Summary of our market study

The global VPN market has seen robust growth starting from 2020, with significant expansion in terms of both market size and user base. By 2022, the market size grew to nearly $1.125 billion in France, indicative of the burgeoning demand worldwide. This growth is driven by an increasing awareness of cyber security and the rise in data breaches, with companies investing more in secure connections, mirroring a 2.3% increase in cybersecurity budgets in France.

VPN users tend to be largely male, primarily aged between 18-49, and use VPNs predominantly on smartphones and computers for streaming, work, and security purposes.

The market, while appearing open, has notable concentration with major players like Nord Security and Kape Technologies owning multiple popular VPN brands. The French market has tripled its number of VPN downloads in two years, signaling a strong demand where free VPN services also play a role albeit with limitations. While usage is legal in France, the market could see regulatory changes, particularly concerning VPNs that could bypass national laws, potentially impacting availability on platforms like Google Play and Apple's App Store.

Emerging Trends in the French VPN Market

The virtual private network (VPN) market in France has witnessed a robust expansion in recent years, evidenced by the nearly threefold increase in VPN downloads from 2020 to 2022. This growth is fueled by various factors, including heightened cybersecurity concerns, increasing internet use, and the versatility of VPN applications. Adoption of VPN services appears particularly nuanced with respect to demographics. When it comes to device usage, VPNs are predominantly used on smartphones and computers, capturing between 60 and 65 percent of the user base for each device type, respectively. Despite the ubiquity of tablets, they seem to lag substantially, with only around 20 percent of users employing VPNs on such devices.

The principal drivers for VPN use in France align closely with the service's core benefits: enhanced video streaming services, work-related confidentiality, and bolstered online security. Notably, factors like privacy and travel, despite being less prevalent uses, point towards potentially untapped markets for VPN applications. In the corporate realm, cybersecurity has taken center stage, with an appreciable number of businesses, including microenterprises and small to medium-sized enterprises, experiencing cyber threats. The tumultuous cyber landscape, with attack-induced financial losses generally surpassing the $100,000 mark, has catapulted VPNs as a safeguarding mechanism for corporate networks, particularly with the advent of widespread remote work practices. Companies in France have responded to the cybersecurity imperative by reinforcing their cybersecurity budgets and security measures, with more than 40 percent having fortified or introduced VPN connections by 2021. 

The estimated VPN market in France has soared to over $1 billion in sales, as businesses acknowledge the indispensability of VPNs in mitigating data breaches and ensuring secure teleworking. The accentuated screen time among French citizens, with over half the population spending upwards of 22 hours per week online, suggests a fertile ground for VPN services.

The Leading Forces in the VPN Industry

The Virtual Private Network (VPN) market is a dynamic landscape with a host of key players, each bringing unique features and services aimed at securing digital communications and providing internet privacy for users worldwide.

Four of these industry leaders, with their individual strengths and market strategies, stand out in the global VPN sector.

  • Kape Technologies - The Conglomerate of Trusted VPN Brands Originally known for a controversial past under the name Crossrider. Kape Technologies has pivoted to become a prominent name in the VPN industry. With the acquisition of established VPN services such as Zenmate, CyberGhost, and the heavyweight ExpressVPN. Kape Technologies has positioned itself as a significant player offering varied privacy solutions. The group's commitment to revamping its focus on user privacy and security is evident in the rebranding efforts and the management of these reputable VPN services.
  • Nord Security - An Assurance of Strength and Reliability Nord Security, formerly known as a single product, NordVPN, has expanded its horizon by acquiring Surfshark and Atlas VPN. While each brand under Nord Security maintains its operational independence, they share a common vision of providing robust online security solutions. NordVPN itself is synonymous with high-quality service, offering features like antivirus protection and ad-blocking capabilities. The merger with Surfshark, appreciated for its powerful service and similarly useful features, creates a potent coalition in the VPN market.
  • Surfshark - The Vanguard of Online Privacy Surfshark has earned respect in the industry as an efficient VPN provider that delivers valuable features such as ad-blocking and an intuitive interface. Its fusion with NordVPN under the Nord Security umbrella has not diminished Surfshark's individual clout but instead enhanced its reach and developmental capabilities. Surfshark continues to offer competitive advantages with its economical subscription plans, tailor-made features, and commitment to user privacy.
  • ExpressVPN - The Standard for Excellence in the VPN World Noted for its remarkable speed and security, ExpressVPN has long been a fan favorite for users who prioritize these aspects. Even after its acquisition by Kape Technologies, ExpressVPN has sustained its reputation for providing a versatile and highly secure VPN experience. Its presence across platforms and user-friendly interface have cemented its position as a premium choice for customers seeking a no-compromise VPN service.

 

Each of these titans brings distinct advantages to the table, serving different customer needs and preferences. Whether it's Kape Technologies' versatility through multiple brands, Nord Security's shared technical knowledge and advanced features.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

The VPN was created in 1996 by a Microsoft employee, enabling a more secure connection to the Internet. Initially used by businesses to access private networks remotely, it gained popularity with the general public as encryption standards evolved and privacy issues emerged. Scandals such as WikiLeaks and the Edward Snowden leaks have raised public awareness of online threats. In 2017, following the revelation of ISPs selling browsing history and the loss of net neutrality, VPNs became essential for individual users.

Today, the VPN market has become a significant one, with a market size of $44.6 billion worldwide by 2022 and 30% of Internet users using VPN services.
Russia and the USA are the countries that download the most VPNs by volume, but the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Qatar have a higher proportion of users than other countries.

In France, the VPN market is expanding, with sustained growth in downloads. The number of VPN downloads in 2022 was 8,908,000, and sales for the same year exceeded one billion dollars.

VPN use is being driven by increased demand from both users and businesses for online security and privacy, particularly with the growth of telecommuting in recent years. It's also worth noting that demand for VPNs is fairly segmented according to user age or gender.

Video streaming remains the main reason for VPN use today, but work, security and gaming are also major factors.

It's also worth noting that VPNs are emerging as a means of emancipation and online freedom in political regimes that oppress the population and restrict freedoms. Statistics show that VPN use is rising sharply in countries experiencing political crises.

The VPN market in France is dominated by companies with several major VPNs: Kape Technologies and Nord Security.

1.2 Global market

Evolution of the global VPN market size World, **** - ***** PR Newswire *Projection

The global VPN market is growing rapidly, with an increase in size of almost ** billion between **** and ****. The market is expected to grow until ****, when it is projected to reach $** billion.

Number of VPN users worldwide World, ****, in billions SurfShark by ...

1.3 The French market

Evolution of VPN downloads in France France, ****-****, AtlasVPN

the VPN market is expanding in France, with sustained growth in downloads. The number of VPN downloads in **** is almost * times higher than in ****.

Since VPN prices are similar around the world, we can estimate the sales of the VPN market in ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Typology of demand

demand for VPN services in France is particularly segmented by gender and age .

Share of French people using a VPN by age group France, ****, in percent IFOP

Almost half of VPN users in France are aged between ** and **. The most represented age category among French VPN users are **-**, which coincides ...

2.2 Companies are investing more and more in cybersecurity

In ****, a record number of data leakage sites were created on the dark web, mainly linked to ransomware attacks. In these attacks, cybercriminals steal and encrypt sensitive data, then demand a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. Unfortunately, hackers tend to publish the stolen data even after receiving the ransom, ...

2.3 Demand drivers

A VPN is an essential tool for :

Secure your browsing by encrypting your connection and protecting yourself from cyber-attacks. Access geo-restricted content by masking your location. save money when booking online by avoiding price adjustments. Preserve online privacy by hiding your activity from ISPs. Improve connection speed by avoiding ISP ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

[***]

A personal device, such as a computer or smartphone, can be equipped with a VPN client that is used to establish a secure connection with a remote VPN server via the Internet. When the user activates the VPN client, the data he or she sends and receives is encrypted before being ...

3.2 A seemingly open but highly concentrated market

A notable trend in the VPN industry is increasing consolidation, resulting from several high-profile acquisitions of well-established brands by larger companies. Two major players stand out in this market: Kape Technologies, which owns brands such as Zenmate, CyberGhost and ExpressVPN, and Nord Security, which owns NordVPN, Surfshark and Atlas VPN. In ...

3.3 Free VPNs

Some free VPNs exist, but they offer fewer capabilities than paid services (***)

Atlas VPN, for example, offers a free package with * GB bandwidth per month, ideal for occasional secure browsing needs. It also supports P*P file sharing, an advantage for torrent downloaders. However, Atlas VPN has no servers in ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Offer typology

Here is a list of the different VPNs available in France and their main features:here's a list of the different VPNs available in France and their main features: vPN name main features NordVPN Antivirus protection, ad blocker Surfshark Powerful VPN, ad blocker CyberGhost Privacy on all devices Private Internet Access Privacy ...

4.2 VPNs for smartphones are becoming increasingly popular

Installing a VPN on a smartphone is of particular interest when compared with a computer. Indeed, smartphones are devices that are constantly connected to the Internet, whether via a Wi-Fi connection at home, a *G connection on the move, or even on unsecured public networks in places like hotels and ...

5 Regulations

5.1 For the moment, VPNs are not banned in France

In France, using a VPN is legal. VPNs are not prohibited in most parts of the world. Countries that prohibit or restrict VPN :

Countries VPN legality status Belarus Illegal Iraq Illegal Korea, North Illegal Oman Illegal Turkmenistan Unequal China Restricted Iran Restricted Russia Severely restricted Turkey Restricted UAE Severely restricted Uganda Severely ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • Google
  • Orange Groupe
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • AVM
  • Ikoula
  • Nord security

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Trends in the size of the global VPN market
  • Number of VPN users worldwide
  • VPN downloads worldwide
  • Evolution of VPN downloads in France
  • Growth in the number of VPN downloads in France
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Latest news

Orange fined 26 million euros - 09/11/2023
  • Fine imposed on Orange by Arcep: 26 million euros
  • Orange commitment in 2018: Fiber optic coverage of 3,000 communes in less densely populated areas of the country
  • Target connection rate for 2022: 100%
  • According to Arcep, at the beginning of 2022, Orange had only achieved 88% of its coverage target.
  • Number of premises not connected according to Orange: Approximately 540,000.
  • Orange's new commitments: 96% coverage of major cities and 98.5% coverage of medium-sized towns, at a total cost of several hundred million euros.
Bard, Google's answer to ChatGPT - 18/07/2023
  • Google's chatbot Bard is now available in Europe and Brazil.
  • The service is now available in over 40 languages, including French, Arabic and German.
  • The service has been launched in 180 other countries (only in English, Japanese or Korean).
  • Bard is based on the analysis of billions of online texts and up-to-date news data, unlike its competitor ChatGPT, whose data ends in 2021.
Smartphones: Orange commits to recycling more - 01/07/2023
  • The aim is to recycle 20% of new smartphones sold by mobile operators by 2030.
  • Twelve telecom operators, including Orange and Tele2, are involved in this recycling project.
  • There are currently 5 billion unused cell phones in the world, and recycling them would recover the equivalent of 8 7.
  • Orange's take-back and recycling rate has risen from 13.4% to 22.3% by 2021
  • 1.9 million phones were recycled by Orange in 2021.
Virtual reality headsets, new Macs - 05/06/2023
  • Apple plans to unveil its first virtual and augmented reality headset.
  • The headset is expected to cost $3,000
  • Apple expects to sell around 900,000 units in the first year
  • Several Mac and iPhone applications will be integrated into the headset, such as Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Email and Messages, Maps, Notes, Music, Photos, Safari and Weather.
Orange overtakes IBM in digital services in France. - 10/07/2022
  • Orange will be the third largest digital services company in France in 2021.
  • Capgemini and Sopra Steria are first.
  • After a 7.9% plunge in 2020, the French digital services market has rebounded by 4.6% in 2021.
Orange targeted by a large-scale search by the French Competition Authority. - 12/04/2022
  • Orange is suspected of abusing its dominant position in broadband network access in France, and of discrimination in network restoration in the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma.
  • In total, 5.2 million Orange broadband customers use this infrastructure.
  • Benoît Coeuré, replacing Isabelle de Silva, is looking to revitalize the business telecoms sector, which is largely dominated by Orange.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Google
Orange Groupe
Microsoft
Apple
AVM
Ikoula
Nord security

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