HotSpot Shield Review

HotSpot Shield is a VPN service powered by AnchorFree, a promising company attracting the interest of high-end investors and users worldwide. It offers a straightforward plan that is free of charge and another, premium plan that allows you to get your hands on some great quality VPN. Through our detailed review and research, we came to realize that HotSpot Shield has managed to make VPN easily accessible to the wider public.

As a result, some complex information might be omitted from the picture; still, it is greatly inexpensive (when it comes to the HotSpot Elite VPN, since the free plan does not have any hidden fees) and it can cover the basic needs of the average person seeking to enhance his privacy and VPN options.

Features

HotSpot Shield FeaturesFor the free subscribers, only US servers are available to use. On the contrary, as we have highlighted above, the HotSpot Elite VPN provides greater flexibility to its users and this includes the use of servers abroad (UK, China, India, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Canada and Germany). There is an automatic configuration that you can get, so as to enable HotSpot VPN whenever you visit an untrustworthy website.

For free versions, you will notice ads appearing every now and then. Of course, this makes total sense – how else would they compensate for the operational costs? Another great feature that you will definitely benefit from (especially if you have a large family and / or you make use of different devices) is the fact that you can use it on up to five different devices simultaneously having single account. Apparently, this feature is only available for Elite users – still, it does not involve any extra cost.

Online Security

Moving on with our HotSpot VPN review, security is of paramount importance. After all, one of the major reasons why people have turned to VPN is to safeguard their anonymity, their online freedom and of course expand their possibilities online. Even though it is not that easy to define as you glimpse through the website of HotSpot VPN, indeed there is advanced OpenVPN encryption involved of 256-bit AES.

This is certainly great, as the unencrypted traffic can lead to several vulnerabilities that can lead to hacking attempts and successes at the bad actors’ end. No logs are kept and no information is stored, when it comes to Elite users from the company. Nevertheless, there is targeted content in terms of ads for the free users and this is something that you ought to consider prior to choosing to go free!

The fact that Hotspot Shield  owns their personal VPN server infrastructure and do not rely upon 3rd parties for this. Thus they can guarantee the users 100% privacy and security. When compared to other VPN providers aiming at providing similar services, some of them out themselves in hot water because of certain leaks. As for example, just recently Hola VPN were caught using its users as exit nodes and for DDOS attacks (botnet). The folks at Hotspot Shield seem to make sure they give their users, as well as other potential VPN users the clear picture that Hotspot Shield does not do any such practices. Thus, it’s a good option for users looking for a trustworthy VPN.

Pricing Plans

HotSpot Shield PricingWe have mentioned earlier that there are two distinctive plans on offer; the free plan and the HotSpot Elite VPN plan. The former comes with several restrictions, as to the servers that the subscriber can use (only US servers are included in the plan) and the websites that can be reached (no Netflix or Hulu can be accessed). It also comes with ads, which can deteriorate user experience to a great extent.

The Elite plan lifts all the restrictions and offers the ultimate VPN experience at an affordable cost. You can choose the yearly plan at €29.99, if you reside outside the United States or alternatively $29.95 for US citizens. For the bi-annual plan, the charge is even lower, $49.95. There are also semi-annual subscriptions available for the US and even monthly subscriptions for the people overseas. All plans come with 30 day full money refund guarantee.

Protocols

When it comes to Windows clients, the security protocol enabled is OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption. This allows advanced encryption and therefore all the traffic is well and thoroughly protected at all times. According to the checkout process upon purchasing the Elite plan, “All communication is secured with SSL encryption.” So, everything is secured and the main purpose of the VPN is accomplished.

Interface

After having downloaded and installed HotSpot Shield free plan or HotSpot Elite VPN, you will realize that it has got a chic, easy to use interface. You will be able to turn the VPN on within a heartbeat, choosing among the servers that are located internationally with a click of a button (assuming you are an Elite VPN user).

You have got the ability to decide whether you wish to get protection on specific sites or be thoroughly protected online. Everything about HotSpot is simple and this can encourage even people who do not know a lot about VPNs to get such safety measures.

Compatibility

HotSpot Shield CompatibleHotSpot Shield VPN prides in complete compatibility with all OS and devices. There are instructions and apps for iOS, Win, Mac and Android running devices, which is something that sums everything up in the most eloquent manner possible! No matter what your devices are (provided that you use different devices thanks to the special feature offered to you by HotSpot Elite VPN), you will be covered by your plan.

Payment Options

Perhaps the coolest part about the pricing is the remarkable flexibility in payment methods. You can choose credit or debit cards, as well as PayPal, UCB and Discover. It is worth noting that there are coupons offered to you for lowering the price even further and this is definitely something to look out for. You had better check the payment options available in your country, though, as there might be slight differences.

Support Types

HotSpot Shield SupportNext on our HotSpot Shield VPN review, there is the support aspect. What strikes your eye is the lack of live chat, which is pretty common among VPN service providers. However, there are many other options for users to have their pick from. At the knowledgebase, everything is pointed out in detail and you can reach the proper guidelines that shed light to different OS, payments and subscriptions and so on. Alternatively, you can contact support via submitting a request. Last but not least, there is a detailed and well researched blog where a lot of information can be spotted.

IP Types

Both static shared IP and dedicated IP types are available for you to select, in order to cover your needs to the fullest.

Website

The website of HotSpot Shield is cool and easy to use, simple enough for everyone to comprehend all about VPN and other services provided. Still, some people might find it difficult to gather more complex information about the services. This means that the website of HotSpot VPN is great for those who do not have a lot of experience in the field of VPN, but somehow lacking in case of advanced users. All in all, the site is modern and looks elegant, while it is fast and efficient to navigate.

Performance

HotSpot Shield PerformanceOne of the main advantages of using HotSpot Elite VPN is the use of multiple servers from many locations in the world. On the contrary, with the free plan you only get access to US servers and this can cause congestion at peak hours. With that being said, never had we come across major problems in the speed and reliability of the VPN.

Instead, we always found the speed more than satisfactory and with different OS and devices that we have used. Of course, the reliability and speed are directly related to the fact that at HotSpot Shield VPN they use their own servers.

Pros in a nutshell:

  • Free Plan Available for Unlimited Time
  • Advanced Encryption Enabled
  • Five Devices Registered Simultaneously
  • Multiple Payment Methods
  • They Have Their Own Servers, without Third Parties

Cons in a nutshell:

  • Free Plan Includes Ads and is Restrictive
  • Support Can Be Slow (No Live Chat)
  • Some Information about Technical Issues is not Available

Conclusion

Having reached the end of our review, we have to point out that this is definitely a reliable competitor in the field of VPN. Among the major advantages that VPN are going to find, there is the remarkable flexibility in the payment methods and the low cost, alongside the free plan and the use of their own servers – and of course the 5 devices’ simultaneous use without any additional cost! And not to forget, the company’s clear track record for not playing with its users privacy from any angle.

On the downside, support could be a bit more versatile and the free plan could be a bit less restrictive. Overall, though, HotSpot Elite VPN and the free plan that is available for an unlimited time period can cover the needs of personal computers, as well as small to medium sized businesses, without any problem whatsoever!

Goto Hotspot Sheild

7.4 Overall Rating
7.7 Users (7 votes)
Highlighted Pros
  • Free Plan Available for Unlimited Time
  • Advanced Encryption Enabled
  • Five Devices Registered Simultaneously
  • Multiple Payment Methods
  • They Have Their Own Servers, without Third Parties
Highlighted Cons
  • Free Plan Includes Ads and is Restrictive
  • Support Can Be Slow (No Live Chat)
  • Some Information about Technical Issues is not Available
Verdicted Summary

HotSpot Shield VPN allows users to introduce themselves to a practical, easy to use VPN and with reliable servers that do not require cooperation with third parties. At a low or non-existent cost, VPN users can benefit from advanced encryption and five simultaneous devices at a time. However, if you choose the free plan, the ads and restrictions can put you off. The lack of technical information from the site is somewhat justifiable, whereas the support can also be a downside at times (not always, though).

Price8
Features7
Security8
Help & Support7
Trustworthiness7
What people say... 7 Leave your rating
6 September 2016 9:44 PM, 9:44 PM
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21 December 2015 5:22 PM, 5:22 PM
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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • pradeep 1 year

    its not cnnecting

  • BERT 11 months

    There is a search engine supplied by HSS VPN. I have the paid elite service… Searching adult sites within their search page will result in your search page being shut down, and they WILL REPORT YOU TO THE AUTHORITIES IF THEY THINK YOUR SEARCHES ARE, IN THEIR TERMS, ILLEGAL. READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. What kind of VPN reports its customers for their opinion of what is appropriate?
    HOTSPOT SHIELD, THAT’S WHO.

  • DISQUS: 0

    HotSpot Shield Review

    by Stella Strouvali time to read: 6 min
    2