UK VPN extension usage – Who uses it and why?
June 14th, 2024, Kineree Shah

UK VPN extension usage – Who uses it and why?

A recent YouGov survey explored the awareness and usage of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) among 2,171 UK adults aged 16 and over.

Nearly two-thirds of Britons (58%) know what VPN stands for. This awareness is high among younger adults and remains steady until we look at the 55+ age group, where it drops to 47%. Men are more likely to understand the term, with 67% awareness compared to 49% among women.

When it comes to using a VPN extension, 47% of respondents have done so. Usage is higher among those under 55, with over half reporting they have used a VPN entension. Again, men are more likely to have used a VPN (54%) compared to women (41%).

Among those who have used a VPN entension, 51% have done so professionally, while 70% have used it personally. The primary driver for personal use is safety and security on the internet, cited by three in five users (57%). This is followed by the need for safety and security when using public wi-fi (54%). Accessing geo-restricted content or websites is a reason for 43% of users.

Regarding the brands of VPNs used, NordVPN leads the market with 24% of users, followed by Norton Secure VPN at 18% and ExpressVPN at 10%.

Despite the high usage, nearly two-thirds (64%) of online VPN users have never paid for the service, indicating a preference for free options. Additionally, one in five users received anti-virus software bundled with their online VPN (21%).

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 29-30 May 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 2171 adults (aged 16+ years) in Great Britain, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education.

Cover photo by Stefan Coders