Hotspot Shield 2.04 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Hotspot Shield

CNET Editors' note: The Download Now link will download a small installer file to your desktop. Remain online and double-click the installer to proceed with the actual download.
Hotspot Shield includes optional bundled software that may trigger alerts from security software. Hotspot Shield has been tested for malware by the CNET Download.com team and meets our security requirements.

CNET Editors' review

This freeware program promises to encrypt all your Internet connections, but since most public wi-fi access points in the U.S. are open, it's a bit hard to gauge Hotspot Shield's effectiveness. However, the connection itself is a bit wonky.

Once the program is installed, it creates an HTML link on your desktop. Double-clicking on it will open the application in your Web browser, and you'll be taken to a page detailing your Connection Status, IP Address, Server Address, Bytes sent and received, and the duration of the connection. Hotspot Shield is ad supported, so you'll get a big banner ad that lives at the top of every Web page, too. Closing the tab with the app's control panel doesn't disconnect the shield, though: for that, or to reload the control panel, you have to go through the green shield icon that gets loaded into your system tray. Also, there's a 5 GB transfer limit.

Overall, we can't give Hotspot Shield a strong recommendation, but as a last resort it might be worth trying out.

Hotspot Shield - Maintain and protect your privacy - Download Video Previews:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.9 stars

    out of 617 votes

    • 5 star: 181
    • 4 star: 100
    • 3 star: 60
    • 2 star: 54
    • 1 star: 222
  • Current version:

    3.1 stars

    out of 14 votes

    • 5 star: 6
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 6
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 14

  • 5.0 stars

    "Secures my browsing through HTTP(S) across all sites"

    September 12, 2011  |   By DPG2011

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    Acts as a free add-on to anti-virus software, securing the entire browsing session, making all websites as secure as a banking site (full HTTPS). Also enables private browsing, great overall protection. Important for secure / private browsing.

    Cons

    When it's turned on, ads appear on the pages secured. No ads appear after disconnecting. There is a paid version of the product with no ads.

    Summary

    Great product for secure browsing and a must have add on with any anti virus solution. As anti-virus protects the desktop, Hotspot Shield protects the Internet session.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Only solution for accessing blocked websites"

    September 12, 2011  |   By fenerbahces

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    - I can access any website that is blocked.
    - I can watch American movies and TV on Hulu.com from Turkey, which is not available here.
    - Very reliable service. Never had a connection failure.
    - Free

    Cons

    - They put ads on the browser but no problem for me.

    Summary

    I use this program everyday because I live in Turkey where some of my favorite websites are blocked. I've tried every alternative solution to unblock websites (DNS server, proxy servers, Vtunnel, etc.) but Hotspot Shield works the best among them and never failed for me. Very reliable service.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Get past the Firewall!"

    September 6, 2011  |   By coastboy23

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    Not sure why this has so many negative reviews, worked great for me on recent trip to China. Was recommended by friend in Shanghai to get around Chinese govt. blocks. I think it works to get past corp firewalls too

    Cons

    Have to remember to turn on and off, and yes there is a banner ad at top of page, but not too intrusive.

    Summary

    If you live in or are traveling to a country where the government blocks certain sites--China, Vietnam, much of the Middle East, Turkey, etc.--you should download this software before you go. It's free but I would have paid for it.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Great Privacy Protection"

    August 30, 2011  |   By johnson.md

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    Hotspot Shield works great. For the most part, you never notice any difference when using.

    Cons

    One website would not allow use of Hotspot Shield when entering information. Terminated Hotspot Shield and entered information without a problem. Otherwise, I would have rated it as 5 stars.

    Summary

    Use for sure when using public hot spots from a hotel or coffee shop.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Read the instructions"

    August 23, 2011  |   By sawu2

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    works perfectly , does not slow the connection , gives access to sites otherwise inaccessible

    Cons

    Installs a search bar during installation (can be avoided if you read the instructions on your screen and do not just click trough)

    Summary

    I am behind the big bamboo firewall.This software gives me access to all the sites otherwise not accessible. Use Firefox with adblock plus and the ads disappear.Read the instruction during installation and understand them and everything is going to be fine.Uninstall with Revo and no problem.For people living in a country with internet limitations it is great.Otherwise,in the Us or Europe ,probably there are alternatives

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Doesn't Work Anymore"

    August 21, 2011  |   By Several9920

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    It worked great for about a year then it stopped.

    Cons

    This software seems shady, I no longer trust Hotspot Shield anymore.

    Summary

    This software worked great for about a year, then all of a sudden it stopped working out of the blue. So i decided to search the internet to see if others were having the same trouble thinking something may be down. But i discovered that this software was own by an advertising company that scans your computer and leaks your data. So i no longer trust Hotspot Shield. But looking on the bright side this software did allow me to surf anonymously for a year at no cost so i don't feel too bad. However i would love to continue surfing anonymously but i haven't the slightest clue on what to use. I will leave an update on what i will decide to use or whether or not i will use anything at all.

    Updated on Aug 21, 2011

    I just wanted to let everybody know that right after i uninstalled Hotspot Shield i decided to do a spyware scan, and my security software found Trojan.cidres.b. Now i am not exactly sure if the trojan was Hotspot Shield related but its funny to me that this trojan showed up the minute i uninstalled Hotspot Shield. Whether this trojan was in direct correlation with hotspot Shield or not i'm just glad it is now uninstalled from my computer. I am not exactly sure if we can trust any of these anonymous surfing software's now they all know each other!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "THE MOST NASTY PIECE OF SOFTWARE"

    August 18, 2011  |   By AidanJoyce

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    It worked as a VPN. That is the trick, we are fooled by this.

    Cons

    Its Viral, Spyware Nasty Nasty Nasty. Hijacks your search and more. Cannot be uninstalled properly. Even bought software to try uninstall like final uninstaller. NO GOOD. Tried to manually edit my Registry, still no joy.

    Summary

    If you have not installed the software. I ask you to trust me. DON'T INSTALL it.

    If you have the software installed then try fully uninstall it. You wont. Just type something stupid in your browser, and look at where it goes "Hotspotshield.com" and "Anchorfree.NET"

    If you dot believe me, go ahead install. Then when you want to remove it spend hours and hours and hours on the net reading links like this.

    http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f112/uninstall-hotspot-shield-completely-406717.html

    http://www.finaluninstaller.com/blog/ut/how-to-uninstall-hotspot-shield.html

    http://forums.cnet.com/7723-12543_102-524639.html

    All I have read and I still cannot get rid of Hotspot or Anchor from my searches. Any help appreciate from anybody.

    I SAY SIMPLY: BASTARDS LIKE THIS SHOULD BE OUT OF BUSINESS AND NOT SHOWN ON A CNET SITE. CNET HELP! and if you cannot help then investigate yourselves and remove from Download!

    Yours Honestly and Sincerely

    AJoyce

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  • 1.0 stars

    "DONT USE THIS CRAP"

    August 11, 2011  |   By yacahuma

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    This product has nothing good

    Cons

    This is a completely waste of time

    Summary

    Please do not use this product , it just and advertiser paradise. If you need protection use a product called witopia

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  • 1.0 stars

    "hotspot shield BEWARE"

    August 5, 2011  |   By janai_

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    Hotspot Shield damaged my computer. my computer still in the shop because of the program. Hotspot is Not safe for windows xp!!!

    Cons

    Don't use this !!!

    Summary



    Updated on Sep 11, 2011

    I'm sorry hotspot shield it was (proXPN) that damaged my laptop. I'm so sorry!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Great program"

    July 30, 2011  |   By robotnik2012

    Version: Hotspot Shield 2.04

    Pros

    Easy to use, helpful, efficient, fast.

    Cons

    Occasionally lets you slip out of the secure connection with no warning, so you have to keep refreshing "What's my IP".

    Summary

    This free program is a whole lot better than some of the other reviews claim. There's virtually no change in download speed. So you get ads - how else is the publisher supposed to provide this excellent program free? If ads bug you, the pro version has none, and is reasonably priced.

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Results 1-10 of 14

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