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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield vs BTGuard VPN 2024

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Daniel Krohn
    Daniel Krohn

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    With so many VPNs out there, finding the one that fits everything that you want can be a difficult task. With these three VPNs, there is a range of different priorities. Even though that might seem like a detractor for some people, if your VPN tried to do everything under the sun, then you would end up suffering because their services wouldn’t be as great as they could have been. If you’re looking for a lower price point, then Private Internet Access is going to be hard to beat. If you are more concerned with bit torrenting, then BTGuard is going to appeal to you more than the other ones as it has dedicated services customized for torrenting. Hotspot Shield is fantastic at protecting your data, but it doesn't have the best customer support. If you’re looking to protect more devices at one time, then you’d probably like Hotspot Shield or BTGuard better. With the ability to cover more devices, you won’t have to worry about one of your devices being vulnerable.

    Our Score

    Features 9.5/10
    Pricing 9.5/10
    Ease of Use 9.6/10
    Reliability & Support 9.8/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10
    Features 7.9/10
    Pricing 6.0/10
    Ease of Use 8.6/10
    Reliability & Support 8.5/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Angela Jovanoska
    Angela Jovanoska

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 9.5/10

    Private Internet Access has one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available — you can sign up for as little as $2.03/month. With such a low price, I wondered whether PIA could really stand out against its higher-priced competitors. It’s been around for 10+ years, so it could be one of the best-value VPNs out there. I decided to find out just how good it is by looking into the company’s lo...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    E
    Ez
    10.0/10
    Best VPN Out on The Market

    I like PIA VPN the best for the following reasons: ● It's a reliable and trustworthy policy; they don... 't record anything harmful to you; strict no logs. ● I've been using it for one month and there are specific times when it speeds up my internet speed (varies by internet) ● It's a distinctive feature of DIP (dedicated IP) - I think not many popular VPNs have this feature, I also purchased this feature to avoid getting the captcha verification and it never showed up ever since. It's only been a month using this VPN but as I gain more experience with this client, I'm pretty sure I will find more good features and utilize them. Thanks for having read my review:)More

    Latest negative user review
    M
    Mike Johnson
    2.0/10
    PIA no longer works on Amazon Fire devices.

    I have used PIA for several years with no issues. Currently, amazon fire devices can no longer sign i... n to the account. Used on 3 TVs with 3 different fire devices with the same result. There is no way to resolve the issue.More

    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
    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 Anneke van Aswegen
    Anneke van Aswegen

    Managing Editor

    Our Score: 7.9/10

    BitTorrentGuard — aka BTGuard — is a VPN and BitTorrent proxy provider. It is specifically designed for P2P fans at a time when most tiptoe around the subject of torrenting. You can use it on as many computers as you like without worrying about bandwidth, which is great for file sharing. Another significant aspect of the VPN is that its speeds are consistent. However, it does have some drawba...

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    Latest positive user review
    A
    Anonymously
    10.0/10
    Works for me for years

    Not sure why seen so much bad feedback here. Using BTGuard for more than 8 years. I ran into problems ... about 3 times. Figured out it was a software upgrade. Following their setup instructions for PCs/Linux phones works.More

    Latest negative user review
    R
    Raymond Stevens
    2.0/10
    Terrible customer service

    I used them for several years without too many problems beyond when I actually had a question I needed...  to be answered by this outfit they never bothered to respond to my emails. One day, while connected to BTGuard, my IP was leaked to my ISP and I received a notice from Cox that I was in violation of their user agreement. I questioned BTGuard about this and I was immediately suspended and my account was closed. What the hell kind of treatment is this? And of course, they didn't bother to respond to my question as to why on earth I was suspended. At this point, I moved to TorGuard and never looked back. I've used TorGuard for 7 years. They offer a reasonable price and excellent service and outstanding customer support. I see BTGuard is still in business despite their lousy customer service and their limited functionality as discussed by the author of this article and there don't care attitude about their customers. Makes me wonder how they have any.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.03/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices
    Starting price $7.5/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 0 Days
    Number of devices per license 1 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    With servers all over the world, PIA is a very strong provider in terms of security. Despite its speeds being limited due to strong encryption and data protection levels, PIA managed to maintain stable and decent speed levels, just enough for streaming purposes. What is also impressive is that they strictly follow their no-logs policy. Hotspot Shield is also a strong provider, with fast and reliable service that gives users access to a selection of well-encrypted IP addresses. The only concern is that they do store logs partially. Lastly, BTGuard VPN is a provider that guarantees your anonymity on the web and offers unlimited and fast download speeds. Even so, their server base is rather small and they are overall quite pricey.

    Best VPN for Torrents
    Best VPN for Windows
    Best VPN for Android
    Best VPN for Mac
    Best VPN for iOS
    Best VPN for USA

    The Bottom Line

    If you’re looking for a VPN just to protect your information and help you stream Netflix, Hulu, and other content from around the world, then you’ll probably want to go with Private Internet Access or Hotspot Shield. Private Internet Access does the best overall, but Hotspot Shield (for a higher price) has quality data protection. If you’re more concerned about being able to use bit torrent services, then BTGuard might be the better option. Regardless, all three of the services are decent and should serve you well.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Private Internet Access better than Hotspot Shield and BTGuard VPN?

    Yes, Private Internet Access is better overall than Hotspot Shield and BTGuard VPN. It has 29650 servers in 91 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.03 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between Private Internet Access, Hotspot Shield and BTGuard 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 Private Internet Access may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests.

    Is Private Internet Access faster than Hotspot Shield and BTGuard VPN?

    Yes, Private Internet Access is faster than Hotspot Shield and BTGuard 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 Private Internet Access, Hotspot Shield or BTGuard VPN offer any deals?

    Private Internet Access, Hotspot Shield, and BTGuard 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.

    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 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering 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 the independent, 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.