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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 Buffered VPN 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 Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    Hotspot Shield and Buffered VPN are both very popular for their ability to break through tough geo-restrictions on providers like Netflix. Both services include wi-fi and ISP tracking protection, but malware protection is only available with Hotspot Shield. On the other hand, Buffered VPN offers a built-in firewall and DoS protection, which are absent in Hotspot Shield. If you’re interested in downloading torrents, you should be aware that while Buffered supports P2P activities on some of its servers, Hotspot Shield completely prohibits torrenting on its entire network. In terms of cost, Hotspot Shield offers more budget-friendly plans. It also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas Buffered offers refunds on new orders only within 30 days. Hotspot Shield also provides a free version of its product, which is very useful for trying out the service. The free version is limited, however, and sometimes displays ads from the provider. We have provided a side-by-side comparison across several categories below to help you determine which VPN is better for you. NOTE: The comparison primarily focuses on Hotspot Shield Elite, the paid version of Hotspot Shield’s service.

    Our Score

    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10
    Features 8.1/10
    Pricing 6.3/10
    Ease of Use 8.8/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10

    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: 8.1/10

    Update: Buffered VPN merged with Encrypt.me. We have thoroughly tested Encrypt.me, and you can find everything you need to know in our review. Buffered VPN has a lot to offer due to its user-friendly interface, fast connection speeds, and reliable security. One thing it can't do is unblock Netflix, you'll need a premium vendor like ExpressVPN for that. In addition to dedicated apps available for ...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    D
    Don Bartlem
    10.0/10
    I considered a number of VPN's before going with Buffered which I find excellent.

    No issues in any aspect, On the rare occasions that I required assistance (in the initial set up stage... ), the Help Desk was outstanding. Would highly recommend Buffered to anyone considering using a VPNMore

    Latest negative user review
    T
    Trev
    2.0/10
    They are no more

    After being a customer for more than 2 years and paying a premium price for a good service. THEY DON'T...  EXIST ANYMORE.. No warning, just logged in one day and my app doesn't work and they have changed their website name. STAY AWAY, sounds dodgy.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $8.33/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    Hotspot Shield provides a reliable service with consistently fast servers, innovative features, and a very responsive live chat support channel. Buffered VPN offers a smaller but effective VPN service, with solid encryption and the ability to bypass tough geoblocks.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    Buffered allows you to torrent anonymously on some of its servers, while restricting P2P activities on others. Meanwhile, Hotspot Shield does not allow any form of P2P file sharing on its servers.

    Best VPN for Windows

    Hotspot Shield’s Windows app is easy to set up and includes advanced security features like tracking and malware protection. It also includes a clever kill switch that allows you to specify which applications must disconnect from the internet if the VPN connection drops. With Buffered, you’ll get a dedicated Windows client that features a firewall-based kill switch and wi-fi protection.

    Best VPN for Android

    Hotspot Shield offers a very robust VPN service for Android, with an intuitive app that features protection from tracking, malware, and hacking. Buffered VPN’s dedicated app for Android features a built-in firewall, DoS protection, and direct access to the provider’s 24/7 live chat support channel.

    Best VPN for Mac

    The key features available in Hotspot Shield’s dedicated MacOS app are wi-fi protection and the provider’s Catapult Hydra technology, which compresses your traffic to improve connection speed. Buffered competes with a simple-looking MacOS app that offers firewall protection and strong encryption.

    Best VPN for iOS

    The availability of a kill switch and access to over 2,500 servers makes Hotspot Shield’s iOS app very appealing. The app also features protection from third-party tracking and malware. Buffered VPN for iOS features AES 256-bit encryption, protection from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, and a built-in bandwidth test.

    Best VPN for USA

    Hotspot Shield is an ideal VPN for bypassing US geoblocks, as it provides hundreds of US servers as well as a dedicated streaming feature that allows you to unblock Netflix and many other American media platforms. In spite of having just one US server, Buffered still manages to reliably unlock Netflix and other similarly geoblocked sites and services.

    The Bottom Line

    Although Buffered offers a very innovative VPN service with some nice features, Hotspot Shield wins this comparison by providing a faster service for the US, a far larger global server network, and better subscription prices. Additional offerings like its 45-day money-back guarantee and exceptionally responsive technical support also help Hotspot Shield stand above all but the very best VPNs. Speaking of the best VPNs, check out our comparisons of Hotspot Shield against elite services like ExpressVPN to see just what it takes for a VPN to earn one of our top rankings.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Hotspot Shield better than Buffered VPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than Buffered 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 Buffered 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 Buffered VPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is faster than Buffered 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 Buffered VPN offer any deals?

    Both Hotspot Shield and Buffered 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 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

    Kate is a Managing Editor at vpnMentor. Kate promotes the use of VPNs as a means to achieve unhindered access to the internet, as she strongly believes in online freedom for everyone.