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HMA VPN vs Hotspot Shield 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Kristina Perunicic
Kristina Perunicic

Cybersecurity Researcher

HMA is a highly reputable service provider known for offering one of the largest VPN networks, with 900+ servers in 190 countries. Hotspot Shield is also highly rated, but although it offers 2,500+ servers, it is only present in around 25 countries. While Hotspot Shield provides a free limited version alongside its premium plan, HMA only offers a paid service. HMA, however, offers a 7-day free trial for all new subscribers. Hotspot Shield has a 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas HMA offers a 30-day refund policy. Both providers capably unlock Netflix and similar US websites with tough geoblocks, and both provide unlimited bandwidth with any paid plan. If you use an Android, iOS, Windows, or MacOS device, you can expect dedicated apps from either of these providers. Keep on reading to find out which VPN emerges as the winner in this closely contested comparison. NOTE: This comparison focuses on the paid Hotspot Shield plan, Hotspot Shield Elite.


Features 8.2/10
Pricing 8.8/10
Ease of Use 9.4/10
Reliability & Support 8/10
Features 8.8/10
Pricing 9/10
Ease of Use 9/10
Reliability & Support 8.6/10


Review by our expert
Author Image Katie Kasunic
Katie Kasunic

Technology Researcher


HMA is a popular VPN provider with a large network of 1,100+ servers in 210+ countries. Some of this VPN’s biggest strengths are its user-friendly interface, impressive speeds, and ability to bypass geoblocks (even Netflix's!) It's newest update, HMA Version 5, includes new design features and an auto-generated diagnostics mode. Arguably the most impressive update is its Lightning-mode feat...

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Latest positive user review
Very Good

I use it mainly for gaming, it has high speeds, a fast connection, security and anonymity, two charact... eristic protocols, P2P and split tunneling, I have been using it for a while but it is worth noting that it does not work on some streaming services like Disney+ or HBO Go but otherwise it is perfect and very easy to use.More

Latest negative user review
No customer support

It works sometimes (many streaming services block HMA), but if it doesn't work there is no customer su... pport. Their replies never offer any solution and always blame the customer for any problem. Also, they keep asking the same question over and over again, since they don't read replies.More

Review by our expert
Author Image Katie Kasunic
Katie Kasunic

Technology Researcher


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

Best VPNs by category

HMA has one of the biggest VPN networks on the market, with a server presence in almost every country. The service is backed up with outstanding customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Hotspot Shield also offers a reliable VPN service with a focus on strong security and ease of use.

HMA is our recommended VPN for torrents, as it offers dedicated servers across many locations that are optimized for P2P. Torrenting may work on other servers as well, but we do not recommend using them because they may not be secure enough. Hotspot Shield is not a good choice for downloading torrents, as it forbids the activity on its network.

Features like IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and access to 90+ servers in 190 countries are some of the reasons why millions of Windows users worldwide trust HMA’s dedicated Windows VPN client. Hotspot Shield also provides a dedicated Windows app that features a kill switch, access to fast servers, malware protection, and the provider’s Catapult Hydra technology.

Some of the best features of HMA’s dedicated Android app are an automatic kill switch, leak protection, and access to the provider’s dedicated streaming servers. Meanwhile, Hotspot Shield’s Android app features unlimited bandwidth and server switching, a very neat user interface, and access to the provider’s free limited version.

With HMA’s dedicated app for MacOS, you can expect to find a very user-friendly interface, strong military-grade encryption, and IPv6 leak protection. Hotspot Shield competes with its own MacOS app that features the provider’s unique Catapult Hydra technology and protection from malware.

With access to over 900 servers, a dedicated app, wi-fi protection, and a 24/7 live chat feature from within the app, HMA provides an excellent service for iOS devices. Hotspot Shield also offers an iOS app that includes tracking protection, access to very fast servers, and military-grade encryption.

Hotspot Shield’s fast speeds and consistency in breaking through tough geoblocks from providers like Netflix and Hulu makes it a very reliable VPN for the USA. HMA also provides many US servers that capably unlock Netflix and other geoblocked content, but it lacks the speed that top VPNs like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost possess.

The Bottom Line

Author Image Kristina Perunicic
Kristina Perunicic

Cybersecurity Researcher

Some comparisons are very close calls, and this is one where we found it tough to choose a winner between two top VPN providers. In the end, however, the availability of servers in 190 countries, advanced leak protection, and outstanding technical support are the key reasons why HMA narrowly wins this comparison. Its minimalist user-interface won’t dazzle you, but it is highly intuitive so even VPN newbies will have no problems whatsoever adapting to its apps on all platforms.

Time to decide which one is best for you


Is HMA VPN better than Hotspot Shield?

Yes, HMA VPN is better overall than Hotspot Shield. It has 1100 servers in 210 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 HMA VPN 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 HMA VPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

Is HMA VPN faster than Hotspot Shield?

Yes, HMA VPN 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 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 HMA VPN or Hotspot Shield offer any deals?

Both HMA VPN 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.