When TunnelBear is ON, your data has to pass through our secure and encrypted VPN servers before it can access the content you wish to ‘bear’owse, and deliver it back to you. It’s common for there to be a small amount of speed loss in the process. That said, there are several reasons why you might be experiencing more significant speed loss when using TunnelBear.
Common Causes of Speed Loss
Your physical location matters. The farther away you are from the tunnel you are trying to use, the farther your data has to travel. For example; if you live in Australia, connect to a US Tunnel, and access content in Japan, then your Bear has a fair amount of digging to do! Try tunneling to a country closer to where you are located to see if your connection speed improves at all.
Some ISPs may try to throttle or slow encrypted traffic coming from your network. If possible, we recommend trying TunnelBear out on another network to see if your speeds improve.
Additional VPN services
We don't recommend running more than one VPN service at a time. Installing software from other VPN providers can alter or conflict with TunnelBear’s optimal settings. Try removing or completely disabling similar software before using TunnelBear.
Other third-party apps
To optimize your tunneling experience, please make sure that other apps that typically transfer large amounts of data over the network connection are disabled (ie: cloud backup/file syncing services, background updates). Additionally, try disabling any third party security apps you might have installed (just temporarily), to ensure that they aren’t interfering with TunnelBear.
Still experiencing speed problems? Then we recommend to specifically try some of the following steps - they might get things moving more quickly for you.
Try switching to another network
As mentioned, ISPs are a common cause of speed issues. If you are using a portable computer or mobile device, try switching to another wifi or mobile network to see if it helps. If you are using a desktop computer, try switching from a wifi connection to a wired connection (or vice-versa).
Try switching to another tunnel
Sometimes, it may be that the tunnel location you’ve chosen in the app has received a sudden influx in traffic. We automatically add new servers in most locations in response to high demand, and TunnelBear should connect you to the best performing server based on the country you’ve chosen, though it sometimes takes a few minutes for our network to catch up to the sudden increase in traffic. While we adjust, try switching to another tunnel to see if your speeds improve.
If available, try our Auto Tunnel feature. Auto Tunnel will connect you to the fastest tunnel available, based off of all servers across the TunnelBear network.
Enable TCP Override (Windows, Mac)
If your ISP is throttling VPN connections, or you are connecting via an unreliable network, TCP Override might help. TCP Override will force the TunnelBear app to use a slower but more reliable protocol which may result in better performance on a choppy connection. This feature is located in your TunnelBear preferences within the app. If you don’t see any improvement, then we recommend disabling this feature.
Try toggling GhostBear (Windows, Mac, Android)
GhostBear is designed to make TunnelBear even more resistant to internet censorship by scrambling your VPN traffic, so that it is harder for your ISP or Government to detect and block the VPN connection. You can locate this feature in your TunnelBear preferences in the app. While GhostBear is a good indicator of whether your ISP is throttling or blocking your connection, it can also slow things down a bit. If you are already able to connect to TunnelBear without using this feature or it does not immediately improve your connection speed, we recommend keeping GhostBear OFF.