In the weeks since the novel coronavirus took hold outside China and its closest neighbours, social restrictions have been imposed progressively around the world.
Faced with an indefinite period shut inside their homes, people are not only having to work remotely, often for the first time, but are also looking to access geo-restricted content and maximize their entertainment options.
Demand is therefore surging for Virtual Private Networks (VPN) due to their ability to provide a secure, private internet connection and unblock content.
VPN usage had been growing steadily with 31% of internet users using a VPN in the months before the coronavirus outbreak. However since then, demand for VPN services has rocketed around the world.
Online searches for VPN began to surge around the world in mid-March in the days following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a pandemic on March 11.
Global VPN demand rose 41% over last two weeks of March compared to the first half of the month.
While overall demand would soften in April, it remains significantly elevated at 22% higher than it was before the pandemic was declared.
We’ve seen demand suddenly double in countries where lockdowns have been announced or expected.
Even in huge mature markets like the US, we have seen daily demand peak at 65% above the previous average.
To help understand this rapidly-changing landscape, we’ve analyzed our global monitoring data to show where and when these surges in demand are taking place. We are also tracking the size and durations of these spikes, along with identifying what the “new normal” looks like for each country.
In an earlier update, we added a US state-by-state breakdown of VPN demand increases.
We’ve also looked at how rising VPN demand relates to individual streaming services. We’ve analyzed service-specific VPN searches to identify where spikes in demand are developing.
While demand for VPN services continues to ramp up beyond expected levels, we will publish regular updates to this data.
Below you’ll find the following data views, click the links to jump straight to the numbers: