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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.

NordVPN vs Hotspot Shield 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 Georgii Chanturidze
    Georgii Chanturidze

    Senior Writer

    You’ve probably heard many positive things about Hotspot Shield and NordVPN (especially if you browse Reddit). Although both VPNs are very respectable, I wanted to dig deeper. So, I stacked up NordVPN vs Hotspot Shield for everyday activities to see which is better.

    The tests I performed included streaming, gaming, and torrenting. This article also shows whether these VPNs work with popular streaming platforms (like Netflix US and Disney+) in different locations. I also compared NordVPN and Hotspot Shield’s no-log policies and security features.

    My result is: NordVPN offers more value for your money, although Hotspot Shield comes very close. The winner is slightly faster and has more consistent unblocking capabilities. Additionally, only NordVPN provides advanced security features and a reliable no-logs policy. For more information, keep reading the complete analysis — it’s easy to follow and without unnecessary technical jargon.

    Best alternative to NordVPN

    Our Score: 9.9

    Not only does ExpressVPN offer similarly fast performance and robust security features, but it offers a more extensive server network than NordVPN which covers considerably more countries. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free as its backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

    NordVPN Hotspot Shield VPN
    ⭐ Overall Rating Our Score: 9.37/10

    www.nordvpn.com

    Our Score: 9.06/10

    www.hotspotshield.com

    💲 Lowest Monthly Price $6.39/month on the first 2-year subscription $2.99/month on the first yearly subscription
    🗓️ Price on Renewal $99.48 per year(subject to change) $154.77 per year(subject to change)
    🤑 Coupons NordVPN offers 72% off (24-month plan) Hotspot Shield offers 77% off (12-month plan)
    💸 Money Back Guarantee 30 days 45 days
    📺 Streaming & Unblocking Can access Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more Can access most streaming platforms but might require server switching
    🌍 VPN Servers 111 countries with 6,476 servers 80 countries with 1,800 servers
    ⚡ Speed Max 7% speed drop — excellent for UHD streaming & gaming Max 23% speed drop — but still good enough for 4k movies and online gaming
    🎮 Gaming Performance Low in-game latency Generally low ping and gaming-optimized servers
    🧑‍🤝‍🧑 P2P Support Yes, it has a network-wide P2P traffic and torrenting-optimized servers Yes, on all servers
    🔐 Security Protocols NordLynx (WireGuard-based), OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, and IPSec/L2TP Catapult Hydra (based on OpenSSL), WireGuard, IPSec/IKEv2
    🔌 Kill Switch Yes Yes
    ✅ IP/DNS Leak Protection Yes Yes
    🏢 Based in Country Panama US
    ⚠️ Does VPN Keep Logs No Yes
    Works in China No No
    #️⃣ Number of Device Connections 10 10
    💻 Device Compatibility Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and routers (with custom firmware for ASUS WRT)

    Plus a SmartDNS service to easily stream on game consoles and Smart TVs

    Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and routers
    🔧 Customer Support 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, email, Facebook, and Twitter 24/7 live chat (paid users only), knowledge base, FAQs, and email

    See More NordVPN Features

    Streaming and Netflix Access — NordVPN is More Reliable

    Streaming platforms may restrict access to their content based on your IP address (it reveals your geographical location). NordVPN and Hotspot Shield can change your IP address, making it appear as if you're in a different country.

    Streaming Platform NordVPN Hotspot Shield
    Netflix ✅Yes, including popular Netflix libraries like the US, UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland ☑️ Yes, but not as reliable (might require trying several servers)
    Disney+ ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ESPN ✅ Yes ☑️ Yes, but not as reliable
    HBO Max ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Hulu ✅ Yes ☑️ Yes, but not as reliable
    Sky ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Amazon Prime Video ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    BBC iPlayer ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ABC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    CBS ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    NBC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

    NordVPN works flawlessly with most streaming platforms. I watched Shameless (US) on my Netflix US subscription after connecting to a New York server while traveling. Similarly, a server in London allowed me to stream Doctor Who on my BBC iPlayer account.

    Screenshot of Shameless (US) show on Netflix accessed via NordVPNSelecting a server in the US lets you obtain a US IP address

    Hotspot Shield works for Netflix US and other popular platforms, too. I accessed my HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video using the US-based streaming servers. Although, there were some hiccups. Hulu and ESPN+ didn't work at first — I had to switch locations to work around the VPN block.

    Screenshot of Last of Us on Hulu accessed by Hotspot ShieldHotspot Shield couldn’t access Hulu on the first try, but worked on subsequent attempts

    However, only NordVPN has SmartDNS to avoid geo-restrictions on devices without native VPN support. For example, it allowed me to access US content on Disney+ from my PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Kodi.

    Winner
    Both VPNs let you access your accounts on popular streaming services from nearly any country. However, NordVPN does it more reliably and has SmartDNS.

    Server Network — Both VPN Networks Have Their Advantages

    NordVPN Hotspot Shield
    Total Countries With Servers 111 80
    Number of Servers 6,476 1,800

    NordVPN has a higher number of servers, while Hotspot Shield covers more countries. Thanks to availability in popular regions, both work great while traveling. Some locations are exclusive — NordVPN has servers in Cyprus, Serbia, and Slovenia, while Hotspot Shield offers locations in Egypt, China, and Russia.

    Because NordVPN has more servers, you’re less likely to run into server overcrowding (where too many users are crammed on the same server). This helps you avoid sudden slowdowns or disconnections. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield can provide IP addresses for a wider selection of countries.

    Both providers use a mix of physical and virtual servers. Physical servers are located in the associated country, whereas virtual servers are located elsewhere but will still provide you with an IP address for their associated country. Virtual servers can be used in regions where a physical server would put your privacy at risk due to intrusive laws.

    Because of this, NordVPN has a predominantly physical server network but also utilizes virtual servers in specific regions. Hotspot Shield uses a similar setup.

    Additionally, these VPNs offer specialty servers optimized for certain activities. Hotspot Shield has gaming and streaming-optimized locations. NordVPN provides specialized servers for torrenting, obfuscation (to hide you are using a VPN), and extra security (Double VPN and Onion Over VPN).

    Winner - draw
    /
    Hotspot Shield has servers in more countries, whereas NordVPN has a larger number of servers. Both come with optimized servers for specific use cases. It’s a tie.

    Speed — NordVPN Is Slightly Faster

    Both VPNs gave me excellent speeds on multiple servers and unlimited data usage. NordVPN showed the best results with NordLynx, while Hotspot Shield was the fastest with Catapult Hydra. My base speeds (without a VPN) were 127Mbps for download and 18Mbps for upload.

    The speed loss was minimal when connected to NordVPN’s nearby server. Even with the faraway US location, my speeds dropped by only 7%. That’s excellent for 4K streaming (which requires only 25Mbps). As a bonus, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers can prevent ISP speed throttling.

    Pictures of NordVPN speed tests via Ookla for the US, UK, and Hong KongI had the best speeds using NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol

    Hotspot Shield reduced my speeds by 23% on the US-based servers, but it was still fast enough for bufferless UHD streaming. The results on nearby servers were better.

    Pictures of Hotspot Shield speed tests results on servers in the US, UK, and Hong KongCatapult Hydra shows a little better upload speeds but gets significantly slower on far-away locations

    Speed Tests NordVPN Average Download Speed Hotspot Shield Average Download Speed NordVPN Average Upload Speed Hotspot Shield Average Upload Speed
    Connected to a US server 117.59Mbps 99.11Mbps 16.67Mbps 16.65Mbps
    Connected to a UK server 119.91Mbps 117.31Mbps 14.82Mbps 17.83Mbps
    Connected to a Hong Kong server 78.58Mbps 49.32Mbps 11.71Mbps 11.83Mbps
    Winner
    It was a tight competition, but NordVPN is slightly faster (especially on far-away servers).

    Gaming — NordVPN’s Servers Offer Lower Latency

    To compare Hotspot Shield vs NordVPN, I benchmarked in-game latency (ping) in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. The values here are provided in milliseconds.

    NordVPN (NordLynx) Hotspot Shield (Catapult Hydra)
    Quick Connect 34ms 43ms
    Connected to a UK server 49ms 54ms
    Connected to a US server 62ms 79ms
    Connected to a Hong Kong server 189ms 273ms

    Both VPNs were suited for gaming. Hotspot Shield offers gaming-optimized servers with lower ping, albeit for a limited number of titles. However, NordVPN had a consistently lower ping on every server I tested.

    Screenshot of CS: GO match with NordVPN connected to the US serverMy in-game ping remained low enough to score some frags

    On Windows, NordVPN even lets you host private LAN parties with Meshnet. This feature allows creating an encrypted network that connects users to the fastest servers for secure, low-latency gaming. Hotspot Shield doesn’t offer anything similar.

    Winner
    Both VPNs are well-suited for online gaming. Still, NordVPN offers lower ping and allows you to easily create secure LAN sessions.

    Torrenting — NordVPN Offers Safer and Faster Torrenting

    Hotspot Shield and NordVPN have network-wide P2P support for reliable torrenting. They also don’t limit your bandwidth — there are no restrictions on how much data you can download or upload. However, NordVPN is more dependable.

    NordVPN’s P2P-optimized servers are faster for torrenting. Alternatively, it also lets you configure a SOCKS5 proxy — this hides your IP address like a VPN server but does not encrypt your connection, offering faster speeds at the expense of some security.

    NordVPN is also the safer option for torrenting because of its more trustworthy no-logs policy and RAM-only servers, which ensure that your user data is never accessible or stored. Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, collects some of your personal information — more on this later.

    Winner
    NordVPN is a safer option for torrenting, thanks to a reliable privacy policy and stronger security features. Plus, P2P-friendly servers and its SOCKS5 proxy can boost your speeds.

    Security — NordVPN Has More Security Features

    Hotspot Shield and NordVPN use military-grade encryption to safeguard your information. They implement perfect forward secrecy, which generates unique encryption keys for every session. In short, this makes your connection virtually indecipherable — and even if an attacker were able to do so, they’d only have access to a single session of data.

    Security Feature NordVPN HotSpot Shield
    Encryption level AES-256-GCM with 4096-bit DH key, SHA-512 HMAC authentication AES 128-bit, RSA certificates with 2048-bit key
    Kill Switch All operating systems All operating systems, except for iOS
    DNS/IP Leak Protection Yes Yes
    Protocols OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IPSec/IKEv2, IPSec/L2TP, and NordLynx (proprietary protocol based on WireGuard) IPSec/IKEv2, WireGuard, and Catapult Hydra (proprietary protocol)
    Split Tunneling Yes Yes
    Private DNS servers Yes Yes
    Tor Over VPN servers Yes No
    RAM-only servers wipe data Yes No
    Ad & malware blocker Yes Yes
    Double hop servers Yes No
    Obfuscation technology Yes No

    Both VPNs have their proprietary security protocols. NordVPN offers speed-oriented (and secure) NordLynx — a proprietary WireGuard-based protocol. Hotspot Shield provides a custom Catapult Hydra, initially created by AnchorFree, which is nearly as fast and just as safe.

    My tests showed that these VPNs don’t leak your IP/DNS/WebRTC information. In addition, they protect you against accidental data exposure with an internet kill switch (it terminates your internet traffic if you lose your VPN connection). The only difference is that NordVPN also has an app-level kill switch, which allows advanced users to specify only certain apps to be blocked from accessing the internet upon a VPN connection failure.

    Unlike Hotspot Shield, NordVPN can route your web data through 2 servers for extra security (Double VPN). You can also use NordVPN’s obfuscated servers to conceal VPN usage from ISPs, websites, and network administrators. NordVPN also lets you route your encrypted traffic via dedicated Tor servers, which apply even further layers of encryption and IP masking.

    Pictures of NordVPN's security kill switch and Threat Protection settingsNordVPN’s security settings are also highly customizable

    NordVPN has many more out-of-the-box security features. For example, Dark Web Monitor alerts you if your info was leaked to the dangerous dark web. Threat Protection blocks ads and trackers (useful for YouTube and Yahoo News). NordVPN’s Android app also alerts you if it detects a malicious app overlay (otherwise known as tapjacking), which can lead to further security vulnerabilities.

    In terms of additional security features, Hotspot Shield’s Premium plan only offers Robo Shield (spam and scam call blocker for iOS in the US and Canada) and basic website threat detection. Both VPNs also offer automatic WiFi protection that connect the VPN when you’re on unsecured public hotspots.

    Pictures of security settings for Hotspot Shield VPNHotspot Shield offers a configurable kill switch, leak protection, and automatic WiFi protection

    Winner
    Both VPNs offer top-grade encryption, IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection, and a reliable kill switch. However, NordVPN comes on top with its advanced features such as server obfuscation, double VPN, and built-in malware blocker.

    Privacy — Only NordVPN Has a Strict No-Logs Policy

    NordVPN doesn’t collect, store, or share your web data with anyone. Its no-logs policy has been verified by audits performed by well-known firms PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Deloitte. The provider is also located in privacy-friendly Panama, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances — which are international government surveillance networks.

    Hotspot Shield logs most of your personal details, including usage data, used devices, and server requests. Pango Group (its owner) discloses that it may use your information for advertising, third-party providers, and their “trusted partners.” While it does state that it anonymizes logged data, it has never been audited to check whether this is really the case. Plus, the company is headquartered in the US — the center of the 5 Eyes Alliance.

    Picture of Hotspot Shield's privacy policyHotspot Shield can share a lot of your personal information

    Both services use Private DNS servers, meaning they handle your web requests (instead of your ISP). However, only NordVPN runs its infrastructure on RAM-only servers that wipe your data after every session. NordVPN also lets you pay with cryptocurrency to remain anonymous, whereas Hotspot Shield does not.

    Winner
    NordVPN’s independently audited no-logs policy is much more trustworthy than Hotspot Shield’s anonymized data logging, which has never been verified by a reputable firm.

    Works in China — Neither Offer Reliable VPN Service in China

    Unfortunately, neither NordVPN nor Hotspot Shield make any promises about working in China. While it’s possible that you may get spotty usage with both VPNs in the country, it’s much more likely that they will outright fail to work.

    If you need a VPN that reliably works in China, I recommend you take a look at the alternatives in our best VPNs for China in 2024.

    Winner - draw
    /
    As neither VPN provides support for China, I can’t recommend either.

    Installation & Ease of Use — NordVPN Is More User-Friendly

    Both VPNs are available on popular operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. They also have apps for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Smart TVs (like Android TVs) and browser extensions. Installing both VPNs usually takes only a couple of minutes.

    You can configure both VPNs on routers to encrypt data on all your devices. NordVPN supports more router models and has custom firmware for ASUS. While Hotspot Shield VPN does provide setup guides for routers, it doesn't offer as many resources for router installation.

    NordVPN has intuitive apps for desktop devices. You can quickly connect to the fastest nearby server, use an interactive map, and easily access specialized servers.

    Screenshot of NordVPN home screen for WindowsYou can select specialty servers for different use cases on NordVPN’s desktop apps

    Android and iPhone apps are just as eye-pleasing. The interface was designed to help you connect with a few taps. Yet, the mobile app has roughly the same level of customization.

    Pictures of NordVPN interface on Android smartphoneThe Android app offers extra features like Tapjacking protection

    Hotspot Shield’s interface isn’t that enjoyable, but it’s still easy to find the server you want. There’s also a built-in speed tester to help you find the fastest location.

    Screenshot of Hotspot Shield VPN for WindowsSelect a country to access a list of available servers

    The mobile versions of Hotspot Shield look similar. They have a minimalistic design and let you select the optimal location within seconds.

    Screenshot of Hotspot Shield VPN It’s also possible to configure protocols, split tunneling, and trusted WiFi networks

    You can use NordVPN’s split tunneling to select apps or websites that should or shouldn’t use a VPN. For example, you could set a torrenting client to always use an encrypted connection while your browser is set to use your regular internet, letting you stream local content at full speed.

    Hotspot Shield’s Android app has split tunneling too. The Windows version provides a similar SmartVPN feature that allows you to exclude websites and apps from the VPN tunnel.

    Winner
    These VPNs are easy to install and use. NordVPN slightly outmatches Hotspot Shield because of the more intuitive interface and greater support for routers.

    Reliability & Support — NordVPN Offers 24/7 Support to Anyone

    Customer Support Features NordVPN Hotspot Shield VPN
    24/7 Live chat Yes, responds immediately Yes (only for Premium subscribers)
    Email support Yes Yes
    Phone support Yes No
    Step-by-step setup guides Yes, with pictures, and video guides on an official YouTube channel Yes, with pictures
    Searchable knowledge base Yes Yes
    Exhaustive FAQ section Yes Yes

    NordVPN and Hotspot Shield come with detailed tutorials, troubleshooting guides, ticket support, and FAQs to help you find the information you need. They regularly publish blog posts, some of which introduce the latest updates to the service.

    However, only NordVPN offers publicly available 24/7 live chat and phone support. Anyone can reach the support staff with any questions. In contrast, Hotspot Shield’s online chat is available only to active Premium subscribers, and it doesn’t offer phone support whatsoever.

    Winner
    NordVPN’s support staff is more responsive. It also offers phone support unlike Hotspot Shield, if that’s what you prefer.

    Tips on Choosing Between NordVPN and Hotspot Shield

    I tested Hotspot Shield and NordVPN from every possible angle to help you understand which is better for streaming, gaming, and browsing. But if you still want to test them yourself — here are the criteria I used:

    • Fast speeds — Encryption slows your connection, but top-notch services maintain streaming-ready speeds.
    • Server networks — A well-distributed global network lets you find a low-ping location nearby and avoid server overcrowding.
    • Bypassing geoblocks —  You need a VPN that avoids geoblocks for international streaming platforms (like Netflix) to access your accounts from anywhere easily.
    • Robust security features — AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and built-in malware blockers keep your data safe during day-to-day browsing.
    • Respectable privacy practices — Check if the VPN has an audited no-logs policy and RAM-only servers to protect your information from prying eyes.
    • Easy to use — Make sure that VPN works on your devices and browsers, supports multiple simultaneous connections, and has 24/7 live chat support.
    • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — A money-back policy gives a chance to test the VPN without financial risks.

    Our Score

    Features 9.4/10
    Pricing 7.5/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 9.5/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.4/10

    On the surface, NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, a speedy and reliable connection, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $6.39/month. That all sounds great, but is there a catch? To find out, we did an in-depth analysis of NordVPN. The team and I tested its speeds and how well it performs whe...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    2
    210493Lu
    10.0/10
    The Best of The Best

    I simply tested all VPNs looking for cutting-edge online security, I tested the most expensive and the...  most talked about virtual anonymity, none made me as happy as NordVPN, it stands out for several reasons that the much more expensive ones it doesn't have, its double encryption, dedicated IPs, onion VPN, makes NordVPN unique, with almost 6,000 servers around the world and 12 million customers like me, you can see that NordVPN is not playing games with its customers and their online security , it always innovates to keep you more secure day after day, for a fair price in the long term and without sacrificing the speed of your connection, recently Nord is developing a new VPN protocol, Nordlynx a version still under construction derived from the Wireguard protocol, if you want to have a VPN of last security that think how it will make you more secure in the next month NordVPN is the right choice, I am completely thankful for being a customer and for finding what to me is the perfect VPN.More

    Latest negative user review
    S
    SAM
    2.0/10
    BUYER BEWARE!

    BUYER BEWARE! If you purchase NordVPN, it will throttle your interned speed/connectivity by 50%, like ... it did to mine. I pay $100/month to get speeds of nearly 600mbs. With NordVPN turned on, my speeds decrease to 250mbs. Nord’s “customer support” is useless and unprofessional, and, after nearly 3 weeks of endless “try this, try that”, they were unable to resolve the issue and blamed it on everything under the sun except their product, when it is OBVIOUS that, since I have zero speed issues with Nord turned off, and ONLY experience the issues with Nord turned on, it is NordVPN that is causing the issue. When I asked them for a refund of my one year subscription paid in advance and in good faith, they refused, and have now decided to ignore me. So, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. Their VPN will devastate your internet speeds, their “support” is ridiculous, they are in denial, and they will not refund your money, even if their product is a failure…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
    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

    Pricing

    NordVPN Hotspot Shield VPN
    Starting Price $6.39/month $2.99/month
    Price (On Renewal) $99.48 per year
    (subject to change)
    $154.77 per year
    (subject to change)
    Payment Accepted Credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, cryptocurrencies, and more Credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and more
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 days 45 days
    Number of devices per license 10 10
    Router Setup (for Unlimited Devices) Custom firmware (for ASUS routers), otherwise manual setup Manual setup
    See Plans See Plans

    NordVPN’s Standard tier provided the most value for money — it’s available for only $6.39/month. The Plus and Complete packages include secondary tools, like a password manager and cloud storage.

    At the same time, Hotspot Shield’s Premium option is the optimal one if you only need one account. The Premium Family is made for a wide number of users (up to 5 accounts). It’s possible to get Hotspot Shield for as low as $2.99/month with the 1-year Premium subscription.

    Hotspot Shield also offers a free tier, but it has fewer servers and lacks essential features (like a kill switch). Besides, it has a 500MB daily data limit and requires you to view ads.

    Winner - draw
    /
    NordVPN is more affordable in the long term. However, Hotspot Shield has a longer refund period and lower prices in the short term. The best value option for you depends on how long you’d like to subscribe.

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    Although Hotspot Shield is a good VPN, NordVPN works without fuss. It’s faster, better at unblocking, and has more security features.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    NordVPN has P2P-optimized servers that improve speeds, while a strict no-logs policy makes torrenting safer.

    Best VPN for Windows

    NordVPN has more security features for Windows (like Threat Protection) and supports more OS versions (up to Windows XP).

    Best VPN for Android

    NordVPN is better optimized for Android, and its security feature (Tapjacking) is arguably more useful than Hotspot Shield’s anti-spam call tool. There’s also a 7-day free trial available for Android users.

    Best VPN for Mac

    NordVPN wins with a more eye-pleasing design and flexible customization. It also maintains slightly faster speeds.

    Best VPN for iOS

    NordVPN’s iOS app has more features (such as a kill switch) and Siri integration.

    Best VPN for USA

    NordVPN has more US-based servers (in 16 locations) to access local content more reliably.

    The Bottom Line

    While both VPNs came very close, NordVPN outperforms Hotspot Shield in most categories. Even if the difference isn’t huge, it’s slightly faster and better at unblocking.

    More importantly, NordVPN is more trustworthy — it will not log, store, or share your data with third parties thanks to its audited no-logs policy. Plus, a built-in anti-malware blocker and obfuscation tech enhance your protection for everyday browsing. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield’s logging policy has never been audited, and it simply cannot compete with NordVPN’s advanced security features.

    FAQ

    Is NordVPN better than Hotspot Shield VPN?

    NordVPN is slightly better than Hotspot Shield. The key difference is that NordVPN is more privacy-oriented due to the strict no-logs policy, RAM-based servers, and specialized obfuscated servers. Besides, it’s more affordable in the long term.

    However, I’d also recommend considering ExpressVPN, as it is a serious competitor for the title of the best VPN. It has outstanding security features, impressive speeds, and reliable unblocking capabilities. You can try it risk-free as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    Is NordVPN faster than Hotspot Shield?

    Yes, but the difference isn’t very significant. NordVPN performed slightly faster for gaming and torrenting. Still, Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol is nearly on par with NordVPN’s NordLynx for day-to-day activities (like UHD streaming).

    Do NordVPN and Hotspot Shield VPN offer any deals?

    Both Hotspot Shield and NordVPN offer discounts quite frequently. To keep track of the latest deals, check out the coupon page. NordVPN’s long-term plan is often available with a 77% discount.

    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.
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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.

    About the Author

    Georgii Chanturidze is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor with a knack for VPNs, cloud services, and anti-malware tools. He meticulously researches and tests services for vpnMentor’s readers, providing valuable, accurate information.