Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
2.9
out of 639 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.09
  • Total Downloads:
    28,239,892
  • Date Added:
    October 20, 2011
  • File Size:
    7.68MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    63,361
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: The Internet connection protector Hotspot Shield encrypts your traffic to protect you from all kinds of spying while your computer communicates with the rest of the world. It's a must-have utility for anybody who uses public Wi-Fi networks.

Review:
The Internet connection protector Hotspot Shield encrypts your traffic to protect you from all kinds of spying while your computer communicates with the rest of the world. It's a must-have utility for anybody who uses public Wi-Fi networks, but it's also an excellent tool for ensuring on any network connection that you can access sites and data according to your tastes, and nobody else's. Hotspot Shield's Virtual Private Network services are used by more than 10 million at the time this review was written, according to the software publisher AnchorFree, making it the largest VPN in the world.

The browser-independent Hotspot Shield establishes an encrypted connection to the Hotspot Shield servers, and turns all HTTP traffic to the safer HTTPS. By re-routing Web traffic and providing you with a new IP address hosted by AnchorFree, the company is able to ensure that your data isn't plucked out of the open by man-in-the-middle attacks or wireless network spoofing.

In our tests, we noticed that sometimes the program would actually resolve pages faster than when connected without it. This occurs, most likely, because of the geographic location of the company's servers. During a day of hands-on testing on the notoriously pokey CNET public Wi-Fi network, we noticed that Hotspot Shield Elite was remarkably fast. There were no connection lags despite the rerouting, and the program admirably handled high-definition streaming videos from sites such as Vimeo, YouTube, and CNET TV. We'd recommend the program for improving the Wi-Fi speeds alone, nevermind the additional security benefits.

The free version of Hotspot Shield does come at a small cost. The installation opts you in to two toolbars, one from Hotspot Shield and one from Conduit, which redirects your default search and home page. Also, whenever you activate Hotspot Shield, it will open a new tab to AnchorFree.com and begin autoplaying a video. That's seriously annoying, even in a free product that offers such a valuable service. Still, the toolbars and redirects are optional.

Once installed, it appears as a red system tray icon that turns to green when activated. Right-click to toggle it on or off. Choosing the Properties option opens a new browser tab that tells you that you're connected. Hit the Details link to learn more about your connection, including the VPN IP address, amount of data sent in and out, and how long you've been connected. The data transfer rate makes for a useful, quick-and-dirty gauge for people with data caps.

Hotspot Shield now offers an Elite service, which runs ad-free. Elite costs $0.50 per 24 hour session, with a minimum $10 deposit, or $5 per month, or $45 per year. Payment options include credit card, PayPal, prepaid cash cards or mobile phone payments via premium SMS. Aside from Hotspot Shield Elite's preferential bandwidth priority and lack of ads, there are no built-in additional features in Elite. However, at the time this review was written, AnchorFree had arranged a deal with Skype so that new Elite users get two hours of Skype talk time free when signing up.

The company has created multiple ways to circumvent download blockers in countries with strict censorship, too. If you can't access a Web page with the download, you can send an e-mail to win@anchorfree.com for the Windows version or mac@anchorfree.com for the Mac version, and the small installer file will be sent directly to you.

Note that although the Windows version is 2.06, and the Mac version is 1.582, the features are the same.

Even with the installation shenanigans, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield for anybody concerned with privacy. In today's world, that ought to be anybody connecting a computer to the Internet.

 
read more +

Publisher's Description

+
 
read more +
User Reviews
+
  • Current Version

    3.0

    out of 12 votes

    • 5 star 4
    • 4 star 2
    • 3 star 1
    • 2 star 0
    • 1 star 5
  • All Versions

    2.9

    out of 639 votes

    • 5 star 187
    • 4 star 102
    • 3 star 61
    • 2 star 55
    • 1 star 234
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 17

  • 1 stars

    "Complete crap, waste of my $19.95, "KABOOM" MALWARE"

    October 20, 2014

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    If you act like you are going to buy and cancel your purchase, they come back and offer it to you for $19.95 per year, instead of the $60 or $70 they initially try to charge you.

    Cons

    It hijacks your browsers and installs something called Kaboom, which tries to redirect all your social media, whether you like it or not!
    The company is dishonest, they don't tell you they are going to hijack your browsers with a social media redirect that has NOTHING to do with VPN or proxy services
    Sites such as Amazon Prime, Pandora, ESPN, Netflix, etc. Don't work with this proxy server
    Customer support is awful
    It has a noticeably slower connection speed
    The application is buggy, sometimes it forgets you have a paid subscription

    Summary

    I trusted CNET editors when I purchased this. They are wrong. This is junk. It does not work as advertised, and what is not advertised, is that they install malware browser plugins that hijack your social media (such as twitter sharing, etc). If you think you are going to listen to Pandora, or watch sports or movies, you will be disappointed, as I have been. Customer support is very subpar as well.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 1 stars

    "It's CRAP!!"

    October 17, 2014   |   By SailorCandy

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    It does provided proxy service.

    Cons

    It launches itself! No matter how many times I stop is, it relaunches and at the most inopportune times! Or it changes Severs without warning. I checked never launch unless I start and guess what? It still launches itself. Total waste of money.

    Summary

    Don't waste money on the Elite version like I did.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "Work smoothly!"

    September 17, 2014   |   By T4$^PRMMoJS3

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    Come with free version(ad-supported) and elite(private vpn).
    Also available on android which is very handy on my mobile device

    Cons

    The ads showing up, but it can be turned off if you feel annoyed. So no problem with me

    Summary

    Worth to try and keep, I also upgrade to elite version for ad free solution

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 4 stars

    "Works well"

    August 28, 2014   |   By ageary79

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    Easy to use and works as advertised.

    Cons

    Ads can get a little annoying, but it's free.

    Summary

    Good option. May want to consider Tor as well.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "It's a really good to download"

    August 26, 2014   |   By RaBeekman

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    Awesome, does everything it says, and is easy

    Cons

    I have no cons on this program

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5 stars

    "Very good software"

    August 25, 2014   |   By mohammadshams

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    :Government censors can not Viciously

    Cons

    GOOOOOOOOD

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 3 stars

    "Nice tool but This one is Amazing: 6.md/eeee"

    August 21, 2014   |   By tomaskenedy

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    It will do the job but sometimes sneaky though. It also warns you of possible malicious website.

    Cons

    Bigger file size and annoying ads.

    Summary

    A very nice software to browse blocked sites but could be better in my opinion.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 1 stars

    "Hotspot Shield is junk"

    August 03, 2014   |   By 8f2ad1fe

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    Flashy app - Nothing more

    Cons

    - Gets funding from Goldman Sach, CIA NSA link established I guess
    - Monitors everything you do - They log everything.
    - Cannot download any torrents
    - Only a few countries to choose from

    Summary

    My advise to you is to give Private Internet Access VPN a try. It is worth it. They really care for your Privacy and they are super fast and have many servers in many countries and they don't log anything about you at all. They are Anti-NSA.
    Try it here
    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/buy-vpn/PROXYBLOG

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 5 stars

    "Keep up the good work."

    July 29, 2014   |   By PayneGuan

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    it seems to me that it works very good

    Cons

    No cons from what I can see.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 2 stars

    "Dissapointing"

    July 10, 2014   |   By vijayr1234

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

    Pros

    Easy to use

    Cons

    downloads not stable.

    Summary

    Avoid it.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • Results 1-10 of 17

    Add Your Review

    Login or create an account to post a review.

    You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Hotspot Shield
    Add Your Review

    The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
    Click here to review our site terms of use.

    Update your review

    Since you've already submitted a review for this product, this submission will be added as an update to your original review.
    Submit

    The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
    Click here to review our site terms of use.

     
    see all reviews +

    Full Specifications

    +
    General
    Publisher AnchorFree
    Publisher web site http://anchorfree.com
    Release Date October 20, 2011
    Date Added October 20, 2011
    Version 2.09
    Category
    Category Security Software
    Subcategory Encryption Software
    Operating Systems
    Operating Systems Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows, Windows 7
    Additional Requirements None
    Download Information
    File Size 7.68MB
    File Name HSS-3.42-install-hss-561-conduit.exe
    Popularity
    Total Downloads 28,239,892
    Downloads Last Week 63,361
    Pricing
    License Model Free
    Limitations Not available
    Price Free

    Previous Versions:

     
    read more +

    More Products to Consider

    Close[x]

    Submit a problem report for Hotspot Shield

    Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

    Problem:

    The Download.com Installer isn't working as expected

    The download link does not work

    The software has a newer version

    The product contains malicious software

    Other

    Description:

    Please select a feedback type.

    Please enter a description.

    Submit Problem Report

    Close[x]

    Problem Report submitted

    Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

    OK