|Global DL speed||69.25|
|Global UL speed||82.20|
|Average time to connect||11 seconds|
|Server locations||40 countries|
|IP addresses||1000 +|
|Dynamic server switching||-|
|E-mail response time||1 h 40 m|
In 2008, AnchorFree released a new Hotspot VPN. Since then, its administration has been part of two items: a free version and a premium quality version, known as Hotspot Shield Elite. In total, more than 500 million customers around the world have submitted the VPN.
Most customers use the free version since it is quite enough for them to enjoy the safe use of the Internet in places where power failures often occur. This VPN became frequently used during the Arab Spring protests.
Hotspot Shield is a simple VPN application that offers reasonable speeds, an ideal interface and unlimited bandwidth for paid customers. Despite the temptation at first glance, the VPN has several features that potential customers should consider before making a purchase.
Hotspot achieves shocking speeds on most of its servers, especially in Europe and Asia. High exchange speeds provide a good choice for European torrents and gamers. Due to its speed and efficiency, Hotspot customers rated it 9.2 out of 10.
The sphere in which Hotspot Shield is probably not going to surprise customers is the customer support system. This area is the most vulnerable since numerous users have negatively spoken in the network about the low quality of customer support. VPN has shown poor responsiveness and performance in helping customers and long answers to user questions.
The organization operates an online customer support center with an elegant line-up of basic articles for interacting with all supported devices and platforms, as well as an online ticket system, where customers can apply for support.
Consultation by phone, as well as chatting, showed themselves on the negative side. Therefore, clients gave an estimate of 7.5 out of 10 for VLN assistance.
Hotspot Shield currently offers two plans: Hotspot Shield Free, which provides customers with basic functions, as well as Hotspot Shield Elite.
Given the moderate evaluation structure of Elite and the ability to buy a lifetime subscription for just over $100, customers will undoubtedly be happy to spend this sum of money, to get an excellent option.
Users are satisfied with these offers, as they always have a choice and can buy an excellent set of functions. For this reason, customers rated 7 out of 10.
The access point has a fairly limited choice of server zones. We advise not to strongly rely on the possibility to connect to the most popular territories or to view specific Internet resources with a strong security system and certain geo-restrictions. Nevertheless, Hotspot has big plans to expand its server coverage and include some important and popular areas. Clients rated this VPN sphere by 5 points out of 10.
Setting up an account using Hotspot Shield is basic, requiring only the identification of e-mail and password. After making a record and confirming the e-mail address, you are ready to immediately log in to any of the Hotspot Shield clients. The whole procedure is quite simple, so connecting to the Hotspot takes only a couple of minutes. Customers gave 8.5 points out of 10.
Hotspot Shield offers 20 virtual zones with an elite service but does not indicate how many servers it has or where they are. The only thing we know is that VPN covers 20 countries and regions located in North America, Asia, Britain, Europe, and Australia.
Unfortunately, there are no servers in South America, Africa and Greenland, and in Australia, China and Russia you can find only one.
The speed tests for the Hotspot VPN were applied using the Hotspot Shield Elite version. They were conducted from the UK, using London server at beta.speedtest.net. The association speed was tested without connecting to the VPN in order to obtain the baseline results for the US and UK. We tested the US VPN server, using the New York server on beta.speedtest.net.
We also conducted tests with the UK and Netherlands from a British server in London. For each situation, we collected the results of 5 tests. Each shaded square in the diagrams indicates the scale of speeds experienced, from the highest to the lowest. It would be ideal if you look at the full speed test clarification for more subtle elements.
The Hotspot Shield Elite version showed impeccable results since the speeds of this plan were as close to the speed of the Internet as possible. This raises some questions about the quality of encryption that Hotspot Shield Elite performed. Unfortunately, there is no real approach to recognize whether the speeds of the VPN are fast because of high-quality system operation or as a result of sacrificing security measures (a lower level of encryption).
Most likely, these VPN speeds are fast to somehow implement high-quality encryption, including the OpenVPN model.
Hotspot VPN has clients for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS and Windows Phone, as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, so users can activate their Hotspot VPN without leaving the browser.
In spite of this, the Hotspot Shield platform support has conflicting access to the server. For example, while you have 20 servers on a Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android versions, Firefox, and Chrome extensions have access to 4-5 servers. Also, if you have a Windows Phone application, it is not currently practical in the latest update, and the usefulness of the Android application depends on which gadget you are using it.
Hotspot Shield does not offer help for switches, which means, that gadgets that do not have available clients are completely unsuitable for interaction with their administrations. This means that users of Windows Phone, Linux, and less common platforms are not supported and do not have sufficient level of protection.
Hotspot Shield uses the OpenVPN agreement, which is the preferred choice because it offers the highest level of security compared to other options. It uses AES-256 encryption, which is a commercial standard, additionally implemented by the military.
The connection is also protected by a 2048-bit public key. This is another standard, although many organizations are gradually moving to 4096-bit keys for the control channel.
Continuing the investigation of Hotspot VPN, security is of fundamental importance. Given all the circumstances, one of the significant reasons why people switched to VPN is to protect their privacy, to get the flexibility on the Internet and to expand their opportunities in the digital world.
Hotspot VPN does not store the logs of its customers. Also, users of the Elite plan are protected from annoying ads, which may be affected by users of the free version.
Hotspot Shield has its own base of VPN-server and does not depend on unauthorized persons. Therefore, it can provide 100% confidentiality and customer safety. In parallel, many other VPNs are known that neglect these security measures, as a result of which, the customer base of such organizations is used for the purposes of third parties who buy information.
The Hotspot Shield team does everything possible, to ensure the most comfortable conditions of use and a good level of data protection. Therefore, this is a good choice for customers looking for a reliable VPN.
Hotspot Shield Elite users can connect to Netflix US via a US VPN server. It works flawlessly. Clients can also use iPlayer BBC without any problems, connecting via a British server. These are excellent indicators that prove the high efficiency of VPN for unlocking content.
Unfortunately, the free version is blocked for access to Netflix and iPlayer. Therefore, if you want to use these Internet resources, you will need to upgrade to a paid version.
Hotspot Shield is available both in the free and in the paid version, known as the Hotspot Shield Elite. Both options support all the main working frameworks along with the gadgets.
The versions use 128-bit, as well as 256-bit AES encryption through their own exclusive data compression systems, which significantly reduces the number of information documents and the time it takes to transport them.
Having more than 30 licenses, VPN also significantly improves the work with certain connections. This further reduces the time to create a VPN connection and move small records. Also, you can use a special agreement, which gives a tangible advantage during the work. With its help, traffic is transmitted inside secure tunnels, connecting the client to the server.
The free version has a couple of expected limitations, including limited bandwidth, as well as a paywall that prohibits access to Hulu, Netflix, and other prominent streaming websites.
Hotspot Shield does not maintain any logs either for paid or for free customers. However, the free version is full of various advertisements, which casts doubt on the lack of accounts.
Nevertheless, the official privacy statement from Hotspot Shield quickly eliminates any uncertainty regarding the confidentiality of customer information. Despite the fact that they collect anonymous data about sites and gadgets that are often used by customers, no single unit of this data can be identified or transferred to the third parties.
The free publication of the Hotspot Shield Agreement is very transparent and proves that VPN does not collect or resell the data of its customers, regardless of which version they use. Confidentiality of online-customers is one of the strengths of Hotspot.
Hotspot Shield is one of the most reliable VPNs. You will get: unlimited bandwidth for ultra-fast transfer, up to five synchronous connections, access to more than 2500 premium servers in 25 countries and also be able to block malicious programs.
Security is one of the main elements of a good VPN. When using VPN Hotspot, we were not able to pinpoint the methods and systems used to encrypt data. Often, such information is publicly available or lies on the surface. In the case of Hotspot Shield, we could not find out anything exactly, as this information is not available.
Nevertheless, Hotspot stated that it encodes all the information viewed through the “safe association burrow “. Hotspot Shield does not give us data to understand that its security measures are the most up-to-date. Anyway, it does not mean that the encryption methods used can be obsolete or inefficient.
In order to clarify something, we decided to contact the support of additional data. About 20 hours after that, we received a response that the VPN uses an AES-256 bit encryption method. This is a very strong encryption solution, and it’s unclear, why they do not directly publish it.
The Hotspot Shield privacy strategy says that it can collect IP addresses, and also use them for recognition. VPN providers should never collect IP addresses. Therefore, this raises some doubts.
Hotspot Shield also indicates that if it is asked to provide information to government experts, including individual data obtained during the connection, it will do so. Hotspot Shield does not distribute this information, so their customers are confused that their data is safe.
In addition, there is an opinion, that system administrators can track your connections when using Hotspot Shield. Thus, it turns out that VPN is not always able to effectively hide your IP address or the history of your reconnections.
Hotspot Shield’s customer support isn’t the strong point of the services they offer. All premium VPNs provide the most effective, fast and high-quality client support, in the form of online chat or e-mail. They constantly check the system for new requests and find a solution to the problem as soon as possible. Customers, using free VPNs should be prepared to ensure that the support services for such versions are very moderate.
In most cases, the quality of customer support directly depends on the number of users. Therefore, using a relatively unpopular VPN or its free version, you should know that the quality of support will be appropriate.
Consumers, experiencing problems, are recommended to use the information base in the Hotspot VPN Help Center. Despite the lack of numerous assistants and very limited opportunities, it can still be useful to you.
In order to get help, you need to click the “Contact Support” button, and then open the reference ticket. The ticket for the request will be reviewed using the email ID with which you are subscribed to the Hotspot VPN.
The monthly Hotspot Shield plan is more expensive than most VPNs, but its semi-annual and annual versions are more in line with what we expect from different suppliers.
Free Hotspot Shield clients can access only one server, have limited data transfer, and also encounter obstacles to streaming video.
Customers also need to know that they will not be able to get rid of annoying ads, as Hotspot Shield terms for a free version do not provide such an opportunity.
When free customers spend 500 MB limit, access to all the websites connected with the video stream can face obstacles that will last for 24 hours. Nevertheless, even if you get a good and high-quality connection, you will most likely be disconnected by the system so as not to interfere with users of the paid version.
Exceeding the limit of 750 MB, free users will be disconnected after 5 minutes, and the bandwidth limit will be reset after 1 day.
The Elite Hotspot plan will make your stay in the digital world more secure and comfortable for a relatively small fee. You can choose an annual plan in the amount of $ 29.99 or a semi-annual plan at a cost of $ 49.95. All options come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Hotspot boasts remarkable adaptability of payment methods. You can use a credit or debit card, as well as PayPal, UCB, and Discover. Also, one of the good news is that you can apply a coupon to get a discount.
However, we recommend you check the available payment options in your country in advance, as there may be some features.
Customers who would like to use Bitcoin as a payment will be disappointed since the system does not provide this type.
Click on the “Get Hotspot Shield” button to go to the download page. Downloading the installer file will start automatically.
This is a free version of the application. When you first start it, you will be provided with a 7-day free trial version of the VPN. To start using it you will need to enter your card details. When deciding to use the trial version, use the current e-mail, since you will receive a letter through which you can activate the service.
It is important to remember that if within 7 days you understand that this VPN is not for you, be sure to inform the support team and unsubscribe from VPN. In the other case, you will automatically be charged the amount to pay the full monthly cost.
Also, please note that using a seven-day free trial will invalidate your right to get a 45-day money-back guarantee.
If you just need to use the free Hotspot Shield VPN gateway, click on the button in the upper left corner of the seven-day free trial window.
Each software has advantages, as well as some disadvantages. So, before installing or using the software these pros and cons help you decide whether you should use it or not.
Hotspot VPN has so many pros and some of them are listed here:
Libraries, schools and places of work, for the most part, use restrictions on certain sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. With Hotspot VPN you will be able to access these sites, etc., because the application easily bypasses such the firewalls and filters.
Hotspot VPN creates data protection for its clients to ensure the most comfortable conditions during the Internet session. Thanks to such encryption, all your Internet activities are more confidential, and also safe, because you no longer need to worry that you can be followed by Internet providers, government or hackers.
Hackers, Internet providers, and regulatory organizations can use your IP address to monitor your online activity, as well as to intercept your personal data. Thus, all your passwords, credit card numbers and personal information are absolutely unprotected. Nevertheless, this is just the tip of the iceberg. With the VPN Hotspot feature, clients can hide their real IP addresses by choosing an alternative or remote area provided by the VPN servers.
Thanks to Hotspot VPN clients can fully enjoy the security on the Internet. Every time they connect to the network through a VPN, they can rest easy knowing that their personal information, including web entries and passwords, is encrypted reliably.
When a client is in an open Hotspot VPN or an unprotected system, the VPN application ensures that there are no malicious programs on the client’s PC or in its browser.
Hotspot VPN has several cons that are listed below:
Anchor Free has links to various service promotion organizations that influence VPN Hotspot.
Although this VPN is one of the most popular when it comes to free subscription, however, you need to know some of the features of the confidentiality agreement. VPN does not deny that it stores some of your data, including your IP address. In turn, this can create certain problems for you in the future.
All Hotspot VPN assets include the following three things:
Although Hotspot VPN provides customer support, they still lose to their competitors in this parameter. If you have any problems, you can contact the help group through the ticket form.
Despite the fact that Hotspot VPN boasts its versatility and the ability to support any system, it cannot provide its users with The Orion Router. Moreover, be prepared for the fact that they also use the restrictions of all clients with the OpenVPN protocol.
Hotspot VPN is quite a good option, but despite this, most customers will find it difficult to configure and use. Nevertheless, Netflix UK, as well as iPlayer from BBC is working perfectly, bypassing the geo-lock.
The speed is very pleasant, but sometimes you may encounter interruptions. Customer support, unfortunately, does not reach the norm and leaves much to be desired.
Data on the privacy and security of the Hotspot VPN is ambiguous. Moreover, the organization registers the IP-address data and does not provide privacy during the Internet session, not revealing the main reason for such actions.
Nevertheless, despite all the shortcomings, Hotspot VPN is a good option for those who want to access geo-restricted content without pursuing global goals for maximum data confidentiality.