Today, we can choose from a wide range of VPN apps. These are indispensable for anyone who cares about internet safety and prefers browsing free of geographic restraints. Is Hotspot Shield the best tool of its kind?
The main considerations for any virtual private network are security and speed. As it turns out in the Hotspot Shield VPN review, the program under review can offer more. In this article, we examine the upsides and downsides in comparison with rival products.
So far, the software has attracted a whopping 650+ million users, with servers located in over five dozen countries. According to the information on the official U.S. site, it is the most grossing productivity-related app in the App Store for the nation. First, let’s look at the major benefits delivered, according to the advertisement:
- impressive speed in most locations;
- opens access to streaming platforms;
- user-friendly and intuitive interface;
- P2P support across all servers;
- efficient around-the-clock support.
It is claimed the Catapult Hydra protocol is capable of boosting speed without sacrificing security. A series of tests conducted by reviewers has confirmed the validity of this major selling point. P2P support is genuine, and there are no flaws in the interface.
As a rule, connection speeds slow down as the physical distance between the device and the server grows. However, servers in the US, the UK, Canada, and Germany showed decent download speeds, with only a few Mbps less than a regular connection. Hence, the speed tends to be consistent across the entire network, which is a big advantage.
The premium version supports up to five devices simultaneously. This suffices for most individual users. The absence of limits of bandwidth means you can download and stream whatever you like. Note, however, that due to the recently introduced Netflix ban on VPNs, the performance of Hotspot Shield in this regard has been inconsistent.
Security: Is It that Flawless?
During extensive testing of the encryption, no IP or DNS leaks were detected, while the actual location remained hidden. The software does not keep logs of users’ activity, which is another upside. Protection against malware also works as it should.
The Windows version of the product includes a kill switch that protects data in case of connection breaks. However, the Chrome browser extension did leak several DNS addresses to the sites opened. Using this information, websites detect VPN use.
- An actual IP address (deleted once the session is over);
- Username and email address;
- Unique mobile ID (IMEI);
- Hardware model and operating system;
- Network information, which could potentially stand for a lot of things.
This raises questions, as leaking of these details could allow actual identification of users.
A Few Concerns
Most reviewers voice concerns regarding the logging policy. It is also noted that Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and even BBC iPlayer remain blocked in the geo-restricted locations. Finally, although the app works fine, the browser extension has visible vulnerabilities in terms of potential leaks.