VPN demand in Russia surges in wake of war

Internet, News

According to in-house aggregated Atlas VPN user data, Virtual Private Network (VPN) installs in Russia have surged by 1,906% in the last few days.

“VPN demand surged in Russia as authorities restricted Facebook and Twitter over the weekend in a bid to control the flow of information from its invasion of Ukraine,” Top10VPN told Reuters

Russia banned several VPNs last year, but has failed to block them entirely, as part of a wider campaign critics say stifles internet freedom.

The interest in VPNs started to increase on February 16, 2022, after the first wave of cyberattacks against Ukraine occurred.

VPN installs reached record heights

On February 25, VPN installs rose by 241% above the average. The next day, on February 26, VPN installs originating from Russia sky-rocketed by 1,076% over the norm. Still, this was not the end, as the following day, VPN installs went off the charts, soaring 1,906% higher than the mean.  

The demand declined by a considerable margin but remained high on the last day of February. Furthermore, it is predicted that the interest in VPNs will remain at these heights for the upcoming weeks. However, if major events continue, we could see numbers ascending even higher.

VPN use-cases in Russia

Internet restrictions in Russia are stringent, even if they are not at the same level as those in China. The mass media regulations in Russia have been introduced to restrict harmful content, mostly related to drug use and suicide.

However, these regulations have been routinely abused to censor criticism of the government or local administrations. In addition, they also restrict a range of social media and communication platforms.

And while the use of VPNs is legal in Russia, you will be hard-pressed to find a provider that offers servers in Russia. The federal government has been tightening its grip on VPN providers since 2017 when President Putin signed a bill outlawing the use of certain VPNs.

To see the full report, go to https://atlasvpn.com/blog/vpndemand-in-russia-surges-by-nearly-2-000-in-a-week

Chris Price
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