Advertisers, hackers, and the government can sometimes monitor your web browsing history and other details. However, using a VPN can stop people, web browsers, and software from gaining access to your connection and data.
Considering the benefits of VPN, its usage in the United States increased from 24.7% in 2020 to 33% in 2023.
Currently, there are 1.6 billion VPN users in the world, and most of them are using the service to protect personal information and to increase overall online security.
Let us take a deeper look at the demographics of these users and the trends behind their VPN adoption in this statistical post.
VPN Statistics: At a Glance
- Over 1.6 billion people use VPNs globally.
- 33% of Americans use VPN services.
- 130 million VPN downloads took place in the first half of 2023.
- 54% of the Men and 46% of Women worldwide use a VPN.
- The majority (22.8%) of VPN users belong to the age group of 25 to 34 years.
- 36% of VPN users use the service every day.
- Almost 3 in 4 people use VPN on their desktops, and two-thirds use it on smartphones.
- 44.2% of users in the United States prefer free VPN service, while 51.2% of users prefer paid services.
- 93% of the organizations globally use VPN services.
How many people use VPNs?
- More than 1.6 billion people worldwide use VPNs.
5.3 billion people worldwide use the internet daily. Out of these, 31% use VPNs.
25.4% of the customers said that security is the main reason for using VPNs, while 39.4% said that they were using it for work.
- 130 million VPN downloads were recorded in the first half of 2023.
VPNs were downloaded 277 million times in 2020. This number increased almost thrice in 2021, reaching 785 million VPN downloads.
However, In 2022, the number of VPN downloads declined by almost 50% and reached 353 million.
Source: Atlas VPN.
What percent of Americans use a VPN?
- 33% of the internet users use a VPN Service in the United States.
One-third of Americans use a VPN.
This number has increased considerably from 24.3% recorded in 2022.
Out of these, 43% of the VPN users mainly use VPN to protect their online privacy, and 33% said that they use VPN to keep their online accounts and devices secure.
Source: Nord VPN.
- 51.2% of Americans use a paid VPN service.
Besides, under one in ten VPN users in the United States use corporate VPNs.
Here are further details about the types of VPNs used by Americans.
- Paid VPN: 51.2%
- Free VPN: 44.2%
- Free trial: 27.0%
- Corporate VPN: 9.7%
Sage Reads: The average daily screen time in the US is 7 hours and 04 minutes.
VPN users demographics
- 46% of Females and 54% of the Male population worldwide use VPN.
According to Surfsharks report, the majority of VPN users are male. However, there is not a huge difference between the share of male and female users.
This displays that the gender gap has reduced as the GWI data from 2017 found that 62% of the VPN users were male and only 38% were female.
Source: Surfshark, GWI.
- Millennials mostly use VPNs compared to other age groups.
1 in 5 users aged between 25 and 34 said they use a VPN.
Surprisingly, only 16.5% of the tech enthusiasts Gen Z used a VPN.
In fact, Gen Z even fell behind Gen X in VPN usage.
The following table displays the share of adults using VPN services from different age groups:
|Age group||Percentage of VPN users in different age groups|
|16 to 24 years||16.5%|
|25 to 34 years||22.8%|
|35 to 44 years||15.5%|
|45 to 54 years||17.4%|
|55 to 64 years||12.9%|
|Over 65 years||14.8%|
On the contrary, GWI’s latest report highlights that 39% of the VPN users were aged between 16 and 22 years, while the millennial users were 36%.
Hence, there is no larger difference between the share of GenZ and Millennial VPN users.
Source: Surfshark, GWI.
VPN Market Statistics
- The worldwide virtual private network(VPN) market size was $44.6 billion in 2022.
The market is expected to reach $ 75.59 billion by the end of 2027.
This is an increase of more than $30 billion in the market size during the forecast period of 2023 to 2027.
The following table displays the VPN market size recorded over the years:
|Year||Market size of VPN recorded over the years|
- Cisco AnyConnect led the global virtual private network industry in 2022.
The company owned a market share of 28.6%. The company was closely followed by Cisco VPN, with a market share of 28.6%.
Juniper VPN and Citrix Gateway had the industry’s third and fourth-highest market share.
The following table provides further details about the VPN market share:
|Leading technologies in the VPN industry||Market share|
- The VPN market exceeded $11.6 billion in India.
India is the leader of the top three largest VPN markets, along with China and Indonesia.
Although VPN is banned in China, most businesses and companies require VPN. Hence, the market there is quite huge.
The United States stands fourth in the list of top VPN markets worldwide with $2.7 billion.
The following table displays the top VPN market worldwide:
|VPN market||VPN Market size in the country|
|Russia||$ 0.95 billion|
What country uses VPNs the most?
- Internet users in the United Arab Emirates use VPNs the most.
Nearly 39% of the internet users in UAE stated that they used a VPN for some of their activities.
Indonesia ranks second, with 34.9% of its online users using VPNs.
The following table displays the percentage of internet users in different countries using VPNs:
|Country||Percentage of Internet users using VPN|
|United Arab Emirates||38.6%|
- Singapore has the highest VPN adoption rate.
However, due to the high population, the highest VPN downloads are recorded in India as of H1 2023. 30.17 million VPN downloads are recorded in the country, but the VPN adoption rate is just 2.19%.
The United States has the second-highest VPN downloads, reaching 17.73 million, and a VPN adoption rate of 5.36% as of H1 2023.
The following table displays the countries with the highest VPN adoption rates as of H1 202:
|Rank||Country||VPN adoption rate of the country|
|2||United Arab Emirates||16.94%|
Source: Atlas VPN.
- VPNs are partially banned in 10 countries, including China and Russia.
The ban in all these countries is limited to an extent. Most professionals residing in these countries use VPNs for work and business needs.
The other countries where it is illegal to use VPN are:
- North Korea
Apart from these countries, the usage of VPN comes with restrictions in countries like Egypt, Venezuela, UAE, Myanmar, etc.
VPN usage statistics
- 43.6% of people use VPNs for personal reasons only.
VPN usage is not limited to just work purposes. Today, VPN is mostly used for personal security reasons.
While 33.3% of people use VPN only for business purposes, and 23.1% use VPN for both personal and professional reasons.
- 80% of people use VPNs for increased security measures.
According to Forbes, the majority of people use VPNs for increased security and for protecting personal information.
Some users prefer to use a VPN to avoid ads, two-factor authentication, etc.
The following table displays why people use VPNs:
|Reason for using VPN||Percentage of VPN users|
|Protect personal information||66%|
|Use on public Wi-Fi||50%|
|Mask internet activity||33%|
|Required by employer||16%|
|Protect employer’s data||6%|
|To avoid ads||6%|
- Half of internet users use VPNs for general security reasons.
According to security.org, an additional 40% use VPN for securing personal data, and one-third use VPN while using public wifi to mitigate risks.
Another one-third of the users said they needed a VPN because of job requirements.
Some less common reasons were bypassing school, office, college, or government restrictions at 9% each.
- 46% of people who use a VPN for personal use do it for accessing streaming services.
According to Forbes, people use VPNs to mask their IP addresses from unsecured Wi-Fi and on public sites.
Additionally, 16% use VPNs for torrenting, and 26% use VPNs for accessing region-locked content.
Did you know? Two of every three Netflix users use a VPN to view their services.
- 36% of people use a VPN every day.
At the same time, 41% of people use VPNs at least once a week.
This can result from the increased popularity of remote work and its rise during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods.
Most companies have deployed hybrid work, and many IT professionals are still working remotely.
The following infographic displays further details about the frequency of VPN usage.
- 43% of the remote workers use VPN for work purposes.
Over 4 in 10 remote workers said that they needed a VPN for work. While 38% said they didn’t use a VPN.
- 93% of organizations and businesses use VPNs for work.
The majority of the company requires a VPN for work purposes. In fact, a single VPN is not sufficient, and 41% of organizations have three or more global inbound VPN gateways.
Source: Cybersecurity Insiders
Do people use a paid or free VPN?
- 26% of the users use paid VPN services.
But, most (47%) of the users prefer to use a free VPN service. However, the free VPNs available in the market do not have as many features as paid VPNs.
The paid VPN services offer better features, and plenty of people go with the cheap services for personal usage.
24% of the users use a VPN paid by their employer.
VPN usage by devices
- 72% of desktop or laptop users use a VPN.
The majority of people prefer to use a VPN on their PC or laptop as it is more convenient and secure.
69% of the people use a VPN on mobile. This is unsurprising, considering that most people connect to public WiFi through their phones.
Among the iOS users, 52% said that they used a VPN. On the other side, just 37% of Android users use a VPN even though many VPNs work well with the Android OS.
Besides, only one-third of Tablet users use a VPN.
Globally, more than 60.67% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices as of 2023.
- 14% use a VPN for their streaming stick.
According to the Top 10 VPN Global VPN usage report, almost a similar share of PC/laptop users and Smartphone users use VPNs.
The survey states that 64% of smartphone users and 62% of laptop/PC users use a VPN.
One-fifth(21%) of the users install a VPN on their tablets, and one in 10(10%) users use it for TV and game consoles(9%).
Surprisingly, 8% of people use a VPN for their routers as well.
VPN security statistics
- 54% of the respondents said that they feel secure when using a VPN.
It is undoubtedly one of the major advantages of using a VPN. However, this gives a false sense of security as VPN is not a comprehensive security solution.
57% of the respondents to the Forbes survey said that they experienced a cyber attack while using a VPN.
- 25 million VPN user records were exposed in 2022.
The data of 21 million VPN users was exposed in early 2021. Also, the account logins for GeckoVPN, SuperVPN, ChatVPN, and other free VPNs were listed on sale for the dark web.
Seven free VPN providers were found responsible for 1.2 TB of leaks.
- 72% of cybersecurity leaders are concerned about the security risks of VPNs.
94% of organizations know that VPNs are potential targets for cyber attackers. Hence, 19% of organizations are very concerned about VPNs compromising their security.
Some of the major concerns pointed out by businesses and organizations are social engineering(75%), ransomware(74%), and malware attacks(60%).
Source: Cybersecurity Insiders.