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Sponsored App Review: Hotspot Shield VPN Proxy, WiFi

December 11, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Hotspot Shield VPN is an Android app that aims to keep you safe online. It acts as a Virtual Private Network, is free to use (with some features available to paying only customers) and allows you to connect to services you wouldn’t normally be able to in your home country. You can choose to unblock access to selected websites, as well as add your own to the list. With dedicated servers in the US, UK and Japan Hotspot Shield VPN provides “banking-level” HTTPS security and can bolster your WiFi security. This sort of thing is perfect for connecting to Hotel WiFi, to not only unblock certain websites back home, but also to keep your information secure even on unsecured networks. Read on to see what we thought about Hotspot Shield VPN.

How it Works: As we’re reviewing the Android version, we need to go to the Play Store and download Hotspot Shield VPN. Once installed, there’s a quick introduction into what Hotspot Shield has to offer.

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Much like other VPN apps, you need to be aware that using Hotspot Shield VPN will mean all your information passes through their servers. This is still secure though, of course.

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When connected, you’ll be shown some information about the status of your connection and where you’re connecting from.

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If you sign up to the Elite Subscription model, you can change countries and access sites designed for different nations, like Amazon in Japan for instance.

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A key feature of Hotspot Shield VPN is the ability to choose which websites you want to unblock and have the app protect you. The most popular sites and services are included in the list, but it’s super-easy to go ahead and add your own to the list.

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If for whatever reason you want to turn off protection for a little while, you can choose a period of time or turn it back on whenever you want to.

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With neat options to improve your experience, Hotspot Shield VPN has everything you could want in a VPN solution.

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Opinion: I’m not so sure that Hotspot Shield VPN is going to make that much sense for people like myself, but for frequent travelers, this is gold. Those that travel all over the world from Hotel to Hotel will know that free WiFi might be abundant, but it’s doubtfully secure. With Hotspot Shield VPN there’s a peace of mind knowing that your information is still secured on what could potentially be a completely open network. I like to check my bank on the move, and need to do so using their website, I never use free WiFi or anything like that, but with Hotspot Shield VPN I wouldn’t feel like my information is unsafe. With dedicated servers in the UK, I can use the often faster Free WiFi on the train to check my bank, log into the website and check my online accounts without worrying about someone listening in.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – I never noticed any change in speed when using Hotspot Shield on my devices, which is fairly impressive.
  • Features (5/5) – This goes above and beyond other VPN solutions I’ve spent time with and it’s an excellent solution for travelers, parents and anyone who’s wary of Free WiFi.
  • Theme (4/5) – The UI here is good looking and easy to use, so there’s little to complain about here.
  • Overall (4.5/5) – Hotspot Shield VPN is an excellent solution for those that want to feel secure on Free WiFi, or who spend a lot of time on business trips and don’t want to risk exposure to sensitive exposure.

Pros

  • You can choose which services and websites to unblock and protect, tailoring your experience to your needs.
  • Great for travelers who have to rely on Free WiFi, yet still want a secure connection as well.
  • Very little hassle to get setup and it’s nice and easy to use.
  • Real time protection alerts you to when somebody might be trying to gain access to your device or sniff your data.

Cons

  • While the subscription fee is good value for frequent travelers, I’d like to see some extra countries available for free.
  • I have enough notifications in my drawer as it is, even when protection is turned off there’s a persistent notification here.

Conclusion: Hotspot Shield VPN is a complete solution as a VPN, watchdog and more. If you need to connect to a service or website as if you’re in the US – but you’re half a world way – then Hotspot Shield can do that. Similarly, if you want to gain access to certain websites that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, then Hotspot Shield can do that, too. It’s always looking out for you as well, ensuring that your information gets where it wants to without prying eyes getting a look-in. All-in-all, this is a great option for frequent travelers, it runs well, the subscription fees are fair and there’s very little to complain about.

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