- Speed 84% 84%
- Servers 82% 82%
- User Experience 87% 87%
- Support 89% 89%
- Pricing 83% 83%
Overall Rating: 4.3 / 5
Redwood City, CA 94063
About Hotspot Shield VPN
Initially, the California-based AnchorFree Inc. developed Hotspot Shield VPN in 2005, which is now part of Pango, the enterprise that offers internet security products to users. Though Hotspot Shield VPN is headquartered in California, it has a business location operating in Switzerland. It claims to be the largest VPN provider with over 650 million users, and their business philosophy is about providing privacy and security to everyone.
Hotspot Shield has its unique Catapult Hydra VPN protocol that optimizes speed when connected to long-distance servers. It also comes with other salient features like widespread server locations, top-grade encryption standards, and a 45-day money-back option. This Hotspot Shield VPN review covers all significant highlights so that you can understand if it’s a desirable VPN provider that protects your online privacy.
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Table of Contents
Features of Hotspot Shield VPN
- Encryption Standard: AES-256
- Automatic Kill Switch: Yes
- Tunneling Protocols : Catapult Hydra VPN Protocol
- DNS Leak Protection: Yes
- Ad/Malware Blocker: Yes
- Simultaneous Connections: 5
- Data Logging: Minor logging
- Bandwidth: Unlimited
- Torrenting Capability: Yes
- Browser Extension: Available (only for Chrome)
- Netflix Accessibility: Yes
- Server Details: 3200+ servers in 70+ countires
- Business Headquarters: United States (5 Eyes)
- Lowest subscription cost: Free/$6.99 per month
- Device Compatibility: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome
Additional Features of Hotspot Shield VPN
- The Catapult Hydra VPN Technology – Unlike other VPN providers, Hotspot Shield doesn’t use conventional VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, or IPsec. Instead, they have come up with their own exclusive Catapult Hydra protocol, which is one of its kind. With multiple algorithms, this unique technology guarantees to accelerate the performance of your VPN. Hotspot Shield also allows external security auditors to assess Hydra’s security code regularly.
- With Hotspot Shield, you can detect malicious links and block annoying advertisements. But, note the fact that you can do this only if you are a premium customer.
- As a basic(free) Hotspot Shield user, you can connect to a single device. If you are a premium user, Hotspot Shield comes with a maximum allowable device of 5. Wherein, if you sign up for Hotspot Shield’s business plan, you can connect up to 20 devices concurrently.
- When it comes to cross-platform compatibility, Hotspot Shield is not versatile. It does not support devices like gaming consoles, Kodi, Routers, Smart TVs, and Windows phones.
- While Hotspot Shield protects you against DNS vulnerabilities, it doesn’t guarantee to protect against IPv6 leaks.
Pricing and Payment Structure of Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield’s subscription plans are slightly on the expensive side when compared to most VPNs. While the long-term plans come with substantial discounts, the monthly plan is going to cost you as much as $12.99 without any rebate.
Hotspot Shield VPN offers an adequate moneyback option of 45 days, which allows you to claim your money if you wish not to invest in this VPN provider. For those who want to try Hotspot Shield before getting committed to their services, there is a 7-day free trial option when signing up through Google Play and App Store.
Hotspot Shield accepts the following payment methods:
- Visa Card
- Master Card
- Amex Card
- Discover Card
- Japan Credit Bureau
- Diners Club International
Speed & Performance – How Fast is Hotspot Shield VPN?
In this Hotspot Shield VPN review, we found that this provider has satisfactory levels of speed that any VPN provider would look for.
|The United States||New York||12ms||58.20 Mbps||10.51 Mbps|
|The United Kingdom||London||94ms||68.20 Mbps||5.61 Mbps|
|Europe||Germany||99ms||69.15 Mbps||6.23 Mbps|
|Asia||Japan||272ms||71.12 Mbps||3.47 Mbps|
As you could understand from the speed test results above, the long-distance servers also have impressive speeds.
With Hotspot Shield VPN, we were able to unblock the Netflix version of the U.S. But, unfortunately, this VPN provider doesn’t unblock other popular streaming applications like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Though Hotspot Shield claims that it offers specialized servers optimized for streaming channels, it is not as persuasive as promised by the VPN provider. Moreover, this VPN doesn’t support gaming consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, signifying that it is not a perfect VPN for gamers.
On the brighter side, with Hotspot Shield VPN’s unlimited P2P servers, you can carry out secure P2P file transfers. It is thus a torrent-friendly VPN service provider.
Server Coverage of Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield has an extensive range of servers optimized for streaming, gaming, downloading, P2P, and browsing. With its multiple server switching option and dynamic IP allocation, Hotspot Shield allows you to access the Internet like a native resident.
Their VPN servers are spread across the following locations:
Hotspot Shield is a straightforward VPN that comes with an extremely user-friendly client. As advertised by them, you can establish a secure VPN connection with a single click. The menu bar is clean and orderly, which is also easy to navigate. Overall, the Hotspot Shield VPN application is all about convenience and seamlessness.
Customer Support Service
Hotspot Shield’s customer support is definitely for the win. They have a 24×7 live chat support, where their executives will address your issues promptly. Their team is responsive, skilled, and friendly. You can also contact them using a ticketing portal. Apart from the real-time support, Hotspot Shield also has a comprehensive knowledgebase that takes you through almost any subject related to their VPN service.
Pros of Hotspot Shield VPN
- Strong encryption
- User-friendly client
- Widespread servers
- Great speeds
- Excellent support
- 45-day moneyback guarantee
- Works with Netflix
Cons of Hotspot Shield VPN
- Data logging
- Limited platforms
- Five Eyes
- No streaming other than Netflix
- Single tunneling protocol
- No IP leak protection
If you are a basic privacy seeker, Hotspot Shield might help you. It comes with the advanced 256-AES encryption standard that protects you against online vulnerabilities, an integrated kill switch that secures your data during connection disruption. Hotspot Shield is not a streaming-friendly VPN, as it doesn’t unblock streaming applications other than Netflix. Moreover, it has vague logging policies that might bother some of the exceedingly privacy-conscious. Overall, it is a great VPN provider, though it has room for improvement.
We hope this Hotspot Shield VPN review gave you an honest outlook of this provider. You can also add your thoughts on the comment box below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Hotspot Shield VPN free?
Hotspot Shield VPN does not have a free version. Instead, this VPN provider offers a 7-day free trial. To enjoy this privilege, users need to sign up for Hotspot Shield using Google Play or App Store.
Is Hotspot VPN good?
Yes, Hotspot Shield is one of the budding VPN providers in the market. It replaces your real IP with a dynamic IP address and relocates your location virtually. Though it doesn’t entirely bypass geo-restrictions, Hotspot Shield works with the most sought-after streaming application Netflix. Most of all, it comes with impressive speeds, and the client is exceptionally user-friendly.
Does Hotspot Shield VPN work in China?
Yes, with Hotspot Shield VPN you can bypass the Great Firewall of China. It also labeled as one of the fastest VPN providers to work perfectly inside China.
Does Hotspot Shield VPN have Split Tunneling functionality?
No, Hotspot Shield VPN lacks Split Tunneling functionality. It means that you will not be able to choose the traffic that needs to pass through its secure VPN tunnel.
Does Hotspot Shield VPN accept Bitcoin payment?
No, Hotspot Shield does not support any anonymous payment methods, including Bitcoins.
What is Hotspot Shield for iPhone?
Hotspot Shield for iPhone adds an extra layer of protection that keeps your mobile data away from unsolicited third parties. Apart from your iPhone, Hotspot Shield also protects other Apple devices like iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
What is Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy?
Hotspot Shield VPN free proxy is an integrated feature that creates a secure virtual tunnel between you and your internet connection, ensuring that your web traffic reaches the Internet securely.
Hotspot Shield VPN Alternatives
- Unlimited devices
- Supports P2P
- 30-day Money Back
- 24/7 expert support
- Automatic Kill Switch
- DNS leak protection
- Use up to 6 devices
- Best for Steaming Events
- DDoS Protection
- Access Any Website
- Secure Wi-Fi
- Connect up to 5 devices
- No Logging Policy
- Split Tunneling
- Easy to use
- Free version available