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Hotspot Shield Review

Before you buy a VPN suitable for Your Needs from the first company you find, check the reviews. We test, review and rate the top services for Hotspot Shield Review. We want to make sure you get the highest quality Hotspot Shield Review, the fastest turnaround time, the best support, the lowest price, and the guarantees to back it up. Don’t waste your money on scams or poor-quality providers.

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Hotspot Shield VPN has been in the business since 2005. They claim to have over 650 million users in more than 200 countries, but we believe they mean total downloads. Over a 12 month period in 2018, Hotspot Shield’s user base grew by a dazzling 100 million downloads, which sounds right when you consider how popular they are online.

Other than the fact that Hotspot Shield offers some of the most comprehensive set of features, it also has a broad server network of over 2,500 servers spanning across 25 countries. Its customer support includes a sizable knowledge base, a blog, a responsive live chat, and email support. Its VPN services are compatible with most devices, including routers, mobile, Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPad, and Android devices. On top of it all, the packages are available at considerably affordable prices. We recommend them, read this Hotspot Shield review to learn more!

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Features

Hotspot Shield VPN vows to add several layers of security to keep hackers, data thieves, and digital criminals at bay. The company promises to keep your online privacy and anonymity intact by offering the following features:

  • Military-grade 256-AES encryption
  • Anonymous and unlimited browsing
  • No log policy
  • Up to five devices under one VPN account
  • Claim to have the fastest VPN connection in the industry
  • Geo-unblocking, particularly of streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube
  • Integrated kill switch
  • Torrenting-friendly

If you know your way around VPNs, you’ll definitely appreciate some of these features. Strong encryption, no-logging policy, geo-unblocking, decent speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and a kill switch feature are some of the most important features to look for in a VPN provider.

Servers & Countries

Hotspot Shield VPN may not have the most expansive network that we’ve seen, but it has servers in some of the most popular countries, including:

  • The USA
  • Canada
  • The UK
  • France
  • Denmark
  • China
  • Australia

Hotspot Shield also offers its services in some censorship-oriented countries like Russia and Turkey. Overall, the provider has over 2,500 servers in 25 countries.

While we’ve certainly seen bigger networks than this one in terms of countries with a server in them, but it is fair to point out that the provider has covered some of the most popular countries. This fact makes Hotspot Shield VPN ideal for geo-unblocking.

Reliability & Speed Tests

Hotspot Shield explicitly states that its VPN is the fastest. Not one of the fastest, not lighting-fast, but the fastest of all VPNs. We will be testing these claims out extensively. On its website, Hotspot Shield explains that they are the fastest due to:

  • Hotspot Shield VPN has invested heavily into developing its own protocol named Catapult Hydra. The company has spent many years perfecting this technology which they say delivers “ultimate performance and next-level security.”
  • This protocol supposedly optimizes a wide range of server connections that are significantly stronger and faster over long distances.

These are very ambitious claims, and we love to see VPNs developing new tech, but a blazing-fast VPN connection is no good if your personal data is being sold to third parties. Let’s see how its logging policies bode below.

Pricing & Payments

Hotspot Shield VPN offers both cheap and expensive packages. The monthly package comes at a high price, taking into consideration the industry average. However, long-term plans are quite affordable:

  • One-month plan: $12.99/month
  • Six-month plan: $8.99/month
  • One-year plan: $5.99/month
  • Three-year plan: $3.49/month

The three-year plan offers the biggest savings, as it is almost four times cheaper than the one-month plan. The features and privileges remain the same for each plan; the only difference among these packages is the time you’re ready to commit. If you’re budget-friendly-oriented, subscribing to the three-year plan is a great choice.

Payments can be installed via PayPal, credit cards, Alipay, Yandex, GiroPay, UnionPay, and others. They actually claim to work with “hundreds” of payment systems!

Support

This is another area where Hotspot Shield reviews well. When we looked at their customer support we found an extensive and rich support section:

  • Blog: Their blog addresses the main VPN issues of the day. You can find articles concerning new updates, latest news, VPN tips, and other content relevant to VPNs.
  • FAQ: Answers some of the most commonly asked questions from customers.
  • Payments and subscriptions: This section is filled with content which clarifies different payment issues.
  • Common issues: This section focuses on some of the most common problems that might arise while using Hotspot Shield VPN.
  • Live chat: They have a highly-responsive live chat feature which is recommended for simple questions.
  • Email support: The email support can be reached by submitting a request via a ticketing system. This type of customer support is recommended for those who seek in-depth insights on some technical issues.

We tested Hotspot Shield’s live chat support; the responsiveness passed with flying colors. The customer support employee was more than happy to assist us after a few minutes of sending our initial message. The interaction was friendly, immediate, and informative.

Hotspot Shield Live Chat

On top of it all, Hotspot Shield offers a dedicated customer support section called “Hotspot Shield Help” for your particular platform. The covered platforms include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chrome browser.

Policies & Logging

Hotspot Shield VPN may offer a fast VPN connection, but how well does it protect your connection? Hotspot Shield offers the following customer protection policies:

  • No logging: According to its website, Hotspot Shield VPN does not log your browsing activity. While you’re using Hotspot Shield, there won’t be any record of visited websites and used apps, preventing hackers from exploiting any vulnerabilities to access your data.
  • Refund policy: Hotspot Shield claims that it may terminate your paid subscription at any given time with or without notice. If such termination occurs while you’re a paid subscriber, you may be entitled to a pro-rated refund of your current subscription payment. If your account is terminated due to your breach of their agreement, you will not be entitled to a refund. Hotspot Shield offers a 45-day money back guarantee.
  • Privacy policy: Hotspot Shield collects two types of personal information—the personal information you choose to share with the provider, and the personal information which is automatically collected when you use the VPN services. Hotspot Shield claims that its premium version is ad-free, while its free version is supported by ads. It will also serve you cookies to enhance the functionality of its website. Keep in mind that the policy also states that Hotspot Shield or its third-party providers may collect information from your device through cookies, beacons, and similar technologies.

All in all, this is where Hotspot Shield comes a little short. Its privacy policy is a little loose, as well as its refund policy. We’ve certainly seen more flexible customer protection policies than the ones offered by Hotspot Shield VPN.

Expert Recommendation

While we have mixed feelings about Hotspot Shield, we lean towards a positive review, and for good reasons. Its features are outstanding, as well as its VPN connection speed, thanks to the tech they’ve developed. It offers fairly affordable packages, with the three-year deal particularly standing out. It supports geo-unblocking and torrenting. It has rock-solid AES-256 encryption. The customer support is also top-notch, with a lot of useful content and a responsive live chat team.

The only thing that could be a potential deal-breaker for some is Hotspot Shield’s customer protection policies. While it has a no-logging policy, the privacy policy is not so clear, and the refund policy could be improved. All in all, we recommend Hotspot Shield VPN for anyone who likes to experience blazing fast VPN connections while enjoying all the perks that come with a cutting-edge VPN provider.


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How Do We Rate VPNs?

Our ratings for hotspot shield 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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