Hotspot Shield

Looking for a VPN that is focused on security? One that is designed to keep your online communications safe and secure wherever you go? Even on public Wi-Fi connections? Hotspot Shield bills itself as the world’s largest internet freedom and privacy platform, whose mission is providing secure internet access to everyone in the world. And protecting them while online. Let’s see how good Hotspot Shield stacks up against their competition.

Ease of Use

hotspot_uiGetting access to a VPN couldn’t be easier than it is with Hotspot Shield. Just install and turn on and you have access to a secure network.

Hotspot Shield supports a variety of operating systems and devices, and they even a Chrome browser extension with which you can turn on and off your VPN with a click.

The user interface is simple and easy to use. No elaborate controls or unnecessary settings. Just select your VPN location and everything is done for you.

There is even a handy clock that tells you how long you have been connected to the VPN.

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VPN Location

hotspot_locationWhile claiming a huge user base, Hotspot Shield is light on VPN locations. Currently, Hotspot Shield has servers in 20 countries, though they do not give details on how many servers they have in these countries. This selection of 20 countries is only available to a paid “elite” account. Free users only have access to a VPN in the United States.

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The first notable thing about Hotspot Shield’s pricing, is that it has a free version. All you have to do is download and install, and it is yours to use whenever you want. However, this comes with one major drawback: Ads.

To dispense with ads, you have to upgrade to an “elite” membership. A one-month subscription is a little steep, but the price drops significantly for any package deal. There is even a “Forever” option, which is definitely worth taking a look at.


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As privacy is a core issue concerning a VPN connection, one of the key things we look for is the level of encryption data receives. While Hotspot Shield does use encryption to protect data and keep a secure connection, they do not openly disclose encryption levels to their customers. And if you are using the free version, ads are served into your browser, and when ads are involved there is always a question of how private your data really is.

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hotspot_speedThe speed of a VPN depends upon your location, your connection, and the VPN service, so speeds will vary from user to user. Overall speed of Hotspot Shield appears not to be affected much at all with an encrypted connection.

Pages take a little longer to load, but otherwise there isn’t much lag time or buffering with streaming. If you experience lag with the free version, upgrading to an “elite” account will probably be the cure.

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Customer support

If you have difficulty setting up your VPN, Hotspot Shield has a knowledge base that is dived up into categories so that you can easily find an answer. This knowledge base is perhaps one of the most extensive that you’ll find when it comes to a VPN. You’ll even find instructions on how to uninstall their product if you decide you no longer want to use their services.


What Hotspot Shield lacks is online chat. In order to get in touch with a real person, you have to fill out a trouble ticket and communicate through email. As a service that claims to be the world’s largest VPN provider, 24/7 online chat should be included.



Sign up for Hotspot Shield

9.5 Total Score
Good deal for many

At first glance, Hotspot Shield appears to be the VPN to use, but after a little investigation, it is easy to see that there is a lot to be desired. Hotspot Shield is about as easy to configure and use as any VPN on the market, and it is pretty fast, even for the free version. But when it comes to security, it’s a mystery. You don’t know what level of encryption you’re getting.

Ease of use
  • Unlimited Data, Speed and Performance
  • Free version
  • Easy to configure
  • From $2.09 per moth
  • No known encryption level
  • Servers in only 20 countries
  • No known number of servers
  • Ads and third-party information sharing

Bryan Hall

Having Advanced Certificate in Technical Writing from Delta College Bryan is a professional writer who has passion in all that has to do with computing and information technology.

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