Privacy is a top concern for many tech users today, and not just those with high-powered Silicon Valley careers or government positions. With news of hacking events, data breaches, and state-sanctioned surveillance cropping up every day, protecting yourself from unwanted monitoring is just smart, no matter what type of user you are.
One easy to use and readily affordable option is a virtual private network, which essentially forms a “tunnel” onto the internet that only you can use. This tunnel keeps your search history, communications, IP address, and behaviors closed off from prying eyes.
TunnelBear is an easy option for users who want to know their information is private but without installing a tinfoil liner in their offices. With mobile app and desktop versions, as well as a freemium model for selecting how much data you need, it’s quickly becoming the go-to choice for VPNs.
There are some pretty basic key features that TunnelBear offers, regardless of the subscription plan you choose:
- Browse privately: Secure your data and hide your IP address behind a bear.
- Block trackers: Block website trackers, including ads, analytics, scripts, social button, which track everything you do.
- Bypass country censorship: A TunnelBear can ‘tunnel’ you around censorship and blocked sites.
(That last feature is pretty handy if you travel abroad and can’t access your own Netflix account because of international licensing agreements…just saying.)
So how does their pricing structure work? It’s great, actually. Rather than limiting the features that users can access at different prices, TunnelBear limits the amount of data. Basically, if you only need a VPN for the most secure behaviors like accessing your online banking or filing your taxes electronically, the free account is probably good enough. It only comes with 500MB of data in that plan, but you can triple that amount just for giving TunnelBear a shoutout on Twitter via the app’s easy button.
For the paid plans, TunnelBear offers two great avenues for protection. Both offer you the monthly fee or annual fee option for the same unlimited protection–annual gets you a significant discount, of course–but you have the option to sign up for iOS-only to protect your iPhone and iPad, or you can sign up for “the works” which protects five computers, phones, or tablets. The iOS-only version will run you $3.99US per month or $29.99US per year, while the desktop-and-mobile version will cost you $7.99US per month or $49.99US per year. It’s a pretty smart way to tailor the pricing to different users based on how they plan to connect online.
What’s great about the TunnelBear app is you can toggle it on or off depending on the behavior you plan to engage in. Checking in with your credit card company to pay your bill? Toggle it on and connect, even if you’re a free member. The option to upgrade is unobtrusive and waits quietly in the corner in case you need more data.
To try TunnelBear for yourself, click here for a free download and more information.