Hotspot Shield Elite for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Hotspot Shield Elite for Mac

CNET Editors' review

Despite a couple of flaws that can be annoying, especially if you use Facebook or Gmail, AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield Elite is an otherwise good tool that does its job well. The shield's job is to protect your online privacy, especially when you're connecting to the Internet via wireless hot spots.

The installation isn't the usual drag-and-drop routine; you need to have admin rights to install it, but as soon as the application is on your computer, you'll notice the change. First of all, your browser can't connect to the Internet until you register the trial version using an e-mail address. Interestingly, the e-mail sent by AnchorFree ended up in the Junk Mailbox, which we found odd, since it's from a security company. What we liked, though, is the product's simple interface: it's a shield that is placed in the Menu bar when you launch the application. It communicates using colors: red is off and green is on. And it's that simple. Hotspot Shield excels in simplicity, and we love the the fact that the application is ad-free.

Unfortunately, the second thing we noticed was that we couldn't connect to our Facebook account. If you have recognized devices activated, the social network will block your account. In addition to that, our Mail application stopped fetching e-mails from our Gmail account. This is pretty annoying if you use Gmail for communication. Except the aforementioned flaws, however, Hotspot Shield performed well during our testing. The load time of the Web sites we visited was visibly faster, so the browsing experience was good (and safe), which is the primary role of the app. Although Hotspot Shield primarily aims to protect the online presence of those who connect to the Internet through hot spots, it can easily become the choice of privacy-conscious individuals as well.

We liked the feeling of a protected online presence, but if the shield works against you, then it isn't quite the tool you need. Also, users only have eight days of free protection, and they need to opt for one of the available offers if they want to have all their browsing information shielded from prying eyes.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Hotspot Shield Elite for Mac 1.585.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.7 stars

    out of 9 votes

    • 5 star: 8
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 0
  • Current version:

    5.0 stars

    out of 8 votes

    • 5 star: 8
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-8 of 8

  • 5.0 stars

    "Great vpn for the paranoid"

    September 20, 2013  |   By flylikeaskyler

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    Like any other VPN, Hotspot Shield hides your real IP address. So why do I give it 5 stars? Well, it's cheaper than other VPNs plus it has the ability to change IP addresses from a different country.

    Cons

    It works, so I have nothing to complain about.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Seems excellent"

    August 1, 2013  |   By annalira2000

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    simple to use, affordable, can choose between US and UK (love using it to watch my fave show, Downtown Abbey), protects computer from malware

    Cons

    although one subscription can be used on 5 devices, I have to buy a separate subscription for Android phones

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works Great!!!"

    July 23, 2013  |   By MikeAndreso

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    I really like Hotspot Shield Elite because I can use it in public wifi to access blocked websites that is already blocked on that wifi network. The price is not too shabby and Elite can be used on multiple computers or smartphones.

    Cons

    Nothing really.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "I love this software!"

    July 22, 2013  |   By Jewels_Dalibor

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    I've been a Hotspot Shield user for about a year already. The benefits of Hotspot Shield Elite is that I can use it on both Macbook and my iPhone under one account. I work remotely from my job, so I usually spend my time working at my local Starbucks. I've been hearing so much on how public wifi is "unsafe". It's better to be safe than sorry, and I've dealt with my bank account being hacked before. It's a pain in the ass. With Hotspot Shield, my computer is protected and secure from ever being hacked again.

    Cons

    I haven't run into any problems for the past year I've been using it. I think the software is improving as time goes by, if there is a problem, it's likely to be fixed in the next update.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "6 star security app!!"

    July 3, 2013  |   By MissMilena

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    1. one subscription is good for 5 computers or iPhones, so you pretty much get your money's worth
    2. choose usa, united kingdom or australia ip addresses. i mainly use uk IP though

    Cons

    you have to buy a seperate subscription for android, which is unfair. it doesn't bother me because i have an iPhone, but it just sucks for my husband because he has an android.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Elite has better features than Free version"

    June 19, 2013  |   By Patty_VanQueen

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    Elite has extra features that regular free version does not have:
    -IP selection
    -More malware protection (I guess it detects other forms of malware while the free version is limited)
    -No ads
    -Dedicated "Elite" Network? (I think this means it connects to different servers than the free version, which means it's faster)

    Cons

    They should have that IP selection feature for the free version too.

    Summary

    In my opinion, Elite is worth it if you want to use different IP addresses (that was my main purpose). They let you select IP locations in USA, UK or Australia. Other than that, I don't mind using the free version even if it has ads. I recommend both Elite and Free to everyone!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Bang for your buck!"

    June 19, 2013  |   By teeebeemac

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    Has better features that the regular version doesn't have like having the ability to choose between IP locations and no advertisements

    Cons

    Takes a while to connect to different servers

    Summary

    Overall a really good VPN. I tried other VPNs, but this Hotspot Shield Elite is affordable for my price range.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Good VPN!!"

    June 7, 2013  |   By musclemilkman27

    Version: Hotspot Shield Elite 2.85

    Pros

    works well to me! good for the online privacy paranoids like me. plus no annoying ads since this i bought the Elite version

    Cons

    Haven't encountered any issues yet so far.

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