A lot has changed since our last Year in Review post, back in 2020. We’ve experienced life through a global pandemic, we’ve made it through lockdowns which kept us away from our favourite coffee shops and restaurants, we made the transition to working remotely, and so much more. Finally, in 2022 we saw a glimpse of what our new normal could look like. We’ve been able to venture out of our homes (and caves), embrace friends and family, and feel slightly less self-conscious when sneezing in public.
Changes around the Bear Cave
Here at TunnelBear, 2022 was a big a year. Our team grew, adding 16 amazing bears to the Sleuth. If you’re familiar with our release notes, that’s about 40% more bears.
Another big change for our team in 2022 was the closure of our office in Toronto. While we enjoyed having a place to congregate, we’ve fully transitioned to working remotely. Instead of catching up over coffee in Kensington Market, now we keep in touch over lunch playing Geoguessr.
Now, onto what we’re all really here for. Our bears were busy in 2022 and we wanted to highlight just a few of the Sleuth’s many accomplishments over the last year.
In 2020, we were privileged to have the opportunity to announce our Bandwidth Support program. This program has allowed us to work closely with many NGOs, monitor censorship events across the globe, and more quickly take action to enable TunnelBear free of charge for those who need it most. We continue to provide bandwidth support for users experiencing censorship crises in over 20 countries around the world.
In 2022 we were able to add 5 additional countries to the program, allowing users in those regions access to a higher data limit, and to a more open internet.
One of our biggest updates of 2022 was the addition of the WireGuard VPN protocol. A VPN protocol is a set of rules and conditions that governs how your VPN connection works and performs. What makes WireGuard such a big win for our team, is that this protocol is known for its speed, reliability, and ability to bypass many censorship tactics. WireGuard is currently the default tunneling protocol for Windows, iOS and macOS, and is coming soon to Android!
With the addition of a new tunneling protocol, we figured it was time to give our users more control over their connection. With our new VPN Protocol Selection feature, you can now choose which tunneling protocol you want your Bear to use, directly in the TunnelBear app. Of course, if you’d still like us to manage that for you, just leave it set to Auto. Your Bear will handle the rest.
Ever thought to yourself, “I wish I could connect directly to Toronto”? Wait no longer! In 2022, our bears released city-level selection across all platforms. Paid users can now choose from 3 cities in Canada and 13 cities in the USA, giving you even more control over where you connect to.
For over 6 years, our Android users have been lucky enough to have access to SplitBear, our very own split tunneling feature. In early 2022, we released SplitBear on iOS, and our team has since been hard at work putting the finishing touches on SplitBear for our desktop apps as well.
For those not in the know, SplitBear allows users the option to select apps and/or websites that they wish to exclude from their secure VPN tunnel. Netflix giving you trouble while connected to TunnelBear? SplitBear will let you exclude it from the tunnel, allowing you to keep the remainder of your device traffic secure while enjoying your favourite shows.
In 2022, our bears upped our secure payments game behind the scenes. While we’ve always boasted an encrypted and secure payment process, we’ve gone one step further to prevent fraudulent payments from being made on our website. With the introduction of CAPTCHA support, we are able to prevent and stop automated payment scripts from making payment attempts. Not to worry, we've implemented our CAPTCHA in a way that won't interfere with our quick and easy payment process.
Conducted our 6th Annual Cure53 Security Audit
In 2017, TunnelBear was the first consumer VPN to commission a third-party security audit by Cure53 and publish the results to the public. We made a commitment to continue doing these audits every year and in 2022, we completed our 6th Cure53 audit. Our team has been hard at work making necessary fixes identified by Cure53, and we look forward to sharing the results soon!
2022 was a busy year for us at TunnelBear and we’re jumping into 2023 with a full team, big ideas, and the drive to continue fighting for a more open internet.
The TunnelBear Team