressVPN emerges as the more robust and versatile VPN, offering superior performance in most areas, despite its higher pricing. It shines particularly in security, server network, streaming capabilities, torrenting, compatibility, and customer support.

TunnelBear is a decent VPN that offers good security and a no-log policy. It also has a user-friendly interface and comes at a more affordable price. However, it falls short in server network size, streaming capabilities, and customer support.

If you are looking for a VPN with extensive features, top-notch security, excellent streaming and torrenting capabilities, and broad compatibility, ExpressVPN would be a wise choice. However, if you are new to VPNs, have simple needs, or are on a tighter budget, TunnelBear can still be a reasonable choice.


Which VPN offers better customer support, TunnelBear or ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN provides better customer support, including a 24/7 live chat service, which TunnelBear does not offer.

Does ExpressVPN or TunnelBear offers better value for money?

While TunnelBear is more affordable, ExpressVPN offers superior value for money considering its extensive features and excellent performance.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.