Kape Technologies has added ExpressVPN to the growing number of VPNs under its umbrella. The company had previously acquired three other VPNs — Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ZenGuard — to take the total of acquired VPNs thus far to four.
Why is this news? Well, apart from the obvious — the danger of a burgeoning monopoly — Kape Technologies does not enjoy a good reputation, far from it. Kape Technologies was formerly known as Crossrider, a company that has been involved in nefarious activities such as traffic manipulation/ad injection and distributing adware. In fact, Crossrider is still listed as a subsidiary of Kape Technologies. Furthermore, Kape Technologies is the company behind the notorious scareware Reimage/Restoro.
Can A Leopard Change Its Spots?
One of the most critical aspects of a VPN is that the service and the company behind it must be trustworthy and, based on Kape Technologies’ dubious history and even its current activities, this surely must be a concern. In the wake of its recent VPN acquisitions and the ensuing negative publicity, Kape Technologies’ CEO has stated several times that the company has changed its ways and is now pursuing legitimate goals. However, considering the company’s continuing involvement with the notorious Reimage/Restoro scareware, I find that difficult to believe.
Kape Purchases VPN Review Sites
In another twist to the plot, Kape Technologies also purchased a number of VPN review websites in 2021. With the result that the parent company owning these VPNs now also controls several high-profile websites that “review” and recommend VPNs to users around the world.
In May 2021, news broke that Kape had purchased a company called Webselenese. Like Kape, Webselenese also operates out of Israel and runs the websites vpnMentor.com and Wizcase.com. Collectively, these two websites have monthly search traffic of around 6.1 million visitors according to Ahrefs traffic analysis tool (September 2021).
Note that there may be other VPN review websites in Kape’s portfolio that we’re not aware of ~ source
Visiting VPNMentor today (at the time of writing this article) and — shock, horror — the top three recommendations are all owned by Kape Technologies:
This type of manipulation is clearly a conflict of interest and further evidence of the company’s dubious nature.
- Kape Technologies buys ExpressVPN for $936 mln | Reuters
- Former Malware Distributor Kape Technologies Now Owns ExpressVPN (restoreprivacy.com)
- What is Kape Technologies? – CNET
- These Ex-Israeli Surveillance Agents Hijack Your Browser To Profit From Ads (forbes.com)
- Adware.CrossRider – Malwarebytes Labs | Malwarebytes Labs | Detections