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Hotspot Shield vs Betternet vs VPN Unlimited 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

These three VPN vendors are very different with unique services and approaches to privacy. Of the three, VPN Unlimited is the only vendor who does not keep any logs at all. Hotspot Shield keeps partial logs, while Betternet openly collects information related to its financial model and advertising. Hotspot Shield however, which does not openly talk about its privacy policy, has been investigated for its data collection methods. In terms of other security features none of the vendors offer kill switches, yet all three offer 128-bit AES data encryption. Hotspot Shield also offers 256-bit encryption on some operating systems, which is a step up. VPN Unlimited and Hotspot Shield have a similar number of server locations, which is around seven times more than Betternet. VPN Unlimited has the greater number of servers, and like Hotspot Shield offers five simultaneous connections per license. It’s hard to compare these three different VPNs, so read more to see which one is the best.

Rating

Features 8.8/10
Pricing 9/10
Ease of Use 9/10
Reliability & Support 8.6/10
Features 8/10
Pricing 6.2/10
Ease of Use 8.8/10
Reliability & Support 8.4/10
Features 6.6/10
Pricing 8.8/10
Ease of Use 8.6/10
Reliability & Support 7/10

Reviews

Review by our expert
Author Image Katie Kasunic
Katie Kasunic

Technology Researcher

8/10

Hotspot Shield is a popular VPN service with over 650 million users and multiple servers in 110+ countries. In fact, the website claims it is the #1 grossing app for productivity in the US App Store. (When we checked the App Store source, it actually indicated #8, which is still an impressive ranking.) One of the features that make Hotspot Shield special is its unique Catapult Hydra protoco...

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Latest positive user review
G
George
8.0/10
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
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 MJ Marsden
MJ Marsden

Cybersecurity Researcher

8.4/10

BetternetVPN found itself under fire in 2016 when an academic study discovered it put its users at risk of third-party tracking software. Since then, it says it has made a lot of changes, improving its overall features and security. I wanted to find out if this is true or not. I tested the premium plan to find out what BetternetVPN has to offer, including its speeds, server network, and securi...

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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
S
Shen
2.0/10
Very confusing

It turned off every 5 seconds! For weeks. Never ever worked. I always had to manually turn it back on ... just to have it immediately turn off again. I also could not understand one word of the responses from customer service. Now that I canceled, it shows it’s connected! No clue, crazy. Like I can’t get rid of itMore

Review by our expert
Author Image Kristina Perunicic
Kristina Perunicic

Cybersecurity Researcher

7.8/10

VPN Unlimited is headquartered in New York and is the subsidiary of KeepSolid. While the fact that VPN Unlimited is US-based in New York does not thrill us (as opposed to, say, ExpressVPN, which runs out of the British Virgin Islands) VPN Unlimited provides users with a solid VPN service. With its server locations and data centers in more than 39 countries and 50 regions respectively, VPN Unli...

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Latest positive user review
K
Kim
10.0/10
Terrific VPN

I have had no problem with them. I am not sure why the article states that Mac and iOS users do not ha... ve all of the protocols listed above that are available only for other platforms. I have used a number of them for over a year, and as of this writing just double-checked my available protocols and all of the above are available to me on all of my platforms. I have never had any issues with streaming, or any other data-heavy task. I have a lifetime membership with them which I purchased with a promo over a year ago, and I have been enjoying it on all of my devices. Yes, I can purchase other options like the personal IP and what not, but so far I have not needed to. I love their service and if you can get in on one of their promos (this one was offered through PC Mag) for a lifetime membership, do so!More

Latest negative user review
V
VPN user
2.0/10
VPN service does not protect you

I have no idea why, but when I have torrented certain files I still received DCMA notices from my ISP....  This should absolutely not be happening. I'm certain to start the VPN, have it connect to Romania, then open my torrent program. Then I close my torrent program and more often than not just let the VPN keep running. A few days later DCMA email. VPN Unlimited doesn't do anything.More

Pricing

Starting price $2.99/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices
Starting price $7.99/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
Number of devices per license 5 devices
Starting price $2.22/month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
Number of devices per license 10 devices

Best VPNs by category

VPN Unlimited offers the greater number of servers and is the only one of the three vendors that does not keep any logs or data at all. While it offers the same level of encryption as the other providers, its additional features improve the privacy and security of users. All three services can be used to access geo-restricted content, including Netflix, and work across a range of operating systems. Betternet’s free service needs to be weighed against its financial model and data usage policy, while Hotspot Shield’s logging policies needed to be considered against its 45-day money back guarantee and the inclusion of Catapult Hydra data compression technology. Even so, make sure you check out Hotspot Shield's great coupon discounts and take advantage on their limited deals.

Betternet allows torrenting across all its servers, however, its limited number of servers and data usage may be a cause for concern for users. Hotspot Shield does not allow torrenting at all, while VPN Unlimited allows it through specific server locations only.

All three providers work on the Windows operating system. Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra technology means that users get faster speeds with a paid subscription, however user guides are unclear and there is no live chat support available. VPN Unlimited connects through OpenVPN on Windows, which supports 256-bit encryption, as well as KeepSolid Wise and other extensions that increase the users’ security and privacy.

All three services work on Android platforms, but VPN Unlimited users can benefit from OpenVPN. The Hotspot Shield app is easy to download and install and users are automatically connected to a proxy browser. The Betternet app is similarly easy to download and use.

All three providers offer native apps for the Mac operating system. All are easy to set up and use, however, Betternet’s smaller number of servers limits users’ connection options. Hotspot Shield’s use of Catapult Hydra technology improves speeds for users, while VPN Unlimited’s Mac app connects through L2TP / IPSec and PPTP protocols, rather than OpenVPN.

VPN Unlimited’s iOS app includes access to its KeepSolid Wise service, as long as users are running iOS 9 or later. Both Hotspot Shield and Betternet also provide native apps for iOS.

All three vendors have servers in the USA, although Betternet has far fewer servers and server locations than both VPN Unlimited and Hotspot Shield. All three are currently able to bypass geo-restrictions, although only Hotspot Shield and VPN Unlimited specifically state that they can be used to access US Netflix.

The Bottom Line

Author Image Daniel Krohn
Daniel Krohn

Cybersecurity Researcher

All three vendors provide good levels of encryption, offer reasonable speeds, and support all major operating systems. However, VPN Unlimited is the only provider that does not keep logs and offers additional security features to ensure privacy online. Hotspot Shield users benefit from faster speeds due to its Catapult Hydra data compression technology. The major concern with Betternet and Hotspot Shield is their approach to users’ data.

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 110 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 before making a long-term commitment. 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.