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Hotspot Shield primarily caters towards people who wish to protect their personal or business information when on the move. They focus on customers who regularly use public wi-fi hotspots, such as in cafes, bars and airports. The system routes you through a secure server, protecting your identity and private information from theft.
Despite being a very popular service, HotspotShield is rather limited in comparison with its peers. Yes, it’s easy to use (and this is probably its biggest selling point) but it lacks additional features and you just don’t have the control you’ll find elsewhere. Accessing restricted sites might not be as simple, too, and arranging private meetings isn’t mentioned as a key feature of the software.
This is perhaps surprising, since we felt that HSS was set up mainly for business people who were travelling regularly. The Elite service anonymizes your log in, allowing you access to servers in the US, UK, Canada and more, but not anywhere near as many locations as you’ll find from other VPN services. Perhaps the reason is that this is most suited to accessing your emails, rather than exchanging large files or logging into foreign websites. Still, if you’re flying frequently for work, being able to use a greater range of foreign servers would be useful.
The website lacks a lot of basic information about the services available, or where to find help. Support is primarily online, but again this is lacking. The services are available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, however not all features are available on all devices. At least you can use Hotspot Shield on up to 5 devices, meaning there’s added value for money.
HotspotShield.com offers cheap Elite packages, from around £1.60 ($2.49) per month on the 12 month contracts. Creating a basic account is free, but services are restricted and the site seems keen for you to upgrade as soon as possible. It’s very affordable to upgrade and is suitably priced if you only wish to log on more securely in hotspots, but if you’re looking for any additional features or a wider range of servers and tools, this probably won’t have what you’re looking for.
Everything taken into account, HotspotShield.com offers a cheap, basic service. If you want nothing more from your VPN, it’s a fine option, but otherwise you’ll find its services limited.
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