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VPN usage has skyrocketed during COVID-19 lockdown

“Stay at home to stay safe” was the UK government’s coronavirus advice and, according to new VPN usage figures, it seems people have been doing just that.

The usage of VPNs, or ‘Virtual Private Networks’, has skyrocketed over the last few weeks as millions of people have found themselves forced to work from home or self isolate.

According to a leading VPN provider, NordVPN, business VPN usage has increased by 165% worldwide. In fact, NordVPN’s own sales have gone up by a staggering 600% since March 11, according to Android Central.

NordVPN has noted a particularly sharp spike in the use of business VPNs, as workers remotely connect to the secure networks of their employers.

Not all usage has been quite so hard-working though. Another common use for VPNs is streaming. Content that is geo-blocked in one region can sometimes be accessed via a VPN, essentially fooling the relevant network into thinking that your computer is in another country or location.

Related: Top 5 VPNs for streaming Disney Plus in the UK right now

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Just last week we heard of a similar surge in the use of one of Nord’s competitors, Atlas VPN. Most notably, in locked-down Italy.

Atlas VPN’s traffic rose by 112% in Italy during the second week of March, compared with the previous week’s traffic figures. The country has been one of the hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe, with most Italians already confined to their homes.

Compare our top 4 recommended VPNs

ExpressVPN Private Internet Access (PIA) Windscribe Cyberghost
Score 4/5 4.4/5 4/5 4/5
Verdict Read our review Read our review Read our review Read our review
Price From £6.68/month From £2.74/month From $3.70 (£2.80)/month From £2.10/month
(1 year) (6 months) (1 year) (1 year)
Best for Privacy & international streaming Security Streaming and price Easy to use, international coverage
Simultaneous devices 5 10 Unlimited 7
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Kindle Fire, Fire TV Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Blackberry, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Chrome, Firefox, Opera Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Trial version? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Disclaimer We recommend VPNs for legal uses only. Streaming services should only be used within the terms of and conditions of the services. We do not approve illegal or unethical uses of VPN services, including piracy.

Related: Best VPN 2020 – Top 9 options for privacy, speed and Disney Plus

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