Working from home has become the norm around the world, and online censorship, Internet surveillance, and cybercrime are on the rise. It's no surprise that in the last couple of years, many Internet users have turned to one of the best VPN services to protect their anonymity online.

Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is software that masks your true IP address while protecting your data in transit within an encrypted tunnel. Offering better data security, privacy, and streaming freedom, VPNs lend themselves to a wide range of activities.

This is why the VPN industry is growing exponentially. Around a third of all internet users worldwide currently use some kind of VPN, and the market is expected to reach a valuation of €1.7 billion by 2022 (opens in a new tab) according to a new report from Future Market Insight (MFI). And this increase is not about to run out, quite the opposite.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the most interesting VPN trends and forecasts to understand how demand has changed over the years, as well as how it is likely to develop in the future.

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1. The VPN market is expected to reach $6.100 billion by 2032

IMF analysts have found that the demand for VPN services is expected to grow at an annual rate of 13,6%. This means that the market as a whole is expected to reach a valuation of $6.100 billion by 2032. This represents growth of almost 259% in about 10 years.

The IMF report also revealed that VPNs alone will account for around 12% of sales in the entire global network security industry. According to experts, its simplicity and versatility are the main factors behind the popularity of the software.

"Internet users are desperately looking for effective ways to prevent privacy breaches," Sudip Saha, IMF director general, told TechRadar. "Since most of them are not tech savvy, VPNs tend to stand out as the best solution for this problem."

2. Government officials use VPNs to bypass their own censorship

It's not just citizens who turn to VPN services to bypass local censorship and access blocked sites; the same goes for the governments that enforce the ban in the first place.

Top10VPN researchers found that Russian officials have spent around €10 million on VPN contracts (opens in a new tab) since the start of the war against Ukraine. Ironically, Moscow-based organizations actually spent more, with communications and legislative agencies accounting for more than 40% of total spending.

This is not an isolated case. The Chinese government is most likely using a Chinese VPN to access your Twitter page; the platform is banned in the country. After all, the father of the Great Firewall Fang Binxing even used the software in a public lecture (opens in a new tab) to bypass his own creation.

Smart phone in hand showing Facebook logo. Blurred red censored text on background

(Image credit: klevo/Shutterstock)(*7*)3. Canada and Mexico are the countries with the most VPN streamers

It's probably not that surprising that avid streamers are increasingly using a good streaming VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and access global content anywhere in the world.

As a 2018 Global Web Index survey revealed, more than half of respondents said that access to better entertainment is the main motivation for using a VPN service (opens in a new tab). More recently, TechRadar's own survey of nearly 3000 VPN users found that 69% of respondents had used the software to unblock streaming content, a figure mirrored exactly by a survey conducted by VPN provider Surfshark (opens at a new tab).

Similar figures also emerged from the IMF investigation. "Access to content and privacy are two of the most compelling reasons to use a VPN," Sudip Saha, chief operating officer of the IMF, told TechRadar.

But which countries have the most VPN transmitters? Canada and Mexico topped the list with 49% of all VPN users claiming to use VPNs to access geo-restricted content. Brazil ranks third with 37%, followed by the UK, Ireland and India,

4. Americans are more concerned about their safety online

Although security and streaming are the main reasons people use a VPN, these motivations are not of the same value everywhere. Based on Surfshark's insights into the habits of its subscribers, respondents located in the United States were the most concerned about their online safety.

At the same time, the United States also tops the list for the number of victims of cybercrime in the world. In 2020, cyberattacks affected more than 1480 people every day compared to 657 in 2015. This represents a 55% growth in cybercrime every year.

All this, added to the fact that the United States is also a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance, makes the concern for citizen security more than legitimate.

5. Sri Lanka saw the biggest increase in VPN demand in 2022

According to Top10VPN's VPN demand monitor, Sri Lanka saw the largest increase in searches worldwide in 2022.

Following the decision to block all major social media platforms, daily VPN search volume saw an increase of over 17% (opens in a new tab) on April 000. Even the day before, peak demand shot up 3%.

Along with a nationwide curfew, the social media ban, which was quickly lifted because VPNs render it "completely useless," came as a government attempt to contain a wave of protests fueled by a dire crisis. economy and scarcity of essential products.

Compared to a much less impressive 12,63% of Sri Lankans downloading a VPN in 2021 (opens in a new tab), according to the Atlas VPN Adoption Index, this clearly confirms how more and more citizens are turning to to VPN services in times of social crisis. agitation.

6. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience the highest growth

Government censorship, densely populated countries, and the growing need for secure remote access are probably the reasons why the Asia-Pacific region is expected to see the highest growth in the VPN market.

According to IMF forecasts, VPN demand is expected to increase by around 500% by 2032. In India alone, annual growth is expected to reach around 22%, while the Japanese market is expected to do the same, with an increase in demand of 18% each year. year.

Surfshark data revealed that the three largest VPN markets in 2021 were all in Asia-Pacific, respectively, these were India, China, and Indonesia.

However, cybersecurity experts fear that new legislation such as India's recent Data Retention Act could negatively affect these predictions. "VPN bans will primarily harm corporate interests by discouraging investment and business activities in India," said Sudip Saha, COO of IMF.

image representing the cloud and various computing devices

(Image credit: Pixabay)

7. Cloud-based VPNs could be the new future

Another interesting finding from the 2022 IMF report concerns the type of VPN software that is likely to gain popularity with consumers.

Cloud-based VPN services have already seen an increase in demand in the business sector. These offer several benefits to businesses that need secure remote access, including professional SEO firms, marketers, travel agencies, banking institutions, and more.

Until now, cloud VPNs have only been used as an alternative to traditional business services. However, experts believe that its benefits will soon make this type of technology the first choice of daily Internet users in the coming years.

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