Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Super-fast secure web browsing via specialized VPN servers. Simple and sleek user interface. Quick one-click connection for any device type.


Founded in 2005, Hotspot Shield VPN is made by AnchorFree, a team of dedicated cybersecurity pros that are on a mission to make the Internet safe and accessible for everyone. AnchorFree created Hotspot Shield because they believe you should feel as secure browsing the web as you do sitting inside your own home.

Hotspot Shield VPN is used by millions of people from around the world to gain a more secure online browsing experience. They use more than 2,500 VPN servers running military-grade data encryption to help you keep your personal information safe and prevent your ISP or hackers from seeing your web browsing activity.

Hotspot Shield VPN is available for Macs, PCs, and Android and iOS tablets and smartphones.

Key Features

Hotspot Shield has some great features that ensure secure web browsing and protection from online spies. The following are some of our favorite features of the Hotspot Shield VPN service.

Specialized Servers: Hotspot Shield VPN uses servers that are specifically optimized for the smartest routing and fastest secure browsing possible. This means you don’t have to worry about delays in connection times or lags in online activities like gaming or video streaming. And it’s all done through a military-grade encryption tunnel for full online privacy.

Super-Fast Streaming: Catapult Hydra is Hotspot Shield’s patented VPN technology that optimizes multiple server connections for lightning-fast web browsing that doesn’t leave a trace.
This is one of Hotspot Shield’s most intriguing features, in our opinion, as it gives users a stronger and faster online connection that’s completely anonymous.

Simple and Sleek: While testing Hotspot Shield VPN, we discovered that not only is it quick and easy to install on any Apple, Windows, or Android device, but it also comes with a beautifully designed dashboard. We were pleasantly surprised by how sleek and appealing Hotspot Shield was to look at and use, and even though there isn’t much in the way of customization, we found this VPN software was so intuitive, we didn’t even miss the ability to poke around and make advanced tweaks to the VPN settings.

Support for Torrenting: Even though most VPN providers will tell you they support torrenting and even allow it on their services, we haven’t found many that make it as easy and secure as Hotspot Shield does with their P2P servers. Hotspot Shield fully endorses torrenting and it shows! They even include helpful torrenting instructions on their website, making Hotspot Shield VPN an excellent choice for both novice and avid torrenters.

Pricing Plans

Hotspot Shield offers a variety of pricing options and comes with a 45-day satisfaction guarantee to help you decide if it’s the right secure surfing service for your needs.

1 Month: Cover up to 5 devices for $12.99 per month ($155.88 for 12 months).

6 Months: Cover up to 5 devices for $8.99 per month ($53.94 for 6 months).

1 Year: Cover up to 5 devices for $5.99 per month ($71.88 for 12 months).

3 Years: Cover up to 5 devices for $3.49 per month ($125.64 for 36 months).

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The Good

As with all of our editor reviews, we put Hotspot Shield VPN through its paces, so you don’t have to waste your own time. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Hotspot Shield benefits…

Unlimited Bandwidth

One of the benefits of using a virtual private network to browse the web is being able to bypass online censorship, ISP restrictions, and public wi-fi filters. But we’ve found that some VPN providers take away a bit of the thrill of a truly open Internet experience by throttling connection speeds during memory-intensive activities like video streaming. With Hotspot Shield VPN, you can surf and watch as much as you want, thanks to unlimited browsing bandwidth.

Dedicated Tech Support

When we reached out to Hotspot Shield’s support team, we found the advice we received was knowledgeable and polite. It seemed to us as if the tech experts at Hotspot Shield truly cared about private and secure web browsing. Plus, we didn’t have to wait to be connected with a support rep, thanks to Hotspot Shield’s 24/7 live chat and email support.

One-Click Connection

If you’ve ever been frustrated by overly technical and needlessly complicated VPN providers, you’ll find the one-click connection option in Hotspot Shield VPN as refreshing as we did during our tests. When using Hotspot Shield to browse the web anonymously, you don’t have to worry about making a ton of choices – just toggle it on and start surfing and shopping in seconds.

Custom Server Location

Most of the VPN services on the market simply connect you with a VPN server automatically, but Hotspot Shield gives you a more custom VPN experience by allowing you to choose which secure server you want to connect with, and they give you more than 2,500 server choices in over 25 countries from around the world.

Built in Malware, Phishing, and Spam Protection

You can free up computer and device resources by utilizing HotSpot Shield’s built-in protection. This allows you to surf the web feeling more safe and confident, especially if you browse torrent link websites or utilize peer-to-peer file sharing software.

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The Bad

Unlike other VPN providers, Hotspot Shield doesn’t have a clear policy about data logging for their users. We weren’t able to find any mention of it during our test drive of Hotspot Shield VPN, but that might have been because we were distracted by the speediness of their servers.

We also found submitting a support ticket was a bit complicated, but we didn’t focus too much on that, due to the fact that we were able to reach a VPN expert 24/7 via live chat or email, so we didn’t have much need of a slow-moving online ticket system.

The Bottom Line

When testing Hotspot Shield, we were a bit disappointed in their lack of a clear anti-logging policy, but we couldn’t help but be impressed by the speedy server connections and user-friendly dashboard of this VPN service.

If you’re looking for a VPN service that’s simple to install and use, we recommend giving Hotspot Shield a try for a month, even though their month-to-month subscription fee is a bit higher than other VPN providers.

Get super-fast secure web browsing with Hotspot Shield VPN and try it risk-free for 45 days!

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