More and more internet users are using VPN (Virtual Private Networks) to browse the web with privacy and extra protection.
One of the most popular public VPN services is TunnelBear. Founded in Canada in 2011, the company was sold to global computer security software company McAfee in 2018. It remains one of the easiest to use VPNs for customers and businesses alike.
So, what is a VPN? This provides a private network for users to use. It encrypts your connection even when you’re using a public network. Therefore, it masks your internet IP address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. But not completely.
TunnelBear works in the same manner as a number of other VPN services. It allows you to connect to sites through encrypted tunnels. This allows you to search the internet with a higher degree of privacy with less chance of being tracked.
The question remains, however: Does TunnelBear hide your IP address? The short answer is, yes. When you are connected to the internet and the VPN, TunnelBear hides your real IP address. Therefore, you can browse the web and all that shows up as the country from which you are connected to. Your home or business’ IP address remains hidden.
TunnelBear is a great tool to help protect you and your online privacy. Not only does it hide your IP address but it bypasses internet censorship. Some countries have limitations on what you can search online but VPNs allow you to experience the world wide web like others in different regions of the world.
Does TunnelBear provide complete privacy online?
Many people use VPN services to enjoy a fuller online playing field. They allow users to avoid censorship and protect their devices from potential trackers or malicious hackers. TunnelBear helps to mask your location and gives an appearance that you are somewhere else.
For instance, if you wish to watch a BBC program (these are usually only available to UK internet users), then using a VPN such as TunnelBear will allow you to appear as if you’re connected in the UK.
VPNs are often the only way to bypass oppressive site-blocking laws that some repressive countries put in place.
When we consider TunnelBear, we know it hides IP addresses but how safe is it in the grand scheme of the internet? Well, there is no doubt that this VPN provider goes out of its way to show how much it cares about user’s identities and privacy.
- A user’s IP address when visiting TunnelBear
- A user’s IP address when connected to the service
- Information about the services, websites, or applications that users use when connected to the service
- Any DNS (Domain Name System) queries while connected to TunnelBear
Therefore, law enforcement, aggressive sites, or Government agencies technically cannot demand a user’s information as it doesn’t exist. But, it’s not as simple as it seems.
Some TunnelBear users have found that access to certain sites is still blocked, even when appearing from a country that permits the connection.
According to TunnelBear, this should never happen. While this can occur if you have not configured your device’s settings correctly, the use of a VPN should allow you access to sites in certain countries.
However, a few years ago, a security flaw was discovered. It found that a browser’s Web RTC (Real Time Communications) function could easily be infiltrated so the original IP address of the user could be tracked.
While Web RTC is enabled by default, this can be disabled. But this shows that many TunnelBear users may be browsing the web with the belief that they are untraceable when the truth of the matter is that their IP address may be visible the whole time.
Does TunnelBear collect any data?
With the correct settings, TunnelBear does not log your IP address or the websites you visit. However, when it comes to collecting data, some information is stored.
When using this VPN service, certain pieces of data are kept. These include:
- Your email address
- Your operating system
- Your credit card details
Your credit card details are stored if you pay for the service in this way. If you do not want TunnelBear to keep this sensitive data, you can alternatively pay with Bitcoin.
What does a VPN hide?
Even when using a private browsing mode or incognito mode, your IP address is still visible and its data can be collected. VPN services, such as TunnelBear, are the best way to protect sensitive information and data online.
Hackers and third parties will only be able to see the IP address of the remote VPN which prevents them from accessing your location, personal information, and browser history.
Overall, there are seven main things that a VPN hides:
- Your search history
- Your IP address
- Your travel accommodations
- Your medical records and health diagnosis
- Your geolocation
- Any personally identifiable material or information
- Torrenting (streaming or downloading TV shows, movies, and games online)
There are a range of VPN services available with TunnelBear offering the same or similar protection to many. However, some have strict regulations that state a user’s personal information is always safe. Therefore, it can never be accessed.
This means that VPN companies can refuse to hand over information to authorities if the regulations allow them to. But, if a court order is set in place to retrieve this information, there is not much the VPN providers can do so they must hand over the information.
Tunnelbear remains a popular VPN service. Now part of the McAfee family, it offers secure VPN services with easy-to-use apps at high speeds. As the company operates on OpenVPN protocol and AES-256 bit encryption, they are practically unhackable.
The paid version of TunnelBear does not leak a user’s IP address so people can negotiate the internet safely in the knowledge that their location is secret from the outside world.