It’s safe to say that the past year and a half might just have ended up changing the world as we know it. Not only has the global pandemic completely altered the manner in which we might end up interacting with one another, the world of tech has ended up changing quite a bit as well. While the changes are quite widespread and you can’t really pigeonhole them in any way at all, one trend that has been noticed involves VPNs.
This trend is that VPN use is starting to increase pretty much all around the world. A VPN, which is short for Virtual Private Network, is basically something that you can end up using in order to prevent people from being able to track your and it masks your browsing activity to a really large extent as well. This can be useful in situations where your government is restricting access to certain sites or if you want to circumvent geographic blocks that content providers like Netflix often end up putting into place.
The ability of a VPN to enable people to exercise their right to free speech despite the various despotic governments that might be making it unnecessarily difficult for them to end up doing so is definitely something that makes them popular, and it might be why these types of services are becoming popular in relatively far flung areas and the like. Proton VPN has ended up compiling data that is meant to enable users to better understand the increase in VPN popularity over the last 18 months.
It turns out that VPN usage has increased particularly quickly in areas like Asia and Africa, where government restrictions have often been oppressive with all things having been considered and taken into account. For example, Azerbaijan saw a 500 fold increase in signups between the months of September and October, and it’s not the only country with an authoritarian regime that ended up seeing a surge in VPN usage.
Zambia also saw a 120 fold increase in VPN usage in August, and with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that this coincided with a presidential election in that country. There was a military crackdown on internet usage which meant that many users had to use VPNs in order to obtain the data that they required.
All in all, VPNs are essential because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up helping people remove restrictions to internet access in a really big way which is something that everyone should keep in mind.