Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy & Secure VPN – Google Play
“Disguise your online identity and access blocked apps and sites with Hotspot Shield, while keeping your mobile activities anonymous, private and secure! Hotspot Shield VPN Proxy is the most trusted security, privacy and access platform with top performance on speed, stability and security. Hotspot Shield gives you true online freedom – bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing the world’s content from anywhere, with just one tap. ⇨ Why Hotspot Shield ✓ Unblock geo-restricted contents: Encrypt all your traffic and get access to global media, video, messaging or social apps and networks. ✓ Secure all online activities: Hide your IP address, identity, and location from trackers, and enjoy maximum privacy and security. ✓ FREE or UNLIMITED: Use the basic features for free (forever), or simply upgrade to Elite for unlimited features! ✓ Unparalleled VPN Performance: our proprietary servers ensure the fastest VPN speed, most stable and secured connections. ✓ Largest VPN Coverage: Powered by Aura, Hotspot Shield offers VPN coverage from 20 countries including US, UK, JP, IN, AU, CA, CN, and more! ✓ No Logs Kept: Hotspot Shield doesn’t track or keep any logs of its users and their activities. Your security and privacy are guaranteed! ✓ Best Customer Support: Any questions or suggestions, simply shoot an email to Satisfaction guaranteed! ✓ Trusted by millions: Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy has been installed more than 400 million times and has been featured on Forbes, CNET, CNN, and the New York Times. ✓ Malware and Phishing Protection: Hotspot Shield includes built-in malware and phishing protection, helping you avoid malicious software and sites. Simply connect to the VPN, and Hotspot Shield will proactively protect and alert you if you’re visiting a suspicious site. ⇨ How Hotspot Shield works Hotspot Shield VPN Proxy provides a secure and trustworthy connection through an encrypted channel between your device and the target website, using Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. Hotspot Shield hides your real IP address to anonymize your device so that your online activities cannot be tracked by anyone, and you will be able to get access to restricted websites, even behind the spot Shield VPN Proxy is a freemium product that is built for everyone – whether you are looking for a free version with basic unblocking and privacy features, or a premium version with add-on services. ■ Hotspot Shield VPN Basic version allows you to unblock and access all US content from your favorite apps or websites. The free version does contain limited ads. ■ Hotspot Shield VPN Premium version (auto-renewing subscription option) offers truly unlimited access from 115 virtual locations including US, UK, JP, IN, AU, CA, CN, TR, UA and without any ad interruptions. Premium accounts support up to five devices, whether it is a smart phone, tablet, laptop or PC. You can opt in a 7-day free trial of Premium features before you decide to sign on a monthly or yearly emium VPN Pricing:■ 1 month subscription – $12. 99/month■ Annual subscription – $7. 99/month (save 38%)Follow us on…Google+: Twitter: | @HotspotShield Support: Website: About VPN Technology: © 2020 Aura, Inc. All Rights Reserved”
Hotspot Shield VPN Review 2021: It’s Very Fast, But Is It Safe? – Top10VPN
Our VerdictOverall Rating:8. 38. 3/10Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:
Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
Speed & Reliability: 25%
Security & Features: 20%
Ease of Use: 5%
See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.
Hotspot Shield delivers fast speeds across a large server network and via intuitive apps. It’s great for HD streaming, but not for torrenting due to its logging practices. It also uses a closed source proprietary encryption protocol. On the whole, Hotspot Shield is good for general web usage, but not for privacy-focused #16 out of 68Hotspot Shield Category RatingsStreaming9. 49. 4/10Torrenting5. 25. 2/10Logging & Jurisdiction7. 57. 5/10Speed & Reliability9. 89. 8/10Server Locations9. 69. 6/10Bypassing Censorship7. 27. 2/10Security & Features8. 98. 9/10Ease of Use8. 28. 2/10Customer Support8. 2/10Price & Value7. 5/10Hotspot Shield Pros & ConsProsThe fastest VPN availableApps are free of IP, DNS & WebRTC leaksPaid app unlocks US Netflix & allows torrentingGood-sized VPN server network: 82 countriesUser-friendly VPN apps for popular devicesConsBased in privacy-unfriendly USNo Firefox add-onFree app shares information with advertisersPast controversies around the free VPN appDoesn’t often work in ChinaHotspot Shield offers two services: a free VPN and a premium VPN. With over 650 million customers, it’s one of the most popular VPN services in the world.
Hotspot Shield Free is an ad-sponsored VPN with a daily data limit of 500MB. Upgrading to the paid version removes ads and gives you unlimited bandwidth, access to servers in 80 countries, and a range of bundled security features.
In this review, we put both the free and the paid versions of the VPN through our strict testing process to see how they performed for speed, security, streaming, and more.
Hotspot Shield has the fastest connection speeds we’ve seen, thanks to Hydra VPN, its proprietary encryption protocol.
Also, all the apps are user-friendly, stream US Netflix, and allow P2P and torrenting traffic on all servers.
The company does have a controversial past when it comes to user privacy, though. There is also no option to use the OpenVPN protocol, and no VPN kill switch for macOS, Android, or iOS, which is a major security flaw for such a popular VPN.
Hotspot Shield Key DataData CapSpeedLogging PolicyData LeaksJurisdictionServersIP AddressesCountriesUS NetflixTorrentingWorks in ChinaSupportCheapest PriceOfficial WebsitePremiumFreeNone500MB per day87Mbps44MbpsSome User LogsSome User LogsNoNoUS (Five-Eyes Member)US (Five-Eyes Member)1, 8001, 8001, 800+1, 800+8080YesNoUnlimitedPermittedUnreliableNo24/7 Live ChatOnline Resources Only$2. 99/mo over 36 mLogging policy needs workLogging & JurisdictionLogging & Jurisdiction Rating7. 5/10We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:
Your real IP address
A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.
According to its terms and conditions, Hotspot Shield Elite collects the following data:
Your IP address – encrypted, only for the duration of your session, and not linked with your activity while using the VPN.
Your approximate geographical location – derived from your IP address and used to connect you to the nearest VPN server.
Connection timestamps – used to monitor, support, and optimize VPN services, and stored for three years.
Bandwidth used per user, per session – used to monitor, support, and optimize VPN services, and stored for three years.
Device-specific information, such as device identifiers, browser types, device types and settings, operating system versions, mobile, wireless, and other network information (such as internet service provider name, carrier name and signal strength), and application version numbers.
Non-personal logs of websites (domain names, not specific URLs) visited via Hotspot Shield’s VPN servers – these are aggregated on a monthly basis.
If you use Hotspot Shield Free, the service can also share even more data with third-party advertisers:
IMEI Number (your unique mobile ID)
Unique advertising ID
If you’re looking for reassurance, the company states that:
…Even if a government agency physically seizes one of our VPN servers and succeeds in breaking disk encryption on those servers, they would not find any logs or information that would reveal what any individual user was browsing, viewing, or doing online via a VPN connection. ”
While it’s encouraging that Hotspot Shield isn’t able to link any behavior to your specific account, this level of data collection is still far too invasive for any user concerned about privacy or anonymity.
Monitoring and Sharing Data
If you’re using Hotspot Shield Elite, the company monitors “the nature of the requests that you make to our servers (such as what is being requested, information about the device and app used to make the request, timestamps, and referring URLs)” along with a whole host of other information.
If you use the free version, you’ll also be sharing personally identifying information with advertisers. As always, it’s best to stay away from ad-supported services when trying to stay private online.
Connection timestamps could potentially be used – alongside other data points – to prove that you have visited a certain website. This is unlikely to happen, but we would rather Hotspot Shield didn’t log this information for three years.
At the very least, Hotspot Shield VPN monitors your IP address and website requests, even if in aggregate form. Combined with a worrisome past concerning user privacy, we can’t recommend the service for users seeking high-level anonymity online. If you want a VPN that doesn’t log web activity, read our PIA VPN review.
Where is Hotspot Shield Based?
Until recently Hotspot Shield was owned by Pango, formerly known as AnchorFree. But as of July 2020 it has been acquired by a security company called Aura.
Aura is based in the US, which has very intrusive privacy laws. It’s also one of the founding members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. These countries work together to collect, share, and analyze mass surveillance data – this alone is a red flag.
Invasive jurisdictions like the US can compel supposedly privacy-focused companies like Aura to retain and share user information.
Hotspot Shield’s Transparency Reports
In January 2019, Hotspot Shield released its annual Transparency Report. The report shows the number of data requests Hotspot Shield received from authorities around the world since 2016 (227) – crucially, it also showed that Hotspot Shield didn’t hand over any data.
However, the company hasn’t released another transparency report to account for the time that has passed since then, so there’s no way of knowing whether it has given up user data to any third parties.
Aura / Pango’s Controversial History
Pango provided an all-in-one subscription service to a number of online security and privacy products including Hotspot Shield Elite, 1Password, Robo Shield, and Identity Guard. It costs $12. 99 a month, or $95. 88 a year.
The Pango group also owned a few different VPN apps including Betternet, Hexatech, and TouchVPN, which are not part of the main Pango subscription service. These services have since been brought within Aura.
Essentially, Hotspot Shield was using tracking codes to collect information about users in order to sell it to third-party advertisers.
The company was also exposed for redirecting user traffic through affiliate networks in order to profit from purchases made while using the VPN service.
In 2017, Hotspot Shield was also accused of “unfair and deceptive trade practices” by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).
The investigation relied on evidence that included Hotspot Shield’s own marketing materials, which overstated the privacy and security of its VPN service.
Hotspot Shield didn’t consider the logging of IP addresses collection of personal information, which is misleading and untrue.
The CDT’s report mainly targeted the free version of the app, but it was still a sizable breach of trust.
It’s hard to fully trust a company that has put profit before user privacy in the past, but with new management and an updated logging policy Hotspot Shield will be private enough for the majority of users.
How Fast is Hotspot Shield? Speed & ReliabilitySpeed & Reliability Rating9. 8/10Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).
We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.
Hotspot Shield’s speeds are impressively fast and reliable. The VPN was consistent in providing excellent connection speeds across the board. No matter which server you choose, you’ll be able to stream in HD or browse the internet with without waiting around – just make sure to test a couple of different nearby VPN servers to find the best have measured Hotspot Shield’s performance when connected to servers in countries around the globe.
If you’re looking to stream video content from another country, Hotspot Shield’s connection speeds will do the job easily.
The company claims this impressive performance is thanks to its proprietary connection protocol, Hydra VPN. This technology is supposedly designed to fix the latency issues associated with other encryption protocols like OpenVPN.
Unlike most VPNs, Hotspot Shield doesn’t automatically connect you to the nearest or fastest VPN server upon startup – it always picks a US server. For the best speeds, we recommend picking a server closer to your physical location.
Even the free version of Hotspot Shield surpassed our expectations with speed losses of around 5-10% when connected to the US (the only location available to free users). If you live in or closer to the US you can expect even better speeds, and vice versa.
Download Speed: 95. 97MbpsUpload Speed: 98. 36MbpsPing: 4msDownload Speed: 86. 64MbpsUpload Speed: 93. 82MbpsPing: 15msDownload speed loss when Hotspot Shield is
running: 10%Local speed tests measure the difference in connection speed before and after connecting to a VPN server near your physical location.
Connecting to a nearby server is the best way to get the fastest speeds, but you won’t gain any of the geo-spoofing benefits of a VPN.
We began our testing with a download speed of 95. 97Mbps. After connecting to Hotspot Shield’s UK server this number dropped to 86. 64Mbps – a percentage speed loss of just 10%.
On other European servers the speed loss dropped by just 1%. This is incredibly impressive when compared to most VPN services – even the best VPNs experience a speed loss of around 5-10%.
Connections to nearby servers were stable and reliable over time – we were able to connect consistently and did not experience any dropped connections during our testing.
International Server Speeds
To test international speeds we repeated the same process while connected to servers in Germany, United States, Singapore, and Australia. This simulates the experience of accessing websites or streaming content outside of your home country.
We found that Hotspot Shield’s international speeds were almost as fast as its local performance. Speed loss is negligible, meaning that you can stream foreign content with ease.
We tested speeds when connected to four servers across the US and found our average download speed was 80Mbps. This is a percentage speed loss of just 17% – an impressive speed, especially for the distance from our physical location.
Here are the full US speed results:
Dallas: 88Mbps (download) & 31Mbps (upload)
LA: 84Mbps (download) & 27Mbps (upload)
New York: 62Mbps (download) & 66Mbps (upload)
Seattle: 92Mbps (download) & 27Mbps (upload)
Across the world in Singapore we measured download speeds of nearly 70Mbps. In Australia speeds reached 59Mbps, a drop of just 39% – one of the best speeds in Australia we’ve ever recorded. This performance is incredible given the physical distances involved; most other VPNs struggle to maintain even 50% of the original speed on this type of long-distance connection.
Here are the full international speed test results:
Germany: 93Mbps (download) & 95Mbps (upload)
USA: 79Mbps (download) & 43Mbps (upload)
Singapore: 68Mbps (download) & 18Mbps (upload)
Australia: 59Mbps (download) & 14Mbps (upload)
Switching between servers is also very fast. However, beware that the kill switch doesn’t protect traffic when you change servers, so it’s best to close down all your browser tabs and apps before you do so to ensure the highest levels of privacy.
Hotspot Shield’s upload speeds aren’t quite as speedy as its downloads, but they are still more than good enough for torrenting if you connect to a nearby server. Ping times are also a little high and the software isn’t manually configurable, so Hotspot Shield isn’t ideal for gaming.
How Fast Is Hotspot Shield Compared to Other VPNs?
To give the best comparison of VPN services we run an automatic custom VPN speed test tool.
It tests the ping, download and upload speed of each VPN four times per day, with speeds capped at 100Mbps (a number similar to what you might get on your home internet connection).
It shows the VPN’s average speed loss compared to the connection with no VPN running. You can see how Hotspot Shield fared versus other popular VPNs over the past two months. The data below is taken from a New York to New York connection.
Compare Hotspot Shield’s speeds across different world cities
Thanks to its proprietary VPN protocol Hotpsot Shield is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve seen. Over the last few months it has maintained an average download speed drop of under 10% – beating even market leaders like ExpressVPN.
Is Hotspot Shield Safe? Security & FeaturesSecurity & Features Rating8. 9/10Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers. It’s proprietary Catalpult Hydra protocol isn’t as tested as open-source alternatives, spot Shield is a secure VPN that uses AES-256 encryption and includes a VPN kill switch. We’ve never seen the VPN leak IP or DNS otocolsIKEv2/IPSecProprietaryEncryptionAES-256SecurityDNS Leak BlockingIPV6 Leak BlockingVPN Kill SwitchAdvanced featuresAd BlockerSplit TunnelingHotspot Shield is a safe VPN using AES-128 encryption and leak protection to secure your internet traffic while it travels through the network.
We detected no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks when using the desktop and mobile applications, but the browser extensions weren’t as secure. They leaked both DNS requests and WebRTC information, which means your ISP would be able to view your browsing activity.
Hotspot Shield’s Kill Switch
The Windows app comes with a VPN kill switch that shields your IP address if your internet connection suddenly drops.
The kill switch is disabled by default, and isn’t currently available for MacOS, Android, or iOS, which is a major oversight for a VPN with such a large user-base.
It also doesn’t activate when you change servers, which temporarily exposes your true IP address. This flaw may only expose your personal information for a couple of seconds, but it’s still a privacy concern.
DNS Leak Proof But No WebRTC Protections
Windows users will find DNS leak protection enabled by default. IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection aren’t built-in though, so privacy-conscious users should disable these settings in their browser.
Lack of Extra Features
If you expect advanced features like split tunneling, double-hop, or an ad-blocker, then Hotspot Shield isn’t for you.
That said, there is a ‘domain bypass’ feature that allows you to route certain websites outside the VPN tunnel.
If you’re looking for a VPN with lots of additional security options, NordVPN is a good alternative with plenty of extras.
Past Security Flaws
It’s also worth noting that security researchers found a major security flaw in Hotspot Shield’s code in February 2018.
The flaw allowed hackers to see users’ true location via their WiFi network name. This was later addressed and fixed. Read Hotspot Shield’s clarification of the incident here.
The amount of third-party trackers in the Android app and the lack of transparency regarding its connection protocol are also points of concern.
Hotspot Shield’s security offering isn’t as strong as the very best VPNs on the market. It provides robust encryption and security in general, but VPN kill switch issues and browser extension leaks are problematic. That said, the VPN is more than safe enough for casual use, streaming, and protecting your data over public WiFi.
Please note: If you have Hotspot Shield on Windows you must update to the latest version of the software, as older versions have a security vulnerability.
Hydra VPN: Hotspot Shield’s Unique Connection Protocol
Hotspot Shield doesn’t use standard VPN protocols like OpenVPN. Instead, it offers IKEv2 and its own proprietary protocol called Hydra VPN (previously known as Catapult Hydra).
There’s not a lot of information about Hydra VPN available online.
We do know that Hydra VPN is optimized to deliver lightning-fast speeds. This is due to its focus on the data transport aspect of VPN performance, which supposedly makes long-distance connection speeds 2. 4x faster than connections using OpenVPN.
According to Hotspot Shield, Hydra VPN is based on TLS 1. 2. It uses 128-bit AES encryption, 2048-bit RSA certificates for server authentication, and incorporates perfect forward secrecy.
For casual users, Hydra’s VPN encryption is more than secure enough to keep you safe.
We spoke to a Hotspot Shield representative to understand exactly how Hydra VPN works. We were told:
“[Hydra VPN] relies on OpenSSL library (same as used by OpenVPN). It’s an enhancement of a transport protocol: it works inside the already established VPN tunnels to increase the speed of reliable data transfer.
In particular, it is an improvement of TCP protocol: when packets are randomly lost during the long distance connections, Hydra VPN doesn’t confuse this loss with last-mile congestion and doesn’t decrease the throughput like old-style TCP.
These improvements are applied packets that are already encrypted within a secure tunnel. Hydra VPN can increase throughput of any type of VPN tunnel, including OpenVPN and IPSEC. ”
One issue with proprietary technology like this is there’s no simple way to see exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Most closed-source protocols cannot be peer-reviewed by independent security experts.
We typically recommend OpenVPN as the most reliable and trustworthy VPN protocol. OpenVPN is fast, secure, and open-source, so anyone can inspect the code for bugs or improvements.
In the case of Hydra VPN, Hotspot Shield claims the code is evaluated by experts from some of the world’s largest security companies, including BitDefender and McAfee. These companies use Hotspot Shield’s Software Development Kit (SDK) to offer VPN services within their apps.
This means that although the code isn’t publicly available, its functionality and security has been evaluated. If you trust these companies you can extend that trust to Hotspot Shield, if you don’t trust them then it’s probably better to go with an alternative.
Though fast and secure, it’s surprising that Hotspot Shield doesn’t offer at least a few other popular VPN tunneling protocols for situations in which their own protocol simply isn’t the best option.
IP, DNS, & WebRTC Leaks
We tested Hotspot Shield’s desktop client, mobile applications and browser extensions for data leaks. Security is about more than just the protocol in use – it has to be used properly, particularly when it comes to leaks that might reveal your identity.
We didn’t record any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks during our tests of the premium and free desktop and mobile applications. Our real IP address and location in the UK remained hidden, which means the VPN was protecting our identity.
Hotspot Shield leak test results using
The VPN doesn’t support IPv6 traffic, so if your ISP supplies you with an IPv6 address your personal data may leak. In order to prevent this you should disable IPv6 on whatever device you’re using. This isn’t ideal, but there are a handful of VPNs that support IPv6, including Perfect Privacy.
While the desktop and mobile apps didn’t leak any of our private information, both the Chrome extension and the Firefox add-on suffered from vulnerabilities. The Chrome extension leaked DNS requests and the Firefox add-on leaked WebRTC requests – even with the WebRTC leak blocking feature enabled.
This means that your ISP can still see the websites you visit when you’re connected to the Chrome extension, and your true IP address and location is exposed when you use the Firefox extension.
Many other VPNs have had WebRTC issues with Firefox recently due to the version 73. 0 update, however there’s an easy fix you can take to protect yourself. The chrome DNS leak is harder to resolve, so we don’t recommend downloading it.
Trackers, Malware, and Permissions
It’s not enough to know how a VPN encrypts your data – it’s also important to know if it installs any unexpected extras on your device, including malware and trackers.
We used the εxodus tool to find out how many trackers and permissions Hotspot Shield’s Android app uses, and were pretty shocked by the results.
The app’s code contains seven trackers, which is more than the average for a top VPN. These trackers include:
Google Firebase Analytics
Most of these trackers let Hotspot Shield know how users are interacting and engaging with the app. This helps produce marketing analytics profiles and also identifies how users respond to issues like crashes.
While this may aid app performance and usability it’s by no means ideal for privacy. After all, VPNs are able to function well without trackers – for example Astrill’s code contains zero.
The tool also found 13 device permissions. These grant the app access to view your network and WiFi connections, retrieve running apps, and prevent your phone from sleeping, amongst others. None of these are particularly concerning permissions.
We also put the Hotspot Shield download file through two different virus and malware scanners to be sure it’s safe to use. Fortunately, we found that Hotspot Shield doesn’t contain any viruses.
Hotspot Shield streams Netflix and moreStreamingStreaming Rating9. 4/10Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.
Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.
Hotspot Shield’s premium service unlocks US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It doesn’t have dedicated streaming servers, though, so you might have to connect to a few before it works tested Hotspot Shield’s apps to check how the service works with popular streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and YouTube.
The VPN service consistently works with US Netflix. Unlike other services, like CyberGhost, there are no dedicated US Netflix streaming servers, but connecting to the US server works most of the time.
If the main US server doesn’t unblock US Netflix, there are almost 20 US city locations you can try, and we’ve always found at least one that works with Netflix. It can involve some trial and error, though.
We were also able to access the following five Netflix libraries:
As with the US library, we just selected the country location and were able to watch geo-specific content immediately.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for Hotspot Shield Free, which prevents you from accessing Netflix with a paywall prompting you to upgrade to the premium subscription.
Hotspot Shield Works with Disney+ and BBC iPlayer
Moreover, Hotspot Shield Elite is one of the best VPNs for unblocking Disney+.
And after several months of not working with BBC iPlayer, the VPN now beats the BBC’s VPN blocks. You can now watch all your favorite British TV shows hassle-free through the UK server.
We also tested Hotspot Shield Elite with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and HBO Max, and we were able to unblock all of them.
How Does Hotspot Shield Compare to Other VPNs for Streaming?
Hotspot Shield is a very strong streaming VPN, but how does it compare to alternatives?
Here’s how Hotspot Shield compares for the best VPNs for streaming:
Torrenting Is Fully SupportedTorrentingTorrenting Rating5. 2/10We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.
Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.
Torrenting and P2P traffic is fully permitted and unrestricted on all Hotspot Shield’s premium servers and while it isn’t officially supported, we’ve been able to torrent on the free VPN, too. However, slow P2P speeds and untrustworthy logging practices hold it spot Shield openly endorses P2P activity unlike some of its competitors. For example, TunnelBear VPN keeps its torrenting policy a near-secret on the website despite permitting it on every server.
Fast upload speeds, a VPN kill switch (for Windows users only), and effective DNS leak protection all make Hotspot Shield Elite a good VPN for torrenting. The VPN masks your IP address, hiding your P2P activity from your ISP.
You can also torrent on any supported device or platform, but unfortunately you can’t use Hotspot Shield with Kodi.
That doesn’t mean that you should rush to use Hotspot Shield for torrenting, though.
Hotspot Shield’s lack of transparency over its proprietary VPN protocol means we can’t guarantee it as the safest option for P2P. The company’s logging policy isn’t the most privacy-friendly, either.
While it’s likely that Hotspot Shield Elite is a safe choice for users looking for safe P2P activity, we can’t recommend it for torrenting over other VPN services with stronger privacy policies.
Read our dedicated guide to torrenting with Hotspot Shield to learn more.
Alternatively, consult our updated torrenting VPN recommendations.
Hotspot Shield offers 1, 800 servers in 80 countriesServer LocationsServer Locations Rating9. 6/10The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.
We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.
This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.
Hotspot Shield’s VPN server network consists of 1, 800 covering 80 countries. While this is a great number of servers, it’s not the biggest selection of VPN locations we’ve seen. 80Countries108Cities1, 800+IP AddressesSee all Server LocationsEven if Hotspot Shield doesn’t have the most servers we’ve seen, they’re are well spread out. You can get an IP address associated with popular countries like the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia, as well as some less common destinations like Ecuador, Egypt, and Thailand.
Hotspot Shield users can choose from VPN servers in 27 different US cities – including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas – which is great news for North Americans as well as customers looking to browse or stream from specific US locations.
Until recently there wasn’t any other city-level server choice, but we got in touch with the Hotspot Shield and requested that it add city servers in Australia and Canada, as these are popular options. The VPN company took our feedback on board and now you can find city-level choices in the below countries:
If you need even more city-level choice HMA VPN has the most server locations we’ve seen so far.
Hotspot Shield states that the number of server locations may differ from one supported device to the next, but when we checked all the apps showed exactly the same server location list.
Hotspot Shield uses a mixture of virtual and physical (bare metal) servers but isn’t willing to reveal which are which due to “security reasons, ” which isn’t as transparent as we’d like.
The IP addresses that Hotspot Shield assigns are dynamic and shared among multiple users at one time, meaning that you can easily hide in the crowd – ideal for privacy.
Hotspot Shield Free VPN users have no choice but to connect to the US VPN server. While this probably won’t be an issue for those living in North America, it’s far from ideal for those based in Europe, Asia, or Africa.
This VPN server limitation isn’t made clear within the app, where you can see the full ‘premium’ server list regardless of which version you’re using. If you try and click on a location other than the United States you’re simply prompted to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
Unlike the premium version of the VPN service, free users of Hotspot Shield can’t drill down to city-level in the US.
Hydra VPN Protocol Works in ChinaBypassing CensorshipCensorship Rating7. 2/10Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.
Hotspot Shield does sometimes work in censored regions like China. However in recent months it has been consistently unable to beat China’s spot Shield isn’t the most reliable VPN for use in China and other high censorship countries. In our recent tests from out Shanghai server, the VPN hasn’t worked once.
Hotspot Shield’s website, however, still claims that “connection is intermittent in countries where Internet Service Providers and Governments block VPN services. ” If one device doesn’t work, it recommends trying another device on a different platform. This is because different platforms – Android vs. Windows, for example – use different servers to establish a connection.
The kill switch is only available on Windows, too, so if you use another platform it might be safer to use one of our top recommended VPNs for China instead.
With servers all over the world and lightning fast speeds, Hotspot Shield is an attractive option for those in other high-censorship countries like Iran and Russia.
Remember that Hotspot Shield’s website is blocked and its apps de-listed from web stores in China. Make sure you download the appropriate software before you travel.
VPN Apps for Desktop, Mobile and Android TVDevice CompatibilityDevice CompatibilityA quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.
This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.
Hotspot shields lets you install the app on up to five devices and is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and sWindowsMaciOSAndroidLinuxRouterHotspot Shield is compatible with most major platforms and devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
You can also use the VPN on up to five devices at any one time on the paid plan. This should be enough for most users, though VPN services like Windscribe have no limit at all.
It will work on your smartphone and desktop computer, and has downloadable apps for:
Amazon Fire TV Stick
There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
Hotspot Shield has also added router support, so you can now use the VPN
HotspotShield VPN & Wifi Proxy 4+ – App Store – Apple
Hotspot Shield is the world’s fastest and most secure VPN app. Protect yourself from cyber threats with a simple tap of the screen. Now you can browse, stream and game while staying safe and private online. With your Hotspot Shield Premium subscription, you get access to a security suite of top security apps. Hotspot Shield Premium includes:► ROBO SHIELD – SPAM CALL BLOCKERStop annoying robocalls from spamming your phone, and stay safe from scammers trying to steal your personal information. ► 1PASSWORD – PASSWORD MANAGERKeep your passwords safe across multiple devices from hackers trying to access your accounts. ► IDENTITY GUARD – IDENTITY THEFT PROTECTIONSafeguard your digital and financial identity from the constant risk of theft and fraud. ► HOTSPOT SHIELD – PREMIUM VPN ACCESSAccess the fastest VPN servers and secure your internet privacy with our patented spot Shield VPN Features:► FASTEST VPN SERVERSConnect to the fastest VPN servers in over 115+ locations to keep your internet connection protected from cybercriminals. ► SECURE VPN CONNECTIONProtect your privacy by connecting to our fully owned VPN servers, or upgrade to our Premium subscription for more features. ► PATENTED VPN TECHNOLOGYGet the VPN with over 30 patents that optimize your server connection for faster speeds and stronger security. ► BROWSE SECURELYStay secure with military-grade encrypted traffic between your device and our servers while connected with Hotspot Shield VPN. ► STAY PRIVATEYour privacy is our mission. Connect to any of our reliable VPN servers, and know that we do not keep any logs of your activity. ► NO REGISTRATION REQUIREDUse all the basic features of the app without having to sign up, register, or enter your credit card. ► SECURITY SUITE INCLUDEDGet premium access to top security products with your Hotspot Shield Premium account at no additional why millions of users trust Hotspot Shield for their mobile security – Get it today! ■ Hotspot Shield VPN Premium service includes:- Free access to RoboShield, Identity Guard, and 1Password. – 7-day free trial: free of charge; no commitment; cancel anytime. – Payment will be charged to your iTunes account at confirmation of purchase. – Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the trial period. – Length of subscription: one year; one month. – Account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period, and identify the cost of the renewal. – Price of subscription: one-year plan: $7. 99/mo; monthly plan: $12. 99/mo. – Subscriptions may be managed by the user and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the user’s Account Settings after purchase. – No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during the active subscription period. – Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription. ■ Hotspot Shield VPN is powered by Aura:Aura believes in placing consumers in control of their personal information online. Aura provides millions of users with mobile security and privacy through all of its security ivacy Policy: of Service: © 2021 Aura Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Sep 22, 2021Version 6. 15. 0
– Minor bugs were fixed- Deployed a few new servers to make our VPN even faster
Ratings and Reviews
4. 5 out of 5
141. 8K Ratings
Works reasonably well; excellent support
There are times when my lifetime “streaming” subscription ($$$) fails to work correctly after the connection has been logged by the app as active for many hours (>9). It has not actually been active as the device is in auto screen off mode with no known background processes occurring. This problem can be resolved by either reinitializing the connection, selecting a new server location. As my host WiFi connection is also sometimes at fault, troubleshot by reinitializing the connection), it becomes a guessing game as to how to manually resolve the issue. I think this app has improved significantly from its earlier days, and that I would be hard pressed to find a better one considering the intrinsic challenges. Depending on your perspective it could deserve 5 stars (relative performance) or 4 stars (absolute).
Works phenomenally, Literally the BEST VPN!!
I’ve been using this VPN since 2017 & I am very satisfied with this products featured services. After a handful of occasions of forgetting to pay my subscription or simply not working it into my budget for the month & suffering the paranoia of unshielded online surfing, I decided to pony up the annual fee. There was a bit of a learning curve as I presume is common with all VPN’s but once I figured out how, when & where to use it… let’s just say that I’ve provided some very luxurious services for myself & the group that I was traveling with make undesirable circumstances better than than they were. All in all the app works about 95% of the time for me unless I’m having cellular connection issues. I like the fact that I can have up to five devices covered on my premium acct. switching seamlessly from my cell, PC, tablet or laptop is never an issue. If you’re looking for a fully customizable, versatile VPN that’s reliable & secure… HotspotShield is the only way to go in my personal opinion.
The BEST hotspot
I’m more than happy that I have downloaded this app, and for the free features it has a lot to offer! It’s accurate and doesn’t have any major flaws, practically FLAWLESS. It stays connected and I haven’t had any issues with it. I’m in highschool and as many know it my school blocks data use which forces us to use the school WiFi for even the most basic actions we make on our phones, and of course the WiFi blocks social media or (mostly) anything else that may be a possible distraction in class. I needed social media to keep in contact day to day for more serious situations other than just texting people to text. I needed school information or other important things outside of school and I was desperate for a decent vpn which I went through so many before I found this one and I am nothing other than pleased. If I had the money on pocket all the time I would for sure get premium. One big thumbs up on this one. It’s a keeper
Unlimited access to all your favorite content
Data Used to Track You
The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies:
Data Not Linked to You
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Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
97. 9 MB
Requires iOS 12. 0 or later.
Requires iPadOS 12. 0 or later.
© Aura Inc.
Monthly VPN Subscription
Hotspot Shield VPN with Pango
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.
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Frequently Asked Questions about hotspotshield vpn and wifi proxy
Is Hotspot Shield VPN & WiFi proxy safe?
Overall, Hotspot Shield is a good VPN. It’s great for unblocking content platforms and protecting your data on public WiFi networks. However, we don’t recommend it for the highest levels of privacy or anonymity.Aug 19, 2021
What is Hotspot Shield VPN and WiFi proxy?
Hotspot Shield is the world’s fastest and most secure VPN app. Protect yourself from cyber threats with a simple tap of the screen. Now you can browse, stream and game while staying safe and private online. … Access the fastest VPN servers and secure your internet privacy with our patented technology.Sep 22, 2021
Is Hotspot Shield a VPN?
Hotspot Shield provides apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Several streaming devices, including Android TV and Amazon Fire Stick, also support Hotspot Shield apps. … The Hotspot Shield client looks much more at home on Windows 10 than other VPN apps.