Hotspot Shield VPN Ratings

Overall Score 8.7










General overview

Hotspot Shield VPN is a well-known virtual private networking service in the market. The US-based AnchorFree Inc owns the service and released the VPN in 2008. Hotspot Shield cover’s wide range of features for excellent speeds and privacy-focused activities. It has over 3200+ servers in 73+ countries. The VPN unblocks streaming sites, including Netflix, YouTube, and HBO Max. Hotspot Shield also allows torrenting; a kill-switch feature, DNS, and IP leaks protection make it an excellent choice for secure torrenting.

Moreover, Hotspot Shield isn’t ideal for bypassing censorship in China. Hotspot Shield’s apps are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. The VPN allows five simultaneous connections per license and is compatible with major platforms and devices, including Windows, IOS, Mac, Linux, and Android. Apart from that, Hotspot Shield provides dedicated and efficient customer support and comes with cheap subscription plans, especially for a more extended VPN plan.

Score 8.9


The VPN is overall secure as it uses various privacy-enhancing features to keep customers’ anonymity. The VPN doesn’t use standard OpenVPN. Instead, it uses Catapult Hydra – the proprietary tunnelling protocol which provides relatively fast speeds and incorporates perfect forward secrecy. You can use the IKEv2 protocol enough for mobile devices to maintain stable connections. It is a top-notch kill-switch feature, which could stop all the coming traffic in case your connection drops.

Moreover, the VPN uses advanced Split-Tunneling and Smart VPN features. Besides, the VPN is protected from all IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. Considering its features, the VPN overall provides a secure service to its customers.

Score 9.5


Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest VPNs you can get. It has breakneck speeds on all server locations. You will experience streaming or gaming without any delays or buffering. The VPN can record similar speeds on both local and international servers. Having most virtual servers, you can expect fast speeds on distant servers and even slow speeds on servers near your location. Since there isn’t any main address of the servers, you can never really know if you would get fast speeds or not.

Speeds would always drop since the VPNs reroute your traffic. But the drop should be no more than 10-20% to remain undetectable. The Hotspot could meet your expectations, as it only drops 8% to 10% likely on all server locations. Unlike most VPNs, Hotspot Shield doesn’t automatically connect you to the nearest or fastest VPN server. To enjoy fast speeds, you should relate to the server close to your location.

Score 9.6


Hotspot Shield’s server network consists of 3200+ servers in 73+ countries. All the servers are well-spread out throughout the globe. The VPN also provides city-level servers in 27 US, Australia, Canada, and UK cities. The free version of the Hotspot Shield lets you choose only the US servers, whereas the paid version users enjoy all the server locations.

With many servers, the VPN’s premium version can unblock streaming sites, including Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, DAZN, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Although it doesn’t have dedicated streaming servers, you must connect to a few before it works consistently.

Hotspot Shield allows torrenting on all premium servers. However, it has an untrusted logging policy and lacks critical features for secure torrenting, like port-forwarding and slow P2P speeds.

However, the kill-switch, DNS and IP leaks protection, and fast speeds would support torrenting, but that’s not the ideal scenario.

Score 8.2


Hotspot Shield offers a variety of options for customer help and support. The premium version includes 24/7 live chat support, email support, online resources, and an FAQ option. At the same time, the free version is only limited to FAQs and a knowledge base.

The live chat support of the Hotspot Shield is swift, and they address your queries knowledgeably. The FAQs option would display the popular questions which might address your queries. The knowledge base also provides all the necessary information like payments, troubleshooting, and management of accounts/devices.

Score 7.5


Hotspot Shield comes in both free and premium versions. The free version only lets you do secure and private browsing. Whereas all the enhanced features, fast speeds, or unblocking content are allowed through the premium version. The premium version comes with three subscription plans:

  • 1-Month plan costs $12.99/per month; billed $12.99 monthly
  • 3-Year plan costs $2.99/per month; billed $107.64 every three years
  • 1-Year plan costs $7.99/per month; billed $95.88 yearly

Refund Policy

The VPN doesn’t provide the standard 30-day money-back guarantee but a better 45-day money-back guarantee. Which only a few VPNs offer in the industry.

Payment Methods

The VPN accepts the following modes of payment:

  • PayPal
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Master Card
  • JCB Card
  • Discover
  • Diners Club International

Company Information

  • Company name: AnchorFree, Inc.
  • Company incorporation country: United States
  • Years in market: 14
  • No-logs: Yes

Overview - Conclusion

Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest VPNs in the market. It has all the features required for safe and secure browsing, but its logging policy needs some improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are you still getting ads/bandwidth limits when you have paid for Premium?

If you have purchased the Hotspot premium plan and still face ads and bandwidth limitations, then there can be the following situations:

  1. Your payment isn’t verified by the VPN yet
  2. You are not signed into your premium account

You can contact the support team to address the situation accordingly.

2. How can you cancel the auto-renewal of the premium plan?

To stop the auto-renewal function, you have to open the app, tap Payments & Subscriptions, select the subscription you want to cancel, and tap Cancel Subscription. However, subscriptions on Apple devices can’t be cancelled via Hotspot’s support team. You need to cancel the plan through them only.

3. How can you change your email on Hotspot Shield?

You can view and edit your account-related information from VPN’s Dashboard. Unfortunately, you can’t edit your email. Instead, you must request Hotspot Shield to let you change the email address by submitting the online form.

4. Why are you getting a “Wrong login info. Try again” error message?

This message probably occurs when you try to log into your Hotspot Shield account without connecting to the internet. However, entering the wrong account credentials could also be the reason.