Hotspot Shield VPN Review

Hotspot Shield VPN is a prominent virtual private network that services a large number of users but focuses its marketing on beginner VPN users. As such, Hotspot Shield bills itself as an “entry-level” VPN. They provide an unlimited, free version of their services, which anyone and everyone can enjoy, and that makes it an excellent starter opportunity for those who simply want to familiarize themselves with virtual private networks by playing around with their service. Though they are great for beginners, there are some concerns about their practices.

Elite Membership

It is, indeed, the case that users are gifted with an unlimited, free version of Hotspot Shield’s service, anyone who remains a free user actually has to deal with copious advertisements in addition to content restrictions. An example of such a restriction would be the inability to access Netflix. In order to circumvent these restrictions and incessant advertisements, the alternative will be a service that is not at all free. For example, users are encouraged to sign up for Hotspot Shield’s Elite plan for this very reason, and an Elite membership gets rid of those annoyances.

The Elite membership also provides support for multiple operating systems (e.g. Android, iOS, Windows, etc.), ad-free browsing, the obligatory customer support, thorough malware protection via cloud, and virtual locales in Germany, India, China, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These are all worthwhile benefits as long as you are willing to purchase a year of it for $29.95. If you go this route, it behooves you to purchase as many months or years as possible at one time because the prices allow you to save money in the process. For example, purchasing a two-year membership is $49.95, which is less than double the single-year purchase.

Plan Pricing

Elite members can slice and dice up their payment plans several different ways, but one of the most disappointing aspects of their plans is that there are no plans that allow users to simply pay month-to-month, which is a common feature of plans offered by some of Hotspot Shield’s competitors. You can buy 6 months, a year, or two years, but those are your only options.

Even though you are limited in your pricing plan choices, it still remains pretty inexpensive for the long-term plans, which is how they encourage you to pay a little more for a lot more time. In those circumstances, users are certainly getting their money’s worth. Two years for $49.95 is an excellent deal compared to many competing VPNs.

Hotspot Shield VPN also provides what they call business plans, which are capable of supporting up to a maximum of 60 devices for only $55 per month, which is a good deal. That’s clearly less than $1 per device, which is a pretty alluring payment option for any business that seeks to shore up the privacy of their network for employees or to protect trade secrets being communicated within the company. This primarily serves the small- and mid-sized businesses.

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