What is GhostBear?
GhostBear makes your encrypted data less detectable to governments, businesses, and ISPs (internet service providers). It does this by making VPN traffic less detectable on your network, which results in it being harder to block. GhostBear is currently available on our Windows, macOS, and Android apps. Unfortunately GhostBear is not available for iOS due to restrictions in the way iOS is designed. Since Apple controls iOS design, we have no control over this at this time.
Should I use GhostBear?
If you’re already able to connect to TunnelBear without enabling GhostBear, you should NOT enable GhostBear as it can make your connection slower or not work at all. You’ll still be protected by the latest and greatest encryption technologies. Leaving GhostBear off doesn’t make you less secure.
If you’re not able to connect or find that your bear can’t maintain a connection normally, it’s possible that the ISP you are using is detecting the use of encryption and then blocking or throttling the connection. In these cases we recommend that you try enabling GhostBear. If you don't notice any improvement, please make sure to turn GhostBear back off before reaching out to our friendly Support Bears.
How do I use GhostBear?
If you're using GhostBear on Windows or macOS, enter your TunnelBear preferences by selecting the Gear icon within the app (located on the left side of the app for Windows, and the top right corner for Mac). Select "Settings" and then check off "GhostBear."
If you want to use GhostBear on Android, click on the "Menu" icon in the top left corner (the three horizontal stripes). Then select "Options" and check off the "GhostBear" box.
Troubleshooting issues with GhostBear
If your connection is noticeably slower when GhostBear is enabled
Some speed loss is expected when GhostBear is enabled. This is caused by the extra ‘scrambling’ needed to further obscure your encrypted connection. If you don't need GhostBear to connect, turn it off for higher speeds.
If the GhostBear option is ‘greyed out’ and you can’t select it
There are a couple of reasons the GhostBear feature might be unavailable. If TunnelBear is already connected, you won't be able to enable GhostBear. Turn TunnelBear off and try again.
Additionally, TunnelBear will not allow you to enable GhostBear if your computer is running a custom proxy. Sometimes software similar to TunnelBear can be responsible for making these kinds of changes. Please ensure all other TunnelBear type services are uninstalled or disabled before trying again.
IMPORTANT: On some networks, a custom proxy is required to access the internet (without TunnelBear), so please double check with your network administrator or ISP before disabling or changing any custom proxy settings if you’re not sure where they came from! For more information on how to check your current proxy settings on macOS, head here.
If something else is using port 3389 or 6418
GhostBear uses port 3389 on Windows, and port 6418 (TCP and UDP) on all other platforms. Only one application at a time can use these ports. If you’re not able to activate the GhostBear feature, it’s possible that another application on your computer is already using one of these two ports. Remote desktop apps, remote webcam streaming apps, and Microsoft terminal services are all examples of applications that may use these ports.