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Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear’s Intellibear

Mark O'Neill 13-03-2014

In the past I have made no secret Tunnelbear VPN Adds Privacy Protection & "Always On" Security Tunnelbear have introduced two things which users will greatly appreciate, given recent events about intelligence agencies spying on our Internet usage - Privacy Protection & "Always On" Security. Read More  that my favourite VPN by far is Tunnelbear Set Up A VPN On Your iPhone In Minutes With Tunnelbear For those of you who want to have absolute privacy and no geo-restrictions while browsing the Internet, a Virtual Private Network is the way to go. Read More . It works perfectly, it’s easy to use, and it’s cheap. Now they have a brand new feature which makes me love the app even more. It’s called Intellibear, and in a nutshell, it enables you to tunnel some websites, but not others.


We here at MakeUseOf have made no secret of our love The 5 Fastest VPN Services (One Is Even Completely Free) Looking for a fast VPN but don't want to pay too much for it? Here are the fastest VPN services that we've tested. Read More for Virtual Private Networks What Is The Definition Of A Virtual Private Network Virtual private networks are more important now than ever before. But do you know what they are? Here's what you need to know. Read More (VPNs). With the NSA spying scandals and a general fear of being snooped upon while browsing, VPN apps are more relevant than ever. They unblock sites in countries that block them, and on an Internet where everything should be free, a VPN is the cornerstone of protecting that freedom.

Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear's Intellibear intellibear1

Smarter Tunneling

Sometimes there may be sites that don’t react too well to your tunnelling. Perhaps you have an online banking site that goes a bit wonky with Tunnelbear, but you are reluctant to turn the VPN off while you do your banking?

Or maybe you are in a country where YouTube or Facebook is blocked. Maybe you want Tunnelbear for these sites, but you want to browse normally for everything else – this is where Intellibear makes life easier.

Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear's Intellibear intellibear5


Look upon Intellibear as the VPN equivalent of an email filter. You can set up rules for different websites, to specify which ones get tunnelled and which ones don’t. Tunnelbear says they are the first VPN company to offer such a facility.

There are two ways to use Intellibear. You can either tunnel only the sites on your list, or you can tunnel everything except the websites on your list. The choice is yours. You should realise though that if you go with option two, the sites on the exclusion list will not be encrypted and private. So bear that in mind when browsing.

When you list the websites on one of the two lists, you need to list all possible variations of the site. A domain quite often has several variations of the domain name, and you should get them all to get it to work properly. Some examples are shown below.

Service Domains

I was watching Netflix using Intellibear (I’m hooked after watching House of Cards), and as a test to see how well this works, I used Intellibear to tunnel Netflix and no other sites. I added the three domains (shown in the Netflix section in the table above) and it worked perfectly.


According to Netflix, I was sitting somewhere in New York, and according to MakeUseOf, I was here at home in the south of Germany.

Filter My Tunnels!

So how do you use it? Simple. Just go to Tunnelbear, download the software, and log in. If you are a free user, you are restricted to how much data you can use (500MB), but you can get more if you tweet about the company. I highly recommend you sign up for the paid version which is only a bargain basement price of $5 a month. And for that, you get unlimited use.

Once you have made your account and logged in, fire up the old bear, and in the bottom right hand corner, you will see the gear icon. Click on that and then click on Preferences (Mac OS X) or Settings (Windows).

Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear's Intellibear intellibear2


That will bring up a few options. Next, click on Intellibear.

Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear's Intellibear intellibear3

You can then choose which list you want to use, and begin adding URLs accordingly.

Filter Your VPN Tunnels With Tunnelbear's Intellibear intellibear4


When you’re done, close the window, and your changes take effect immediately.

Bear Necessities

Using this technology you can stay two steps ahead of those who want to block access based on location. Media companies don’t want us to watch their programmes because we are supposed to wait another 6 months before it appears in our countries. If you don’t think that’s fair, Tunnelbear and similar services allow you to level the playing field a bit, while paying for your media like upstanding citizens.

The same technique applies to music and music videos. Here in Germany, many music YouTube videos are blocked because an association claiming to represent the best interests of the musicians have blocked the videos due to licensing issues. Is that fair? Tunnelbear doesn’t know the meaning of fair!

Technology like Tunnelbear’s Intellibear is absolutely required in today’s day and age. The Internet has found itself bogged down with borders and restrictions. The big grizzly bear at Tunnelbear challenges the status quo for region-locked media, now in an even smarter way than before.

Do you use a VPN? Have you tried Intellibear? Hit the comments and let us know.

Related topics: Online Privacy, Online Security, VPN.

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  1. David Griffith
    August 8, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Hi, I have noticed since getting the Grizzly the iMessenger has been affected and I cannot send any messages out, can receive but no send. I don't know the iMessenger url or I would add it to the do not tunnel list. please advise.

  2. middle
    June 5, 2014 at 2:40 am

    tbear is a simple vpnclient with multiple feature, it worth to try.

  3. Mauricio
    March 29, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I have been using version for quite some time now. Today I decided to say (yes) to upgrade notice. But I think I made the wrong choice. On version v2.2.14.0 I'm not able to use IntelliBear features. It says my PC doesn't support it. Strange is , I was using it on the version before the upgrade and was working with no problems at all. I asked about the feature on there page and haven't received answer. Going for "rollback" and staying on v2.2.12 until something happens...

  4. Smokey Bear
    March 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Don! We actually do have a feature called Vigilant mode on PC which does exactly what you'd need. I hope that solves your security issue. Can you give it a test and report back here?

    Also, a lot has happened in a year at TunnelBear. We're constantly adding more Bear power to our servers, so you should see faster speeds. Let us know how the testing goes.

    Smokey Bear

    • Mark O
      March 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      Probably one of the best comments I've seen! Never before has a comment roared. :-)

  5. Mark O
    March 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I will ask the Tunnelbear guys to respond to your message.

    • Stefan
      June 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Hi Mark,

      I have tried your instructions for netflix.
      However, netflix only recognizes me as a US IP when I turn intellibear off and use tunneling in general. As soon as I active intellibear, even using the URLs posted here, I cannot access netflix from Germany.
      Are there any other URLs I didn't consider?

      Any help would be appreciated.

      PS: I asked the bears about this, after which they posted a link to this webpage for me.

  6. Don Gateley
    March 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I've been waiting for them to include something like VPNCheck that will block internet traffic in the event my connection to their VPN drops rather than just going clear without my knowing it. You can't use VPNCheck with their service because it doesn't use the normal Windows VPN mechanism. A security hole like that is a show stopper for me.

    Also, when I tested it a year or so ago it was stunningly slow.

    I end up using a VPN that uses the normal Windows VPN service and VPNCheck on top of that but I really like TunnelBear and love the bit of humor and whimsy their gang shows.

    BTW, you ask for my email address so how about supporting subscribing to email notices for comments on a story and making that automatic if I comment. As is, commenting is just talking into a vacuum.