Hotspot Shield VPN Reviews and Pricing

Each plan comes with the same features. So, the first thing is the main one, the service presupposes Hotspot Shield free download and subscribed service or ‘elite’. In my experience, the live chat customer support representatives were friendly and prompt. Whenever they access the internet through the VPN, they can rest assured that personal data, including online accounts and passwords, are strongly encrypted. This review was originally published June 20, 2020. AnchorFree, the parent company behind Hotspot Shield, says that this information is collected only for analytic and troubleshooting purposes. You can read Hotspot Shield’s clarification of the incident here. In fact, the website claims it is the #1 grossing app for productivity in the US App Store.

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. The privacy policy does state that your information might be retained even after you delete your account without mentioning any specific timeframe. Unfortunately, those unsecured networks leave your information vulnerable and able to land in the wrong hands. There’s no live chat with the free version, which is a pity; but, the users can always send a ticket, and the team is quick to respond.

  • I saw no noticeable slowdowns while browsing and didn’t experience any connection drops.
  • Creating a stellar list of servers that perform at lightning fast speeds Designing a beautiful user interface Finding ways to legally (or otherwise) exploit an ambiguous privacy policy to profit as much as humanly possible.
  • If you are having an issue, the only way to get in contact with their support team is through the dreaded support ticket.
  • Also, if you connect to websites or services that don't encrypt traffic via HTTPS, your network traffic may be subject to interception.
  • Some time ago, a press release issued by the CDT (Center for Democracy & Technology) revealed formal complaints against Hotspot Shield.

Right-click on the line listed and select Toggle. The more affordable 1-year plan is $5. In this case both the apps try to configure the network settings while one of them can’t fulfill all the settings properly. This resource could be useful, but it doesn't have that many guides and is pretty limited. In addition, you can trial Hotspot Shield Elite for seven days.

This is disbaled by default so you’ll need to go to the settings screen to switch it on.

Hotspot Shield Specs

The site has a guide on how users can use torrenting, as well as how to securely set up a torrent. There is no data limit each month, which means that you can keep all of your web traffic secure for free. Yet millions of people continue to rely on Hotspot Shield. But is Hotspot Shield as fast as the vendor claims? We already talked about Hotspot Shield’s DNS Leak Protection feature, and it works as it should. Getting started with Hotspot Shield couldn’t be any easier. The other issue involves a bug that a security researcher discovered in early 2020, which could cause Hotspot Shield to leak users’ real country and the name of their wi-fi network. With over 500 million downloads, Hotspot Shield easily lets you access blocked sites from around the world.

  • This review was updated on February 2, 2020 to add mention of AnchorFree’s transparency report.
  • True, it is the most popular one on the market, and your device will be well-secured with it.
  • Nevertheless, when we interacted with the Android app, we discovered that they allow for a 30-day money-back guarantee, and not the official 45 days.
  • It’s undeniable that Hotspot Shield logs more than they need to, and more than their competitors like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
  • A great VPN service can add an extra layer of security to your phone, tablet, PC, and even gaming console.
  • Especially if buy the service for one month.

Security – Is Hotspot Shield Safe?

Unsecure connection. The free version also has bandwidth limits that depend on the device you use. Step 2, our next suggestion is Surfshark VPN, which perhaps doesn’t have the same long history as some other options in this article. That being said, once Hotspot Shield Elite is installed on your computer, you can then use the VPN in China without needing additional proxy services. Considering that attackers inject code into websites to trick users into visiting malicious portals, I don't think legitimate software should ever engage in this practice. Note that these tests only serve as a general guide as to what you might see when using the service. 99 per month for a 1-year plan and a new 3-year is available for $2. According to Hotspot Shield:

This means you don’t have to compromise speed while using our product during your online activity.

Hotspot Shield user reviews

Speed is the big focus here and the company uses some interesting technology to help keep it fast (and secure). It also has “patented ways” to make your VPN connection look like normal browsing, so it blends in with other online traffic. Additionally, all of the VPN servers are physically located exactly where they appear to be. Each time you connect to the VPN, you’ll see a map with your current location, the length of your session, and the amount of data downloaded and uploaded during the session.

It help you gain access to geo-restricted websites, messaging apps, network's, videos, and media.

Hotspot Shield Speeds

Do your research, look into each short-listed application in detail, read a few Hotspot Shield VPN Services reviews, speak to the vendor for explanations, and finally choose the app that provides what you require. Sadly, there are no anonymous payment options here. 14 Mbps for downloads and 9. This isn't quite as powerful as it looks, initially. You will be either sent to your iTunes app or advised to download and install it on your system, as in this case. Editor’s note: The price for the paid service Hotspot Shield Elite is reasonable, but it is also nice that there is a free version available, which of course has certain restrictions, although we do have questions about the privacy policy and it is a pity that there is not much you can set in the client. UPDATING TO THE LATEST VERSION OF HOTSPOT SHIELD 1.

Canada’s streaming service worked perfectly for us.

Starting Price

Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, ITV Hub Security Score: Other countries are hit and miss. Server locations include countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Instead, you can only select a country and Hotspot Shield will decide to which server you can connect. A Hotspot Shield extension is able for Chrome. IPv6 protection isn’t built in either so you may want to disable this (and perhaps WebRTC, too) to be on the safe side. There’s also a Chrome extension, but this only encrypts your browser traffic, leaving other apps on your device exposed.

It is up to your preferences what plan to choose. While users may use it as their Netflix-connecting VPN of choice, they should be aware that the Netflix-VPN provider tug-o-war is in a constant state of flux. These are software-defined servers—a single piece of server hardware running multiple virtual servers onboard. If you’re looking for a VPN to use on Linux or Amazon Fire TV, look elsewhere. Those of you searching for a VPN have probably encountered a group of providers offering their services free of charge. Also, Netflix outlines in section 6c of its Terms of Use that the company will attempt to verify your location, and that you are not guaranteed content outside of your primary country of residence. The provider allows torrenting on all servers and all device platforms.


When somebody spams, spam cops appear to provide data on the spammer as well as all subsequent users of the server IP that initiated the SPAM. When living in a country that filters all the inside traffic you need to learn what kinds of protocols are blocked by the system to choose another protocol offered by Hotspot Shield for your online protection. More concerningly, Hotspot Shield’s privacy policy specifically mentions that users of the free version are subject to slightly different terms than paid users. AnchorFree can also use your data for security research and analysis, to prevent fraud and enforce its rights, and to comply with the law or any legal process. 88 every 12 months. In turn, this should provide speedy performance. It is abundantly clear to me that all of Hotspot Shield’s resources have been funneled into only three things.

At first glance, Hotspot Shield seemed reliable. In other words, transparency isn’t something that this VPN offers. Unfortunately, I was unable to stream the new episodes of Aggretsuko on Netflix while connected to an AnchorFree Hostspot Shield VPN server. AnchorFree notes that some obfuscated location information is shared with advertisers, although paid customers are not subject to this practice. After we install Anchor Free and run it we determine the server that is being used by Anchor Free’s service by the Internet Protocol (IP address) with any popular IP checker.

If that's what you want, you'll have to pay for it. Plus, you’ll have to deal with ads and significantly lower connection speeds. Consumers experiencing problems would be wise to first attempt to solve them using the knowledge base in the Hotspot Shield Help Center. Unfortunately, there is a bit of bad news for Hotspot Shield elite subscribers as well.

Where Are Hotspot Shield Servers Located?

At first glance, the VPN prices seemed to be a little bit high. From what we've seen, the app seems very much in line with Apple's established look and feel. With the introduction behind us, let’s continue by taking a deep look at everything that Hotspot Shield offers. For these needs, speeds matter a lot. Keep on eyes here if you wanna know more about them. Surfeasy (opera free vpn), they keep you really secure online with your 256-bit AES encryption, keeping you safe at home, but also on public networks that are a little more risky. In terms of performance, the Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy & Wi-Fi Security app is one of the best and in terms of usability, it is also one of the best, if not, the best. Instead of simply opening your browser at the Hotspot Shield support site, it displays key FAQs within the client interface (Can't Connect, Can Connect But Can't Browse, and so on.) For now, the software assigns different IP addresses based on your geographical location.

  • Their ticketing system is thorough, yet slow at times.
  • These companies evaluate the protocol before using it, and I’d say we can trust their judgement.
  • The first time I connected to HotSpot Shield’s U.
  • It's good to hear that Hotspot Shield doesn't log enough information to link any internet action to your account (although we'd like to see an independent audit to confirm that), but this is still a little more logging than you might expect.
  • I was able to stream video from Netflix while connected to a Hotspot Shield server in the US.
  • There haven't been significant data breaches, which is why Hotspot Shield has millions of users.

Does Hotspot Shield work in China?

5 from 225 reviews. Their most recent 2020 Transparency Report showed they received 56 requests for user data, and zero user data released. A map in the lower right shows a stylized view of the world and doubles as a VPN server selector. However, they had trouble answering basic questions about the service’s security and privacy features. Starts as low as – billed 3 Years:

In order to visit the Hotspot Shield website if you are in China, you would need to use a different VPN or proxy service.

Finding background information on Hotspot Shield has been tougher than we thought. If you are in the United States, you will be able to connect, but the process is complicated and requires time. When it comes to ad-blocking and protecting you against malware, this VPN can offer some protection. The following companies are our partners in VPNs: Actually, the more robust the encryption is, the more speed will be pulled away. In addition, AnchorFree sets up an automatic re-billing agreement with your bank account.

Sometimes and for extended periods, I found that the service is down: To use Hotspot Shield, you first need to sign up for an account. This may be good enough for some users. You are not going to be hit with any hidden fees and will able to use the VPN just a few seconds after you pay for it. However, it is not obligatory. In addition, in testing Anchor Free, I discovered IP addresses belonging to Anchor Free are blacklisted for spamming. Now, we’re going to launch this VPN and see by how much it throttles the speed of our Web connection. As always, take these speed tests with a grain of salt—as you should with any VPN speed test—because your experience may vary.

Internet Security News »

This is the only protocol offered within the service, and while it’s not open source, it is used by several reputable cybersecurity companies including McAfee and Bitdefender. However, customer support representatives would not disclose whether or not this is the case. There is a free version of Hotspot Shield with limited features, but it isn’t worth it as the free version offers fewer features. I ask every VPN company to outline how it generates revenue, as it's important to understand whether or not companies are data-mining or otherwise "selling" their customers. Most of those who choose to use the service use the free version. It hasn't offered any explanations.

Filter Apps & Games

If you don't click the links on our site or use the phone numbers listed on our site we will not be compensated. All paid subscriptions come with a generous 45-day, money-back guarantee—one of the longest we’ve seen. But nothing to do. This makes it a good option for individuals looking to enjoy clear, fluid streaming. That won't work in every situation, but if you're mostly interested in unblocking websites, it could serve you very well. All you need to do is head over to the client section and click Details. The catch is that once you hit 500MB in a given day, you've got to wait until the next day for more. Secondly , you might have a firewall activated on your computer or router, which can’t afford transferring traffic in a tunneled way.

For some people, VPNs are also a means to access region-locked content. With a user base that is as large and diverse as the one boasted by Hotspot Shield, you would imagine that they would create a product that is equally diverse and adaptable to any need or circumstance. Its real strength is that a Pango account includes a suite of other services to protect your identity online. If you want to enjoy geographically limited Netflix content, then Hotspot Shield can be a good option. As you can see from the table above, Hotspot Shield offers DNS leak protection. Log in with the username and password you created during signup and you're ready to explore the service. Another gripe we have is that the kill switch doesn’t kick in when you change servers, which temporarily exposes your true IP address. For quick and easy access, use our Optimal Location, and our system will pick the best server for you.

Product and Software Reviews

“Fantastic VPN service for browsing online privately. Download, a Virtual Private Network that is unreliable can frequently crash, which means there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to use it at all times. VPN services that enhance your speed instead of lowering it are definitely rare nowadays, which makes Hotspot Shield all the more impressive. It managed to enter the top-5, if not the top-3 of the fastest and most reliable services on the market. Until now, Hotspot can be used to hide your IP address but isn’t the best option for complete privacy.

The number of servers and the number of countries where the servers are located allow Hotspot Shield to do a good job at encrypting information being transmitted. VPNs work by adding extra distance to the path your web traffic must traverse, and that distance usually has a negative effect on your browsing experience. It’s fast and 500 MB of data per day lasts a while as long as you’re not downloading or streaming content. According to the claim, “The VPN promises to connect advertisers to users who frequent websites in particular categories, and while most VPNs prevent ISPs from seeing user internet traffic, that traffic is often visible in unencrypted form to Hotspot Shield. It relies on a database of potentially malicious websites and warns you in case you try to access any of those. From where you will be notified that Mac App Store is the best online market from where you have a chance to download the app directly. This also means that you can’t even manually install or configure Hotspot Shield on those devices. In our opinion, this is something that a premium-priced tool shouldn’t offer so aggressively.

Unblocking success rates can vary over time, though, and Hotspot Shield told us that 'issues with BBC are a known issue that we are currently trying to resolve', so maybe it'll be working again by the time you read this. Want to know about the pros and cons of Hotspot Shield VPN? We don’t recommend any totally free VPN services because too many of them borrow your bandwidth, sell your browsing history or inject ads. After download and execution of the Anchor Free program, click on the Hotspot Shield icon on your desktop and a browser page opens: We got the dreaded Netflix proxy error screen multiple times. As we wrap up this Hotspot Shield review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement. With that information at hand you should be equipped to make an informed buying decision that you won’t regret. To do this, click on the map on the right side of the Home Screen and pick a country from the list.

Unfortunately, none of the free tiers is fast enough or generous enough to serve as a 24/7 home VPN connection.

Hotspot Shield Elite VPN’s Software and App:

Plus, on the official website, you’ll find a detailed guide on how to torrent using Hotspot Shield and to stay anonymous. 41 Mbps for downloads and 5. Suite of services included with subscription. We tested it by submitting a series of questions, and we got a response right away. You should now have the option to cancel your subscription.

The good news is that the VPN doesn’t keep usage logs of your online activity. On the other hand, if you only need a VPN occasionally and don’t use Android, then I would absolutely recommend the free version of Hotspot Shield. Our world is moving more & more into the information field. Note that the free version of HotSpot Shield only allows access to servers in the US. First off, even with it being a free VPN you can still use it on up to five devices at the same time, so you don't need to unprotect your phone to protect your PC. Thus, your security is guaranteed. The USA is a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance, created to gather intelligence data and share it between a group of highly developed countries.

  • Note that other servers may not be correctly configured.
  • In fact, I would argue that using this service is putting you at greater risk than browsing in the clear on the internet without its protection.
  • Oddly enough, their United States servers inexplicably ran at speeds that were almost twice as slow as their competitors even though the company is based in San Francisco!
  • The app’s VPN performance is second to none and along with blazing VPN speed and stability, you will always get the best from your network.


Client implementation is also important, especially when it comes to blocking DNS and WebRTC leaks which might give away your real identity. Take the 7-day free trial and see how it works for you. During our testing phase, Hotspot Shield definitely confirmed its status as one of the fastest VPN services out there. This isn't as worrying as it might sound.

More About Hotspot Shield

When travelling in South America and Africa, for example, users report that they don't experience a drop in speed. Unfortunately I’m not testing Hotspot Shield while sitting on a beach in the Bahamas, so that means Hotspot Shield passed the DNS leak test. Considering that they have more than 650 million users, you would think Hotspot Shield would offer at least a few other VPN tunneling protocols for those rare (but inevitable) instances in which their own protocol simply won’t cut it.

When everything possible is done and you still face some troubles, you need to contact the support team and enumerate all the statements of the problem you have for faster solving of the problem.

Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield doesn’t accept any form of cryptocurrency, since they’re currently the best options for anonymous payments—something that private users prefer. Being in the U. Some VPNs, like Private Internet Access and Windscribe, offer an unlimited number of devices to connect. The desktop app has just one settings screen, which is great for beginners, but means there are limited options for advanced users. As I am in the UK, I saw the prices in pounds. You may skip this step and start a period of free trial.

Speed & Performance

There's no support for paying by Bitcoin, but you can use a range of other methods, including cards, PayPal, and (for extra anonymity) gift cards from hundreds of companies. Public IP addresses allow users to directly access the Internet. It’s worth noting that I saw similar results last time I tested the service, so it’s probably not a fluke. Today, there is a Live Chat option and it works very well. In fact, all users are limited to the Catapult Hydra protocol, which is the company’s proprietary routing protocol. #3. purevpn - one of the fastest vpn, we like its Double VPN feature that routes your traffic through an extra VPN for added security. 99 per month, while a three-year term costs just $2. That's good news, although also no great surprise, as YouTube is relatively easy to unblock. It does have different features that are customized for browsing and unfortunately is missing the IP Leak Protection feature and the Kill Switch.

You will probably see a paywall when trying to access video streaming sites like Netflix. If you want to download anonymously with torrent, we recommend ExpressVPN. Let’s find out. Shahmeer baloch's biography :, moreover, even the manual setting, when you can choose by yourself all the necessary VPN parameters, is not available. Due to the reason that there is no ideal software, Hotspot Shieldcompany doesn’t assure its clients that AnchorFree will create a VPN or utilize a Proxy IP address to all the websites. When you look at the above graph, you see that Hotspot Shield Elite came in second among all of the VPNs that were tested. We didn’t experience any problems with the functionality of the VPN. Other free services let you burn through a whole month's allotment at once if you want to. In some parts of its literature, the company states that it never logs or stores IP addresses.

Elite users do not see sponsored ads, can use Virtual Locations to switch countries to access, and can have unlimited usage and access to content (Free users have certain limits).

As noted earlier, you can’t connect to specific servers. Netgear – nighthawk ac2300 – fast performance and excellent range. Pango only offers the Hotspot Shield VPN app through the Apple macOS App Store. One might wonder why Hotspot Shield VPN would have a server in China. A web-based Support Center organizes its articles by platform, as well as categories like Payments and Subscriptions, Manage Account and Common Issues. They protect our online activity from the prying eyes of attackers on insecure networks, and from ISPs that sell our data.

Hotspot Shield Setup & User Interface

While the Internet is a goldmine of content and information, it is also rife with infected links and sites carrying malware attacks. AnchorFree™ was chosen as one of the most promising companies in the US by Forbes Magazine, as well as the fastest growing companies by Inc. Providing that you have decided on a free service, you click the same-named button: