The company will integrate the VPN service into its security offering.
McAfee has announced the acquisition of VPN business TunnelBear, allowing it to take advantage of growing consumer demand for keeping personal data secure and identities hidden when browsing the internet.
“TunnelBear has built an engaging and profitable direct-to-consumer brand, and we're confident this acquisition will serve both our end users and partners by embedding its best-in-class, hardened network into our Safe Connect product,” said Christopher Young, chief executive officer, McAfee.
“This investment is strategic for McAfee's consumer business as it further showcases our commitment to help keep our customers' online data and browsing private and more secure at a time when the threat landscape is growing in volume, speed and complexity.”
The company revealed that 19% of consumers had said they were already using a VPN solution in a recent market survey. However, while more than half (58%) said they know how to check their Wi-Fi connection is safe when using an open Wi-Fi network, less than half of these actually do so before connecting.
This means a significant number of people are putting their security at risk whenever they connect to a network in a public place, such as a cafe or restaurant, McAfee said. Using a VPN such as TunnelBear will allow customers to hide their identity online from both malicious parties looking to steal their data and advertisers that could use their details to serve intrusive ads.
TunnelBear said it will continue to develop its VPN products, currently used by around 20 million customers to date, only now with the added input of McAfee, which will ensure security at the forefront of its customers' minds. McAfee already owns its own VPN service called Safe Connect, so it's likely this was a more strategic decision to expand its reach.
“McAfee shares our passion to help everyone browse a more secure and private internet," Ryan Dochuk, co-founder, TunnelBear said. "The acquisition provides us with the resources to develop our service, expand into new regions, and continue leadership of privacy and security practices in the VPN industry.”
TunnelBear was sold to Intel eight years ago, but it was spun out to become an independent company last year. Intel still holds a 49% stake in it.
Image courtesy of TunnelBear