The VPN industry was in full swing long before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown. Given the current circumstances, the study Global Market Insights 2020 predicts the growth of the global VPN market by 12% per year, and by 2026 its capitalization will reach $ 70 billion.
Over the past three months, millions of people have begun working from home. The coronavirus outbreak has led to a global increase in demand for VPN services: 41% in the second half of March. In 75 countries, there has been a major jump in VPN popularity since the introduction of social restrictions.
Free VPN for Android: which one is better to choose?
Growth Drivers: Why Do People Need a VPN
According to Networkworld, 51% of people use a VPN to protect their privacy on public Wi-Fi networks. Another 44% of respondents said that the main reason for using a VPN is anonymous browsing, for 37% of VPN users it is secure communication. In addition, 20% of US and UK respondents use a VPN to access higher quality entertainment content, streaming sites and torrents.
Markus Blunt, CEO of VeePN, an online privacy protection service:
Of course, streaming is the main driver for VPNs for several reasons. First, the Netflix library is geographically restricted due to copyright agreements. Second, video quality can be improved with a VPN thanks to private networks. Global streaming VPN demand jumped 85% in April
There are other reasons for using a VPN: 21% avoid their ISP’s bandwidth limit, 20% hide browsing activity from the government, and 18% said they have access to censored sites/content. Curiously, 72% of users choose free VPN services, while 36% prefer to buy them.
Where VPN Grows
The largest growth in VPN demand since the beginning of 2020 was in the following countries: Egypt (224%), Slovenia (169%) and Chile (149%). In terms of sustained growth (two weeks or more), here again Egypt leads the pack (154%), followed by Peru (119%) and South Africa (105%).
According to Research and Markets, North America dominates this market. In 2016, the US market earned $7.37 billion; under the new geographic scenario, it will continue to grow by an average of 15% year on year. In Europe, the region most affected by the pandemic, Germany will lead in the next 7-8 years.
In Japan, the Hosted segment deserves special attention: it will reach $639.2 million by 2022. Against the backdrop of growing economic distancing, the relationship between China and the rest of the world will affect competition and opportunities in the VPN market. Everything is changing: geopolitics, business, consumer sentiment. The world’s second largest economy is projected to grow by about 23% over the next few years.
What is a VPN and what is it for?
Main trends of this year
What to expect this year? Three clear trends have already emerged.
- The rise of BYOD and telecommuting. BYOD (Bring-your-own-device) is a common practice in which company employees work on their devices. According to Techjury, this approach improves performance. By 2022, the BYOD market will reach $366.95 billion, up from $94.15 billion in 2014.
- Create your own VPN servers. The past year 2019 was marked by cybersecurity scandals. It is not surprising why people treat cybersec products with a high degree of distrust. When it comes to VPN apps, it usually takes a couple of mouse clicks or screen taps to activate an encrypted tunnel. Their reliability cannot be proven without looking at the source code. Users will resort to setting up a personal VPN server with OpenVPN even simply because it doesn’t need to be shared with anyone else.
- Tighter VPN restrictions. VPN services are popular in countries where censorship exists. However, it would be a mistake to think that the authorities of these states are unaware of the popularity and capabilities of VPNs. They are taking steps to close this loophole by banning or blocking VPN providers.
For example, this year the Russian government issued an ultimatum to 10 VPN service providers. To continue working in Russia, they must comply with local Internet restrictions and not provide access to blocked resources. Blocking VPNs that do not cooperate with the government is a common practice all over the world, in China, the UAE and many other countries. However, it is worth talking about China in more detail.
On May 21, the Chinese government announced its readiness to pass a bill that is expected to criminalize acts of rebellion, separatism and subversion. The news caused a surge in internet traffic from Hong Kong to Atlas VPN, with a 520% increase in VPN clients.
The thing is that, unlike mainland China, Hong Kong residents can use the Internet with little or no censorship. That could all change when China passes the proposed security law. And he threatens to end the “one country, two systems” rule and destroy the autonomy of the region.
Markus Blunt, CEO, VeePN:
Another concern is surveillance of the population. The same law could give the green light to spying on people’s online activities to prove anti-government behavior. Therefore, it is obvious that tightening laws and imposing restrictions will only increase interest in VPN services.
VPN and business
The demand for VPN services for corporate clients is growing exponentially. This is due to the management of multiservice traffic, as well as communication between corporate sites. From a business perspective, a VPN provides security for end-to-end connectivity across the network infrastructure and notifies the administration of discovered vulnerabilities. Thus, the company can efficiently manage its resources.
According to GM Insights, MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) VPNs will grow by 10% annually. Large corporations are implementing such solutions primarily for data storage and transmission. Business demand for an extranet is growing due to the flexibility of a VPN: it provides access to multiple databases shared across a private infrastructure. In addition, the enterprise saves money: the need for additional network infrastructure is eliminated.
What is the result? The demand for VPNs is growing from all directions. Private users are looking for protection from surveillance and the ability to access prohibited information in it, business hopes to improve cybersecurity. Definitely, users will begin to distinguish one service from another and will not consider it shameful to pay for a quality VPN. And the services themselves will face a serious struggle, during which the speed, security and level of confidentiality will play a decisive role.
Here are some more interesting materials on the subject of VPN:
- What is a VPN and what is it for?
- Firefox: Review of the best VPN add-ons