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VPN Statistics And Facts

VPN Statistics and Facts in 2024

VPN Statistics and Facts in [y]VPN Statistics and Facts in [y]


Scams and crimes are as old as time. And unfortunately, with technology advancing year by year, and with the invention of the internet, the past three decades have seen a rise in crime rates; besides the countless old ways of crime, cybercrime has changed everything. 

It is true that the internet and technology have changed our lives for the better and have made things easier for us in many ways. However, was this practicality worth paying the price of security? 

Security and privacy are two of the most important aspects of our daily lives; maintaining them is on top of our priorities. And it is obvious that there is no running away from the internet. In fact, at some point, if not already, the internet has completely taken over our lives. So, it only makes sense that people will try their best to protect their privacy without giving up the source of threat. 

A useful tool that has been on the rise during the past few years and has even grown further during the Coronavirus pandemic is virtual private networks (VPNs). A VPN serves many purposes, including encrypting one's data and masking their IP address, in addition to many more great extra features.

So, if you don't know a thing about VPNs, we've got you covered; in the next section, we will explain all about VPNs. But if you're a tech-savvy or a VPN enthusiast, skip to the VPN statistics section, you're in for a ride.

What Is a VPN?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide a private secure internet connection for you. A VPN will act as a bridge between your private internet connection and your internet service provider. Instead of accessing the internet on a public network through your ISP, you will access it privately through your VPN. 

VPNs protect your data by encrypting it. The encryption of data is basically writing the data in code before transmitting it. Only with the decryption key will your data be understood. So, if anyone gets their hand on your data, it would be nonsensical to them without the decryption key. Other than making your data unreadable, a VPN will mask your real IP address and instead give you the IP address of the VPN server.

People use VPNs for many reasons; two key uses are:

  • Safety and security: the most important -most obvious- purpose of using a VPN is security. Whether you're an individual and you don't want to have your every move watched, or a business person, and you want to protect your organization's security, a VPN is the right answer.
  • Bypassing geo-restrictions: by masking your IP address and giving you the IP address of the VPN's server, a VPN will help you bypass geo-restrictions. There are so many restrictions on online content in countries around the world, but a VPN will help you "manipulate" your network so you can access the content of the server of your choice.

Now that we've established what VPNs are used for let us jump right into some mind-blowing facts and VPN statistics.

Quick summary of our VPN statistics:

1. One-third of internet users use a VPN service.

2. The VPN market value has increased considerably within the last few years and is expected to almost triple in value in 2027.

3. The Corona pandemic resulted in a spike in VPN use, and a positive correlation between the number of new cases and VPN use has been observed.

4. Free VPNs are responsible for more than 1.2TB of user data leaks in 2020, with more than 21 million users falling victim.

5. Indonesia has the highest percentage of VPN users in the world, while the UAE recorded the highest adoption index (number of clicks to download/number of population).


VPN Statistics and Facts: Who Is Using VPNs?

Invented in 1996, VPNs were used as a business-only tool for more than a decade. However, around the 2010s, VPNs gained more audience of people using it with commercial purposes in mind.

1. VPN statistics: Number of VPN users

Some estimates indicate that one-third of internet users use VPNs while surfing the net.

  • The country with the documented highest VPN use is Indonesia with approximately 61% of the local population using a VPN.  It is suspected that the reason for such high VPN penetration is due to the high restrictions and censorship in the country.
  • India comes in 2nd place at 45%, while UAE comes third with 42% of the population using a VPN despite rules against using VPN there. 
  • The country with the highest growth rate in VPN usage is the Netherlands (since 2017). 
  • Today more than 140 million Americans use VPNs regularly.


2. VPN statistics: VPN adoption index

VPN adoption rate indicates what percentage of the county downloaded a VPN (number of downloads/total population).

According to AtlasVPN statistics on the VPN adoption index:

  • The highest VPN adoption index was in Qatar; 53.06% of the population downloaded a VPN in 2020 and 44.47% in the first half of 2021.
  • The UAE had the highest VPN adoption index in 2020 with 61.61% of its population downloading a VPN back then, but dropped down to 39.91% in the first half of 2021, which pushed it to second place after Qatar.
  • A total of 5 gulf countries ranked in the top 10 highest VPN adoption index, with the top 4 being gulf countries (UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia), the fifth gulf country, which is ranked at 6th place, is Kuwait.


  • Among the countries with the least VPN adoption index wereSouth Africa, Japan, and Madagascar; 1.43%, 0.85%, and 0.42% respectively.

The aforementioned data was collected using the Google Play Store, and Apple Store downloads using the Sensor Tower service.

3. VPN statistics: Gender distribution of VPN use

Regarding the gender distribution of VPN use, according to, the following was found:

  • 57% of surveyed males reported using a VPN service.
  • 43% of surveyed females reported using a VPN service.

The difference mainly lies in the personal use of VPNs.

4.VPN statistics: VPN use based on income level

According to the study conducted by, the people most likely to use a VPN are those who have incomes around $25,000 to $49,999.

5. VPN statistics: Education level and VPN use

GWI concluded that "postgraduates are most likely to use one, while those who are schooled until the age of 16 are least likely to." University-educated individuals are more likely to want to access more content, namely geo-restricted content. Further, students usually travel to different places around the world, which can explain why they would need to use a VPN. 

For example, some places, like the UAE, ban all VoIP services. And when students travel to a place where they can't make free calls and video calls with their families and loved ones at home, they would naturally resort to using VPNs to unblock such services, as paying for international calls would cost them a fortune. 


Purposes for Using a VPN

The use of VPNs has been ever-changing over the past few years, according to a study by

  • It is estimated that 29% of users use a VPN for personal use when surfing the internet.
  • 24% of individuals online use a VPN for business-related activities.
  • 15% of users use a VPN for both personal reasons and business-related activities.
  • It is estimated that 32% of individuals on the internet don't use any form of VPN protection.

Personal use of VPNs

The personal use of VPN varies in nature as a VPN has many uses ranging from security and protection to entertainment via bypassing geo-restrictions.

The top reasons for the personal use of VPN include:

  • Security and protection (40%)
  • Accessing Wi-Fi
  • Entertainment

VPN use in businesses

Businesses usually use virtual private networks to have their own private network only accessible by their employees, most likely, those who work remotely. By creating a private network, a company will grant its employees access to its database and business-related apps, without having to worry about intruders. 

Business VPNs and consumer VPNs are pretty much the same, except for one difference in why they are used; Consumer VPNs, which are usually used for personal use, connect the user to a remote server of their choice to enjoy things that are available on said server.

While business VPNs mainly create a private server for the organization, where it can operate safely away from the intrusion that might exist on the public network.

VPN Statistics: Market Value 2019-2027 Estimates

The combination of reliance on the internet during periods of curfew, work from home, and safety-related issues are what made the VPN market hit its peak in 2021. 

  • The VPN market was valued at $25 Billion in 2019.
  • The VPN market has grown considerably during the Coronavirus pandemic, as the VPN market was valued at approximately $35 Billion in 2020.
  • Within the next few years, the VPN market is estimated to increase its value up to ~$76 Billion in 2027 according to Statista, while Research and Markets suspect it might grow even further to reach 107 Billion in 2027. This shows how much the use of VPN is increasing.

VPN Statistics During Covid-19

With the lockdown and curfew during the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of VPN surged as well, comparing the data regarding the increase in VPN and Covid cases increase per week based on Statista's study in March 2020:

  • Italy had the highest increase in Covid-19 cases (51,700+) and VPN use (160% increase).
  • The US had the second-highest increase in Covid-19 cases (33,000+) as well as VPN use (124% increase).
  • Spain had the third-highest increase in Covid-19 cases (28,000+) and VPN use (58%).
  • According to OpenVPN, after companies had been forced to start operating from home, 68% of these companies started using or increased their use of VPNs; 29% of said companies were using VPNs for the first time.

Cyber-Attack Statistics

In 2003, a study was conducted and one of the key findings was that a cyber-attack happened every 39 seconds back then. Since then cybercrime has been relentless. 

  • It is estimated that cybercrime cost the world more than $1 trillion in 2020 alone.
  • According to Statista, the number of cyber-attacks and data breaches in the US in 2020 was over 1000 attacks. Further, more than 155.8 million individuals have been victims of data breaches or data exposures throughout the same year. 
    • Compared to data from 10 years ago, the number of cases has more than doubled.
    • Of those attacks, approximately 4% are thought to originate from Russia, and an ever much more significant portion of all hacking traffic in the world is believed to originate from China.
  • According to CISA, in 2019, 10% of small businesses had to shut down due to cyber-attacks.
    • The average losses per cyber-attack on companies were found to be close to $500,000 in losses, making it a serious issue that affects the economy of the world, and by extension, you, the citizen.

Cyber-attacks during the pandemic

While the pandemic had been affecting people's lives, another outcome, which almost no one had thought of, was the crazy rise in cybercrime. 

  • According to the FBI, there has been a 300% rise in cyber-attacks; instead of 1,000 reported cases, the number had gone up to 3,000-4,000. 
  • According to Infosecurity Magazine, phishing attacks through emails have jumped up over 600% since the end of February 2020.
  • According to IBM, 2021 had the highest data breach average cost in 17 years; the costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24.
  • By July 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged more than 538,000 consumer complaints, most of which involving fraud and identity theft, costing consumers over $485.7 million. (AARP)
  • Banks and healthcare organizations have seen a special rise in cyber-attacks. According to Fintech News, 238% of cyber-attacks on banks in 2020 can be blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic. As for healthcare organizations, reported and confirmed data breaches have increased by 58% in 2020.
  • Google has reported blocking 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 only in April 2020.
  • According to Malwarebytes, remote workers have caused a security breach in 20% of organizations. Additionally, a study conducted by Databasix found that 44% of the surveyed companies and organizations hadn't trained their staff on the cybersecurity threats of working from home. 

VPN Statistics: VPNs with the Most Servers

Typically having a higher number of servers means that the servers won't get congested by multiple users using the same server.


VPN Statistics: Widest Area Distribution of Servers

A higher area coverage means you can mask your IP to suit you for a better variety of locations to unlock different types of geo-blocked content.

Free VPN Statistics

Some might find free VPN companies so charitable, as they distribute free VPN services, which can be very tempting. However, it is noteworthy to mention that these "free" VPN services gain money not by selling their product, but by selling your data, which they collect while you surf the internet using their "completely free" product.

  • According to Malwarebytes who released a report in March 2021, more than 21 million free-VPN users have had their data exposed.
    • The total amount of user data exposed amounts to approximately 1.2TB of data.
    • The exposed data included email addresses, randomly generated password strings, billing information, and device IDs. 
    • The free VPNs that had their data breached are SuperVPN, GeckoVPN, ChatVPN.

This defies the very purpose of using a VPN. If having your data stolen is the price of using a free VPN, then it would probably be cheaper to pay for a premium VPN so you can rest assured that your data is in safe hands. 

Other than the security-related issues, free VPNs also don't work in the way we want them to. If you use a VPN to access geo-restricted online content, you might not be able to do so. 

For example, Netflix and Hulu have very advanced VPN detection systems; if you try to watch content on Netflix or HULU that is not available in your country. their detection systems will detect your VPN IP address right away and will send you a streaming error message. 

This issue, again, defies the purpose of using a VPN. 

The best VPN services in 2021

With all the crazy VPN statistics, and especially after knowing how bad free VPNs are, you must be curious about which VPN services are considered the best in 2021. We've got you covered.

1. Cyberghost is our top pick for best VPN services; it provides top-notch VPN security services and features, and their ease-of-use and price make it an excellent VPN choice. CyberGhost has 6,100 servers in 90 countries, which makes it perfect for bypassing geo-restrictions. Cyberghost has affordable prices and a 45-day money-back guarantee.  

2. Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based VPN provider with more than 35,000 servers in 77 countries. It offers exceptional security and speed for competitive prices and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best fit for VPN-experienced users who are looking for advanced features and a chance to customize their settings.

3. IPVanish offers an excellent value for its stable server network, reliable features, and impressive cloud storage solution with SugarSync® secure cloud storage, which is now included in every IPVanish VPN plan. IPVanish also has exceptionally fast servers. IPVanish's speed is ideal for high-bandwidth activities such as streaming or having video chats. With IPVanish's competitive prices and the 30-day money-back guarantee, you will have the best experience. 

4. StrongVPN is strong, as you can probably tell by its name. It has 950 servers in more than 30 countries which you can use to enjoy content beyond geo-restrictions. In addition, it offers high levels of security and speed for affordable prices and with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

5. HideMyAss (HMA) is a virtual private network provider owned by Avast. It has more than 1060 servers in 290 locations distributed over 190 countries around the globe. HMA offers multiple plans with affordable prices, a free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Interested in knowing more about the best VPN services in 2021? For detailed reviews and comprehensive analysis on VPNs, check our top VPN services out there, rated and ranked.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

After reading some VPN statistics and VPN recommendations, let's answer some frequently asked questions about VPNs.

1. Are VPNs worth paying for?

Yes. Definitely. With cybercrime and cyber-attacks on the rise, one can never be too careful. So because it's always better to be safe than sorry, taking precautions is the answer; virtual private networks are a must nowadays. Besides, the money you would pay for a premium VPN subscription can never be even compared to what money you might have to pay in case you are targeted by a cyber-attack.

2. Are VPNs legal?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are legal in almost all countries with the exception of Belarus, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. As for Russia, Oman, UAE, and China, VPNs are legal with limitations. Check to see if you're country has any reservations against the use of VPNs in our country-by-country guide for VPN laws

3. How do I set up a VPN on my device?

Once you go through the list of the best VPNs on the market and choose a VPN, you can go ahead and sign up on their website. On the website, you will find all the steps you need to follow to set up a VPN on your device and start surfing the internet safely. 


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