Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Hotspot Shield apps feature a user-friendly design and provide many convenient features (kill switch, automation options and split tunneling). Plus it performs admirably in speed tests!

iOS clients look nearly identical to their Android and Windows counterparts, making navigation especially simple. There are some differences, however, such as being able to view server load percentage and latency information within a list of servers.


Hotspot Shield employs 256-bit AES encryption that is unbreakable by even the world’s most advanced supercomputers; this makes it significantly stronger than industry standard 128-bit AES.

Though the free version only provides 500 MB per day and offers only limited servers, streaming or downloads are unrestricted. Meanwhile, the premium service offers unlimited bandwidth with over 125 virtual locations; additional security can also be achieved through its dedicated IP address that makes less likely that a VPN will be blacklisted.

Hotspot Shield’s user interface is straightforward. The main screen displays an on/off switch and list of available servers with their data usage for that day, while its settings section offers options tailored to more technical users without overwhelming less experienced ones. In addition, Hotspot Shield also comes equipped with built-in antiphishing and malware protection and works seamlessly across Linux devices, routers and smart TVs.


Hotspot Shield offers two paid plans as well as a limited free version, with daily data limits of 500MB per day and just one virtual location available to select.

The Premium plan offers faster speeds and access to more servers. Catapult Hydra, Hotspot Shield’s exclusive tunneling protocol, ensures its network is less Western-focused than most VPN services’ with South America and Asia evenly represented across its servers.

Hotspot Shield performed admirably in our speed tests, without lag or freezing, while effectively blocking ads and other nuisances. It makes an ideal low-cost VPN option; and its no-logging policy provides peace of mind to those concerned with US data retention laws. Interestingly, while Hotspot Shield used to promote torrenting on its website uTorrent/BitTorrent users only are now allowed, helping protect copyright holders.


Hotspot Shield apps are straightforward and user-friendly, offering an effortless experience that won’t bog down with configuration options like those provided by competitors such as Proton VPN and Private Internet Access – ideal for users who just want fast protection without hassle or delay.

Desktop and mobile apps from this company come equipped with user-friendly tutorials and guides for common issues, available both directly within each app or through our comprehensive knowledgebase on our website.

Hotspot Shield doesn’t offer competitive prices, charging an exorbitant $9.99 monthly and $7.99 annually on rolling plans and 1 year plans respectively. But signing up through Tom’s Guide offers you an amazing savings opportunity: you’ll only pay $2.49 monthly with their three year plan – offering incredible value compared to comparable services that cost much more. Plus you get a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. However, HSS still doesn’t publish transparency reports (it last released one under former ownership in 2019), or consistently bypass VPN blocks in censored countries such as China (it last published one under previous ownership) nor reliably bypass VPN blocks in censored countries such as China).

Customer service

Hotspot Shield offers an expansive network of servers spanning 80 countries and 125 cities, and offers user-friendly apps. The free version limits speeds to 2 Mbps per day and data usage caps at 500MB daily; premium versions have no such restrictions or caps; they use Catapult Hydra protocol instead of OpenVPN (although router support for OpenVPN exists), so privacy purists may find this disappointing; however it has the backing of McAfee and Telefonica so should make you feel safe enough when used by.

Hotspot Shield VPN boasts native apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS as well as Linux command line app; as well as Chrome extension and TV app for Fire TVs and Android TVs. In addition, there is also a browser extension and TV app available; helpful guides can be found online; paying customers can only avail themselves of live chat support while non-paying customers must submit an email ticket – plus there’s even an impressive 45 day money-back guarantee available with Hotspot Shield!

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