Hotspot Shield vs Private Internet Access vs 2019

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

 
 

Which VPN is better?

Daniel Krohn
Cybersecurity Researcher
A fierce competition is taking place between two US-based VPNs: PIA and Hotspot Shield. Both VPNs have large networks of servers, with PIA offering 3,000+ servers in over 30 countries and HotSpot Shield having 2,000+ servers in over 20 countries. They also both allow P2P and torrenting. Yet while Hotspot Shield offers a limited free VPN service and a 45-day money-back guarantee, PIA only offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. These two VPNs also provide user-friendly client apps. However, HotSpot Shield doesn’t have an app for Linux and has an extension for Chrome only. PIA has apps for all platforms (including Linux) and browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Hotspot Shield takes the lead for unblocking restricted streaming services like Netflix, which PIA fails to do. On the other hand, although both providers claim to keep no logs, Hotspot Shield has been accused in the past of leaking sensitive user information to third parties for advertising purposes. Read on to see these American VPNs battling it out across several important categories.
 

Reviews

 

Pricing

 

 Best VPNs by category

 

 The Bottom Line

Daniel Krohn
Cybersecurity Researcher

PIA wins this competition by gaining the upper hand in several key areas. It provides stronger encryption, more security features, and dedicated IPs. PIA is also more trustworthy when it comes to privacy, as it has always honored its guarantee that no logs are kept. And while Hotspot Shield is considered cheap, PIA actually offers cheaper prices and better customer support.

Even though both VPNs support P2P, PIA is more secure for torrenting and other file sharing activities. On the other hand, HotSpot Shield offers a longer refund period and succeeds in bypassing geo-restrictions on US Netflix, so this competition was definitely not one-sided. To help you choose, see what users have to say about PIA and HotSpot Shield.

Interestingly, if you compare Private Internet Access with NordVPN, which is our top ranked vpn, you'll see that Private Internet Access can learn a lot from NordVPN. Compare Private Internet Access with NordVPN