Before we start discussing VPN history, though, let’s take a quick look at what a VPN actually is, so that there are misunderstandings or confusion.
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and it’s a service that uses different tunneling protocols to encrypt online connections, and hides user IP addresses to let people bypass geo-blocks, and enjoy secure browsing. If you’d like to know more about VPNs, feel free to read our in-depth guide.
VPN history starts back in 1996, when a Microsoft employee (most sources say Gurdeep Singh-Pall) started developing the Peer to Peer Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). In 1999, the specification was published. Over time, VPNs and the concept behind this technology have changed drastically.
VPN technology was originally developed only by big companies and organizations for their own goals, and it wasn’t meant for average online users. Companies needed a secure and private method to make communication and file-sharing between different offices possible, and to allow employees to access important files remotely without there being any risk of unauthorized users stealing sensitive data.
Well, that’s where VPNs came into play. They provided employees with access to a private business network, allowing them to view company data from anywhere in the world as if they were at the office.
As time passed, more powerful encryption standards started being implemented to further secure business communications.
VPNs didn’t stay exclusive business tools for long. It didn’t take long for people to realize that even your average online user could stand to benefit from what a VPN offers. Pretty soon, third-party VPN providers (like CactusVPN) appeared on the market to provide this technology to consumers.
The evolution of the Internet brought about new amazing development, but also exposed online users to Internet censorship, hacker threats, data mining, and getting spammed with ads. All of that helped the young VPN market grow as more and more people realized using VPNs was one of the only things they could do to protect their privacy on the Internet.
Our VPN service is more than capable of protecting your online identity. We use industry-leading AES encryption to secure all your data and Internet traffic to keep your browsing experience the way it should be – safe and private.
What’s more, our high-speed servers use shared IP technology, meaning there’s no chance our servers’ IP addresses can be traced back to you.
And don’t worry – we don’t log any of your data. We have a strict no-log policy in place. Oh, CactusVPN also comes equipped with a Killswitch to make sure your online identity is never exposed – not even when you encounter connectivity issues.
Still not convinced? No problem – we offer a free trial, so you can check out if our VPN service can meet all your needs before picking a subscription. And even after you choose a plan, you’ll still be covered by our 30-day money-back guarantee.
VPNs will become more and more common in the next years. By our calculations, it’d be entirely possible to see every online user using a VPN whenever they browse the web in the future – yes, even the users from less-developed countries (given that a VPN can cost nowadays anywhere between $5 and $10 per month).
And we’re not just speculating. According to research, the number of VPN users has grown significantly over the past 2 years. There’s actually been a 165% growth between 2016 to 2018. Even more interesting, less-developed countries are currently the top markets for VPNs compared to first-world countries like the US, Australia, the UK, or Germany.
The same data shows that around 5% of Internet users use a VPN every day. The total number of online users right now is approximately 3.58 billion, so that means around 1.79 billion people use a VPN on a daily basis.
Safe to say that number will keep growing in the future as more and more people discover how useful VPNs really are, and what huge threats government censorship and data breaches actually are.
As for the future of VPN technology itself, industry experts expect new developments like:
While our research managed to shows us a glimpse of what the future might have in store for us when it comes to VPNs, we’re also interested in hearing what your opinions are on this topic. So, feel free to let us – and the rest of our readers – know how you think VPNs will change in the near or far future.
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