Fix: Your Bear is Having Difficulty Creating a Secure Tunnel

Reconfigure TunnelBear or try our top-level VPN alternative

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Key notes

  • TunnelBear is one of the best free VPN services you can find, but it's got some big limitations.
  • If TunnelBear is not connecting, you should check if you haven't exceeded the limits of your free account.
  • Also, check if the service has no scheduled maintenance and enable BearGuard if necessary.
  • If the quick fixes above didn't work for you, our guide will teach you how to troubleshoot TunnelBear.
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.

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.

Why does TunnelBear keep disconnecting

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.

This problem happens on all operating systems. Users complain about Tunnelbear not connecting on Mac and Windows 11.

The most common error messages that are displayed in this situation include:

  • TunnelBear connection unsecured
  • The server is acting up forbidden TunnelBears
  • TunnelBear is stuck on connecting/connecting forever
  • Internet connection appears to be offline TunnelBear error (-1009)
  • TunnelBear keeps disconnecting
  • Error: TunnelBear 429
  • TunnelBear not changing location

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

How can I fix the TunnelBear connecting to server error?

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.

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 the 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.

Since TunnelBear already is a pretty good service, we must recommend you something really good. Our top recommendation, in this case, is ExpressVPN.

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 fewer chances of connecting to a full server and experiencing slow speeds.


ExpressVPN is an excellent alternative when TunnelBear is down, so get it now at a discount price, for a limited time only!
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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.

4. Disable the 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.

5. Turn on GhostBear

tunnelbear security settings

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

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

More about the topics: Fix VPN, Tunnelbear, VPN errors