Hotspot Shield free VPN specifications
- Simultaneous Connections: 1
- Kill Switch: Yes
- Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
- Logging: None
- Customer service: None, online FAQ only
- Data limit: 500 MB daily
- Countries: 1
Hotspot Shield VPN is lightning fast. In our review (from 2019), we found our connection speeds were faster when connected to Hotspot Shield VPN versus a non-VPN connection. In cursory tests of the free VPN, I found that it performed on par or better than some of the best VPNs. The free VPN has an advertised connection speed of 2 Mbps, but I had download speeds that were only about 4% to 18% less than my 100 Mbps service.
Further reading: Our Hotspot Shield VPN review
Despite its excellent speed, the free version of the Hotspot Shield VPN will have limited use for just about any user because of its daily data cap of 500 MB. Running a few speed tests and some basic browsing nearly put me over my daily data limit, so streaming isn't really an option. The free version also doesn't support smart TVs, Linux, or routers, and you can only connect to US locations.
You can unlock all of Hotspot Shield VPN's features for only $2.99/mo with a three-year plan ($107.64 upfront). The standard premium VPN comes with a limit of five simultaneous connections. There's also an annual family plan for $11.99/mo ($143.88 upfront), which allows you to set up five accounts and each account can have five simultaneous connections. If you split the cost of the family plan among five people that drops your average monthly cost to $2.40.
The paid service has a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Free version pros
- Faster than advertised speeds
- Kill switch
Free version cons
- Data caps (500 MB daily)
- No support for Linux, routers, or smart TVs
- Can only connect through US locations