As awareness of the potential dangers of stolen or misappropriated internet user data increases, so does the popularity of VPN (virtual private network) services. Reportedly, over 25% of internet users are now using a VPN service in order to enhance internet privacy and security. On the back of their rise in popularity, the network infrastructure industry can expect a surge as well, according to experts.

Just last month, Apple was revealed to have shared iPhone and iPad user data with Chinese internet security company Tencent, a business with known ties to the country’s government; internet service provider Comcast was spotted lobbying against internet encryption that could prevent if from tracking user browsing history, while the government officials in Thailand ordered cafes and restaurants to collect all wi-fi user data. All cases where online user data was traded without consent.

“We are noticing that because of similar revelations, the trust in internet privacy is eroding more and more,” comments Vincentas Grinius, CEO of network infrastructure provider Heficed. For instance, the latest Pew Research Center study reveals that majority of Americans think their personal data is less secure now, that data collection poses more risks than benefits, and believe it is not possible to go through daily life without being tracked.

Because of the increased need for anonymity, the market for VPNs is growing. Projections expect its value to increase by at least 15% in the next five years. A particular driver for the popularity of VPNs at the moment is increased government interest in individual user data. Widespread internet surveillance is already a reality in several countries. “We are experiencing an increased demand for both private networking support and are thus fully prepared to meet the network infrastructure needs of everyone who seeks to provide online privacy services,” said Grinius.

IP locations secure, reliable

“We are getting more and more requests by VPN companies to provide reliable infrastructure in various locations. The IP locations need to be readily available, secure and reliable. Often VPNs turn to us when they need a fast turnaround. They are often pleasantly surprised to learn that their engineers can set up new IP addresses automatically on our system. Reliability is also crucial in our industry, whereas access to good infrastructure in some locations is not an easy task. Making sure political and physical obstacles will not interfere in providing a good service is of utmost importance to us.”

Tech companies and internet service providers have become the gatekeepers of an important and valuable asset internet user information. Making sure that internet users have an option to protect that data is a team effort that requires diligence at every step. Solutions that protect end-users’ anonymity exist, but they rely on a fast, accessible and, most importantly, independent network infrastructure to provide their services.

Aside from infrastructure reliability, VPN service providers need to ensure that they perform thorough vendor checks and uphold the highest encryption standards. They should also check and update their source code frequently and test their services thoroughly as often as possible with the help of unbiased third party experts.

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