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Hotspot Shield vs SurfEasy VPN 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Daniel Krohn
    Daniel Krohn

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Hotspot Shield and SurfEasy allow multiple device connections and support popular operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. In terms of security, both offer robust AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol for protecting your privacy. There are no data limits on paid plans, and both VPNs offer decent connection speeds. However, there are some significant differences between the two providers.

    For example, Hotspot Shield provides a security protocol called Catapult Hydra, which compresses data to send it faster. SurfEasy, on the other hand, has a built-in ad blocker. Although SurfEasy just costs $2.49/month, it only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. Hotspot Shield is slightly more expensive ($2.99/month) but has a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Find out which VPN wins this stand-off. 


    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 9.0/10
    Ease of Use 9.0/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10
    Features 8.1/10
    Pricing 6.5/10
    Ease of Use 8.6/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10


    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

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Guy Fawkes
    Guy Fawkes

    Anonymous Cybersecurity Experts


    SurfEasy is a VPN only provider from Opera, a Canadian software company with many years of experience. Like our top VPNs (IPVanish and ExpressVPN, which we suggest you take a look at), SurfEasy offers the general package of what you would expect with a VPN. The service offers protocols and encryption. They have over a thousand servers in thirteen different countries, including Brazil, Austral...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Been using for over a year with no issues

    It works well on my Android phones. I've had no issues with speed, dropped connections, etc. What I di... d find interesting with this pages review is that they recommend NordVPN over SE because "it's more trustworthy", yet Nord was hacked recently. So in the end, no VPN could be safe.More

    Latest negative user review
    MacPro....Crashes every other use

    I've given up on the product. Contacted their tech support a dozen times over the last year. The sam... e thing......remove and reload the app. There is a persistent problem with this product and it is very frustrating. Moving on to another provider.More


    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices
    Starting price $2.49/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 14 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by category

    With its easy-to-use apps and strong encryption, Hotspot Shield is the best VPN overall. It offers faster speed and additional features, including multiple security protocols, a kill switch, and streaming-optimized servers. SurfEasy is still a great option, especially for beginners, as it has a plain interface with minimal settings. While not as fast or secure as Hotspot Shield, SurfEasy has decent speeds over short distances and uses robust encryption for securing your data.

    Hotspot Shield is the obvious choice for torrenting as it allows P2P traffic and the super-fast and secure Catapult Hydra protocol. Meanwhile, SurfEasy provides less than optimal speeds and lacks a kill switch, leaving you vulnerable to data leaks. Combined with its logging policy that records your IP address, SurfEasy is not the best option for safe and fast torrenting.

    Hotspot Shield's intuitive Windows interface allows you to connect to a server with a single click and adjust your VPN settings easily, making it my top choice for Windows. You can also activate its kill switch and IP Leak features to protect your from data from accidental exposure. The SurfEasy Window's app is system-tray only and has barely any configuration options. Settings are minimal but do include WiFi protection and ad-tracker blocking.

    Hotspot Shield's unique Android app featuring malware protection (scans and removes harmful software) makes it the best choice for your Android devices. Plus, you can get it from the Google Play Store. It also includes an automatic spam blocker. SurfEasy is also available on the Google Play Store, but it uses the less robust AES 128-bit encryption for its Android apps, while Hotspot Shield uses the more secure AES 256-bit.

    An intuitive, accessible interface makes Hotspot Shield a great choice for Mac users. It supports keyboard shortcuts for quick access to specific options. SurfEasy also has a simple and user-friendly app, but it’s not 100% stable. Since it provides no kill switch, this could pose a significant security threat.

    Hotspot Shield beats SurfEasy by using the virtually uncrackable AES 256-bit key and a variety of protocols, including OpenVPN and Hydra. Although the Hotspot Shield iOS app misses features like automatic connections or automatic startup, it's well-designed and straightforward. On the other hand, SurfEasy’s iOS app settings are reduced to the bare essentials. Plus, its security features on iOS are restricted to the less secure IPsec protocol and AES 128-bit encryption.

    With 27 server locations in the US, Hotspot Shield is clearly a better choice for accessing US content, as SurfEasy offers no city-level server options. Hotspot Shield also has US servers optimized for streaming and gaming. Privacy-wise, it's concerning that both VPNs are based within the data-sharing pact of the 5 Eyes Alliance. However, HotSpot shield follows a strict no-logs policy, so your data is safe from snoops.

    The Bottom Line

    SurfEasy and Hotspot Shield are both reputable companies that have operated for many years, and both VPNs are reliable and fast. However, if you are more interested in streaming you’ll appreciate the lightning-fast speed of Hotspot Shield which also does a good job of granting you access to services like Netflix US, Amazon, and Hulu. On the other hand, if your priority is torrenting, you will likely prefer SurfEasy, a VPN provider with fast, dedicated torrent servers.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    Is Hotspot Shield better than SurfEasy VPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than SurfEasy VPN. It has 1800 servers in 80 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 Hotspot Shield and SurfEasy VPN?

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

    Is Hotspot Shield faster than SurfEasy VPN?

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

    Both Hotspot Shield and SurfEasy VPN 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.