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The Rising Popularity of VPN: What You Need to Know

VPN- The Rising Popularity of VPN


Are you worried about your internet's security and privacy? Then, downloading a VPN is the best choice for you.

VPN is a word we listen to a lot more these days. This technology encrypts your device's IP and makes it invisible to all the sites and pages that want to track or monitor your digital activity.

As users worry that companies, government, or hackers are spying on their internet activity - whether for work or entertainment - they feel more urged to find a way to make them feel safe. This could be the main reason VPN usage is increasing rapidly worldwide, with 215 million downloads in the first half of 2022, and nearly 25% of all internet users have used one in the last 30 days, according to statistics shared by Gitnux Blog.

Whether you are familiar or not with these programs, in this article, we will learn what VPNs are about, why they are becoming so popular, and how you could use them for a safer internet experience.

Sit comfortably and keep scrolling!

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, whose goal is to let you access the internet safely and anonymously. The VPN encrypts and routes all your internet activity, making it impossible for any hacker or web page to intercept or view your data.

In the beginning, businesses were the only entities that used VPN as it let employees connect to the company network from anywhere around the world, which is pretty useful for remote work. Of course, this program provides security for the business as only trustful employees can join. Nonetheless, these features also began to work for normal users with less professional and more entertainment purposes.

Why do People use VPNs? 

While it has more security purposes, the reality is that people are using VPNs for more activities than the original ones. In the end, the user is the one who uses the tool, and in this part of the article, we want to discuss all the different utilities for this technology.

Work and business.

Businesses were the pioneer users of VPN usage. The reason behind this is notorious: data protection.

Data is a valuable asset for businesses as this information can help them understand their audiences better and apply better strategies to persuade and please them. Nonetheless, hackers and other internet thieves could get access to this data, and that's why business owners tend to choose a VPN as an extra tool for data protection. According to Forbes statistics on VPNs:

  • 66% use a VPN to help protect personal data
  • 6% use a VPN to protect an employer’s data 
  • 16% use a VPN because their employer requires it 
  • 80% use a VPN for increased security
  • 18% use a VPN for increased encryption 
  • 30% use a VPN for two-factor authentication 

As a business owner, we know that you care a lot about your business security, so we give you ten effective ways to protect your business data.

Security on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Public and free isn't secure at all in the digital world. 

Did you know that 40% of people have been hacked using a public Wi-Fi network?

When you access one of these in a coffee shop or while waiting for a flight, hackers can get easier access to your activity and information, which is why many people prefer to use a VPN.

According to Forbes, 50% of people use VPNs on public Wi-Fi. This measure is crucial because when you access a public network, it asks you for your personal information, including passwords, to either social media or mail. Nonetheless, when you use a VPN, all this information gets encrypted, so hackers can not access it.

Avoid Censorship.

Censorship is a big thing in the world, and we can see how governments can further restrict some pages in their countries. Not only does censorship come from governments, but internet service providers can also do it. 

Censorship can take other forms, like slowing down the connection speed of certain websites or cutting off internet access altogether.

For example, countries like Venezuela don't have access to some news sources that could be talking freely about all the sociopolitical issues happening within the country. In this case, journalists and other professionals working with news and data must download VPNs to access all this information. Another country where many use VPNs is Russia, where, despite restrictions, 23.94% of the population adopted a VPN in 2022.

VPN lets users bypass all this censorship and create a secure and confidential connection between users and the internet. As a result, users can access any content they want, regardless of where they are.

Privacy and Anonimity.

When you use a VPN, your internet service providers can look at everything you are doing, from websites you visit, downloaded files, and even the people you talk to. Then, internet service providers can sell all this information to advertisers who take advantage of your target ads or products. This behavior is also used by social media platforms that use your interactions to give you posts and ads based on your liking; this is how the algorithm works.

Now, if you feel uncomfortable with companies looking at what you do on the internet, VPNs can prevent internet service providers from checking on it by giving a private connection between you and the internet. This way, these internet companies can no longer sell your information to other businesses.

Restrict Apps’ Data Accessibility

If you have been on social media news for the last few years, then you already know that the internet is not the only place where companies are constantly looking at you; social media platforms do this at the same level.

When you "read" the terms and conditions of any app like WhatsApp, Instagram, or TikTok, you agree to let all these platforms evaluate your activity in them to sell this information to companies to sell you exactly what you are looking for.

If you look at it from a 100% business point of view, it is not a way to break your privacy but more a strategy to give you a personalized experience. On the other hand, we understand that other people, business people, and companies are not interested in platforms looking at their activity, so they use VPNs to restrict the access of apps to their data.

Avoid ADs

Some users can get tired of looking at too many ads on every social platform, and that's why they decide to use a VPN to block all of them from showing. The same article from Forbes confirms that 6% use a VPN for this purpose. 

Find Better Deals when Online Shopping

Did you know that prices could change depending on your geographical location? Yes, this is a reality, and, as you may have guessed, VPNs can help you find better offers.

When going to online platforms, some oversized items like airline tickets, hotel stays, or subscriptions to streaming or any other service can vary their price depending on the country you live in. A virtual private network can help you find cheaper offers by changing your IP location to discover these "location discounts."

Accessing to Extra Content

More on the entertainment realm, this is a cheat code for many streamer lovers who want access to more content.

Sometimes streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime may have different titles in different countries, and shows already taken out from the program are available in other territories.

So, taking advantage of VPN capabilities, people connect to other countries' networks and watch all their favorite TV and movies from the comfort of their homes.

Playing Casino Online Games

Online casinos are a trend that is becoming more popular recently. These gambling platforms offer users an accessible way to play from the comfort of their homes. Nonetheless, similar to what we talk about about censorship, many countries restrict gambling games so people from these countries can access and play.

Of course, with VPNs, gambling passionates can somehow "jump the fence" and get access to any casino they want. 

VPN - Why do People use VPNs?

Why do People use VPNs?

Are VPNs Legal to Use?

When we see benefits like accessing extra content or even playing in casinos, a taboo activity for some people, you could think that a VPN is a "trickster" software.

Nonetheless, anything can be further from the truth, as VPNs are 100% legal in most countries around the world. Regardless, a blog from Surfshark VPN confirms that some countries restrict the usage of VPNs; these make up 45% of internet users worldwide, representing 2.4 billion people. Among those countries that restrict VPN use, we have:

  • China
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • Russia

It's curious how Russia is on the list of countries banned from VPN use while also having a decent percentage of citizens using it; what could tell us that, beyond censorship, internet users always find a way to get access to free internet.

Final Thoughts

Virtual Private Networks are an excellent addition to your digital arsenal since business owners and ordinary users can take advantage of all the privileges that come with this software.

More than nothing, privacy and security are some of the characteristics we value the most from VPNs as we know how many dangers could be around for digital businesses on the internet, and we must be protected every time. If you want more guidance on managing your business professionally or need help with digital marketing strategy. Our team of professionals will gladly help you with that case. Contact us to talk more about business!

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a VPN and how does it work for internet privacy?

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is a technology that enhances your online privacy and security by creating a protected network connection over the internet. It works by routing your device's internet connection through the VPN's private server rather than your internet service provider (ISP). This process not only encrypts your data but also masks your IP address, making your online actions virtually untraceable and providing a higher level of privacy. By leveraging encryption protocols, VPNs ensure that even if data is intercepted, it remains indecipherable to unauthorized parties, safeguarding sensitive information against hackers and eavesdroppers.

Why has there been a significant increase in VPN usage globally?

The surge in VPN usage globally can be attributed to growing concerns over internet privacy, cybersecurity threats, and the increasing restrictions on internet freedom. As digital platforms and services have become integral to daily life, users have become more aware of how their personal information can be exploited for advertising and surveillance. Furthermore, the rise in remote work has necessitated secure connections to protect corporate data. Enhanced awareness and the need for accessing geo-restricted content, such as streaming services, have also played a crucial role in driving VPN adoption.

Can VPNs truly keep your online activities private from ISPs and advertisers?

VPNs are highly effective at maintaining the privacy of your online activities from ISPs and advertisers by encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address. This encryption makes it exceedingly difficult for ISPs to monitor your browsing activities or for advertisers to track your online behavior for targeted advertising. However, it's important to note that the level of privacy depends on the VPN provider's policies, particularly regarding logging practices. Choosing a reputable VPN service committed to a strict no-logs policy is crucial for ensuring your online activities remain private.

How do VPNs protect you on public Wi-Fi networks?

VPNs protect you on public Wi-Fi networks by establishing a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet, safeguarding your data from potential cyber threats. Public Wi-Fi networks, often unsecured, are notorious for being breeding grounds for hackers who might intercept sensitive information, such as passwords and financial details. A VPN encrypts your data, making it unintelligible to interceptors, thus significantly reducing the risk of cyber attacks and data theft.

What role do VPNs play in bypassing internet censorship and accessing global content?

VPNs play a pivotal role in circumventing internet censorship and unlocking access to global content by allowing users to connect to servers in different countries. This capability is particularly valuable in regions where internet access is restricted or monitored by the government. By connecting to a server in another country, users can bypass local restrictions, access international news sites, social media platforms, and stream content that would otherwise be unavailable in their region, promoting freedom of information and cultural exchange.

How does using a VPN affect online shopping and finding deals?

Using a VPN can significantly impact online shopping by enabling you to access geo-specific deals and avoid price discrimination. Retailers and service providers often vary their pricing based on the user's location, a practice evident in airline tickets, software subscriptions, and more. By changing your virtual location through a VPN, you can compare prices across different markets, potentially uncovering better deals that are not available in your actual geographical location, leading to savings.

Are there legal considerations to using a VPN in certain countries?

Yes, there are legal considerations to using a VPN in certain countries, as the legality of VPN use varies globally. While VPNs are legal in most democratic countries, some nations with strict internet censorship laws have regulations against VPN usage or mandate the use of government-approved VPNs. Countries like China, Russia, and Iran have imposed restrictions on VPN use, making it important for individuals and businesses to be aware of and comply with local laws regarding VPN usage to avoid legal repercussions.

How can businesses benefit from using VPNs for secure remote work?

Businesses can benefit from using VPNs for secure remote work by ensuring a safe and encrypted connection for their employees, irrespective of their location. This secure connection is crucial for protecting sensitive corporate data from cyber threats, especially when employees access company networks from unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs also facilitate remote access to restricted resources, enabling seamless collaboration and productivity among geographically dispersed teams while maintaining strict data privacy and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Can VPNs prevent access to your data from social media platforms and apps?

While VPNs excel at encrypting your internet connection and hiding your IP address from external observers, they have limited capability in preventing social media platforms and apps from accessing data you voluntarily share on these services. Once you interact with these platforms, the information you post, the permissions you grant to the apps, and the platform's data tracking practices determine your data privacy. It's essential to manage app permissions and be cautious about the information you share online, in addition to using a VPN for enhanced privacy.

How do VPNs interact with streaming services and online gaming platforms?

VPNs interact with streaming services and online gaming platforms by enabling users to connect to servers in different countries, potentially bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing a wider array of content. However, streaming services like Netflix have implemented measures to detect and block VPN use, which can lead to a cat-and-mouse game between VPN providers and streaming platforms. For online gaming, VPNs can improve connection stability and reduce ping times in certain cases, but they might also increase latency if the VPN server is far from the game server. It's important to choose a VPN with fast, gaming-optimized servers for the best experience.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

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