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HotVPN.io Review 2022 — Keep This In Mind Before Buying

Author Image MJ Marsden'
MJ Marsden | Updated on 3rd August 2022 Cybersecurity Researcher

HotVPN.io is an app designed for iPads and iPhones that promises an easy-to-use experience that protects your privacy with "absolutely no logs". So, I took it for a test drive.

While the app claims to be a trusted VPN that will "never sell your data," I found out it's owned by a company that collect and share users' information. Also, it didn't do so well with my unblocking and speed tests.

Read on to find out why I recommend you stick with a premium VPN instead. However, if you're looking for an iOS-specific VPN app, feel free to give HotVPN.io a try for yourself.

Try HotVPN.io Now

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

HotVPN.io Features — Updated in August 2022

5.5
💸 Price 6.67 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 100+
💻 Number of devices per license 5
🛡 Kill switch No
🗺 Based in country Israel
🛠 Support Via Email
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Limited Unblocking Abilities

I was only able to unblock 2 of the streaming platforms I tested with HotVPN.io.

Unblocked: BBCiPlayer and Amazon Prime Video

The UK server gave me instant access to BBC iPlayer and I streamed The Witchfinder without any disconnects.

Screenshot of BBC iPlayer unblocked while connected to HotVPN

The UK server connected in seconds and gave me instant access

The VPN also bypassed Amazon Prime Video’s geoblocks when I used the US and UK servers. In my experience, it’s quite rare that a VPN is able to avoid Amazon’s detection. I was impressed with this result at least.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video unblocked while connected to HotVPN

I was surprised not to see the usual “Proxy not supported” message

Blocked by: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Disney+

However, none of the other platforms I tried worked.

When I tested HotVPN.io’s US servers with Netflix US, I managed to get into the US library and view shows that are unavailable in my country. Sadly, when I tried to play any content, a warning message popped up telling me that the server wasn’t working.

Screenshot of an error screen on Netflix while connected to HotVPN

I could see US exclusive shows, but couldn’t get them to play

Hulu’s login page came up with a similar warning message telling me that it knew I wasn’t in the US.

Screenshot of Hulu's login page not working while connected to HotVPN

None of HotVPN.io’s servers worked with Hulu

I tried a few different US servers but had the same results. I decided to switch to HBO Max, but the app blocked my access immediately too. Instead, it sent me back to the app store, telling me I didn’t have access in my country.

Screenshot of the HBO Max on iPhone not working while connected to HotVPN

I entered my HBO credentials on the login screen but was thrown out immediately

Disney+ didn't work either. I tested servers in a number of different countries but got a blank screen every time. This happens when Disney detects that you are using a VPN.

Overall, I can’t recommend HotVPN.io for streaming. It only unblocked a couple of streaming sites, and it was frustrating when it looked like I had access to shows only to be stopped after pressing play. You may be lucky and stumble upon a successful server, but I prefer my VPNs to be more consistent.

Instead, I recommend you use one of my top VPNs for streaming shows and movies from anywhere.

Speeds — Inconsistent Results Across the Network

HotVPN.io’s servers in my country performed well, but international servers are disappointingly slow.

During my speed tests I looked at:

  • Download speed — This measures the speed at which you can receive data from the internet to your device, measured in megabits per second (Mbps). Fast download speeds are important for smooth streaming with no buffering.
  • Upload speed — Also measured in Mbps, upload speed measures how quickly you can send data from your device to the internet. Fast upload speeds are vital for activities like video calling and torrenting (around 5 Mbps is considered good, while above 10 Mbps is exceptional).
  • Ping — This refers to how long it takes for your device’s data to reach its intended location and come back again. Unlike speed readings, you want your ping to be as low as possible. Ping of under 150 ms is usually required for gaming online (though under 100 ms is preferable). Any higher and you’ll get lag that makes gameplay very difficult.

Local Speeds

I started my tests with a base reading of 71.68 Mbps and ping of 16 ms. A base reading is the speed I had on my own home connection without a VPN.

My download speed dropped by just 4% on the nearest server I tested. When you connect a VPN you can usually expect a 10-20% drop in your download speed, so this was an outstanding outcome.

Graphic showing speed test results using HotVPN

This was a very impressive result for such a small VPN

However, I had nearly the opposite results on servers in other nearby countries. The Spain server dropped my speed by 90%, which was very disappointing. I was left with speeds of just 6.62 Mbps — well below the 25 Mbps you need for 4K/UHD streaming (and barely even fast enough for SD streaming).

Long-Distance Speeds

My speeds also dropped quite significantly when I tested distant servers. The US server slowed me down by 67%, giving me just 23 Mbps — which isn’t enough to stream in 4K.

Surprisingly, I had slightly better results using the Australia, Japan, and Israel servers even though they are the furthest from my real location. However, they still gave me drops of around 50%, which was disappointing.

Graphic showing speed test results using HotVPN

Ping results in Australia and Japan also made gaming impossible

The South Africa server gave me a decrease of 84%, along with a ping of 207 ms, which made even basic browsing slow and difficult.

The ping rates on the farthest servers were mixed. While some of them gave me less than 150 ms, which is adequate for gaming, others gave me 200+.

Here is a rundown of all of my server tests:

Country Download Speed Ping
Base speed 71.68 Mbps 16 ms
UK (local server) 68.54 Mbps (4% decrease) 27 ms
US 23.35 Mbps (67% decrease) 130 ms
Australia 40.68 Mbps (43% decrease) 269 ms
Spain 6.62 Mbps (90% decrease) 47 ms
Mexico 27.16 Mbps (62% decrease) 152 ms
Israel 36.10 Mbps (49% decrease) 96 ms
South Africa 10.85 Mbps (84% decrease) 207 ms
Japan 32.02 Mbps (55% decrease) 244 ms

Because of these inconsistent results, I can’t recommend HotVPN.io for its speeds. Though its local server gave me a fantastic performance, servers in other countries — even Spain, which is only 2,000km from me — fell short. That’s bad news for streaming international content.

Instead, I suggest you try one of these superfast VPNs. These services give you reliable connections, with speeds fast enough for all online activities.

Are HotVPN.io’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Only on Some Servers

On some servers, I had the right combination of speed and ping to play games without lag. My local server in the UK was especially fast and gave me exceptionally low ping. The Israeli and US servers were also decent.

Unfortunately, most of the other servers I tested made gaming impossible. Some gave me incredibly high ping. Others had low ping but were far too slow instead.

I don’t like having to spend so much time searching for a server that allows me to game online. If you feel the same, I recommend you try one of these gaming VPNs, which are proven to give reliable high speeds and low ping.

Server Network — Small, Mostly Across Europe

HotVPN.io states that it has 100 servers in 60 countries. This is a small network in comparison to others I’ve tested, like ExpressVPN.

One plus is that the servers connected extremely quickly, and I didn’t experience any stutter or disconnects. All locations had reliable connections.

The server locations are:

Europe Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, France, Switzerland, France, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Greece, UK
North America Canada, The US
South America Brazil, Mexico
Asia Israel, India, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong
Oceania Australia
Africa South Africa

The only locations that feature more than one server option are the US, Netherlands, and South Africa. Each of these countries has 2 servers. All the other listed locations have just one server per country. This means that the servers may be liable to congestion caused by overcrowding.

There is no option to request a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP address is one that only you can use, instead of having hundreds of people connecting to one server at the same time. This boosts security and performance, so it is something I miss in this VPN.

HotVPN.io’s server network is quite small and certainly limited. Instead, try one of these VPNs — all of them have thousands of locations across the globe.

Security — Basic

HotVPN.io reached out to us to let us know we should review them solely on the information provided on the app store as their website is not ready. There is no information regarding the security measures the VPN uses — they just list bullet points stating how private they are by hiding your IP address and location. This is a red flag for me. Most services are much more open about their security offering, as it’s such an important part of using a VPN.

In the end, I had to get in touch with customer support to find out even what level of encryption the VPN uses. It turns out that the VPN gives only the most basic protection.

Encryption and Protocols

HotVPN.io offers the OpenVPN protocol, but no others. While OpenVPN is the industry standard for security, I’m used to VPNs at least giving me a couple of other choices. It would have been nice to have some other options.

Your data is protected with AES 256-bit encryption though, which is military-standard. This means that all of the information that passes through HotVPN.io’s server tunnels is encrypted so thoroughly that it would take a hacker a century to decode it.

IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Leaks

The servers I tested successfully passed my DNS and IP leak tests too.

This means that HotVPN.io didn’t leak my real IP address or my DNS requests during my tests. This information can reveal your identity, location, and online activity to your internet service provider or other snoops (like hackers). So I was happy to see that the VPN kept it private.

Screenshot of leak tests done on ipleaknet while connected to HotVPN

My online activity and location were protected by HotVPN.io’s servers

Although HotVPN.io has leak protection, an up-to-date security protocol, and a high level of encryption, the VPN doesn’t have any other additional security features I’d come to expect with such an expensive price tag.

The biggest issue is that there’s no kill switch. Kill switches immediately kill your traffic if you lose connection to the VPN. This stops your device from defaulting to your ISP, and accidentally revealing your true IP and online activity. Most VPNs offer this feature so I felt exposed when testing HotVPN.io.

Try HotVPN.io Now

Privacy — Dangerous Logging Policy

HotVPN.io claims to not log any information, but its parent company does. 

The VPN boldly states in the app store, "WE WILL NEVER SELL YOUR DATA!". This is great, but I prefer you don't collect any in the first place. I was limited to reviewing the VPN based solely on my tests and the little information provided in the app store preview. However, when I clicked the link "developer's privacy policy," which refers to Marketing66, it revealed that the company logs and shares the following information (stating it's for analytics purposes):

  • Your approximate location
  • Your app activity/interactions
  • Your app info and performance
  • Your device and other IDs

The VPN may also collect and use your email address for advertising and marketing purposes. Even worse, it states that your data isn't transferred over a secure connection. However, there's another bullet point saying that the developer (marketing66) provides a way for you to request that your data be deleted. Unfortunately, if you click the link for more information, you're directed to a blank page, presumably because the VPN's website is still not ready.

Worrisome vendor location

This level of data collection is even more worrying considering the VPN is based in Israel. HotVPN.io is owned by Marketing66, which is an Israeli company. The country is not known for being privacy-friendly, often using spyware and online surveillance. It’s not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance (a group of nations known for sharing citizens’ online data), but Israel has cooperated with the Alliance before. HotVPN.io clearly states that it will share information on you with the relevant authorities if requested.

Due to extent of data logged, contradictory information, and HQ location, I do not trust HotVPN.io when it comes to privacy. I would urge you to use one of these great VPNs which are known to follow a strict no-logs policy.

Torrenting — Allowed, but Not Recommended

HotVPN.io’s customer service rep confirmed that you can torrent on its servers. In fact, they asserted that there are no restrictions placed on HotVPN.io’s servers whatsoever.

However, due to HotVPN.io’s shady privacy policy, I would strongly recommend that you never use it to torrent. It is simply not safe enough to do so.

For a reliable and secure torrenting choice, try one of my top choices for P2P sharing.

Does HotVPN.io Work in China? No

Customer support advised me that HotVPN.io's iOS apps do not work in China.

Even if you could get HotVPN.io to work on your device behind the Great Firewall, I don’t recommend it. The VPN’s privacy policy means it’s not safe to use in China anyway.

You can get other VPNs that have been proven to bypass China’s blocks using all operating systems.

Simultaneous Device Connections — 5

The VPN lets you connect 5 simultaneous devices at the same time.

Installation & Apps

5.3

Device Compatibility — Designed for iPad and iPhone

Apps are only available for iOS. You can get the app via the Apple App Store .

Set-Up & Installation — Quick and Easy

It is easy to install and start using HotVPN.io. I purchased it from the App Store and it was downloaded onto my iPhone in a few seconds. All you need to do is open the app and press the “select location” bar at the bottom of the screen. This takes you to a list of all available server locations.

graphic showing HotVPN server location interface

HotVPN.io’s interface is clear and helpful

The connect button is easy to use — it’s just a one-click process — and you can instantly see whether the VPN is connected to a server or not.

There is no way to manually configure any of the settings, so what you see is all you get from the VPN. If you value more control over your settings and levels of protection, you might prefer to try one of these great choices.

Try HotVPN.io Now

Pricing

1.3
Yearly Plan
$ 6.67 / month per month
Six Months Plan
$ 9.99 / month per month
Monthly Plan
$ 12.99 / month per month

You can pay for HotVPN.io by opening the Mac App Store. The payment will then be charged to your Apple ID Account once your confirm your purchase.

There are 3 pricing options. I was pretty surprised to see just how expensive HotVPN.io is, considering the VPN is so basic. You can get fantastic VPNs, such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost, for far more reasonable prices. However, at the time of writing this article there is a 7-day free trial period available.

I don't think HotVPN.io is worth the expensive price tag. I've tried better VPNs that are way cheaper — HotVPN.io doesn’t deliver the performance or features to warrant such a high cost.

Reliability & Support

3.3

The only way to contact HotVPN.io is by email. There is no Live Chat option. I tested the customer support by sending them an email with 3 questions and received a response 4 days later.

The answers to my questions were helpful, but if you have an emergency with the VPN there is no way to get immediate assistance. With other providers that charge as much (or less!) than HotVPN.io, you get access to Live Chat help.

There is a basic FAQ page within the app. However, the questions are more related to what a VPN does, rather than specific support issues.

Because of the lack of fast assistance, I can’t recommend HotVPN.io for its reliability and support. Instead, you can pay less and get super fast responses from VPNs like ExpressVPN, which has a Live Chat team on hand to help.

Compare HotVPN.io With The Top Alternative VPNs

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

Any of HotVPN.io’s good qualities are eclipsed by its not-so-trustworthy privacy policy. Its apps are simple and easy enough to navigate, it gives you decent speeds on local servers, and its server network (while limited) can unblock a some streaming sites. However, I would never trust the VPN enough to actually use it.

Add a price tag that’s higher than some of the best VPNs I’ve tested, and you can see that HotVPN.io just isn’t up to standard. There are cheaper VPNs that give you better performance without stealing your data at the same time.

  • Unblocks Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer
  • 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN
  • Connect up to 5 devices
  • Only compatible with iOS
  • Easy to install and use

FAQs on HotVPN.io

Can HotVPN.io unblock Netflix?

No, I couldn’t stream Netflix with HotVPN.io. In my tests, I bypassed Netflix’s block with its US servers. However, when I clicked on location-exclusive content, the streaming platform gave me a server error warning. This was unusual — I’ve never seen a VPN bypass Netflix’s blocks but get stopped due to a server irregularity before.

Will HotVPN.io slow down my speed?

Yes, HotVPN.io slows down your speeds. I experienced extreme speed loss on most servers, including a decrease of 90% on a server location just 2,000 km from me. That said, my local server gave me an excellent performance, with a speed drop of just 4%.

Is HotVPN.io safe?

No, HotVPN.io is not safe — it logs and shares your data. Although the VPN uses 256-bit encryption and its servers passed my IP and DNS leak tests, its privacy policy was a huge letdown. The VPN is also based in Israel and lacks any other security features, so I don’t consider it safe to use.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 5

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