HotSpot Shield Review

Customer Reviews
Overview - Top 5 VPN Review

Overview

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The HotSpot Shield VPN service is developed by AnchorFree, a new company that is already emerging from the shadows of the big players. Hotspot Shield has been built to provide the more casual VPN user with an easy, go-to solution for accessing restricted content in blissful privacy.

The always-on open network protection and geo-unblocking means all the user needs to do is, enjoy. The straightforward nature of this VPN means it’s more accessible to the novice user. All the VPN jargon and complex information are hidden away backstage so the user gets a no-fuss experience.

HotSpot Shield does have a plan that’s free to use, but you’ll want to opt for the premium plan if you want a little more flexibility and oomph.

Overall, this VPN service covers all the most important needs of the user who’s after improved internet privacy.

  • Free and premium services available
  • Wide device support – including Android & iOS apps
  • Great speeds & unmetered bandwidth
  • Malware protection
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Features - Top 5 VPN Review

Features

The HotSpot Shield VPN is packed with features that really sell the service, it comes equipped with the bare essentials and more. Free subscribers will get a trimmed down array of features while the premium plan offers the full shebang.

Use across multiple devices

This should benefit anyone who wants to use the VPN on all their devices. You can enjoy a more secure internet experience on up to five different devices simultaneously, all under one HotSpot Shield account – perfect if you’re in a large household.

Unmetered bandwidth

It’s vital to have a solid bandwidth performance as this is will impact streaming and downloading speeds. All of HotSpot Shield’s VPN packages comes with completely unmetered bandwidth so you needn’t worry about caps.

No data logging

Data logging can seem very intrusive and worrisome. Knowing that your VPN provider has all of your details and activities on file certainly negates one of the main reasons for using a VPN in the first place. HotSpot Shield only maintain records of your IP address to help with tech support issues. It does not log any files on the user’s activity, ensuring your browsing is truly anonymous. What’s more, you can set up an account without inputting all your personal information.

Privacy and Security - Top 5 VPN Review

Privacy and Security

With every VPN you expect excellent security measures, and HotSpot Shield doesn’t cut corners when it comes to the user’s online security and privacy.

This VPN provider uses an advanced OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption. This is a high level of security that keeps “the man” at bay. Users can enjoy the freedom to explore unrestricted sites in all their glory without worrying who is watching.

HotSpot Shield always ensures that no logs are kept when it comes to web use. As the company owns its personal VPN server infrastructure, they can guarantee users 100% privacy and security as they do not need to rely on third-parties.
Users will be satisfied with the level of online safety that HotSpot Shield has put in place to allow them to access content with complete and reliable privacy.

Pricing - Top 5 VPN Review

Pricing

Customers can enjoy the HotSpot Shield VPN service for free, but this will only enable access to the US servers. It will also prevent users from gaining access to some of the most popular streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. And as expected, it will be riddled with advertisements.

The ads are removed when you opt for the Elite option, and you’ll also get a faster service and 24/7 support. It comes at a very reasonable price too, you can get the whole package for a very competitive $29.95 (annual subscription). If you don’t want to commit to a full year then you can also opt for a 6-month subscription at $19.99.

If you’re sitting on the fence about committing to the idea of a full year, you can play with a free seven-day trial of the Elite service. There’s plenty of ways to pay including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal or Mopay.

Speed - Top 5 VPN Review

Speed

If you consume a lot of online media, it’s important to have a consistent speed performance. Every VPN claims to be fast and, to be fair, most are. But fast is no good without reliability. On top of HotSpot Shield’s undeniably fast connection, it utilises an ‘always-on’ policy which treats a disconnection from the VPN as a temporary event.

We found that under most circumstances HotSpot Shield can handle heavy downloading tasks and will make light work of any demanding streaming services.

Ease of use - Top 5 VPN Review

Ease of Use

It keeps things simple with an elegant, well-presented interface that ensures a simple setup process. Users will be able to get the VPN up and running in moments. All the servers are laid out nicely for easy selection.

HotSpot Shield keeps all the techy stuff out of sight, making standard usage as pleasant as can be. It encourages those who don’t hold much VPN knowledge to trust and invest in a VPN service. Overall, it couldn’t be easier to use.

Customer Support - Top 5 VPN Review

Customer Support

HotSpot Shield’s first point of call for support is the searchable knowledge base that’s found by clicking the ‘Support’ link on the home page. This displays a list of questions and guides, with the option for users to submit a question to support or on the forum. If you have the Elite version of the VPN then you get 24/7 support that includes live chat (English only). HotSpot Shield can also be contacted online via Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Verdict - Top 5 VPN Review

Verdict

HotSpot Shield does its job very well. It offers a fast, easy and well-priced VPN service to those who want a fuss-free solution. It connects quickly, has a no-nonsense interface that keeps the technical stuff to a minimum, and offers great reliability. Despite its simplicity it has all the features necessary to enjoy a secure online environment without compromising on speed or performance. It gives the users everything they need in a neat little package. In short, it does a great job for a low price.

Share Your View - Top 5 VPN Sites

Share Your View

We made every effort to ensure that this review was accurate and fair, but we’re only human. If you think we’ve got something wrong, or that the review does not reflect your own experiences with the product, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, send us an email, or write your own review in the Customer Reviews section.

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Dilip Prashad
Dilip is a technology journalist and blogger, with an intuitive understanding of what makes a great piece of consumer software. He may speak tech as a first language, but he’s also an expert at breaking down even the most complex concepts in a way that anyone can understand.
COMMENTS
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  • Donnie

    How would I use this with the amazon firetv stick with kodi?

    Reply
    • Dilip

      Hi Donnie,

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but HotSpot Shield doesn’t support the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Your best bet is to give ExpressVPN a try. They provide a step-by-step guide on their site to configuring your VPN setup for Fire TV.

      Dilip

      Reply
  • Smittie

    Hi! Can one download torrents when using this VPN?

    Reply
  • sam

    No Linux support. Also there does not seem to be a warrant canary for this service. Those are basic questions which should be part of any VPN review.

    Reply
  • JOhn

    They block torrent so useless..zero stars..

    Reply
  • bigmarcoo

    Are you able to say what personal information is shared with advertisers or law-enforcement. The sharing of information with advertisers conflicts in a big, big way with the concept of vpn anonymity.

    Reply
  • prime

    The review I read was recent and mentioned a free 7 day trial. I was unable to find such an offer on your site. Is that still available? I frequently work from home and need to verify that i have no issues connecting through a citrix client.

    Reply
    • Dilip

      Hi!

      We’re waiting for confirmation from the company but it appears that the 7-day free trial offer is no longer available. We’ll update our review accordingly. HotSpot Shield do, however, offer a 30-day money back guarantee for exactly these type of situations. We’d recommend going with that, as HotSpot Shield is currently one of the best-value VPNs around, as well as being a solid performer.

      Dilip

      Reply
  • Curious

    How does it work with gaming?

    Reply
    • Dilip

      Hi Curious,

      HotSpot Shield can be useful to gamers for a variety of reasons. First of all, it offers unlimited bandwidth and high-speeds, which means you can download games or play online to your heart’s content. Secondly, with servers offered around the world, you can access games that you might otherwise be blocked from playing because of where you live.
      We recommend HotSpot Shield for its simplicity and reliability. It’s also one of the cheapest VPNs around. You really can’t go wrong! Get started here.

      Dilip

      Reply
  • none

    not a good service because they do state on their website that they do disclose your info to 3rd parties like advertisement companies that they work with. They will also provide your personal info and browsing activity to government agencies if requested. So just dont do anything to crazy while using their service and you should be ok. not a good company.

    Reply
    • Dilip

      Hi,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s always worth digging into a VPN provider’s terms if your ultimate concern in online anonymity.

      HotSpot Shield states on its website: “We do not collect any personally identifiable information on Hotspot Shield. We do not collect, store, or share any permanent identifiers of Users, including IP addresses. We do not keep any kind of activity logs for any of our users, whether they are free or Elite. Please note that Hotspot Shield only enables privacy and encrypts user Internet sessions when it is turned ON.”

      Although exceptions are noted in the company’s privacy policy, it’s worth noting that in cases where information might be shared, as with advertisers or law enforcement, no record of your online activities is kept, so cannot be linked to your personally identifiable information.

      Dilip

      Reply

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HotSpot Shield Review

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