VPNs See Increased Popularity Among Russians in 2022

A virtual private network might seem gimmicky to those that live in nations with free internet access and no unnecessary restrictions, but in spite of the fact that this is the case it can be a useful tool for people who are suffering under authoritarian regimes. It turns out that Russians are using VPNs much more frequently in 2022 because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up helping them circumvent government attempts to restrict access to sites that might reveal the truth to their citizens.

The first half of 2022 is proving to be a watershed for VPNs. In 2021, it was estimated that around 3% to 9% of the Russian populations utilized VPNs. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this proportion has increased to just under 24% in 2022, or 23.94% to be precise. 35 million Russians downloaded VPNs in the past six months with all things having been considered and taken into account.

A major event that might have sparked increased VPN usage among Russians is the blocking of social media sites in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Facebook and Instagram were both banned, so many Russians took to VPNs to maintain their connection with their social profiles.

Ukraine is also seeing rising VPN usage, joining the top ten rankings in 2022 with a market penetration of 9.62%. The country with the highest level of VPN usage is the UAE with 25.72% market penetration, although this oil rich nation has seen fewer users relying on them. In 2020, the majority of UAE residents, 61.61%, used VPNs due to the highly restricted nature of the web in that country. This has decreased a lot over the past two years.

The top ten list of VPN using countries contains a smattering of Middle Eastern nations, with Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Ukraine rounding off the bottom of the list and also being the only European nations in it. Russia is only surpassed by Qatar and the UAE in terms of VPN usage.

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