TunnelBear has been a popular VPN service for many years in part thanks to its cuddly bear and ease of use. Now, 7 years since it's launch comes an entirely new venture into the world of password management. Password management apps are becoming an essential tool nowadays since security breaches of companies are becoming increasingly common. If you don't already have one or fancy switching, dive into my blog as I explore whether the creators of TunnelBear have hit the nail on the head with RememBear.
How RememBear works
As is with its sister TunnelBear, RememBear is incredibly simple and easy to download and install. Whether it's on a desktop or mobile device, the installation procedure is fairly rapid and similar across the two featuring its quirky comments like Unboxing Bear and Brushing Fur, to lighten up the whole process. Once downloaded, all that is needed is to create an account with your email address and give it a master password. The stronger the better as it will protect all your other long-winded random character passwords, however, it still needs to be memorable enough so that you don't forget it. I recommend picking something that is random enough to be hidden in a section of notes if you really struggle to commit it to memory but easily identifiable to you and you only.
The next phase of the process is creating a Backup Kit. A rather more unusual feature, RememBear invites you to make a note of an incredibly long and complicated 29-digit alphanumerical New Device Key. Lastly, if you are installing for the first time on a desktop, it prompts you to import existing passwords from browsers or other password managers. However, this ability does not exist currently on the app, so you will have to manually input each password into the app or via the browser extension, the first time you log in to a site.
The Pro's and Con's
As with all apps, developers never get things quite right the first time and apps like TunnelBear has evolved over time to be near perfect. That said, there are still a few fundamentals that a good password manager to should meet.
Encryption: One of the most vital features of any password manager is how secure your passwords are kept. To maintain maximum security, RememBear uses end-to-end 256-bit encryption to ensure only you can gain access to your passwords, and the codebase was been independently audited prior to launch.
Functionality: It provides all the basic functions, capturing, replaying, and managing passwords as well as generating strong passwords on request and filling in credit card data into web forms across a multi-device setup.
Human Security: This may sound strange but the weakest link by nature when it comes to keeping passwords is us and although everything is taken care of in-app, you still have to gain access to the app, which still always relies on us. As well as ensuring you have a unique, strong master password, RememBear also provides a biometric option as it is compatible with Touch ID.
Usability: Albeit a bit quirky, the adorable furry bears appearing everywhere in the interface adds a fun lighter touch to the app as well as helping you navigate the app with absolute ease. A clean, sleek design, keeps you on task whenever you are in the app but the rewarding achievements that appear when you complete a task builds a warm fuzzy feeling inside you and makes you more emotionally attached to the app.
Simplicity: Although simple is nice, when it comes to passwords, we want a bit of meaty stuff to make us feel really secure and with RememBear there just aren't any really advanced features. Its color-coded strength meter for the password of the currently selected website is meagre at best especially when you compare it to LastPass and Keeper who both provide full-scale password security reports.
Importability: Currently the app only supports the import of passwords from two other password apps 1Password and LastPass, which unless you're really fed up with them, you should probably want to stick with if you fancy moving (just for the moment until this app is really developed further).
Overall, I really like the look and feel of the app and continue to enjoy the furry bears that pop up everywhere but it is still too basic for me and feels like release 1.0 was just the bare necessities to get it to launch. I hope that given TunnelBear's track record of high quality and fiercely competitive nature rubs off onto little sis RememBear and the next few releases reveal some further advanced features. All in all a lovely little app for a beginner into the world of password management.
I hope you enjoyed my blog. TunnelBear is a storming success and I hope RememBear will become one in due course. What do you think? Would you use RememBear and/or willingly to switch from an existing provider? How do you think your app compares? Let me know in the comments below!