As we explored in this week’s series on Virtual Private Networks (VPN), 1 in 4 internet users globally used this privacy tool last month. Today’s chart compares the top motivations for deploying these tools among users across the world.

Despite perceptions that VPNs are mainly used by the privacy-conscious to hide internet activity, our data shows this is not necessarily the case.

The strongest global motivation behind VPN usage is to bypass geo-restrictions – allowing consumers to access entertainment content that’s available in other markets.

The driver behind this requires more understanding though, as to whether this access is a result of the individual traveling abroad, their personal interests, or restrictions in the market.

From a regional perspective, it’s in APAC where this is most pronounced – all top five markets sit within the region, with as many as 68% of these consumers in Vietnam saying it’s a key motivation.

This trend is visible in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa too, where users are also clearly using them as a route to media that is not officially available in their country yet – like the U.S. Netflix content store, for example.

In Europe and North America, to keep anonymity while browsing is equally driving usage among VPN Users – reaching 44% of users in Germany doing so due to these concerns.

Broader age profiles with a greater proportion of older, privacy-conscious consumers, who are the least likely to be trying to access restricted content, will be contributing to these regional figures.

This also shows how VPN Users in these regions have far less of a need to circumvent restrictions for content when their libraries are already superior.

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