Virtual private networks were once reserved for big business and government. VPNs are now being used by individuals, businesses, and organizations of all sizes across the globe.
But, what exactly is a VPN?
Technically speaking, VPN is a blanket term for a variety of computer protocols that are used to secure data being transferred through a public network like the internet. Basically, it’s a network of linked computers that provide a secure connection to data stored on a physical network, like the one in your office or even facebook.
When you ask about the future of virtual private networks, you get a wide array of answers. For activists and whistleblowers, the future of VPN is a new ToR. For businesses, the future of VPN is all in scalability. – and for those people working in the VPN industry, well, we figured they’d give the best answer themselves…
So we asked a group of industry experts:
What’s the future of VPNs?
Here’s what they had to say…
Taimoor Hussain, Digital Marketing Strategist at PureVPN
“VPN subscriptions have skyrocketed after Trump passed the anti-privacy bill, authorizing ISP’s to snoop on their consumers and sell their data. More disturbingly, other first-world countries are itching to follow suit. The looming threats of cyber crimes, hacking and identity theft too add to the equation. Trump’s bill has also given other countries like the UK, Germany, France, and Australia the excuse to go down the same path. Other countries in the 14-eyes block have also taken notice. So, with the dawn of the age of surveillance, the need for VPN will continue to grow. In a nutshell, the future looks bright for VPNs.
While we may not be able to predict the next big threat or setback, it is certain that VPNs will continue to defend online privacy and security, and make the internet free of restrictions and borders.”
David Cox, CEO & Founder of LiquidVPN
“The VPN industry is undergoing a fundamental shift in its perceived primary role but the underlying technology is not moving at the pace we would like. VPNs were created to provide remote access to network resources. Today most people consider VPN a privacy technology. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It takes quite a bit of tweaking and patching to transform traditional remote access VPN software into the sort of privacy service that comes to mind when consumers think of the modern VPN. I expect this to change radically in the near future. We are already starting to see new VPN technologies created with privacy as its main focus, and I expect the pace of new privacy-focused VPN technologies coming to market will increase over the next five years. Two major improvements I expect open source projects to incorporate into their code are anonymous tokenized authentication and protocol obfuscation. Once that happens, VPNs and online privacy in general will see a big step forward.”
Kashif Yaqoob, Brand Strategist at Ivacy Ltd.
“The VPN industry will see tremendous growth, now that Trump’s seal of approval allows ISPs to do as they see fit with internet users’ data. With the risk of having one’s information being sold off to advertisers, internet users are desperate to look for effective means to overcome breach of privacies.
Seeing how not many internet users are tech savvy, VPNs tend to stand out from the rest of the crowd as the premiere solution for such a problem. VPNs are easy to use, and are available across all major platforms and devices. Additionally, they come with several features, including and not limited to internet kill switch and 256-bit encryption, thus making it a viable means of combating the anti-privacy bill, hackers and monitoring agencies.
Also taking into account how privacy advocates are advising internet users to use VPNs for maximum online security and anonymity, it is really not hard to imagine a prosperous future for the industry as a whole, and the revolutionary technologies that can be expected for bolstering internet security from any and all threats.”
Adam Broetje, CEO of Odd Dog Media
“With recent legislation passed here in the US, Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) are now going to begin inserting ads into a web browsing experience. This will make them direct competition for the largest online ad player in the world, Google.
I would foresee Google using this as an opportunity to advocate for consumer privacy and begin offering a VPN as a free service. This would give Google a bit of control in how those private visits register with sites that run Google Analytics, making the data still relevant even with VPN’s. However the larger goal would be to severely limit the accuracy by which ISP Ad networks may be able to target and sell your online data, maintaining Google’s stronghold in the online ad space.”
Reg Harnish, CEO of GreyCastle Security
“VPNs will become much more commonplace in the next 10-15 years. Just as firewalls have become ubiquitous today, everyone will have a VPN. But, they won’t provide anymore protection than they do today. This is because as technology evolves, so do our adversaries.
I think like many cybersecurity technologies, people will flock to them hoping for salvation — but VPNs won’t provide that. There is a small amount of privacy left, and in the future, privacy will be a thing of the past. In 10-15 years, we’ll be talking about privacy like we currently talk about rotary phones — we simply don’t talk about them.”
Julian Weinberger, Director of Systems Engineering, CISSP at NCP engineering
“Predictions regarding where the VPN industry will be 10-15 years from now:
- VPNs will focus on Network Access Control, assessing the connecting device to determine if it is in the right state to connect.
- VPNs will focus on authentication (multi factor authentication for users and devices).
- VPNs will be built into the operating system and will be invisible to end users.
- Everything will be automated on the VPN client and the management side. Network administrators won’t need to take care of anything related to VPNs.”