VPN Usage Skyrockets Due to Increase in Global Geopolitical Upheaval

The death of Mahsa Amini sparked widespread protests against the authoritarian Iranian government, and that lead to the government blocking internet access because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up making it harder for protesters to get organized. This is a common trope among dictatorial regimes, but in spite of the fact that this is the case people can get around these internet blockages by using a Virtual Private Network service that might allow them to bypass local firewalls.

That makes it unsurprising that VPN downloads in Iran grew by a massive 3,000% in the month of September alone, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that Iran is not the leader in terms of VPN download surges. Sri Lanka has been undergoing a period of political and social upheaval as well, and that has resulted in an incredible 17,000% increase in VPN downloads back in April of 2022, as reported by Top10VPN.

The country was going through a lot of turmoil in that month due to economic mismanagement that lead to a collapse of the local currency with all things having been considered and taken into account. The government once again restricted access to a wide range of internet services including social media and messaging apps, and people were forced to turn to VPNs so that they could stay well informed.

Other countries that are in states of conflict such as Russia and Ukraine have been seeing massive upticks in VPN downloads as well. Russian users increased VPN downloads by 2,600% over the course of their country’s invasion of Ukraine, and in Ukraine this increase was about 600%.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are also embroiled in their own disputes and are at the center of much geopolitical intrigue. That has resulted in an 84% increase in VPN downloads in Armenia and a much higher 751% in Azerbaijan. VPN usage is up across the world, and that trend is likely to continue if governments keep trying to stifle dissenting voices and restrict internet access for their citizens.

Chart: Statista.

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