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Top 10 VPN Services For 2024

Hotspot Shield Review

Very Good

Our verdict:
It’s fast. Really fast. There’s some magic going on in the back-end that only Hotspot Shield uses. Hotspot Shield’s patented technology is verified as the #1 VPN for speed and security by AV-Test, a leading independent IT-security institute.

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Hotspot Shield a renowned VPN service operated by AnchorFree, has gained popularity among 650 million users across more than 70 countries. Boasting a network of 3,200 servers, Hotspot Shield stands out for its data compression feature that enhances download and upload speeds. Additionally, it provides the advantage of alerting users to potentially harmful websites and promptly blocking them. With its remarkable speed and exceptional user experience, HotSpot Shield offers an impressive package. However, its privacy policy falls short in comparison, which could be a decisive factor for individuals seeking absolute online anonymity.


Compared to other providers, Hotspot Shield is more expensive, with a monthly cost of $12.99. However, if you opt for longer subscription periods, such as one year or three years, the monthly price drops to $6.99 and $2.99 respectively, giving you better value for your money. Although there is no free version or trial available, they do offer a 45-day money-back guarantee which is quite generous.

Hotspot Shield Specifications

NordVPN Hotspot Shield
⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank: #1 out of #42 #26 out of #42
🖥️ Servers: 5,900 + servers in 60 countries 3,200 + servers in 80 countries
📖 No logs policy: No logs Keeps logs
💵 Price: From $2.99/month From $2.99/month
🔥 Coupons: NordVPN coupon 69% OFF Hotspot Shield coupon 77% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx) Catapult Hydra, IKEv2
🍿 Streaming services: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
🖥️ Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome
📥 Simultaneous connections: 6 Up to 5
💁🏻 Support: Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat

Speed and Reliability

Hotspot Shield proudly earned the title of “World’s Fastest VPN” according to the experts at Ookla’s Speedtest, a recognition prominently displayed on their homepage. In a test measuring speed over long-distance connections, other VPNs experienced a disappointing decrease in speed, with some even dropping by as much as 42.5%. In contrast, Hotspot Shield recorded an impressive increase in download speed of over 26.2%! To validate these results, we conducted our own tests using multiple servers in the US, UK, EU, and Asia. The download speeds recorded by Hotspot Shield were equally impressive: 29.3 Mbps, 92.5 Mbps, 93.4 Mbps, and 81.00 Mbps respectively for each region mentioned above. It would be an understatement to say that Hotspot Shield surpasses most of its competitors in terms of speed on European and Asian servers.

Platforms and Devices

Hotspot Shield VPN is compatible with popular operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, it cannot be manually set up on routers or used on the open-source Linux operating system due to its reliance on the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. Nevertheless, Hotspot Shield VPN does provide extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers and permits simultaneous connections for up to 5 devices. These devices can include computers and mobile devices, which should be sufficient for the majority of users.

Hotspot Shield pros & cons

Privacy & Anonymity

Hotspot Shield has faced privacy concerns over the years, which can be considered its weak point. The VPN retains records of your connection logs and certain personal information, although they state that this is primarily for quality assurance purposes. While this reasoning may be acceptable, if the government requests access to this data, Hotspot Shield would be obliged to comply due to their location in the US and its associated laws. This presents a clear problem. Additionally, unlike other VPN services that offer various encryption protocols, Hotspot Shield relies solely on OpenVPN with AES 256-bit encryption. Although this is a robust encryption cipher, it would have been preferable to have more protocol choices available.

Server Locations

There are currently 3,200 servers in 70+ countries across the globe which opens up a whole new world of unique content. This also means faster connections when you connect to servers closest to your location, no matter where you are.

United StatesArgentinaBahamasBelizeBrazilCanadaChileColombiaCosta RicaEcuadorGuatemalaMexicoPanamaPeruUruguayVenezuelaAlbaniaAndorraArgentinaAustriaAzerbaijanBelarusBelgiumBulgariaBosnia And HerzegovinaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIcelandIrelandIsle Of ManItalyJerseyLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedoniaMaltaMoldovaMonacoMontenegroNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussian FederationSerbiaSloveniaSlovakiaSpainSwedenSwitzerlandTurkeyUkraineUnited KingdomAustraliaBangladeshBhutanBrunei DarussalamCambodiaChinaIndiaHong KongIndonesiaJapanKazakhstanKyrgyzstanLao People's Democratic RepublicMonacoMalaysiaMongoliaMyanmarNepalNew ZealandPakistanPhilippinesSingaporeKoreaSierra LeoneTaiwanThailandUzbekistanViet NamAlbaniaCyprusEgyptIsraelKenyaSouth AfricaUnited Arab Emirates

Server location Ping [ms] Download [Mbps] Upload [Mbps]
No VPN (Philippines) 57 27.15 26.66
Philippines (With VPN) 108 23.42 20.04
Russia 295 19.21 19.13
USA 185 26.68 22.22
UK 284 16.31 14.11
Canada 279 17.63 15.32
Australia 282 15.21 14.39
Germany 384 18.61 17.49
Average 234.25 20.53 18.67

Customer Service

Hotspot Shield has received high praise from review sites for its impressive speed and user-friendly interface. However, it is unfortunate that their customer support has not received any positive reviews. Previously, their support options were limited to a knowledge base with troubleshooting resources, guides, and an FAQ page for basic queries. If users encountered any issues, they had to submit a ticket to the support team, but the response time was notoriously slow. It was also confusing that there was no live chat support considering the price of the service. Fortunately, Hotspot Shield seems to have addressed these complaints by adding a real-time chat support window on its Help page. To access this feature, users will need to sign in with their registered email address and password.

Speed performance: Is Hotspot Shield fast?

Hotspot Shield VPN’s speeds are honestly impressive. Maybe we should thank the Catapult Hydra protocol, but there is no doubt why this VPN won Ookla’s speed badge – the download speed amplitude ranges from 1% to 28% drop with an average 15% drop-off. Even though the upload speed is slightly slower, the numbers are still impressive. They range from 0% up to 95% with an average of approximately 80% reduction.

Baseline: 300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload

Location Download speed Upload speed
US (NY) 293 39
UK 295 77
Germany 297 99
Japan 216 20
Australia 206 15

Additionally, Hotspot Shield gives an option to select and use the IKEv2 tunneling protocol. According to our tests, its download speed scores an average of 262.2 Mbps, while the uploads – 45.4 Mbps. Furthermore, the download speed drops ranged from 2% to 32%, putting the average at 20%, while upload speeds performed slightly worse. They ranged from 3% to 98%, with an average of 86% drop.

Another thing worth mentioning – even though the IKEv2 protocol is known for its efficiency, we encountered some minor connectivity issues when connecting to the server located in the United States, Florida. Thus, users should keep that in mind when choosing between protocols.


Hotspot Shield is a reliable and effective VPN service that offers a wide range of server locations, competitive pricing, and excellent customer service. Whether you’re looking to protect your online privacy, access geo-restricted content, or secure your internet connection while using public Wi-Fi, Hotspot Shield has got you covered. With its extensive server list and strong encryption protocols, you can browse the internet with peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and secure. Don’t miss out on the benefits of using Hotspot Shield – try it out today and experience the difference for yourself.

Hotspot Shield operates at a high speed and is compatible with major platforms such as Netflix. It is user-friendly and prioritizes security. The VPN offers comprehensive security features, including its own rapid Hydra protocol. In addition, it offers additional functionalities like split-tunneling and a built-in speed test, while also allowing P2P traffic across its extensive network of over 3,200 servers. However, Hotspot Shield does not provide IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection on most applications, lacks an ad blocker, and may not always function in countries with strict internet regulations. Hotspot Shield offers both a free plan and three premium plans, all of which are supported by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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speed. Get the best deal via our link…

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