Indians are familiar with sharing Netflix accounts. One account, four users. Now the same Indians are trying to share the cost of virtual private networks (VPNs) as they increasingly pay for VPN accounts. The reasons are several. There are thousands of websites now banned in India by obscure and official or unofficial means. To access many of these websites, Indian users are now turning to VPNs. Then there is the security and surveillance aspect. As cybercrime, identity theft and the risks of surveillance increase in India, users are turning to VPNs.

Here’s a number: According to data extracted from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store using the Sensor Tower service, India ranked fourth out of 85 countries in VPN penetration rate in the first half of 2021. India’s VPN installation penetration rose from just 3.28 percent per population in 2020 to 25.27 percent in the first six months of 2021.

But beyond the numbers there are stories. A group of friends were looking for …

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