Top10VPN.com, A VPN research and testing company based in the U.K., has released some interesting stats for the month of March 2020. The research firm records show that some of the biggest jumps in VPN (Virtual Private Network) usage are in Africa.
Egypt takes the leads with 224% growth in the number of VPN users, with a sustained increase over at least two weeks by 154%. It was followed by South Africa, which recorded a sustained increase in VPN usage by 105% in March 2020.
COVID-19 containment measures sparks increased VPN usage
Since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Government health authorities in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) have given containment measures of the deadly coronavirus. One of which is calls for people to work from home.
Some of the employers have been proactive in encouraging their employees to work from home. The employees will be handling the company’s data right from their own home. Naturally, that comes with a lot of risk with regards to privacy and security.
If the employee accesses the company’s sensitive data on an unsecured network. They risk exposing sensitive data to would-be hackers lurking within the same unsecured network. The odds of that happening are quite high as most people tend to rely on public Wi-Fi or unsecured shared networks.
It is also highly likely that the security protocols employed in securing a home Wi-Fi network are not as robust as what a company would use to secure the workplace network. So employees accessing the company’s data remotely comes with its inherent risks.
Security savvy companies and employees have since taken to using VPN to add an additional encrypted layer of security to their internet traffic. Thus, making it extra harder for would-be hackers to get their hands on the company’s data.
It is worth noting that the FBI recently issued a warning on business email compromises amidst the calls for work from home to fight COVID-19.
Other Reasons cited for Upsurge in VPN use
Top10VPN.com report shows the demand for commercial VPNs services in the U.S. rose by 41% in the period between March 13 and March 23. Network World further reports that VPN usage was already on the rise even before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
As a matter of fact, the global VPN market was projected to grow by 12% year-on-year through to 2026. A $70 billion growth in value for the industry, with the U.S. taking the lion’s share with 30% of that market as per the Global Network Insights 2020 survey.
Top10VPN.com research established that the global demand for VPN had increased by 41% in the second half of March. That was 22% higher than the demand before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, with some 75 countries recording a significant increase in the number of VPN users as stay-at-home orders started getting enforced.
So what other reasons do people have for using a VPN? Well, the security tools are not just in demand for work. They are also being used for the following reasons:
20% of VPN users in the U.S. and the U.K say they use VPN to get access to geo-restricted content from streaming, torrent, and download websites.
51% of users in the U.S. and U.K say they believe VPN keeps their online activities private and secure from not just hackers, but also their ISPs and state-sponsored spies.
44% of users simply appreciated the anonymous browsing that comes from using a VPN.
Streaming giant, Netflix appears to be the main reason why people use a VPN other than for the sake of security. As you might already know, Netflix has restricted quite some good content only to viewers in North America due to copyright issues. Thereby, locking millions of viewers from accessing such geo-restricted content.
With good VPNs, viewers from any part of the world can access these geo-restricted content on Netflix without any problem.