"Exceeding more than 200 million Hotspot Shield VPN downloads is a tremendous milestone and clearly demonstrates explosive growth in consumer demand for Internet privacy, security and access," said David Gorodyansky, founder and CEO of AnchorFree. "The trends which led to growth in demand in 2013 will only escalate in the coming year."
Hotspot Shield has seen triple-digit mobile growth in the past 12 months and has been installed by 21 million smartphone users to date. Nearly one-third of Hotspot Shield's monthly activity now comes from its mobile app, which was released for iPhones in November 2011 and on Android&trade devices in May 2012. In addition to privacy, security and access, Hotspot Shield, which compresses data, saved users more than 220 million megabytes (MB) of mobile data usage in 2013.
AnchorFree anticipates digital privacy, security and access concerns will escalate in 2014, along with demand for its products, as the following consumer trends take shape:
· Shift to private and erasable social media: There is a shifting tide in social media, particularly with younger consumers, as users pull back from widespread, indiscriminate sharing and turn toward more private, temporal, one-to-one interactions. As consumers place more value on privacy and control over content, they are embracing new ways to share special moments with family and friends. Other applications capitalizing on changing attitudes include SnapChat, which allows users to send photos and messages that disappear, Instagram that recently added private one-to-one messaging, and Whisper which allow users to engage with others anonymously.
· Proliferation of mobile commerce: Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is booming. From instant local delivery of goods to music and movie downloads, more consumers are using their tablets and smartphones to shop whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, especially through wireless hotspots at coffee shops, airports and on the go. VPNs can help prevent credit cards and account logins from being hacked.
· City-sponsored Wi-Fi growing in speed and popularity: Public Wi-Fi is no longer limited to the confines of a coffee shop or library. Many cities across the U.S. and around the world now offer municipal Wi-Fi for parks, streets and neighborhoods. New York City recently announced the launch of what will be the nation's largest outdoor Wi-Fi network, which will blanket 95 blocks in Harlem, and San Francisco is adding Wi-Fi to one of its busiest streets – Market Street. The free hotspot service follows Google's installation of public Wi-Fi in San Francisco city parks. Public Wi-Fi is inherently less secure, so use of a VPN is highly recommended.
· Accelerating spread of global and domestic Internet censorship and behavior tracking: As the Internet and social media become increasingly important tools for communication, sharing information and accessing news, a growing number of entities ranging from corporations to governments and other public institutions in the U.S. and overseas censor the Internet and monitor online behavior. Millions of Internet users encounter blocked, censored or filtered content on social networks, video and music sites, streaming services and email providers in the workplace, at school, while traveling or by simply living in highly regulated countries. Fortunately, there are ways users can circumvent censorship and monitoring, gaining anonymous access to content, through the use of VPN services.
AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield is the most trusted VPN service in the world, protecting users' IP addresses, encrypting all Internet communications and preventing hackers from stealing sensitive data while using unsecured Wi-Fi networks. In addition to secure and private browsing, Hotspot Shield VPN provides access to domestic Internet content while travelling abroad and unblocks websites that may be restricted by governments or companies. Users can increase productivity and remove browsing obstacles by accessing local servers when overseas.
Hotspot Shield is available for PC, Mac, iOS and Android. For a free download of Hotspot Shield visit: www.hotspotshield.com. To thank users for helping reach this milestone, AnchorFree is offering 33% off an annual subscription to Hotspot Shield Elite by using coupon code "200MM."
AnchorFree's mission is to provide secure browsing, privacy and freedom to the more than 5.7 billion people around the world who are in need of a secure browsing solution or freedom to access Internet content. AnchorFree does this through Hotspot Shield, the world's most popular privacy, security and Web access tool. Hotspot Shield ensures safe, private Web browsing and disrupts censorship of commonly blocked content such as breaking news, social networking and search engines. Hotspot Shield is available for PC, Mac, Apple iOS and Android platforms at www.AnchorFree.com. AnchorFree is a privately held, venture-backed company based in Mountain View, Calif.