Hotspot Shield

A VPN program that allows users to access more websites on the Chrome browser

7.3

10178 Votes

  • Category Network security
  • License Free
  • Version 5.2.2
  • Size 13.63 MB
  • Works under Windows 10 / Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 2000
  • Language English
  • Program by Anchorfree, Inc.

Hotspot Shield is a VPN solution for Windows that provides a secure connection, hides your IP address and allows you unfettered access to a wide range of U.S.-based Web services.

When you run Hotspot Shield on your computer, it creates a virtual private network or VPN between you and Anchorfree, which is the company that develops the software. This connection masks your IP address and can provide advanced users with a number of other benefits. The biggest benefit for the average user is that it makes you appear to be connecting from within the United States. Another benefit is that you can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and other unsecured connections with a degree of safety.

There are a number of websites that block access for legal reasons to users outside the U.S. Prominent examples include Hulu, Pandora and YouTube. When you run Hotspot Shield, these sites and services can’t tell that you’re connecting from outside the U.S. and thus serve you the media that you want to watch or listen to.

Hotspot Shield also has a number of features that help protect you. For one, the connection is secured with 128-bit SSL encryption, which means that you can connect to servers that require this kind of security. Anchorfree also protects the connection with detection for viruses, malware and other threats. This is all handled on its end, so when you receive data from them, you can be reasonably sure that the data you receive is threat-free.

This VPN software is very user-friendly, and a big reason for that is that the software is able to configure itself and operate with only minimal interaction from the user. Other VPN programs can require technical understanding to get running right, but this option is perfect for the casual user.

Although Hotspot Shield provides a VPN, hotspot protection, secure connections, threat protection and so forth, it’s primary focus is on streaming content from U.S. services to people outside the U.S. The software is ad-supported. Streaming performance is excellent, and the ad serving rarely interferes in that regard. The same can’t be said for standard browsing. The performance hit will be felt when surfing. Users should also be aware that Hotspot Shield attempts to install a toolbar and perhaps other bloatware during its own installation, but you can opt out of these additional programs.

Pros

  • Secure Internet connections
  • Unrestricted access to U.S. websites
  • No data transfer limit
  • Strong streaming performance

Cons

  • Diminished browsing speed
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