Editor’s note: The following article was not up to our standard editorial standards, and we’re very sorry about that. We’re doing everything we can to improve, and hope you continue to read our site.
Couple of months ago, a movie studio obtained a John Doe order and got a bunch of popular video sharing and torrent websites offline. I found this highly repulsive in two significant ways. First, they were retarded enough to leave YouTube from the list and got Vimeo banned instead. Raise your hands if you’ve ever watched a pirated video song or a movie on Vimeo.
And second, as a proud citizen of the largest democracy in the World, I found this a gross violation of my freedom and an extension of the Great Firewall of China. That’s not a proud title to wear around your neck. Such infringements occur time and again even in highly democratic countries.
Not knowing that there are so many ways to sidestep these stumbling blocks is a mistake from our end. One of the most efficient and trustworthy services I have discovered in the last year is TunnelBear. After the break, let us see how you can enter the open Internet by just flicking a switch!
I’m a paranoid porcupine and I’m always weary about using any VPN or proxy service that I stumble upon. TunnelBear was no exception. I still remember using a dedicated browser with cookies disabled while using the app and not entering any sensitive data when using the VPN session. Gradually, I discovered that the bear is harmless and is actually trusted by tens of hundreds of people.
The app itself is free to download and comes bundled with some free bandwidth to test the waters. Nicknamed the Little TunnelBear, you get 500MB of free bandwidth each and every month. That’s not much, but if you are a heavy user, opt for the unlimited plan at $4.99 a month. In addition, if you are open to promote the app by tweeting about it, you’ll be rewarded with free 1GB of bandwidth.
Setting the Bear Up
You’ll need a TunnelBear account to login to the app. Once logged in, getting access to the free and open Internet is as simple as flicking a switch. When I mean flicking the switch, you actually have to flick the switch from the user interface that resembles a radio!
Once the service is on, you can connect to the Internet as a user from USA or UK. In my experience, I have found that with IP’s from either of these countries, you won’t have trouble accessing any website in this whole wide universe. By design, VPN services are a bit slow and TunnelBear is no exception.
But the good news is it’s hardly noticeable. I took the occasion as an excuse to stream and watch a full 20 minute video and found that there was no lag at all. I have used similar services in the past and they offer a number of servers for each geography. So, when one server gets blocked by the ISP, they can go on with their business without any hitch using another one from the list. While there are no such options available in the app, I guess the TunnelBear algorithm automatically routes you through the safest servers with lesser number of connections.
All connections are encrypted end to end and depending on the plan you are subscribed to, the encryption only gets stronger. The bandwidth transfer rate and the amount of bandwidth left in your account can be monitored in real time as well.
Naturally, the argument against using a service like TunnelBear is access to unlicensed content. There is always that negligible number of people who find a shady use case for any great technology. To me, VPN services help securing your connection and to break away the clutches of anarchy. If you are someone whose purpose falls in either of this category, then TunnelBear is the obvious choice!