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Hotspot Shield vs Astrill VPN 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kristina Perunicic
    Kristina Perunicic

    Managing Editor

    US-based Hotspot Shield and Seychelles-based Astrill VPN are well established providers with very different offerings. While Hotspot Shield offers over 2,500 servers in just over 25 countries, Astrill has around 332 servers in 62 countries. A key difference is that Astrill VPN supports torrenting on its servers, whereas Hotspot Shield forbids all P2P activities. Differences between these two providers can also be found in the areas of encryption and network performance. Astrill uses 256-bit encryption across all platforms, while Hotspot Shield offers you a choice between 128-bit and 256-bit encryption levels. Hotspot Shield also offers advanced features like malware protection and a unique technology that enables it to deliver faster server connections. Both Astrill and Hotspot Shield offer dedicated apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices. They also offer unlimited bandwidth on all their paid plans and allow you to bypass restrictions on Netflix and similar streaming platforms. Both VPNs are very easy to set up and use and provide 24/7 customer support. A more detailed analysis is provided below across several categories. NOTE: This comparison is for the paid Hotspot Shield plan, Hotspot Shield Elite.


    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 9.0/10
    Ease of Use 9.0/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10
    Features 7.9/10
    Pricing 6.0/10
    Ease of Use 8.8/10
    Reliability & Support 8.4/10


    Review by our expert
    Author Image Kennedy Otieno
    Kennedy Otieno

    Cybersecurity Researcher


    Hotspot Shield claims its proprietary Hydra protocol makes it faster than most VPNs — but is that true? I tested HSS on my fast internet connection (it allows up to 1Gbps speeds) to discover how it does with streaming, gaming, and torrenting. Mostly, I had a seamless internet experience — watching shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without buffering. Its 1,800 servers in 80 countries ...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Great Interface, easy to use and smooth/zippy.

    It just feels well put together. Turns on automatically, which is no bad thing (if you don't like that... , turn the damn thing off with a click). The speed is consistently above average, and on a couple of inadvertent occasions, the Kill Switch operated as it should. I especially like the GUI, which is really simple, solid, yet has a refined/slick feel - far superior to a few I've tried but won't name here. I see no issues with it, although the security issues pointed out in the article are a bit alarming. I'm using the 'Business' version. Nice VPN, IMO.More

    Latest negative user review
    Blocked by Real-Debrid on just about every us city and nearly all countries

    Easy to connect speed pretty good multiple platforms not great from streaming.. which is where you nee... d the speed. Nord vpn and Express are both cooperative providers with real-debrid meaning no connection problems. Even if you do find a server that connects frequently this is blocked during streaming.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Andreea Juganaru
    Andreea Juganaru

    Senior Editor


    Astrill’s marketing team does a great job of advertising it as one of the best VPNs out there, especially in China — but are they telling the truth about how good it is? I tested every feature and analyzed its privacy policies and security measures to see if it’s good enough to recommend. I also paid attention to its server network, speeds, torrenting support, gaming, streaming and final...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Been using it for a long time.. but have to go

    I have been using Astrill for more than 10 years. Never had a problem. A couple of times I used the ch... at for support and it was excellent. However this is probably going to be my last year. Reason .... price. With the virus crisis I am unemployed and can not afford it. They do not give any kind of discount and keep raising the price year after year. I am not in China so I suspend it, I do not need all those features.More

    Latest negative user review
    Horrible evil company

    They have locked me out of my account for more than 11 days with no communication and no clear updates...  about what is going on. They are holding my money hostage and providing no service. This is an evil, spiteful, just overall bad company. If you can avoid them, please do.More


    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices
    Starting price $12.5/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 0 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by category

    We recommend Hotspot Shield overall, based on its large network of servers, budget-friendly subscription plans, responsive 24/7 live chat support, and host of security features. Meanwhile, Astrill VPN has servers in more countries and offers a pretty reliable service, with very intuitive apps for all major platforms including Linux.

    Astrill wins this category easily, as it supports torrenting on its servers and offers leak protection to keep you anonymous. Hotspot Shield does not allow torrenting across its network, expressly forbidding the activity.

    Hotspot Shield offers a user-friendly app for Windows that actively protects your PC from malware and third-party tracking. Meanwhile, Astrill VPN offers a dedicated Windows app that supports the OpenWeb and StealthVPN protocols, which enable the VPN to bypass tough geoblocks worldwide.

    With Hotspot Shield’s dedicated Android app, you benefit from built-in malware protection and leak prevention features. The app also offers access to the provider’s entire network of over 2,500 servers. Astrill, on the other hand, provides an Android app that features unlimited bandwidth for streaming and access to dedicated IP addresses.

    By offering a MacOS app that includes a dedicated streaming feature, wi-fi protection, and the provider’s proprietary Catapult Hydra technology that speeds up servers, Hotspot Shield scoops up the prize for this category. Astrill competes with a MacOS app that features an innovative selective kill switch, which allows you choose which apps to disconnect from the internet whenever your VPN connection drops.

    Hotspot Shield provides a reliable VPN service for iOS, with a native app that features malware protection and a dedicated streaming feature. Astrill also has an iOS app that features military-grade 256-bit encryption and a kill switch. It’s worth mentioning, however, that if you subscribe to the service from the iOS app, the VPN will only work on that platform. Therefore, if you need to use your VPN on multiple platforms, you’d be better served by purchasing your subscription from your browser.

    Hotspot Shield reliably bypasses tough US geoblocks and offers a dedicated streaming feature for unblocking Netflix and other streaming services. Interestingly, you can also rely on Astrill for unblocking US content providers like Netflix that are usually tough to access. However, it falls short with regard to speed.

    The Bottom Line

    By offering lower subscription prices, faster servers, and more security features, Hotspot Shield wins this comparison. Hotspot Shield’s larger network of thousands of servers means that you’re less likely to experience congestion-related sluggishness than with Astrill. The availability of a free limited version and a 45-day money-back guarantee also help to put Hotspot Shield over the top as the better VPN provider. Astrill does offer a very solid VPN service, however, and its location in the Seychelles is very favorable for privacy-focused users.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    Is Hotspot Shield better than Astrill VPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than Astrill VPN. It has 1800 servers in 80 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.99 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between Hotspot Shield and Astrill VPN?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then Hotspot Shield may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is Hotspot Shield faster than Astrill VPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is faster than Astrill VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do Hotspot Shield or Astrill VPN offer any deals?

    Both Hotspot Shield and Astrill VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.