VPN user statistics: What should you know about VPNs in 2023
There is a no-brainer that online is as risky as it seems. Having an unprotected online presence is like driving a sports bike with no safety gear; you will end up hurting yourself.
Also, we all know that tons of advertisers, government agencies, marketing companies, and other XYZ sources are watching your online presence.
This is why one needs something to safeguard in the internet world, and nothing can beat a VPN on this front. VPN or Virtual Private Network, you must have heard of this term multiple times and must have suggested using it for a secure online browsing experience.
“As the number of employees working from home continues to rise, businesses must ensure that their VPN is in a position to offer their employees the same experience as though they were working in the office.”, says Justin Jett, Director of Audit and Compliance at Plixer.
He is not the only one backing the VPN usage. There is much more singing in unison over VPN usage support.
But why is it so important? How much protection can a VPN grant us? Why is a VPN is important statistics aspect in itself?
Well, we have summed up some of the most notable VPN user statistics for you to have a better understanding of VPN viability and usability. Scroll down to learn about them.
VPN and Essential Statistics Related to it 
VPN is a tool that creates a secure tunnel between the end-user and the internet connection. Each communication, done from the end user’s part, will pass through this protected tunnel and will not be prone to the threats like data theft, viruses or malware attacks, and data manipulation.
Besides, using a VPN allows the end-user to conceal the IP address and location completely. Over the years, the use of a VPN has become a norm and is highly recommended for a secure online presence.
Here are some VPN statistics to give you real-time insight into the market penetration of VPN and their usability. Pay attention to them, and you’ll be able to know how essential VPNs have become for us.
- The global VPN market will hit the mark of $107.5 billion by the end of 2027
- We told you that VPNs are becoming popular day by day, and a recent prediction by Research and Market makes this a bit clearer. As per the research, the VPN market has been growing at an annual growth rate of 17.2% over the past six years.
- If the trend is followed, the global VPN market will cross $107.5 billion by 2027.
- In 2020 VPN usage reached an all-time high of 27.1%.
- VPN usage reached its peak in 2020. A clear spike of nearly 10% was witnessed at the CAGR of VPN. Mostly, it was due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a huge workforce to work from their homes. This sudden shift had a positive impact on the use of VPNs. Using it, people were making their home connections safe enough to conduct business communication.
Here is further breakage of VPN consumer reports’ data related to online privacy statistics and increasing awareness among people:
- Italy witnessed an impeccable increase of 175.2% in VPN data usage.
- The USA was in the second spot, as there was a 132.5% rise in VPN usage.
- In Spain, VPN usage swelled up by 62.1 %, while there was a surge of 48.4% in Germany.
These VPN statistics made it clear that VPN is the need of the hour and will continue to be so in the upcoming time. So, if you haven’t started using it till now, then do it.
15 VPN Use Statistics During COVID-19 and Beyond [Updated 2023]
COVID-19 was one event that affected various aspects of our lives. Everything changed from how we used to work to how we used to greet people. This event also impacted the cybersecurity picture of the world. More attacks were taking place when more people were working from home without adequate online security. Hence, VPN usage increased during the time of COVID-19.
- Ever since COVID-19 happened, there has been a whopping increase of 124% in VPN usage in the USA.
- VPN usage was more in people going through quarantine. NordVPN reported massing 165% increase in users. Atlas, a leading VPN, also revealed that its user base increased by 124% during quarantine.
- VPN, or Virtual Private Network, became the most widely searched term during the pandemic. The first spike happened during mid of March 2020, and the second-highest spike happened during the second wave of COVID-19.
- AtlasVPN also revealed that VPN downloads were impressive in 2021. There were 785 million VPN downloads in 2021, while this number was 277 million in 2020.
- Seven of the Top 10 countries with the highest VPN downloads during a pandemic were Arab countries. Qatar recorded over 2 million unique VPN downloads in 2021, reaching a 69.69% adoption rate.
- Nearly 68% of businesses increase their VPN usage during the time of COVID-19. Nearly 29% of businesses used the VPN for the very first time.
- Before the pandemic, 28% of internet users didn’t know about VPNs. As the pandemic happened and people became aware of cybersecurity, VPN awareness increased. In 2020, only 15% of internet users were unaware of the importance of VPNs.
- 99% of businesses using VPNs confirmed that they would start using a VPN even if the pandemic continues and things return to normal.
- At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a 112% hike in VPN usage alone in Italy.
- Iran experienced a 38% hike in VPN usage during March 2020.
- The US recorded a 53% of jump in VPN usage in March 2020. Even though the US reported fewer cases of COVID-19 during this period, VPN usage increased.
- As the first wave of COVID-19 impacted countries like Spain, Germany, and France badly, more and more people were spending time at home. Hence, VPN usage went up in these regions are well. Spain witnessed a 36% jump. In Germany, the VPN usage growth was 29%, while France recorded a 21% jump.
- The second half of March experienced 44% of growth in global VPN usage.
- During a pandemic, the highest VPN spike was recorded in Egypt. VPN demand experienced a 224% hike and remained so for a very long time.
- ExpressVPN, a trusted VPN provider, revealed its user base growth during the pandemic outbreak. As per the reports, ExpressVPN experiences a 36% hike globally from February to March 2020. Major growth was seen in the US, with a 45% hike.
VPN performance in numbers
These are not the only VPN statistics that prospective and educated VPN users should know. There are many more. We have categorized these VPN statistics and are bringing them to you.
Reasons Why People Use VPNs
While we cannot answer how many people use a VPN, the number of such users is very high. There are many reasons behind using a VPN, and knowing linked statistics will help you better understand them.
For uninterrupted entertainment
- Almost 50% of VPN users get this powerful tool to have a better entertainment experience. They admit that usage of VPN has helped them to watch their favorite content without any restrictions.
- 34% of VPN users use VPN to have secure and better access to social network websites. This way, they can protect their data while roaming around on multiple social network websites.
- 31% of VPN users take the help of a VPN to stay hidden and browse anonymously. They don’t want their browsing history, IP addresses, locations, and other crucial details to be saved on any server and utilized later to send phishing emails.
- 56% of VPN users access Netflix regularly and use it to watch geo-restricted content.
- 33% of VPN users admit to using a VPN for secure and free music downloads. 27% of users use it for streaming music. 27% of VPN users prefer using it for geo-restricted content streaming on their smartTV.
- As access to the dark web has increased, 12% of total VPN users use VPNs to access the dark web and enjoy safe browsing. However, this refers to only those who have admitted to using the dark web. As many people hide their presence on the dark web, there could be more users using VPNs for this job.
For secure communication
- 37% of UK-based VPN users take its help to make their business and personal communication utterly secure and safe.
- Around 7% of internet users bank upon VPN to secure VoIP calls.
For seamless work
- 27% of VPN users have admitted that they use VPN only because they need to have a secure network for their job-related tasks.
- 22% of users prefer using a VPN whenever they access business sites, share business-critical documents, and attend or arrange an official meeting. With the use of a VPN, they have the mental peace that their crucial information is not shared without enough protection.
- After the pandemic, many companies reviewed their work policies and made use of a VPN mandatory for remote working. The number of such enterprises is 74% of the total.
- Around 68% of employees have admitted that their organization has increased the use of VPN after COVID-19.
For impeccable security
The growing online security threats and huge losses incurred because of one force people to use VPNs more than ever. Here are some vital cybersecurity VPN statistics you should know right now.
- In 2020, the cost of cybersecurity in the United States swelled by 25%. This came into the public’s eye through a survey conducted by Accenture Security. Around 4,644 executives of companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more participated in this survey. They admitted that they need to work on security monitoring, network security, and threat detection to reduce such high costs.
- A study by Cybit revealed that 60% of companies had experienced cyber threats like DDoS attacks, social engineering, and phishing at least once.
- A recent study by Verizon made us learn that out of all the data breaches, 72% target large enterprises while 28% eye on small businesses.
- As per IT Governance’s report, 76 billion records were exposed and leaked in January 2019.
- The first quarter of 2020 witnessed the worst data breach of all time. Around 8 billion records were leaked during that period, says SelfKey report.
- IBM says that the global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million.
- The mobile cybersecurity products developed by Kaspersky could spot 1,152,662 malicious installations in the first quarter of 2020. Mobile banking Trojans top the list of malicious installations. There were 42,115 in number.
VPN Statistics about Usage – User genders, used devices, and the like
I wondered which group of people uses VPN the most or on which device VPN is widely used.
Pay attention to these statistics:
- Almost 26% of users have tried VPNs at least once in their lifetime.
- 35% of total VPN users are from the 16-24 age group.
- 33% of VPN users belong to the 25-34 age group.
- 62% of VPN users are male, and 38% are female.
- When the education level of VPN users is concerned, 39% of VPN users hold a post-graduate degree, while 34% of users are graduated. The VPN usage is least in users attending school and those below 16 years. 34% of VPN users own some trade or technical expertise.
Now, there is one more interesting VPN statistic that you must know, and it is that 64% of VPN users access VPN over mobile. This was revealed by Global Web Index market research. The report also revealed that 62% of VPN users access it over a desktop.
It clearly shows that accessing a VPN over mobile phones is easy and effortless.
VPN usage frequency-related statistics
Thinking about how much data VPN use? Or does a VPN use data by itself?
Well, it depends on what you do through it and how frequently you use it. The service itself consumes no explicit data. See this VPN usage frequency-related stats:
- 47% of total VPN users use it on a semi-regularly basis. Such users use VPNs mostly when they are traveling. Business-related travel has improved the usage of VPNs in the past years. Most of the time, professionals traveling to the Asia-pacific regions, where multiple restrictions exist, use VPN.
- Around a quarter of the total VPN users use this powerful tool daily.
- 41% of UK and US-based users use VPN weekly, while 36% use it daily. Only 10% of users use it once a month.
- Indonesia has the highest number of VPN users. Around 61% of its total population use this technology. India comes next with 45% of users.
- Australia (VPN Australia) has the least VPN users. Only 4% of its population uses this tool. In the UK and the US, only 5% of the total population bank upon VPN.
VPN Statistics Related to Market Worth & Growth
Seeing such extensive help, impeccable security, and impressive performance, we can easily conclude that the VPN market will be experiencing a huge surge and will not see a decline in the future. Here are some internet privacy statistics about VPN usage to support this statement:
- As per Grand View Research, the global VPN market will reach the mark of $92.6 billion by 2027.
- Over the last 10 years, VPNs have been showing steady growth globally. Google Trends revealed that there is a constant search for the term ‘VPN.’
- If the words of IDC are to be believed, the global consumer VPN market will reach $834.1 million by 2024.
- Prescient & Strategic Intelligence’s recent report reveals that the global mobile VPN market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 19.7% during 2018 -2023.
VPN Usage Statistics By Places
VPN is a highly portable tool and can be used on multiple devices. This allows VPN users to use this tool whenever and wherever they want. Let’s understand the top places where VPNs are used.
- 81% of VPN users use this tool in their homes. They connect with devices and routers and enjoy secure internet access.
- 34% of VPN users use a VPN while they are in public places like cafés or restaurants. As they would be using a public Wi-Fi connection in all these places, the protection of a VPN will make things better than before.
- 32% of people use VPNs in the workplace. Office network connections are already well-protected. This is why not many of us are concerned about using a VPN at the workplace.
- Frequent travelers or people visiting hotels use VPNs a lot. Around 31% of VPN users use the tool at hotels.
- 28% of people use a VPN when they are at any tourist place or shopping center.
VPN Users By Statistics
VPN, slowly and gradually, has become a mainstream product. It’s no longer a tool to be used by bureaucrats, government agencies, and security professionals. With the advent of commercial VPN apps that are easy to use and provide sufficient protection, anyone can use this tool to improve internet security.
Let’s talk about VPN user statistics that are making waves in 2023.
How Many People Use VPNs?
VPN user statistics are of varied types and depend on factors like user age, the purpose of usage, activities that are done with a VPN, and many more. Hence, we present you with a crisp overview of VPN user statistics:
- In the USA, nearly two-thirds of adults are aware of VPN and its key usage areas.
- As per the GWI study, 62% of VPN users prefer using a PC or Mac while connecting to VPN, while only 33% of tablet users prefer using a VPN.
- Frequency-wise, mobile phone users end up using VPNs more. 32% of mobile users use VPN on their mobile phones almost daily. The VPN use frequency is less in desktop users as only 29% of such users use VPN daily.
- Out of 7.88 billion people worldwide, 5.17 billion have internet accessibility presently. Around 1.2 billion internet users use VPNs for various purposes. This accounts for 31% of total internet users. This data is only an approximation as only VPN markets where VPN penetration is more than 10% are considered.
- 68% of total American adults are VPN users, and they use VPNs for both personal and official worlds. This statistic is impressive as it shows how VPNs and their usage have evolved over a while. When numbers are concerned, around 142 million American adults use VPNs throughout the year. Out of all these users, 96% admit that their VPN service is doing a great job.
- Around 39% of VPN users are from the 16-22 age group. With this VPN usage statistic, it’s clear that Gen Z is aware of internet dangers and doesn’t mind using a VPN for added protection. You should know one more age-related VPN statistic. As per the statistic, around 75% of all VPN users are below the age of 37. This only implies that the older generation isn’t very much VPN-friendly.
- Compared to 10 years ago, VPN usage in America has increased exponentially. VPN usage in America was only 1.5% a decade prior and is 36% presently.
- When it comes to using a device for VPN usage, mobile wins the race, as nearly 71% of VPN users use the tool on their phones only. Even though many VPN users use VPN on desktops as well, its usage on a smartphone is the highest.
Now, let’s talk about the reasons why people aren’t using VPNs. Around 57% of people don’t find it necessary to use a VPN for personal use. 22% of people aren’t not using a VPN because they feel that it’s too pocket-heavy.
- As per Secuirty.org, around 24% of total VPN market revenue comes from businesses and organizations that use VPNs for professional reasons. 26% of VPN users are paying for their VPN accounts.
- Free VPN users account for 29% of total VPN users. That shows people’s interest in free VPNs. However, this isn’t suggested, as free VPNs lead to endless hassles like data breaches and malware attacks.
VPNs By Popularity – Which Countries Use VPNs The Most And The Least
From the above statistics, it’s clear that VPN usage is becoming more popular globally. But, as internet usage varies countries to country, VPN usage is likely to vary as well. So, we have come up with crisp VPN statistics telling you about VPN usage by country. The inputs are collected from the Global VPN Usage Report.
VPN Usage By Region
- Most Asian countries, except Japan, use VPNs to stream geo-restricted content. 55% of VPN users from these regions use VPN to stream blocked content.
- The prime reason North Americans use a VPN is to protect online privacy. 37% of VPN users in North American regions use VPN for this purpose only.
VPN Usage By Countries
VPN is most widely used in countries like Indonesia and India. In Indonesia, nearly 61% of internet users are using VPNs. When India is concerned, 45% of internet users use VPNs. India is a very populated country, and such high VPN usage indicates that almost every second person is using a VPN.
After these two countries, VPNs are famous in Saudi Arabia, with 44% of VPN users. Malaysia, with 43% of internet users using VPN tools, is in fourth place on the list.
Vietnam, UAE, and the Philippines are not very populated countries. Yet, VPN awareness is there aa many people using the internet are accessing the web via VPN. In Vietnam, 45% of internet users use a VPN, while UAE accounts for 42% of VPN users. In the Philippines, this number is 41%
In Brazil, 31% of internet users take the help of a VPN for purposes like accessing restricted connections, downloading torrents, and playing games online. There is no change in VPN users from 2017 to 2021.
VPN is also famous in China. Even though China doesn’t support internet freedom, its citizens are using VPNs in full swing. Nearly 29% of internet users use VPNs. As compared to 2017, there is a dip of 6 points in VPN usage in China. You can blame the strict censorship for this.
Here are some more highlights you might want to know:
- Slovakia and Spain are the two top countries experiencing the fastest VPN growth.
- The lowest VPN growth is in Australia. There is only a 6% overall growth in the VPN demand.
- The Netherlands is one of the fastest-growing VPN markets. It experienced a 76% hike in VPN demand in 2017.
- The Russia-Ukraine war impacted the use of VPNs in these two countries. Both counties experienced a surge in VPN demand.
- According to AtlasVPN, there were more than 1,906 VPN users in Russia during the war period. The increase happened because the Russian government blocked many news websites and social media platforms as soon as the war happened.
VPN Adoption Index
As we have already told that VPN adoption has increased significantly over the years. Even in the past year, from 2020 to 2021, the VPN adaptation rate remained impressive. In 2020, it was figured out that VPN users from 85 countries downloaded VPN applications nearly 277 million times, while it touched the mark of 785 million by the end of 2021.
Let’s talk about a few more VPN adoption statistics.
- Qatar has the highest adoption rate, as nearly 70% of internet users started using VPNs in 2021. In 2020, the VPN adoption rate was 53.06%, and 1,528,765 people were using this internet security tool. With the highest VPN adoption rate, Qatar now has 2,007,756 VPN users.
- After Qatar, UAE, & Singapore have the highest VPN adoption rate, with 59.2% and 49.14% adoption rates.
- The VPN adoption rate was lowest in Madagascar, with a 0.79% value. It remained at 85 positions on the list of the Global VPN Adoption Index.
- After that, Japan, with a 1.56% adoption rate, secures 84th place on the list. South Africa, with a 3.96% adoption rate, was in 83rd place.
VPN Ban Statistics
- Even though VPN is the only viable tool to stay safe in a world of vulnerabilities, there are many countries where VPN usage is completely banned, and one is entitled to punishment or a fine if got caught while using a VPN. These countries include Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Oman, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and many more.
- Belarus has completely banned the use of VPNs. Not only this, the country has blocked the TOR browser as well. It seems like the country doesn’t allow its citizen to keep their online presence hidden and respect their privacy.
- China has a Great Wall of Firewall to block VPN services. The government here wants to keep tabs on everything citizens are doing on the internet. However, there are certain premium-grade VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN that are capable of breaking this wall and making internet access safe and secure.
VPN Quality-Related Statistics
VPN is not an ordinary tool. When you’re using it, the onus of superb internet security and safety falls on its shoulders. If you’re using a VPN that’s not good enough or lacks capabilities, your money will be wasted, and cyber dangers will double up. Hence, we must get a VPN wisely.
The Global VPN Report revealed the details of the factors that UK and US users keep in mind while picking up a VPN.
As per a report, 54% of buyers bank upon the reliability and ease of usage of the VPN service. These two factors matter the most for a prospective buyer. This shows that people don’t want to get a VPN that is too complex to use and is not coming from reliable service providers.
After these two factors, speed matters the most. 54% of buyers keep the speed at their first buying criteria. We all know that internet connection speed is about to decline for sure as the internet will pass from the encrypted tunnel. This is why they need to get a VPN where the speed dip isn’t too much so that they can stream and browse quickly.
The world is becoming more data privacy-friendly and adopting practices that respect user privacy. This is why VPN buyers look for a VPN that has a zero-log logging policy and gives control to their hands. 43% of VPN buyers keep privacy at the top of their minds during VPN shopping.
Next comes pricing, as 42% of users purchase as per the budget and cost. In UK and US, nearly 72% of VPN users opt for free VPNs.
VPN is becoming an essential tool to stay safe and sound in the dangerous online world; the above-mentioned VPN statistics are proof of this. Survival in today’s vulnerable online world with a VPN is not possible and is suggested. So, start using it today.
Let VPNWelt warn you: to be completely secure on the internet, you will need the help of the best VPN service.
You probably don’t have time to learn all the details about VPN services, but you want to know which one is the best for you. Here are six trustworthy VPNs I can recommend to you, depending on the scope of use of each of them.
- Best VPN overall: NordVPN
- Best value for money: CyberGhost
- Cheapest annual subscription: PIA
- Best for streaming: Surfshark
- Best premium VPN: ExpressVPN
- Largest country selection: VeePN
For more information, see our picks for the best VPNs here.
Many factors are deciding the utility of a VPN and declare it as best. As per the VPN usage statistics, VPN performance, and user satisfaction rate, NordVPN appears to be the best VPN solution. Industry experts a couple of times have applauded it. Recently, it won Best VPN Overall and Best Customer Service award from BestVPN.come at the CES-2019 conference. Winning this award is such a prestigious conference is the mark of excellence for sure.