Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

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

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.76
  • Total Downloads:
    28,239,892
  • Date Added:
    November 05, 2012
  • File Size:
    7.68MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    63,361
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows XP/Vista/7/8

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 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.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    2.2

    out of 13 votes

    • 5 star 2
    • 4 star 0
    • 3 star 2
    • 2 star 3
    • 1 star 6
  • 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.

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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

"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

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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.

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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

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5 stars

"Very good software"

August 25, 2014  |  By mohammadshams

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

:Government censors can not Viciously

Cons

GOOOOOOOOD

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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.

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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

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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.

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2 stars

"Dissapointing"

July 10, 2014  |  By vijayr1234

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 3.42

Pros

Easy to use

Cons

downloads not stable.

Summary

Avoid it.

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Results 1–10 of 17

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 2.76
Version 2.76 improves compatibility with windows 8.
General
Publisher AnchorFree
Publisher web site http://anchorfree.com
Release Date November 02, 2012
Date Added November 05, 2012
Version 2.76
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Encryption Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 7, Windows, Windows XP, Windows 8, Windows Vista
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 7.68MB
File Name HSS-3.42-install-hss-561-conduit.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 28,239,892
Downloads Last Week 63,361
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

 
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