Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
2.9
out of 646 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.24
  • Total Downloads:
    28,601,158
  • Date Added:
    Jan. 10, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    7.68MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    61,716
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

Editors' Review

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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.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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Results 1–10 of 632

2 stars

"Frustrating Experience"

December 14, 2014  |  By Rebecca James

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Its Free that all they have

Cons

Slow Connection
slow connectivity
hundreds of ads

Summary

I been using Free VPN service like Hotspot more than 3 months now, but unfortunately its pretty frustrating for me to browses or stream any thing. A free VPN give you a benefit only because its free that all, otherwise its pretty messy to use. Thanks God i have found PIA VPN its pretty cheap easily to use, here you can check or read more details about is. http://www.mostsecurevpn.com/#private-internet-access-review

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5 stars

"Best App to surf the web securely & anonymously."

December 04, 2014  |  By raffaymalik

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

This is the best VPN service I've ever used, good pricing, fast servers and reliable.
I can access any blocked content from school. It's free and has no monthly bandwidth limit. It provide US IP address for free which enables me to download applications available only in US. It doesn't keep log of users browsing history.
A safe choice on public wifi. Also available on android/IOS.

Cons

I could not think of any cons of using Hotspot Shield. If you are little annoying with ads, upgrade to The premium version of @HotspotShield (Elite). It is cheaper then other VPN.

Summary

Best app To secure my connection and browse the web privately and anonymously.

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5 stars

"For me, it is very suitable"

November 21, 2014  |  By litklxjg

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Has every useful function

Cons

Never any problems.

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5 stars

"Fast, reliable, secure, and easy to use."

October 29, 2014  |  By fahmi.suryanta

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Fast
Easy to use
Reliable

Cons

I have no issue with this app.

Summary

Hotspot Shield is the only app I expected to do. Using it, I can browse restricted websites in my country such as vimeo and imgur. And also, I can stream TV shows without any problems. The speed is very fast and reliable. I can access anything securely while in public hotspot, such as Mall or public park. Hotspot Shield gives me options to choose IP from UK, US, Japan, etc. I love this feature. Highly recommended !!

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5 stars

"Just great!"

October 29, 2014  |  By MorgonSport

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Very easy to use and very thorough.

Cons

Nothing can make me picky.

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5 stars

"Hotspotshield is simply awesome !!"

October 28, 2014  |  By JamaicaTaklova

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

I been using this app almost a year and I really love it. It very easy to use and works flawlessly. Hide your IP address to remain uncensored/protected against hackers attack or remain in total security while using public wifi at a coffee, hotel or in an airport.

Cons

I think not the cheapest price on the market but really worth its price no regrets on choosing this app :)

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5 stars

"What an excellent service Hotspot Shield provides!"

October 28, 2014  |  By Laurie Holman

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Been too worried before every time I go online because of the issues regarding internet security. When I found out about Hotspot Shield, all worries are gone. Its free benefits such as access blocked content like Netflix US, Pandora, BBC iplayer are indeed incomparable. Plus, it allows me to surf the net anonymously.

Cons

So far, I could not think of any disadvantage of using Hotspot Shield.

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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.

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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.

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5 stars

"Great software"

October 16, 2014  |  By muzamil khatri

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.88

Pros

Easy to use
Easy to install and connect
Browse anonymously
watch locked websites
malware protection

Cons

not any at this time

Summary

As i am from pakistan and youtube is blocked in pakistan from years so hotspot shield was the first vpn proxy software i used to watch the blocked
websites and content in pakistan. i am very happy to use it now there is no any restriction i have to watch videos on youtube and browse blocked content
besides that it protect me from unsafe web browsing stop malware.

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Results 1–10 of 632

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Full Specifications

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General
Publisher AnchorFree
Publisher web site http://anchorfree.com
Release Date January 10, 2012
Date Added January 10, 2012
Version 2.24
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Encryption Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows 7, Windows, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 7.68MB
File Name HSS-3.42-install-hss-561-conduit.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 28,601,158
Downloads Last Week 61,716
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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