Hotspot Shield Review by our expert

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Rating ?
4.0 / 5.0
Features 4.2 / 5.0
Ease of Use 4.4 / 5.0
Pricing 3.3 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 3.9 / 5.0

A useful and fast proxy service, Hotspot Shield Elite, gives users access to a selection of well-encrypted IP addresses. This service has proved to be one of the most effectual at hiding data (along with our two best, NordVPN and ExpressVPN), drastically reducing the risk of interception. Hotspot will also compress your data, which allows it to move even quicker towards its destination. Hotspot...

updated: Feb 15, 2018
Hotspot Shield User Reviews
3.1
Feb 7, 2018
  •  4
So-So ...

VERY bad support, they use payed gmail accounts for email communications and store my bills as pdf's on zendesk (privacy service??) That aside, the service just works, and does so very well, no DNS leaking (used 3 other VPN's and on win10 all leaked but this one) - it is also super fast on connect/reconnect. But you see, I would not chose them again because of the support - principles should be more important to these days ...


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Sep 14, 2017
  •  5
Works as advertised!

I've had the lifetime deal for a year now. Speeds are unnoticeable from when the vpn is off! Switching countries works with Amazon Prime Video. Works on all 3 of the devices that are registered to it.


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    Elizabeth
    Dec 25, 2017
    Avoid hotspot shield.

    These guys use unethical & aggressive billing practices. I have had so many problems getting rid of Hotspot shield. First, when it came time to renew and I did not want to,it hijacked my screen forcing me to put in my payment info. The only way I could stop it was through task manager and shutting down the application. Then after I cancelled about 7 months later I see charge of 35 dollars for hotspot shield which I don't even have installed. How they got my new visa number I do not know. I've never had this happen to me with any other subscriptions. Avoid hotspot shield.


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Harry
Jul 3, 2017
  •  1
Very hard to cancel this -hope I did

I got this on an apple Iphone when it said my phone was infected-I had to look for a long time on the site to find instructions on how to cancel and I am not sure if I got it canceled yet- their instructions on Q&A were sketchy at best-Apple needs to get this out of Apple Store.


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Compare Hotspot Shield with the top alternative VPNs
Features Description
Number of Server Locations (countries) 90
Number of servers 200
Does VPN keep logs Partially
Includes Kill Switch No
Devices per license 5
How to use Hotspot Shield 4.4 / 5.0

1. Download the program from here
2. Find the file in your downloads folder, right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator"
3. Follow the instructions that appear in the pop-up window
4. When Hotspot Shield is open, use the drop-down menu to select the server you wish to connect to, then click "Connect" (when the connection is established the "Connect" button will be replaced with a timer)
5. To sign in to your account in order to enable the Elite features, you must click the menu icon in the top left (the 3 lines), then click "sign In or Create Account" (if you are not signed in the top of the program will say "Account Type: FREE")
6. Enter your VPN username and password, then click "sign In"

For detailed instructions on how to open a HotSpot Shield account and download, see our how-to here.

Download

Watch the short video review and tutorial below of Hotspot Shield
Pricing 3.3 / 5.0
Elite 12-Month Plan
€6.99/month
Elite 6-Month Plan
€10.99/month
Elite 1-Month Plan
€15.99/month

Hotspot Shield has one paid-for service, called Elite. Subscriptions to the service are available for 6 or 12 months, with some countries also allowing you to subscribe on a monthly basis. There is a 30-day money back guarantee on this service, but they also offer a time-unlimited free trial, this trial is limited to only accessing servers in the US and it does not allow the use of several streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu.

Reliability & Support 3.9 / 5.0

Aside from another extensive knowledge base on their website, they have a forum, where support agents work on answering your questions (usually within a day, if you post under the "help" tab) alongside knowledgeable other customers, however, the forum doesn't look as well-used as other forums in the field. The alternative is to contact Hotspot Shield directly by clicking on the support link on the website, and filling out the pop-up question box. There is no real-time chat or support email used, and you're likely to wait a day or longer before getting any useful response.

The Bottom Line
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)
A no frills, low-price vendor with low transparency and poor customer service

Hotspot Shield is basically a lowprice, simple, no frills VPN service that is ideally suited to those looking for hassle-free streaming of international media services, like Netflix. However, without getting a reasonable reply from their support services, and a lack of information regarding their security protocols, including what data they share with law enforcement, we can't recommend this service to those of you that take security and reports on openness more seriously than a quick connection to a foreign server.

4.0 / 5.0
Detailed expert review of Hotspot Shield
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

A useful and fast proxy service, Hotspot Shield Elite, gives users access to a selection of well-encrypted IP addresses. This service has proved to be one of the most effectual at hiding data (along with our two best, NordVPN and ExpressVPN), drastically reducing the risk of interception. Hotspot will also compress your data, which allows it to move even quicker towards its destination.

Hotspot Sheild VPN is currently being investigated after a recent file by the CDT claimed that the free VPN proxy service was collecting user data and intercepting traffic. A recent study identified that Hotspot actively injected JavaScript codes for advertising and that they redirected their traffic to e-commerce domains, like alibaba.com and eBay.com. Their reputation has also faltered due to them injecting ads in their apps and browser extensions. You can read more about the investigation here

Usability:

There are servers located in the US, but their locations or the number of IP addresses available is not disclosed by the service. For users, this is a disadvantage. However, it does show the value this service has for security and privacy. Unlimited bandwidth is offered to users, but the rules and regulations of your internet service provider still apply.

When it comes to connection options, Hotspot Shield Elite only offers users an OpenVPN connection. In comparison to PPTP and LT2P, OpenVPN is a more stable and secure connection. Nevertheless, having other connection options available is nice. While testing this service, we noticed that Google was unable to recognize the proxy. Our IP address was hidden effectively and the service's anonymous server location and the IP address appeared instead.

Hotspot Shield Elite offers its users proprietary data compressions. Upon its use, the size of your data is reduced significantly, allowing it to be transmitted quickly. One thing you must keep in mind though is that your internet speed is dependent on multiple factors. This includes the location of the Hotspot Shield server (whether it's near or far) and your internet service.

Features & Tools

The service comes with malware protection on its proxy browser, so you can rest assured your computer will not be exposed to viruses when using Hotspot Shield Elite. The service can be used on up to five devices, with one license. You can get the Hotspot App from iTunes or Google Play to use the service on Apple and Android devices. Apart from this, you can also use this proxy service on your computer or Mac, where it supports almost every web browser.

The "preferences" automatically connects you to a proxy browser. It also warns you whenever you are about to access a network for which you may need to use a proxy. Nevertheless, if you want to do things manually, you can do so by setting the preferences.

Setup & Configuration

It's extremely easy to install and set up Hotspot Shield Elite. There is no configuration required for its use either. All you need to do is the installation. However, you also have options available if you want to configure it according to your network. Moreover, adjusting your preferences is easy, thanks to the intuitive interface of this service.

An access code keeps your username and password anonymous when using the proxy browser. However, if you do not want to use the access code, you can also log in directly with your email address and password. It's easy to tell when you are connected, as it is identifiable on the interface. If the connection is unprotected, the red bar across the window will give you a message. There is also a Connect button available.
When you connect to the server, the red bar turns yellow, but you also have the option to stop the connection if needed. When connected, you can see the server you are connected to as well as the amount of data that is being uploaded and downloaded.

Support

For tech support, an email address has been provided where we received helpful responses. There is also an FAQ page where you will find helpful information regarding the proxy service and its usage. On the online forum, you will find detailed instructions that will walk you through the setup, usage, and uninstalling the service. However, the live chat was not available when we wanted to use it. Hotspot Shield Elite offers a 30-day money back guarantee, giving you ample time to evaluate the service. In comparison to other services, this is quite a lengthy guarantee, which we found really impressive.

Hotspot Shield Elite VPN Summary

All in all, this proxy browser is quite easy-to-use and reliable, but we were not able to identify the number of IP addresses yet. If they are a few, it is likely that the quality of your service may be affected. As for the server locations, you can find them in USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India, and Germany.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5
Ran Greenberg
(New-Media and online expert, Venture Capitalist and investor)

The review for this sub category of VPNs is not available yet for this VPN Provider. If you feel they provide a good solution, please add your review as a user, and we'll follow with a detailed expert review

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Devices per license: 5