VPNs Are a Valuable Tool in COVID-19 Times

Whether for working remotely or circumventing censors, VPN usage has seen tremendous growth these past two weeks.
VPNs Are a Valuable Tool in COVID-19 Times
Image credit: Ksenia Zvezdina | Getty Images

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Senior Features Writer, PCMag
1 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

VPNs are a major piece of internet infrastructure holding together the work-from-home workforce right now and providing a way for people to get vital news in countries with censorship.

VPNs encrypt web traffic, keeping data safe and protecting privacy. You may have a corporate VPN that you connect to for work, or you can elect to use one for yourself.

Related: 4 Ways to Boost Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Outbreak

During the last two weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, VPN usage in the United States has gone up 124 percent. In that same period in Italy, it has gone up 160 percent, according to Atlas VPN.  In these countries where social distancing is a necessity, VPNs provide a way to make online behavior safer, whether you're working remotely or streaming hours of video.

In Russia and China, statistics about COVID-19 are thought to be underreported. And in Russia, a disinformation campaign about the novel coronavirus is spreading dangerous information. In these instances, VPNs can give citizens access to broader and more accurate information, making them a tool of public health as well as online hygiene.

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