Hotspot Shield is a free VPN service implemented as an app and a browser extension. The free version is a limited iteration of its paid service called Hotspot Shield Elite.
Hotspot Shield was launched back in 2008 as a completely free service. All the features of today’s Hotspot Shield Elite were 100% free of charge back then. It was released by AnchorFree and installed by more than half a million users all around the globe.
In this blog post, you can learn all about the advantages of Hotspot Shield, as well as about some concerns we had during our testing process.
Hotspot Shield currently features 20 server locations, which is not all that impressive but it should be enough if you’re just starting out with VPNs. Note that all free users are limited to one US server and cannot switch their virtual location until they subscribe to the premium plan. The US server is also the default location once you start using your Hotspot Shield account.
Hotspot Shield Prices And Plans
The pricing plans for Hotspot Shield Elite go as follows:
- 1 month – 12.99$ per month
- 6 months – 8.99$ per month
- 1 year – 5.99$ per month
- 2 years – 119.99$
Free and premium versions of the service are based on the same software, so if you just want to try it out, we recommend going with the free version first. If you like it, you can easily switch to premium.
Hotspot Shield is supported by advertising, which is a minor inconvenience for free users. It’s not too aggressive, so most users probably won’t even notice it. The thing we don’t like is the fact that the advertisement structure is embedded into the software, so it’ll most likely continue for premium users even though the company claims otherwise.
You can subscribe to the free plan without handing over any personal details, which we like. On the other hand, if you decide to switch to premium, you’ll have to provide some identifying information and your payment details, which can be used to trace you through your bank account.
Hotspot Shield comes with a 30-day refund guarantee, so make sure you purchase your subscription directly on the official site. The service can also be bought through third parties, which will complicate the refund policy, so you should definitely avoid this option.