At first glance, HotVPN makes some bold promises like fast speeds, geo-unblocking capabilities, secure encryptions, and compatibility with the most popular devices. But the lack of vital information on its website combined with little to no media coverage of this VPN got me interested. If it’s as good as it claims, why isn’t there more mention of it?
I decided to put this VPN service to a test and see if it’s really worth the money or it’s just making empty promises.
Despite the ease of use of its Android app, HotVPN failed in some major aspects. It wasn’t able to bypass geo-blocks of some of the most popular services, it throttled my download speed, and didn’t work on Windows at all. Read on to find out more about my experience with HotVPN.
Short on Time? Here’s a 1-Min Summary of My Results
- Only works on Android. HotVPN claims to work on Windows, Mac, iOS, and as an extension for Chrome and Mozilla, but I could only get it to work on Android. See my tests here.
- Streaming with Netflix and Amazon Prime — but poor quality. I couldn’t access other popular platforms like Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, or Hotstar at all. I tested all the major platforms here.
- Slow speeds. During testing, HotVPN slowed down my download speed. Check out my speed test results.
Streaming — Works With Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, But Content Doesn’t Load
Based on my tests, HotVPN doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, or Hotstar. I didn’t have high hopes for Netflix or Amazon Prime but I was granted access to these streaming services — only to be disappointed again by the endless buffering.
After connecting to a US server, I accessed Netflix with ease. Happy that at least something works, I tried playing an episode of Friends. Imagine my frustration when it wouldn’t load for a full minute. Five shows and a server change later, I still couldn’t watch anything! I got the same results on Amazon Prime Video.
It took only a second without HotVPN
I tried using other platforms, but HotVPN couldn’t bypass their geoblocks.
So, if you want to stream your favorite movies and TV shows, HotVPN is not the best choice.
Speeds — Painfully Slow on All US Servers
HotVPN throttled my download speed by 98% on its US servers! I didn’t expect much, considering the experience I had with Netflix — but I was still disappointed to see that much of a drop.
I started with 30.2 Mbps download speed but the fastest results I got with HotVPN were from its Spain server, and even then it was just 15.7 Mbps — a reduction of almost 50%! Imagine how annoyed I was trying to browse or open the most basic apps. On the HotVPN US server located in New York, my download speed was throttled to 2.13 Mbps, and its Texas server brought me down to a disappointing 1.07 Mbps.
HotVPN throttled my download speeds by almost 98% on the US servers.
HotVPN throttled my download speeds by almost 98% on the US servers
If you can’t tolerate snail-like speeds, you should consider a different VPN.
Gaming — Not Good Enough For Mobile Games
After my frustrating experience playing Street Racing 3D with HotVPN, I’d recommend avoiding it for gaming purposes.
Since I couldn’t use HotVPN on my PC, I had to settle for mobile games. First I tried an RPG called Summoners War. It’s not a demanding game and I was happy to play for about an hour without a hitch.
But then I switched to Street Racing 3D where the network stability is key to seamless play. Imagine my annoyance when my car kept crashing because the game couldn’t process my movements due to network drops. I lasted less than 15 minutes before I wanted to smash my screen!
If you’re a serious gamer or even a casual one, this VPN will not satisfy your needs.
Server Network — Good Locations, But You Can’t Choose a Specific Server
HotVPN claims to have servers in 60 countries, but I counted only 22. Even so, I was pleased to see that it offers connections to some of the key locations like the US, China, UK, India, and Japan.
One page states that it has servers in 65 countries, the other shows 22
HotVPN allowed me to choose a country, but not a specific server except for the US where I could choose between New York and Texas. I was also surprised to find that it offers a list of suggested servers for streaming on different platforms.
HotVPN has dedicated servers for the most popular streaming platforms
With servers spread around the world, I would have been happier to see some indication as to which one is the fastest. It was a bit boring to switch on and off to find a decent server.
If you need access to many different countries, this VPN might be able to help you out. But with the clear lack of specific locations, you shouldn’t count on it to give you exactly what you want.
Security — No DNS Leaks, But Weak Encryption
HotVPN doesn’t offer some standard security features like the Kill Switch or Split Tunneling, which concerns me. If my connection got interrupted while I was uploading data like my credit card or personal information, I would be in big trouble.
I tested HotVPN for DNS leaks on its US, Switzerland, and India server — and I was surprised to see that HotVPN didn’t reveal my location or IP address on any of them.
HotVPN encrypted my IP address
However, it bothered me that its encryption wasn’t military-grade, meaning that hackers could easily find out my sensitive information and exploit it.
If you’re concerned about your security online, this VPN might not provide complete protection against malicious attacks or information leaks.
Privacy — Vague Claims About Logs Policy
HotVPN is based in Israel which is not a 14-eye country, meaning that my information wouldn’t be shared between different nations. However, Israel is a possible third-party contributor and I’m not feeling completely safe with this VPN.
It claims that it doesn’t log browsing history, traffic destinations, data content, or DNS queries which is fair enough and standard. But compared to other privacy policies I've seen, HotVPN's policy is not as transparent/clear about the exact data they store and how they manage it.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Can’t Connect More Than One Device
HotVPN claims that you can connect up to 2 devices to one license. This is standard for all of its payment plans and its free trial. But when I put its claim to a test, I ended up disappointed as I couldn’t connect any other device other than my phone.
So, if you need a VPN that can work on more than one gadget, you shouldn’t put your trust in HotVPN.
Device Compatibility — Only Works With Android
HotVPN doesn’t work on Windows, Mac, iOS, or as an extension for Chrome and Mozilla, even though it claims that it does.
I was surprised to find how easy it connected to my Android. However, when I tried to install it on my PC, the payment wouldn’t process. After several frustrating attempts, I gave up. I also couldn’t find the advertised extensions for Chrome or Mozilla.
So, HotVPN could easily work for you if you only need a VPN on your phone — but it doesn’t work on any other platform.
HotVPN Features — Updated in February 2023
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Reliability & Support
HotVPN claims to be available 24/7 through its email support. It was a little disappointing that there is no live chat option, but I wouldn’t mind if it was responsive. In practice, its customer service was a let-down.
I sent an email asking about its money-back guarantee. However, I still haven’t received a response. I felt that this is irresponsible — if it can’t answer the most basic question, I’m not optimistic about the validity of its refund policy.
If you want a reliable provider that will be there for you when problems arise, I advise against HotVPN.