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Why Internet Users Around the World Use VPNs

The Why Axis VPN Usage

Virtual private network (VPN) services have become a vital layer of privacy and security for more and more internet users globally.

The Why Axis BugThere are numerous reasons why you need a VPN nowadays. New data from audience analytics platform GlobalWebIndex shows that around the world, people turn to VPNs for everything from accessing entertainment content not available in their home countries to masking their online activities to browse the web anonymously.

GlobalWebIndex aggregated Q1 2018 data from more than 33,000 PC VPN users and 25,000 mobile VPN users and broke down the top five uses for VPNs across platforms (users could choose more than one option). Topping the list was using VPNs to access better entertainment content, with 57 percent of mobile VPN users and 54 percent of desktop users indicating that reason.

The Best VPN Apps for iPhone

  • NordVPN (for iPhone)

    NordVPN (for iPhone)




  • CyberGhost VPN (for iPhone)

    CyberGhost VPN (for iPhone)




  • IPVanish VPN (for iPhone)

    IPVanish VPN (for iPhone)




  • TunnelBear VPN (for iPhone)

    TunnelBear VPN (for iPhone)




  • Private Internet Access VPN (for iPhone)

    Private Internet Access VPN (for iPhone)




  • PureVPN (for iPhone)

    PureVPN (for iPhone)




  • TorGuard VPN (for iPhone)

    TorGuard VPN (for iPhone)




  • KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for iPhone)

    KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (for iPhone)




  • Golden Frog VyprVPN (for iPhone)

    Golden Frog VyprVPN (for iPhone)




  • Hide My Ass VPN (for iPhone)

    Hide My Ass VPN (for iPhone)




Thirty-six percent of mobile respondents (34 percent on desktops) said they use VPNs to access social networks, websites, or news services blocked in their countries. GlobalWebIndex said 41 percent of mobile VPN users in China in particular use VPNs to access blocked social platforms, though China has cracked down on the practice.

Desktop VPN use is slightly more weighted toward privacy as well as for work. 35 percent of desktop respondents said they use VPNs for anonymous browsing, and 30 percent use VPNs to access work files and services through IT-approved VPNs.

For more information, check out our guide to set up and use VPNs, and take a look at the fastest VPNs we’ve tested.

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