If you are looking for a VPN provider and have met Hotspot Shield but you are not sure about it, then this review will give you an idea of what this particular VPN company is like. The first thing which will catch your eye and, probably, impress instantly, is the list of renowned business magazines and other mass media sources such as the New York Times, Business Week, CNN, Fox etc. which seem to recommend Hotspot Shield. The next thing to make you focus your attention on this VPN provider is FREE DOWNLOAD. It’s rather tempting, don’t you find it? All this is great, but whether it’s just an adverts mask or a real face of Hotspot Shield VPN – one should prove it, what namely we are going to do.
Hotspot Shield VPN Plans and Pricing
Whatever you are buying, you always pay your attention to two things – quality and price. We’ll start our report with the second one.
You wouldn’t buy a car without taking a test drive and you probably wouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without trying them on. Sometimes you need to experience things for yourself before you can decide if they are right for you. This VPN provider gives you a chance to do it, as it offers two possible versions, one of which includes a time-unlimited free trial. However, the first thing to may upset a potential user is that this option allows using only US servers and it prevents access to such websites as Hulu and Netflix. Besides, get ready to be followed by the advertisement while connecting a necessary webpage.
Not a big fan of ad and restrictions? Then buy an elite plan! First of all, we’d like to underline that you can choose the time period – 6, 12 months, 2 years or even unlimited version. There’s some difference in a payment sum, of course. A 6-month subscriber will pay $3.33 per month while a whole-year user will save almost a dollar each month paying just $2.49 monthly. Those who really trust Hotspot Shield and want to make a 2 year prepayment will spend $2.1 each month. To be honest, it’s one of the most reasonable pricelists we’ve ever seen. As to the functions which are offered for elite users, they include a multi-device support, ad-free browsing, a reliable customer support, a malware protection and servers all over the world (the USA, the UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India and Germany).
Ready for a purchase? Then you need to know some facts about its payment system. It depends on the country from which you pay. The first thing to mention is that you can choose between the cards (MasterCard, Visa and American Express) and PayPal payment systems. What is really interesting – every country has its own peculiarities. For instance, if you’re in Greece you won’t be offered a 2 years subscription, while in Singapore you’ll be able to choose even a month pricing plan. Nevertheless, there’s an option you’ll get anywhere – a 30 day money-back guarantee. Furthermore, what we really appreciate in this VPN provider is that after the purchase, you will use a unique code to activate your service. No reinstall or reboot is required.
In case you need not only individual, but also a company protection, you can use Hotspot Shield business offerings. All you have to do is to choose the number of devices in order to get your price. For example, if you’ve got 20, it will cost you $19.95 per month, 60 – $54.95, 100 – $84.95. However you can get a 14 days free trial to test the VPN services, but keep in mind, that after this trial period you’ll have to pay ar least $274.95 for the whole year subscription. Business plan has all the features of the individual one, besides it offers online communications encryptions, a high speed and unlimited bandwidth. The payment methods are the same as the personal plans have and though they use your personal information, they truly promise not to sell it.
Hotspot Shield VPN Features
Customers usually try to find the service the reliability of which will impress them greatly and will make feel really safe. Security is probably the first thing which is always thoroughly examined. In Hotspot Shield company this parameter is perhaps in the very spotlight. This provider guarantees you the anonymous Internet browsing with the hidden IP address even using Wi-Fi. You won’t meet any difficulties while using any social networks or YouTube. Although your data is saved by Hotspot Shield, it is safely protected and won’t be used to satisfy someone’s curiosity.
The thing with which you probably can be dissatisfied is encryption offered by this VPN provider. Hotspot Shield believes that Open VPN is enough for the full functioning of their service. Whether you agree with it or no, you have to accept this fact.
While looking for a VPN provider we are also interested in such characteristics as compatibility, because it does matter for us what devices we can use protecting them with VPN. According to the list given by Hotspot Shield this VPN is compatible with PC and Mac, including such OS as Windows XP, 7 and 8, different Mac OS versions. As to the iOS, Android and Smartphone devices they can be also provided with this VPN service. Though, if you are the owner of Linux you should know that Hotspot Shield doesn’t support this OS.
Being so much focused on its security Hotspot Shield seems to have a little bit forgotten about the speed which is also an important criterion while choosing VPN provider. We can tell you the following – rich people have faster cars than poor ones. The same is with the speed. Free version won’t surprise you with the unbelievable speed at all. It isn’t so bad, but if you are striving for the real speed stream don’t count on it being a free user and buy an elite version. The packet of services which you’ll buy will also bring you nice speed figures and calm down your irritability provoked by the slowness of the Internet browsing.
Hotspot Shield VPN Security and Privacy
Hotspot Shield seems to be a VPN service with the help of which you can make maximum use of security and privacy. This VPN provider makes it possible to unblock such websites as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. and those Internet sources which are located at school, library or office. Hotspot Shield allows to bypass filters and firewalls set by network administrator in in order to get access to any content you want. What is more, this VPN provider protects your IP address – you get a US IP address to hide your actual one.
Don’t be afraid to look for a necessary piece of information anywhere, and even if there is some malware, the target site will be blocked (nowadays there are about 3.5 million malicious and spam sites which are detected and blocked by Hotspot Shield). Besides you’ll also get your passwords, financial transactions and instant messages protected. Don’t worry about Wi-Fi surfing too, because nobody will be able to monitor or spy on these web activities, too. As we see, security is really a strong point of Hotspot Shield VPN.
However, speaking of the encryption types, Hotspot Shield offers only Open VPN. It’s really surprising as almost all VPN providers include L2TP/IPsec and PPTP support, too. Well, we do know that Open VPN is really fine, but still customers like to have the right to choose, in fact, we all do, don’t we?
The question of locations is something that we are not satisfied with at all. Well, it doesn’t concern the locations themselves, because Hotspot Shield VPN has got servers in different parts of the world like USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India and Germany. We are dissatisfied with the presentation of the information given above. A potential customer will spend some time in order to find the locations list. The official website doesn’t contain it on its home page as usually it must be. So the client will find this piece of characteristics only after making a decision to buy the product. But here comes the question – how can someone buy such a product as VPN service without learning the full list of countries where its servers are located?
Hotspot Shield VPN Compatibility
Hotspot Shield assures us that it has a multi-device support. It is available for users with various OS –Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Kindle. Nevertheless be ready to meet some differences on the devices. These variations may be met in the setup process and the number of available services. However the general process of downloading and installation won’t cause any difficulties as it’s rather easy. Besides as a new subscriber you’ll be given a free trial of the Elite version but just for one day – a kind of bait which is very often swallowed by the clients.
Hotspot Shield VPN Speed
To be honest Hotspot Shield isn’t as quick as a flash, but it has got a normal speed to satisfy an average user. There occurred some differences in the speed results while connecting servers from various countries, but the general results seem to be fine. At least you won’t notice that this VPN interferes with your browsing. Besides there are no IP leaks as AnchorFree supplies its own DNS server. One more thing to pay our attention to is the influence of the version used by subscribers. We have to admit that the Elite packet includes better rate conditions than the free one.
Hotspot Shield VPN Support
If you need some help with the VPN use, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Hotspot Shield provides its subscribers with the wide range of options. You may look for your answers in FAQs, watch a video on the interested topic, use Ticketing System or contact an operator via Live Chat. Moreover you can discuss you burning issues on the Forum, share your own ideas and get a good piece of advice from the operator or other subscribers. In order not to spend hours in front of the screen searching for the necessary topic (we believe it to be a sheer waste of time!) you can use a pop-out support link on the main website and type your topic. In such a way you’ll get a list of the articles which may be useful.
Pros and Cons
On the one hand Hotspot Shield looks like a VPN provider with a perfect security level (and we are really in raptures over it). It does have a nice customer support and compatibility. Its speed results are satisfactory, too. On the other hand, the information about locations is really shrimpfish and it becomes the first minus of Hotspot Shield. The second problem to be tackled is limited encryption (Open VPN is not enough for the first place, there must be a diversity). All in all, we can claim that Hotspot Shield is a good VPN provider, which has something to be proud of, but at the same time several issues to improve. But practice is always better than theory, so don’t be afraid to try this service, especially taking into consideration the fact that it is free.