We can recommend Hotspot Shield because it offers various benefits including a server network covering 80 countries and a generous money-back guarantee. However, it may be that you’ve tried it for yourself and found it’s not fast enough or that it doesn’t have a server in a specific location. Or it may just be that you’re looking for a VPN that’s more affordable. Whatever the case, at least one of the best Hotspot Shield alternatives will be more suitable.
The Hotspot Shield alternatives we cover in this post are all currently rated higher than Hotspot Shield. This is usually because they provide faster server speeds, more servers or server locations, or greater security or privacy protection. In some cases, you’ll even find them to be more affordable than Hotspot Shield. The reviews of each Hotspot Shield alternative can be found further below, providing you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Don’t have time to read all of the reviews? Here’s a quick summary of each Hotspot Shield alternative and its key features:
- NordVPN: The best Hotspot Shield alternative. 5,000+ servers and fast, unthrottled speeds. P2P and Double VPN servers. Strict no-logs policy and 24/7 live chat support.
- Surfshark: Best value Hotspot Shield alternative. Server network covering 100 countries. Unblocks many major streaming services. Lots of security extras including MultiHop servers.
- ExpressVPN: Unlimited bandwidth and servers covering 94 countries. Excellent apps and quality customer support, 24/7. Doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users.
- CyberGhost: Fastest speeds tested. Over 9,000 servers in 90+ countries. Supports up to seven simultaneous connections. Strict no-logs policy and 24/7 support included.
- IPVanish: Growing server network and one of the fastest VPNs available. Works with Netflix US from abroad. Security includes encryption and a kill switch feature.
- PrivateVPN: Very strong unblocking of content including streaming services. Fast and easy to use. Strict no-logs policy and the option to pay in Bitcoin. Excellent support.
- Atlas VPN: Stream Netflix, Prime Video, and more while on vacation. Unlimited simultaneous connections. Fast with lots of extra security including a malware blocker.
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Best Hotspot Shield alternatives
So what makes a VPN one of the best alternatives to Hotspot Shield? Well, there are certain features we look for in a VPN. Each VPN must meet the following key criteria:
- Servers available across a wide range of locations
- Fast server speeds as well as unlimited bandwidth
- High level of security which includes encryption
- Strict no-logs policy that protects your privacy
- Live chat and email support (preferably 24 hours a day)
- Supports at least five simultaneous connections
Here’s our list of the best Hotspot Shield alternatives:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN has long been one of the most popular VPN providers on the market and for good reason. With over 5,000 servers in approximately 60 countries, you can unblock plenty of geo-restricted websites and services. Indeed, it works well with streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. There’s always a fast server near your physical location and NordVPN’s unlimited bandwidth makes lag and buffering a thing of the past.
Unlike most VPNs, Hotspot Shield included, NordVPN provides a range of specialty servers. You’ll find those that are optimized for P2P while there’s even Double VPN and Onion Over VPN servers for two layers of encryption. With NordVPN, you can secure up to six of your devices at once. All internet traffic is routed through a 256-bit AES encrypted tunnel and NordVPN also offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and strict no-logs policy.
A NordVPN subscription includes 24/7 support and apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. You can also use browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, although you’ll need to manually configure the connection to use NordVPN with a router.
- Far more servers than Hotspot Shield (over 5,000 in all)
- Particularly strong unblocking (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video)
- Very fast server speeds as well as unlimited bandwidth
- Specialty P2P, Double VPN, and Onion Over VPN servers
- Live chat and email support 24 hours a day
- Operates a no-logs policy that has been independently audited
- Not the cheapest option if you’re just subscribing for a month
BEST HOTSPOT SHIELD ALTERNATIVE:NordVPN is our top pick. Over 5,000 servers available. Fast with unlimited bandwidth for lag-free streaming of Netflix. P2P and Double VPN servers available. No-logs VPN with quality 24/7 support. With its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can even try it risk-free.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has servers in more countries than Hotspot Shield or indeed any other VPN on this list. Its network totals over 3,000 servers in 100 countries, making it one of the best VPNs you can use if you regularly travel abroad. You won’t be limited by this VPN’s speed which is more than fast enough for streaming and online gaming. Aside from unlimited bandwidth, there’s no limit to the number of devices you can connect simultaneously with Surfshark.
With Surfshark, you’ll have access to live chat and email support around the clock. You can also connect to MultiHop (Double VPN) servers should you need an extra layer of security. This is a highly secure service to use and has 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks. A strict no-logs policy means there’s no identifying data that can fall into the wrong hands. Last but not least, Surfshark also has an ad, tracker, and malware blocker.
To use Surfshark, you’ll need one of its apps which are available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available. Surfshark can be used with select routers but manual configuration is needed.
- Covers even more countries than Hotspot Shield (100 overall)
- More than fast enough for streaming in HD and 4K
- Unblocks more than 30 Netflix libraries
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account
- MultiHop servers available (two layers of encryption)
- Occasionally slow to connect to servers
BEST VALUE VPN:Surfshark has servers covering 100 countries including the US, Canada, and UK. High-speed connections and consistent unblocking of region-locked content. Secure all of your devices at the same time. MultiHop and a malware blocker. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has nearly twice the number of servers of Hotspot Shield. Roughly 3,000 servers can be found in 94 countries, making it one of the largest VPN networks around. With its fast server speeds and unlimited bandwidth, you’re well placed to continue browsing and streaming as normal. We’ve tested ExpressVPN with many different streaming platforms and it has proven to be one of the most consistent in this respect (it even works with Netflix).
You shouldn’t have any trouble using ExpressVPN’s beginner-friendly apps, although 24-hour live chat and support is at hand should you have any questions. Security features of this VPN include 256-bit AES encryption as well as a kill switch and DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any identifying logs such as your IP address, so you can browse anonymously. With its apps, you can connect up to five devices at the same time.
ExpressVPN provides apps for the following: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. It has Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions. What sets ExpressVPN apart from many rivals is that there’s also custom firmware for routers.
- Over 3,000 servers (nearly double that of Hotspot Shield)
- Unlimited bandwidth makes it ideal for streaming and gaming
- Works very well with some of the most popular streaming services
- Quality customer support 24 hours a day
- Doesn’t keep any logs by which you can be identified
- One of the more expensive VPNs on the market
HIGHLY RELIABLE:ExpressVPN provides servers in 94 countries and won’t throttle your bandwidth. It has excellent 24-hour support and doesn’t keep identifying logs of users. Beginner-friendly apps and consistent connections. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is certainly one of the best Hotspot Shield alternatives because it offers significantly faster speeds and a much larger server network. This is the fastest VPN we’ve reviewed with an average download speed of 548 Mbps thanks to its implementation of the WireGuard protocol. Of course, it also has unlimited bandwidth while its server network consists of over 9,000 servers across more than 90 countries. As such, it’s ideal for streaming while traveling abroad.
With your CyberGhost account, you can connect up to seven devices at the same time. A strict no-logs service, it offers 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection. However, there are a number of free extras included such as a Windows security suite (this includes an antivirus) and CyberGhost’s very own private browser for browsing anonymously and ad-free. Finally, you’ll have access to 24/7 live chat and email support.
CyberGhost has apps for desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and mobile (Android and iOS). You can also find apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV as well as Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. When it comes to wifi routers, a connection can be manually configured.
- Fastest speeds of any VPN we’ve tested
- Much larger network than Hotspot Shield
- Can be used on up to seven devices at once
- Offers a security suite for Windows with antivirus
- Doesn’t work in China
FASTEST VPN:CyberGhost provides the fastest overall speeds for lag-free streaming and low ping gaming. 9,000+ servers in 90+ countries. Use it on up to seven devices simultaneously. No-logs VPN with 24/7 support and a Windows antivirus. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is another VPN to consider if you’re looking for the highest possible connection speeds. It came second only to CyberGhost in our most recent speed tests, averaging 488 Mbps. This is more than enough for streaming in HD and even 4K. You’ll be able to use IPVanish with streaming services including Netflix US, and you’ll have over 2,000 servers to choose from. These servers cover dozens of countries with the US particularly well represented.
IPVanish has been independently audited to verify its zero-logs service. As such, it doesn’t keep any logs of IP addresses or even connection time stamps. It ticks all of the most important boxes when it comes to security. There’s 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. IPVanish includes 24-hour support. Better still, there’s no limit to the number of devices you can secure at the same time, making this a great choice for sharing with family.
Once signed up with IPVanish, you can download and install it on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. For use with Linux and compatible wireless routers, you can follow the manual setup instructions provided by IPVanish.
- Provides faster server speeds than Hotspot Shield
- Offers a growing network of servers
- Can be used on an unlimited number of devices
- Zero-logs policy ensures your privacy is protected
- Operates out of the US which is a Five Eyes member
- Doesn’t have a Linux app or browser extensions
NO CONNECTION LIMIT:IPVanish provides high-speed servers and an unlimited connection allowance. Over 2,000 servers with well over 1,000 in the US. Audited no-logs policy and the highest level of encryption. Provides 24-hour support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a smaller VPN provider with just over 200 servers, albeit covering more than 60 countries. It’s best known for its very good server speeds coupled with particularly strong unblocking ability. There are few streaming services that PrivateVPN can’t access. Indeed, we’ve tested it to success with Netflix and BBC iPlayer, among many others. There’s unlimited bandwidth and you can use the VPN to torrent (not every VPN allows this).
Aside from 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch, PrivateVPN operates a strict no-logs policy. You can pay anonymously in Bitcoin and only an email address is required for signup. PrivateVPN’s apps couldn’t be any easier to use. Aside from live chat and very fast email support, there’s free remote help and installation if you require additional assistance.
PrivateVPN is available for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Also included is an Amazon Fire TV app. While PrivateVPN is compatible with Linux and some routers, manual setup is required.
- One of the strongest unblockers of content
- Very good speeds for streaming lag and buffer-free
- Fast live chat and email support
- Lets you pay anonymously in Bitcoin
- Much smaller network of servers
- Live chat isn’t available 24/7
STRONG UNBLOCKING:PrivateVPN can be used to access a wide range of streaming services including many different Netflix libraries. It provides good, consistent speeds as well as user-friendly apps and a privacy-friendly no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Atlas VPN may be a newer VPN provider but it has quickly become one of the best VPNs on the market. In particular, it offers very good server speeds for streaming and torrenting while its network covers several dozen countries including the US, UK, and Australia. Streaming-wise, this is a very reliable option not just for its unthrottled bandwidth, but for its strong unblocking. At the time of writing, Atlas VPN works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and more.
With just a single Atlas VPN account, you can connect all of your devices at once. All of these devices will be secured with 256-bit AES encryption, while you can also expect DNS leak protection and a kill switch. If you need even further protection then you have the option to connect to a MultiHop server for two layers of encryption. Atlas VPN also has a malware and tracker blocker included as part of your subscription at no extra cost.
Atlas VPN has apps for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. However, it states that it doesn’t provide support for routers.
- Faster speeds than Hotspot Shield
- Compatible with Netflix, Disney+, and more
- Extra security features such as a malware blocker
- No limit to the number of devices you can connect
- Smaller network of servers
- No support for routers
MULTIHOP SERVERS:Atlas VPN is fast, has servers in several dozen countries, and lets you connect all of your devices at once. It also offers a number of extras that Hotspot Shield doesn’t, such as MultiHop servers and an ad and malware blocker. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Atlas VPN review.
How to use a best Hotspot Shield alternative VPN
All of the best Hotspot Shield alternatives work much the same as Hotspot Shield. All of them come with automatic setup wizards to make the process even quicker and easier.
Here’s how you can use the best Hotspot Shield alternatives:
- Sign up with one of the VPNs listed in this post. As you can see from our reviews, we particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Next, you’ll need to download and install the VPN app that’s compatible with your device’s operating system.
- Open the VPN app and then connect to a server in your preferred location to change your IP address.
- Your connection is now secured and you should be able to bypass geographic restrictions on content.
- Having issues? Clearing your browser’s cookies may help unblock a website or service that still remembers your previous IP address. Alternatively, try a different server or contact your VPN’s customer support.
Finding the best Hotspot Shield alternatives: our methodology
Want to know how we found the best alternatives to Hotspot Shield? Below we outline our methodology, which helps us analyze each VPN and its suitability.
- Servers worldwide: Hotspot Shield has a global network of servers and we’ve looked for alternatives that offer the same. Servers across dozens of countries means you can always find one close to your current location. Some of these VPNs (Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost) cover even more countries than Hotspot Shield.
- Speed: You can stream lag and buffer-free with Hotspot Shield but that doesn’t mean there aren’t faster VPNs available. We carry out speed tests in order to identify the fastest VPNs for streaming, torrenting, and online gaming. Like Hotspot Shield, they all offer unlimited bandwidth and most use the WireGuard protocol.
- Unblocking: Sometimes, you’ll come across online content that’s geo-blocked. This is particularly common with streaming services when you travel abroad. Some VPNs are better at unblocking than others. We test each one against a wide range of websites and services including the likes of BBC iPlayer and Disney+.
- Security: At a minimum, a VPN should offer 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. However, some of the best VPNs (including the best Hotspot Shield alternatives) also offer specialty Double VPN servers, an ad blocker, or an antivirus, among other features, providing even greater overall protection.
- Privacy: While most VPNs claim to operate no-logs policies, the reality is far different. Indeed, many keep connection logs or even identifying logs that are sold to third parties. To help you avoid these VPNs, we’ve studied some 140 VPN logging policies. Furthermore, some of the best no-logs VPNs even let you pay anonymously in Bitcoin.
- Ease of use: By using each VPN’s apps, we can assess their overall suitability for beginners. Ideally, you should be able to connect to a server in a single click. We also look for an easy-to-understand settings page as well as the option of contacting customer support 24 hours a day via live chat and email.
- Value for money: When it comes to signing up with a VPN, you’ll likely have the option of monthly, annual, and multi year plans. This allows you to find something that best fits your budget. The longer the commitment, the more affordable it tends to be. You can save extra on the best Hotspot Shield alternatives with the discount coupons in this post.
If you’d like to know more about how we test VPNs, you can always take a look at our VPN testing methodology post. It goes into greater depth about how we analyze a VPN’s speed, security, and more.
Best Hotspot Shield alternatives: FAQs
Are there any free Hotspot Shield alternatives?
Unfortunately not! Free VPNs are a very diluted versions of what you can expect from a reputable paid service. For example, while Hotspot Shield and its best alternatives offer thousands of servers in dozens of countries, free VPNs often only have a few servers in a handful of locations. You may not be able to find a server in the country you want and if you have to connect to one that’s far from your physical location, the connection is likely to be slower.
Speaking of speed, free VPNs generally throttle your bandwidth and this is most apparent when you attempt to stream, torrent, or play games online. Due to the lack of IP addresses available, you’ll also struggle to unblock content with a free VPN. This is all before we even mention some of the security risks of free VPNs. For example, a 2020 study of iOS VPN applications found that nearly 40 percent of free VPNs tested leaked personally identifiable information.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
There are few countries, if any, where VPNs are outright illegal. Even in China where there is a high level of online censorship, VPNs are legal. However, many popular providers are blocked within the country. If you have any doubts regarding the legality of VPNs in your current location, it’s important to exercise caution and review the current local laws.