Are you searching for a secure, private internet access? If
yes, then Hotspot Shield VPN is the right choice for you and so is its website.
But does Hotspot Shield really worth trusting? Or is it just
one more VPN that promises a lot and delivers nothing?
If you’re also the one who inquires a lot before making a
choice – you’re in great luck here since our unbiased Hotspot Shield VPN review
will help you get answers of all your questions.
Though Hotspot Shield has a free version but this review is
totally dedicated to its premium version.
Super fast downloading: 89Mbps
Actual time malware protection
& no IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks
Performs with Netflix,
iPlayer, & torrenting
Average VPN server
network: 75 countries
User-friendly VPN apps for
Situated in US, quite a
privacy-unfriendly country & VPN protocol transparency
The free VPN app has a debatable past
Compatible to only a handful of
Not trustable for China
had some privacy glitches in the past, but it is a fact that Hotspot Shield is
famous for its speed. Yes, you read that right; Hotspot Shield is fast, really,
really fast as compared to other popular VPNs. Let’s examine it:
of the incredibly fast VPN providers we’ve ever tested. Surprisingly, the software
downloads with lightning fast speed on all the VPN servers we checked.
software is splendid, particularly for HD streaming which means you get huge
liberty to do almost anything online via this software.
most cases, Open VPN is used for speed test – unfortunately, Open VPN doesn’t
use this protocol instead uses some proprietary VPN protocol for which there is
a little technical information is exists.
Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest VPN, but it’s tough to assure this
software as a secure and strong VPN like the other top-tier VPN services.
Before using Hotspot
to Hotspot Shield:
Download speed without Hotspot Shield: 96Mbps
Download speed with Hotspot Shield: 89Mbps
Download speed loss when Hotspot Shield is running: 7%
Hotspot Shield’s uploads is also remarkable for torrenting,
but ping times are a bit high, so there are better alternatives for
spread of VPN server network covering 75 countries
You’ll experience Hotspot Shield’s speed while getting connected to the VPN server nearby, and you don’t find yourself far from one as there are now 101 locations available worldwide.
Hotspot Shield doesn’t mention the
number of individual VPN servers it handles, nor if these are physical or
virtual servers, but it surely covers 101 cities located in 75 countries across
Well, it doesn’t provide a vast selection
of VPN locations as we’ve seen more significant numbers, but Hotspot Shield’s
VPN servers have covered almost every possible area, but there are few
loopholes in the coverage.
You can have an IP address linked
with popular countries like the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia, along with
some less popular destinations like Ecuador, Egypt, and Thailand.
Users of Hotspot Shield get the
option between 26 city-level VPN servers in the US, which is likely to improve
performance for North Americans and is ideal for those looking for particular
US locations from abroad.
Streaming & Torrenting
effortlessly with streaming and torrenting services
Hotspot Shield performs smoothly with US Netflix as
well as BBC iPlayer.
We didn’t face even a single issue with this VPN
even despite the streaming services’ are combating with VPNs. This proves the
reliability of Hotspot Shield as a VPN option for streaming maniacs.
Hail to Hotspot Shield’s lightning fast download
speeds; streaming video content in HD is quite convenient and buffer-free.
Torrenting via Hotspot Shield performs very
impressive. Torrenting and P2P traffic is fully allowed without any limitation
on any of Hotspot Shield’s servers.
Efficient DNS leak protection, fast upload speeds, a
VPN kill switch will tempt the enthusiastic torrenters.
Though, Hotspot Shield’s downside is its lack of
transparency over its proprietary VPN protocol which means there is no
guarantee if it’s the safest option for P2P. We can’t even say about the
user-friendliness of its logging policy either.
But Kodi users mightn’t find it attractive as
Hotspot Shield can only be installed on Windows, MacOS, Android (smartphone),
Inadvisable for China or other
Shield isn’t an ideal alternative for users located in highly censored
countries – You can find the same fact on its website too.
can appreciate the honesty, but that doesn’t mean you can use it in countries
like China, Pakistan, UAE, or in any other country where the government has
implemented web blocks.
some users happened to connect with China successfully, it’s safer to go for a
VPN that provides an obfuscation tool (stealth protocol) for bypassing
censorship like Astrill.
Coverage limited to most popular
platforms, no router support
Hotspot Shield’s VPN performs well on your smartphone and
desktop or laptop computers. It also has app for:
Though its long list of
device coverage ends here, Hotspot Shield doesn’t
support manual configuration which means you can use it only on highly popular
operating systems such as Linux.
You can use
Hotspot Shield at any one time on up to five devices.
Games Consoles & Streaming
Because of Hotspot Shield’s platform support limitation,
you can’t install it on any streaming or gaming consoles like Amazon’s Fire TV
Stick, Xbox, or Play Station.
Hotspot Shield does offer browser extensions, though, which is an
excellent benefit for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox users. These extensions
can set-up your location, block ads, and trackers, along with protection from
Not only this, but Hotspot Shield’s browser add-ons are just proxies and
not full VPNs, so make sure that you’re using the extension along with the
primary VPN app for total security.
Hotspot Shield doesn’t include browser extensions for Safari or Opera at
Encryption & Security
Strong encryption but less
transparency about the proprietary VPN protocol
Hotspot Shield applies Catapult
Hydra VPN as its only VPN protocol – it’s a unique protocol, and not much is
known about it or how it works. It seems to be a secure proprietary security
protocol, but how safe – is questionable!
The VPN app provides choices to
switch protocols to more familiar ones like Open VPN or IKEv2.
There was a significant security
issue found in February 2018 that made hackers track your exact location
through your WiFi network name, but the problem got caught and fixed on time.
Hotspot Shield makes the rest right, though, with AES-256 encryption, a VPN kill switch and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks. Here are the outcomes of our leak analyses (we test from London, so you can see that it’s successfully hiding our IP address):
On top of it, Hotspot Shield also
provides real-time malware protection which ran well in recent tests by
Logs IP addresses while connected,
and based in Five Eyes jurisdiction
Shield logs more than you’d like:
• Your IP address – Encrypted, only till the
period of your session, and not connected with your activity while using the
• Device-specific information, like the
unique mobile ID, hardware model, operating system version, language, and
network information – on opening the app but before linking to the VPN, to
update the service and perform analytics
• Combined (non-personal) logs of websites
visit through Hotspot Shield’s VPN servers.
Though, you can
rest assure that Hotspot Shield doesn’t record anything which could lead
activity to your identity.
Hotspot Shield was accused of ‘unfair and deceptive trade practices’ – these
creepy practices only include the free version of the app, but still it was a
grave breach of trust. Those practices have since been kept on hold, but be on
the safe side choose with Hotspot Shield’s paid version.
Anchor Free GmbH also owns some other VPN apps, to name a few: Betternet,
Hexatech, and Touch VPN.
In January 2019, Hotspot Shield launched its annual Transparency Report. The report mentions the number
of data requests Hotspot Shield received from authorities across the world
since 2016, and importantly that Hotspot Shield never delivered any data.
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