VPNs are a hot topic following controversial US privacy vote

As you might expect, after the US Congress voted to cast aside ISP privacy rules – following the Senate’s lead in overturning regulations that prevent ISPs from sharing users’ browser data – there has been a major surge of interest in VPN services over in the States, with Google searches showing a marked uptick for the term.

As you can see in the Google Trends graph below, searches for "VPN" (virtual private network) have witnessed a major spike following these votes, and indeed since earlier in the month when the controversy was merely brewing.

As of the week ending March 11 2017, the Trends graph for the US showed the VPN search term at a rating of 79, with it then quickly accelerating up to 100, where it currently resides.

That means there are now roughly a quarter more searches being made by people curious about a VPN, likely having heard mention of the term in connection with the US legislation.

Curiouser and curiouser

Of course, curious is the key word here – this doesn’t necessarily mean tons of people who previously didn’t bother are going to start using a VPN. It just shows that there’s a lot of interest in VPNs, although exactly how that will translate to increased usage is anyone’s guess.

That said, it’s a fair indication that more people are going to be signing up to VPN providers, or considering other methods of keeping their browsing history secret from their ISP (like the Tor browser, for instance).

Be aware that if you are considering a VPN, you need to choose a quality provider – remember that while using a virtual private network may cover your surfing history from your ISP, it won’t hide it from the VPN firm itself. So the company needs to be one you can trust (i.e. an outfit with a transparent and watertight privacy policy for starters).

Reviews are always helpful, too, and we’ve got some recommendations on the best VPNs to use right here.

Meanwhile, the VPN providers themselves are certainly not being shy of taking advantage of this recent privacy storm, with Private Internet Access even paying for a full-page advert in the New York Times highlighting the 50 Senators who ‘voted to monitor your internet activity for financial gain’.

Via: Torrent Freak

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).