Although there is no shortage of VPN providers in the market, only a few of them have the security features and protocols which can guarantee the safety of users’ online information and also of their devices. Hotspot Shield is one of those few VPNs and offers great security features and protocols for a reasonable price. You will get to know everything about the Hotspot shield review in this blog.
Hotspot Shield Review – is It Really a Good Option?
Hotspot Shield provides the users with a free version. Although many restrictions apply to the free version, it still manages to make its name in the list of best free VPNs.
HotSpot Shield is a multi-purpose and well-known VPN extension, and it is no wonder that it is regarded as one of the best VPNs. However, it is not necessary that a well-known service will suit all customers. This deal also applies to HotSpot Shield; moreover, a hotspot shield review is incomplete without it’s drawback, so there are some drawbacks to it that you should know about before installing the VPN.
1. Logging and Jurisdiction
Although HotSpot Shield does not keep any records of the user’s online activity, it does take peeks at other information. Moreover, HotSpot Shield review tells you point-to-point terms and conditions, which can be misleading as they talk about the data they collect.
1. IP address: Although the VPN takes notes of the IP addresses of the connected devices, it does not hold onto that information for long and does not share it with any other websites.
2. Geographical location: HotSpot Shield uses the user’s geographical location to provide them with the best server for auto-connect.
3. Device information: If the user is connecting multiple devices to a single plan, then the VPN will start taking the information of the connected devices, which only includes the device names and versions.
4. Bandwidth used per device: Although the premium version of HotSpot Shield provides the users with unlimited bandwidth, it keeps track of how much data the connected devices have used.
5. Connection timestamps: HotSpot Shield makes timestamps for how long the VPN is used and stores the data for three years.
2. Speed and Reliability
HotSpot Shield speed is one of the fastest, and its connection speed is also one of the reasons for its fame. Both the premium and free version of HotSpot Shield provides the users with an extremely fast connection speed to stream videos at HD quality. Moreover, the VPN has achieved a rating of 9.9/10 in the Ookla speed test.
Although the VPN provide the users with a fast and stable connection speed, the free version of HotSpot Shield is not an ideal choice for streaming, torrenting, and other online activities that requires a lot of data.
The free version of HotSpot Shield is imposed by a daily bandwidth limitation of 500 MB. 500 MB daily is enough for secure browsing but won’t last long in streaming or torrenting.
On the plus side, it follows the Hydra protocol to ensure secure browsing. Moreover, this protocol gives a buff to the connection speed and allows the users to do smooth online activities.
The connection speed of HotSpot Shield VPN is impressive in both close and faraway servers. Moreover, there is only a 5-10% speed loss in the free version, and only 18% speed is lost in the farthest server in the premium version.
Although the VPN includes a quick to connect button, rather than connecting to the closest or fastest server, it always ends up connecting to a US server. HotSpot Shield Price is also very affordable as compared to other VPNs.
3. Security and Privacy
HotSpot Shield is a reliable and responsive VPN that offers advanced security and privacy features and vows to keep the users’ online information and their devices safe.
1. Protocol: Only top notch security protocols such as IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP, and SSTP are available in the VPN. Moreover, it provides the users with Hydra protocol which is developed by the HotSpot Shield providers.
2. Encryption: Over 1800 servers are available in HotSpot Shield, and all of them are protected with the AES-256 encryption.
3. Security features: Automatic kill switch, DNS and IP leaks blocker, and Camouflage mode.
4. Kill Switch: HotSpot Shield has a fully automatic and customizable kill switch which will disconnect the device from the internet connection if any malware or virus is trying to enter the device. However, the VPN only provides kill switch to the Windows users.
5. DNS and IP leak blockers: Although these leak blockers can’t be customized, they make sure that the users won’t face any DNS or IP leak when accessing restricted content.
6. Camouflage Mode: It is one of the best modes to keep the user’s identity anonymous. This mode turns the user’s IP to look like a regular IP of the connected server. Moreover, it hides the fake IP with a bunch of generated IP addresses.
4. Advanced features (Only in the premium version): Split Tunneling and Ad Blockers
Split Tunneling: HotSpot Shield provides its premium users with advanced split tunneling to direct their traffic through multiple networks.
1. Ad Blockers: The ad blocker of HotSpot Shield is one of the best and allows the users to part ways with CAPTCHA and all the ads that pop out of nowhere while browsing.
The features and protocols of HotSpot Shield make sure to provide the users with a fast connection speed while protecting their online information and the connected devices.
2. Servers: HotSpot Shield provides the premium users with over 1800 servers that are spread out in 80+ countries and 500+ servers in the free version. Although the number of servers is not the largest, it is more than enough to complete all online activities.
Moreover, the IP addresses that are generated by the servers are dynamic and are simultaneously used by multiple users. These generated IP addresses are great for hiding among the crowd and concealing your online information.
3. Streaming: Even with impressive speed and camouflage mode, HotSpot Shield android fails to unblock many streaming libraries. Although there is a good number of servers available in the VPN, only a few streaming libraries can be unblocked on major streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.
However, HotSpot Shield works well with Disney+ and unblocks a variety of its libraries and allows the users to stream them safely.
4. Torrenting: Although both the free and the premium version supports torrenting and P2P traffic, the free version is not a good choice for torrenting as it is imposed by limited bandwidth. Moreover, simultaneous device connections are not available in the free version. Speaking of simultaneous connections, a maximum of five devices can be connected to the VPN and can share files with one another through the P2P servers.
As all the servers of HotSpot Shield support torrenting, doubting their speed would be pointless. It is one of the best VPNs for torrenting and can be used quickly to download or upload files on torrent websites.
5. Gaming: Just like torrenting and streaming, the free version of Hotspot Shield is not a good choice for online gaming. As online gaming tends to consume a lot of data, and 500 MB won’t be enough to finish a fast paced online game. Though it changes if the user has a premium version of HotSpot Shield, as it will not only have unlimited bandwidth but will also have a better connection speed and support of simultaneous device connection.
6. Bypassing Censorship: With servers spread across the world and an extreme connection speed, it is a child’s play for HotSpot Shield to bypass censorship. Although the servers of HotSpot Shield can bypass censorship, it is only recommended to use it on Windows. As many malware and other viruses can be found in the censored content and kill switch is necessary to prevent these softwares from entering the device. However, the catch here is that HotSpot Shield only provides kill switch to Windows users.
5. Device Compatibility
Although HotSpot Shield is compatible with all the major devices and platforms, it does not provide all of them with the same features.
1. Windows: The best version of HotSpot Shield is only available on the Windows. Moreover, the features and protocol customization on Windows are the easiest.
2. Mac: HotSpot Shield provides the users with all the features and protocols it did to Windows, except kill switch.
3. iOS: Although the features customization of HotSpot Shield in iOS is the most tricky, it provides the users with advanced and responsive features that have a similar interface as the Mac version.
4. Android: The Android version of HotSpot Shield is not the most well designed and has a some flaws. It still provides the users with impressive features, and the customization to them is easier than in iOS.
5. Router: HotSpot Shield is not a dedicated VPN for routers, and it requires the users to manually install the VPN. However, after installing the VPN on a router, the user can easily connect their devices to the VPN and can enjoy a fast speed.
6. Fire TV sticks: The VPN works impressively on Fire TV sticks and provides the users with a blazing fast speed to stream video smoothly and at a high quality.
Is HotSpot Shield VPN good?
Both the free and the premium version of HotSpot Shield. Hotspot Shield for windows also offers a lot of useful and reliable features to the users and are one of the best choices for secure browsing on public wifi.
Although the free version is imposed by many limitations and the premium version has some flaws, it makes up for them with its security features, protocols, and fast connection speed.
The free version of HotSpot Shield is only recommended to those who use public wifi for browsing and do not want to make any compromises with their online information. As for the premium version, everyone can use them for all their online activities.