How do I resolve connection issues?

Running into an un'bear'able connection issue? No worries, we'll do our best to make sure that TunnelBear is working properly for you.

First, if you are able to connect to a tunnel within the application, head over to bearsmyip to confirm if you are connected properly. If the location displayed matches the one selected in TunnelBear, then you should be good to go. Additionally, please make sure to check out our Twitter page to see if we are doing any scheduled maintenance.

If there is no down time being reported on Twitter, and you aren't able to confirm a successful connection at bearsmyip, try to turn TunnelBear off, reboot your device, and then reconnect with TunnelBear. Oftentimes, simply restarting things can fix most issues.

If the problems persist, before reaching out to our Support Bears, we always advise running through some of the basic troubleshooting steps first:



Contents

General Troubleshooting
Windows/Mac Troubleshooting
iOS Troubleshooting
Android Troubleshooting
Browser Extension Troubleshooting



General Troubleshooting

Ensure that other applications aren't interfering
Check to make sure that you aren't running any other VPN services; they can potentially interfere with your ability to connect. Additionally, if you are running any third party security applications, try temporarily disabling them to see if they are interfering.

Test another network
Try connecting to TunnelBear on another network to see if you can connect. This can let you know if the issue might possibly lie with the router or network you are using.

Re-install the application
Uninstall TunnelBear (as you would normally uninstall any application), reboot your device, and then head here to grab the latest version of the app.

Make sure the proper ports are opened
If you have access to your network/router settings, we always recommend to make sure that the ports TunnelBear uses to operate aren't blocked:

Windows, macOS, or Android devices need port 443 (both TCP and UDP) to be unblocked. If a connection via port 443 is not successful, the application will try to connect using port 7011 (UDP). If you're using the GhostBear feature, port 6418 (both TCP and UDP) will need to be unblocked.

iOS needs UDP ports 500 and 4500 to be unblocked. Additionally, some routers have an "IPSec/IKEv2 Pass-Through" setting which opens the ports required for the iOS VPN connection to operate.



Windows/Mac Troubleshooting

Turn on TCP Override
If your connection seems slow or unstable, TCP Override may result in better performance. This feature is located in your TunnelBear preferences, under the general tab. If you already have TCP Override on, try turning it off to see what impact it has on your connection.

Ensure that the TunnelBear browser extension is off
Make sure that you are not running the TunnelBear browser extension at the same time as the TunnelBear application, they can potentially interfere with one another.


Try turning on GhostBear
If you are connecting from a country with strict censorship, we recommend to give GhostBear a try. You can locate this feature in your TunnelBear preferences, under the security tab. GhostBear makes it harder for the VPN connection to be detected and blocked. Please be aware, GhostBear should only be enabled in cases of censorship; otherwise we advise to keep this feature off.



iOS Troubleshooting

Reinstall the VPN profile
1. First, make sure that TunnelBear is OFF
2. Click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the TunnelBear app
3. Click on Reinstall Profile
4. You will be given the option to 'Choose a way to tunnel'
5. Follow the prompts

Ensure that your device isn't jailbroken
Customizing your device's operating system can change important system settings. These changes can sometimes prevent TunnelBear from working correctly. We recommend using a non-jailbroken device to prevent such issues.



Android Troubleshooting

Make sure your device isn't running custom/rooted firmware
Customizing your device's operating system can change important system settings. These changes can sometimes prevent TunnelBear from working correctly. We recommend using a stock ROM to prevent such issues.

Disable any third party apps
If you are running any third party battery or memory saving applications, try disabling them to see if they might be interfering with your connection.

Try turning on GhostBear
As with Windows and Mac, if you are connecting from a country with strict censorship, we recommend to give GhostBear a try (located in the TunnelBear preferences). GhostBear makes it harder for the VPN connection to be detected and blocked. Please be aware, GhostBear should only be enabled in cases of censorship; otherwise, we advise to keep this feature off.



Browser Extension Troubleshooting

Disable any third party extensions
Make sure other extensions, especially ones that provide a similar function to TunnelBear, are disabled while trying to connect. The TunnelBear browser extension is designed to detect if a conflicting extension is present. However if you discover that a specific extension is causing an issues with TunnelBear, please let us know.

Clear your browser's cache and cookies
1. For instructions on how to clear your cache/cookies in the Chrome browser, head here.
2. For instructions on how to clear your cache/cookies in the Opera browser, head here.

Ensure that your browser allows cookies
The TunnelBear extension uses a standard cookie to ensure that you are authenticated throughout both the extension and website. Please make sure that your browser is not configured to delete cookies automatically when exiting the browser. Additionally, please ensure that any third party cleaner/privacy extensions are not set to automatically remove browser cookies. Lastly, ensure that cookies are enabled in the browser settings.

1. For more details on how to manage cookies in the Chrome browser, head here.
2. For more details on how to manage cookies in the Opera browser, head here.

Make sure that the TunnelBear desktop application is off
Please make sure that you aren't running the TunnelBear application while the TunnelBear browser extension is already on. Only one is designed to be connected at a time.