VPNs: the 4 major changes that could come in 2024
VPNs, or virtual private networks, have been growing in popularity in recent years. More and more users understand the numerous privacy and security benefits they provide online and are deciding to get equipped.
However, this increase in the number of users forces VPN providers to evolve quickly in order to meet the expectations of as many people as possible while ensuring their security. New features and services are therefore appearing regularly. Debugbar takes stock for you of the 4 major trends that seem to be emerging for the future of VPNs in 2024.
1. Security: You could benefit from much more comprehensive offers
VPN providers are expanding their offerings with additional cybersecurity services. The goal is twofold: retain users and gain market share.
The big players in the industry have already launched this type of comprehensive offer:
- NordVPN proposes for example an online insurance that reimburses victims of online scams.
- For its part, Surfshark has developed the Incogni service to automate the deletion of personal data.
- As for ExpressVPN, its Aircove router secures all connected objects in the home.
Other providers should follow this trend in 2024 and offer their own suite of additional services. You can check here the main features of the most popular VPN services.
Through these additions, the stated goal is clear. Providers want to meet the needs of their customers in order to keep them in their ecosystem.
This strategy of expanding offers is not surprising. After all, cybersecurity specialists are best placed to offer effective services in this field. When we already trust them to secure our connection with a VPN, it makes sense to rely on them for other aspects of protecting personal data.
2. Protection against quantum computing: providers could integrate cutting-edge encryption
The emergence of quantum computers, capable of breaking traditional encryption in just a few minutes, poses a major threat to the security of online communications. Many experts expect commercial availability within 5 to 10 years.
Faced with this danger, many VPN providers are already working on post-quantum encryption solutions. NordVPN and Surfshark for example have integrated the next-generation WireGuard protocol, considered promising against the quantum threat.
This race for post-quantum protection is therefore expected to accelerate further in 2024. The sooner providers act, the more able they will be to secure their users’ data in the long term. Those who fall behind on this crucial issue risk losing credibility.
Beyond the technological challenge, the stakes are also to raise public awareness of the implications of quantum computing. While experts in the field are aware of the risks, the average user still knows little about the subject. An educational effort is therefore necessary to simply explain the issues. VPN providers have a role to play in this regard.
3. Simplification of interfaces: Apps may focus more on essentials
With the rise of mobile devices, VPN applications tend to become simpler, sometimes at the expense of certain advanced features. This trend towards simplification is likely to continue in 2024, including on desktop interfaces.
The challenge will be to maintain a balance between ease of use and richness of settings for expert users. Providers like Hide.me or ProtonVPN, known for their many advanced settings, will certainly need to be careful not to over-simplify their applications.
On the other hand, this simplification can also be an opportunity to attract new users who are deterred by the complexity of some VPNs. With applications focused on the essentials, the user experience will be more accessible. For example, IPVanish redesigned the interface of its application last year with this in mind.
In any case, this movement towards more simplicity continues in 2024, under the growing influence of mobile devices.
4. Getting closer to communities: transparency and user input as priorities
To gain credibility and trust, VPN providers are increasingly seeking to build close ties with technical communities. They sponsor conferences, organize ethical hacking competitions or conduct academic research in collaboration with independent experts.
This approach of openness and transparency should strengthen further in 2024. It allows providers to improve their products by taking into account the needs expressed by expert users. It also provides them with technical credibility in the face of criticism or controversy.
Some providers like Private Internet Access have even integrated community feedback into their software development process. On Reddit or their own forums, they gather user requests before setting priorities. This community-based approach, still a minority, could gain followers.
In summary, the VPN market remains dynamic and will continue to evolve in 2024, with new features and services. Providers will need to continually innovate to meet user needs for privacy and security online. In this shifting context, some players will stand out by anticipating trends rather than just reacting to them.