Hotspot Shield review

Summary

Hotspot Shield offers fast connections (premium version) and easy operation. However, the location of the server in the USA and the proximity of the program to US authorities reduce security, the most important criterion for VPN software.

Pro
  • Free version
  • Very simple operation
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Access to 2.500 servers
  • Safe surfing on the internet with up to five devices simultaneously
  • Fast connections (premium version)
Contra
  • Advertising insertions and slower connection in the free version
  • Server located in the USA

Rating

9.8/10
9.7/10
9.6/10
9.7/10

9.7/10

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Security

The VPN software Hotspot Shield is available as a free and as a premium version. Regarding the latter, users either buy the full version for $119.99 or a subscription. The monthly subscription price depends on the duration of the subscription:

Duration 1 month 1 year Lifeless license
Price per month $12.99 $5.99 $119.99 (one-time payment)
You save 0 % 53 % -

This makes the premium version of Hotspot Shield relatively expensive. It offers, however, secure encryption, unlimited bandwidth, connection of up to five devices and access to 2.500 servers in 25 countries. In contrast, users of the free Hotspot Shield version only benefit from secure encryption. In addition, they have to accept annoying advertisements.

On its website, the provider advertises the service anonymously and promises not to collect, store or pass on user data. However, last year there was a lawsuit against Hotspot Shield, according to which the service spies on the surfing behavior of its users. It is also suspected that there are links between Hotspot Shield and US authorities. The location of the server in the USA does not contribute to a safer feeling.

Compatibility

Hotspot Shield is compatible with the following operating systems and browsers:

  • Windows
  • MacOs
  • iOS
  • Android
  • WindowsPhone
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

This VPN service does not support routers or smart TVs. In its premium version, the program offers high upload and download speeds. Users of the free version have to accept losses here.

Usability

The installation of the program is very simple. After the installation, users activate and deactivate the VPN connection by a mouse click. The server to which the user is connected is always displayed. However, the user cannot select it himself, which is a clear disadvantage. Other VPN programs such as NordVPN allow the user to freely choose the server.

The intuitive user interface makes it easy to use. Hotspot Shield does not offer additional functions that would be a unique selling point.

Help & Support

Hotspot Shield provides a glossary of technical terms related to VPN and a comprehensive support portal with a collection of frequently asked questions and problems. However, the support is only available in English. Users can contact the support team via contact form or chat. Hotspot Shield does not offer telephone support.

Summary

Hotspot Shield offers a free trial version. In the case of long-term use, the slower connection and frequent advertisements are difficult to tolerate. The provider promises not to collect, store or pass on user data. However, due to the server location in the USA and the connections to US authorities, the software and the security it provides must be viewed critically.

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