Hotspot Shield's OpenVPN-based client offers many useful features, including the ability to anonymize your browsing, bypass geographical blocks, and access region-specific content.
Specific site tunneling: Hotspot Shield now allows you to turn the service on when visiting specific websites -- such as Netflix, YouTube, or the BBC -- rather than tunneling your entire Internet session. This site targeting increases general browsing speed when the VPN is not required, and it's ideal for conserving bandwidth when data limits are an issue.
Easy setup: It takes just a few minutes to install Hotspot Shield and start using it. The redesigned interface enables you to toggle VPN activity, as well as switch to different regions and countries with a few clicks.
Wide selections: If you upgrade to the paid version, Hotspot Shield Elite, the service boasts 17 virtual locations, covering North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Reliable connection: Hotspot Shield performed admirably in our speed tests. We had no trouble streaming HD-quality Netflix and YouTube from virtual locations in the US and Canada. But keep in mind that overall speed depends on your location, hardware, peak traffic hours, and Internet connection.
Buggy interface: The Virtual Location menu sometimes failed to load the slider scroll during our tests, which prevented us from seeing all the available regions.
Limited free connection: Hotspot Shield Free VPN caps desktop users at 750MB for every 12 hours. With today's bandwidth-heavy video and music, you will hit that limit a lot faster than you think.
Limited content: Hotspot Shield Free VPN locks you into US servers, limiting access to international content.
Ad-supported: If you're using the free version of Hotspot Shield, you'll suffer aggressive upsell ads.
With its advanced options, customization, and stable service, Hotspot Shield excels in the VPN field. With the majority of features locked behind a paywall, you'll need a subscription to enjoy the full benefit of the service.
This is a review of Hotspot Shield Elite Trial and Hotspot Shield Free VPN.
Access blocked websites and apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, BBC, ITV Player, and Pandora. Get unrestricted access to mobile VoIP services and messaging apps such as Skype and Viber around the world. Switch virtual locations with ease; we have dedicated servers in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, UK, US. Secure all online activity with banking-level encryption on any public or private network. Mask your IP address for maximum privacy & security while preventing hackers from stealing your personal information.
What's new in this version:
Version 5.2.2 includes updates, enhancements, and bug fixes.
It brings up advertising to promote you buying it. It adds malware to your computer and so many adds that you have to delete the program. I would not recommend this program to anyone. The trial offer is laced with adware. It takes too long to clean your computer after installing.
Hotspot forces you to log in to their site in order to use their Elite VPN- so much for privacy!
Hotspot is run by AnchorFree, which automatically signs you up for email spam from Kaboom.
Elite membership uninstalls on log out, and then automatically signs you up for the free version which installs adware.
Hotspot's Elite VPN signs you up for spam and adware- total waste of time and messy to uninstall. I would not classify Hotspot Elite VPN as a real VPN service, but more of a disguise for spam and adware.
Extremely easy to setup, log in and manage on up to seven devices. Interface is easy to use, and the website shows all your protected devices at a glance. A few different location options are nice.
I would go to bed downloading something, wake up and it had turned off. Everything I was downloading that I wanted protected wasn't. Most nights, in the middle of the night when I had it on and online it just stopped working. It would show connected, but nothing would load. I could connect to another location most of the time, but that is less than ideal (especially when I don't really want to use Canada's Netflix).
Frequently it would "forget" that I was an Elite member and give me weird "bandwidth cap" errors when trying to load every day sites. I would have to log out and in, restart it several times to get it working as normal again.
Don't buy a whole chunk of time at once, try it out first. Also, look around at all the options and reviews before buying; nothing new!
I paid for the elite version It worked for a while.
The customer service is awful. They fail to read the problem and then reply with "solved" in the header. At this point, you are forced to start a new ticket. I will not be paying for anything from this company in the future.
They can offer pathetic support if they want. I just will not pay them for any services.
This product cannot be relied upon. ISP changes back to local ISP while it appears that you are still protected. Impossible to rely on when traveling abroad and access locally blocked websites like Google.
Don't waste your time or your money on this product.