Free VPN for quick speeds
Hotspot Shield VPN is a free VPN service that connects you to a Hotspot Shield server by encrypting your confidential data. Hotspot Shield uses AES 256-bit encryption to conceal your online activity. While the VPN provider uses military-grade encryption practices, important information is still logged.
Avira Phantom, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN are popular alternatives to Hotspot Shield VPN. Avira Phantom offers a free version unlike Express VPN and Nord VPN. ExpressVPN and NordVPN have the best security, streaming, torrenting, and user experiences. Hotspot Shield is better free software than Avira Phantom. While Avira has slow loading speeds, Hotspot has one of the fastest on the market.
Is Hotspot Shield VPN free?
Hotspot Shield VPN is based on a freemium platform. While Hotspot Shield offers a free plan, you will get more features with the premium packages. You can try the paid offerings during a free trial period. Hotspot Shield does require you to put in your credit card information beforehand. Additionally, Hotspot Shield does not offer anonymous payment.
You can get a refund during a limited period with the money-back guarantee. The Hotspot Shield VPN application is available on desktops, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and routers. Additionally, the VPN app can be integrated into your Google Chrome web browser. Hotspot Shield VPN is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple iOS, Linux, MacOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
The Hotspot Shield premium versions will let you sync to one of the 3,200 VPN servers in over 80 countries and 35 cities worldwide. The Hotspot Shield servers have both physical and virtual locations for connection purposes. The basic package gives you a limited amount of bandwidth per day to use. The available number of MB per day is generous for a free license.
While the paid subscription plans let you connect to a limited number of Netflix libraries, the free package does not unblock Netflix. Torrenting on the free plan is limited due to the daily restricted bandwidth for P2P connections. Moreover, your privacy is compromised with the free version.
Can I trust Hotspot Shield VPN?
Hotspot Shield keeps your email address, hardware model, language, network information, operating system, unique mobile ID, and username for the paid versions. The free license logs the same data that the paid plans do along with your city location, IMEI, MAC address, unique advertising ID, and wireless carrier name. The combination of the logged information may be enough to reveal your personal identity.
Hotspot Shield VPN is registered in the United States. The United States has poor privacy practices. The USA is part of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes global surveillance alliances. Additionally, the free VPN only lets you connect to the servers that are located in the U.S. The paid plans let you connect to international servers.
Malware and phishing websites will be blocked with the AES 256-bit encryption. The proprietary Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol delivers above-average speeds. While the patented Hydra protocol makes Hotspot Shield a market leader in terms of speed, Hotspot Shield has not introduced the highly secure WireGuard protocol. The IKEv2 IPSec protocol is available to use. Hotspot Shield VPN does not include the OpenVPN protocol.
If you want to use OpenVPN, then you will need to independently set up the protocol. A kill switch is included. If your VPN connection gets disabled, then the kill switch will automatically end your internet connection to keep your actions private. You will need to manually turn on the kill switch since the feature is not enabled by default.
How do I download Hotspot Shield VPN?
Hotspot Shield gives you an easy user experience. You can launch the app once you install either the free or paid edition. The user interface on all of the operating systems is clean. You can click on the large power button in the middle of the mobile UI to connect to a server. A timer will appear on the button when your session begins.
Your server station will be listed. You can expand the dropdown menu by clicking on the arrow next to the location. A world map will be shown on the home screen. The area that the server is in will be shaded on the map.
If you want to end the connection, then you can tap the button: ‘STOP’. The iOS app includes additional services: battery life, junk removal, and malware scan. A notification may appear on your screen to let you know that your device may be at risk for malware. You can press the ‘SCAN’ button to scan your entire iPad or iPhone for malicious content.
The battery life feature will close unused utilities on your iPhone to optimize your battery. Hotspot Shield can remove junk files to improve functionality. You can select each of the features by scrolling through the horizontal list in the main window. If you have a premium account, then you can live chat with customer support. The customer service representatives are available 24/7 to help.
Popular VPN solution
The disadvantages of Hotspot Shield may outweigh its benefits. While you can stream and torrent content at one of the fastest VPN speeds, the streaming sites and bandwidth to torrent are limited with the free version. Only the premium subscription can unblock streaming sites, e.g., Netflix. While Hotspot Shield VPN lacks privacy, the service does protect you from DNS and IP leaks.
Hotspot Shield is owned by Aura who acquired the original owner, Pango. Anchorfree is the developer of Hotspot Shield VPN. New software updates are released often for all of the operating systems.