We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Hotspot Shield vs Betternet vs VPN Unlimited 2024

Table of Contents
    Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Daniel Krohn
    Daniel Krohn

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Except for the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and money-back guarantees, these three VPNs don’t have much in common. While Hotspot Shield and Betternet offer free versions, VPN Unlimited only has a 7-days free trial.

    Hotspot Shield is a great choice overall. It has 1,800 servers in 80 countries and reliably unblocks many streaming services. This includes Amazon Prime Video, Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, and more. This VPN is also excellent for torrenting, as it offers unlimited P2P traffic, fast speeds, an efficient kill switch, and DNS leak protection.

    VPN Unlimited and Betternet come with a few limitations, especially on their free subscriptions. For example, Betternet doesn’t have a kill switch, and VPN Unlimited restricts torrenting on some servers. Although it’s great at unblocking many streaming services, VPN Unlimited can sometimes have inconsistent speeds. Betternet, on the other hand, allows unlimited torrenting and 10 simultaneous device connections, but it can be unreliable for accessing Netflix.

    Our Score

    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10
    Features 7.1/10
    Pricing 5.6/10
    Ease of Use 6.0/10
    Reliability & Support 6.0/10
    Features 6.5/10
    Pricing 8.9/10
    Ease of Use 8.7/10
    Reliability & Support 7.3/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Lawrence Wachira
    Lawrence Wachira

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.1/10

    Hotspot Shield is a VPN that’s undergone many changes recently. After dealing with several controversies, it overhauled its logging policy and is under new management. So, has it gotten better? I tested everything it offers to see if HSS is safe. I fully explored its logging policy and found out if its security features can prevent data leaks. I also tested its speeds, customer support, stre...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    H
    Howard Rosenbrook
    10.0/10
    Had for 3 years no problem

    Kept cable providers off my ass just dont like that you cant pay a week or so early and dont like the ... auto renewal i should beable to pay my bill on my own when i want as long as im not late it shouldnt be a problem with your companyMore

    Latest negative user review
    A
    Alt
    2.0/10
    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 Doris Muthuri
    Doris Muthuri

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 7.1/10

    Betternet is a popular free VPN, but it’s been involved in several controversies. In 2016, a team of researchers caught Betternet embedding malware and tracking libraries in their VPN apps. So, is this VPN actually safe, and can you trust it with your personal information? To remove any doubts, I extensively tested its security and privacy features. I also thoroughly explored its speeds, gam...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    A
    Anonymously
    10.0/10
    Good App

    Absolutely free VPN. BTW just click the exit button to close the free-trial box. It will continue to r... un without it. I don't experience any ads that I am aware of but I have an ad-blocker and a no-script installed on my browser which may account for that. I get a better connection on public WiFi generally. Their Terms and Conditions state they do not keep log files of your actual IP address or sites accessed; and they do not sell your information for money. They are supposed to be paid by premium accounts and the ads generated which, like I previously stated I haven't really seen much of. Lastly, they allow p2p and torrenting, though they will collect your data if they get subpoenaed to for illegal downloads. Overall, excellent VPN app in my opinion.More

    Latest negative user review
    A
    Australian.Dev.Nerds
    2.0/10
    Dangerous Service

    What most people don't know about BetterNet VPN is that it's running by Hamid Rezazadeh, the son of En... sieh Khazali, a very radical Iranian government official (or 4th Reich), he's moved to Canada to mass collect users' data under this service!More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Andreea Juganaru
    Andreea Juganaru

    Senior Editor

    Our Score: 6.5/10

    VPN Unlimited comes across as a very capable VPN, with its main focus being unblocking multiple streaming sites. I wanted to see if it delivered on this promise, and to test whether its security, privacy, and customer service stacks up against the best VPNs in the industry. While it certainly delivered on some of its assertions, unfortunately, it fell short in some essential areas. It unblocke...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    J
    J
    8.0/10
    Very Happy with Lifetime license

    I picked up a lifetime license and honestly, it's been "solid". It delivers at good speeds, no leaks ... so far have been detected. Offers a wide range of streaming options & Protocols. I've contacted customer service several times and received replies quickly. The servers for P2p are limited to three locations but are still very functional. I'd appreciate a public audit of how secure the service is but it seems none of this info is published for customers, or potential customers to view.More

    Latest negative user review
    E
    Edgar
    2.0/10
    Definitely honey pot

    Stay away, none of streaming services mentioned works, support may be courteous but will not solve pro... blems. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others may work for a while but eventually your data will be sold to requesting parties and you get blocked.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $7.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $4/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    Hotspot Shield is the best overall choice. It surpasses the strengths of both of its competitors. It has strong security features, and it’s faster than Betternet and VPN Unlimited. Additionally, it’s great for both streaming and torrenting, whereas if you decided for one of the other two VPNs, you’d have to forego one activity.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    Hotspot Shield is the only reasonable choice for torrenting out of the three VPNs. It allows torrenting on all servers, has good speeds, a trustworthy no-logs policy, and a reliable kill switch. On the other hand, VPN Unlimited limits torrenting to only a couple of servers, and Betternet doesn’t have a kill switch, so it’s not safe.

    Best VPN for Windows

    Hotspot Shield is the best option for Windows. All three VPNs have native Windows apps, but Hotspot Shield comes with faster speeds and more options, including its proprietary Hydra protocol. Hydra is designed for faster and more consisted connection speeds compared to other widely-used protocols.

    Best VPN for Android

    Hotspot Shield has an Android app that’s easy to use, fast, and secure. Additionally, the VPN is not only compatible with Android smartphones, but also with Android TVs. The other two VPNs are close contenders when it comes to app design, but HSS looks better.

    Best VPN for Mac

    All three VPNs have easy-to-use apps for Mac, but Hotspot Shield wins this category thanks to its Hydra protocol that improves connection speeds. It also has the most features available out of the three VPNs. Plus, its app design looks the best.

    Best VPN for iOS

    All three VPNs have native iOS apps, but Hotspot Shield is the best choice. For the most part, it’s thanks to its proprietary Hydra protocol together with the IKEv2 option, which is one of the fastest protocols for mobiles.

    Best VPN for USA

    Hotspot Shield and VPN Unlimited offer streaming-optimized servers in the US, but Hotspot Shield has slightly better speeds. Additionally, it’s secure, private, and good for both torrenting and streaming. It unblocks Netflix US, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more US streaming sites. Betternet unblocks some US platforms too but it doesn't have optimized servers.

    The Bottom Line

    Hotspot Shield wins thanks to its robust security, privacy, and intuitive apps. Although all three vendors provide good levels of encryption and might seem relatively safe, Betternet's apps lack a kill switch, and VPN Unlimited has a questionable privacy policy. Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, offers all essential security features, as well as some advanced options such as the Hydra protocol. Additionally, Hotspot Shield is great for unblocking geo-restricted sites, as well as for torrenting, whereas its competitors lack one or the other ability.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Hotspot Shield better than Betternet and VPN Unlimited?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than Betternet and VPN Unlimited. 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, Betternet and VPN Unlimited?

    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 Betternet and VPN Unlimited?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is faster than Betternet and VPN Unlimited. 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, Betternet or VPN Unlimited offer any deals?

    Hotspot Shield, Betternet, and VPN Unlimited 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.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Technical writer with a passion for online privacy.