VPN Usage on Mobile is Catching Up with PCs

In today’s addition to our series this week exploring Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage, this chart breaks this behavior out between PCs/laptops and mobiles.

VPN usage is an activity often associated with PCs and laptops. These more traditional devices play a more prominent role in activities which form the core of VPN usage, such as TV entertainment and work-related activities.

Despite this, our data shows internet users are almost as likely to be deploying these tools on their mobiles as on their PCs and laptops.

Mobile VPN usage is primarily driven by internet users in MEA (19%) and particularly APAC (24%).

Consumers in these regions tend to spend the longest time per day on their mobiles, a result of smartphones being the first point of access for many newly connected internet users.

If we rebase this among 16-24s in Europe and North America, who also tend to be much more attached to their mobiles, we see these figures climb to around 15%.

Internet users in APAC (23%) are also the most likely to be accessing VPNs using their PCs and laptops, with LatAm (19%) and MEA (19%) posting strong figures too.

This broadly chimes with Monday’s chart, showing that VPN usage is a trend centered on fast-growth markets, driven mainly by out-of-market content access and in some areas restrictive internet access among consumers.

Something which has driven the uptake of VPN usage on mobiles has been the widespread (and often free) availability of VPN apps across app stores.

There’s also a practical element here too, with WiFi access points in public spaces such as cafes, restaurants, hotels and airports targeting mobile users potentially causing security concerns among the more digitally-savvy consumers.

In tomorrow’s chart, we investigate the motivations behind using VPNs between mobile and PC VPN users.

*VPN Users are defined as internet users who have used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Proxy Server in the last month.