Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular if not the most popular VPN service on Earth. But is it recommended for Android users? Stick around as we break down key features of Hotspot Shield for Android.
Why use a VPN for Android
Before we delve into the Hotspot Shield’s Android app analysis, we want to give you some good reasons to use a VPN for Android, be it Hotspot Shield or any other.
A VPN helps you to:
- fake your location by changing your IP address
- access geo-blocked web content
- unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms
- secure free wifi hotspots in public places
- protect your privacy and anonymity
The last one should be enough to decide to use a VPN. Now it’s time to see if you should pick Hotspot Shield.
Hotspot Shield basics
Hotspot Shield offers 2,500 servers in 29 countries. It’s known as one of the fastest VPNs, largely due to its tunneling protocol Catapult Hydra which replaces OpenVPN.
Privacy-first users might find Hotspot Shield a bit disappointing due to its jurisdiction (US) and the lack of security features. But as of now, it seems good enough for 650+ million users.
It supports all major platforms and also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Hotspot Shield can help you entertain yourself by unblocking Netflix libraries in the US, the UK, and Australia.
Hotspot Shield has a free plan (500 MB/day limit), a 45-day money-back guarantee, and a Premium version with four pricing plans. One account can be used on up to 5 devices.
How to download Hotspot Shield for Android
To download Hotspot Shield, just go to its website and press Download.
There’s no way to get it without a Google Play account, so you’ll need one if you don’t have it already.
Installing and using Hotspot Shield for Android
Installing Hotspot Shield is not much harder than downloading it. Upon opening the app, you will get a screen where you can either go for the 7-day trial (payment info required) or sign in to the existing account.
When you’re all set up, you start using Hotspot Shield right away because again it’s extremely easy.
In fact, the app does everything for you by automatically connecting to the optimal location, which can be known only by checking your new IP address.
The server list can be accessed by pressing OPTIMAL on the right.
There are also three settings below – Battery life has the power to shut down some of your apps to prolong itself, Deep cleaning is said to remove junk files, and Data consumption shows how much data you’ve used already. While the first two are of dubious value, the latter will be appreciated by free version users that have the 500 MB/day bandwidth limit.
The bottom Auto protection option allows you to choose which apps will be automatically protected by Hotspot Shield when launched. While this may sound convenient, those who have at least a bit of concern over their privacy should note that after pressing the big “+” you’re directed to the Usage access screen where you need to allow usage access to Hotspot Shield first, which includes allowing it to track all your apps, along with carrier and language settings, and “other details.”
Hotspot Shield for Android settings
Clicking the hamburger menu on the top left will give you the main menu. The few settings are pretty straightforward and lack any options that could potentially confuse the user.
- start Hotspot Shield on boot
- turn it off while the device is in the sleep mode
- automatically turn on the VPN for unsecured wifi, secured wifi, or mobile networks
There’s no way to turn the kill switch on or off, but this can be done with Android’s native Always-on VPN feature.
Hotspot Shield has improved its customer support lately, meaning you will probably just want to contact them in case there’s any type of issue. If not, there’s an alternative available in your app.
Each of these options leads to a FAQ with extensive answers to many questions, ranging from a basic “What is a VPN” to something more specific like “Can’t watch Hulu.” Sadly, this FAQ lacks a Search function available on Hotspot’s website, where you can also submit a ticket. Therefore, even though it’s listed conveniently, most likely it’ll be browsed in the unlikely event the site’s live chat goes down.
Hotspot Shield for Android is a great VPN for those who want the best speed and access to the restricted content, such as US Netflix library. Users who are more concerned with their privacy and want to customize their VPN connection should look elsewhere.
And there’s always Hotspot’s free version, which is a big plus in times when VPN services are quietly shutting down not just free trials but also money-back guarantees.
However, if security and privacy is your primary concern, we recommend checking the alternatives for Hotspot Shield on our list of best Android VPNs in 2019.