(MENAFN Press) AnchorFree, the global leader in consumer security, privacy and Internet freedom, today announced that its award-winning Hotspot Shield VPN has surpassed 200 million global downloads.
Growing by more than nine million new downloads per month, Hotspot Shield is the most popular VPN service in the world and the No. 1 security and privacy app on iPhone and iPad devices. It now protects and keeps private more than 350,000 social media messages and 50,000 emails every hour.
In MENA, Hotspot Shield mobile use increased by 170 per cent in the past twelve months.
"Exceeding more than 200 million Hotspot Shield VPN downloads is a tremendous milestone and clearly demonstrates explosive growth in consumer demand for internet privacy, security and access," said David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree. "The trends which led to growth in demand in 2013 will only escalate in the coming year."
Gorodyansky added that nearly one-third of its monthly activity now comes from its mobile app, which was released for iPhones in November 2011 and on Android devices in May 2012. It has been installed by 21 million users to date. In addition to privacy, security and access, the mobile app saves money by compressing data: in 2013 Hotspot Shield mobile apps saved users more than 220 million megabytes (MB) of mobile data usage.
AnchorFree anticipates digital privacy, security and access concerns will escalate in 2014 along with demand for its product as the following consumer trends take shape:
Shift to private and erasable social media: There is a shifting tide in social media, particularly with younger consumers, as users pull back from widespread, indiscriminate sharing and turn toward more private, temporal one-to-one interactions. As consumers place more value on privacy and control over content, they are embracing new ways to share special moments with family and friends. Other applications capitalizing on changing attitudes include SnapChat , which allows users to send photos and messages that disappear, Instagram which recently added private one-to-one messaging, and Whisper which allow users to engage with others anonymously.
Proliferation of mobile commerce: Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is booming. From instant local delivery of goods to music and movie downloads, more consumers are using their tablets and smartphones to shop whenever and whereever inspiration strikes, especially through wireless hotspots at coffee shops, airports and on the go. VPNs can help prevent credit cards and account logins from being hacked.
City-sponsored Wi-Fi growing in speed and popularity: Public Wi-Fi is no longer limited to the confines of a coffee shop or library. This is set to become reality in Dubai, which is currently purusing an ambitious program to create a "Smart City" “ a strategy that has been accelerated by the recent Expo 2020 win. Elsewhere, many cities across the U.S. and around the world now offer municipal Wi-Fi for parks, streets and neighborhoods.
New York City recently announced the launch of what will be the nation's largest outdoor Wi-Fi network, which will blanket 95 blocks in Harlem, and San Francisco is adding Wi-Fi to one of its busiest streets “ Market Street. The free hotspot service follows Google's installation of public Wi-Fi in San Francisco city parks. Public Wi-Fi is less secure and a VPN is highly recommended.