Hotspot Shield is a California-based VPN service that has been on the market for a whole decade and in that time, it has earned the trust of more than 500 million users. It does a great job protecting its users’ privacy and boasts a nice suite of security features. To help users get better acquainted with Hotspot Shield apps and the options they offer, we have created this quick guide that covers all the crucial information you should possess before installing Hotspot Shield.
Hotspot Shield does not aim to impress with its compatibility but instead focuses on all of the major platforms and operating systems. It offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, which is enough to satisfy the needs of the majority of users. With a paid subscription, you can use it on 5 devices simultaneously, which is more than most VPN services offer.
We are glad to say that Hotspot Shield apps feature a modern design with a pleasant color scheme dominated by various shades of blue. The user interface is highly intuitive and most actions can be completed in a single click, including connecting, disconnecting, switching servers, and changing settings. Users who are just getting started with VPNs can rely on Hotspot Shield to choose the optimal server location for them and the default settings are close to optimal as well, so no tweaking is necessary. However, with the well-organized menu and all settings in one place, users can easily make modifications and explore the options at their disposal.
What makes Hotspot Shield different from the majority of its alternatives is that it does not use OpenVPN but instead employs its proprietary encryption protocol. While it is not that uncommon for a VPN service to have its own protocol, it is rather unusual for a service to use it instead of OpenVPN, which is the most secure and widely used protocol nowadays. Fortunately, the level of security provided is rather high and the service also protects its users from malware as well as potentially harmful pop-ups, allowing for ad-free, risk-free browsing.
Hotspot Shield operates servers in 25 world countries, it is P2P-friendly, it imposes no bandwidth limits, it does not keep any logs, and it allows you to pay with Bitcoin, so you can stay completely anonymous.
Hotspot Shield apps can be used free of charge, but if you opt for the free version, you only gain access to the US virtual location. With the paid Elite subscription, you can access all servers and use all the extra features mentioned in the previous section.
The monthly Elite subscription is a bit pricey and costs $12.99 per month. However, if you subscribe for 6 months, you pay $8.99 per month. With the annual subscription, you pay only $5.99 per month. If you really like Hotspot Shield, you can get the lifetime subscription for just $119.99 and use the service forever. All subscriptions come with a 45-day money back guarantee.