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New Feature: IntelliBear, A More Intelligent Bear Who Digs Smarter Tunnels

Some of the most common feedback we get at TunnelBear headquarters is that you’d like to be able to “tunnel” some websites but not others. So we’re excited to introduce a new feature we call “Intellibear”, that’s going to mean you can hit that “on/off” knob a little less often.

Only Tunnel This or Don’t Tunnel That

IntelliBear is setup by adding a list of sites in the app in one of two modes:

  1. Tunnel ONLY the sites on your list

    This mode is helpful if you have a handful of sites that you use TunnelBear for but otherwise you want to surf the web just like normal. For example, maybe you live in a country where Youtube is blocked. You primarily use TunnelBear to watch videos, but otherwise you want to browse the internet normally. Previously, using TunnelBear like this could mean turning TunnelBear on and off as you browse, and we know that can be “un-bear-able”. Now, adding sites to this IntelliBear list means that only these sites are tunneled and all your other browsing is normal.

  2. Tunnel everything EXCEPT for the sites on your list

    The second mode is good if you are concerned about online privacy, but have a handful of sites (banking, dating, corporate, academic, etc) that just don’t play nice with your Bear. Sites added to this list will be treated just like TunnelBear is turned off; meanwhile your TunnelBear will keep protecting your privacy with all your other browsing. Note: Sites on this list won’t be encrypted and private.

Ready for the Smarter Bear?

You can turn IntelliBear on by opening the TunnelBear app, clicking on the gear icon in the bottom right and then clicking on “Preferences” (Mac) or “Settings” (Windows). Then select the IntelliBear tab in the settings window.

Find IntelliBear

Add sites to the IntelliBear list and choose your desired mode. If you need some example URLs to test, click over to Makeuseof.com for a few suggestions.

Once you reconnect TunnelBear, you’ll know IntelliBear’s selective tunneling is working because the app display will turn gold instead of the regular blue.

Sweet sweet honey display means IntelliBear is working!

Golden Screen

When Can I Use It?

IntelliBear is live for PC and OSX, just make sure you’re running the latest version. Right now, IntelliBear is only available for desktop. It’s also only paw-sible to use IntelliBear if you have upgraded to Giant or Grizzly TunnelBear.


  • • IntelliBear let’s you choose what sites should be tunneled
  • • IntelliBear can be used to “only tunnel some sites” or to “tunnel everything but some sites”
  • • IntelliBear is only available for Giant or Grizzly users
  • • Testing IntelliBear? Try out the suggested URLs from Makeuseof.com

Thanks for checking out IntelliBear. If you like this post, be sure to tweet us or post on Facebook so the Bear-engineers can feel the love. This is an experimental feature, if you’re having problems, please send a rawr to support@tunnelbear.com, we appreciate all feedback.

Enjoy the smarter tunneling!



  • Drew

    Great idea. Too bad it doesn’t work as well as one would like. I’m going to fiddle with it more later.

  • Smokey Bear

    Hi Drew – can you send us an email to support@tunnelbear.com and let us know how you have IntelliBear setup? Some sites have multiple URLs that you need to enter to make IntelliBear work. Thanks!

  • Paulo

    That’s definitely a great idea! Loved it!
    I hope that it will be also avaible in the iPhone app(maybe choose which app to “tunnel” or not).

  • Drew

    I just sent a detailed email concerning the inability of IntelliBear to deal with BBC video streams.

  • Barbara Young

    I’m on a Mac and don’t see Preferences in the gear icon window. I’m running Tunnel Bear 2.1.8. I’ve run Update, logged out and back in, and closed and reopened Tunnel Bear. What’s up?

  • Barbara Young

    Ah, never mind. I downloaded the newest version from the site link. Using Update in the app didn’t get me the newest version. All okay now.

  • Smokey Bear

    Hey Drew – just replied. Let me know if my instructions help.

    Barbara – Sorry about the confusion. We’ll get the update working today but good to hear you got it working.

    Happy (Intelligent) tunneling!

  • Tom

    IntelliBear is great! I am excited about this feature. All to often I found myself turning TunnelBear on and off. The only challenge is when a site on my tunnel list links to something from a site not on my tunnel list and suddenly I am no longer tunneling. Hopefully IntelliBear will find a way to keep digging despite a change in the hostname.

  • eZinex

    Is it possible to use something like *.org or sitetest-1.*

  • Eara

    After installing the latest update ( IntelliBear no more works on my Windows 8.1 system (prompted me to install the adapter first, hit Okay and nothing happens) When I check the preferences>intellibear tab it shows me that my pc doesn’t support intellibear. Any ideas how to solve this?

  • Nardz.

    After the update tunnelbear is not working..
    It says Error close program or send information on internet..
    Pls response asap..

  • William

    works beautifully, and I love it. thanks!

  • Mauricio

    hi! Is there a way of disabling automatic update? Ive been working with v2.2.12.0 and intellibear works excellent. But when closing the client, later on, when opening again, the app needs to upgrade and for my surprise v2.2.14 says my PC doesn’t support IntelliBear. How come on the version before, I was using it with no problems?

    • Smokey Bear

      Hi Bears! For anyone who is having issues with 2.2.14, please email support@tunnelbear.com. We’ve heard of a few issues when you have an older versions of .NET, but the support bears will be your best help to narrow down your specific issue.


  • Mr. Muffin

    Thank you very much TunnelBear! I would like to know if I can maintain 2 downloads at the same time, one tunneled and other normal ip.

    • Smokey Bear

      Rawrr! It may be tough to tunnel like this. IntelliBear splits your tunneling based on URLs so unless you’re always downloading from the same URL, I don’t think this type of split tunneling is possible.

  • Lynn

    Have you considered tunneling/not-tunnelling according to what wireless network you are connected to rather than by URL?

  • Jorge

    Is my data traveling encrypted out off my computer even when the URL visited is not tunneled?

    • Smokey Bear

      Rawr!! Any link that you don’t tunnel is not going through TunnelBear at all. It won’t just be that TunnelBear won’t change your location for that URL, you also will not be encrypted. Hope that helps!

  • rory

    Bear with me Smoky, same issue as Drew, cannot access BBC despite TB giving me a UK IP address. Whassap?

    • Smokey Bear

      Hi Rory, Rawrr! Thanks for stopping by. Did you check out the Makeuseof article that contains some additional BBC links?

  • Bearly There

    Refreshing the question above, since this bear wants to know too!

    Can you use wildcards such as *.google.com, or just domains like google.com and match all subsites on google (just for an example…)?

    Thanks, great product!

    • Smokey Bear

      Rawrr! Thanks for checking in. When you add google.com, IntelliBear will automatically also tunnel any of the subdomains. It won’t however tunnel other domains that google uses like doubleclick.net and googleapis.com. Hope that helps!

  • Stephen M.

    Some domains find my apparent globe-hopping suspicious–banks and gmail in particular come to mind. I appreciate their concern for my online security, and also appreciate IntelliBear allowing me to selectively NOT tunnel these domains.

    I’d feel more comfortable with selective tunneling if, when I signed on to my bank’s website, for example, I got a notification or some other indication that TB was OFF for that site. (And conversely, that TB was ON when “Only tunnel these URLs” is selected.)

    Perhaps the TB icon could glow blue at sites when I’m tunneling, and switch to orange only when I navigate to my bank or another excluded site. That would give me positive feedback and a warm fuzzy–er, furry–feeling that I positively know at all times whether or not TB is securing my web traffic, regardless of my online travels. (You see what I did there?)


  • Angelo C

    Good work with tunnelbear engine, but GUI for OSX Yosemite needs to be redisigned it seems to be out of place

  • Lisa

    Love Intellibear; it’s one (of multiple) reasons I chose Tunnelbear. However, since I use my smartphone and tablet/ereader far more than my computer, I can “bearly” wait for Intellibear’s launch on Android. What’s the ETA, TunnelBear Team?

  • Paul

    It would be good if this feature enabled tunnelling on selected websites but ignored all torrent traffic (and passed it directly to ISP untunnelled) rather than blocked torrent ports. Is this the case?

  • Ryan

    It would be nice if we could set programs to use Tunnelbear, eg Origin but not Steam.

  • Wh1zzy

    This is a great addition for great and grizzly. However, as I am currently using the bear only in a few cases (when I need an international/english version of a site that auto locates for tutorial purposes) I am as of yet a little bear. I hope to [have the need to] upgrade soon though and I wanted to take the opportunity to suggest if there could be a chrome/firefox/safari/browserofchoice addon which would enable the user to turn the bear on and/or off from within his/her browser