Tech note – StrongVPN vs TunnelBear vs my native connection – speed tests

I was demonstrating something at my Sunday volunteer class. To make it work, iOS and Android users needed to temporarily use a VPN so it seemed they were in the U.S.

I myself use StrongVPN, but I needed something drop dead simple for these users. Somebody recommended TunnelBear. It is incredibly simple to use with iOS or Android. Unlike StrongVPN you don’t have to install certs and go into the VPN settings. It “just works.” And the students found the animation of the bear tunneling from Japan to the U.S. very amusing.

Also, there is a free level – 500 MB per month (with an extra 1 GB per month if you press the “tweet” button and promote them).

For a beginner it is a very simple system to use, and I would recommend it for those users.

When I got back from class, I was curious – how does TunnelBear stack up against StrongVPN which I’ve been using for several years. I quite like StrongVPN and the service has always been outstanding.

Well, there is no comparison. StrongVPN speeds blow TunnelBear out of the water with speed.

TunnelBear speed: 7.36 Mb/s down and 3.9 Mb/s up. Certainly not a problem speed.

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4414904558

StrongVPN speed: 60.64 Mb/s down and 109.28 Mb/s up. That’s 8~28 times faster than TunnelBear!

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4414907212

Native speed: 277.66 Mb/s down and 85.44 Mb/s up. Nothing to complain about for sure.

http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/4414908576

Anyway, if you need something super-simple to quickly install on iOS or Android you might be satisfied with TunnelBear. For consistently high performance and outstanding support service I’m sticking with StrongVPN though.

One suggestion for StrongVPN – it would be great for beginners to have a very easy to install iOS and Android app. I didn’t have problems doing it, but I knew what it meant to install the certs and then go into the VPN settings. A less experienced user might not. The beginners in the class I taught had no problem with the TunnelBear mobile apps though – and found it amusing and cute.

Both are good systems. I will stick with StrongVPN. But if I need to explain VPN to an iOS or Android user quickly I will point them to TunnelBear.