Interest in VPNs surges by 1150% in the Philippines
According to Atlas VPN investigation, interest in VPNs surged by 1150% in the Philippines due to a special mobile game offer.
To honor Brazil’s day of independence, which will happen on September 7, 2020, Moonton, a mobile game developer, prepared a gift for Brazilians - multiple free skins on their mobile game - Mobile Legends. The promotion started over a week earlier, on August 30, 2020.
However, people from outside Brazil found out that by using a VPN, they can change their IP address to one that is in Brazil, and they will be able to receive the skins as well.
To figure out how this event affected demand for VPN services, the Atlas VPN research team took a look at Google Trends data. Google trends platform analyzes the popularity of search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. For Google Trends data, a value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term.
The first players to find the trick on how to get free skins were users from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In these countries, people started searching for the “VPN” keyword at record highs.
The highest increase in the interest in VPNs can be seen in the Philippines, where the search popularity surged from 8 points to a record 100 points. In other words, the interest in the “VPN” keyword soared by 1150%.
Similarly, VPN interest in Indonesia increased from 31 points to 100. While the rise in interest is not as significant as in the Philippines, it still constitutes 222.58% growth.
Finally, in Malaysia, VPN interest jumped from 42 points to 100, which means that the “VPN” keyword’s interest jumped by 138.1%.
Interest in VPNs globally
Even though not all regions are interested in the Mobile Legends game, the ones that are caused a significant spike looking when looking at Google Trends data globally.
The spike in VPN search queries globally started on August 30, 2020. The “VPN” keyword search interest jumped from 60 points to 100. Meaning, this was a 66.67% spike in just a few days.
This is a huge spike as it compares to the surge in searches caused by the coronavirus pandemic that happened in March 2020. Interest in VPNs soared in March because most people stayed at home due to the quarantine and had to use a VPN for various reasons.
By staying home, people spend more of their time on the internet than usual. Many choose watching films or TV series as the best form of entertainment. However, the most popular streaming services, such as Netflix or BBC, apply geo-restrictions.
With that, people may not be able to access certain films or shows due to the region they are in. Luckily, using a VPN allows users to overcome geo-restrictions and to enjoy their favorite content from all over the world.
In addition, most employers require their employees to use a VPN service to connect to the companies internal network and to protect themselves from hackers.
The fact that the VPN spike caused by the Mobile Legends event compares to the spike caused by the pandemic shows just how many people decided to use a VPN to get free skins.
Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.