Hotspot Shield

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CNET Editors' Rating 2.5 stars


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  • 2.0 stars

    "Technically works, but with a massive speed drop"

    February 27, 2009  |   By GB in HK


    As an American living abroad, I'm always looking for solutions that circumvent geofilters. By passing one's internet traffic through a US-based VPN, Hotspot Shield gives users (a) anonymity and (b) the appearance of a US IP address.


    Download speeds from US sites seem to drop to well below 1 Mbs with Hotspot Shield engaged, making it very difficult to access streaming video.


    Based in Hong Kong, my download speed from US sites is usually between 5 and 7 Mbs, but when I engage Hotspot Shield it drops to well below 1 Mbs). Because the ads in front of content are often Flash-based, they require much less bandwidth, so they naturally are quick to play -- and do so smoothly. When actual video streaming begins (if it begins at all) it's very choppy, often stopping to buffer. I love that this sort of product exists, and I suspect over time the kinks of running overseas internet traffic through an American VPN will be addressed. But for now, it seems to be to slow to be of use.

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