VPN installs in Thailand surge by 644% due to porn site bans

According to in-house aggregated Atlas VPN user data, Virtual Private Network (VPN) installs in Thailand surged by 644% in the last few days. The interest in VPNs sky-rocketed immediately after Thailand's government banned Pornhub and 190 other pornography websites late on Monday.

VPN is best described as a service that hides the user’s real IP address and encrypts his online traffic. As a result, these changes prevent nosy 3-rd parties such as the government, ISP (Internet Service Provider), or hackers, from tracking the user’s activities online.

Using a VPN helps overcome websites banned by Thailand’s government, which is why citizens hurried to download these services.

Atlas VPN decided to share their user data to shed light on VPNs' current interest in Thailand. We used the average number of VPN installs in Thailand in the last 30 days as a baseline.

Data reveals that VPN installs started to sky-rocket on November 2, 2020, when the websites were banned. The number of installs jumped by a staggering 455% in just a day.

Then on November 3, 2020, Virtual Private Network installs grew even more, reaching an increase of 644%, compared to the baseline.

Before these surges, VPN usage in Thailand has not been widely popular. Our VPN adoption research found that only 1 out of every 85 citizens use a VPN service in Thailand. In other words, only 1.17% of Thailand's population downloaded a VPN service in the first half of 2020.

Meaning, VPN market has leaps and bounds to grow, which the pornography site ban is sure to promote.

Internet censorship in Thailand

Porn websites and gambling websites are illegal under Thailand’s cybercrime law, which is why the ban took place. As a response to the ban, the activist group, which calls themselves the Anonymous Party, has commented on the situation stating they want to help reclaim Pornuhb as Thailand citizens are entitled to freedom of choice.

Pornhub also released interesting data stating that Thai users spent the most time on their website in 2019, on average staying 11 minutes and 21 seconds per visit.

Besides that, Thailand censors news media and social media. The censorship is mostly focused on removing content critical of the government, military, or the king.

The main issue with censorship is that it inhibits freedom of speech, which might mean that the truth is sometimes hidden. This way, citizens stay in the dark as the government has the ability to silence voices that oppose the authorities.

What is more, since Thai citizens use proxies and VPNs to overcome gambling website bans, multiple proxy, and VPN websites are also banned by the authorities. In addition, online bans extend to torrenting websites.

The government authorities do not block the websites themselves, but the internet governing body — Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), requests internet service providers to block the websites. Avoiding to do so will often result in ISPs losing their operating license.


John C.

John C.


Tags: vpn censorship