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ExpressVPN vs Hotspot Shield 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    ExpressVPN is widely popular for being one of the fastest VPN services on the market, and rightly so. Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, is known for its innovative approach in delivering its VPN service. Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN both provide 24/7 live chat support, and offer 45-day and 30-day money-back guarantees, respectively. These two providers also offer dedicated apps for all major platforms including MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Security features like strong encryption and a kill switch are also available with either provider. Although these two VPNs feature unlimited bandwidth, only ExpressVPN places no restrictions on torrenting. In terms of server networks, ExpressVPN offers broader coverage with around 2,000 servers in 94 countries, while Hotspot Shield operates 2,500+ servers in over 25 countries. Features like split tunneling and IPv6 leak protection are only available in ExpressVPN’s service. Hotspot Shield, however, competes by offering malware protection across all its apps. Scroll down to see a more detailed comparison across several key categories. NOTE: This comparison is for the paid Hotspot Shield plan, Hotspot Shield Elite.


    Features 9.9/10
    Pricing 9.2/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 10.0/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 9.0/10
    Ease of Use 9.0/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10


    Review by our expert
    Author Image Matthew Amos
    Matthew Amos

    Senior Editor


    ExpressVPN is one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, but the one drawback has always been the price. It often offers discounts that make it more affordable, but there are other decent VPNs offering similar security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay so much for a VPN as good as ExpressVPN? To find the answer, I performed extensive tests on desktop and mobile devices run...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Fantastic VPN

    I have just started using ExpressVPN and I must say that I was very impressed by how user-friendly it ... was and how easy it was to set up on the different devices I have at home. I also tested their customer service with chat and they were quick to respond and I got good help. I can recommend this productMore

    Latest negative user review
    Ok, but expensive

    Seems ok, but I wouldn't say it's worth $20AUD a month. That's steep if you live in a backwater like A... ustralia, where the currency is not valuable. Easy enough to set up - you don't need to be Einstein - but unless you're a tech nerd who can take a look under the bonnet, you'll just have to trust what they say about their product. It frequently drops out without the slightest warning, often when it's the only thing online at the time - despite fast and flawless fiber internet, rendering expression entirely useless UNLESS you have it sitting on your desktop where you can keep an eagle eye on it to actually see it when it drops out so you can kick it back into service again (it doesn't do it by itself), which seems to defeat its purpose, so I'm taking away 2 stars for that. Support is good and they do get back to you as fast as they can.More

    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


    Starting price $6.67/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices
    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by category

    ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers available for its provision of unmatched connection speeds, an airtight privacy policy, and topnotch security features. Hotspot Shield also provides a reliable VPN service with several strong points, such as its large network and attractive array of security features.

    ExpressVPN provides a trustworthy and effective service for downloading torrents anonymously. It’s also compatible with most BitTorrent clients, including uTorrent. Hotspot Shield is not P2P friendly, as it expressly forbids torrenting on its servers.

    A Network Lock kill switch and advanced leak protection are two of the many great features of ExpressVPN’s dedicated app for Windows. The app is also very easy to master, even for VPN newbies. Nevertheless, Hotspot Shield competes with a powerful app for Windows that features malware protection and an automatic kill switch.

    ExpressVPN provides a dedicated Android app that can be set up within minutes and features protection from tracking and wi-fi breaches, as well as access to very fast servers. Hotspot Shield also offers a robust Android app that includes malware protection and an automatic kill switch.

    With features like split tunneling, advanced leak protection, and a network-lock kill switch, ExpressVPN delivers a very powerful VPN service for MacOS. Hotspot Shield’s MacOS app offers access to a dedicated streaming feature and the provider’s Catapult Hydra technology for improved server connection speeds.

    ExpressVPN’s provision of a dedicated iOS app that supports the UDP, TCP, IKEv2, and IPsec connection and tunneling protocols, along with features like leak protection and split tunneling, makes it a truly dependable VPN for iOS users. With Hotspot Shield’s iOS app, you can expect access to pretty fast servers and its dedicated streaming feature to access video content from your mobile device.

    When it comes to speed and the ability to bypass US geoblocks from any corner of the world, ExpressVPN provides a topnotch service. It flawlessly unblocks Netflix US and hundreds of other US web services guarded by restrictions that are usually hard to bypass. Hotspot Shield also has a reliable US service that easily unblocks Netflix and many other websites from the USA.

    The Bottom Line

    Without a doubt, both VPNs offer commendable services, but ExpressVPN’s verified no-logs policy, unrivaled speed, and overall security features make it a better service provider by a wide margin. Its provision of servers in more than 90 countries is another noteworthy reason that it wins this contest with relative ease. When a provider like ExpressVPN refuses to compromise in any area of its service, from network size to feature availability, from connection speeds to unblocking power, it becomes very, very hard to outperform.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    Is ExpressVPN better than Hotspot Shield?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is better overall than Hotspot Shield. It has 3000 servers in 94 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $6.67 a month.

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

    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 ExpressVPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is ExpressVPN faster than Hotspot Shield?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is faster than Hotspot Shield. 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 ExpressVPN or Hotspot Shield offer any deals?

    Both ExpressVPN and Hotspot Shield 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.