Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

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

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    2.83
  • Total Downloads:
    28,601,158
  • Date Added:
    Jan. 13, 2013
  • 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 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

    2.8

    out of 10 votes

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

    2.9

    out of 646 votes

    • 5 star 193
    • 4 star 102
    • 3 star 61
    • 2 star 56
    • 1 star 234
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 10

4 stars

"Improved over older version"

February 15, 2013  |  By firewire01

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

Seems to be faster and doesn't open a new tab to Anchorfree as often as older version. When browser is closed it starts on its own sometimes and sometimes I need to go into "all programs" to find it, but on the whole much appreciated for public wifi.

Cons

Still opens annoying dialog box in each new page but for free I will put up with the annoyance

Summary

Much improved over older versions and works more smoothly

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2 stars

"I Also get fed-up of the Constant ADVERTISING !"

February 11, 2013  |  By verytiredchris

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

I Suppose it works ok,BUT........ :(

Cons

The Constant Advertising drives you Nuts....... :(

Summary

I installed it,but using your little marvel called "Revo Uninstaller' I totally uninstalled it,then I tried SecurityKiss Tunnel, but it Only lets you use 300mb per day of memory, so I Uninstalled that,and Now I use Spotflux,which seems ok,and lets you have as much surfing, as you can pay your ISP for... :)

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1 stars

"Very unsatisfied"

February 06, 2013  |  By VivaLaGreenDay

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

It does do what it says; it is, in fact, an IP changer, but a remedial one at that. That's about all that is good about it.

Cons

You want to convince people to buy Premium? Stop ******* tossing ads at your users. Once in a while is fine. But when they show up on the top of your browser screen every time you reload a page? When you're using Chrome but pop-ups with your advertisements open up Internet Explorer and Mozilla? The amount of lag this causes is ******* ridiculous. I will be uninstalling it and getting another one. Stop the constant advertisements. It isn't convincing anybody to buy your product, it's deterring them, and you're coming off a little bit retarded because of it.

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1 stars

"Terrible Interface with Windows 7"

February 03, 2013  |  By GMartin2R

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

None noteworthy

Cons

HSSDRV6.SYS, one of the programs files consistently causes the notorious BSOD on a 64-bit machine running Windows 7. A Google search for this file reveals that this problem is well known to Windows Vista, 7, and 8. The posts range in location from Microsoft's own support forum to various tech forums. Maybe prior versions were fine operationally, but the current release has major problems with Windows. The uninstallation process also does not completely reset your network settings either. To restore your web browser you have to disable the VPN access option on your LAN settings.

Summary

Until the glitches are ironed out for use on current Windows OS retroactive to Windows Vista, I would not recommend using this software.

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1 stars

"A pain in the a_ _!, from day one!"

February 02, 2013  |  By Rioismycat

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

There are no pros. with this software!, to much advertising!, Security Kiss Tunnel is excellent!, 300 mbs. a day with more and better features and no advertising at all!

Cons

Nothing but a pain in the a_ _ from day one, i don't know how they ever made it to number one!, Security Kiss Tunnel is far better than this advertising crap!

Summary

Security Kiss Tunnel has better security features and does work, when i use it Google makes me verify who i am because there not sure it's me!, an outstanding software product for free!, should be the best at Cnet!, probably not to many people know about it, company is from Dublin, Ireland, checked it out with security, more than one, 100% safe to use!

Updated on Feb 2, 2013

Note- this software has two modes, the encrypted mode, and the elusive tunnel mode!, i think it works much better than Hotspot Shield!, and 100% ad free and free for lifetime!

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5 stars

"SEEMS TO SEEMS TO BE WORKING.. JUST HAD IT 10 MINUTES."

February 01, 2013  |  By smendlovitz

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

INTUITIVE DESIGN... NO COMMENT....

Cons

I HAVE NONE.... WISH IT WORKED FOR IPHONE....

Summary

EASY TO INSTALLL COMPARED TO SPOTFLOX.... WHICH WOULDNT CONNECT....

Updated on Feb 8, 2013

IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPLETELY UNINSTALL.... DELIBERATELY....
DOENST SEEM TO HAVE MUCH BENEFIT THAT OUTWEIGHS ITS STATED OTHER-PLACE DEFICIENCIES....
SINCERELY.... GERSHOM....
THIS IS AN INSINCERE PRODUCT.... I RECOMMEND ITS INVESTIGATION BY, REMOVAL BY CNET....

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5 stars

"Free version does exactly what it claims to do"

February 01, 2013  |  By gswslt

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

Does not affect speed.
Useful for when you are out of the country.

Cons

Ad banner is a little annoying, but worth it.

Summary

I have it installed on a Windows XP and 7. Both work fine. I am able to use it when I am out of the country to access my necessary US websites.

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1 stars

"Rubbish. Doesn't do what it purports to. AVOID"

January 27, 2013  |  By kmough

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

None whatsoever

Cons

1. No useful configuration available - completely useless
2. To Review this rubbish requires I give it a minimum rating of 0.5 Stars. I would prefer to have given it ZERO but that is not an option. This problem should be addressed !

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4 stars

"good Product"

January 21, 2013  |  By who7157

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

Very dependable product so far..

Cons

So far I haven't encounter anything...

Summary

Will continue to use product until I notice an error

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4 stars

"It is a good software but but make the computer very SW"

January 14, 2013  |  By yelwaa

 |  Version: Hotspot Shield 2.83

Pros

It is a good software but make the computer very slow when you install it. it is very good when you want to have access to all Restricted website.

Cons

It is a good software but make the computer very slow when you install it. it is very good when you want to have access to all Restricted website.

Summary

It is a good software but make the computer very slow when you install it. it is very good when you want to have access to all Restricted website.

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Results 1–10 of 10

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 2.83
Version 2.83 improves compatibility with windows 8.
General
Publisher AnchorFree
Publisher web site http://anchorfree.com
Release Date January 11, 2013
Date Added January 13, 2013
Version 2.83
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Encryption Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, 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 28,601,158
Downloads Last Week 61,716
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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