Virtual Private Networks or VPNs are applications that hide your identifying tool named IP address whenever you browse online. With these, you can use a proxy address to be displayed online, with its location depending on the specific server that you will be connected to. This is why it is possible to display your location to be from the opposite side of the globe. For example, American users can choose to be displayed as coming from an Asian country. While this may not sound important, it actually does wonders for your internet privacy, security, and also gives a lot of perks.
Hotspot Shield is publicly available and is operated by AnchorFree. It is one of the most popular services as proved by its more than 600+ million users. It was even made more prominent with its role in being used against government censorship during the Arab Spring protests. This proves the security of the service and how strong its encryption is. The service is especially known for its use of the Catapult Hydra protocol which allows a perfect balance of speed and security. We have done a full review on HotSpot Shields vpn that you can visit , and compare to other options in the market.
One of the most important factors in VPNs is the speed of the service. This is because whenever we use one, internet speed is expected to drop because of the additional need for encrypting the information we send online and the need to redirect it to another server. The best way to measure a VPN’s speed quality is to measure how much speed is reduced from your computer, especially when you connect to a server further from your original location.
Our test computer is based in the USA. Choosing a local server for the service allowed us to have a 5% decrease in the speed which is quite good if you will only use the service to hide your actual IP address but still want the speeds.
Next, we tested our speeds when connected to Europe. We tested Germany and the Netherlands and received a maximum of 20% decrease in our speed which is very good considering the distance that we travelled.
Lastly, we tested our speeds when connected to Asia. Specifically, we chose Hong Kong and Singapore as our test locations. We received a maximum of 30% decrease in our speed which is one of the best results that we’ve seen especially with the distance of the two locations.
Overall, we were very impressed with the speeds offered by the service. If you’re looking for downloading and gaming speeds when using a VPN, Hotspot Shield is definitely recommended for you.
The security provided by the VPN is very important. To test this, we must know whether the application can hide your actual IP address online.
Upon testing, we detected no leaks of either our IP or DNS while using the application. When we tested it on websites, we were also displayed to be coming from the server of our choice instead of the actual country where we use the PC. It also sometimes works for Mainland China websites which are usually strictly with a strong firewall that is hard to penetrate through.
This security comes with an encryption that ensures that the data that you upload online will not be readable by any third-parties who may want to read its content. In case they are able to intercept it, they will not be able to understand if they do not have an encryption key which only the VPN has access to.
Next, it has malware protection to ensure that trojans, viruses, rootkits, and the likes will not be accidentally downloaded to your computer whenever you open unsafe websites. This makes it very easy to browse the internet without many worries.
An issue we found with the service was their logging policy, though. This mainly pertains to the amount of info that they gather from the user. Being a VPN user, it is expected that users want absolute anonymity with the service which is why some even use Bitcoin and fake emails to sign up. However, it is important to note that Hotspot Shield is based in the USA which means that it is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance which is a group of countries which share intel about their citizens for important use such as criminal records and threats against the government.
With Hotspot Shield being based in the USA, they gather some information such as the email address, username, hardware model, and language of the user. Those who use the free version may also be vulnerable to having some of their information exposed to third-party advertisers who may want to tailor their ads towards you based on your preferences and favorite content. If you are not comfortable with this, other services may be more recommended for you.
For security, Hotspot Shield is very reliable for protection against IP leaks, malware, and hackers. However, their data logging policies may be unreliable for some.
When it comes to features, the first thing we check is whether the service can bypass Netflix’s geoblock which ensures that the content they have is different for each country. We were satisfied with the results as the VPN was able to show us Singaporean content even when we were using a computer in the USA which shows that it has powerful IP hiding features.
Next, the service can also be used for torrenting which helps a lot in ensuring anonymity while downloading and sharing with anonymous peers. Download speeds are also good.
The interface of the application is also very easy to use. There was not much clutter. The icons and its arrangement of the different features were also very intuitive.
In the end, Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for those looking for fast browsing speeds, good features, and absolute security. However, the only issue with the application is their vague data-logging policies which some may find as a deal breaker.
- Fast internet speeds no matter the server
- Simple interface
- Reliable security
- Has some possible issues with data logging
Hotspot Shield is a popular choice for VPNs which is largely justified by its very fast browsing speeds, good set of features, and reliable security. It comes with Netflix geo-unblocking, torrenting capability, and the use of Catapult Hydra protocol. The only downside to them is their vague data-logging policy.