TunnelBear is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tool that connects your computer to the net through a gateway in the UK or the US. Any online service that checks the origin of your internet connection will see TunnelBear’s server details instead of your own.
There are several circumstances where this might be handy. If you’re a UK citizen travelling abroad, you can use TunnelBear to access British sites that are blocked in other countries. The tool also acts as an anonymiser. Some sites track users by location, but with TunnelBear your location can’t be found.
Our place is not to judge how you might use TunnelBear. We’re simply reviewing how well it works and it works very well indeed. We’ve used several anonymising services in the past. TunnelBear is more consumer-friendly, with a very-easy-to-configure interface. A dialog pops up, styled like an old, wooden radio. You simply switch to On and decide whether you want to use a UK or US server. That’s it.
TunnelBear then quietly routes your data through a server, with little discernible drop in quality. We were able to stream video and audio from the US while working on our test machine.
Browse the web with additional privacy, using this tool that hides your location
The free version gives you 500MB of data per month. Media streaming will soon chew up that bandwidth though. Upgrade to the subscription-based version for $4.99 (£3) a month (or $49.99 (£32) a year) and you’ll get unlimited data, 256-bit encryption and the iOS version of the service bundled in. What a bargain.