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PrivateVPN vs Hotspot Shield 2022

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

Which VPN is better?

Author Image Kate Richards
Kate Richards

Cybersecurity Researcher

PrivateVPN is a market-leading service provider with numerous advanced security features and a knack for bypassing geo-restrictions worldwide. Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, is backed by a large security company (AnchorFree) and has been used by over 600 million people worldwide. While Hotspot Shield provides 2,500+ servers in 25 countries, PrivateVPN operates a streamlined network of over 100 ultra-fast servers across 57 countries. Both VPNs use strong encryption and support multiple protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2. PrivateVPN’s advanced features include IPv6 leak protection and port forwarding, whereas Hotspot Shield offers malware protection. With regard to refund policies, Hotspot Shield and PrivateVPN offer 45-day and 30-day money-back guarantees, respectively, on new orders. While Hotspot Shield may appear to have more budget-friendly prices, PrivateVPN’s prices are very competitive, and the provider makes up for any cost difference by offering more security features. In addition, while Hotspot Shield forbids torrenting on its servers, PrivateVPN supports P2P file-sharing activities on its UK servers and offers port forwarding as well. A more comprehensive comparison across multiple categories follows below. NOTE: This comparison is for the paid Hotspot Shield version, Hotspot Shield Elite.


Features 9.2/10
Pricing 8/10
Ease of Use 9.4/10
Reliability & Support 9/10
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


PrivateVPN is a growing provider that claims to be a great VPN for security and privacy, as the name implies. Instead of offering a long list of unique features, this VPN sells itself as a simple but high-performing service. We put PrivateVPN through a series of tests to find out how it performs in each category and whether it will truly keep you safe and private. PrivateVPN’s strength...

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Latest positive user review
Comparatively Slow, but otherwise good product

It allowed my Plex to be accessed from outside of my network. That's a plus. It was much cheaper t... han the service I was already using (Express VPN). Another plus. Although everyone talks about how this service has fewer access points, they had enough close to me to not be a problem. Yay! And that may be enough for you. Here's my problem with this service: Baseline Internet Test Speed for download, NO VPN (server in Dallas): 446.2 Mbps Express VPN Internet Test Speed for download (server in Dallas): 292.6 Mbps PrivateVPN Internet Test Speed for download (server in Dallas): 53.3 Mbps Other locations were even worse (Atlanta: 50.1 Mbps, Phoenix: 46.0 Mbps) Basically, while using PrivateVPN, I'm wasting my money on a high-speed bandwidth service. That's the same speed I was getting when I only had 100 Mbps service. Express VPN did not support IP pass-through, which broke my Plex access, so it's not even an option for me anymore. But I'm going to keep looking for another service with a better download speed than this one.More

Latest negative user review
Awesome VPN experience

Everything was fine and awesome, am gonna rate 100 start if possible. The customer service is alway... s active and replies in 2 minutes from my experience Their servers are different, I mean really different from others Try it out and I guarantee you going to be happier than I am.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/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

PrivateVPN is an exceptional VPN overall, topping Hotspot Shield by offering more advanced security features, faster connection speeds, and access to geo-restricted content that is hard to reach even with most VPNs. Hotspot Shield is also a reliable provider, however, with a large network and a dedicated streaming feature with servers optimized to access top media platforms worldwide.

PrivateVPN is clearly the better VPN choice for torrenting, as it offers dedicated UK servers for P2P file sharing and also features port forwarding for complete anonymity. We do not recommend Hotspot Shield for any P2P-related activity, as the provider expressly forbids torrenting on its servers.

By providing 2048-bit encryption with AES-256 and IPv6 leak protection, PrivateVPN’s dedicated Windows app keeps your online activity truly anonymous. Hotspot Shield also provides a dedicated app for Windows that features a neat user interface, a kill switch, and malware protection.

PrivateVPN’s Android app can be installed and set up within minutes and includes a StealthVPN feature that allows you bypass tough geoblocks with ease. If you own an Android device, you’ll also enjoy Hotspot Shield’s dedicated app that gives you access to its free limited version and security features like wi-fi and tracking protection.

From a remote help option for installation to security features like IPv6 leak protection and port forwarding, PrivateVPN offers a powerful service for MacOS. Hotspot Shield also provides a MacOS app that features a kill switch and the provider’s proprietary Catapult Hydra technology, which optimizes multiple server connections for improved speed.

With support for six simultaneous device connections per account, a dedicated app, and features like leak protection and support for multiple encryption protocols including OpenVPN and IPSec, PrivateVPN provides a very reliable service for iOS. Hotspot Shield also features a dedicated iOS app that includes malware protection and access to dedicated servers for streaming.

PrivateVPN offers one of the fastest services available for bypassing US geoblocks worldwide. It seamlessly unblocks Netflix-US and many other US-based streaming platforms. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield is also very fast and reliable for unblocking US Netflix and similar websites. It offers a dedicated streaming feature with access to US servers optimized for a glitch-free streaming experience.

The Bottom Line

Author Image Kate Richards
Kate Richards

Cybersecurity Researcher

Hotspot Shield deserves its reputation as a very solid VPN, but PrivateVPN wins this comparison by offering a faster and more secure service. PrivateVPN’s support for torrenting and provision of advanced security features like leak protection and port forwarding ultimately push it far ahead of all but a very few, elite VPN services. With affordable subscription packages, PrivateVPN is a great choice if you’re after a VPN with amazing connection speeds, support for P2P, easy-to-use apps for all platforms, and enough advanced features to keep even the most tech-savvy VPN user happy.

Time to decide which one is best for you


Is PrivateVPN better than Hotspot Shield?

Yes, PrivateVPN is better overall than Hotspot Shield. It has 200 servers in 60 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2 a month.

What should I keep in mind when choosing between PrivateVPN 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 PrivateVPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

Is PrivateVPN faster than Hotspot Shield?

Yes, PrivateVPN 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 PrivateVPN or Hotspot Shield offer any deals?

Both PrivateVPN 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.