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Region-locked content has driven UK users to try a VPN

(Image credit: Image Credit: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock)

A new report has revealed that VPN usage in the UK has increased with almost one in six people now using a VPN alongside their internet connection.

According to YouGov's 'Incognito Individual' report, 16 per cent of British adults have used either a VPN or proxy server.  This up-tick in users trying a VPN was often the direct result of trying access region-locked content or websites.  Of those surveyed, 48% of respondents admitted to using a VPN or a proxy to access content they would otherwise be unable to view. 

VPNs are often used by security conscious individuals who are concerned with their privacy and not having their browsing data logged.  YouGov's report found that 44% of VPN users utilised such a service for better security and that 37% did so for improved privacy. 

Although it was not as popular of a use case, 24% of the respondents said that they used a VPN to reduce the number of targeted advertisements they saw while browsing the web.  19% of users said that they used a VPN in order to decrease the amount of spam they received. 

YouGov Reports researcher Nasra Aharchic noted that VPNs are certainly a cause for concern for businesses that depend on region locks, saying: “The number of people using VPN is significant enough to provide a headache to those services which use region-based access.” 

As companies crack down on where users can access their content, more people will likely be inclined to try if not even sign up for a VPN in the future. 

Image Credit: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.