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Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Hotspot Shield VPN
Price: $ 2.99 a month

Pros

  • 45 -day money-back guarantee
  • Connects up to 5 devices
  • Torrenting is allowed
  • Fast download speed

Cons

  • No Live Chat
Best VPN for
Compatibility
Technical Features
Max. devices supported: 5 Number of IP addresses:
Number of servers: Number of server locations: 70

Our world is moving more & more into the information field. Information possesses the world; the most successful ones own it. That is why the information security industry is beginning to actively grow. Large companies are interested in IT security specialists, but users apply a VPN. To understand how to protect personal data, let’s learn about the best VPN services.

What is Hotspot Shield?

Hotspot Shield is a VPN operated by AnchorFree. It guards your privacy by establishing a secure and encrypted connection. Hotspot Shield is among the most popular VPN programs out there as it offers some great features and is quite easy to use.

Performance 

Hotspot Shield scores a perfect 10 when it comes to performance. Almost all VPN providers promise fast speed, excellent security, and high reliability, but few can match the level of performance Hotspot Shield offers. 

AnchorFree commissioned a test on random servers at random hours to find the best VPN. The results proved that Hotspot Shield is the easiest to set up and connect. Plus, you can use it in 10 languages, making it a good option for international users.

We were quite impressed with the outcome. Almost all the servers are suitable for downloading, offering high speed. Some servers provide double rate when compared to other options. NordVPN and Private Internet Access came third and second on the list, respectively.

Encryption 

Hotspot Shield uses military grade AES-256 encryption, which is currently the most secure option available right now. You can rest assured that the information you send and receive will remain private and confidential.

Compatibility

Hotspot-Shield-VPN-UI

Hotspot Shield supports almost all devices and works in nearly all countries, including China, where it can be a bit tricky to use VPNs. However, it doesn’t offer the same level of security in China that it offers in other countries as it resorts to limiting users to Catapult Hydra protocol.  We do wish there were more tunneling protocols available. They can be handy when traveling through certain countries. Plus, TOR and other third-party proxies also do not work.

Is Hotspot Shield safe?

Hotspot Shield is generally safe to use. However, in our test, we found that its Chrome extension may not be very reliable, as it may result in a DNS leak. It is not a significant leak, and there are ways to correct it, but we hope Hotspot Shield will come up with a solution soon.

Is Hotspot Shield free?

There is a free version of Hotspot Shield with limited features, but it isn’t worth it as the free version offers fewer features. We suggest that you opt for Hotspot Shield Elite. Start with a monthly package and upgrade if you like the service.

The company offers an incredible 45-day money-back guarantee. You will have no problem getting a refund in case you do not like the service. 

You can pay using PayPal, cards, or wire transfer. However, we wish some strategic options like Bitcoin were also available.

Pricing and plans 

You can choose from four plans: 

  • Monthly: Starts as low as $12.99 
  • Semi-annually: Starts as low as $8.99 per month – billed $43.94 
  • Annually: Starts as low as $5.99 – billed $71.88 
  • 3 Years: Starts as low as $3.49 per month – billed $125.6

Free version vs paid

Hotspot Shield gives access to servers in 25 countries. The free version restricts connections only to servers located in the USA. You also cannot connect to Netflix. As well as other streaming services using the free version of the application. Traffic is limited to 500 MB. Hotspot Shield provides high-speed connections, but the speed of the free version is not enough for watching videos.

Netflix 

hotspot shield family

If you want to enjoy geographically limited Netflix content, then Hotspot Shield can be a good option. It will allow you to stream American Netflix without any glitches. The speed is excellent, and streaming will work without any trouble.

It is because Hotspot Shield offers the best speed among all VPN providers, according to a test conducted by PCWorld. Almost all servers offer good speeds that allow you to enjoy Netflix content from different countries. 

Other than Netflix, it will allow you to access other streaming platforms, as well. 

Torrenting

The speed determines how fast you download the content and transmit it. If you work with torrent files, it’s better when the speed of the VPN connection is approximately equal to the speed of your Internet connection. Keep in mind that torrent files are quite large, and the Hotspot Shield free version limits up to 500 MB.

Hotspot Shield Help Center answers unambiguously that VPN is friendly with torrenting on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS platforms. Hotspot Shield is responsible for protecting your torrent downloads and conducts a clear security policy to torrent. There are additional features that make torrents safer, faster, etc. (Kill Switch, p2p-optimized servers, SOCKS5). Hotspot Shield does not provide other options (only Kill Switch), but they are permitted.

Privacy policy

Security and confidentiality are the fundamental principles of VPN services. Many Hotspot Shield VPN review services question the reliability of personal data protection. Privacy Policy indicates that the Hotspot Shield collects & reviews two types of information:

  1. Which a user independently provides on his own
  2. Information about a specific device, hardware model, operating system version, language, network information. It never registers or stores your IP address to get an approximate location. When you connect to the VPN, it encrypts your IP address immediately. We store it only for the duration of the session. The IP address is not associated with your actions on the Internet. We delete it after disconnecting from the VPN.

Logging

Although the company claims that it does not collect data about users, such information is questionable. The privacy policy allows for the collection of data for better provision. Part of the data provides advertising. Even partial use of logs raises concerns about anonymity.

Support

Hotspot Shield provides unlimited VPN opportunities with zero customer support. Hotspot Shield Help Center offers informative articles about any possible difficulties. Unlike many VPN services, the number of sections and the richness of responses to possible malfunctions impress.

However, Life Chat brings the product closer to the customer. It is just missing. Any user requests will be processed with the help of the support ticket. Waiting for an answer may be delayed for days. Solving problems quickly and efficiently is not about Hotspot Shield.

The bottom line

As a server, Hotspot Shield is fantastic. They offer incredible UX and fast speeds. As a VPN provider, their main goal is to ensure the security and anonymity of the connection.

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