I still remember when the TunnelBear VPN service was launched a more than a year back for Windows, Mac and later for iOS. In fact I was one of the first bloggers who reviewed it at a Tech blog that I used to work for. Recently, the TunnelBear VPN service launched its Android version.
What is A VPN Service?
If you are wondering “What is a VPN service?” then a simple answer would be that a Virtual Private Network or VPN service allows users to mask their network credentials by acquiring alternative credentials from another location (e.g. USA), which allows them to access restricted websites (e.g. Hulu). While the true definition of a VPN is more complex than that however I’m sure the aforementioned pretty much defines what common users use VPN services for.
Secure VPN Connection
A VPN service can not only help you access restricted websites but also provide an extra layer of security for your network to protect it from prying eyes. VPN networks are usually encrypted and more secure than common networks since your actual credentials are hidden. Among the various VPN services that I have used, I have found TunnelBear to be the best, despite the fact that it comes with some restrictions. Like the Windows and Mac version you can login with your TunnelBear account to begin using the service on an Android device (via the TunnelBear Android app).
USA And UK Network Credentials
Once logged in, move the knob to “ON” to turn on the VPN and also select the location that you wish to acquire credentials for (move the knob to US or UK). In other words, after you turn On TunnelBear you can use your device as usual, with US or UK network credentials. For example, moving the knob to “US” will give you credentials for United States which can help you access U.S. Only websites like Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, etc. Likewise, using “UK” credentials can help you access websites like Spotify.
Tweet For Free 1GB Extra Bandwidth
While there are also paid packages for this service, you get 500MB of free bandwidth each month which can be increased up to 1.5GB by tweeting for an extra bandwidth using the Tweet option on the Tunnel bear interface (see screenshot below with Twitter image).
1.5 GB Free Monthly Bandwidth For Free Version
As mentioned earlier the free version provides 1.5GB of free monthly bandwidth, which includes the 1 GB that you get after tweeting a request from your Twitter account. Your remaining bandwidth is displayed on the main screen to alert you of the remaining bandwidth for the month. This is why you should turn off Tunnel bear when it is not in use to save your monthly bandwidth.
TunnelBear for Android works with devices running Android 4.0 or above, which means it won’t work for Gingerbread devices, which unfortunately is still being commonly used due to lack of upgrade options. In case you would like to see a list of alternative services which may be compatible with your device, then see this post: Free Mobile And Desktop Apps For Accessing Restricted Websites.