Hotspot Shield VPN 1.7 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Hotspot Shield VPN

CNET Editors' review

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.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-8 of 8

  • 1.0 stars

    "Paying for no service"

    February 9, 2014  |   By joeintokyo

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 2.1.6

    Pros

    You get multiple connections with one subscription.

    Cons

    If anything goes wrong with the service, you will be hard pressed to get any customer service. If the problem is beyond what the already have posted online, you will need to go through a number of reps before anything may get done.

    Summary

    I have been down for a number of weeks without the service that I pay for and am getting absolutely the poorest customer service I have ever experienced with a paid service.
    If you are using the free Hotspot Shield, I can understand not getting very good service. however, i opted for the "Elite" service. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. You are better off just using the free service.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Just what I needed!"

    September 19, 2013  |   By scootah68

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 2.1.3

    Pros

    The one app that I can use for those sites that are blocked, or where you want to sign-on anonymously for whatever reason.
    I feel like my data AND transactions ARE safe & secure from being tracked.

    Cons

    I haven't come across any as of yet! The install went very well in 8.1 Preview despite what I'd read about it's incompatibility w/8.1 on some blog. ? Maybe I got lucky?

    Summary

    How you use the app depends entirely on your IT needs, your lifestyle & such. Since we're all different, we can all use the portions of the product that we need and disregard the rest. If you find out that it's not the product for your needs, then you can always remove the app, but I doubt that you'll want/need to do that once you get it configured and are able to use it easily! And NO, I'm not a paid spokesperson for cnet or HotSpot. Just a guy who likes a good deal on new technology.

    Updated on Sep 19, 2013

    SORRY - I got this review mixed up with another of my products that I purchased and downloaded today (hence the reference to Windows 8.1)!!!
    BUT, I did add it to iTunes and so for I am not having any problems getting it to run and perform as it should on my iPhone 5 and iPad 2 as I'm syncing them now. I'll report more as I continue with this installation.
    I APOLOGIZE, once again, for getting my reviews confused between all of my devices!
    Thanks for your patience with me on this and don't send me emails as to how stupid I am - I've admitted that I blundered this review so please don't "nail me to the cross" for making this mistake.
    Perhaps the Ops can remove my review on this item? I didn't see anywhere on cnet where I could do this for myself.
    :-) Have a great day and give an old man a break if you're gonna send negative comments as to my honest MISTAKE!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Creates unwanted flashing ad banners"

    July 18, 2013  |   By Nicola9393

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 2.1.0

    Pros

    None that I can see

    Cons

    Hot Spot Shield was installed as part of a Filezilla download I made. I now get annoying flashing adverts from Hot Spot Shield at the top of my browser.

    I find this an incredibly low minded attempt at sales and marketing and could never recommend this product on this basis. It can't uninstall the software.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "GREAT APP!!"

    November 10, 2011  |   By pal04

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 1.0.1

    Pros

    cheap subscription, data compression, access blocked sites, wi-fi security

    Cons

    haven't experienced any issues

    Summary

    Now I can finally watch my favorite shows on Hulu and Netflix overseas :). Thanks Hotspot Shield!!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Got to get this for sure!"

    November 10, 2011  |   By sherateit

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 1.0.1

    Pros

    Love that I can watch my tv shows when I travel. Must have!

    Cons

    dont see any

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Unlimited bandwidth for the win"

    November 10, 2011  |   By fenerbahces

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 1.0.1

    Pros

    Easy to install
    Data compression feature helps save on the iPhone data plan
    Unlimited bandwidth
    Gives access to US-only content

    Cons

    Could not find any so far

    Summary

    I've been using their PC version for some while for accessing Netflix and Pandora when I'm traveling abroad for business. I'm so happy to finally have the iPhone app because now I'll be able to listen to Pandora when I'm traveling. This is huge!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Cool and Sleek, the iTunes store has a new superstar"

    November 10, 2011  |   By hmbgeek

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 1.0.1

    Pros

    Compression, bandwidth savings, security, do I need to say more?

    Cons

    Not that I have been able to identify

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Low-cost iPhone VPN safeguards and saves money"

    October 31, 2011  |   By coastboy23

    Version: Hotspot Shield VPN 1.0.1

    Pros

    Recognizes when you launch an app and need VPN.
    Compresses images so you save on bandwidth and speeds up page loads
    Hides your IP and encrypts your app and browser traffic
    Unlimited bandwidth--most other iPhone apps are pay as you go

    Cons

    If you WANT your location to be known for certain apps that require your location to work, you will have to turn it off and turn it back on again.

    Summary

    Can't go wrong for .99 a month. In fact, if you are like me and don't have all you can eat data plan, this app will more than pay for itself just with the image compression.

    Reply to this review

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