Yesterday, on March 8, 2018, TunnelBear announced that their whole company was acquired by McAfee, a traditional antivirus security company from the United States. What does this really mean for TunnelBear and their 22 million users?
TunnelBear is our favorite free (with a 500 MB data quota per month) VPN which received a decent 69% score in our review. It is designed for basic users who are looking for a simple product to provide privacy and encryption.
We were definitely surprised to find out that they had been bought by a cybersecurity giant from the US. But in the VPN industry, this kind of thing is not uncommon. Security companies often don't have the resources and knowledge to build their own VPN product and infrastructure, so they prefer to look on the market. HideMyAss VPN was in the same situation in May 2015 when the company was acquired by AVG.
In an official blog post, TunnelBear assured users that nothing is changing and that they will operate as a separate team within the McAfee organization. They will also keep the headquarters in Toronto, Canada. Also, no one is leaving the TunnelBear team because of immediate team changes (staff reductions).
But one thing is changing for sure. Since legally TunnelBear will be owned by a US company, it also means they'll need to comply with all relevant US laws and cooperate with US law enforcement organizations.
Anyway, we wish TunnelBear the best of luck and all the best on their new journey. We hope they will stay such a cool brand full of bears.