FIX: TunnelBear error connecting to server

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • TunnelBear is one of the best free VPN services you can find in the market but it's got some big limitations.
  • If TunnelBear is not connecting check if you haven't exceeded the limits of your account. Check if the service has no scheduled maintenance and enable BearGuard if necessary.
  • Visit the VPN Errors page in case your client throws specific error codes and you need assistance.
  • Check out other similar articles in the VPN How To Guides section.
tunnelbear error connecting to server

TunnelBear is one of the best free VPN services you can find in the market, and just like the bear, it is cute on the outside, but tough on the inside.

This VPN provides a secure service with good connection speeds and plenty of server locations in different countries, aside from the capped data usage, it is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a VPN to start out or to use with Skype or even Hulu.

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Our team tests various VPN brands and we recommend them to our users by:

  1. Server park: over 20 000 servers around the world, high speeds and key-locations
  2. Privacy care: a lot of VPNs keep many user logs, so we scan for those that do not
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However, it’s not every time that this VPN, which is also one of the fastest VPN services for Windows 10, delivers amazing speeds. There are moments when you encounter a TunnelBear error connecting to the server, such as Your bear is having difficulty creating a secure tunnel error.

This happens when the VPN disconnects after you’ve just connected to the server, randomly. This leaves you exposed to cyber threats and your privacy is compromised, and thus you may not see the sense in using it again – this is a matter of design though, as the VPN uses one internet connection to route all data to the server.

Whether or not you have multiple internet connections, the bear will only use one from all of them, using a single socket, so your connection will be slower as all the data sent has to go through the server first, for encryption, via one channel.

So you end up using more bandwidth while making your connection vulnerable – it’s worse when traveling as you pass between multiple networks and towers.

Check out some solutions that can help you reconnect after the TunnelBear Internet connection appears to be offline, below.

FIX: TunnelBear server connection errors

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  1. Confirm your connection
  2. Perform quick troubleshooting fixes
  3. Turn on TCP Override
  4. Disable TunnelBear browser extension
  5. Turn on GhostBear

Solution 1: Confirm your connection

Go to bearsmyip to confirm that you’re properly connected. If the displayed location matches the location on TunnelBear, you’re okay. But be sure to check their Twitter page if they have updates on scheduled maintenance, as this also affects connection.

If there’s no update, and you cannot confirm connection on bearsmyip, turn off the VPN, restart your device, and try to connect TunnelBear again.

Solution 2: Perform quick troubleshooting fixes

Check that other apps are not interfering with your VPN service as they can affect connectivity. These include third-party security software, which you can temporarily disable to see if it is affecting TunnelBear connection to the server.

Test a different network by connecting TunnelBear to it and see if it works so you can determine whether the issue is with the router or your network.

Uninstall and reinstall TunnelBear, then restart your device and get the latest version of the VPN app. Also, ensure you can access your network or router settings and that the ports used by TunnelBear to connect are open.

If you continue experiencing issues with TunnelBear, we recommend switching VPN providers.

Private Internet Access to replace tunnelbear

Since TunnelBear already is a pretty good service, we must recommend you something really good. Our top recommendation is Private Internet Access or PIA, for short.

Owned by Kape Technologies, they are also a privacy-focused company, but with a much bigger and extended network of servers worldwide. This means there are less chances of connecting to a full server and experiencing slow speeds.

Here are the top features for PIA:

  • a huge network of over 3000 servers
  • privacy-focused: no logs policy and strong encryption protocols
  • WireGuard support on all servers
  • P2P connections allowed
  • a single subscription can be used up to 10 simultaneous devices
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PIA is an excellent alternative when TunnelBear is down, so get it now at a discount price, for a limited time only!
$2.85/mo. Buy now

Solution 3: Turn on TCP Override

If you get a TunnelBear error connecting to the server, your connection may be slow or unstable, so turn on TCP Override for better performance. you can find this feature in TunnelBear preferences under the General tab. If it is already on, turn it off and see if it changes anything.

Solution 4: Disable TunnelBear browser extension

Ensure you’re not running TunnelBear’s browser extension concurrently with the TunnelBear app, as they can interfere with one another’s operations, causing the error connecting to the server.

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Solution 5: Turn on GhostBear

GhostBear helps when connecting from a country with strict censorship rules or laws. Go to TunnelBear preferences under the Security tab and find GhostBear.tunnelbear security settings

It makes it hard for your VPN connection to be detected and/or blocked, but only enable it where there’s censorship, otherwise keep it off.

TunnelBear connection tips

  • Connect to WiFi, only where there’s a strong and stable signal and no one else shares the connection
  • Don’t move around while connected to TunnelBear VPN
  • Use TunnelBear VPN for short periods of time
  • If you must connect using mobile data, go to a location with the strongest signal possible
  • Limit data usage while on TunnelBear VPN

We’d love to hear from you. Share in the comments section below whether these solutions helped with the TunnelBear error connecting to the server.

FAQ: Learn more about TunnelBear

  • Where are TunnelBear servers located?

TunnelBear‘s servers are located in 20 countries around the world. Most of its servers are in France, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, followed by Australia, and Asia.

  • Does TunnelBear hide your IP address?

TunnelBear is a powerful VPN that can successfully hide your IP address preventing third-parties from pinpointing your real location. See our review of TunnelBear.

  • Does TunnelBear give free data?

Tunnelbear offers users 500MB of free data per month for testing purposes. This free VPN option is available for all unpaid users.

  • Why is my TunnelBear not connecting?

There might be several root-causes as to why your Tunnelbear connection may not work: your ISP is throttling VPN connections, your Internet connection is not stable, the proper ports are not open, and more. Check our article on how to fix these connection issues.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in February 2018 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.