The covid-19 pandemic is a major reason for a spike in VPNs, but the market has found ways to make themselves relevant for non-work uses as well.
Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are rising in popularity for both remote work and personal use. VPNs do not protect against malware or stop you from being hacked, but many are interested in using them for secure networks for work, and to stay safe on public networks.
One major reason for more VPN use is simply increased advertising on entertainment sites, specifically, YouTube. The trends section below covers the kind of advertising VPNs are doing on YouTube and elsewhere.
The market is expected to grow exponentially, and many are scrambling for an advantage. There are new and interesting developments for 2021. Below are statistics that give a brief insight into the VPN market.
Top VPN Statistics for 2021
- The global VPN market is believed to be $75.59 billion in 2027 (Statista 2021)
- There are about 142 million VPN users iIn the US. (Security.org 2020).
- Slovakia, Spain, and South Africa are the top up-and-coming markets for rising interest in VPNs include (VPNMentor 2020).
- 92% of Americans believe protecting their data and information is important, but fail to take precautions (Globe Newswire 2019).
- 96% of current VPN uses believe their VPN is or is mostly effective (Security.org 2020).
- The main reasons for VPN personal use include accessing geo-locked content and safety while on public wifi (VPNMentor 2021).
- VPN users from 45-60 years olds are more likely to receive VPN access through their workplace (Security.org 2020).
- Countries with the least restrictions on internet use include Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Germany (VPNMentor 2021).
- Younger age groups are more aware of what a VPN is and is used for (Security.org 2020).
- 29% of people use VPNs for personal use while 24% use VPNs for business (Security.org 2020).
VPN News and Developments
The Acquisition of a VPN Giant
The VPN market has gained so much traction more companies are realizing their capabilities, particularly the advantage their complimentary company can have with a VPN provider. Security software company Kape Technologies PLC bought ExpressVPN for 936 million this year.
Kape bought Express VPN so they can optimize their customer base from 6 million to another 3 million by offering security and privacy. ExpressVPN will benefit from more funding and resources while continuing to operate as a VPN provider.
Who Monopolizes VPN Software?
There are well-known VPNs thanks to advanced marketing like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, but the market is brimming with other VPN providers. Those VPN may not actually be independent, as it turns out several VPNs are owned by the same companies. At least 40 VPN brands are owned by only 7 companies. Several VPN providers can actually be linked to parent companies in China and Pakistan.
VPN Trends in 2021
Since the pandemic began and after, VPNs have seen a massive increase in interest and research by potential users. The more impressive part is they have managed to hold steady while increasing through 2020 into 2021. Targeted advertising and awareness campaign contribute, but the advanced threat of cybercrime that helps drive the market as well.
VPN Advertising with YouTube
VPN use has skyrocketed and that can be linked to intensive advertising. YouTube has been targeted by many VPN providers, especially NordVPN. The VPN service managed to drive 13k+ in 30 days using video advertising on YouTube, which is 5x cheaper than search engine advertising. As it turns out the best place to advertise for personal VPN use would be where people go for entertainment and information, YouTube.
VPN Advertising Campaigns with Influencers
One way VPNs advertise on YouTube is not only by making videos but by inserting themselves into the entertainment video itself (and successfully bypassing ad blockers). Influencers that create online videos and content have been noticed advertising for SurfSharkVPN, ExpressVPN, and other providers. ExpressVPN built their own influencer program where creatives can apply to have ads on their site. ExpressVPN welcomes radio, podcast, YouTube, and other online creatives.
Potential Problems with VPNs from Carnegie Melon’s Software Engineering Institute
Investing in a VPN service or the market itself also means considering what experts say about the cons of using VPNs. The Software Engineering Institute cites the NSA Cybersecurity Advisory which noted weak points that were exploited in 3 important VPN products. The main point SEI makes is it’s dangerous to rely entirely on VPNs for security because of their major vulnerabilities and what will happen if other protections are ignored.
BYOD Market Rising and So Can VPN
Markets that are complimentary another like VPN and Security, can mutually benefit front their cousin’s wealth. The Bring Your Own Device Market (BYOD) has grown incredibly since it was 30 million in 2014. The BYOD market is expected to be 366.95 billion in 2022.
The major expansion of the market was certainly helped by the increase in remote work from the pandemic, but that’s not the only major reason. There’s also the benefit of technology becoming cheaper, and the increase in mobile phone use for work. With the increase in using mobile devices, more people may be willing to use VPNs to connect to work and browse safely.
Why Are Some People Not on the VPN Bandwagon?
In 2020 a Malwarebytes survey found that those who don’t have a VPN for personal use cite cost as their main reason for opting out, the pandemic being a big motivator. The pandemic definitely caused a spike in-office use of VPNs for remote work, but many families were still hit hard by the pandemic.
The percentage of personal VPNs use is higher than those who use them for work. The untapped market that doesn’t use them at all has a limited income. Most VPN monthly plans cost more than a Netflix subscription while paying for more months in advance is cheaper, but a longer commitment. There is a pricing table at the end nothing the plans of some popular VPNs.
Countries Where VPNs are Restricted
Countries where internet use is restricted also coincide with countries that have citizens who are more likely to use VPNs, because of those restrictions. The USA, Japan, and South Africa are more likely to be interested in VPNs, over say Estonia, which has high internet freedom (this does not mean VPNs won’t interest them for other reasons like safety).
The one caveat is some of the countries with restricted internet access may also have legal restrictions on VPN use. This makes it harder to target ideal markets, but not impossible. Countries like North Korea have VPNs completely banned, whereas China and Russia do not ban them but have limitations. Many countries with internet limits already get around them using the dark web, where Russia is the second-highest user.
H2 Your Guide to VPN Pricing in 2021
|Popular VPN Providers
|Free or Freemium
|Private Internet Access VPN
|Cisco AnyConnect VPN
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