Hotspot Shield is a popular VPN service with over 650 million users and multiple servers in 55+ countries. In fact, the website claims to be the # 1 earning app for productivity in the US App Store. (When we checked the source of the App Store, it actually pointed to # 8, which is still an impressive rating.)
One of the features that makes Hotspot Shield special is its unique Catapult Hydra protocol, which maximizes speed without sacrificing security. But is the hotspot shield as fast as the vendor claims?
Streaming – Does Hotspot Shield work with Netflix?
Yes! During the test, I was able to block world-famous streaming services such as Netflix, BBC Pillar, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. I was not optimistic because I had interfered with the blocking process by choosing my first server. However, the problem was resolved after switching to another compatible server, and I was able to run the content without interruption.
Hotspot Shield Speeds
Hotspot Shield claims to be the fastest VPN on the market. VPN’s unique catalog Hydra Protocol was designed to fix some latency issues in IPC and Open VPN protocols that can reduce connection speeds.
The Hotspot Shield allows you to select a country, but not an individual server, so we failed to test multiple servers in the United States. After connecting to a nearby US server, our download speed was 57 Mbps
With the UK as our virtual location, our average download speed was 62 Mbps. This is an impressive speed, especially for distance from our physical location. When we connected to the server in Germany, our download speed was 65 Mbps:
All over the world in Hong Kong, we got a download speed of 68 Mbps. This speed is particularly impressive, as the speed of communication decreases as your physical distance from the server increases.
These are the best communication speeds across the board. Many of the VPNs we’ve tested are not capable of providing such reliable high speed communications.
We also found the contacts stable and reliable over time. We did not experience rapid breakdowns during our tests, nor did we lose connections.
Is Hotspot Shield Good for Turning?
Hotspot Shield is a good VPN for torrenting. The provider allows torrenting on all servers and all device platforms. The VPN will mask your IP address and hide your P2P activity from your ISP. Hotspot Shield also delivered its promise of excellent download and upload speeds, ideal for P2P file sharing.
You can even find great help and troubleshooting guides in the website’s help center.
Security – Is the Hotspot Shield Safe?
As you can see, our real IP address and location are hidden in the United States. VPN protects your connection from strong encryption, leak protection and malware protection. These features work as expected during our tests.
If you’re using a Windows native app, you’ll also be protected by an automatic hit-and-run switch that keeps your data safe, even if your VPN connection suddenly drops. Unfortunately, Kill Switch is available exclusively for Windows.
Although our original location and IP address in the United States was not updated, the browser extension was leaking multiple DNS addresses to websites. This will let websites know that you are using a VPN. Two other issues related to the safety of the hotspot shield are also known.
In 2017, the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claiming that “non-hotspot shield-free VPNs Sharing and traffic redirection of anonymous and obscure data. “
Basically, he said, VPN is misleading users by increasing the amount of data it shares with third-party advertisers. The second issue involves a flaw discovered by a security researcher in early 2018, which could lead to leaks of Hotspot Shield users’ country of origin and their Wi-Fi network. These issues have something to consider, although the Hotspot Shield provides strong encryption and other security features.
Does Hotspot Shield have logs?
Real IP address (deleted at the end of each session)
Unique mobile ID
Operating system version
We don’t particularly like obscure terms, such as “network information”.
This is even worse if you are using the free version of VPN. In this case, Hotspot Shield may share the following information with third party advertisers.
Your city-level location
Unique Advertising Identity
Unique Mobile ID (IMEI)
The amount of information the Hotspot Shield collects could potentially be enough to identify you as an individual – on the contrary if you’re worried about not revealing your identity.
Is Hotspot Shield Ad Blocker?
No, Hotspot Shield does not include ad blocking in VPN service.
Does the Hotspot Shield work in China?
As China improves its ability to detect and intercept VPNs on a daily basis, it is difficult to say whether VPNs work in China. In the case of Hotspot Shield, users report mixed results. Some users can use Hotspot Shield in China without any hassle, while others cannot use VPN at all. If you are looking to use a VPN especially in China, we recommend sticking to a more reliable choice like Nord VPN.
Price and Value for Money
You can choose from four different length shopping plans with Hotspot Shield Premium. Each plan comes with the same features. You get the best value for money with a long subscription plan. A 3-year subscription is very affordable, while one month to another subscription will cost you more. The price is reasonable for the price you get through the Hotspot Shield, but there are also cheaper options.
There are some limitations compared to the premium version (see below). For example, Hotspot Shield is supported by free advertising and only gives you access to a U.S. virtual location. You cannot access any sorting content. You will be taken to a paywall. You are limited to 500 MB per day
A hint: Although the premium service is not free, you can take advantage of the 7 day free trial to check it out.
Hotspot Shield Return Policy
All paid subscriptions come with a 45 day money back guarantee.
Is Hotspot Shield compatible with my device?
Hotspot Shield is compatible with most large devices. Dedicated apps are offered for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS. VPN also offers browser extensions for Chrome.
On the other hand, there are no manual installation guides. The only way to use VPN is through a dedicated app, so Hotspot Shield is not compatible with Linux, routers, gaming systems, smart TVs and other devices.
The Windows app is the only platform that has an automatic kill switch. MacOS, iOS, and Android apps lack Kill Switch.
You can connect up to five simultaneously with the Hotspot Shield.
Anchorfree Hotspot Shield VPN Adapter
Some users will find that AnchorFree, the parent company of Hotspot Shield, installs software on its hard drive called AnchorFree HSSVPN Adapter. According to the service, the adapter is a driver that helps support and stabilize your VPN connection.
Hotspot Shield uses robust AES 256-bit encryption to secure your traffic.
It also uses Perfect Forward Privacy, a key agreement protocol that permanently changes your encryption key. This ensures that if the current encryption of your session is compromised in any way, the rest of your data will be safe.
All of Hotspot Shield’s indigenous app vendors use proprietary catalyst Hydra protocol. The protocol is similar to OpenSL, but has been improved to achieve high speed communication, especially over long distances.
Hotspot Shield Customer Service
We were pleased to support Hotspot Shield customers, which is an important part of any premium VPN service.
24/7 live chat is responsive and helpful. We were assisted in a few minutes by a friendly representative.
The resources provided in the help center of the website can solve most common problems. If you prefer, you can also submit a support ticket through the website
Hotspot Shield’s native apps are straightforward and user-friendly. The app’s main interface is minimal and easy to navigate.
You can quickly connect to the server with a single click. You can manually select the server location by clicking on the circle in the top right corner. Clicking on a new location will instantly connect you to the server.
You can also access the list of virtual locations by clicking on your current location connected to the VPN. Each time you connect to a VPN, you’ll see a map of your current location, the length of your session, and the amount of data downloaded and uploaded during the session. Opens the icon settings in the upper-left corner.
Overall, Hotspot Shield has created a great user experience with its native apps. Our only concern is the lack of advanced settings, especially in the non-Windows version of the app.
For example, the only options available in the MacOS version are turning on push notifications and enabling Auto Start.
Hotspot Shield impressed us with its speed and excellent customer service. But can Hotspot Shield compete with the top VPNs in the premium market? Right now, the answer is no. Despite its strengths, we have concerns about the ability of this VPN to protect your security, privacy and anonymity. Hotspot Shield was also blocked from popular streaming sites, and device compatibility may be improved.