We have covered plenty of free VPN software and other privacy tools on The Windows Club. So far, the best VPN we found is Spotflux. Hotspot Shield VPN was mentioned by a reader, so I thought of checking it out. This review of the hotspot shield VPN is the result of my experiment with the privacy tool.
Hotspot Shield VPN review
Review of Installation
The installation on my Windows, took some time as compared to SpotFlux, which is installed in less than a minute.
You also get some extensions for Firefox and Chrome while installing the software. I tried to disable the extension in Firefox – but it said it was necessary for the proper functioning of the program – so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
It seems, that unlike Spotflux, which creates a virtual network adaptor, Hotspot Shield uses browser extensions. This made me feel the tool is more of a proxy, rather than a complete VPN.
Pros of Hotspot Shield VPN
As the builders of Hotspot Shield VPN claim, you can access different websites by pretending you are in a different country. You can select countries from a dropdown list that contains Australia, Japan, UK, and the US.
Your privacy remains protected to some or more extent. The Hotspot Shield provides you with a virtual tunnel through which, you access different websites and thus, you are sure to be anonymous as your ISP, etc. cannot snoop on what websites you are visiting.
The websites too, cannot track you as the IP address is changed. The IP address was changed and whatismyipaddress.com could not resolve it as a proxy. It maintained that the site got my router IP address – which is good. If your computer has Flash cookies, and the website employs browser fingerprints, chances are that the marketing companies related to the website may find out who you are – based on your surfing habits.
You can also browse safely at public WiFi hotspots. There are many dangers of public WiFi as explained in the linked article. You can be hacked or at least, be watched by others who might be snooping on your computers’ outgoing and incoming data packets. A free VPN that offers anonymity along with a proxy can help you stay secure.
The Hotspot Shield VPN offers all of the above. So we can assume the VPN is good, especially as it comes free. There are paid versions as well if you wish to go ad-free.
Cons of Hotspot Shield VPN
One of the cons of Hotspot Shield is the slightly slow connection. It is not the same during all the hours of the day (and night), but when the traffic is good on the Internet (speaking of the Western world), the VPN is slow, causing DNS resolution timeouts so then the webpages do not load.
It also drops connections at times during high-traffic hours but reconnects automatically. If you just initiated a visit to any website and the connection is dropped, the website will know your real IP address. That could give you away or at most, you may not be able to access the website if it is censored in your office or country.
Hotspot Shield VPN is good – as long as you are able to put up with the ads. The speed is slightly slow. Go get it here if you would like to download it. It is also available in the Microsoft Store.
If you have any suggestions or names of free VPNs, please drop them in the comment box so that we can create a list of the best free VPN.
Next, we will have a look at Globus Free VPN Browser.