Background of Hotspot Shield
Trustpilot rating: 3.7/5
Where is Hotspot Shield based?
This best Hotspot Shield VPN review gives you a total picture of what this VPN delivers. Identified as one of the best VPN services, Hotspot Shield offers highly trusted security and anonymity online. It was formed in 2005 and offices are found in Ukraine and Russia. All its paid plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial.
It was a VPN that was used during revolutions in Arab nations, namely Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The respective governments failed to block social media sites as people used Hotspot Shield to bypass filters.
Is Hotspot Shield VPN free?
There are 3 plans you can choose from. You get the best deal if you select a 3-year plan because you get a 77% discount and the price drops to $2.99/month. That way you know all your security and privacy needs are covered online for the next 3 years.
There is also a monthly plan where you pay $12.99. This is a bit more expensive than other VPNs so it is advisable to select a longer plan if you want Hotspot Shield.
An annual plan is also available and you get a 38% discount. This translates to $7.99 per month, which is better than the monthly plan.
There is a free plan that is available, but like Tunnelbear VPN, this plan has limited features and data is limited. For best experience, I recommend that you use one of their paid plans.
I am not a fan of free VPN services because to maintain the service, usually 3rd party ads are added to the VPN. This compromises privacy and security so you are better off choosing a paid plan.
How many servers does Hotspot Shield have?
At the time of writing this Hotspot Shield review, there are about 3200 servers found in at least 80 countries, with more servers added each month. This widespread distribution ensures that the network speed is fast and reliable. In addition, you also get more IP addresses hence anonymity is guaranteed. More about security later in the best Hotspot Shield VPN review.
How many devices are supported?
You can add up to 5 devices to one premium account of Hotspot Shield. This means if you have other friends or family members they can be accommodated.
If you have a compatible router, you install Hotspot Shield and all devices that are connected to that router are secured. In that case you use only one slot to connect your router and connect other devices using the remaining 4 slots.
Hotspot Shield also supports devices with different operating systems. This includes:
Is Hotspot Shield Secure?
AnchorFree, the owners of Hotspot Shield, developed Catapult Hydra protocol, which competes with OpenVPN protocol and surpasses the latter in terms of latency.
It also uses 256-bit encryption which is very secure and nearly impossible to break. There are more security features described in the next sections of this best Hotspot Shield VPN review.
Does Hotspot Shield have a kill switch?
For added security, Hotspot Shield VPN has a kill switch so that if there is disruption of the VPN tunnel, internet connection is cut off. This protects your data and ensures that no one has access to traffic in the VPN tunnel. If things normalize, connection is restored via a more secure VPN tunnel.
Hotspot Shield and DNS leaks
According to their website, Hotspot Shield has no DNS leaks. However, reports of DNS leaks have been reported and Hotspot Shield has to fix that. To understand more about DNS leaks read an article in a separate section.
Antimalware and Adfree
Like NordVPN, Hotspot Shield has anti-malware and adblock integrated in the VPN so that you get superior browsing experience. Ads use up your data because they need to be targeted and your browsing patterns are monitored by the advertisers.
Malware can recruit your device to form a ‘bot army’ on the net. As a result, you get a poor network and you are exposed to more cyber-attacks.
Can Hotspot Shield be trusted?
The best answer is it depends. If you are a casual browser who wants to unblock sites and change your location, Hotspot Shield should get the job done. The main concern comes when you are working with highly sensitive data. The DNS leaks above need to be addressed by Hotspot Shield so that it joins the leaders like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Remember, there is a 7-day free trial so if you are not happy with the services you can switch to another VPN service. For most people, the features that Hotspot Shield has are adequate for normal usage.
I have captured the main features in this best Hotspot Shield VPN review. Let me know what you think in the comments.