How Popular Are VPNs Around the World?

Last updated on March 14, 2019

VPNs have seen their usage increase in popularity by a remarkable amount as our lives become increasingly more connected through the internet and by using mobile devices and systems for almost every aspect of our day to day life. In fact, 25% of internet users have used a VPN in the past month. Additionally, of those users a massive 75% of them use a VPN on a weekly basis, and the majority of those use them every day.

Here, we look at just how popular VPNs are around the world and why they are used in different corners of the globe. It is interesting to see why citizens of different countries employ their use for when they connect online – with some fairly surprising results. Perhaps the most surprising of all is that the majority of VPN users are not using a VPN to ‘dupe’ the system and conduct illegal activity online. 77% of VPN users buy digital content each and every month like subscribing to video streaming libraries.

For the best VPN for accessing restricted and geo-blocked content around the world, we recommend ExpressVPN.

Motivations To Use A VPN

Before looking at which country uses a VPN for what reasons, it is good to know what the motivations behind using a VPN can be in the first place. They can really vary from maintaining cyber security to simply wanting to access geo restricted content. The following are the main reasons that VPN users employ a VPN in the first place, along with the percentage of those users who claimed those reasons to be one of their main motivations.

  • Unblocking geo-restricted entertainment, 50%
  • Accessing blocked social networks and news services, 34%
  • Preserving Anonymity, 31%
  • Accessing work systems, 30%
  • Accessing restricted download or torrenting sites
  • Communicating with friends or family abroad, 25%
  • Maintaining anonymity and browsing activity from the local government, 18%
  • Accessing a TOR browser, 17%

These stats provide some unusual insights.

Firstly, 44% of Argentinian VPN users (by far the biggest proportion of a country’s users) have downloaded and used a VPN so that they can access what they think of as better entertainment content though streaming services like Netflix and other online video streaming libraries.

However, the fact that a VPN gives users the illusion of a new IP with a different location that allows them to access restricted content and better online entertainment is secondary to some VPN users. 31% claim that they use them simply to preserve their anonymity as a whole. In fact, it is a major motivation for North American VPN users.

Bucking the trend for either choosing security or better entertainment as their main reason for subscribing to a VPN are the Russians. Within Russia, 36% of users chose the ability to access restricted download or torrenting sites as their main motivation for using a VPN.

Top 10 Countries That Use A VPN

The following countries are the countries that download and use a VPN the most. It shows that emerging markets are the regions that are leading VPN usage as opposed to Europe or North American citizens.

Perhaps most surprisingly, every single one of these countries touts being able to access better entertainment content as their main motivation for employing the use of a VPN. Given the strict censorship laws in China, Saudi Arabia and UAE, to name just three from the above list, this is perhaps not the response that would have been predicted. Making this even more surprising is the fact that these countries out and out ban the use of VoIP applications that can make contacting friends and family so easy, not to mention inexpensive.

What Content Do VPN Users Watch The Most?

As previously mentioned, accessing better entertainment content is one of the main motivations for all VPN users, regardless of location. This is supported by the fact that VPN users are mass consumers of TV that is available online. As opposed to those that do not have a VPN plan, VPN users are 40% more likely to be watching a subscription service like Netflix or Amazon Prime on a weekly basis.

However, what is surprising to note from those that use their VPN to consume TV content, is that they still use their VPN to watch TV in any form. In fact, almost all VPN users still watch TV live as it is broadcast through a TV channel.

Who Are The Main Users Of VPNs?

While we have looked at what countries use VPNs the most, and why, it is fascinating to see the stereotypical profile of a VPN user. In short, VPN users are more likely to be a young male that has come from a middle income group than any other type of person out there.

In fact, age has one of the biggest swing factors when it comes to VPN usage. Almost 70% of all VPN users are under the age of 34, with just 4% of users being between the age of 55 and 64.

When it comes to gender, the difference is still quite stark with 38% of VPN users being female and therefore 62% of users being male.

In terms of income, middle income earners make up a huge 45% of the VPN user market, with 23% of users coming from lower incomes and 24% from higher income earners. 8% of people questioned reserved the right not to say where they fell on the income scale.

The Use Of VPNs Around The World – The Bottom Line

VPN usage is on the rise – there is no denying that. With our lives increasingly taking place online and therefore being at risk to hacking by online criminals as well as such a huge part of our entertainment coming from content that is accessed through the internet, having a VPN that allows us to continue in this way seems undeniable.

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