- 75% HotSpot Shield

HotSpot Shield

$2.99

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8.7/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #7 in category VPN
Speed
9
Usability
8.5
Price
8.5
Customer service
8.5
Feedback
9
PROS:
  • Excellent speeds
  • Expansive server network
  • Unblocks Netflix and other sites
  • Connect 5 devices simultaneously
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China
CONS:
  • Kill switch is Windows-only
  • No IPv6 or WebRTC leak protection
  • Only accepts credit cards
  • High price tag

HotSpot Shield Review

With over 650 million users, HotSpot Shield VPN (released by AnchorFree) is divided into two products: a free VPN service which is more like a proxy with bandwidth cap and a premium paid VPN named “HotSpot Shield Elite”.

In this review, we’ll compare HotSpot Shield Elite network encryption, security features and speed against other VPN services.

They’ve been in business since 2005 and have grown their user base at a high rate.

However, as is the case with many popular VPN companies, having the most customers doesn’t necessarily mean you have the best product.

 

Pricing and Plans

Since moving to Pango, Hotspot Shield’s subscription structure has changed. It now comes as part of a bundle of four services that also includes:

  • 1Password: A password manager
  • Robo Shield: A spam call blocker (this is replaced by Hiya for users outside the US and Canada)
  • Identity Guard: Identity theft protection

The bundle costs $12.99 per month on a monthly basis or $7.99 per month when you pay annually. The monthly rate is comparable to many top-rated VPN providers for the same term and represents a bargain when you consider the additional three services.

However, the annual rate is a bit pricey compared to other providers that offer steeper discounts for longer terms. It’s still a good deal if you’re interested in the additional services, but if you’re solely looking for a VPN, this might be stretching the budget a little.

Pango only lets you pay by credit card. There is no cryptocurrency option, which will be disappointing for some privacy-conscious users.

Pros and cons


PROS:

  • Excellent speeds
  • Expansive server network
  • Unblocks Netflix and other sites
  • Connect 5 devices simultaneously
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Works in China

CONS:

  • Kill switch is Windows-only
  • No IPv6 or WebRTC leak protection
  • Only accepts credit cards
  • High price tag


Features

Downloading and installing Hotspot Shield is a fast and simple process. The website is easy to navigate, and the native apps are very user-friendly.

You can download Hotspot Shield Free without creating an account or choosing a subscription. You will then have the option to upgrade to Hotspot Shield Premium within the app.

It took us less than a minute to download and install the Hotspot Shield macOS app from the App Store. You can connect to the VPN with a single click or choose from a list of virtual locations.

The Hotspot Shield app is simple enough for anyone to use, but the lack of advanced features may make experienced users wish they had more freedom to customize their connection.

Customer Support

The website’s Help Center has many useful resources, including device-specific troubleshooting guides, FAQs, and a searchable Help database.

The easiest way to get in touch with customer service is via 24/7 live chat support. You can also submit a ticket request through the website.

We found Hotspot Shield’s customer support team to be friendly, helpful, and responsive. We were able to get in touch with a live chat representative within minutes.

HotSpot Shield Review Conclusion

HotSpot Shield has impressive speeds, good pricing, and a good number of country locations—though not a particularly exhaustive list. The privacy policy is not ideal for those who want to conceal their browsing activity—anonymized or not—or which internet-capable apps they use. It’s fine if you just want to secure your connection at the local café or airports, but as a service that’s going to keep you somewhat anonymous there are stronger choices.

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Photos: HotSpot Shield

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HotSpot Shield
HotSpot Shield

$2.99

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