Hotspot Shield boasts a subscriber list of 650 million worldwide users and claims to provide fast internet speed and top-notch data security to all of them.
So it's popular alright. But is that popularity justified?
Let's review what Hotspot Shield has to offer.
Firstly, is Hotspot Shield Safe?
Most people use VPNs to help protect their identities on the internet. If you're a person who values your privacy, you need to find a VPN service that also values your privacy.
All VPNs claim to keep your data secure – but you need to look at the fine print to see if this is a reality.
Hotspot Shield headquarters is in the United States – a nation that's not known for not being all about that internet privacy. In fact, the United States is known for being extremely invasive on the internet.
The country is also part of the Five Eyes Jurisdiction - this group of nations shares and collects data for one another. I can't say that Hotspot Shield is located in a safe jurisdiction.
But does it at least have a logging policy that keeps your data secure?
Can Hotspot Shield Encrypt Your Web Traffic?
Hotspot Shield's logging policy and jurisdiction are less than impressive, but it's still essential to consider its encryption standards. Solid encryption can help create an encrypted 'tunnel' that shields your data from public WiFi hotspots and prying eyes.Hotspot Shield uses AES 128-bit encryption to keep your data secure.
While this is considered a secure encryption standard, it's not as strong as some of the other major VPN providers in the industry. Many leading VPNs use AES 256-bit encryption.
So, is Hotspot Shield safe? Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield's jurisdiction, logging policy rumors, and encryption standards mean I can't trust this as a safe service.
Hotspot Shield Speed Test
I conducted a Hotspot Shield speed test to see if this service could deliver the goods.
After connecting to Hotspot Shield's servers, I was able to hit a download speed of 62.7 Mbps and an upload speed of 15.7 Mbps on one of its European servers.
Hotspot Shield offers a download speed retention rate of 78%.
If you're looking for fast connectivity, it's safe to say that Hotspot Shield is a reliable companion in the speed department.
Hotspot Shield Netflix CapabilitiesI was able to access Netflix on various different Hotspot Shield servers.
Finding a VPN service that can bypass Netflix's geographical locks is difficult. Netflix is constantly updating its systems to prevent VPNs from bypassing its content restrictions.
If accessing a VPN to access overseas content is your primary goal, Hotspot Shield is a reliable option.
Does Hotspot Shield Support Torrenting?
VPNs have different policies when it comes to P2P networks. Many VPN services want to avoid legal obligations, while others worry about the amount of bandwidth taken up by torrents.
I tested uTorrent on various Hotspot shield servers and experienced seamless download speeds.
If you're someone who is looking to stay anonymous on P2P networks, this is a huge benefit.
Hotspot Shield Server Locations
Unfortunately, this is a relatively small number of server locations when compared to market competitors.
Make sure to check the server list to ensure the countries you need are covered.
If you're looking for more locations, there are much better options on the market.
Hotspot Shield Pricing
Hotspot Shield provides a variety of different pricing options for its customers.
A monthly package costs $12.99 per month, a yearly package costs $5.99 per month, a bi-annual package costs $8.99 per month, and a three-year package costs $3.49 per month.
|Price Per Month||$12.99||$8.99||$5.99||$3.49|
As you can see, if you invest in a longer subscription you will save a considerable amount of money. While the monthly package at Hotspot Shield is on the pricier side, the other options are very affordable.
If you're looking to save money by purchasing a longer subscription, it's nice to know you have the option to try the service first. So, is there a Hotspot Shield Elite free trial available to potential customers?
While Hotspot Shield doesn't offer a free trial to customers, the company does have a 45-day money back guarantee on all of its packages.
If you're not happy with its services within the first 45-days, simply request a full refund.
Is Hotspot Shield Any Good?
If you're looking to find the best VPN, it's essential to consider all its features. Other Hotspot Shield reviews result in mixed conclusions.
Hotspot Shield does provide impressive speed retention results. But its privacy reputation and server list aren't as good as I'd like them to be.
So, is Anchorfree Hotspot Shield Elite good? If you're looking for high-speed internet and access to Netflix, this is a good option. If privacy is your utmost priority, I would look at other VPNs on the market.