2012 VPN Year in Review

Since the world didn’t come to an end on December 21st we thought we’d share some of the highlights we’ve noticed following the VPN industry throughout the year.  First a heartfelt thanks to all those involved in making the online world a safer place.  We appreciate all your efforts.  While we’ll be sharing some of our favorite’s from 2012, there are hundreds of VPN services and team members working to help protect users online privacy.

2012 VPN Year in Review

The Year of Growth

It would be an understatement to say that 2012 saw growth in the VPN space.  We receive requests each and every week from new services and those wanting to learn more about the industry.  Just how fast is VPN growing?  Last January we had around 150 VPN services listed on VPNSP.  That seemed like quite a few at the time.  Now the list is up to 300 with more to come.  It’s hard to guess how many companies we’ll end with in 2013 but we welcome them all.  Competition is good as long as you do your homework.

With well over 300 VPN providers to choose from it’s easy to get lost in the giant list of options.  We thought the same thing when their were 150 services and now you can multiply the confusion.  We work hard to provide you with quality reviews but please don’t stop there.  Take a close look at our speed tests and compare them with your own results.  Before signing up check out the provider’s money back guarantee.  Then test the service hard for the first few days.  Connecting to various locations and testing your desired online services and applications.

Network Expansion

The year also saw rapid growth from leading VPN companies like Hide My Ass.  HMA started the year with 210 servers and ended it with over 325.  Along the way they also added 15 new countries and more than 15,000 IP addresses.  IPVanish is another 2012 success story.  The service grew to cover 28 countries and over 62 servers by year end.  That would be a fine accomplishment on it’s own but IPVanish is also consistently the fastest VPN provider in the U. S. and Europe.  We anticipate continued growth from both services in 2013.

DNS Services

We always keep an eye on new offerings from leading providers.  That includes companies like OverPlay and StrongVPN.  Overplay has been offering SmartDNS and Strong is beta testing their new StrongDNS service.  These new DNS offerings will help users access online services without the extra overhead of encryption.  While they aren’t meant to secure your connection they are handy for accessing sites and services located in other areas of the world.  We would expect to see a lot more growth in this area in 2013.

Mobile Apps

This year we saw several providers working to develop mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices.  Testing from an iPhone, Galaxy S3 and Nexus tablet gave us a good chance to see all the new apps.  Most the apps we tested were best suited for early adopters.  With some technical bugs and UI misses.  Yet as the year went on we saw more polished results.  Services like ExpressVPN, VPN One Click, VyprVPN and ibVPN made strides in mobile this year.  We look forward to continued mobile app innovations in the year to come.

There were some other notable additions in 2012.  We saw a focus on expanding payment options for customers.  With more emphasis on anonymity.  With the rise of Bitcoin from services like Private Internet Access.  We also saw more interest in VPN routers.  With companies like Sabai Technology and FlashRouters leading the way.  Partnering with VPN services to better protect home and business networks.

Cheers to everyone who helped improve users online privacy and anonymity in 2012.  We look forward to 2013!