25+ VPN Statistics & Facts 2021: How Many People Use VPNs?

Last Updated: September 14, 2021

In this article, we’ll be examining the top 25 VPN statistics and facts. This will give you an in-depth knowledge of how VPNs work, why people use them, and how the VPN industry changes over time. Let’s begin!
Jason

Jason

Hi! I'm the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!
The Top 25 VPN Statistics, Facts & Trends for 2021
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Following technological advancements is an increase in security concerns among companies and individuals.

With a rise in cybercrime, there’s the need to proffer a protective measure hence the introduction of VPNs.

This software serves as a defensive action against cybercriminals. With virtual private networks, you can keep your private information safe and promote digital privacy.

There’s a surge in VPN usage due to the high rise in online services and remote work in recent times. Between March 8 and March 22, 2020, VPN use rose by over 124% due to the pandemic.

In this article, we’ll be examining the top 25 VPN statistics and facts.

This will give you an in-depth knowledge of how VPNs work, why people use them, and how the VPN industry changes over time.

Let’s begin!

Contents show

VPN Statistics Quick Summary

  • VPNs were launched in the 90s and gained popularity among businesses. They became widely used in the 2010s. 
  • Today, over 33% of internet users use a VPN.
  • With an upsurge in the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for VPNs is increasing at a fast pace. As a result, the VPN market is projected to exceed $92 billion in 2027.

First, we’ll explore some facts about VPN to have a vivid understanding of what VPNs are and how they’ve been popular in recent times.

Furthermore, we will consider the comprehensive list of statistics, thoroughly studying each stat to explain them in detail.

Finally, we conclude our post by reviewing the latest trend in virtual private network use.

VPN Statistics & Facts: The Basics

VPN

VPN denotes “virtual private network.” Guess you’re well acquainted with the term “network.” Hence, let’s consider the other terms, “virtual” and “private.” 

Private Network

If you’ve been to a cybercenter or public library, then there’s a possibility that you’ve used a private network.

Private networks comprise a wide array of computers connected to a server, allowing users to access data from different devices.

In other words, private networks restrict access to specific devices.

So, while devices on a private network can connect to the public internet, only devices connected to a private network can access data.

Virtual

Unlike a physical office, a remote office does not require a physical connection to a server.

Instead, a virtual private network creates a private network from a public internet connection.

In addition, virtual private networks are usually encrypted and secured to prevent third parties from accessing data from them.

How Commercial VPNs Work

VPNs Work

Like virtual private networks, commercial VPNs create a private network from a public internet connection. The VPN connects remote users through a public server.

Your internet connection is encrypted to prevent intruders from monitoring your online activities.

The VPN assigns an IP address to your connected device, so it isn’t traced. This means that no one can find your location since the VPN host will assign a different location to you.

For example, you can be physically located in New York and access content available to only France residents.

With this IP address, you can access geo-restricted content that wasn’t normally accessible. Furthermore, your ISP and third parties can’t tell which websites you’ve visited, data sent, or received.

VPN promotes privacy, confidentiality, security, and improved data privacy.

Additionally, some VPN services provide great offers in other countries. For example, Netflix subscription costs vary from one country to the other.

For example, a US Netflix Premium account is priced at $17.99 monthly compared to a Turkey Netflix account for $6.53 per month. That means the latter is $10 less than the US account.

So you can save yourself $10 every month by changing your VPN location to Turkey.

A Brief History of VPN Services

VPN

While VPN dates back to 1996, it became popular and widely used by many people recently. The origin of the virtual private network can be traced to Gurdeep Singh-Pall, an employee at Microsoft.

He invented point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) to promote secure connection for users and people working from home.

In 1999, the features, terms, and conditions were published. This set the pace for the evolution of VPN. Today, VPNs are used for government surveillance, censorship, online security, among others.

With various VPNs available out there, StrongVPN ranks among the first and most popular VPNs.

The high-quality software offers extra protection for your online activity; thus, your browsing history is safe from intruders.

It also helps you bypass geo-restrictions easily.

Launched in 2009, ExpressVPN is also a good virtual private network. It’s secure, fast, user-friendly, and compatible with any device, whether mobile or desktop.

ExpressVPN has about 145 server locations in over 100 countries globally. Before 2009, other VPN services existed, but there isn’t much information about them. 

Another old VPN is Private Internet Access, founded in August 2010.

In addition, NordVPN was launched in 2012. It’s a robust software common among business owners and individuals.

NordVPN is encrypted and works on a no-logging policy. This ensures that users’ behavior and usage aren’t monitored online. Today, more VPNs are invented with Surfshark, introduced in 2018.

Though Surfshark is still recent, it has managed to make our top VPN list. 

25 VPN Statistics: Data Security, Internet Freedom & the Growth of VPN Users

Data Security

Now that we know the history of VPN let’s consider the stats and what VPNs entail. First, we’ll explore the general VPN statistics.

Then we’ll talk about other areas like business VPN facts, the effect of COVID-19 on VPN usage, and the global VPN market.

Let’s get started!

General VPN Usage Statistics

1. How Many VPN Users Are There?

Based on a report by Security.org, two out of three American internet users used a VPN at a particular time.

About 68% of adult US internet users state that they used free or paid VPN for work and personal use.

This equates to 142 million VPN users. The number of active users is estimated to be about 38 million.

While there are about 142 million VPN users, the male users are more than their female counterparts.

Further research states that VPN usage is based on personal use. 57% of men and 46% of women used virtual private networks for personal use.

2. Reasons For Using VPN In The U.S.?

Security.org has presented several reasons for using a VPN. The primary reason stated is linked to general privacy and security.

Forty-nine percent went for security reasons, while 40 percent went for privacy reasons. Another vital explanation given is the use of public wifi which is rated 31 percent.

Also, a noticeable number of respondents use VPN to avoid school internet constraints or work.

And, it is likely to stay off work and watch cat tapes. Contrary, 29 percent of VPN users use it based on company requests.

Top Reasons People Use a VPN

3. Reasons Some Don’t Use VPNs.

Contrary, some people refuse to use VPNs; about 57 percent claim they don’t need it for private use, while 22 percent say they don’t need VPN for work. Twenty-two percent also said VPN is costly to use.

4. How Do People In The Globe Utilizes VPN?

The use of VPN worldwide is motivated by promising access to entertainment by half of the users.

For instance, Americans are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment.

The U.S. Netflix cabin has more common shows, while other areas get more limited rooms that promote local shows.

5. Lovers of VPN Streams Entertainment Content.

A more significant percentage of VPN fans use it for streaming. Forty percent of VPN users will likely access the service of streaming subscription weekly.

And streaming once a week.

6. Do People whole Use VPN Frequently?

Considering a Statista Study Polling of 2020 in the U.K. and U.S., 36 percent of users claim to use VPN almost every day.

With an old record from GlobalWebIndex based on the world, sourced data reveals a different thought. Here, 35 percent of users of VPN claim they use a day on a desktop computer.

However, only 10 percent claim to use VPN once a week. The disparity can be linked to various usage by country, and it could also be due to the increasing use of VPNs.

7. VPN Rage Amid Diverse Age Groups.

We have VPN users in the age bracket of 45 to 60 in the U.S. 75 percent of U.S. VPN users fall into this age category.

However, for people above 60 years, only 57 percent use VPNs. For those in the age group of 18 to 29 and 30 to 44, 71 percent and 67 percent use VPNs, respectively.

Percentage of Age Groups Who Use VPNs

8. Who Foots The Bill For VPNs?

According to Security.org, organizations and businesses bear a 24 percent financial burden of all VPNs users.

Only 29 percent use a free VPN account which is not meant for business users. Twenty-six percent of VPN account users pay independently; 12 percent use VPN at work but still pay for private use.

9. Which VPN Service Has More Server?

 Most VPN customers brag about high server counts. So experts decided to research the service with more servers.

Here, we will put only reliable services into consideration. But, unfortunately, most prominent VPNs can’t be trusted by people.

Private Internet Access has a more comprehensive server count with a whole 32,696 ( and counting) servers.

That’s a magnitude beyond second-placed CyberGhost with a 7,000 server count. Also, about 5,500 servers come from NordVPN.

VPNs With the Largest Number of Servers

10. Which VPN provider has an enormous scope?

The spread of servers across the globe is essential than the server count itself. Based on research, ExpressVPN stays on top with more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries.

Next to it is CyberGhost, having servers in 91 countries. The third is the former winner, PIA covering 78 countries.

11. The Google Survey for VPNs is increasing

The world survey for the phrases’ virtual private network’ and ‘VPN’ increased twice since the inception of the pandemic.

The first increase occurred in mid-March 2020 when the infection began to gain ground in the U.S. Next spike was when the world was experiencing the ‘second wave, which started in September 2020.

12. Which Countries Experienced Noticeable Spike In VPN Usage?

Judging from Statista, the countries badly affected by the pandemic were the same that experienced a spurt in the use of VPN.

In March 2020, the United States and Italy dominated the usage of VPN evolution.  Italy had a 160 percent spike, and the U.S. had 124 percent.

Some other countries also were apt to take on VPN. The third position goes to Spain in terms of increase with 58 percent.

13. How Has Covid-19 Affected VPN Users Among Businesses?

The uptick in the use of VPN is caused by the disease compelling businesses to go distant.

About 68 percent of companies started using VPN recently or strengthening its use since the inception of the pandemic.

The statistics are according to OpenVPN. The same study discloses that 29 percent are first-time users of VPN. 

14. Some companies still not adopting the use of VPNs

Research by OpenVPN shows despite numerous companies enjoying the effectiveness of VPN, more than 20% have not used VPN prior Covid-19 global pandemic. 

With the health complications forcing people to work remotely from home, some still did not switch, while about 73% remain indecisive about VPN. Note that this information does not affect their work online.

15. Will this business VPN trend usage continue in a few years?

According to a similar study by OpenVPN, companies that use VPN express that despite covid19, business activities are getting back to normalcy, and security software is effective in carrying out their business tasks with no hindrances.

An Overview of VPN Market Statistics Around the Globe

VPN

The VPN market across different locations has witnessed significant growth in the last few years.

16. What is the worth of Virtual Private Networks globally?

In 2020, a financial report shows that the VPN market is worth more than #30 billion globally.

However, a significant amount of this value is due to business VPNs as the statistics confirm that the customer VPN market is more than $500 million annually.

17. Summary of VPN market most significant acquisitions

Aura and Kape Technologies is an excellent example of how large business enterprises gobble up the ones with smaller net worth.

These two cybersecurity companies have operated in the same niche for several years. However, note that Kape’s case is different from regular prominent companies buying the smaller ones outright to avoid competition.

Before 2020, Aura was the owner of the password manager 1password 14 and VPN Hotspot Shield as it also holds a significant share in smaller companies like Betternet and TouchVPN.

Kape technologies, also known as Crossrider, first started as a malware distributor before moving into software security services in 2017.

In its first years of VPN business, this company acquires CyberGhost, another shield network provider, for the sum of $10.5 million, after which it bought VPN Zenmate and Private Internet Access for more than $90 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

In 2021, Kape made its biggest purchase by acquiring Webselenese for close to $150 million, making it one of the top leading companies in providing prompt network cybersecurity.

18. Has the VPN market witnessed any significant growth in the last few years?

Well, the simple answer to the question above is yes. So far, the number of corporate bodies and individuals that enjoy using VPN has continued to increase.

A survey shows that at this pace, the VPN market would be worth more than $900 million in 2024 and probably double this amount by 2027.

19. The region with the most significant VPN users is North America.

Comparing VPN usage by each region, North America occupies the first spot. Research shows that an immense number of organizations in the US use VPN to carry out their business tasks.

As a result, North America occupies about 40% of the global VPN market.

20. Top countries that adopt the use of VPN

When comparing VPN download per population region, the Middle East has the highest adoption rate.

However, statistics show that countries like UAE, Oman, and Qatar stand out above others as the figures show that UAE-61%, Qatar-51%, while Oman has 35%.

When calculating the individual VPN users per region, Saudi Arabia leads as more than 12 million people use cybersecurity services. The number contains more than 25% of the country’s population.

Top countries that adopt the use of VPN

21. Asia-Pacific holds the top spot for highest VPN use growth per region.

With about 42 million active users, Indonesia previously had the highest number of VPN users, but India gained this position with more than 40 million active users.

However, it is difficult to decipher the total number of individuals or corporate bodies that use VPN in China because the central government restricts it after indicating it is one of the fastest expanding markets globally.

In market expansion, monitor Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, or the Middle East while others follow. Likewise, countries that place restrictions on this network include Russia, China, North Korea, India, and Turkey.

Most countries that ban VPN have a strict policy against freedom of speech as they continue to censor internet usage in their region.

However, you can access billions of information online with no restriction with the right security network provider.

Statistics Showing VPN Breach

Security Breach

The truth is no VPN company is immune to hacking or user information leakage, but few reputable cybersecurity organizations protect your information while you surf the internet.

22. Data privacy scandal of IPVanish

Before this scandal, IPVanish used to be one of the most trusted VPN worldwide with a no-logs policy.

However, in 2016, there was a case of child pornography case which prompt relevant authorities to use a forceful approach to access the accused user’s log on this network.

Although security operatives got to the end of the case, this simply proves that IPVanish kept user information while they said otherwise to customers.

A few years later, another top cybersecurity firm bought IPVanish, and traces of older clients’ logs were discovered in the system.

The new company also claims to keep no records, but clients remain skeptical about dealing with them.

23. Most Free VPNs have millions of Usage logs leaked.

A survey published in early 2021 shows that about 22 million have their logs exposed after using a free VPN. A dark website listed ChatVPN, GeckoVPN, SuperVPN, and other free VPNs for sale.

This information proves that a free VPN is not secure for keeping you anonymous. Most tech experts advise internet surfers to use premium cybersecurity shields.

24. More than 1 TB of user data is leaked by free VPN services.

According to Malwarebytes, about seven free VPN services are responsible for the leak of about 1.2 TB of user information.

The services involved in this leak include Secure VPN, Fast VPN, Flash VPN, UFO VPN, Free VPN, Super VPN, and Rabbit VPN.

Investigations show that more than three of the above VPNs have a single company operating them; the owner was using a different portfolio but working from a single app. 

Further investigation reveals that the company kept logs in thousands despite speaking against it in their terms and conditions.

These services have acted similarly as several free VPN have been cut, working against their stated policy. It shows that whatever seems to be free might not be efficient.

If you want complete privacy, you should create an account with a premium VPN service.

25. NordVPN Leakage Scandal

There were lots of controversies surrounding NordVPN in 2019. More than 2,000 active users who have an account with this security service complained about their user information leakage.

Still, investigation shows that some of these leakages are not the fault of the company but user error.

Most hackers that access client information randomly guesses usernames and passwords using multiple channels.

This leakage is known as credential stuffing which is why you need to be extremely careful with your information and use a strong password.

Research conducted in 2018 shows that one of NordVPN’s virtual server hosts was left unsecured for over a month, thereby leaving vulnerable user information to hackers.

The client discovers this information and vent anger on the service provider, prompting the use of the physical, virtual server for a data center.

The Trend of Global Vpn Usage

VPN statistics

In the last five years, VPN usage has continued to grow even with global pandemic covid19; the statistics continue to surge.

Although some might say Covid impacted the VPN market, the trend was there before the worldwide pandemic hit in 2020.

Cybersecurity plays a significant role in assisting people in working remotely as businesses across different locations saw the need to have VPN service. TunnelBear and NordVPN help to boost business VPN usage worldwide.

The VPN market was worth more than $15 billion in 2016, according to Grand View Research.

The market increased to $30 billion four years after an earlier report as experts project more than $35 billion before the end of 2022.

In 2027, the VPN market should reach $92 billion, triple its worth in 2020.

The market value of VPN is a good sign that people are adopting the services.  More than a quarter of internet users around the globe use VPN in 2017, as the number increases by 30% in 2021.

This data means in every six people worldwide, at least two individuals are using a VPN service.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Common Are VPNs?

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that a staggering one in three people uses VPNs regularly.

This figure is even higher in regions such as Asia, where 40% of those polled reported using them regularly.

It’s not just consumers who are hooked either; businesses and organizations rely heavily on this technology to keep their data secure from prying eyes, with nearly 95% reporting they have used or implemented it within the last five years alone!

Which Countries Use VPNs the Most?

If we’re looking at the total population, Middle Eastern countries have a high adoption rate for VPN usage. UAE has 11% of its population using it, and Oman has 5%.

For those who are more interested in number per country, India tops that list with 45 million users while Indonesia trails behind them with 42 million.

Does VPN Consume a Lot of Data?

When using a VPN, one will need more bandwidth due to the encryption methods it uses.

Encrypting your information will increase its volume but only by five percent more than what you would typically use without encryptions.

Is VPN a Waste of Money?

A Virtual Private Network is not a waste of money.

On the contrary, VPNs can help you access better content, and they could even save you some cash by getting deals from other countries.

Final Submission on VPN Statistics

Sitting at the corner of your bedroom while using a VPN looks easy, right? Well, it can be attainable if you create an account with a proper service provider.

Then, to secure your data privacy, sign up for premium service to access numerous content online without any restriction.

Do not fall for the sweet talk of free VPN policies, and most don’t keep to their words as they have shown ineffective in protecting user information in several cases.

Instead, premium VPNs like NordVPN & ExpressVPN are the best, According to numerous customer reviews, according to multiple customer reviews, but if you prefer free services, try Windscribe or TunnelBear.

I hope you understand basic information about VPN after reading this write-up.

Do you like VPN services?

Which service do you use for internet surfing? Kindly drop a comment below as always.

Written by Jason

Hi! I’m the editor at EarthWeb. I have a deep interest in technology and business. I also enjoy testing products out. Contact me to be featured!

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