Virtual private network (VPN) security is becoming a standard practice by many individuals and businesses. This comes as no surprise as VPNs provide users with a way to keep their IP address private and data encrypted. This prevents you from having to broadcast all your machine’s details to every website that you visit.
The Hotspot Shield VPN app crossed the 200 million download mark back in January of 2014. Its main quality property is that it is a smartphone-friendly app that works as a VPN. It also received a lot of recognition for its effectiveness as a social media friendly VPN service.
VPN use with social media websites is starting to become more common. Sometimes by choice, other times to bypass website blocks created by federal governments. Many countries ban social media websites (although Turkeys government later lifted their ban).
How Can the Hotspot Shield VPN App Help You?
Everyone wants increased protection, but no one wants to pay. Many VPN services come with a nominal fee. Hotspot Shield offers their VPN service for free – the only catch is that it comes with ads. The ‘Elite version’ can be subscribed to with a six month or one year term, both being very affordable.
Whether the free or ‘Elite’ version, this app can help you.
Here are a few key benefits that it offers:
- Access to any website on the Internet, regardless of government blocks or IP bans
- Anonymous browsing, which prevents other individuals and website owners from knowing your machine’s information
- Full security while connected to a Wi-Fi network
- Security of your sensitive data, including your banking login, account IDs and passwords, downloads, and more
Of course, most of the benefits of a VPN service are obvious. What is more important to focus on is the benefits of this app specifically.
What Made The Hotspot Shield App So Popular?
It seems that the Hotspot Shield app became a success because it was the first widely marketed free VPN app available for smartphones and tablets. A lot of its popularity came from the Google Play store, where it boasts a four star rating across over 228,000 reviewers. In most cases, the popularity of apps tend to have a snowball effect and that is likely what happened with the Hotspot Shield app.
Is the Hotspot Shield a Good VPN Service?
It is good for the fact that it is quick and free. You can easily download it onto your smartphone and have encrypted access to the Internet. However, it does not compare to a quality paid VPN service by any means.
You should look at a detailed Hotspot Shield review to get a better idea on the pros and cons of the Hotspot Shield app. The reviews that are found in an app store are not always going to be from people that are educated on network security. This particular app was tested and found to be generally effective, but weak in comparison to its competitors.
A major concern came from the significant decrease in browsing speed. The Hotspot shield VPN causes its user’s connection speed to slow down big time. This may be a bit different with the paid version of the app though.
Another potential concern comes from the comments that some users made about adware being installed upon downloading the app. This is not verified as fact, but if it is true then it is definitely enough to turn anyone away.
Ultimately, the main issue with the Hotspot Shield VPN app is that it is made for the average person. It is not made for someone that is technically inclined. You download the app and browse, it’s as simple as that and it’s as basic as that. You do not have the ability to customize the settings as much as you would with a typical VPN service.
So while it’s a convenient app, it’s nothing to write home about and it is definitely not the premiere choice for a techie – HideMyAss Pro is a prime example of a quality VPN service.
Where Will the App Go From Here?
It is possible that the Hotspot Shield will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate. However, the changes in the smartphone market are suggesting that new VPN implementations will curb the need for this app.
For example, the Windows Phone 8.1 system will launch with VPN support. While complete disclosure on the extent of this support is currently unavailable, it is safe to assume that the phone may come preloaded with its own VPN service app. If this is the case, anyone with phones that use Windows 8.1 will likely have no reason to download the Hotspot Shield app even if it is compatible.
VPN technology in smartphones is continuing to catch on. Many different companies are starting to at least make their smartphone systems more VPN-friendly. As a result, it would not be a surprise if many new smartphone launches include some sort of VPN feature.
Ultimately, the app has achieved a tremendous amount of popularity within the general public but its awareness has reached at least near its peak. With many alternatives to HotSpot Shield available and more focus on VPNs in smartphones, it would not be a surprise if this app soon takes its spot in the shadows. Still, 200 million downloads is impressive – even for a free app!