Top Trending VPN Apps for iOS & Android in the United States

You’d be hard pressed to spend more than five minutes online without coming across an ad for a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Indeed, while VPNs have been around for the better part of three decades, companies like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have enjoyed astonishing success over just the last five-to-ten years. This is due in large part to the continued flourishing of digital life — and all the cybersecurity threats that come with it.

With this in mind, we here at 42matters decided to take a look at some of the top trending VPN apps in the United States. By leveraging our app intelligence tools, we were able to identify the top five trending iOS and Android VPNs, based on downloads over the last 30 days. Here’s what we found!

Top Trending iOS VPNs, as of March 24th, 2021

  1. VPN - Super Unlimited Proxy by Mobile Jump Pte Ltd
    • 470,174 in the United States
      • 1,934,429 globally

  2. NordVPN: VPN Fast & Secure by Tefincom S.A.
    • 236,281 in the United States
      • 1,289,681 globally

  3. Free VPN by Free VPN .org™ by Free VPN LLC
    • 171,220 in the United States
      • 870,770 globally

  4. Brave Private Web Browser VPN by Brave Software
    • 141,167 in the United States
      • 904,806 globally

  5. VPN Proxy Master - Super VPN by ALL Connected Co.,Ltd
    • 33,057 in the United States
      • 853,884 globally

Top Trending VPN Apps for Android

Top Trending Android VPNs, as of March 24th, 2021

  1. Turbo VPN- Free VPN Proxy Server & Secure Service by Innovative Connecting
    • 170,881 in the United States
      • 4,437,334 globally

  2. Norton Secure VPN – Security & Privacy WiFi Proxy by NortonMobile
    • 169,865 in the United States
      • 522,235 globally

  3. Psiphon Pro - The Internet Freedom VPN by Psiphon Inc.
    • 149,000 in the United States
      • 999,616 globally

  4. Free VPN SecVPN: Fast Unlimited Secure Proxy by DaaYou Tech Team
    • 143,634 in the United States
      • 3,334,864 globally

  5. Turbo VPN Lite - Free VPN Proxy Server & Fast VPN by Innovative Connecting
    • 122,827 in the United States
      • 2,768,135 globally

Top VPN apps for Android — 42matters App Intelligence

While this chart is fairly self-explanatory, there is one interesting thing to note. The fourth and fifth ranked VPN apps in the United States (Free VPN SecVPN: Fast Unlimited Secure Proxy and Turbo VPN Lite - Free VPN Proxy Server & Fast VPN) are far more popular globally than the second and third most popular VPN apps in the United States.

The Future of Cybersecurity and Online Privacy

The public discourse around online privacy has been approaching a boiling point for quite some time. Nevertheless, sidestepping the proverbial watched pot, advancements in mobile technologies have made life far more convenient in countless ways. Thus, discussions about how to balance the benefits accrued by innovation and the potentially deleterious side-effects of our increasingly online lifestyles are unavoidably opaque.

Still, while attempts to address these concerns have often extended into the realm of state and global politics (think GDPR in the Europe Union and California’s CCPA), the most consequential advancements have typically come from incremental improvements in Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Device Management (MDM), and VPNs. Indeed, by providing individuals and organizations with the ability to take matters of privacy into their own hands, these technologies have already made digital life more secure. The question now, of course, is can these cybersecurity solutions keep pace with digital innovation more broadly.

Unfortunately, the jury is still out there; but one thing is certain. Over the last 12 months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in VPNs has reached record highs. Check out this chart from Google Trends:

VPN and Virtual Private Network search results.

This depicts online searches for “VPN” and “Virtual Private Network” over the last 5 years. That second spike was in March 2020, just as countries began going into coronavirus lockdowns. Similarly, our data shows that this was a big time for VPN downloads as well. See here downloads for the Android version of NordVPN over the last 12 months:

NordVPN Download History

And a similar view for the Android version of ExpressVPN:

ExpressVPN Download History

In any case, as civil debates over online security continue apace, there is a lingering question here. Is it safe to assume that interest in VPN apps stems from concerns over online privacy? Or does it stem from something else, such as corporate security, optimization of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, or even digital streaming? But perhaps that’s a discussion for a separate article...

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