There are many good reasons why VPN services are booming in popularity
Despite the apparent complexity of protective technologies, there is nothing special about them - they are not ahead of information technology in terms of development but only follow them.
Is it possible to imagine a firewall in a system consisting of unconnected computers? And why do you need an antivirus when there is no malware? Any more or less serious protective technology appears only in response to any technological novelty. Moreover, not a single technological novelty requires the mandatory development of adequate protection since such work is carried out only if it is financially feasible.
What affects technology development?
The development of protective technologies is also affected by the hackers' activities. Protective measures will not be developed until this technology is attacked by hackers. A striking example of this was the wireless network technology, which has not had any serious protection until recently.
Specialized tools and protection mechanisms were immediately created as soon as the attackers' actions demonstrated the vulnerability of wireless networks; it was enough to get familiar with a VPN review, and such mechanisms as vulnerability scanners, attack detection systems and other tools.
The choice of information on security technologies is also influenced by the size of the computer pool, which is usually called a network. The scale of the network dictates its own rules, both because of a lack of money for purchasing the necessary information protection tools and because of the lack of need for the latter. So, control systems for confidential information leakage are not needed for one computer connected to the Internet, while such systems are required for a medium-sized network.
Moreover, the problem of centralized management of information security tools is not so acute in small networks, while it's impossible to go without them in large organisations. Even traditional security features change under the influence of the network scale and are supplemented by new functions - integration with network management systems, effective event visualization, advanced report generation, hierarchical and role management, and so on.
What caused the growth in VPN services' popularity?
VPN services are experiencing a real boom, and for good reason. Over the past couple of years, events that have changed the situation in cybersecurity, increasing the need for a VPN, have occurred. Numerous reports of cyber attacks against large companies and ordinary citizens force users to take advantage of such a service.
Everyone is trying to choose reliable VPN software that can help build a secure connection to a dedicated server so that you can exchange data without worrying about security. Both paid and free VPN services are used by more and more people in all countries of the world, both authoritarian and democratic.
VPN services protect against ransomware
The main thing to use a VPN for is security. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly relevant around the world because many internet services and banks (including large ones) are facing hacker attacks. These include LinkedIn, Yahoo, as well as political associations, cryptocurrency exchanges, etc. Since the theft of digital data is developed all over the world, the need for VPN is growing - users have to take measures to protect themselves.
Often, hackers use ransomware. They install it on users' devices, encode files, and get personal data or money from them by means of blackmail. As a rule, they force users to transfer funds to unknown cryptocurrency accounts. In 2016 - 2017, the damage from such actions amounted to almost a billion dollars, which prompted US and European governments to take administrative and legislative measures.
Attacks and security issues on the Internet have prompted governments to change the law. Many of the solutions were incomplete and affected users not in the best way. For example, the US government has given Internet service providers the right to collect user data and provide it to third parties. Many countries have decided to follow the US example. This increases the risk of data loss and leakage, and users have to look for different bypass paths. The method of data encryption used by paid and free services helps users to build a reliable encrypted connection and make data inaccessible to hackers and special services.
In 2016 - 2017, the popularity of cryptocurrency exchange operations increased significantly. Exchanges are under tremendous pressure, losses resulting from criminal acts are estimated at billions of dollars. It is becoming increasingly difficult for specialists to protect electronic wallets from attacks because hackers are not going to stop. This is another reason to use a VPN. Some exchanges are introducing elements supporting VPN into their systems and thus create additional protection measures.
Freedom of speech
Often, governments put pressure on Internet resources and impose new restrictions. This is typical not only for countries that are traditionally considered authoritarian (China, Iran, Turkey, etc.) but also for Western countries. Governments force Internet service providers to block objectionable sites, collect user data, and provide it to officials and security services.
Not surprisingly, the importance of VPNs is constantly growing. Be a responsible user and make all the possible to protect oneself on the web.