Expert Hotspot Shield Review 2019

Compare the best vpn software and find top vpn services for your needs.

Overview

With Hotspot Shield, users enjoy a speedy, high performance VPN with secure WiFi connections in public hotspots and access to blocked content. Hotspot Shield has faced allegations for its privacy privacy so if you consider anonymity your top priority, you may want to give this one a pass. Still, users love Hotspot Shield VPN because it provides lightning fast internet connections perfect for torrenting or streaming georestricted content. The VPN has super fast servers in over 80 countries worldwide. 

Customers can choose from among the different pricing options. Hotspot Shield recently ditched its unique lifetime package. However, you can still sign up for a flexible 1 month subscription for $12.99. Hotspot Shield VPN also has a 1 year contract for $5.99/month and a 3 year plan for $2.99/month. Users can try the service risk-free with a 45-day money back guarantee. 

Hotspot Shield VPN comes with multi-device support supporting up to 5 simultaneous connections. You also get unlimited bandwidth, ad-free browsing, and complete cloud-based malware protection with virtual locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, India, and Germany. The software is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Kindle, Windows Phone, iOS, Chrome Browser, and Firefox. 

Speed 

Using a VPN service can slow down browsing speed. However, rather than rely on third party servers, Hotspot Shield uses its own servers in over 80 countries worldwide. This means relatively fast browsing speed in comparison to other VPN software. 

Because Hotspot Shield uses multiple servers, users will experience optimum browsing and download speeds. Performance is faster in comparison to other VPN software. Hotspot Shield comes with high speeds and unlimited bandwidth promising superior performance. 

Although Hotspot Shield VPN works in most countries around the world, the VPN may not work in certain countries. Hotspot Shield lists countries on its website that regularly block any VPN services. The list includes Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Turkey, Pakistan, and Bahrain.

Privacy

Hotspot Shield allows for private browsing by blocking your IP address. The software uses an encrypted and private connection to protect user privacy. While Hotspot Shield does hide the IP address, some users complain that this isn’t the best option for downloading torrents while using the free version. 

For example, a Hotspot Shield VPN Review mentions some controversy about the company selling its users’ data. In 2017, a privacy group accused Hotspot Shield of spying on user web traffic. The Washington DC-based Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) issued a 14 page filing stating that Hotspot Shield violates its “anonymous browsing” promise by intercepting web traffic to partner sites such as advertising companies. 

The company responded to the allegations by reiterating its “zero knowledge” approach that it does not store customer data. It would appear that Hotspot Shield does not consistently live up to its promises in ensuring complete user privacy. 

The Hotspot Shield website reasserts its stance on maintaining a no logs policy. However, if you consider privacy the number one priority for your VPN, you may want to opt for another provider.

Ease of Use & Sign Up

Conveniently, Hotspot Shield offers paid software compatible with a number of operating systems and devices. Installation is easy, but the extension modifies the browser a bit reverting to default settings. Once installed, the extension is easy to turn off and on, with a green shield signaling that the app is on, red when it is off. 

Available payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Hotspot Shield doesn’t accept a long list of payment methods for purchasing the software.

Customer Support

Customers who have questions or need assistance can visit Hotspot Shield’s online resource center. Here, Hotspot Shield provides a searchable database of information as well as an FAQ section. To get in touch with a support agent directly, customers can fill in the online contact form. 

Hotspot Shield also hosts social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The Facebook page does have some useful information regarding Hotspot Shield VPN and how to access georestricted content. However, the company doesn’t update the page on a regular basis. 

Word on the Street 

If you want to unblock georestricted content, you can get the latest updates on which VPNs work for sites like Netflix, HBO, and BBC iPLayer by checking out online forums. Reddit, for example, has Hotspot Shield reviews explaining which geoblocks you can circumvent with this VPN. 

One such Hotspot VPN Review mentions that the service unblocks Netflix, but it depends on the country. Some have had success accessing Netflix UK from outside of the country. Others have also unblocked Netflix US and Brazil. It seems that overall Hotspot Shield can gain access to Netflix. However, the access can change. Overall, it appears as though Hotspot Shield manages to circumvent these bans successfully, but perhaps not for every country. 

It’s worth mentioning that streaming sites like Netflix regularly update their site to try and block VPNs from gaining access. However, VPNs proactively compete to successfully outsmart bans from Netflix and other georestricted services. As a result, access can vary from day-to-day. 

Other customer Hotspot Shield Reviews have complained about getting charged before the expiration of their subscription. In some cases, customers have had issues getting refunded for auto renewals. It seems that customers who sign up for Hotspot Shield should pay close attention to the fine print and turn off the auto renewal setting in their account. When in doubt, you can contact customer support with any questions. 

Bottom Line 

Hotspot Shield VPN provides a high performance service with a fast, beautiful user interface. It’s biggest flaw: anonymity. Hotspot Shield has faced accusations for snooping on user internet activity and sharing browsing history with advertisers. 

While some controversy surrounds Hotspot Shield VPN for its questionable “no logs policy”, you may find similar accusations against many other competing providers. All in all, Hotspot Shield does maintain a “no knowledge” policy in which it agrees not to spy on user traffic or sell browsing history to advertisers or ISPs. 

At the end of the day, Hotspot Shield VPN makes an excellent choice for users looking for an elegantly designed interface with easy navigation. Those seeking the highest grade privacy levels may want to give this one a pass. Still, Hotspot Shield outperforms its competitors in terms of browsing speeds and performance. If you want to stream georestricted content seamlessly, try Hotspot Shield risk-free with a 45 day money back guarantee.

3 Year1 Year1 Month
Price $2.99 per month $5.99 per month/$71.88 total $12.99 for one month
Unlimited bandwidth
Multi logins
30-day money back guarantee
Windows
Mac OS X
iOS
Android

Video Review

Joe Schwartz | VPN Editor

Our chief content editor, Joe manages a diverse team of content writers. He holds a degree in online communications and his writing has been featured in a wide range of online publications.

Pros
  • Great cost to value
  • Ideal also for mobile
  • Maximum privacy protection
Cons
  • Tech support response is slow sometimes
  • No Linux client
Bottom Line
Save 77% on a 3 year subscription
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