Starting in 2020, NordVPN conducts a survey every year to learn more about the usage of VPNs in several locations worldwide. Japan continues to be one of the places with unexpected results for the third year in a row. Let’s take a look at the numbers in Japan from 2024 and compare them with other regions:
The Usage of VPNs in Japan
NordVPN’s yearly survey, which covers VPN usage habits in 18 countries, made astonishing findings in 2024, especially when it comes to the use of VPNs in Japan. While many countries register an increase in VPN usage year after year, the results in Japan are completely different than in the rest of the world.
How Many People in Japan Use VPN?
According to the survey, 23% of Japanese people know what a VPN is. Only 8% of them use VPN, and they are either Millennials or Gen X. It is somewhat understandable why Gen Z is almost missing from the list because the majority don’t have a steady income at the moment and can’t afford subscriptions.
When compared to Hong Kong, where 87.2% of surveyed individuals know what a VPN is, and 50.2% of them use it, it is clear that the numbers in Japan are shockingly low. Another fascinating thing about Hong Kong is that a typical VPN user is female and between 25 and 44 years old. It is the only region where women are topping the list.
Among those 8% of Japanese people who use VPNs, 46.3% prefer free options that are not necessarily safe. 31.3% of Japanese VPN users choose paid VPN services. Even though there are no fees, free VPNs need to make money somehow.
Most will show ads, but some might track user data, store their browsing history, and then sell it to advertisers. Furthermore, revenue is used for improved safety measures and server maintenance, so free VPNs might not be the best option in general.
Another finding in Japan is that the number of VPN users there seems to be declining compared to 2021 and 2022. In 2021, 10.6% of the population used a VPN. After only two years, that number has decreased to 8%.
Benefits of Using VPN
When we look at NordVPN’s annual survey results in Japan, it is evident that teaching people about VPN as a service can help increase the number of users. Since only 23% of them know what a VPN can do for their online safety, there is room for improvement in the future. So, let’s dive in and talk about the benefits of using a VPN:
One of the VPN’s main features is encryption, which keeps the information you send or receive safe. Therefore, your online activities won’t be visible to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or any third parties trying to get their hands on your data.
Because VPN can hide your IP address, websites and trackers will be unable to log your browsing habits, and you’ll avoid personalized ads that appear on almost all platforms nowadays. The absence of these ads usually improves the user experience.
No More Geo-Restrictions
A VPN can unlock a world of fresh content when you connect to a different server. The perfect example is Netflix, which offers different movie and TV show titles depending on your geographical location. This option is beneficial when doing localized research and looking for results from a specific area. Once you remove geo-restrictions, you’ll access websites that often have more information.
Several countries around the world have strict internet censorship, and people who live there can’t access the content they want. A VPN could bypass censorship by hiding an IP address, resulting in full internet access without restrictions.
Safe Browsing on Public Wi-Fi
Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, especially in a busy place, could be dangerous. Anyone can create a fake Wi-Fi network and give it an official name to trick people into using it. Enabling a VPN while traveling, working remotely, or browsing the web in your favorite café can help with this issue.
We’ve already talked about encryption, which is essential for protecting the information you send or receive. Even if you unknowingly connect to an unsecured network, third parties won’t be able to eavesdrop on you or access your private information.
Avoiding Bandwidth Throttling
Bandwidth throttling, also known as traffic shaping, is a well-known method of slowing down internet speed by ISPs. It is commonly applied during busy hours to manage congestion, which can be problematic for users who need high-speed connections. When affected by bandwidth throttling, users could experience longer loading times, buffering, or lag.
This subject has been debated in internet circles for years as most users believe that internet traffic should be the same for everyone. Because ISPs target particular data types, connecting to a VPN server could help avoid bandwidth throttling. Your ISP won’t be able to identify your information because of encryption, and you won’t notice any difference in your internet connection.