Hotspot Shield VPN Review
At the most recent count HotSpot Shield VPN claims to have about 650 million users. That would make it one of, if not the, top VPN service. While we can’t substantiate those numbers and suspect they are inflated, there is no denying that HotSpot Shield VPN is a major player. Here’s a brief review of HotSpot Shield VPN provider.
About Hotspot Shield VPN
Anchor Free is the company behind HotSpot Shield VPN account. This company has been providing HotSpot Shield since 2005. That is right around the time that VPNs started to boom as people looked for ways to improve Internet security and anonymity. In the beginning, HotSpot Shield VPN was mostly a free product. The company offered free service as a gateway to its Elite paid platform.
The free VPN is still available, but it is essentially a free proxy that also has limitations on bandwidth. We’re also going to see in this review that those large customer claims doesn’t necessarily mean that HotSpot Shield VPN is a good choice. There have been issues with the company’s logging policies and other things that are cause for some concern.
Hotspot Shield Privacy & Protection
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. HotSpot Shield uses 256-bit AES encryption for its VPN. That is the industry standard for most VPN providers, so this level of protection is expected. Unfortunately, things start to go downhill from there for the company.
HotSpot Shield has a misleading logging policy to say the least. There have been examples of individuals being identified and investigated with the help of HotSpot VPN logs. It should also bear mention that the company is US-owned and was created with funding from Goldman Sachs. That should tell you all you need to know. Is a company in this position really going to refuse the US government’s request for logs? Doubtful.
We know what you’re thinking. Whoa, this is some James Bond conspiracy stuff. That’s fine. Forget about the logging and accept that the Chrome extension for HotSpot Shield VPN has been proven to leak your DNS. When you add it all together there are some serious security flaws here to consider.
Hotspot Shield VPN Servers & Speed
One area that HotSpot Shield succeeds in is speed. True, this only seems to apply to some servers. Still, you only need one reliable server if you just want to use your VPN for torrenting or streaming, both of which are allowed by HotSpot Shield.
Our experience shows an average download speed of about 95 Mbps across the company’s UK and European servers. The New York server, however, only tests at about 25 Mbps. That’s too slow for many things you might want to do with your VPN. Just stay on the other side of the Atlantic when choosing your VPN server and you will be fine.
On the subject of VPN servers and locations, you would think that HotSpot Shield VPN rivals other providers in the number of servers it offers. Not so much. The company has some 500 servers in 24 countries. Let’s be honest. That is still plenty enough. 1,000 servers sounds amazing, but the reality is that you’ll most likely only use 10% of those at best. You will have suitable coverage and the ability to unblock restricted websites if you decide to go with HotSpot Shield.
Hotsportshield VPN Service Pricing
The prices that we quote here are the ones offered at the time this HotSpot Shield VPN review was written. We advise you to check the website for the latest rates.
The HotSpot Shield VPN rates are:
- $12.99 per month for monthly plan
- $8.99 per month for six-month plan
- $5.99 per month for yearly plan
- $3.49 per month for three-year plan
If you are someone that expects to require a VPN for the next three years, you can save a lot of money buying a block. It seems like a safe bet that HotSpot Shield VPN will be in business three years from now.
Hotspotshield VPN Verdict
HotSpot Shield VPN is a difficult company to applaud. There are too many issues in the company’s past to wholly recommend the service. You would be better off sticking with one of our secure and affordable VPN plans.