A few years ago, you’d only find a few virtual private network (VPN) apps on Google Play Store. Today, Android’s official app distribution platform boasts a wide array of options. There has clearly been an emergence of a new market that is looking for a technological solution to counter the pitfalls of the internet, namely hackers, snoops, data invasion, online restrictions, and more.
More and more new VPN apps like FalcoVPN and similar are entering in the Google play store each day. Now the surge in demand for free Android VPN apps may have taken you by surprise, but if you look closely at what’s transpired over the course of past three to four years, you’d definitely be able to connect the dots and see things more clearly.
In case you haven’t been keeping yourself updated on the latest happenings in the world of technology and security, here’s a quick run-through of what’s caused VPN apps to become such a coveted tech all of a sudden.
Increased Concerns for Privacy
Ever since the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the top-secret mass surveillance program, online privacy has become a household concern. Suddenly everyone connecting to the internet to begun to think of themselves as a potential target of government snooping.
The concerns were certainly not unfounded as the US Government admitted that it was, in fact, carrying out digital surveillance at a global scale for the sake of national security. Even the likes of German stateswoman Angela Merkel, who’s considered one of the most influential women in the world, weren’t spared.
Furthermore, tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft also come forward to confess that they had been getting data requests from the government and that on some occasions, the data servers were accessed directly by the intelligence agencies without their knowledge or consent.
The desperation to regain a sense of privacy has led internet and smartphone users to turn a tech that had been around for many years but was mainly catering to the enterprise sector. VPN apps offered them a way to stay off the government’s, security agencies’, or any other snoop’s radar by hiding their IP and hence location.
After a massive scare, people finally found a way to browse the web again without fearing for their privacy.
Growing Trend of Connecting to Public Wi-Fi
Mobile data is not cheap regardless of what the different mobile carrier would have us believe through their various marketing campaigns. An enticing alternative to mobile data exists in the form of public Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, connecting to a free Wi-Fi hotspot at a café or airport can prove really costly as such networks are mostly unsecured, which means even an amateur hacker can intercept the data leaving a smartphone user’s device and walk away with sensitive information such as their credit card information, social security number, etc.
VPN apps mitigate the risks of connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks by encrypting users’ web traffic and transporting it through a secure tunnel using OpenVPN and other secure VPN protocols. This not only makes it really challenging for hackers to intercept the data but also makes it useless for government snoops since what they’d scoop up would be in encrypted form.
Shrinking Online Freedom
Internet wasn’t meant to have walls, but in recent years, governments and even tech giants like Facebook have been trying to put a curb on digital freedom. Online censorship isn’t anything new, but really seem to have gotten out of hand lately.
Of course, people weren’t going to let the government or web services dictate their internet use to them. To reclaim their digital freedom and keep using the web as it was meant to be used, people have turned to VPN apps for help.
With plenty of servers around the globe, VPN apps let users change their virtual location to a server of their choice, thus bypassing any restrictions that their own government or local ISP may have imposed. This way they’re able to access blocked websites and watch geo-restricted content from anywhere in the world.
While the aforementioned factors may explain the growing inclination of internet and smartphone users towards a tech that offers security, anonymity, and freedom, it would be unfair to conclude the discussion without giving due credit to the top VPN apps for Android and iPhone. If it wasn’t for them, internet users wouldn’t have developed such a strong and unwavering faith in VPN solutions and their ability to make the internet safe and open again.