In this article we’re gonna be taking a closer look at hotspot shield VPNs free service and I’m gonna proceed with the assumption that you know at least a little bit about VPNs.
The most common way of hiding your personal information, as well as your location and Internet Protocol address (IP Address) – the identifier all your online activity is linked to – is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. On a basic level, a VPN is a subscription-based service that encapsulates and encrypts a user’s Internet data transmissions, moving their web activity through a protected tunnel in order to create a secure environment for the user.
May be you’re someone who has VPN experience but you never use hotspot shield before and you’re thinking about pivoting over or maybe you’ve never used a VPN in your life either way I hope you find this article useful.
So, for starters, Hotspot Shield is a freemium business model like many other free VPN versions out there and that it shares a lot of the same functionality as its premium cousin with the caveat being it has obvious limitations which we’ll get into as far as features you get access to.
Hotspot shield free VPN offers military-grade encryption, ultra-fast VPN servers and secure internet connection on demand which is pretty much everything you’d expect from a VPN service. With regard to speed, hotspot shield VPN utilizes their own proprietary protocol called catapult Hydra which they claim is 2.4 times faster than Open VPN.
I ran the VPN through speed test by Buchla and really hope I didn’t butcher that name as far as numbers go whilst connected to the VPN I had a ping of 14 up-and-down speed a 3.2 and 60 6.47 respectively. But, sorry I’m looking at all this on my computer I took notes in comparison my baseline was 11, paying 9.59 upload and 65.5 downloads so in my particular case here we’re looking at a 22% decrease in ping, 66 percent decrease in upload speed and a marginal increase of 1.5% in download speed.
So, moving along to the actual application itself it’s available on Windows, Mac iOS and Android. Hotspot shield in general is insanely easy to use and the free VPN client is almost a carbon copy of the premium version obviously you’re gonna have some freemium features there.
By features I mean there’s ads and what not but you’re still getting the same no-frills minimalist and very elegantly designed user experience which is one of my favorites as far as VPNs go and it’s just super simple to use. I mean as far as connectivity you literally hit connect and you are connected to the VPN. So, when you hop on the app you’ll notice off the bat that one of the biggest limitations of the free version is that you’re limited to 500 megabytes VPN connectivity a day, which if you’re using the VPN for 30 days a month that roughly equates to 15 gigabytes of VPN usage which is actually fairly decent when you compare that to some of the other top free VPNs out there like wind scribe.
In my opinion another one limitations of the free VPN is the fact that you can only connect to one server. Hotspot Shield will automatically assign you a VPN somewhere within the United States but as far as connecting to other VPN servers out of country or even within the country you’d have to upgrade to premium. So for instance if I wanted to connect to a VPN server in Barcelona Spain well I’d have to upgrade to premium for that.
I personally like the simplicity of it all one thing to note though is the inclusion of the kill switch I think that’s becoming more of a standard in VPN services out there. To those of you unfamiliar with what a kill switch does, essentially it does what its name implies it pretty much cancels all. If you’re transacting with your bank online and if you’re doing so through a VPN and the connectivity drops even for a couple seconds your connection will slide back into the open network and you don’t notice the connection drop because it’s seamless. So, what a VPN does in that scenario is it’ll cut the internet until you reconnect to the VPN which is very useful especially if you’re dealing with some very sensitive information that you don’t want to be spied on.
One last thing I want to mention is the fact that on hotspot shields free VPN you can actually access sites like Netflix which might be a deal breaker. I know it’s very common scenario now that everyone streams on Netflix with that said hotspot Shield offers a more than decent free VPN service. Obviously limitations aside if you’re looking to do a whole lot of torrenting or downloading that 500 megabyte cap a day is gonna be a hindrance.
If you’ve been wondering how hotspot Shield works or if you’re someone who’s never used of VPNs before, I would totally give it a go here!