Mic WrightReporter, TNW
Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.
As virtual private networks (VPNs) go, TunnelBear is one of the most user-friendly, with a cute ursine themed UI and a simple on/off switch to make it appear you’re elsewhere in the world.
Its newly-released TunnelBear for Chrome extension isn’t actually a full-on VPN. Instead, it’s an encrypted proxy which only handles data headed in and out of your browser, rather than from your entire machine.
Still, that comes in handy when you want to watch video clips or access sites that are otherwise region restricted.
Like TunnelBear’s Mac, Windows, iOS and Android apps, the Chrome extension will only give you limited monthly data for free. To dig into unlimited proxied browsing, you’ll need to buy either the Giant ($4.99/month) or Grizzly ($44.99/year) package.
It’s also worth noting that TunnelBear for Chrome uses the browser’s in-built AES 128-bit encryption rather than the AES-256 standard implemented in its apps.
I’ve used TunnelBear on iOS and Mac for about three years. It does exactly what it promises to with the minimum amount of fuss. So far, the Chrome extension seems just as reliable.
➤ TunnelBear for Chrome [Chrome Web Store]
Read next: Tunnel Bear’s mobile VPN app gets a beautiful animated new look
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.