3.5 minute read

It feels like just yesterday that a Bear dug its very first tunnel, but TunnelBear has been fighting censorship and protecting privacy since 2011. Our goals haven’t changed over the years. We’re still building strong privacy and security tools that everyone can use because the internet is becoming more tightly controlled every day.

If you’re new to using virtual private networks, you might be asking yourself, “What is a VPN?” or “What is TunnelBear?”. The good news is, they’re the same thing. TunnelBear is a publicly audited, incredibly secure VPN that millions of people use to access the internet, every day.

As we’ve grown, we’ve helped everyone, from security experts to novices, protect their online privacy and fight censorship. For the people that are new to online security, we’d like to formally introduce you to TunnelBear, a beautifully designed VPN that makes online security fun.

What is TunnelBear?

TunnelBear started with the belief that VPN technology was more complicated than it needed to be. At the time, consumer VPN were challenging to set up, and if you didn’t set them up correctly, they could leak important information, defeating the purpose of using one. They weren’t cheap, either.

The founders of TunnelBear saw the perfect opportunity to make a simple, functional, and reliable privacy app that helps fight global censorship. More importantly, they wanted to help ease the fear a lot of people have towards online security and technology.

How does TunnelBear work?

When you connect to TunnelBear, your browsing traffic moves through a secure “tunnel” to a virtual private network –think of it as a private server only you can use– before it travels to the internet. The tunnel helps keep your real location and device safe from many online tracking types by acting like someone else’s device that you control. It's kind of like borrowing your friend's phone to go online. You're controlling the phone, but an advertiser or ISP would think it's your friend browsing, not you.

VPN can help if you want to see local news in other parts of the world, or access blocked websites on a network. They can even speed up downloads and streaming videos if your ISP decides to throttle the source.

Do VPN make me anonymous?

Even though VPN remove the links between your physical location and your browsing, it doesn’t mean you’re completely anonymous. VPN stop a lot of different online tracking methods. They can protect your personal information and block a lot of the online snooping that happens every time you connect to the internet. However, your ISP still knows you’ve connected to their network. They just can’t see what you do while you’re online.

It’s also important to remember that if you’re using Chrome, or any other browser that asks you to sign in while you browse, all of your browsing could be saved by your browsing account history. And don't bother using private browsing to protect your privacy, because it doesn't do what you think it does.

Privacy for everyone

There are a lot of apps out there that promise amazing benefits for "free". The truth is, most "free" apps record what you do on your device so the app maker can sell that data to anyone that wants it. Few people realize how invasive their favourite apps are.

For example, a few years ago, a reporter for The Guardian found that Tinder had 800 pages of information detailing every date she went on, her location before and after those dates, and more.

Every part of her life was recorded and tracked by an app that was advertised as a way to meet people, not catalogue every personal moment for later study and ad-retargeting.

TunnelBear won’t stop invasive apps from recording your data because those apps monitor everything you do on your phone, not the websites you access through it. Our advice is to only use apps that you trust to keep your privacy intact, or make sure you're comfortable with the level of privacy you have to give up to use them.

Still growing

TunnelBear is dedicated to helping people protect their privacy and secure their browsing. We’re trying to take the fear out of technology that so many people have by making approachable, fun products. Now, anyone with a cellphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop can get the same security level that banks and governments use to protect their private data. VPN will help you see the same internet people on the other side of the planet see, and help stop companies tracking you online.

TunnelBear helps you take back your online privacy, but to really take advantage of everything TunnelBear has to offer, a premium subscription gives you unlimited data and peace of mind that your Bear is always protecting you. You can upgrade your plan through the website or through the upgrade tab in your app.

Happy tunneling,
the TunnelBear Team