Torrenting & P2P
Summary : Basic VPN service.
Hotspot Shield boasts of being the world’s most downloaded VPN service, with the number crossing a 200 million. This is primarily owed to the fact that this VPN offers free services, as well as simplicity to users. However, what go completely missing here are the innermost details of the service.
Therefore, if you are someone who does not revel into the technical intricacies of the service, but rather, user friendliness, then Hotspot Shield VPN is easily among the best services that will suit you well. Read our Hotspot Shield VPN review to know more.
- Free service is decent
- Good connection speeds and streaming services
- Low cost
- We weren’t happy about the lack of details
- Poor customer support
- Ads are intrusive in nature
Hotspot Shield VPN service boasts of a very modest network of servers and these are primarily located in 6 major countries in the form of US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany and Australia. While this isn’t a very large and comprehensive coverage, we believe it is just fine.
As far as protocol standards are concerned, Hotspot Shield VPN offers services just over OpenVPN.
The performance factor with Hotspot Shield VPN is pretty good. Considering the speed test results that we got, we think they were significantly fast and impressed us greatly. The upload speeds that you see are probably some sort of a mistake, considering that we got similar kinds of results with many other tests too. There are no restrictions on bandwidth either.
The service allocates dedicated as well as shared IPs in a dynamic fashion. IP and DNS leak tests were just fine too. Hotspot Shield Elite subscription plan is also known to offer up to 5 concurrent connections.
One thing we noticed when using the service was that pages would always refuse to load in the very first attempt. Although they would load after an immediate refresh, it was something that we found to be pretty annoying.
Hotspot Shield, as a service, does not inform their users of any technical aspects of the encryption protocols that they follow. Considering that it mainly concentrates on simplicity, this is totally fine. However, we also think that since it’s an issue of privacy, they should be open to the encryption standards that are in use.
The company highlights that they have an additional malware protection system in place, which warns against malware sites, spam and phishing content, though this is only available to the Elite pack subscribers.
Hotspot Shield, being based out of the US, also makes things confusing as far as logging policies are concerned. We are well aware that all US VPN services are entitled to turn in details, in case any kind of requests are made by federal agencies. Going by such terms we think they do maintain a logging policy of some sort, although nothing is mentioned by them.
Hotspot Shield is accessible over many platforms and devices. As such it has clients and applications for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Amazon’s Kindle is also supported. All the clients and applications are also rather simple and come across as user-friendly.
There are three types of customer support service available to users of Hotspot Shield VPN. These are mainly email ticketing, web forum and also live chat, which is only available to Elite subscribers. However, our queries were just about met with a verbose answer and in another case, no reply at all. In other words, we can say that their support service is just not up to the mark.
As such, there are two basic options to choose from – Free and Elite. Free users aren’t offered all facilities, besides also being bombarded with ads that are pretty intrusive. Also, security features and server switching isn’t allowed. Paid users can use four different plans to go with, basically differing on the payment methods, but same on the price factor.
Payment options available to customers are those of Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, and Discover.
Hotspot Shield’s Elite services are termed as acceptable on major public forums while their free services hasn’t been given much praise. Also, their customer support is something of concern and people have been known to face issues when contacting them.
Hotspot Shield isn’t a product to be overlooked. Despite the improper support and over simplicity (lack of technical details), we think it is just a cheap service provider that just does fine.