VPN Use in India up by Over 600%

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Research from VPN provider Atlas VPN shows that VPN use in India is up by 671% in 2021. The study noted that VPN installs in the country touched 348.7 million, up from 45.2 million in 2020.

Increasing cases of internet shutdowns, growing demand in geo-blocked entertainment content, and business use cases for remote work are some of the main causes behind this increase.

Global VPN Adoption Index

According to Atlas VPN’s Global VPN adoption Index, VPN users in India went up significantly over the last year. The index studied 85 countries and ranked their VPN usage in 2020 and the first half of 2021.

It also calculated the ‘VPN Penetration Rate’ in each of the 85 countries. To calculate this, it added up the VPN downloads of each country and divided the number by the country’s population.

As of H1 2021, India ranked at number four among the list of countries, behind Qatar, UAE, and Singapore. India’s VPN penetration rate grew from 3.28% in 2020 to 25.27% in H1 of 2021.

According to the index, India saw close to 350 million VPN installs in the first half of 2021. This represents a growth of 671% over the number of installs in the previous year. This figure was the highest of all the 85 countries studied in the index.

Key Factors: Growing Digitization and Internet Shutdowns

Prior to 2021, India’s VPN Penetration Rate stood at 3%, which is close to the bottom of the global list. Edward Garb, a cybersecurity researcher at Atlas VPN, stated the growth in VPN adoption can be attributed to the “rapidly evolving digital ecosystem in India.”

According to Garb, between 2015 and 2020, India’s internet user base grew at a rate of 24% each year.

In 2015, internet penetration in the country stood at 19%, which Atlas VPN estimates grew to 50% in 2020.

Another important factor is the internet shutdowns in the country. The Times of India reported that, so far in 2021, there are 21 cases of internet shutdowns from various parts of India.

Other factors that prompted the rise include work from home requirements due to the pandemic and the growing demand for geo-locked entertainment content.

Global VPN Adoption on the Rise

According to Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN, VPN demand increased by more than 44% in the second half of 2020. The current demands remain 22% higher than the pre-pandemic pandemic levels.

Markuson said that, at the moment, there are 142 million VPN users in the U.S. alone, with demand growing every year.

For more information on VPNs including help on how to find the overall best VPN for you, or for a particular device or operating system, check out our comprehensive resource on VPNs.

Technology policy researcher
Prateek is a technology policy researcher with a background in law. His areas of interest include data protection, privacy, digital currencies, and digital literacy. Outside of his research interests, Prateek is an avid reader and is engaged in projects on sustainable farming practices in India.