VPN Statistics

As technological advancements continue to evolve at lightning speed, security and privacy become compromised just as quickly. People share too much information with their digital footprint, putting themselves at risk of having their credit card information stolen, or worse, becoming the victim of identity theft. That’s where virtual private networks come in, safeguarding your digital privacy. We prepared a list of the most important VPN statistics to update your knowledge on the subject and keep you up-to-date with the latest trends.

VPN Statistics (Editor's Choice)

  • The VPN industry is worth $31.1 billion.
  • 31% of all internet users use VPN services.
  • 68% of adults in the US use VPNs.
  • Indonesia has the highest VPN penetration rate - 61% of all internet users.
  • 39% of VPN users are Gen Z.
  • Speed is the most important feature for an average VPN user.
  • General security ranks first in reasons for using VPN services.
  • The average cost of a data breach is about $4 million across all industries.

Industry-Related VPN Facts

1. The VPN industry is worth $31.1 billion.

The industry's value grew from $27.1 billion in 2020 to $31.1 billion in 2021. The VPN market size is expected to get a further boost, with a 17.2% CAGR in the following years. In 2016, the industry was valued at $15.64 billion, with that number expected to soar to $35.7 billion by the end of 2022.

(Dataprot, Statista)

2. VPN statistics place ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and SurfShark as the most popular VPNs worldwide.

When we look into the latest lists of most reliable providers, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and SurfShark are featured pretty much everywhere. They account for the most significant VPN market share in the industry and further happen to be the best providers for using VPN on multiple devices.

(TechRadar, CNet, PCMag)

3. With a 17.2% CAGR, the industry is estimated to reach $107.5 billion in 2025.

As the need, above all, accelerated remote work acceptance, average VPN usage has spiraled, and the annual compound rate continues to grow. We're expecting it to exceed 17% in the following years and the whole market to value a whopping $107.5 billion by 2025. That's almost four times compared to the 2020 total.

(PRNewswire)

VPN Usage Statistics

4. Just under a third of all internet users use VPN services.

The sudden shift to remote work required an unprecedented need for data protection, and WFH established its position as the new normal. A massive 88% of companies required or encouraged remote work as the pandemic started. Consequently, the VPN user base has matured as the required VPN usage was boosted. In 2020, 31% of all internet users were relying on private networks.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

5. The Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions have the most VPN users — 35% of the internet population.

The latest VPN statistics by region show the Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa have the most significant reach of 35% VPN usage among their internet users. With 31% of reach, Latin America ranks second. North America and Europe have a penetration rate of 25% and 24%, respectively.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

6. 68% of adults in the US use VPNs.

It's been a year since, in most non-essential industries, we have the WFH option. Companies are holding virtual meetings almost exclusively, so VPN data usage in the US increased to include a staggering 68% of adults. That's over two-thirds of the population relying on the services as VPN popularity only continues to grow. These VPN facts point to 142 million users as of 2020.

(Security)

7. Indonesia has the highest VPN penetration rate — 61% of all internet users.

The list of blocked or censored websites in Indonesia seems to be never-ending, so it’s not surprising that the VPN usage reach is the highest within its borders — 61% of all internet users. India ranks as the second-largest market with 45%, Saudi Arabia third with 44%, and Malaysia comes in fourth with 43%. VPN statistics show UAE, Philippines, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam complete the top 10 list, all having above 35%. Since government regulations were introduced in 2017, the number of VPN users in China, Egypt, and Turkey has been declining — by 6%, 6%, and 2%.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

8. More than 80% of VPN usage takes place at home.

Research shows 81% of the time, VPN services were used at home. 34% of VPN users take advantage of such services in a cafe or a restaurant, 32% use VPN services at the workplace, while 31% do so in a hotel.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

User-Related VPN Statistics

9. Security ranks first in the reasons for using VPN services.

49% of survey respondents who use VPN services chose general security as a reason for using them. General privacy is another often mentioned factor by 40% of VPN users. Connecting on public Wi-Fi ranked third with 31%, and a work requirement came in fourth with 29% of people who use VPNs.

(Security)

10. Before the pandemic, 36% of US and UK users were already using VPN services daily/nearly daily.

The survey conducted in the US and the UK in January 2020 shows the virtual world's state just before the pandemic put a halt on most aspects of our lives. Those results are relevant because they don't include VPN usage for remote work purposes caused by the pandemic. VPN usage statistics showed the frequency, and 41% of users reported doing so at least once a week. 36% said they use VPN services nearly daily and 13% at least monthly. Only 10% said less often.

(Statista)

11. 29% of users have VPNs for personal reasons.

There were 4 possible answers:

  • Personal use (29%)
  • Business use (24%)
  • Both (15%)
  • Neither (32%)

(Security)

12. More men than women use VPN.

VPN statistics show that the most significant gender difference is visible in personal use, with 57% of men taking advantage of VPN services in this case, compared to 43% of females who do so.

(Security)

13. 39% of VPN users are Gen Z.

Gen Z and millennials are the most prolific users of VPN. Together, the two groups account for 75% of users, Gen Z holding the top ranking with 39% of the user base aged 16-22. Then, 36% are millennials, 25% are Gen X, and 16% are boomers. The latter two's adoption rates are booming since some need the services for work, and the rest are following the latest VPN trends.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

14. 23% use VPN to access streaming services (sports, Netflix, etc.)

Data shows that many people worldwide use VPN for streaming services. 23% of users said their average VPN usage focuses on accessing geo-blocked video streaming, including Netflix and various sports events.

56% of the total users reported using Netflix VPNs, 23% Amazon Prime, 18% iQIYI, 14% Hotstar and YouKu & Tudou, 12% Sony Liv, and 10% NBA League Pass, Tencent Hollywood VIP, and Vimeo.

As for the music streaming stats, 38% have accessed Spotify, 17% Soundcloud, 16% Apple Music, and 15% QQ Music and Amazon Prime Music.

(PC Mag, Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

15. Speed is one of the most important features for the average VPN user.

VPN statistics show there are many relevant service features, and speed ranks first for 54% of consumers, sharing the top spot with reliability of connection and ease of use. Privacy policy, including logging practices, comes in next with 43%, followed by pricing with 42%.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

16. Over half of consumers using VPN have iOS devices.

The Security research posed a question of devices among many other variables, and over half, 52%, reported the use of VPNs happening on iOS devices. 37% use it on an Android device, while Windows and macOS accounted for only 6% and 3%. Those are said only as primary devices, though.

(Security)

Cybersecurity and VPN Breach Statistics

17. Cybersecurity failure is ranked among the top global risks, both short and medium-term.

A 2021 report examined the perception of critical threats to the world, both as a present danger and a knock-off effect. Cybersecurity failure ranked fourth with 39% and eight with 49%, respectively, and was preceded by infectious diseases, livelihood crises, and extreme weather events.

(The World Economic Forum)

18. Cybersecurity experts who found an insecure server in 2020 estimated over a billion online records exposed.

When a VPN breach occurs, it defies the whole purpose of the concept. Seven VPN providers used the server in question: UFO, FAST, Free, Super, Flash, Secure, and Rabbit. VPN breach statistics from this incident point to the accessible data totaling 1.207TB. The potential damages were severe — hacking, blackmailing, extortion, doxing, identity thefts, etc.

All the companies supposedly had the same app developer. The experts’ opinion was that the company had created one entity and sold it to free VPN providers, rebranding only in terms of the app name. All the data was obtained by ethical hackers, who are researchers on the web mapping project, trying to make the internet a safer place.

(Security Brief NZ)

19. Over a thousand data breaches happened in the US in 2020.

Looking at the cybercrime-related numbers, it's no wonder the use of VPNs is gaining such momentum. VPN security facts show that with over 1,000 data breaches in 2020 due to non-adequate network security, a whopping 155.8 million people were affected. That's how many unique sensitive records were exposed. It was actually considered a success as the number had declined from 164.68 million in 2019. That was a result of 1,473 breaches in a year.

(Statista)

20. Manufacturing is the most targeted industry for cyber espionage.

One thing's for sure; cyberattacks are the dark side of digitalization. Criminals become more skilled, and the latest data points to manufacturing as the most targeted industry for cyber espionage, with 75 incidents reported. Professional and public sectors rank second and third with 40 and 26. The growth of VPN popularity makes perfect sense in the context of the increased need for securing valuable records and data.

(Statista)

21. The data of over 20 million consumers using free VPN was compromised in March 2021.

The latest VPN breach statistics show the leak happened to 21 million users of three mobile VPN apps, which were all free services. SuperVPN, GeckoVPN, and ChatVPN suffered the hackers’ attack. Experts say that VPN providers had left publicly available databases vulnerable.

(Malwarebytes Labs)

22. The average cost of a data breach is about $4 million across all industries.

The average cost of losing sensitive information across all industries is about $4 million. In some industries, such as healthcare, the price can exceed $7 billion. Taking preventative measures with cyber security experts is especially relevant for the finance and energy sectors, also ranking high in terms of breach costs — about $6 million in damages.

(Statista)

Interesting VPN Facts

23. 57% of those that don’t use VPN say it's because they don't need it for personal reasons.

While over half of non-users say the main reason is they don't need such services for personal reasons, 22% don’t need VPN for work, and 22% find such services too pricey to use.

(Security)

24. In 2020, China's cabinet agreed to open up to foreign telecom companies to 50% in VPN ownership.

The event of China opening a VPN venture with foreign telecommunication companies plays a vital role in releasing the cross-border digital flow. We can, therefore, expect the number of VPN users in China to increase as the Great Firewall loosens up and foreign companies have half the VPN industry ownership.

(Global Times)

25. When the pandemic started, Italy saw a 160% increase in VPN use in March 2020 alone.

VPN usage statistics show the situation started spiraling last March, and VPN data usage in the US seemed a bit shocking — a 125% increase in a couple of weeks. The countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases had a proportional increase in VPN popularity. Italy saw a 160% growth, Spain — 58%, Iran registered 49%, France had a 44% rise, Germany — 40%, etc.

(Statista)

26. Security is the most associated quality with VPN.

62% of the VPN user base chose security as the top quality they find VPN provides. Useful ranked second for 54% and safe and effective third and fourth, also with over half of the VPN user base — 52% and 51%, respectively.

(Global VPN Usage Report 2020)

FAQ

How many people use VPN?

VPN is well-established among internet users, and the number continues to grow, reaching about a third of the online population. The latest VPN trends show that 31% of the total internet population and 37% of consumers stateside used private networks for personal and work-related reasons as of 2020.

Why do people use VPNs?

Most people use VPN services for personal reasons, whether to hide on a public Wi-Fi or stream a TV show unavailable in their country, accounting for 29% of all VPN users. 24% do so for work-related purposes. Another 15% report the use of VPNs for both.

Who uses VPNs?

The gender demographics of all internet users that use VPNs go as such: 36% male, 26% female. In terms of age groups, Gen Z and Millennials account for 75% of users of popular VPNs.

Which country uses VPN the most?

Indonesia has the highest penetration levels of internet users using VPN services, 61% of the total. India is next with a 45% VPN reach, and Saudi Arabia closely follows with 44%. VPN statistics show Malaysia, UAE, Philippines, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam complete the top 10 list, having 35% or more usage reach.

Is a VPN illegal to use?

While some governments have legal restrictions on VPN services (Belarus, China, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, etc.), VPNs are typically legal. The thing is how you use them, meaning committing cyber-crime through a VPN is still a crime. If you stream Netflix or have a Spotify Premium account on an old address in the US, you're good, legally speaking.

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