A secure and trustworthy VPN is perhaps one of the most crucial things you can have in today’s online age. A VPN allows you to browse the internet with safety of mind, as it works to protect your privacy.
A good VPN will protect your valuable information from being leaked or otherwise compromised by hackers, as well as providing you access to websites across the world.
There are many VPN services to choose from these days, all of which offer a great number of security features. However, none stand out quite like Hotspot Shield, which we are going to focus on today.
But who is Hotspot Shield VPN? What makes it so special? Hotspot VPN was developed in 2008 by Dnick, a Russian-based internet privacy company.
Since 2019, when Hotspot Shield VPN had its stable launch, it has become a popular go-to VPN with internet users. Hotspot Shield VPN is available totally for free, but also has a premium service with extra benefits for $12.99 a month.
Read on below to see some of the various features of Hotspot Shield VPN, as we explore whether you can get value for your money from their services. We have also put together a useful buyer’s guide, and a FAQ, so you can really make an informed decision on your choice of VPN!
What Makes Hotspot Shield VPN Stand Out?
Of course, with so many well-established VPN providers competing for your custom, Hotspot Shield VPN needs to really stand out. Hotspot Shield VPN prides itself on being the “World’s Fastest VPN”, with blazing speeds that allow it to cater to gamers and online streamers.
Most VPN services, in order to provide top-quality security, have to sacrifice connection speed. Unlike these VPN services, Hotspot Shield VPN features blazingly fast connections even while browsing securely through one of their secure servers. Hotspot Shield VPN does not sacrifice security for speed either.
This speed makes Hotspot Shield VPN perfect for those who need quick internet connections that have low latency. With Hotspot Shield VPN, sitting through laborious loading screens is a thing of the past! Gamers can stream via platforms such as Twitch securely, without the worry of their IP Address being discovered.
If you are looking to use a VPN to access online content unavailable in your country, then Hotspot Shield VPN is perfect for you. Hotspot Shield VPN can give you access to international libraries on platforms such as Netflix, with high-speed connections that mean you won’t be waiting around to watch what you want.
Hotspot Shield VPN also stands out for its zero-logging policy. This means that Hotspot Shield VPN does not keep a detailed log of your use of its platform, so you can browse in total privacy.
Hotspot Shield VPN does keep logs of smaller things, such as how long you use the service, and how much bandwidth you consume, per usage.
Any information logged regarding websites accessed through Hotspot Shield VPN is kept entirely confidential, and the service does not know which users have used which websites. This allows them to keep the service optimized and efficient, without sacrificing any of your privacy.
What Are The Benefits Of Hotspot Shield VPN’s Premium Service?
Hotspot Shield VPN prides itself on being able to offer its high-speed online protection totally for free; with “Military-grade encryption” offered whether you pay for the service or not.
However, if you want access to some extra features that really carry your security a step up, then you may want to consider the monthly $2.99 premium subscription.
With Hotspot Shield VPN’s premium subscription, you can expand your online protection to cover multiple devices. By doing this, you can ensure that any portable devices you have aren’t compromised by public wifi services, and then don’t compromise any of your home technology.
Hotspot Shield VPN’s premium subscription also offers more secure servers through which you can browse, this means that you can be even more secure, as you can change your server location with the click of a button, to really feel in control of your online safety.
Hotspot Shield VPN’s premium subscription makes it easier to access their high-speed services, with unlimited bandwidth to work with, as well as no ads cluttering up your screen while you browse.
The premium subscription also comes with 24/7 live technical support, so that you can get the most from the service, at the touch of a button, and truly customize the experience to your needs.
Is It Safe To Use Hotspot Shield VPN’s Free Version?
If you only needed a basic VPN service to protect your online privacy for short sessions, then the free version of the service should work perfectly for you. The free version still provides top-class security, just without the fancy bells and whistles.
However, there are some drawbacks to settling for the free version of Hotspot Shield VPN. Unfortunately, unlike the premium version, Hotspot Shield VPN’s free version can occasionally throttle your broadband speed.
Broadband throttling refers to Hotspot Shield VPN occasionally intentionally slowing the speed of your internet down in order to incentivize you to pay for a full subscription.
This would not be a problem for occasional internet users who only need short-term protection, but for anyone looking for longer online sessions, this could be a considerable drawback.
The free version of Hotspot Shield VPN also limits you to only using VPN servers that are based in the United States. This is still a secure option, even if you are based in the United States, but it does mean that you have less control over your experience with the service.
Bandwidth caps are another potential problem that can be encountered with the free version of Hotspot Shield VPN. The free service offers 500MB of bandwidth a day, compared to the paid version’s unlimited bandwidth capacity.
Again, this is only a problem for users who make frequent and long-term use of the internet and would be more than substantial enough to occasional users.
Hotspot Shield VPN is able to run efficiently thanks to paid subscriptions, as a result, the free version of the service also runs ads, in order to generate a profit. These ads will show up on your web browsers on the free version of the service, but in the premium version, these ads are unnecessary, and will not show up at all.
It would be a totally valid choice to settle for Hotspot Shield VPN’s free service, as it provides the necessary protection for very basic browsing.
However, if you want access to high bandwidth speeds, multiple server locations, and extra support, you will definitely want to go with the premium subscription, to have that extra peace of mind.
How Is Hotspot Shield VPN For Streaming Online Content?
If you subscribe to Hotspot Shield VPN’s full subscription, then you can access a vast array of online streaming content that you may not be able to otherwise. A VPN allows you to pretend that you are browsing the internet from a totally different country.
As a result, if you wanted, you could access Netflix, or other streaming libraries, to find content exclusive to Japan, the UK, or India! If you have a free subscription to Hotspot Shield VPN, then you can only access content from the United States, as the only server locations available to free users are based in the United States.
The premium subscription also gives you access to high-speed internet connections, and unlimited bandwidth, so you can instantly access online content, and as much of it as you want! If you only have a basic subscription, then, unfortunately, you may experience broadband throttling, which may make streaming more difficult.
If you are planning on creating and uploading your own streaming content, then the premium subscription is essential.
Hotspot Shield VPN prides itself on being one of the fastest VPN services around, which makes it perfect for online content creators, streamers, and gamers. If you plan on streaming, then Hotspot Shield VPN can protect your IP Address, to avoid hacking or doxxing.
The premium service also features strong upload speeds alongside download speeds, so you can easily create and upload content to online video platforms.
What Server Locations Do Hotspot Shield VPN Offer?
Hotspot Shield VPN is able to offer access to over 3,200 servers in over 70 countries. This means that you can easily personalize your VPN usage, and change servers at any time to maximize your security, and to access online content from around the world.
However, if you are accessing Hotspot Shield VPN for free, then you will only be able to make use of servers located in the United States. This still provides strong security for users based in the United States, but it does mean that you may miss out on content that is only available in other countries.
Hotspot Shield VPN also provides extra protection for your mobile devices. Whether you are using Android or IOS, you can access the Hotspot Shield app, and choose server locations through the use of a simple map interface.
The mobile app will also warn you if you are connecting to an unsecured or dangerous network, which means that you can remain online safe while out and about.
If you want the full VPN experience, then you will need to subscribe to the premium service, as this provides you access to more servers, and the ability to change servers on your mobile devices.
Is Hotspot Shield VPN User Friendly?
For some internet users, ease of use is of paramount importance. With so many online platforms and so many online dangers, simplicity is king. With this in mind, how easy is it to use Hotspot Shield VPN for the average user?
Hotspot Shield VPN’s premium subscription allows you to access extra protection on your mobile devices, both Android and IOS compatible devices.
Through the use of their dedicated app, you can change your mobile settings, change servers, and protect yourself from unsecured networks. This is done through the use of a simple and efficient user interface that clearly lays out its information.
The premium service also provides users with access to 24/7 live chat support, which makes navigating your way through the service a lot easier, should you find yourself lost or unsure.
Hotspot Shield VPN also has a desktop application that is made available to both free and premium users. The application boasts a minimalist design, with clearly laid out options that allow you access to all of the features you have available.
If you only have a free membership, then certain premium features will be locked off from you, but you will be able to check your connection to the service and access basic settings.
Premium users will have easy access to all options, including a quick and simple interface to choose their server location, and simple buttons to turn the service off and on.
Hotspot Shield VPN apps and services are easy to download and install, taking only minutes to set up and begin protecting your online activity.
Unfortunately, due to Hotspot Shield VPN’s commitment to ease of use, their applications do lack advanced features, settings, and data, so users who want a truly customizable and controllable VPN experience may be better served by other services.
How Much Does Hotspot Shield VPN Cost And Is It Worth The Price?
Hotspot Shield VPN can be accessed for free, in order to access basic features, but if you want access to higher internet speeds and extra security features, you may want to consider subscribing to the premium version.
The premium version costs around $12.99 per month and can be subscribed to on a number of plans. You can pay for the service on a per month basis, at $12.99 for a month, or you can pay for a year up-front, which saves you up to 36% off, for a value of around $4.68 per month!
The premium service gives you access to protection for up to 5 devices simultaneously, but if you have a family or a large number of devices, then you can also upgrade your subscription to a Premium Family plan.
This plan increases the number of devices to 25 and costs only $19.99 per month, which is an absolute steal when it comes to protecting your whole family from online threats.
Hotspot Shield VPN does cost slightly more than some other competing VPN services, but this extra cost is made up for by its blazing-fast broadband speeds and unlimited bandwidth, as well as its considerable extra features to help families or those less technologically inclined.
VPN Buyer’s Guide
Whenever you are looking to subscribe to a new VPN service, or even swap over from one service to another, there are a number of things that you need to make sure to look out for.
There are a wide variety of VPN services available online, so making sure that you pick the right one is crucial. Read on below as we take you through some of the most important features that you need to look out for when choosing the right VPN service for you.
Certain VPN services offer very different security features and optional extras that can cause their price to vary. If you are looking at a more expensive VPN service, then it is worth checking to make sure that it is worth the price.
Check to see what services they offer and whether competing services can offer the same services at a lower price.
If you don’t want to spend excessive amounts of money on a VPN service, then it is worth checking that any potential services meet the baseline requirements for strong protection and online privacy.
When choosing a VPN service, it might be worthwhile making a list of services that you are interested in, and noting down each benefit they offer, and how the price reflects them. This way, you can make an informed decision to ensure that you are not overspending!
Speed And Reliability
VPN services will, as a result of the benefits they offer, take up some amount of your broadband to ensure that your security is being protected. Because of this, some VPN services may be able to offer you better broadband speeds than others.
Your choice of VPN with regards to broadband speed will largely depend on what your intended use of the internet is. Are you likely to be downloading lots of content, streaming films, or playing online games? In that case, you will want a VPN service that can provide high broadband speeds with low latency.
If you just plan on using the internet occasionally, perhaps to shop, to research, or to browse social media, then you may be fine with a secure VPN service that offers medium to average broadband speeds, as that will be plenty.
Your broadband speeds can vary largely depending on where you live, so this could also impact your choice of VPN service. If you live in an area with high broadband speeds, then a VPN service that consumes more internet would not be an issue and would provide you with ample security.
If you live in an area with slower broadband speeds then you may want to consider options that do not affect your broadband speed. Slower broadband speeds could also negatively impact the reliability of a high broadband-consuming service.
Of course, tantamount to any good VPN service is the security it can provide you. When you are checking out VPN services, you must make sure that you are subscribing to a service that provides you with strong encryption for your day-to-day internet use.
VPN services operate by masking your online activities to protect you from Internet Service Providers, Governments, and Hackers, who may be tracking your activities. Check reviews of these services to make sure that they are providing these services efficiently.
Many VPN services offer additional extra features to aid in online security, such as password protection, and checking public wifi services to make sure your mobile devices are safe.
You should consider whether these services would be useful to you and that the price is reflective and fair for what those features are.
Go with your gut when choosing a VPN. If the VPN service does not seem like it has your best interests at heart, then it is best to avoid them and choose a service that suits you better.
In order to maximize your online security, you can also check to see if certain VPN services have received awards or other commendations from trusted sources. This means a trusted and knowledgable person has certified that the service provides the necessary security, and is worth the cost attached.
Ease Of Use
This will come down to your technological know-how, and what you will be using the service for. For internet users who are technologically savvy, they may be able to make better use of VPN services that don’t feature user-friendly interfaces.
If you are looking for a VPN service but are not technologically savvy, then it is worth subscribing to a service that makes protecting your online activity simple and easy to understand. Look for services with easy-to-access applications that make controlling the service easy and hassle-free.
You might also want to make sure that these services offer some kind of support program, such as 24/7 live chat so that you can discuss issues easily with a professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Get A Virus Using A VPN?
It is highly unlikely that you would encounter any viruses while using a VPN. Provided you are not accessing insecure websites, your VPN service should provide ample encryption to ensure that important data is not leaked.
VPN servers can be hacked, but this is incredibly time-consuming and difficult, and yields very little, so it is not within a hacker’s interest to do so. Most VPN services offer high-security servers, so you can browse with peace of mind!
Some VPN services may also offer antivirus protection as an extra feature, so if you are worried about potential viruses, it may be worth looking into VPN services with anti-virus protection built-in.
Can I Trust Hotspot Shield VPN?
Yes. Hotspot Shield VPN is a registered VPN service with thousands of customers who believe that the service is trustworthy and dependable. As with any VPN service, you have to be able to trust the service provider, as you will be processing a lot of important information through them.
Hotspot VPN has good reviews across multiple platforms, and is trusted by multiple large companies across the globe!
Does Hotspot Shield Hide Your IP?
Yes. VPNs operate by masking your online footprint, by allowing you to browse the internet through multiple virtual servers.
If someone were to try to track your IP address while using a VPN, they would not see your location, but instead, the pretend location of the VPN server. This makes them crucial for online content creators who risk being doxxed or otherwise having their location leaked online.
Does Hotspot VPN Change Your IP?
No. Your IP address remains exactly the same, whether you are using a VPN or not. A VPN simply masks your real IP address behind the pretend location of the virtual VPN server that you are connected to.
This means that you can browse the internet freely without fear that you are being tracked or located, while also not changing any of your information.
Can I Hide My IP On My Phone?
Yes. Most VPN services offer dedicated mobile applications through which you can control your VPN service.
When you use a VPN on your phone, your IP address will be masked behind the pretend location of a virtual server. This is incredibly useful while you are out in public and using public wireless networks, as these are often highly unsecured.
Using a VPN while connected to public wifi helps you to keep your important data safe from unsecured networks.
Should You Hide Your IP Address?
This depends on whether you want to browse the internet without fear of being tracked by hackers, internet service providers, or governments.
It is safe to use the internet without a VPN, but it is always recommended to have one anyway, to protect you from any unexpected online threats that you may otherwise have missed.