Hotspot Shield Review

There are plenty of options to consider when choosing a VPN. The main reason people generally decide they want a VPN is that they want to keep their privacy when online. Whether it’s so they can stream movies, participate in file sharing or get around a geo-block (where online content is restricted to certain regions or countries) to watch their favorite series; there is plenty to consider.

VPN considerations

When people compare VPN services, they will realize there are so many factors to influence their decision. Some of the main factors are:

  • Features available
  • Pricing
  • Reliability
  • Customer support
  • Amount of servers
  • Amount of locations worldwide the servers are
  • How private are they?
  • Do they record any data?
  • Do they have secure payment options?
  • Available Hotspot Shield for Android and iOS

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With so much to consider, it is sometimes easier to look at one specific VPN and see how it compares to others by its online presence. By this I mean, are there plenty of reviews online? Do the positives out-weight the negatives? Do they compare favorably to similar prices VPNs?

Hotspot Shield

For this article, we will review the Hotspot Shield VPN. We hope this Hotspot Shield review will help you to understand why this is a heavy hitter taking on the top 10 most established VPNs. We have gathered all the information from expert reviews to general user reviews and found that since its release in 2008, Hotspot Shield VPN has continued in making strides in a market that has seen an explosion of competition in more recent years. Developed by AnchorFree in Silicon Valley, being an American VPN option can sometimes be seen as a positive or a negative, in terms of VPN needs.

Hotspot Shield Review – The Expert’s Overall Opinions

So let’s start with the general opinion of what Hotspot Shield has to offer:

Features

After comparing the features of Hotspot Shield VPN to it competitors on the market it received very respectable ratings. As one of the cheaper options on the market, it is great to see that they have tried to pack this VPN with as many features as possible. Some of the main points of interest are listed below.

Hotspot Shield VPN has:

  • Over 2,500 servers
  • Servers in over 25 countries
  • Access to anonymous and encrypted IP addresses
  • A professional and reliable system of hiding user data
  • Up to 256-bit encryption (AES)
  • Data compression abilities which allow for faster speeds – it’s not the fastest VPN service, but it’s fast!
  • Automatic deletion of user details for a truly autonomous experience
  • Up to 5 licenses per subscription (meaning a subscription fee could be shared between multiple users)

Some other points of interest to note is that where some VPNs strive to offer a no-log-keeping policy, it is believed that Hotspot Shield does keep partial logs at a certain time, and although this is encrypted, it does mean that some users feel more comfortable using a VPN, where no logs are kept, even for a short period of time. When researching for our Hotspot Shield review it also became apparent that Hotspot Shield does not offer a kill switch option, available on other (but not all) VPNs.

Usability

One of the greatest benefits of trying Hotspot Shield VPN is that you really are allowed full access for up to 45 days where you can still get your money back if you are not satisfied. When there are other VPNs who offer anything from 0 to 30-day money back options, this is a big bonus of Hotspot Shield. When doing this Hotspot Shield review, I have looked at many VPNs, and I have seen a trend in complaints.

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Some users have jumped right in and chosen a VPN and paid for the yearly (discounted) option. They have then become disappointed with the VPN for a number of reasons, and the fact they have paid for a full year has left a very bitter feeling in their mouth. Having 45 days to try an all-access unlimited service is a great way to find any problems or dislikes. Some of the problems I have seen people complain about could have been detected within 45 days if they chose Hotspot Shield VPN.

For example:

  • The service was too slow
  • My usage was limited by their maximum data download allowance
  • Their customer service was terrible
  • The server I wanted to use was always unavailable

Hotspot Shield clearly feel confident that after 45 days of testing they will keep your custom!

Ease of Use for Beginners

A simple step-by-step guide will have Hotspot Shield up and running in no time!

  • Type in Hotspot Shield Review into your browser. This way you can read a few more reviews, and most reviews will lead you to the direct download link
  • Once on the Hotspot Shield VPN website, download the file (You may need to click ‘run’ or ‘run as administrator’ depending on your device or browser
  • Follow the simple instructions for an automatic installation
  • Once Hotspot Shield is installed open it up
  • You will see a drop-down menu. Click on this and find the connect option
  • Please note that currently, you will only have access to the free features

If you would like to try their free 45-day money back guarantee (highly recommended) then do the following:

  • Go to the menu at the top of the page
  • Click to create a new account
  • Think of a secure and difficult to guess password and username
  • Click sign in

Hotspot Shield is designed to with users in mind and apps for different devices. So there is even a Hotspot Shield for Android, or iOS or even Mac or PC!

So what is the pricing of Hotspot Shield VPN?

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When researching for this Hotspot Shield review, I was pleasantly surprised to see the price of this VPN. Considering it offers a wealth of options I think you will find the prices very reasonable. Like all VPNs, they entice you to sign up for a long-term subscription by offering large discounts. The discounts of Hotspot Shield really are worth considering:

  • 2-year Elite Package $2.99 a month paid on one lump sum
  • 1-year Elite Package $5.99 a month also paid in one lump sum
  • Monthly elite Package $12.99 paid per month

So that’s a huge $10 a month discount for choosing the 2-year package! Being an American VPN you can also pay using Starbucks, Walmart or PayPal services or gift cards, making for a more anonymous experience.

Go to Hotspot Shield

Reliability

As mentioned previously there are apps that give access to Hotspot shield for Android, iOS, Mac, and PC. This Hotspot Shield review also found that the best way to truly understand its reliability over the multiple devices was by reading the multitude of online customer reviews. With a huge majority of positive reviews, we felt this Hotspot Shield review could confidently say that reliability would not be an issue. Sometimes a bit glitchy, it would appear there were no widespread complaints about server problems or maintenance issues that other VPNs have suffered with.

Customer Support

Limited Live-chat features but a well informative forum to address most problems. Email is also an option and customer service representatives will try to respond to all questions as quickly as possible. Not the most extensive customer service we have seen, but then Hotspot Shield VPN do not charge as much as some VPNs.

Hotspot Shield for Android or iOS devices

Hotspot Shield, as do most of the VPNs available, has ensured that you can use their services on most devices and browsers. You will find Hotspot Shield for Android and iOS to be fairly user-friendly although I personally preferred to stick to my PC for the larger screen.

Conclusion

Hotspot Shield VPN is a simple and cost-effective VPN that will struggle to get beaten when you compare the price to features. Although Hotspot Shield is more basic than some of the others that have broken into the top 10, this is a very simple-to-use piece of software that is proving to be more reliable than others in its price range. Servers are located worldwide but if you were hoping to do some file sharing and torrent downloading, I am afraid this is not the VPN for you. Overcoming Geo-blocks and streaming content is more its thing as there are obviously the legal implications for allowing people to use your software for what is often the case of copyright infringement. If you have a Netflix subscription but find you can’t access it while overseas on holiday then take advantage of the 45-day money back guarantee. With Hotspot Shield, a VPN that works with Netflix, you will be able to watch all your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.

Finally, another reason to ignore the free VPN and go straight for the 45-day trial is that you will find the free version comes with annoying adverts, which are disabled once you upgrade to the Elite package.

9.2 Total Score
Hotspot Shield Review: Good

Hotspot Shield is a plug and play solution for basic users. It's intuitively designed and easy to use. And its impressive speeds is a stand-out feature you'll appreciate. It includes top-grade encryption protocols for excellent privacy and data protection, including malware protection to boot.

This VPN solution is suitable for all those who want to encrypt at low cost, to watch streaming TV and download torrents on all their devices without limits. Don't expect too much on the settings, though.

Value for money
9
Ease of use
9
Accessibility
8
Supported devices
9
Covered countries
7
PROS
  • High speed connection
  • Native app for iPhone and Android
  • P2P and BitTorrent allowed
  • User friendly
CONS
  • Few countries covered
  • No options
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