VPN: A Decade of Data Tells A Story

A Security Tool on The Rise

At the beginning of the last decade, talking about your VPN usage might have raised an eyebrow. Outside of business, no one knew what a VPN was or why it was used. But now, VPN usage is on the rise in the private sector.

PC Matic has collected data from over 2 million machines in an effort to see the trends in VPN usage. Below you’ll find a high-level overview of the results; however if you’d like to see the full report, you may do so here.

I Still Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

I should clarify for those of you who still don’t know what a VPN is or why we use them. Originally, VPNs were created for at home workers who wanted to access company files and applications. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and allows the user to securely access private networks while using public internet.

A VPN not only replaces the user’s IP address with one within the VPN service, but also encrypts data transmitted. This allows more secure work over a shared network. For the remote worker, it means working from that coffee shop or art gallery with free public wifi without compromising their company’s files.

Wait, I Can Use This?

Yes, and you should! Imagine checking your bank balance in line at your favorite coffee shop. Your phone has automatically connected to the wifi (of course, you’re always there) and you type your password into your app. There’s a person in the corner reading all the data transmitted across that open wifi connection and now they know your password. A VPN would have changed your IP and encrypted your password so the virtual peeper couldn’t see what you were doing.

And that’s the appeal. PC Matic noted that from 2010 until the end of 2019 commercial VPN usage stayed pretty consistent. At the beginning of ’10 VPN usage in the commercial vein was was around 0.74% with an increase to 0.99% by the end of 2019. Not a huge jump.

Personal VPN usage, however, had a massive increase; going from 0.13% to 4.65% for a 3,477% increase. While it’s true that those numbers don’t seem huge, the rate of growth of personal VPN usage is a startling jump.

So Where Do I Get It?

While PC Matic doesn’t endorse any one VPN, we did notice NordVPN has become the most used product since its introduction in 2012. Whatever product you choose, however, should fit your needs. A quick internet search will allow you to break down the components of each one offered.

I do suggest choosing a paid service. Most VPNs aren’t that expensive. While there are free VPNs out there, you should remember that you get what you pay for. The point of increased security is having a product that keeps you secure!

Good luck out there, and stay safe. Especially now more than ever.

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31 thoughts on “VPN: A Decade of Data Tells A Story”

  1. I am very hesitant on buyng a VPN, because they are too expensive for my pocket. Right now I am using Atlas VPN, which is free, and seriously, I don’t see the reason to switch to a paid provider as long as I have this. The downside is that it does not support PC, but I may be wrong. Could you guys do a review on it?

  2. I was between PCMatic and BitDefender. Sorry PC folks but I had to go with the one with VPN. I havent had any issues but when PC gets in the VPN game let me know

  3. NordVPN advertises a lot, but it doesn’t work very well. The client interface software is crappy and hard to use compared to PrivateInternetAccess and other VPNs.

    1. I disagree. I’ve been using NordVPN for over a year without any problem at all. The “client interface” is a breeze, and I’ve seen several updates in just the past few months.

  4. A few years ago the company I was working for got hit with a ransomware attack and after that, I became a little paranoid about security. After trying PCMatic for a year, I was satisfied enough to buy a lifetime subscription for ten devices that will be enough to cover me and my family. I already use a VPN service (which I also bought a lifetime subscription to) and the combo works fine for me. PC Matic is a great addition to my security toolkit. Keep up the good work!

  5. Michael Cabaniss

    I agree. When PCmatic has VPN I will be there with them.Great Company. Thank You PCmatic I hope you start VPN soon.

  6. Robert D. [Dan] McMurray

    I have been a PCMATIC subscriber for many years. I have not had an infection since signing up.
    I have looked at VPN a number of times, but a successful implementation requires the VPN provider to make a significant investment in secured servers. Otherwise, throughput suffers (i.e., Norton has that problem).
    When PCMATIC offers the service, I will sign up for VPN through PCMATIC.

  7. Don’t know what is involved for PCMatic as a company to offer VPN, but please do consider it. I will certainly sign up immediately, as I’m sure many others will as well ! Do not like Norton! Thank you!

  8. I contacted PC Matic and asked them if they have a vpn service. I feel safer using their product than any other out there..When PC Matic develops a vpn, please let me know…I hope it is soon….
    Thank you

  9. Charles Topping

    Are you considering offering a VPN service. If so, I am in.
    I used to be skeptical about PCMatic, because I did not like the name.
    But now I am a loyal user.

    1. Hi Charles — we’re happy you’ve changed your mind about PC Matic, and we are happy to have you as a supporter! As far as the VPN, we do not have anything on the roadmap at this time. Thanks again for your business.

  10. PCMatic collecting data from 2 million users?

    I’m glad I’m not one of those users.
    Can’t trust anyone these days….!

  11. I moved over to a private VPN a few months back and chose NORDVPN and paying for 3 yrs up front.. it is only a few $$$/month. The biggest problem, is that my ISP’s speed is download 200 Mbp+ and thru the VPN lucky to hit 80 -100 mpbs… upload is about the same around 10 Mbps. It is nearly idiot proof to set up and installing updates is as simple as clicking a icon.

  12. I have been using VPN for several years now and have a connection through a small but very reliable UK company. Recently I started getting emails from a larger VPN company telling me how efficient and cheap they were. I asked them if they could connect me to a TV service in the UK – they assured me that they could. So I subscribed, paid my money and discovered that they couldn’t connect me after all. I asked them why their system was refusing my connnection. They told me, “there are currently problems” and that they couldn’t offer a date when it would be resolved. I asked for my money back and they refused this but offered to let me cancel after two years with no penalty. (!!!) Naturally I argued, and naturally I eventually got my money back.
    Moral of the story: Before you sign up check thoroughly if the provider’s system will actually do what you want. If they offer a free trial use it and test their system before you pay money.

  13. I used Nortons products for several years until they went to paid subscriptions and every year the cost went up.
    When I tried to delete it it would back itself up before deleting itself. after multiple attempts I had multiple copies on my computer. I finally went into cmnd line and was able to get it off. As far as i am concerned Norton is malware.


    Hi Folks,
    I thank you for the heads-up on VPN app. I have been using a VPN service for 3 years now (NORDVPN). I do believe it does protect my information. I do enjoy the service PCMATIC supplies me with. I will be watching to see in the future if PCMATIC comes out with a VPN service.



    i use IPVanish, works really good with Amazon Firestick, easy to install. Norton is an anti 2nd amendment company, they also own Lifelock, and Simplysafe.

    1. Arnold Christensen

      This is off topic. Is this Larry Campbell the guy who I crewed 64-13140 Chinook in Vietnam during 1966?

  16. Tom Mabelitini

    I have been using PCmatic for a few years and it is the best I have seen. when they come out with a vpn I’m there

    1. I agree totally. Off their e they website I think sed to have a complete uninstall exe to remall all files. Didn’t remore all, but, They had killed the nags to re-up and the telling you about you were opened up to hacking. Might try a search.

  17. I want PC Matic to develop a “paid VPN service.” I used to use Norton, thought about Lifelock but since Nroton took them over? NO WAY! Norton charged me for over a year’s worth of “service” for a computer I had upgraded and abandoned. They also kept “detecting trouble” and trying to sell me MORE SERVICE.

    When I discovered the duplicate over charges, they refused to refund and so I dropped them. However, they sabotaged my new computer and I had to tally abandon it. Norton is crooked and I am SHOCKED that radio talk show hosts (Rush & Hannity) advertise for them.

    Between Norton and PC Matic, I had another spam/virus service and Norton kept trying to block them from working properly. I even had to abandon the email I had used to order Norton. I cannot imagine a more UNTRUSTWORTHY company than Norton.

    1. Agree with Norton pushing their vpn when I had been using express vpn then pushing Lifelock that pushed me over the top that is why using pcmatic and 9 year old win 7 pc is running like new. win 10 laptops also doing great.

  18. I’ve been using Nord VPN for about 2 years now and feel more secure in everything I do on the Internet, especially banking, purchasing items from online vendors, etc. One other step I take is to use Paypal as a method of payment versus giving my credit card number to vendors. I believe most are trustworthy but you never know who may have access to those records i.e. employees. Just a precaution as I’ve been a victim of credit card fraud in the past.

    1. Will McClellan

      I agree. I’ve been using PCmatic for years and have the utmost confidence in the company. I’m waiting for their VPN. When please!

  19. An explanation of VPN, its uses, and how to implement it, is exactly what I’ve been waiting to see. Thank you

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