19 Interesting VPN Statistics You Need to Know in 2023

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When VPNs first appeared, it was mostly used by businesses. However, the tool has recently seen relevance due to mainstream use. In 2020, the average VPN consumer interest increased by 74% when former President Donald Trump announced a TikTok ban in the United States.

In this article, you will learn about VPN statistics such as user demographics, usage on various devices, business, etc.

Editor's Pick ( Vpn Usage Statistics)

Here are fascinating stats that provide just how notable VPN has become globally:

  • Over 1.6 Billion (31% of all Internet Users) of the population use VPN
  • Almost 50% of the user base uses the Free VPN
  • Ages 16-34 make up 68% of VPN Users
  • India dominates the market with about a $16.5B value
  • Half of the total percentage of VPN Smartphone users use iOS
  • 70% of business VPN users use it simply due to company policy
  • Indonesia Rank 1 (61%) in VPN usage rate worldwide
  • VPN usage in Italy grew by about 175% due to the pandemic
  • The country that uses VPNs the least is Australia, with about 4% of its internet users

The VPN and its User Base

Since its creation 27 years ago, VPNs have been an internet user's go-to for data encryption and security. Its use has come to be associated with privacy and internet security. Here are VPN statistics showing just how prominent and valuable the tool has become:

1. About 1/3 (31%) of internet users worldwide use VPNs. 

(Top10VPN, Surfshark)

The Global VPN Usage Report 2020 estimates that there would be 1.6 billion VPN users. This accounts for around 20% of the global population.

The data above accounts for VPN market penetration in countries with more than 10%, suggesting that unaccounted users may make up a bigger percentage. These numbers also reflect each country's VPN market size.

In mentioning the VPN market, it is necessary to know that the existing VPNs offer varying services and prices.

2. 47% of VPN Users use the technology for FREE.

(Forbes, Security, Surfshark)

Research from the Forbes Advisory suggested that almost half (47%) of VPN users are availing of the technology free of charge. Meanwhile, 26% of the users opt to personally pay for the features of a Paid VPN, while 24% avail said premium features thru the initiatives of their employers.

The differences between free and premium VPNs are significant. Security says 60% of free users have connectivity and security issues. Free VPNs don't ensure internet security or privacy; they sell users' data to make money, according to Surfshark.

Demographic of VPN Users Statistics

To paint a better picture of the VPN user base demography, we need to know who these people use the technology and what specific traits all these users have in common.

3. More than 50% of VPN Users are Male.

(Security, Top10VPN, GlobalWebIndex, Earthweb, Surfshark)

Although VPN usage is, in essence, anonymous, studies from the available data have suggested that above half of the users are male. However, conflicting results from different sites talking on the actual data percentage vary from 36%-62% of Male users, which is still significant compared to Female users (26%-38%).

4. Millennials and Generation Zs comprise about 68% of VPN users.


As per the Global Web Index, around 3/4 of the users' population makes up the user base. The report states that 35% of users are Gen Zs (age 16-24), 33% are Millennials (25-34), and those aged 35-44 account for about 19% of the users. On the other hand, 13% of the VPN users were determined to be Gen Xs and Boomers (45-64).

This can more or less be attributed to the perceived notion that younger generations are simply more adept at technology than the relatively older generations.

5. The top 3 of the biggest VPN markets in the world are located within the Asia-Pacific Region, amounting to a collective of $35.1 billion.

(Surfshark, GitnuxBlog)

The Asia-Pacific region hosts three of the biggest VPN Industries in the world. According to Surfshark, the countries of India, China, and Indonesia are ranked first to third in terms of their VPN Market Size.

Gitnux Blog found that India's VPN market amounts to $16.5B, surpassing China's $12.9B, and Indonesia ranking 3rd with $ 5.7 B. These figures are influenced by high population and strong government regulations, which is why the tool is often utilized.

VPN Usage By Device

VPN is used on cellphones, PCs, laptops, smart TVs, and other internet-capable devices. The technology has the potential to drastically transform how internet users think about their data, particularly in terms of privacy and security. Here are some statistics on VPN usage per device:

6. Smartphones and PCs/Laptops are the most preferred devices VPN users use, exceeding 60% of VPN usage.

(Top10VPN, Surfshark, Security)

While it's essential to learn about the VPN Industry in general, one interesting aspect embedded in VPN statistics is the choice of devices on which the technology is harnessed.

A large percentage of the user base's choice of device for browsing and doing internet-related activities are through Smartphones (64%) and PCs/Laptops (62%). On the other hand, the Tablet device has recorded 21% of VPN usage, while the other devices, such as TVs and (Gaming) Consoles account for around 10% each.

7. A staggering 91% of global VPN users own a Smartphone.


Data from the Global VPN Usage Report 2020 shows the following about VPN usage by device:

  • 91% own a Smartphone
  • 76% were using PCs/Laptops
  • 42% owned Tablets
  • 41% utilized Smart TVs, and;
  • 26% owned Consoles

These numbers show that most VPN apps are used on smartphones instead of PCs/ Laptops. 

8. Over 50% of VPN Smartphone Users use iOS Devices.

(Forbes, Security)

According to a VPN usage study by Security, 52% of the respondents answered that they were using an iOS device, while 3% of the users were on a MacOS. On the other hand, Android VPN Users were 37% of the respondents. Lastly, 6% of the respondents stated they were using Windows OS.

9. VPN for Businesses Statistics

Data Management is an important policy for workplaces and businesses. Sensitive data and information are always at the forefront of communications. Because of this, using VPN can shift how any business conducts its activities.

10. 50% of the VPN user base uses the technology for their businesses.


According to a Forbes Advisory study, more than half of their respondents used VPNs for business. However, according to the report, just a small minority of individuals in the top 50% utilize technology primarily for work. It also reveals that their employers require 16% of users to utilize the technology, and only 6% of respondents said they use VPNs to secure an employer's data.

11. The number one reason for business VPN use is Company Policy which accounts for 70% of answers from the users.


Research by Security for their 3rd Annual VPN Market Report in 2022 reveals that most professional VPN use is due to workplace compliance (70%). The second motivation for professional VPN use, 62% of the answers, is securing access to corporate networks. 

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th spots for Business VPN usage are: 

  • 40% general security
  • 18% general privacy
  • 11% Wi-Fi protection

It should be noted that the survey conducted allowed for multiple selections.

Countries With The Highest VPN Statistic Rates

One of VPN's best features is bypassing most network restrictions. Depending on the particular VPN and the country the user is located in, the individual can circumvent certain features previously disabled. This grants the user access to various things, such as entertainment content like shows and movies, blocked from airing in specific countries and areas.

In other cases, the technology can be used to access websites that are outright banned by some countries. Below are some notable statistics about countries with the highest VPN statistic rates.

12. The United Arab Emirates ranked the highest in VPN adoption rate this 2022 at 43.18%.


According to AtlasVPN's analysis of VPN usage in 85 countries in 2020, 2021, and 2022, the UAE has recorded the highest adoption index at 43.18% of VPN downloads. Ranking 2nd and 3rd are Qatar and Singapore, with rates of 39.2% and 37.11%, respectively.

13. Asia-Pacific has a 35% VPN usage rate, making it the region with the highest VPN usage rate.

(Security, GlobalWebIndex)

Considering its internet users' profile and its culture, the Asia-Pacific Region ranks highest at 35%. The Middle East and Africa are second with a 35% usage rate. 

Internet users in these regions tend to be younger and more tech-savvy than the general population. Secondly, culture contributes to the rankings, as within these regions are countries wherein VPN is used to access content from other countries or bypass network restrictions.

14. Indonesia has the greatest VPN usage rate (61%), followed by Vietnam and Thailand.

(GlobalWebIndex, Security)

According to Security, Indonesia has the greatest rate of VPN usage, followed by India (45%) and Saudi Arabia (44%), which is only a percentage point away from tying with India. This again corresponds to the prevalent internet access restrictions in stated countries.

15. On March 2020, a whopping 175% increase in VPN usage was recorded in Italy.

(ISEmag, Cartesian)

COVID-19 marked a paradigm shift in both the global health sector and how the government and businesses operated. According to studies from Statista, ISE, and Cartesian, there was a correlation between countries with alarmingly high cases of COVID-19 and the increase in VPN popularity.

Reports showed that VPN usage rates in Italy increased by a massive 175%. The United States followed suit with a significant 124% increase, followed by countries of Spain and Germany with 58% and 40% increases in usage rates, respectively.

16. Countries With The Lowest VPN Statistic Rates

While the features and services that VPN offers provide a valuable option that internet users can subscribe to, there are countries wherein technology usage may be unnecessary.

17. Only 4% of Internet users in Australia use VPN.


According to a study by Geosurf, four countries have a below 10% VPN usage rate. Those countries ranked lowest accordingly would be Australia (4%), the United States and the United Kingdom (5%), and Germany with 6% VPN usage.

18. A 2022 study shows Japan has a 1.48% VPN adoption rate.


Based on the research conducted by the Atlas VPN Team, the countries of Japan, Thailand, and Nigeria have the lowest VPN Adoption rate, all scoring below 4%, with Japan having a 1.48% adoption, Thailand with 1.91%, and Nigeria with a low 3.47% VPN adoption rate.

VPN Use On Desktops Statistics

PCs/Desktops and Laptops provide a relatively more robust and reliable performance than Smartphones regarding internet accessibility, especially with an OS as accessible and user-friendly as Windows; its correlation to VPN use goes beyond just simple internet browsing.

19. More than 55% of internet users access the VPN via Desktop

(GlobalWebIndex, Robotics And Automation News)

During market research by the Global Web Index, it was discovered that around 62% of VPN users access the technology thru Desktops/PCs. On the other hand, a website called the Robotics and Automation News has reported that 57% of internet users avail the services of VPN on their Desktop.

Final Thoughts

The Virtual Private Network is more than just a way to hide your browsing history and make you "untraceable"; instead, the VPN is a powerful tool that everyone who cares deeply for their personal data should utilize. Its emergence clearly indicates that our society's functioning and governing sectors have realized the utmost importance of protecting and securing our data.

Only time will tell whether the VPN continues to expand its user base. Specific advantages and downsides are still being contested internally for its users and would-be users, considering the internet services it can unlock compared to the price it gives.

With the statistics, facts, and information provided herein, the Virtual Private Network has earned its place in internet culture and the meta.

Frequently Asked Questions.

How exactly does VPN work?

The technology encrypts your data, whether messages, personal information, content, etc., on your device (Smartphones, Smart TVs, PCs/Laptops, etc.). The VPN transfers said data to the VPN service provider's servers through a safe and secure channel.

Where can I avail of a VPN?

VPN services can be acquired via subscriptions and free trials. Different VPNs are available for download from various websites, the Google Play Store, and the App Store.

Are VPNs Legal?

It depends on which country you reside in. VPNs are basically legal in most Western countries. However, some countries with authoritarian regimes have policies that restrict, and sometimes even outlaw, the use and sale of VPNs.

Does using VPN truly make me "Anonymous" online?

No. Having absolute anonymity on the internet, even through a VPN, is virtually impossible. The notion of complete anonymity via VPN is a misconception, commonly AND falsely advertised by many VPN providers. What VPN does is protect your online privacy data by encrypting the data. Still, it won't be able to make you 100% anonymous online.


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