VPN Report 2019 reveals a 54% growth rate.
Over the years, we’ve seen the global populace move towards more security consciousness. This has been reflected among the increased scrutiny of social media platforms and other entities which in any way hold access to our data. As such, it is only natural that with the recently released VPN (Virtual Private Network) report for 2019, 480 million VPN mobile apps were found to be downloaded witnessing a significant growth rate of 54% as compared to the previous year.
Android was fortunate enough to cash in 75% of this share at $358.3 million downloads with Apple following at $121.9 million downloads. On the other hand, in terms of countries, Indonesia is on the top with 75.5 million downloads and an astonishing growth rate of 111%. Yet, India tops off the chart when it comes to the growth rate in itself hitting a record 405%, attributed to frequent internet shutdowns in the country along with a ban on about 827 adult websites in October – personal choices to say the least.
However, a deeper look at the growth causes in other countries reveals much more. Firstly, the introduction of cyber-crime legislation in certain countries like Vietnam and Singapore in a bid to censor content appears to have prompted such spikes.
Certain countries, on the other hand, have seen an interest in VPNs rise because of the populace trying to evade increasingly oppressive regimes. As an example, increasing attacks on Journalists in Nigeria and the government trying to restrict freedom of speech has resulted in so.
The list, according to research published by Top10VPN, is extensive to quote and includes many more countries like Zimbabwe, Lebanon, and South Africa but a general theme follows all in this particular category.
Additionally, the above chart supports our argument. Is it a coincidence that the Asian Pacific and the Middle Eastern & Northern African regions have experienced the highest growth rates clocking in the most downloads? I’d say no. The political volatility and lack of civil rights are well associated with countries within these regions and we can rightly make a connection here.
But, where’s China? Thankfully, Top10VPN didn’t leave us hanging and answered this disclosing that it is excluded “due to the increased unreliability of download data following the removal of VPN apps from Apple’s App Store in 2017 and the ongoing censorship of all Google services, including the Play Store.” We do believe that this may have heavily altered the final compiled results owing to China’s sheer size.
Moving on, while VPN companies can gain crucial advice from this report, it may be worrying for them to find out that 84% of these downloads featured free services only.
Yet, the statistical data compiled above would be immensely helpful for these companies to layout their advertising strategies in the future. For example, considering that paid downloads were one of the highest in Europe, advertisers could target European consumers online with more of a stress on the paid versions of their apps.
However for regions like the Middle East & North Africa which almost has 10X less paid downloads as compared to free ones, they may want to focus on making revenue from classical “Ad running”, Zuckerberg style of-course.
Now, to enter the hall of fame, who were our top 10 VPN downloaded apps?
It is worth noting that Hotspot Shield, known for providing “free service” has been accused of redirecting user traffic to advertisers for revenue because “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
Nevertheless, the trend as evident from the above list is the correlation between Android and all of these apps. Not one of them happens to be iOS only and all are present on Android giving us a hint at the preferences of consumers within both camps. Furthermore, it shows us that the only two paid apps are also on iOS – we now know the “Apple users more willing to spend money” is true.
There are numbers of other trends and patterns that can be deduced from the entire report including statistics for individual countries and individual mobile platforms but that is beyond the scope of this article.
To conclude, we’d say that there’s nothing wrong with using a VPN as long as it’s not illegal. Furthermore, we would advise our readers to be very careful with the VPN providers that they choose given that there have been instances in the past of them being hacked.