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49+ VPN Statistics To Make You Think About Your Security In 2021

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

February 4, 2021

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Knowing how a VPN works and what it is can help you browse the internet securely and offer some much needed privacy when you’re online.

A VPN is a virtual private network that allows internet users to make secure connections whilst browsing the internet, hiding their identity. VPNs are recommended when using public networks like Wi-Fi hotspots which can be easily compromised.

VPNs make it effectively impossible for hackers to track, monitor, or intercept your activity and personal details, as your connection is encrypted.

There’s plenty of VPN software available with a wealth of different features to suit every user. With VPNs becoming even more popular, it’s important to understand VPN use in 2021, how people are browsing the internet, and where VPNs are used the most.

General VPN Statistics 2021

  • The VPN global market value is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2024
  • In the last 10 years, interest in VPNs has steadily grown with a sudden spike in March 2020 due to COVID-19
  • A surge in remote working due to Coronavirus has seen VPN usage skyrocket with people connecting for longer hours each day
  • 72% of people access their favorite VPN service via Windows and Mac with 69% of people using iOS or Android
  • Most VPNs will be able to provide connections fast enough for HD video streaming
  • 77% of VPN users buy digital content each week

Personal Data Privacy Statistics

  • 74% of Americans say they limit their online activity due to concerns over privacy
  • Compared to a year ago, 45% of Americans are more worried now about their online privacy
  • 92% of public Wi-Fi users on mobile devices ignore security warnings that come up on their phones
  • 63% of people are most concerned with identity theft regarding online privacy and 45% say banking and credit card fraud are their major concerns
  • 93% of data breaches could be avoided through fundamental data security efforts
  • In the first half of 2018, there were more than 150 million attacks on mobile devices
  • 43% of people worldwide say they lack control over their personal information
  • More than 90% of Americans believe they’ve lost control over how their personal information is collected
  • 21% have reported a data breach of a household device
  • The US and China at around 80% of “yes” responses say they are concerned about their governments spying on them

Internet Usage Statistics

  • In 2020 there were 4.1 billion internet users
  • 3.2 billion of the internet users were social media users and 5.1 billion mobile phone users
  • 42% of people said they accessed social media in 2020 to stay in touch with friends
  • 41% said they used social media to stay up to date with the latest news and current events
  • 52% of internet traffic is accounted for by smartphones and 43% from laptops and desktop computers
  • Iceland scored 95 out of 100 on the scale of internet freedom whereas China scored the lowest with 10

VPN Usage Statistics

  • 25% of internet users have accessed a VPN in the last month
  • 33% of VPN users are between the ages of 25 and 34
  • 35% of VPN users are between the ages of 16 and 24
  • 26% of internet users have used a VPN at least once
  • In the last month, 15% of mobile users used a VPN
  • 44% of Indonesian internet users utilize a VPN
  • Out of desktop users, 147% have accessed a VPN in the last month
  • When traveling internationally, 47% of people use a VPN for personal matters

VPN Location Statistics

  • The highest percentage of VPN users at 30% is in the Asia Pacific
  • Latin America has the second-highest percentage of VPN users at 23%
  • Indonesia is the top location for VPN use with 44% and India with 37%
  • The lowest VPN usage is in Germany with 6%, followed by the USA and UK with 5%
  • Excluding Japan, Asian countries’ primary use of VPNs with 55% is to stream unavailable content
  • In North America, the primary use of a VPN with 37% is for anonymous browsing
  • VPN use is the fastest growing in Slovakia, followed by Spain
  • In Iraq, Belarus, Turkmenistan, and Noth Korea it is illegal to use a VPN
  • Belarus law states that accessing a blocked website can result in a fine of 120 Belarusian ruble
  • In China, using a VPN without authorization can result in a fine of around $2,200
  • Government officials in Iraq can use VPNs despite them being illegal

VPN User Statistics

  • 26% of internet users have used a VPN at least once
  • 50% of VPN users say they use a VPN to access better entertainment content
  • 29% of all VPN users access Netflix on a monthly basis
  • 49% of VPN users accessing Netflix are from Canada and Mexico
  • Of users paying for a VPN, 33% use it for music downloads and 27% for music streaming services
  • 12% of internet users admit to using a VPN to access the dark web
  • The highest percentage of VPN users accessing the dark web is in India with 26%
  • 39% of people accessing the dark web say it’s for anonymity and 26% say it’s for bypassing restrictions based on their location

Reasons For VPN Use

As we’ve discovered in the VPN user statistics, individuals use VPNs for a variety of reasons, from browsing the internet anonymously to accessing restricted content within their location. The following table shows us the percentage of US and UK VPN users using a VPN and for what reason.

Reasons for VPN Use% of U.S./UK VPN Users
To protect privacy on public Wifi networks51%
To browse the web anonymously44%
To communicate more securely37%
To access restricted download/stream/torrent sites23%
To access better entertainment content22%
To access sites/files/services when at work22%
To avoid bandwidth throttling (ISPs limiting internet speeds)21%
To hide browsing activity from the government20%
To access censored websites/content18%
To get deals/discounts when buying online18%
To access a Tor browser14%

VPN Growth Usage

The following table gives us an idea of how VPN usage has grown in the top 10 countries between Q2 2017 and Q1 2020.

CountryGrowth in VPN Use
Netherlands76%
Australia69%
Japan62%
Russia61%
South Korea60%
France47%
USA42%
Germany42%
Belgium40%
Canada39%

References

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