HotspotShield VPN

Introduction

Hotspot Shield is a virtual private network service (VPN). AnchorFree Inc. developed and released it in 2005. AnchorFree Inc. is an internet privacy and security company founded by David Gorodyansky and Eugene Malobrodsky. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, U.S.A, it provides secure and private web browsing solutions for individuals and businesses using advanced technologies. Hotspot Shield is AnchorFree’s flagship product. It is available in over ten languages, including English, French, Japanese, etc.

Operating a freemium license, Hotspot Shield is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Its first client application for Windows and macOS systems was released in April 2008 while its Android and iOS version was released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. On the Apple App Store, Hotspot Shield is presently the top-grossing app for productivity.

It serves as a cloak for the user’s IP address while browsing the internet. For instance, Hotspot Shield was used to bypassing governorship media censorship during the Arab Spring protests in 2011. To learn more about the app, visit its website.

About HotspotShield VPN

Hotspot Shield is a virtual private network application developed by AnchorFree, a company based in Silicon Valley. With over 3,200 servers in more than 70 countries across the globe, it ensures secure internet connection, thereby protecting the traffic between user computer and server from eavesdropping. It works on AnchorFree’s unique Catapult Hydra VPN technology. It does not log users’ browsing activity on the network.

Hotspot Shield doesn’t make a user completely anonymous; however, it enhances user privacy and security from malware threats. It helps to avoid censorship blocks and hides your physical location. Users can access popular streaming services like Netflix and YouTube from other countries. It offers security feature identified as Kill Switch protection and 256-bit AES encryption, which ensures a secure security layer to prevent information leak. Users can also download torrents.

As a freemium service, its main features are available for public use. In free mode, the application contains a lot of advertisements. However, users can subscribe to the service to access additional features. With its paid subscription, ads are eliminated, and users have unlimited access to VPN servers across different geographical locations.

There are several instances where Hotspot Shield was used to bypassing Government restrictions. In 2010, users in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya used the application to access social media sites during the Arab Spring protests. Reports suggest that at the time, its Egyptian user base increased exponentially from 100,000 to about a million. Also, in 2013, with a clampdown on social media and access to international websites by the Turkish Government, the app usage increased. The 2014 Hong Kong protests also led to increased usage.

Hotspot Shield offers antivirus protection. However, it is limited to paid subscribers. In 2012, hundreds of thousands of Apple Mac laptops were infected by Flashback virus in the United States and Europe, and it was used as a protection against the virus. It has about 650 million users worldwide. It has received positive reviews from notable review websites such as PC World. With over 50 million downloads on Google Play Store, it maintains a 4.3/5 review from users.

Features

As a top-tier VPN service, Hotspot Shield has fantastic features which include;

Privacy

Hotspot Shield has over 3,200 virtual servers across 70+ countries globally, including the United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada, among others. By connecting to these servers, users are borrowing IP addresses and physical locations of the server and transmitting it as your information. This is to mask your personal information to avoid tracking on the internet. Usually, internet service providers (ISPs) track a user’s browsing history. However, with Hotspot Shield, there is no record of websites visited or apps used.

Customer Support

Hotspot Shield has a 24/7 available customer support team to attend to inquiries and complaints from users. For questions and suggestions, send an email to [email protected].

Data Encryption

With the 256 – bit AES encryption feature, data is encrypted between the user’s device and the VPN server. This protective layer secures information from being stolen. If a hacker manages to intercept data between the device and the VPN server, the information is encrypted.

Kill Switch Protection

It is imperative to use a VPN that has this feature to prevent data leak in case the connection is lost. The Kill Switch Protection feature stops the device from sending data to the internet until the VPN connection is re-established. This additional feature makes Hotspot Shield a top-notch service because its absence could result in an information leak without the user’s knowledge.

Unlimited Bandwidth

Hotspot Shield provides unlimited bandwidth to access the internet. Users can stream their favorite content on YouTube and Netflix, social media sites from other countries without restriction.

Malware Protection

It has an inbuilt antivirus to prevent viruses and malware from the computer while accessing the internet. You can scan device and system application for potential malware threats. This feature is available only for paid users.

Multiple Device Support

Hotspot Shield is available for use on Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows Operating systems. You can connect up to 5 devices on a single subscription to enjoy the service.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Privacy: Hotspot Shield ensures a private, secure experience for internet users. You can mask your identity by connecting to any of its virtual servers. The application doesn’t disclose or log your web browsing activity for third-party access.
  • Multiple Devices: Connect up to 5 different devices (smartphones or computer) on a single subscription.
  • Fast Speed: Its servers are fast compared to other VPNs.
  • Beautiful UI Design: The application has a beautifully designed user interface. You can easily navigate around the settings.
  • Supports Torrents and Netflix: It supports torrenting. It is also compatible with Netflix.

Cons

  • It contains advertisements.

Different Versions

Hotspot Shield has two available versions for use namely;

  • Hotspot Shield VPN FREE version: As a freemium service, it offers basic features to its users. Users can unblock and access a few servers. This version, however, includes advertisements and other advanced features are inaccessible. To download this version, visit this link.
  • Hotspot Shield VPN ELITE version: This version consists of all available features on the application. It provides unlimited access to all virtual server locations. It doesn’t contain any advertisement. Also, you can connect up to five devices on a subscription. It also allows users to sign-up for a 7-day free trial. It has a hassle-free 45-day money-back guarantee. To order this version, click this link.

Compatibility

Hotspot Shield VPN is compatible with Windows (Phone & PC), Android, iOS, and macOS operating systems. It also has a Google Chrome Extension.

FAQs

Q: Is there a free version of Hotspot Shield?

A: Yes, there is a free version of the software. The free version offers basic features of the application. It has military-grade encryption which serves as a protective layer. Download the free version for your device here.

Q: How much is Hotspot Shield monthly?

A: Hotspot Shield has different subscription plans. Its one month, one year and three-year plans are priced at €15.99, €6.99, and €3.49 respectively.

Q: Is Hotspot Shield a good VPN?

A: Yes, it is a good VPN for use. It has advanced features, which makes it an excellent VPN.

Summary                                             

Hotspot Shield is a VPN service provider. With over 3,200 servers across 70+ countries, users can mask their IP addresses when browsing the web AnchorFree’s Hydra technology backs it. Hotspot Shield operates a freemium model; thus, it is available for use by the public. However, it has a paid version which unlocks advanced features on the application. Hotspot Shield is a highly recommended VPN. It is available on Android, iOS, and Windows (Phone) devices, macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems.