TunnelBear 3.0 is the latest version of the VPN client for Windows and Mac OS X that ships with a new Trusted Network feature and performance improvements.
We have talked about TunnelBear before here on this site, so just a quick recap of what it is all about if you never heard of the service.
TunnelBear is a VPN service that you may sign up for. It offers a free tier that is limited to monthly transfers of 500 Megabyte, and a paid tier that does away with the bandwidth restriction.
It is also available as a browser extension for Chrome or Opera that uses the service for data transfers in those browsers.
TunnelBear 3.0 is available for the service's desktop programs. According to the company, one of the main new features of the new version is that connections happen up to 60% faster than in old versions of the program.
If you have tried previous versions of TunnelBear, you may have experienced slow connection attempts, and an improvement in this regard is certainly a welcome additional.
Probably even more useful than that is the new Trusted Networks feature. Basically, what it does is allow you to add certain networks to a trusted list. You then turn on auto-connect, and TunnelBear will automatically connect to one of its servers whenever the device you are using is not connected to a trusted network.
So, add your home and work network to the list of trusted networks, and get automatic VPN connections anywhere else including the coffee shop next door, at the airport, the hotel lobby or room, or your friend's house.
While you could perform these operations -- that is connecting to TunnelBear when connected to untrusted networks -- manually, the main advantage is that it is automated with Trusted Networks enabled.
This means that you won't forget to do so, and that it may happen earlier than if you would do so manually.
The company behind the product has integrated another useful feature to its application. It checks the security of the wireless network connection, and will warn you if issues are observed. For instance, if the connection uses WEP, you will be notified about it.
Last but not least, TunnelBear 3.0 protects you if the device's connection to the TunnelBear server drops for whatever purpose. This feature is similar to kill switches that companies like Private Internet Access have implemented in their clients.
It prevents data from being transferred over insecure connections if the VPN connection drops.
The introduced features make sense and improve the security of the connection. While that is good, the 500 Megabyte that you get for free is nowhere near enough for doing anything serious on the Internet.
Watch a handful of videos and you reach the limit. Even if you only do web surfing, you will reach the limit quickly with modern web pages often exceeding the 1 Megabyte mark easily.
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