Hotspot Shield is a VPN provider run by software company AnchorFree. Established in 2005, the American company is one of the older VPN providers on the market. The company claims it can provide high-security VPN services wherever you are.
We have tested Hotspot Shield’s services, and we liked the VPN’s security features and usability. Its servers performed well, with impressive sustained speeds and little connection issues. We even found the mobile app easy to set up and use.
The company’s free VPN plan is impressive, but still has big cons like a limited number of accessible servers. This free plan though would be a good introduction to Hotspot Shield’s paid packages, and it’s a handy option on its own. For the free plan alone, this VPN provider is worth a look, but we recommend upgrading to a paid plan once you’re comfortable with them.
Click the link below to see their website and free software!
One of Hotspot Shield’s biggest draws is its military-grade data encryption. For increased privacy, the company uses the Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 protocol, which improves upon the regular SSL protocol used by other providers. It also utilizes 26-bit AES data encryption to secure your communications further.
Hotspot Shield provides an easy-to-use app for setting up and managing your connections. The app has a prominent timer that displays the amount of time you have been connected to the servers. The app also shows other information, including:
These details will give you a clear picture of your current connection status. If you want to switch to a different connection, just select a desired location and the app will automatically re-configure your settings.
The company has a generous free VPN plan, with a data cap of 500MB per day. Since it runs in the same network as the paid version, the free plan is faster than other free VPN offers. To access the free VPN, just install the Hotspot Shield app then connect.
However, the free plan has limitations. First, you can only use the US server. If you try to connect to other countries, the app will automatically direct you to the paid plans page. Second, you can only connect a single device. The third drawback of the free plan is the ads which can eat up some of your daily data.
Hotspot Shield operates more than 2,500 servers in 25 different countries, such as:
The Hotspot Shield VPN app gives you a map showing the exact location of the server you are using. To change your location, click on the drop-down menu on the top of the map and choose your desired country.
Hotspot Shield has five different VPN plans to choose from:
All plans, except the free one, will let you access all of the company’s server locations. You can also use up to 5 different devices in a single connection. The company lets you pay either through Paypal or credit card.
Hotspot Shield claims to offer 24/7 customer support. It has a live chat panel that you can use for real-time questions and inquiries. You can also make contact through:
The company will reply within a few hours or up to a few days on these channels.
Hotspot Shield also has a detailed knowledge base, covering all sorts of concerns like connection issues and slowdowns in speed. You can even select a specific set of tips based on the operating system you are using, which makes it convenient for quick lookups.
The company though still collects certain personal details from you, which are divided into two categories:
Hotspot Shield states that the information you provide is stored in a format that doesn’t identify you. It also deletes all information after a certain period, unless otherwise required by the law.
If Hotspot Shield can’t deliver your requested services, it can offer refunds. The refund will be pro-rated based on the amount of your current subscription. To get a refund, contact the customer support team after you canceled your subscription.
We like the level of security that Hotspot Shield offers, which is a nice guarantee that your connection is secured. We also like the fact that this quality is available to both free and paid plans, even adding more utility to the free version.
When it comes to free VPN plans, Hotspot Shield has one of the more generous offers that we have seen, with a 500MB daily cap which is close to be enough, but will fall short of most daily user needs. The other big issue here is that you are limited to just one server and one connecting device. Like other free offers, the number of ads will be an annoying issue for some users.
Overall, Hotspot Shield is a good option for those looking for a VPN provider with a combination of strong security features and fast speeds. Its plans are a bit on the pricey side, but you will still find its offers reasonable. If prices are a big deal for you, take the time to check out our reviews of the 5 Best Cheap VPN Providers for options.
Click the image below to see HotSpot Shield’s free version!
Our ratings for hotspot shield free review are based on our professional experience and extensive tests with VPN providers between April 2014 – July 2014, taking into account user feedback and reviews we receive. As a friendly disclosure, some VPN providers do compensate us for customers we refer them, but this in no way effects their ranking on our website, nor our reviews.
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