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HotspotShield review

Last updated: July 8, 2020 By Dean Chester

Hotspot Shield is one of the best VPN services for spontaneous internet users who like to stay safe while exploring the internet’s vast luxuries. With a Virtual Private Network, you can do so much more and enjoy a lot more benefits such as fast network speeds, access websites that are restricted in your location, and enjoy the best security from online hackers and cyber spies who might be monitoring your online activities. 

More than 400 million VPN clients of Hotspot Shield swear by this VPN in USA because they have come to rely on the security and benefits of this unique VPN service. Through a VPN, spontaneous internet users can do just about anything they like without the risk of getting caught for accessing prohibited websites and the best part is they do not have to be wary of illegal content. They can browse and surf to their heart's content without the risk of being charged. 

Tariffs and prices of Hotspot Shield

The company offers the most cost-effective solutions as a paid subscription called ‘elite’ and free version too, so there are several paid packages you are free to choose from:

  • 1-month package costs €15.99 per month and saves 14%;
  • 6-month package costs 65.94 prepaid every six months it saves 31%, as a monthly cost is 8.99;
  • 1-year package costs 83.88 every twelve months it saves 53%, as a monthly cost is 6.99;
  • 3 years package costs only €3.99 per month.

The service is known to be easy to use and available on multiple platforms. Moreover, all the plans include the same features, such as:

  •  unlimited speed and bandwidth;
  •  instant setup;
  •  simultaneous connection at all devices;
  •  premium level VPN servers;
  •  absence of ads;
  •  dedicated support service; 
  •  thousands of servers in 20 countries and etc.

Besides, a 45-day money-back guarantee allows being paid back in case a user is dissatisfied with Hotspot Shield's work.

So, your task is to choose the best period which you want to subscribe to. However, the service can be paid with a credit card or PayPal only. Cryptocurrency is not accepted, which disables Hotspot Shield subscribers to become 100% anonymous while surfing the Internet.

subscription plan vpn

Hotspot Shield Elite or free: what to choose?

Hotspot Shield VPN is a premium quality product assigned for every Internet user notwithstanding what functions he or she needs. It is up to your preferences what plan to choose.

But here we are to help you make the right choice:

Free Hotspot Shield VPN version

+ It allows unblocking websites and services and getting access to all desired content. With free Hotspot Shield you will have an opportunity to access the US content.

– Free version of the service includes ads.

Hotspot Shield Elite version

+ This variant offers unlimited access to 25 virtual locations including VPN servers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, Ukraine, the USA.

+ Hotspot Shield Elite subscription supports up to 5 various devices: smartphones, tablets, laptops or PCs.

+ Before paying for a 1-month or 1-year Elite subscription, users are given a chance to test it during the period of a 7-day free trial.

Hotspot Shield Elite version

General information on Hotspot Shield

This private VPN service is offered by AnchorFree and has an abundance of servers in the United States as well as seventeen other countries around the world.  You can link up to five devices on your Hotspot Shield Elite package and enjoy the best internet security on all devices, which is terrific for those who want to make the most out of the Internet when they travel abroad or use public WiFi connections.

The benefits of Hotspot Shield

Speed – One of the major functions of this good VPN service is the fact that you can still enjoy high-speed downloads and browsing despite the fact that the security software is encrypting your activities as you go in an attempt to provide extra security.  Where these encryption and security protocols usually consume a lot of network speed, Hotspot Shield allows fast download speeds on both desktops and apps.

Security – The main reason why you are getting a VPN service is so you can browse and use the Internet to your heart’s content without putting yourself at risk for Internet hackers, which is why it is so important to find a reliable VPN service like Hotspot Shield. Only the best security protocols are used to ensure an ultimate safe online experience no matter where you are.

Greater freedom – In some high-security countries like Saudi Arabia and China, a lot of social media sites and websites are blocked, which puts travelers to these countries at a great disadvantage when they can no longer access important information or communicate with friends.  By downloading the Hotspot Security VPN software you can once again access these sites without the risk of being charged for illegal activities because no one can monitor your online activities. 

Unrestricted access – Get access to media files, video, messengers, social networks, and VoIP apps like Skype with a VPN service without geographical restrictions. Hotspot Shield allows bypassing these restrictions for your convenient and unlimited web browsing.

IP concealment – Hide your IP, identity, and location from the snooping tools and reach the maximum level of security and confidentiality. After changing it, you may check if your IP is changed.Forget about the fear to be monitoring by the government. Having subscribed for Hotspot Shield VPN, you will be not tracked by the ISP living in the USA.    

Total anonymity – Hotspot Shield VPN does not trace your work on the cyberspace. Neither it keeps logs. Thus, your security is guaranteed. The history of your search will not be sold to third parties.

Best support – Hotspot Shield VPN user will be instructed 24/7 in case of any possible problems.

Is Hotspot Shield as safe as everyone claims?

Hotspot Shield does not provide extensive elaborations on the precise security protocols that they use, which is something that is scaring a lot of prospective clients off when they think that they cannot rely on this extremely secure network.  What is known for a fact is that this secure VPN software uses AES 256-bit encryption which is the top encryption software to help protect your online activities from the public internet. The security protocols of Hotspot Shield allow users to:

  • Do anonymous browsing on public WiFi connections and so you will receive no issues from the government and online snoopers when you view websites or do download.
  • Ultra-safe online surfing – With your online activities encrypted, there is no way anyone will be able to access your personal conversations or monitor what you are doing. 
  • Antivirus protection – This VPN doubles as antivirus software by preventing hacking, viruses, and WiFi users to get access to your personal accounts.

What is Hotspot Shield’s support service like?

Hotspot Shield supplies support through:

  •  A list of popular questions that will guide you towards the correct options.  
  • There is also a forum that you can submit with requests for help. The customer support will then get back to you in about 24 hours.  
  • The online submit forum allows you to state your queries in detail so you can get the needed help.

Hotspot Shield’s connecting problems

The service is stated to be one of the best solutions for hiding your online presence. However, as any other technology, the VPN may come up with several problems you need to know how to deal with.

So, there can be some error codes you face while running the service. There are several common reasons for that:

  • Firstly, you might have installed several VPN programs on your device’s platform that make it impossible for Hotspot Shield to operate well. In this case, both the apps try to configure the network settings while one of them can’t fulfill all the settings properly.  
  • Secondly, you might have a firewall activated on your computer or router, which can’t afford to transfer traffic in a tunneled way. In this case, you need to make sure your firewall allows HSS to access all the internet traffic or choose some other protocols, which are not banned by the system.
  • Thirdly, your antivirus system can perform an obstacle for HSS traffic. Therefore, you need to check the software settings or change it for another antivirus program.

In all the enumerated ways you can solve the issues independently without contacting the support team. What is more, there are some other steps you can take for making your network protected by Hotspot Shield:

  • Having decided to subscribe for the service, make sure you downloaded an appropriate app, which is compatible with your OS.
  • If there are some difficulties with the app settings, you can follow some guides designed by the company and posted on the official website.
  • Sometimes, clients face problems when entering wrong usernames or passwords. In case you’ve forgotten your username or password, you should contact the support team via the live chat and learn how to make them restored or changed for new ones.
  • When living in a country that filters all the inside traffic  you need to learn what kinds of protocols are blocked by the system to choose another protocol offered by Hotspot Shield for your online protection.
  • Providing that you have some difficulties with the internet connection or traffic throttling, you need to contact your ISP for getting to know how to avoid the restrictions.
  • Besides, make sure the latest session has been switched off, otherwise you may face some difficulties, because only one server can be connected through your account.

Having assured everything is well-managed, but the VPN doesn’t work or connect, you should check your average Internet speed. Several tests such as average Internet connection speed test, download/upload speed tests, VPN connection average speed should be fulfilled for further service’s betterment. When everything possible is done and you still face some troubles, you need to contact the support team and enumerate all the statements of the problem you have for faster solving of the problem.

Is it easy to create a client account?

To create a client account, you need to sign up after which you have to download Hotspot Shield’s VPN service for Mac or the Windows VPN app. The software is easy to install and new users of the Elite package automatically qualify for a free trial that lasts one day before they have to do the complete application and make a payment.


Hotspot Shield functions on all platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android and is known to function fully on multiple different devices which makes it a great overall VPN since you can install it on all five of your different devices.

Hotspot Shield Windows:

In case you need to download and install a HotspotShield for Windows, you should go here:

hotspotshield platforms

and click on ‘VPN for Windows’.

Then you will be directed to the following page:

hotspotshield platforms

From where you can see two options: either to connect to a free version or a paid (elite) one. Providing that you have decided on a free service, you click the same-named button:

hotspotshield platforms

After downloading the app you will see the following three steps:

  • App’s download;
  • Installation/ unpacking;
  • Run the application on your connected device.

Providing that you have decided on the elite plan, you need to choose the plan here or in the pricing section, register on the official website as a potential client and fulfill all the steps sent to you via the email. 

Hotspot Shield Mac:

When choosing the app for macOS, you need to choose the following link:

And here you will be redirected to the following page:

hotspotshield platforms

Having decided on the free version, you are to follow the upper link:

hotspotshield platforms

From where you will be notified that the Mac App Store is the best online market from where you have a chance to download the app directly. 

Hotspot Shield iPhone:

When choosing the app for iPhone, you need to follow the next link:

hotspotshield platforms

Then you will be sent to the next page:

hotspotshield platforms

You will be either sent to your iTunes app or advised to download and install it on your system, as in this case. All the next steps will be the same. 

hotspotshield platforms

While choosing HotspotShield VPN app for Android, you follow the same-called link and become redirected here:

hotspotshield platforms

From Google Play you can download the app and follow the instructions on its installation in case you need them.

Hotspot Shield Chrome:

And the last case with the HotspotShield VPN is an application for your browser – Chrome.

hotspotshield platforms

Being a Chrome lover and surfing the Internet via the browser you definitely need additional protection for it, as long as it’s stated to be the most sought-after and therefore vulnerable, if comparing it with Firefox, from those presented on the market today.

hotspotshield platforms

Here you will be able to find the app and arm your network with the top-notch solution.

Providing that you have some issues or difficulties with the app installation and usage, you will be supplied with a possibility to get in touch with the support group to get further assistance. 

hotspotshield platforms

For this purpose you need to follow the section and then you’ll be redirected to the following page:

hotspotshield platforms

Here you will find all the most frequently asked questions starting from getting started guides and finishing with FAQ section. 

Hotspot Shield Android:

A 7-day free trial by HotspotSchield

For those who want to protect portable gadgets running on Android OS with a VPN, the provider offers app as well. Thus, it is possible to find the app in Play Store.

Having downloaded and installed the application, the system will propose you to start a 7-day free trial. 

After it, the application offers to add your credit or debit card. However, it is not obligatory. You may skip this step and start a period of free trial. In spite of the fact that you have not informed the VPN service about your name, email and other data, it knows who you are.

Free trial offered by HotSpotshield

The application will clue up about the period you are to subscribe for Hotspot Shield Elite version.

But, now just click to continue and start testing the VPN.

As soon as you have clicked “Continue” button, you will be allowed to switch on Hotspot Shield.

It is possible to change the settings of the application. In such a way, you will be allowed to:

As soon as you have clicked “Continue” button, you will be allowed to switch on Hotspot Shield.

  • run the app automatically;
  • switch it off when the device does not work;
  • make you mobile or Wi-Fi network secure.

It is possible to change the settings of the application. In such a way, you will be allowed to:

Notwithstanding all he pluses of Hotspot Shield VPN, the app possesses some disadvantages. Accordingly, a user may not choose server location in case he is using free version. Server switching is possible only for Hotspot Shield Elite VPN subscribers.

The website

Hotspot Shield has one of the most remarkable websites from all the services. The graphic design is excellent. Hotspot Shield VPN has developed one of the best websites for their potential customers.

Having visited Hotspot Shield website, you can see that all the essential data such as platforms: Hotspot Shield for Windows 10, Hotspot Shield for Android and etc. can be found by anyone who feels like it on the main page of the official website.

If talking about Hotspot Shield pricing and logging, you can see that the company suggests Hotspot Shield download for different packages.

Provided that you need Hotspot Shield VPN service unblocking Netflix or Hotspot Shield for torrenting, you can look through numerous Hotspot Shield VPN reviews and find out whether the service meets your expectations.

So, Hotspot Shield’s official website is a great helper for any newbie or potential customer. All you need is just to read all the content about Hotspot Shield attentively.  

Terms of service

Sure enough we will not enumerate all the points of the section as it’s your direct responsibility as a potential client to read all the terms closely, but we are to highlight the defining moments of the conditions.

About Hotspot Shield Elite, free, third parties and ads…

As you now, forewarned is forearmed, so you should look through all the terms and policies Hotspot Shield implies. So, the first thing is the main one, the service presupposes Hotspot Shield free download and subscribed service or ‘elite’.

Provided that you have decided to use Hotspot Shield free version, you should know that third parties will be allowed to send the ads. In case if you have subscribed for one of the Hotspot Shield paid packages no ads are guaranteed to you. Due to the reason that there is no ideal software, Hotspot Shieldcompany doesn’t assure its clients that AnchorFree will create a VPN or utilize a Proxy IP address to all the websites. So, as you see the paid service of Hotspot Shield is better than a free one.

What user info is collected by Hotspot Shield?

The company can collect user-provided information. The confidential data is assured not to be associated with your online activities and just needed for making up a paid subscription account. So, it’s your choice whether to subscribe for the service or not, just don’t forget to read all the terms closely. In any case you may already have mentioned that a paid service is better in quality than a free one.

So, all the conditions of the output usage should be thoroughly examined by you independently, in case if you want to form a subscription or to compare the service with the other one, as this makes you protected from undesirable effects.


If you like convenience at a great price, then this is the right VPN provider for you. Hotspot Shield as great security, is affordable and is very simply and easy to use.  The connections are mostly fast and the service is available across the globe.

Hotspot Shield pros

  •  Free plan insight
  •  Protects various platforms and OSes
  •  Fast VPN servers worldwide
  •  Easy installation
  •  Strong encryption (AES 256-bit)
  •  Protects against 3.5 million malware
  •  45-day money-back period
  •  7-day free trial

Hotspot Shield cons

  •  Restrictions during the trial period
  •  A limited number of server locations
  •  No opportunity to choose servers in a free version
  •  Expensive

Have you ever tried Hotspot Shield VPN? Or maybe you are going to install the safe VPN on your iPhone or Android … Anyway, it is high time to share your knowledge or ask a question in the comments.

VPN-Review - Chief Editor
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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