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400% increase in VPN downloads in Italy after ChatGPT block

AtlasVPN ChatGPT

“OpenAI, the developer of the popular generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, has begun geoblocking access to its service in Italy. This decision comes after the local data protection authority ordered OpenAI to halt processing Italians’ data for the ChatGPT service. As a result – they say from AtlasVPN – there has been a significant surge in VPN downloads in Italy, with a staggering 400% increase in usage”.

Facts and Figures about VPN in Italy after ChatGPT block

“During March – they add – Italians installed one of the top 10 VPN apps about 4213 times on average daily. However, on the day OpenAI announced its geoblock in Italy, VPN installs jumped by 121%, which is equal to 9302 downloads.
On April 1st, VPN downloads originating in Italy skyrocketed by 404%. The following day, the total number of VPN installs was 359% larger than the March average. Finally, on April 3rd, the downloads started to slow down but were still significantly higher at 270% above the pre-ban levels of ChatGPT services.
While users can use a VPN to bypass the block by switching to a non-Italian IP address, ChatGPT accounts initially registered in Italy may no longer be available. Consequently, users may need to create a new account using a non-Italian IP address to access ChatGPT”.

“The ChatGPT geoblock in Italy – Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN, Vilius Kardelis says – and the subsequent surge in VPN usage highlight that people will try to access the online services they need, despite internet restrictions. This is a powerful reminder of the importance of internet freedom and the role that tools like VPNs can play in ensuring access to information and communication”.

Looking for a VPN

“Naturally – they go on –  as Italians started looking for ways to bypass the restriction of ChatGPT services, VPNs became a more popular search.
Google Trends data indicates that the keyword “VPN” gained a lot of interest in Italy after the ChatGPT ban. Google Trends measures search interest on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing peak popularity for a term.
Days before the geoblock of ChatGPT, Italians’ interest in VPNs was relatively low. At the end of March, interest hovered around 15 point mark. However, on April 1st, interest grew significantly from 14 to 100, which indicates a 600% increase. The interest in VPN remained high, without falling below 50, during the following days”, they end.

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