Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Download Editors' Rating:
4.5
Outstanding
Average User Rating:
2.9
out of 647 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.53
  • Total Downloads:
    28,601,158
  • Date Added:
    Apr. 15, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    7.68MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    61,716
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

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 people 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 rerouting 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.

Recent changes include automatic detection of Wi-Fi connections nearby, the ability to work on corporate networks, and no longer requiring administrative privileges to install.

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 cost. The installation opts you into a toolbar, which redirects your default search and home page, and a desktop icon. 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 icon that turns to green when activated in both your system tray and in your browser. Clicking will toggle it on or off. Choosing the Properties option opens a window 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's paid upgrade is called Elite, which runs ad-free and on faster servers. Elite costs $0.50 per 24-hour session, with a minimum $10 deposit, or $5 per month, or $29.99 per year. Payment options include credit card, PayPal, prepaid cash cards or mobile phone payments via premium SMS. Along with built-in site malware protection, Hotspot Shield Elite comes with tech support, preferential bandwidth priority (read: faster Internet speeds) and serves you no additional ads from AnchorFree.

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 number and the Mac version number don't match, AnchorFree says 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

    2.4

    out of 7 votes

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

    2.9

    out of 647 votes

    • 5 star 194
    • 4 star 102
    • 3 star 61
    • 2 star 56
    • 1 star 234
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–7 of 7

4 stars

"AdBlock Plus is your friend!"

May 07, 2012  |  By Sir_Auron

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

FREE!

Speedy!

Access sites like http://www.nick.com/ to catch up on your favourite shows!

Cons

Ads... (easily banished by AdBlock Plus)

You have to remember to turn it off after watching your video!

Summary

Great program overall. It allows the family to view Nick and MTV Music shows like SpongeBob and House of Anubis without that stupid "this video not available blah blah blah" nonsense.

For those of you with problems (slow speed, ads, banners) just download AdBlock Plus. It is free and works with both Chrome and Firefox (Don't know if the Macintosh one works, I don't have access to a Macintosh). AdBlock also stops annoying ads in your video streams!

Adblock for Chrome users: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gighmmpiobklfepjocnamgkkbiglidom

AdBlock for Firefox users:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/

Macintosh users:
http://safariadblock.com/


I am not endorsing or advertising AdBlock. Just trying to help the community.

Happy Surfing/Viewing.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

4 stars

"A must have. Connects within seconds--stays connected."

May 07, 2012  |  By HARLEY HOTTIE 13

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

Connects within seconds, and stays connected for hours and hours. Shows my IP address as belonging to their main server, 415 miles away! Opens to the AnchorFree web page only once, at first connection--close that tab or window, and never see another ad!

Cons

None that I can think of

Summary

With use on Windows XP...Connects within seconds, and stays connected for hours and hours. Shows my IP address as belonging to their main server, 415 miles away! The 2 times in the past week that I did lose the connection, Hotspot Shield changed color to warn me, and instantly reconnected itself. At this point, I'm quite satisfied; so far, so good! When Hotspot Shield firsts connects, it opens up a tab/window in your browser to the AnchorFree web page. Once you close that tab, you never see another ad or the AnchorFree page again, until or unless you disconnect the program and re-connect. Then, just the one tab, one time. I expected multi ads and was pleasantly surprised at having none!

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

5 stars

"No Wonder Why Over 10 million people Using it!!!"

April 23, 2012  |  By donjuan89

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

unlimited bandwidth with awesome speed & its free! can u believe that?

Cons

can't think of any!!!

Summary

i have been using hotspot shield since last 6 months & i must tell you my experience with this awesome VPN service has been very pleasing n delightful! i have read many negative reviews people whining about pop ads that come with its free version. they never bother me at all! Hello guys! ever heard of a firefox add-on called AD BLOCK PLUS??? just get yourself this add on installed in ur FF browser & they are gone like they never existed & you are raring to go as there is no bandwidth limit... no speed limit & its FREE!!!

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

1 stars

"I hope you like ads!"

April 22, 2012  |  By Conman55

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

It does allow you to access blocked sites

Cons

Ads keep popping up. A lot of the ads are telling you why to download Hotspot shield even though you already downloaded it.

Most of the ads are talking or have sounds and you can't exit them.

It keeps opening anchorfree's website.

It slows down your computer.

Summary

It's really bad. I use it to watch hulu, because i'm living outside the US at the moment. It does allow me to watch my shows, but I can't hear my shows because of non-stop talking ads! Half the time I don't even think there ads, some of them sound like movies. Even After you turn off the program the ads are still going! The older versions of it were okay actually, but the current one is terrible. STAY AWAY FROM HOTSPOT SHIELD!!!

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

1 stars

"Shield yourself from this ad ware!"

April 21, 2012  |  By Anonation

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

-It does allow you to connect through a VPN and access sites blocked for your country/region.

Cons

-Starts popping up unwanted ads. I saw anchorfree's website 10 times in less then 15 seconds after which I uninstalled this crapware.
-Also popped up livejasmine.com for me. So cute.
-Redirected me from a website I wanted to visit and took me to a phony search page. It kept doing it until i used google and went to to that website after searching for it.
-I used revo to get this off my PC.

Summary

Based on the experience I've had. I won't be using it again. Tor is way better.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

1 stars

"Never worked for Win 7 64 Bit"

April 21, 2012  |  By offerPop5830368

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

None Never worked

Cons

Never Worked

Reply to this review Read reply (1)

Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

1 stars

"Suggestion - Try "OPEN DNS""

April 20, 2012  |  By ncironman

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.53

Pros

Can's say haven't tried it. The reviews scared me off!

Cons

Can's Say Haven't Tried It. The Reviews Scared Me Off!

Summary

"Open DNS" has a free ad free version but I do use the paid version as it is much more configurable. You can easily set your home router to use their DNS without having to configure every device on your network. If it's a "traveling machine" you can set your machine's config to use their DNS servers as well. Has excellent customized blocking capabilities from "pre-defined" categories to individual sites. DNS resolution is faster than my Time Warner DNS too. It has an excellent corporate and public reputation. I highly recommend it. Have used it for over three years.

Reply to this review

Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

Results 1–7 of 7

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

+
What's new in version 2.53
Version 2.53 is a bug fixing release.
General
Publisher AnchorFree
Publisher web site http://anchorfree.com
Release Date April 13, 2012
Date Added April 15, 2012
Version 2.53
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Encryption Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows, Windows 2000, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista
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:

Add to my list Report a problem
 
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