You can never be too sure that you are truly private whenever you browse the internet. After all, you are constantly being watched by several third parties such as the government, advertisers, and maybe even some hackers. Because of this, many are wary of using the internet even for day-to-day activities such as for social media usage and for business. Because of this, VPNs or Virtual Private Networks were created. These are services that can truly make you anonymous whenever online by hiding your tracing information which is the IP address.
Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular choices for VPN services. In fact, it has lately been the topic of much discussion because of its role in allowing users from Egypt and Libya to bypass government censorships online with their services. This shows that the service is very effective in bypassing any online tracing and IP address seeking technology.
The service was launched back in 2006 and was formerly owned by AnchorFree Inc. Today, the service continues to be one of the best options because of its reliable security, its countless features, and good pricing plans.
To fully review the VPN, we will be looking at several factors that can effectively search for the best service. Included in our criteria are the following:
- Speed – the VPN will be tested based on its upload and download speed when connected to a server far away from the original place of access
- Security – this can be measured by seeing if the IP address of the test computer is leaked when using the service. Their available security protocols will also be observed
- Features – this will pertain to its streaming capabilities, torrenting, and more
When it comes to speed, Hotspot Shield did not disappoint. Our test computer is based in the United States with a total download speed of 100 MBps.
First, we selected the option that allows the best speeds for the computer. This is usually a server closest to where we are originally located. This is only advised if you are comfortable with letting online websites get an idea of the original country where you are located and you just want to avoid your IP address from being singled out. Upon testing, our download speed became 90 MBps which shows a very small decrease in speeds.
Next, we tested the service when connected to European servers, specifically Germany and the UK. For this, we had average speeds of 80 MBps which is still very good speeds for gaming, downloading, and streaming.
Finally, we connected to a country as far as Hong Kong to see if the download speeds will still be good. Fortunately, we were able to get the speeds of 60 MBs which is still a very respectable amount of decrease in speed.
Keep in note that all VPN services will naturally cause the internet speeds to decrease because of the need to encrypt the information and to redirect it to their servers. With Hotspot Shields, we can observe that the speeds when using it are still very usable for almost all activities to be done online.
The service uses a unique VPN protocol called the Hydra. This is based on the open-source protocol named OpenVPN which is established in the market as one of the best for ensuring the security of the user. With them, users can get access to 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption which is considered military-tier because of its difficulty in being bypassed by hackers. As stated in their website, it would take billions of attempts to guess its encryption code for it to be accessed which shows how strong the protection they provide is.
Next, the service provides malware protection. When browsing the internet, it is only expected for people to encounter unsafe files especially from websites filled with pirated data. The service automatically blocks out viruses, rootkits, and the likes to prevent your computer from accidentally downloading harmful data.
Next, they offer an automatic kill switch that is only available for Windows gadgets. This is a very useful tool that automatically closes your internet connection in case the service fails to hide your IP address online. This prevents any possibility of accidentally leaking your true origin and identity from the websites that you visit.
Upon testing, the service was successful in keeping our IP address safe from any leaks. When we were connected to servers located in Germany, we were given websites mainly in their language which shows that the service is very successful in its IP address-hiding technology.
From this, we can say that Hotspot Shield is very reliable when it comes to providing maximum security for the user. With them, users are ensured that their identity is kept anonymous online.
One of the most common usage for VPNs is for unblocking the geo-restrictions set by streaming services to ensure that specific contents are limited for specific countries. This is mainly because of legal restrictions brought by copyrights. With Hotspot Shield, we were able to successfully convince BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Youtube that we came from another country. As stated above, the speeds offered by the service are also highly reliable for downloading and streaming which is why it was a breeze to watch our favorite shows even while using the VPN.
Next, the service offers absolute security whenever you are connected to a public internet source such as public wi-fi available in cafes and airports. This is because using these services can be an easy way for hackers to gather information from your gadgets in case you are not protected.
The service also offers 24/7 available live chat support which was very helpful for our instant inquiries about the different features of the service. Through this, users can also easily ask for a refund which can be asked for within 45 days of using the VPN.
From this, Hotspot Shield is also very reliable when it comes to features.
Hotspot Shield is one of the best choices for maximum online security, the best security protocols, and for amazing features. They also offer very good speeds for torrenting, downloading, and more.
Hotspot Shield covers all the requirements of a VPN: speed, security, and features. Users will not be disappointed with its streaming, downloading, and upload speeds. They are also safe from IP leaks and malware of any sorts. With its use of the Hydra protocol, the VPN achieves a perfect balance of fast browsing speeds along with enough anonymity.
- Fast browsing speeds
- Reliable security protocols
- Can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
If you feel like you are missing out on anything regarding the product we suggest you read our full HotSpot Shield review.