Hotspot Shield VPN has been making waves in the VPN market with its incredible speeds and a slick interface. With a proprietary protocol called Hydra, this VPN boasts of unbreakable security and the fastest connection speeds around. However, it’s not all smooth sailing for this VPN – privacy concerns and inconsistent speeds on Android make it a mixed bag. In this comprehensive review, we dive into the details of Hotspot Shield VPN to see if it’s worth your consideration.
Pros and Cons:
|Amazing speeds||Pricey if you pay monthly|
|Slick interface||Privacy concerns|
|Good value on annual or three-year plan||Not as fast on Android|
Unraveling the Features of Hotspot Shield VPN
Hotspot Shield VPN brings an easy-to-use interface to the table, with a clean layout and a wealth of connection information. While it offers servers in more than 80 countries, there’s no option to bookmark your favorite servers or check the server load before connecting. The built-in speed tester and customizable settings make it convenient to use, but the lack of advanced features might leave power users wanting more.
Compatibility and Pricing Options
With compatibility for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android, and Amazon Fire TV systems, Hotspot Shield VPN covers most devices you’ll want to use. The free version comes with limitations, such as only US servers and 500MB data transfer per day. Paid plans start at £10.99 per month, with significant savings for annual and three-year subscriptions. The three-year plan is the best deal at just £2.69 per month, though it’s not the cheapest option on the market.
High-Octane Performance on Windows
Hotspot Shield VPN truly shines on Windows, delivering impressive speeds that only slightly drop when connecting to a VPN server. In our tests, it outperformed most competing VPNs, showcasing its speed advantage. However, the Android version didn’t fare as well, with a significant drop in performance. This could be due to the Android client using a standard IKEv2 VPN connection instead of the faster Hydra protocol.
Streaming and Torrenting Capabilities
Hotspot Shield VPN supports BitTorrent and gets around region-restricted video content quite well. With dedicated streaming servers in the US and UK, it unblocks popular streaming services on Windows, such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Now TV. However, the Android experience was less successful, with several services remaining region-locked. Amazon Prime Video remains inaccessible regardless of the VPN used.
Privacy and Security Concerns
While Hotspot Shield VPN passed our security tests without any DNS or IP leaks, its US-based parent company raises privacy concerns. The company may be subject to surveillance or legal requests from authorities, making it less suitable for users needing to conceal their identity. However, it claims to not collect personally identifiable information and regularly publishes transparency reports.
Conclusion: A High-Speed VPN with Some Caveats
Hotspot Shield VPN is a fantastic choice for users who prioritize connection speed and streaming capabilities. Despite stumbling in the Android-based streaming tests, the Windows client excels at unlocking regional content. The main drawbacks are its price and US-based location, which may be deal-breakers for some. If you’re willing to pay a premium for speed and streaming access, Hotspot Shield VPN could be the perfect choice for you.