HotSpot Shield review: It's fast, beautiful, and definitely not for anonymity

HotSpot Shield review: It's fast, beautiful, and definitely not for anonymity

Example server Ping time: I used Hotspot Shield on both mobile and desktop to ensure I got the whole user experience and to provide you with all you need to know about the service. Surfshark (83% off), it comes with a split tunnel, hence protection for the required network can be chosen for no-logging policy. This VPN is already quite a bit cheaper than Hotspot Shield, plus there are deals floating around the interwebs to get it for cheaper. Apart from unlimited bandwidth, access to the complete server network, and 24/7 customer support, the premium plan also allows you to establish up to 5 simultaneous connections. But it’s only in recent years that VPN companies have become a hot commodity in the tech world.

  • Your IP address could also leak if the VPN connection suddenly drops, at least in theory.
  • There is nothing further we can do after we process the refund request.
  • Our independent encryption Test of Anchor Free is to be completed and will be posted here then.
  • They also allow for P2P on their servers but there is a word of caution with this because they share your usage activity with third-parties.
  • It's totally unlimited.

There's no support for paying by Bitcoin, but you can use a range of other methods, including cards, PayPal, and (for extra anonymity) gift cards from hundreds of companies. Best monthly vpn deals, comparing to those hide IP software, VPN service allows users to access both web applications and websites in complete anonymity. It works in China, and has a massive server network, top-notch security, and the ability to unblock plenty of popular streaming sites. This ensures that even if your session’s current encryption key is somehow compromised, the rest of your data remains secure. Click the big button in the middle to connect. While you should use a VPN as often as possible for maximum security, this feature means you don't need to remember to switch on the VPN. Their claims about “anonymous browsing”, “secure Wi-Fi connection”, etc.

  • During our testing phase, we had no issues connecting to any of the provided locations since the client usually got the job done in mere seconds.
  • The information is needed only to know that a device downloaded our application from a specific website.
  • You can sign up for Hotspot Shield Elite using credit card or PayPal.
  • (83), which is ok but I would expect a little more than this service has to offer at that price.
  • When you first launch it, you'll be given the option to sign up for a seven-day free trial of the paid version.
  • You can get step-by-step advice in a click or two, and if that doesn't help, a Contact button opens your browser at Hotspot Shield support's Live Chat page for some professional assistance.
  • For example, the Hotspot Shield website reports hat Catapult Hydra is based on TLS (Transport Layer Security] 1.)

Turn Off Location-based Services

It’s also fair to note that VPNs with ulterior motives would most likely offer a free service to attract more users. Select whether or not to run the client at launch, prevent IP leak, and automatically turn on the VPN when you connect to any unsafe WiFi hotspots. There are two important areas to look at when considering a VPN. Yes P2P & Torrenting : However, they also own another company that deals with advertisements and a study has found they have used the information from users’ browsers and sold them to third-parties. These are stellar results, both for top speeds and consistency, especially for the most distant locations.

  • The rest of the form is information collected for billing purposes.
  • That's not true for services like Hide My Ass and PureVPN.
  • 99 per month for a 1-year plan and a new 3-year is available for $2.
  • However, please note that this is not a guarantee that such information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards.

VPN Server Locations

This is our review of Hotspot Shield Elite VPN, based on real VPN testing results. Click on Connect and get connected: 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. Marketing, monthly pricing plans for ibVPN range from . I didn’t like their privacy policy and the lack of a kill switch on Mac, iOS, and Android.

In our tests, the VPN retained more than 72 percent of the base download speed, averaged over three days of testing.

After these complaints were expressed, AnchorFree updated their privacy policy. Programs to connect, on the other end of the spectrum are VPN providers that will erase everything after your session closes and don’t keep logs. Also, Netflix outlines in section 6c of its Terms of Use that the company will attempt to verify your location, and that you are not guaranteed content outside of your primary country of residence. When I review VPNs, I look at the number of servers and where those servers are located. They can even prevent Hotspot Shield from telling you that they did this.

When you start Hotspot Shield it shows the now-familiar dark blue background with a giant power button in the center of the window.

Additionally, for the past several months it's been incompatible with my iPhone 6s on T-mobile data- it never ending cycles connected, not connected, connected, not connected, and with the new design, we're right back to square one with an old issue: We find it interesting that they call them “Virtual” locations. AnchorFree’s paid service that removes the ads and offers faster speeds. Beyond that you can use their setup guides to get started. As it happens, AnchorFree’s biggest privacy black eye came via CDT in 2020, when the nonprofit filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Hotspot Shield was misleading users about its ad-supported free VPN by logging more data than necessary, and was in some cases redirecting their traffic to the websites of its advertising partners. When you look at the above graph, you see that Hotspot Shield Elite came in second among all of the VPNs that were tested. Fortunately, Hotspot Shield VPN offers unlimited bandwidth, so you can do whatever you want without experiencing any slowdowns whatsoever.

Essential For Peace Of Mind

As a rule, the claims about “no-logging” policy is very often far from being the truth. The company hopes not to use any virtual private servers by the end of the year, a move that competitor IVPN has already made. Most VPN services at least give some other form of payment but it was very barebones with Hotspot. Email & messaging, this provides an easy to implement, secure connection. When I set out to find the right VPN, however, I ran into an awkward problem: But really, great job to the new team! We were also blown away by some of the speed test scores recorded during out testing. In 2020, there was another report by the National Vulnerability Database of leaks in user data that identified the names and locations of its users. Besides, 45-day money-back guarantee allows being paid back in case a user is dissatisfied with Hotspot Shield work.

Clicking the current location displays a list of other countries you can choose from. The two companies point to dueling trust reports by outside groups, each of which appears to reflect well on the firm that’s touting it, thanks to different methodologies. It has native apps for Windows (Vista, XP, 7, 8, 10), Mac (Sierra, High Sierra, Yosemite, El Capitan, and more), Android (Jelly Bean, KitKat, Nougat, Marshmallow, Oreo, and more), and iOS (iPhone 7, 8, X, and other models). Webroot wifi security, however, free VPNs often don’t stick around forever. As previously mentioned, Hotspot has both a free and a paid version for their VPN. While it's true that Hotspot Shield is quite fast, anyone who is truly concerned about security will want to look for a service that provides OpenVPN as an option. It’s also not suitable for use with other devices that can often be configured with VPNs, such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or Windows Phone. Instead, it deploys its own technology, Catapult Hydra, which uses AES-128 encryption, 2048-bit RSA certificates, Transport Layer Security 1.

Well, it’s complicated. Product-wise, I believe our strategy is smart. That said, this number depends on the platform you’re using. Connect to international servers, a VPN client, on the user's computer or mobile device connects to a VPN gateway on the company's network. If so, what was your experience like? You can also access the list of virtual locations by clicking on your current location while connected to the VPN. Aside from using it to browse the web, I’ve put the service through my usual rigorous testing including: When I last tested Hotspot Shield, it had a large number of servers but relatively small number of locations (just 25 at the time). A google search for this IP also records this IP as a “Spambot infested open proxy 216.

IDG Network Sites

Broadband speeds, connection time and network delay (latency) were tested using Ookla's Speedtest. The browser extensions weren’t as secure, though, leaking both DNS addresses and WebRTC requests. Pango believes in placing consumers in control of their personal information online. Switching between servers is very fast, typically taking just a couple of seconds. Before people got serious about VPN encryption post-Snowden, a top choice for encrypting your Wi-Fi connection was AnchorFree’s HotSpot Shield. It runs quickly and there were no problems during the execution: Along with free ad-supported service, AnchorFree offers Hotspot Shield Elite VPN.

What user info is collected by Hotspot Shield?

Privacy Policy: Not as private as it should be

HR team is also great, and incredibly proactive with any risen issues. Fast speeds will allow you to download torrent files fast. These virtual servers can also be configured to appear in a different location than their host hardware server.

The Website

It was all basic, which is perfect for a beginner I guess. In the case of Hotspot Shield, users report mixed results. Unblock any blocked website and stay secure with Hotspot Shield. Most of these trackers let Hotspot Shield know how the users are interacting and engaging with the app. This sounds bad, but they did have a good number of perfect five star reviews (80%). And we are not the only ones pointing this out.

Virtual private networks are now a must-have privacy tool. But good luck figuring out which ones will actually make you safer.

After reading through the in-app help files and performing some troubleshooting, we determined that the problem was because another VPN app was installed on the tablet. Dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS make it simple to set up on a variety of devices even if you have little technical knowledge. So, it’s your choice whether to subscribe for the service or not, just don’t forget to read all the terms closely. However, considering users get a data allowance of 750 Mb per day, it's still useful for people who are desperate to get around local regional restrictions and censorship. Choose from various subscription lengths to get the right coverage for you. Chongxa, expressVPN has more than 3000 VPN servers which are optimized for a fast and smooth connection, with unlimited bandwidth and no throttling. In addition to the privacy policy, we have some reservations about the security of Hotspot Shield’s browser extension.

And, they'll keep you secure while you're streaming.

" ★★★★★ "Control your internet Privacy and Security - I've now tried them all (VPNs) as I travel 200k miles each year.

Is Hotspot Shield as safe as everyone claims?

Information collected when you use Hotspot Shield – Usage information (bandwidth usage, session duration), device information (device identifiers, device type and settings, browser type, operating system, network information, and application version), diagnostic information (device and app info, referring URLs, and timestamps), and location information (in order to connect you to the fastest server for your location). This is a comparatively cheap service, with a one-year, five-device licence costing just 19 and a 'lifetime' plan 64. As you connect to another virtual location using a VPN, you may also forget that these apps are running. Maybe I was lucky, who knows? May work in China Cons: Sign up for a Premium account and although you're asked for your payment details, you're not billed for the first 7 days. In the areas where it did not excel, it never disappointed, either. We don’t recommend any totally free VPN services because too many of them borrow your bandwidth, sell your browsing history or inject ads.

The app is simple for general users, but perhaps frustrating for those who want to wield more power over their VPN. As such, you’ll need to download the software and any installation and troubleshooting guides before you enter the country. In this case both the apps try to configure the network settings while one of them can’t fulfill all the settings properly. However, on their free service, they only allow you to access US servers and give you a paid wall when you try and access such sites, which is a little annoying. This website features affiliate links.

The company has also gone to enormous lengths to establish its security and privacy bona fides, which we greatly appreciate, and we hope other companies will do the same. To answer that question, I reviewed Anchor Free’s Privacy Policy, which states as follows (http: )When evaluating VPNs we’re always using privacy terms like 9 or 14-Eyes Alliance and the United States was one the founding partners.

  • 99 per month; $95.
  • Many top VPNs show you the fastest servers for your location or list the ping speeds (denoting the latency) for each server, but that’s not the case here.
  • Promotional reviews by companies themselves will not be published.
  • Like, really, really good.

How much does Hotspot Shield cost?

The price for Hotspot Shield is comparable to other VPN service providers when you subscribe to a one-year or three-year plan. Next I’ll compare it to NordVPN, one of our recommended VPNs. But I am disappointed they don’t have live chat support. Only the best security protocols are used to ensure an ultimate safe online experience no matter where you are. For this reason, I simply can't say that it is definitively secure. The test times were a minimum of four hours apart. Our only concern is the lack of advanced settings, especially in non-Windows versions of the app. AnchorFree started its business in 2020 as a free sponsored Wi-Fi hotspot provider.

The company’s privacy policies make it clear that you’re browsing habits are tracked—albeit in aggregate form. As usual, remember that speed tests can vary quite a lot, and your mileage may vary depending on your ISP’s speeds, router, PC, and other equipment. There is some useful information on the website that you won't always get elsewhere (release notes of all the latest apps, for instance), and the company has updated many articles since our last review, but they still can't compare with the depth of web guidance you'll get from providers like ExpressVPN. I also checked the Hotspot Shield Chrome extension on IP and DNS leaks.

Do We Recommend Hotspot Shield?

AnchorFree was founded in 2020, ExpressVPN in 2020. The service is stated to be one of the best solutions for hiding your online presence. (27 PM) Keanu Reyes: There are a bunch of privacy extras, starting with ad, cookie, tracker, malware and WebRTC blockers, along with a handy option to ignore any resources you're accessing which are hosted within your local network. Overall, the apps are modern and user-friendly. Since these typically run continuously in the background, it’s easy for users to forget about them. Kill switch, install this new release and give us feedback. From the policy: Most of the customers who gave Hotspot Shield a one-star review reported either difficulty receiving a refund or a long wait time from customer support.

” Yes, yes they do. It is good practice to keep your users safe on your platform as well as others. VPNs work by rerouting your internet connection through remote servers that disguise your location and make you harder for websites to identify. See them in the “Speed test for Hotspot Shield VPN” section. But don't worry, because one of these five vendors will. The answer to this question is complicated. AnchorFree has gone to great lengths to update its privacy policy to be clearer and easily understood, and should be commended for this.

ExpressVPN’s team is distributed around the world, Li added, and any claim that it’s based in mainland China or has ties to the Chinese government is wrong.

Millions of people around the world trust Hotspot Shield VPN for a secure surfing experience online, which is why we’ve made it our #1 VPN pick. It's a simple, dark blue window with cyan highlights and a modern aesthetic. AnchorFree’s Gorodyansky calls the allegations “an unfortunate misunderstanding,” but AnchorFree did revise its terms of service soon after. In this case, the Windows connection performed a little worse with a decrease of 26% compared to only 0.

Although I wrote to Anchor Free in July 2020, they write back about a problem that they were to repair by April 2020.

Hotspot Shield VPN: Benefits and Features Tests

Other results with the servers in Europe: You won’t wait to be connected with the next representative, because not only do they offer phone support, but they also have 24/7 live chat plus email support, which we will talk more about later on in this review. Some free services log users’ browsing data and sell it or turn it over to governments when asked.

But wait, there is more. VPNs are a mature technology, and there's more than one way to create an encrypted tunnel for your traffic. ” My advice is to stay clear of this product. They also offer a free version that is very limited to locations, data and littered with ads. All of these features also come with unlimited bandwidth, so you're not hampered by arbitrary caps or data limits. However, if you’re looking for lots of advanced features like split-tunneling, double-hop, manual configuration, or an ad-blocker, then Hotspot Shield isn’t for you.