Hotspot Shield - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Hotspot Shield

CNET Editors' review

Hotspot Shield is a free tool and service that lets you connect to the Internet via Virtual Private Network (VPN). Hotspot Shield is mainly geared toward those who want a more secure connection when accessing the Internet from public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Pros

Value: Hotspot Shield is one of the largest free VPN services in the world. Though the free version is ad-supported, the paid Elite tier comes at an affordable price, with cross-platform support.

Customizable: Hotspot Shield allows you to connect from other countries. This not only helps to shield your connection origins, but it also potentially lets you access content that's available only from certain global regions.

Control: Hotspot Shield's dashboard gives you an overview of the protection status and data speeds for both uploads and downloads, allowing you to monitor your connection performance.

Cons

Ad disruptive: Hotspot Shield Free occasionally shows up as a pop-up or header on the top of your browser. While this window may be closed, it does become rather tedious to have to close it every time.

Limited connection: The free version does not allow you to connect from other locations or regions.

Bottom Line

Hotspot Shield is a lightweight VPN solution that we recommend for anyone who's even slightly concerned about privacy. The free version may be riddled with a few ads, but it's a service that's worth the price, especially if you find yourself frequently accessing the Internet from public places. Hotspot Shield is a valuable service and remains competitive with other premium VPN services.

Hotspot Shield - Maintain and protect your privacy - Download Video Previews:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.9 stars

    out of 619 votes

    • 5 star: 182
    • 4 star: 100
    • 3 star: 60
    • 2 star: 54
    • 1 star: 223
  • Current version:

    3.6 stars

    out of 12 votes

    • 5 star: 7
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 4
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 12

  • 1.0 stars

    "Horrible-Indifferent Customer Service, poor reliability"

    April 16, 2014  |   By cjkosh

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Secure browsing. Elite Upgrade allows you to appear to be in a selection of other countries.

    Cons

    Slows overall connection speed with both I-phone and pc. I-phone internet initial connection slowed. Elite upgrade won't maintain login for pcs, especially when using alternate ip addresses 9so drops back to FREE level with the ads). This problem has existed for many, many months with many, many customers. The customer service only gives canned answers that are not effective. Months after I left the service, I still get message board postings about the same problem.

    Summary

    The free service is better than nothing. Do not buy the upgrade. You will be throwing your money away.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easy to install, easy to handle."

    April 16, 2014  |   By clay_tours

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Makes it very easy. It does what I downloaded it for.

    Cons

    Ad free version is quite cheap

    Summary

    I can listen to my favorite home radio stations that are blocked to be accessed from abroad.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easy to install, easy to handle."

    April 16, 2014  |   By clay_tours

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Makes it very easy. It does what I downloaded it for.

    Cons

    Ad free version is quite cheap

    Summary

    I can listen to my favorite home radio stations that are blocked to be accessed from abroad.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easy to install, easy to handle."

    April 14, 2014  |   By gregory_arden

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Makes it very easy. It does what I downloaded it for.

    Cons

    None. Some bad reviews are from people who have not figured out the settings.

    Summary

    I can listen to my favorite home radio stations that are blocked to be accessed from abroad.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Private Internet Access VPN is the best"

    April 10, 2014  |   By 8f2ad1fe

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    GET PIA VPN instead of this slow anti P2P service

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/buy-vpn/PROXYBLOG

    Cons

    Everything

    Summary

    Hotspot Shield = Logs everything you do on their server, NSA friendly, No P2P or torrent download with Hotspot Shield. Crappy Customer Support and slow service.

    Private Internet Access VPN = Ultra Fast, Ultra Secure, Anti-NSA and government spying, No logging of any kind, all protocols including P2P/Torrent is allowed, 30 day refund period, Very Fast 24/7 support, supports ddwrt, support every Operating system from Android, iOS to Windows.

    Get it here and feel the real freedom and how VPN should be

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/buy-vpn/PROXYBLOG

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Makes it very easy"

    April 10, 2014  |   By hobartquitman

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    By doing this you can watch movies not allowed where you are, access site blocked or banned in your country, as well as having protection from some of the less friendly hack that are on the web

    Cons

    I have been using this VPN for a long time, and after realising how good the free version was I decided to upgrade to Elite.

    Summary

    For a very low price Elite will cover up to five computers, including Apple, and Android devices, allowing you to flip your global footprint to any one of five countries.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works fine for me"

    April 8, 2014  |   By Morse14589

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Works fine for me

    Cons

    Works fine for me

    Summary

    Works fine for me

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very good so far"

    April 6, 2014  |   By StephanDunkel

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Makes it very easy. It does what I downloaded it for. I can listen to my favorite home radio stations that are blocked to be accessed from abroad. Easy to install, easy to handle.

    Cons

    Besides that once protection is on, certain pages fail to open, none

    Summary

    Big recommendation from me

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Works fine for me."

    April 3, 2014  |   By swanjame

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    I ran the free version for a while and recently upgraded to the paid (Elite) version. It connects quickly and solidly.

    Cons

    None. Some bad reviews are from people who have not figured out the settings.

    Summary

    Download, purchase, upgrade, and features are slick.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Just paid the extra for Elite,"

    April 1, 2014  |   By vandyke50

    Version: Hotspot Shield 3.37

    Pros

    Non, can't see what it does that the free version doesn't

    Cons

    It worked a year and a half ago, now that I went back and paid for a year it doesn't work as it did, the requests I put in for an explanation magically disappear and shows that I have no requests.
    To accesses my email from my French hosting company I need to turn the shield off.

    Summary

    Use the free version if you must but stay away from giving these jokers any cash would be my advice.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 12

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