Being half chinese, I have quite a lot of family in China and I often go to visit them for really long periods of time. For those of you that don't know, China has a really strict firewall in place restricting access to pretty much any website worth visiting, be it Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Youtube, Google etc. So for blogger cum social media addict such as myself, you can imagine that it's pretty darn painful being stuck on the other side of the world with almost no means of communicating with the outside world for 2 months a year. In addition, my access to Spotify, Netflix and BBC iPlayer is cut off which means that there really isn't anything for me to do to distract myself. That's where Tunnelbear comes in.
What is Tunnelbear?
Tunnelbear is the perfect app for browsing the internet when you're abroad. It is a VPN that gives you access to country-specific apps such as Pandora, Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, BBC iPlayer etc. Any app/website/activity that is country specific can be bypassed by installing VPN to your device. You can even vote for contestants on reality TV shows in your home country and unblock sports feeds for Soccer, NHL, MLB and NFL.
Tunnelbear is currently available on a wide variety of devices including PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android. It changes your location so that you can keep up the pretence that you are still in one of these eight countries: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands. Tunnelbear is currently being used in 154 countries.
How does it work?
It couldn't be simpler to install and start using Tunnelbear. Simply download the app to your device from the Tunnelbear website and follow their step by step instructions.
Why is Tunnelbear better?
I've tried numerous VPN apps before but none of them have been quite as good as Tunnelbear. It's much better than those which give you a browser from which you can go on blocked sites, as those apps won't give you access to country-specific apps such as Netflix. What's more, Tunnelbear makes internet browsing safer as your connection is diverted through secure channels to conceal your location. According to Forbes: “One of the best ways to claw back your privacy on the internet, is to use an app like TunnelBear.”
How much does it cost?
Little Tunnelbear: 500MB of free data a month, or 1GB if you participate in their Twitter promotion (definitely worth it).
Giant Tunnelbear: $9.99 per month for unlimited data (SALE: $4.99)
Grizzly Tunnelbear: $60 per year for unlimited data (SALE: $49.99)
All in all, Tunnelbear is probably the best VPN service out there at the moment. 500GB of data is enough to give you a decent trial and is a great for those going on short trips. If you're going on a slightly longer trip then perhaps investing in the Giant Tunnelbear package would be worth it. $10 really isn't a lot to ensure that you've still got access to your favourite apps. If you'd pay your movie phone company an extra $10 a month for free text messaging when you go abroad, then why would you not invest in Tunnelbear?