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Global VPN adoption trends in H1 2023

August 2023 by Atlas VPN

With International VPN Day just around the corner, Atlas VPN presents the latest VPN adoption trends across the globe. During the first half of 2023, global VPN downloads reached 130 million, but where was VPN usage most prominent?

Atlas VPN research team analyzed and ranked 85 countries in terms of VPN usage from 2020 to H1 2023. The VPN penetration rate was calculated by summing up VPN downloads by country and dividing them by the country’s population. The VPN download data was extracted from Google Play and Apple App Store using Sensor Tower and AppTweak services. Download data includes the 45 biggest VPN providers.

In H1 2023, Singapore stood as the torchbearer of VPN adoption, with over 1.1 million downloads among its population of 5.85 million, representing a VPN adoption index of 19.32%. People in Singapore use VPNs for various reasons, includng privacy concerns, security needs, and the desire to access restricted content.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) secured the second position with 16.94% VPN adoption in H1 2023. Qatar users also continue to be fond of VPN services, with a 15.33% adoption rate.

As expected, Saudi Arabia is among the countries with the highest VPN usage, recording an 11.02% adoption rate.

This consistently high VPN penetration in the Gulf region is caused by strict internet censorship regulations that restrict access to certain websites, social media platforms, and content deemed culturally or politically sensitive.

European landscape: growing interest

The Netherlands witnessed consistent adoption, with a 10.43% rate in H1 2023, suggesting a well-informed populace prioritizing online security. Similarly, the UK displayed a 7.23% adoption rate in H1 2023, indicating that a significant portion of its population recognizes the value of VPNs.

Luxembourg’s adoption rate of 7.09% in H1 2023 shows the country’s continued interest in VPNs. France maintains a notable adoption index of 6.92% and, like many other EU countries, experienced a growth trajectory over the years, reflecting the broader trend of Europeans embracing VPNs.


The journey through VPN adoption from 2020 to H1 2023 presents a fascinating narrative of global digital awareness. The data underscores the heightened awareness of digital privacy, online security, and the significance of maintaining control over one’s online identity.

Nations like Singapore and the UAE have emerged as trailblazers in VPN adoption, while other countries have shown steady growth.

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