The official Android app of popular VPN service, TunnelBear, has just been released to the Google Play Store. Initially available for Windows and Mac only, TunnelBear now allows Android users to privately browse the internet on their mobile devices with complete freedom. With this free app running on your device, you no longer have to worry about not being able to access location-restricted websites or services, such as Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, Netflix and Pandora. Unlike most Android VPN tools, TunnelBear works on both rooted and non-rooted devices, and more importantly, can be downloaded and used without paying a dime. Apart from its overall effectiveness, the app’s interface is praiseworthy, since it’s both intuitive as well as quite simple to use. If you’ve ever used TunnelBear on desktop, you won’t have much trouble using its mobile counterpart. Once activated, the app’s services can be monitored and toggled from anywhere within the entire OS through the TunnelBear notification panel widget.
In order to get started, you are required to log in to the app using your TunnelBear account. First time users have the option to sign up for a new account for free right from within the app. Each registered user gets a maximum of 500MB of free data per month. However, as has been the case with TunnelBear for quite some time now, you can avail the service’s 1GB Twitter Promo offer to receive an additional 1GB of free data per month. Subscribing to the offer is quite simple, and can be done from within the mobile app. All you need to do is send a Tweet to @TheTunnelBear requesting the service for your share of additional data. You should receive the good news within the next 60 minutes.
The app’s main UI comprises an animated bear that depicts the state of the service, an interactive data meter keeping you apprised of your monthly data consumption, an on/off toggle for the VPN and one for switching between its US and UK servers. Above the aforementioned Twitter promo offer, you’ll find the option to upgrade to one of the services premium plans. You have 1-month, 3-months and 1-year reasonably priced at $2.99, $7.99 and $29.99 respectively.
Once activated, the app keeps running in the background, allowing you to privately and unobtrusively surf the internet. Through a persistent notification, the app keeps you informed about the server that you’re currently connected to. Tapping this notification takes you to another screen from where you can keep a close eye on the session details in terms of duration and sent/received data. Also, from the same screen, you can disconnect from the VPN and head over to the app’s configuration menu.
Now for anticlimax; TunnelBear is currently meant to run on Android 4.0 or higher devices only. Also, please be informed that TunnelBear might not allow access to certain region-restricted Android apps and Play Store services.