Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield protects your data at home or when using risky public WiFi networks, and helps bypass censorship by unblocking websites not available in your country.

Security features of Catapult Hydra include 256-bit AES encryption and an effective kill switch, multiple protocols support (WireGuard, IKEv2, and its own Catapult Hydra), with its free plan capped at 500MB per day – although you may get extra bandwidth by watching advertisements.


iOS Hotspot Shield app features an elegant, straightforward user experience with an on/off button and quick link to the server list. Your virtual location, data consumption for today and subscription type are also displayed prominently on its main screen – making this an accessible way for novice users without being too overwhelming for advanced users seeking more options.

Hotspot Shield app automatically encrypts your internet connection when connected to public Wi-Fi networks, offering added protection from online snoopers such as hackers and advertisers. Plus, unlike some competitors, Hotspot Shield doesn’t require you to manually activate its protection each time you join a new network – making this feature useful if you forget to log out after each session.

Hotspot Shield’s Hydra protocol enhances both speed and security by minimizing data transmission delays over long distances, which translates to faster downloads, smoother streaming and improved browsing performance. Speeds were impressive when we connected with servers across both domestic and international locations – particularly when connecting internationally! However, Hotspot Shield does collect and store bandwidth usage and server logging information.

As such, its free service is relatively limited in features. The free plan offers only 500MB per day of data, only allows one connection at once, and throttles speeds to two Mbps – you may even be subject to ads and have access to only certain US servers.

Subscribing to Hotspot Shield’s premium version will give you access to their entire network of 1,800+ servers worldwide, offering widening online content horizons or bypassing government restrictions. Plus, dedicated IP addresses make downloading files through P2P easier while making authorities harder able to trace activity online; especially helpful if residing within one of Five Eyes jurisdictions like the United States which impose strict data retention laws with warrants and gag orders being commonplace.


Hotspot Shield, a veteran VPN that has had its fair share of controversy in the past, has worked hard to restore its reputation and the latest version offers excellent performance and features. Furthermore, all major payment methods are supported along with an unusually generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

Android applications resemble their iOS counterparts with sleek designs and intuitive user experiences, including a large and prominent connection button for starting sessions quickly. Furthermore, client servers display useful server information including load figures and latency values; though a dedicated Favourite system would make navigation simpler overall.

Hotspot Shield performed admirably during our speed tests, even when traversing complex VPN routes to access Netflix. Furthermore, it unlocked numerous video streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video as well. Unfortunately, however, Hotspot Shield cannot unblock YouTube in China – for that you will require another solution.

Hotspot Shield makes it easy to experiment with their service by offering it free. Signing up, downloading the software and creating an individual dashboard to manage apps and view account details is all part of the experience – although keep in mind that the free tier limits daily bandwidth usage to 500MB while not offering streaming or gaming features.

Paid subscriptions give you access to unlimited data and virtual locations, multiple device usage simultaneously, kill switch support for Wi-Fi networks and support for mobile networks – as well as the security of paying with major credit cards or PayPal with 45 day money-back guarantees in place.

Hotspot Shield’s current version lacks an open source protocol like OpenVPN, making it impossible to be certain it implements adequate security measures. Although less reliable than some options available to users, Hotspot Shield should still provide effective protection from cyber attacks and other potential dangers.


Windows app features an elegant and user-friendly design, making it simple for anyone to navigate. As with other operating system apps, the Windows version has various features but lacks some advanced capabilities found in other VPNs, including split tunneling – this lets users choose which sites and services should go through their VPN and which ones remain unsecured.

Malware protection works automatically by matching sites against over 3.5 million known malicious URLs and blocking any that appear as threats against malware and scams.

Hotspot Shield’s software uses various encryption techniques to protect your data. One such method generates a unique key every time you connect, so even if hackers get their hands on your key they won’t be able to use it after disconnecting. Furthermore, forward secrecy ensures that when reconnecting the key changes every time and prevents anyone using an old key from accessing private information that might otherwise remain unseen by them.

Hotspot Shield performed admirably during our speed tests. It offered above average connection speeds and unblocked US Netflix without difficulty, along with easily unblocking popular videos on YouTube allowing users to access global television shows and movies.

Hotspot Shield offers an exceptional 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to evaluate whether this service meets your needs. In addition to supporting numerous devices ranging from gaming consoles and smart TVs to routers for Wi-Fi security, its Linux app also comes equipped with some features typically found in its iOS or Android counterparts; such as auto-connect and kill switch capabilities – giving it the potential edge over competing services in terms of reliability.


Hotspot Shield VPN service is one of the best-loved on the market, due to its user-friendly interface and robust features that appeal to newcomers as well as veterans alike. Its fast performance and global server network enable users to circumvent regional content restrictions without hassle; additionally, Hotspot Shield blocks malicious websites as well as providing unlimited bandwidth connectivity ensuring seamless connectivity.

But, this service doesn’t come without its drawbacks; for one thing it logs some of your browsing data and employs a proprietary protocol which does not open source – this could pose issues for users concerned about online privacy as it allows government agencies to track them more easily.

Concerns have also been expressed over the United States’ membership in Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes alliances, meaning it could share user data with other nations. Furthermore, Hotspot Shield imposes stringent data retention laws which can lead to legal requests for customer data.

However, the company has an impeccable security track record with no security breaches or data leakage incidents to its name. Furthermore, they offer an outstanding money-back guarantee to their premium subscribers, along with a functional free plan with limited features. Furthermore, there’s an interactive menu on their desktop app that lets users select their server of choice as well as manage settings like protocol switching and kill switch.

Hotspot Shield software features an easy setup process and is compatible with most Mac computers. Once installed, users can quickly connect to servers using its intuitive interface; updates themselves automatically for even greater simplicity of use; plus 24/7 customer service via live chat or email for any problems or questions encountered during use.

Hotspot Shield differs from its competitors by not offering dedicated servers for each country; rather, its infrastructure is shared among sibling VPN companies like Betternet and Hexatech and as such can experience occasional network outages; though these outages don’t usually present too much of a disruption since you can always switch servers after reconnecting to an alternative server.

Hotspot Shield remains an outstanding VPN choice despite its shortcomings, making it a suitable solution for beginners and advanced users alike. Its robust security and fast performance make it suitable for newcomers as well as veteran users, and its low price and extensive global server network are added bonuses. Although proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol may pose concerns for some, Hotspot Shield remains an exceptional service overall.

Press ESC to close