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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.

Hotspot Shield vs TotalVPN 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 Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    Update: TotalVPN’s service is no longer available, and they have stopped accepting new customers or extending existing subscriptions. However, we’ll still provide you with an overview of Hotspot Shield to see if it’s the right VPN for you.

    Right off the bat, Hotspot Shield’s provision of over 1,800 servers in 80 countries sets it miles ahead of most other VPNs in terms of network coverage. However, it’s still not in the same league as top-tier VPNs, like ExpressVPN with 3,000 servers in 105 countries.

    As a result, Hotspot Shield consistently offers relatively fast connections regardless of your online activity. It also effectively unblocks Netflix US and hundreds of similar streaming platforms. Hotspot Shield used to completely prohibit torrenting on its entire network but now allows it on all its servers.

    Although both VPNs offer dedicated apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devices, TotalVPN’s apps are no longer available for download because the provider has stopped accepting new subscribers. In fact, while Hotspot Shield continues to grow and expand, TotalVPN is in the process of winding up its business.

    Hotspot Shield also offers strong encryption and support for multiple VPN protocols, going even further than the basics by offering additional features like malware protection. Keep on reading to see why we announced Hotspot Shield as the winner, even before TotalVPN ceased its operations. NOTE: This comparison focuses on Hotspot Shield Elite, the paid version of Hotspot Shield’s service.

    Our Score

    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10
    Features 8.0/10
    Pricing 7.6/10
    Ease of Use 8.0/10
    Reliability & Support 8.0/10

    Reviews

    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

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Emma Browne
    Emma Browne

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 8.0/10

    TotalVPN is going out of business, and the company no longer accepts new customers or extends subscriptions. The company, however, will remain active for all existing customers until the renewal date. We spoke with TotalVPN's customer service to confirm this: For current customers, we included our original review below. Looking for a straight-forward VPN service with good network speed? Tota...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    M
    Mandy
    10.0/10
    Free plan is a waste of time but regular one is one of the best

    I tried the free plan and I must say, you watch a YouTube video or two and you max out your limited ba... ndwidth... very annoying and not worth the time to sign up. At the same time, of course I upgraded and since, I enjoy high quality fast streaming. It doesn't worth going the extra annoying free step, I suggest paying a few bucks and saving your time. There just isn't a good free VPN, they are after our money. But again, I must admit, I really think it is a good deal that pays off.More

    Latest negative user review
    a
    antonio
    2.0/10
    Not the best in town

    It is impossible to remove TotalVPN. The Windows service (named OVPNService) and related driver rema... in there after uninstall. Setup files remain there after uninstall. The Windows network connection and its tray icon remain there. Their chat agents are totally clueless about this. They suggest to remove manually the app in the Program folder, but the app does not install there. ... and did I mention that all the free servers (just 2) did not work?More

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $4.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 3 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    Hotspot Shield’s continuous growth and provision of thousands of servers and innovative security features add up to an excellent service overall. It has user-friendly and feature-rich apps for all major platforms that will keep you safe regardless of your lifestyle or security needs.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    Some slight privacy concerns aside, Hotspot Shield is a decent option for torrents with P2P support, fast download speeds, and a global server network. As a bonus, it offers perfect forward secrecy, which adds an extra layer of privacy to your P2P activities. It’s based in the US, which isn’t ideal. If you want to torrent with complete peace of mind, we recommend a VPN like ExpressVPN with an independently audited no-logs policy and which is headquartered in a privacy-friendly location.

    Best VPN for Windows

    Hotspot Shield’s app for Windows is one of the most secure VPN apps you’ll come across. It comes packed with a kill switch, Smart VPN (split tunneling), auto Wi-Fi protection, and IP leak prevention. While you’re limited to just two VPN protocols, one of them is Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Hydra protocol, which is optimized for speed and security. The other is IPSec/IKEv2. If you frequently stream or game online, its dedicated modes for each activity will help you do it seamlessly.

    Best VPN for Android

    Like most Android users, you probably often use unsecured public Wi-Fi as you go about your day. Hotspot Shield’s Connection Center and Trusted Wi-Fi networks will help to keep you protected at all times while also offering a seamless experience swapping between different Wi-Fi networks. It also comes with most of the Windows app’s features, with the addition of the popular WireGuard VPN protocol.

    Best VPN for Mac

    Aside from the inclusion of the WireGuard protocol, there’s not much difference between Hotspot Shield’s Windows and Mac apps. It has everything you need to secure your connection while keeping your privacy from being violated. At the same time, you can use its gaming or streaming mode to enjoy a frustration-free online experience.

    Best VPN for iOS

    Hotspot Shield offers one of the best apps for iOS. That’s because it helps protect users with a kill switch and provides the convenience of a split tunneling feature – both not supported by most iOS VPNs. Like the Windows version, you can only choose between Hydra and IKEv2, although the former is the top choice in most situations anyway. Like the Android app, you can use the various Wi-Fi settings to ensure you’re always protected.

    Best VPN for USA

    With over 27 server locations in the US, Hotspot Shield has more than enough options to find a fast and low-latency server anywhere in the country. Of course, we’d prefer it if it wasn’t based in the US, as it's a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance. A VPN that’s based outside the jurisdiction of any intelligence-sharing network, like ExpressVPN, will ensure that your activity is never used against you.

    The Bottom Line

    Hotspot Shield decisively won this comparison one-sidedly even before TotalVPN announced its closure. It offers far more servers, faster connections, and more value for your money overall. The unique Catapult Hydra technology and a dedicated streaming feature are two of the many advantages it offers its users. Not to mention that you’ll be able to watch Netflix without issues. The availability of more innovative features and a support team dedicated to ongoing service improvements make Hotspot Shield the clear choice over a competitor that is really just biding its time until current subscriptions expire. If you need to download torrents or prevent any chance of your data being requested by the authorities, Hotspot Shield isn’t the ideal option. Instead, look to top VPN providers like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost that are based in privacy-friendly countries and have verified no-logs policies.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Hotspot Shield better than TotalVPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is better overall than TotalVPN. 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 TotalVPN?

    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 TotalVPN?

    Yes, Hotspot Shield is faster than TotalVPN. 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 TotalVPN offer any deals?

    Both Hotspot Shield and TotalVPN 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.

    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.
    Learn more
    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

    Kate is a Managing Editor at vpnMentor. Kate promotes the use of VPNs as a means to achieve unhindered access to the internet, as she strongly believes in online freedom for everyone.