Editors' Note: The "Download Now" link directs you to the iTunes App Store, where you must continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed in order to open the link, and you must have an active iTunes account to download the application. This download may not be available in some countries.
Hotspot Shield VPN is a free iOS app with a single aim: to protect your online presence. Even novice users will be pleased to navigate through the simple interface the app ships with, but in order to understand all the key aspects of the app, they will be tempted to access the help section, which offers a brief introduction on how the app works and what it provides.
However, security comes at a price, even though it shouldn't: during our testing, we got several error reports, which surely suggests the app needs some polishing work. Secondly, while we are amazed by the idea of being safe, we were kind of sad to find that the app is centered on purchasing monthly or annual subscriptions.
Meanwhile, first-time users can enjoy seven days of free protection and data compression provided by Hostpot Shield, which turned out to be very useful. Additional installation is required to get the Shield erected: as soon as you launch the app it will guide you to its Web site to download the profile you'll install on your iPhone, depending on whether you'd like to have the protection shield always on (recommended for novice users) or manually activated (for advanced users). But as soon as you have that profile installed, you'll notice the difference in Web page loading times. We liked the fact that Hotspot Shield cut down average loading times by more than 30 percent -- when it worked! (Sometimes we got an error message saying the iPhone wasn't connected to the Internet.)
Overall, Hotspot Shield VPN is a nice app that does a pretty decent job of protecting your privacy by compressing and encrypting Internet traffic to keep spies off your smartphone. However, as the aforementioned errors show, there is room for improvement, because you get exactly the same performance, even if you choose a subscription plan.
Hotspot Shield for iOS provides the same great features as our popular desktop version (trusted by 10 million users) plus data compression that stretches your cell phone data plan and saves you money. Unique VPN on Demand feature detects when you need privacy, security and data savings and turns on automatically.Internet Security & Privacy: Secure your browsing and all apps; Protect yourself in Wi-Fi hotspots (VPN encrypts all traffic); Protect your identity and your IP address to stop unwanted tracking.Saves Data and Money on your Phone Bill: Hotspot Shield Compression saves bandwidth & speeds up browsing, saving on your data plan usage both at home and while roaming abroad. Access your favorite websites: Unblock any blocked content and services, an enabler to get to Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Flickr and other sites not available in certain countries.
What's new in this version:
Version 1.6 fixes problems affecting usability and performance.