Jurisdiction: USA | Audit: No | Apps for: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, Linux, Fire TV | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Browser Extensions: Chrome | Advanced Features: Kill Switch (Windows), Hydra Protocol, Split Tunneling
Total servers: 3200+ servers in 80 countries | Servers in New Zealand: Yes | Servers in Australia: Yes
These are just some of the biggest pros and cons of Hotspot Shield. This review will cover each of these in-depth below.
Hotspot Shield NZ Review
In today’s world, it is essential to protect your privacy and your computer. Hotspot Shield is a VPN that helps you do both. You will also gain access to location restricted streaming content from other countries. Learn how Hotspot Shield NZ can help you stay safe on the internet.
About Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield was created in 2008 by AnchorFree, Inc., which was acquired by Pango. The VPN helps you maintain their privacy, access region-restricted content, protect your computer and avoid throttling by your internet service provider or IPS.
Hotspot Shield is located in the US, which means that it has to follow all of the privacy and information laws required for that location. The United States is not the best location for a VPN system, but it is also not the worst. The company does keep some information about login times, but they only use this to enforce their data restrictions on their free app. They do not log where you go or what you access while connected.
Hotspot Shield created its own protocol for its VPN. The Hydra protocol helps make this company very unique in the VPN community. This protocol takes speed and security and maximizes both to give users one of the fastest VPN experiences.
Many VPNs use a third-party audit to help verify their claims of privacy and security. Hotspot Shield had an independent study on its speed, but not on its privacy. The speed test went really well, proving that Hotspot Shield speed is the best.
Why Companies Do Not Use Third-Party Audits
There are many reasons a company may choose not to get a third-party audit. One of the reasons is to help protect proprietary information on their product. Companies have many security measures to help keep their data safe, and giving a third-party access to that information can hurt the company and their industry secrets.
It is also expensive and time-consuming. Some VPN providers also question the authority of the auditors. It can be hard to learn about the auditor’s credentials in some cases, and many customers will not research auditors correctly. These are all reasons a company may avoid an audit. It is not always a sign of poor service.
Instead of a complete third-party audit, Hotspot Shield claims that 60% of the world’s largest security companies using their product is proof enough of their quality. Though this is a great sign, there are benefits to a full third-party audit that this information doesn’t consider.
Advantages to a Third-Party Audit
Third-party audits help customers feel more secure in their VPN’s claims. Major security companies may find the VPN useful, but as a private user, you don’t know what other steps those companies are employing to keep their systems safe. They may be adjusting for holes or problems with other products or tools. Regular customers won’t be able to make these corrections.
Independent audits also find bugs and problems that the average user may not notice or understand. Companies are always troubleshooting their systems, making sure that it is functional and working right. However, another person running it through the test can sometimes find things the company has missed.
An independent audit would help users feel more confident in the privacy and security features of the VPN, but other services don’t require that information. For example, the use of other country’s streaming products and split tunneling aren’t related to security and privacy. Customers who only want these features would be happy with the services regardless of the audit.
Hotspot Shield New Zealand offers many great features. These are important in VPNs because they help you accomplish your privacy and security goals. You want to find a VPN that is easy to use and versatile enough to help you with your needs. Here are some of the best features that Hotspot Shield has to offer.
Fast Set Up
Hotspot Shield NZ is quick to set up initially, and it is quick to turn on and off when you want to use it. This functionality makes the service easy to use because you aren’t spending a ton of time getting it loaded on to your device and configure it.
Advanced users can spend more time on set up, customizing it for your specific needs. Most customers, though, don’t know how to configure VPNs. For them, Hotspot Shield has everything preset and ready to go.
Military Grade Encryption
Encryption is crucial with a VPN. No matter how secure your system is, there is always a chance something will get through and get a look at your data. However, when it is encrypted, this makes even those small data problems less dangerous. With Hotspot Shield’s encryption, any 3rd parties will not be able to read any data they find on your activities.
With premium Hotspot Shield, you can stream, download, and surf as much as you want. Unlimited bandwidth can be vital if you plan on watching video services from other areas. It is also critical for torrenting and P2P applications.
Hide or Change Your IP Address
Your IP address can give away a lot of information about you. It can give away your name, location, phone number, browsing history, and more. Being able to hide or change your IP address will help keep your private information safer on the internet.
Changing your IP Address is also how you access region-specific material. Using an IP address from a different location, you can see programs and shows that you may not be able to in your current physical location.
Some sites will try to block IPs that they think are hidden or disguised. Banks and bill payment pages often use these blocking systems. Even though your IP address is hidden, Hotspot Shield helps make it look real so that you gain access to sites that may try to block you. You can use more websites without having to turn off your VPN, which keeps you safer.
Many VPNs use the same few protocols for their service. Hotspot Shield created and used their own protocol Hydra, which is the reason that Hotspot Shield can provide such fast service for their customers.
They combined speed and security in their Hydra Protocol to give customers their best experience. It maintains privacy and security but does so at higher speeds. This proprietary protocol makes Hotspot Shield unique in the VPN world, setting it apart from the competition.
A kill switch on a VPN turns off data transfer when your device loses connection with the VPN. Stopping the transfer helps ensure that you don’t send information over non-secure internet without knowing about it. The kill switch can be critical when using torrents and P2P sharing sites.
If you are using the device and decide that you want to continue to access the internet even without the VPN, no problem. You can manually override the kill switch and continue your activity. You are in control of the Kill Switch, but it helps keep you safe if you are away from the device and lose connection to the VPN.
Hotspot Shield offers a Kill Switch on their windows version, but not for other platforms which is quite disappointing. It isn’t turned on automatically, so users have to activate it in settings for your VPN. The kill switch helps ensure that you are safe and your data doesn’t accidentally become available to malicious users.
Domain Bypass (Split Tunneling)
One of Hotspot Shield VPN’s significant advantages is the ability to access other networks while still being connected to the VPN. You gain all the protection and privacy of the VPN and the perks of the other networks. The process that allows you to do this is called split tunneling.
Domain bypass allows you to log in to your work network and access your files while still being at home, on vacation, or any other place where the network isn’t directly connected. It makes it easier to stay safe and use any network you may need.
You can also bypass third party restrictions like your work or school network. Sometimes specific networks can block access to sites or pages with particular words in them. With Hotspot Shield, you will be able to get past those restrictions if there is content you need to access.
No matter how good the VPN is, it only helps protect you if it works with your system. There are a few different ways for you to use your VPN on multiple different devices. Here is a list of which systems work with Hotspot Shield.
A dedicated app is the fastest and easiest way to use Hotspot Shield NZ. It allows you to use all the VPN features, and it will enable you to set up the service to help protect your device. You gain the use of dedicated apps for the following:
On top of these dedicated apps, there are also some apps available that work for the Fire Stick and other smart TV options. These apps usually use the android app, but place it on the specific device you will be using your VPN.
Chrome browser has an extension that is built by Hotspot Shield. This extension will help users access the VPN on any computer with a Chrome Browser. The extension is also the best way to protect your Chromebook. With just a click, you can turn on and off your VPN while on your browser.
Public Wi-Fi can be very dangerous, and the added protection of Hotspot Shield’s browser extension can help make it safer by increasing your security and privacy. It can be linked to up to five different devices simultaneously.
Manual Setup Guides
No matter what version of the Hotspot Shield you are using, you will be able to find manual setup guides on the Hotspot Shield webpage. Just click on the device you want to use your VPN, and it will give you step by step instructions for how to install it.
You can also learn how to set up these devices with the best possible functions and features to help you the most. You can go with the automatic settings that maximize speed, or you can focus on specific features like privacy, torrenting, or streaming.
These guides can be used to help set up Hotspot Shield on enabled routers, smart TVs, phones, tablets, and computers. It makes installing and using your VPN very quick and easy. If you run into any problems, you can contact Hotspot Shield’s 24/7 support, which will answer any questions you may have.
One huge advantage to VPNs is the ability to seem like you are in many different countries and cities. This variety gives you a wide range of locations to access region-specific content. It also helps you get around various censorship and site restrictions.
You want to find a VPN that gives you options to connect to servers in your home, New Zealand for when you’re away, and other places so that you can use the most amount of material.
Hotspot Shield lets users choose from over 3,200 servers. They are located in over 80 countries. You can choose from 35 unique cities too. Individual cities allow you to avoid region-specific blackouts even in the countries you are accessing. Local blackouts can affect regional sports programs.
With all these servers and cites, you will find a network that can help you gain access to what you need. It gives you more options that can help you find exact locations, including specific cities so that you can use the most material.
Servers in New Zealand
Hotspot Shield doesn’t list how many servers they have dedicated to New Zealand, but they do have servers located there. No matter where you travel abroad, you will be able to access your favorite entertainment and sports that are location specific. This media includes watching all your favorite local tv like TVNZ and Sky Go.
Hotspot Shield in NZ is excellent for watching sporting events when you are away from home. Many sports events, especially Rugby, can be hard to watch in other locations.
Hotspot Shield is one of the fastest VPNs in NZ. You will be able to enjoy unlimited bandwidth, extra security, better privacy, and avoid throttling with lighting speed.
Streaming specific shows and networks can be restricted based on your physical location. These restrictions are especially true with sporting events, live performances, and events. Using a VPN can help you bypass these restrictions.
If you are on a work trip or a vacation and want access to shows and movies you can watch at home, all you have to do is log in to a VPN network back home. The VPN will give you instant access to the shows you feel like watching, regardless of physical locations.
If you want to experience shows and media from other countries, you can log into servers in those locations and see what options they get on streaming services. You can even pick your city in many places so that you can avoid blackouts at events in your city. These blackouts are prevalent with sports events.
Torrenting is a process where you share data with other users on the internet. It allows you to download audio, video, and other files from all around the world. The speed of Hotspot Shield VPN NZ makes it very useful when torrenting.
When torrenting, some people can gain a lot of information about you and your network. When you are downloading or seeding, other users can see your IP address. It is wide open and available to anyone else seeding or leeching the file. Your IP address can give away your location, name, browser history, and more. Other torrent users can take this information and use it for many adverse effects.
Using your VPN will help you hide the information like your IP address. Keeping your privacy will make using torrent sites much safer even when you’re actively torrenting. It will stop third-parties from taking and misusing your information.
The kill switch offered on the windows app for Hotspot Shield is beneficial. You won’t accidentally continue downloading or seeding if your VPN goes down. The kill switch makes sure that your data is safe the whole time you are connected.
There are a few different VPNs that are available in New Zealand for concerned users. You will want to make sure that you get the service that works best for your specific needs. Each service offers many of the same basic features, but they differ in specific ways to make one better for some uses than others.
Of course, you have to be careful because not every VPN company is as safe as they claim. Here is how two of the top competitors, ProtonVPN and Windscribe, compare to Hotspot Shield.
ProtonVPN is a well-regarded VPN option that is known for being open sourced. Users gain access to unlimited bandwidth even with the free option on this VPN. It is located in Switzerland, which is well known for its privacy-friendly laws and rules.
However, even though it is open sourced, ProtonVPN can be more challenging for some users to configure and set up. It is less user friendly, which may make it less useful for some. It also offers networks in fewer countries and fewer locations. Hotspot Shield is also faster than ProtonVPN.
Windscribe is one of the best known and most used VPNs on the market. It works on a few more browser extensions than Hotspot Shield. It offers unlimited devices used at the same time, compared to the five that you can use at once for Hotspot Shield.
Windscribe offers servers in fewer countries and cities. Hotspot Shield is also much faster than Windscribe, especially in New Zealand. Some users complain about the complexity of Windscribe, but generally, Hotspot Shield is easier for most customers to use.
When you start looking for a VPN, there are many factors to consider. Not the least of these concerns is the cost. You need to know how much the services cost and what plans are available to decide how it will best help you and your web activity.
Hotspot Shield offers three different options to use their system. One completely free option with limited service and two premium subscription options. They also offer a seven day free trial on their premium and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Hotspot Shield Free
You can use Hotspot Shield for free at all times. The free VPN version is a limited form of the system and only offers secure and private browsing. Using this free VPN in NZ, you gain military-grade encryption, multiple VPN protocols, and a kill switch for Windows users.
The free service works on one device, allows connection speeds of 2 Mbps, and limits your data to 500 MB a day. You can also only access one location in the USA. It is limited, but it is free and helps you with your privacy and safety.
The free option has used targeted ads. These ads lead to some concerns about how private the free app is. However, this is a common practice for free VPNs and should not cause too much concern for users. If full privacy is very important to you, you may not want to use the free option.
Upgrading to the paid version gives the user unlimited bandwidth, connection speeds up to 1 Gbps, and connections to servers in over 115 locations. It also allows you to use Hotspot Shield’s 24/7 customer support. The Free version is limited, but some users still consider it one of the best free VPN NZ can use.
Free trial & Pricing
If you want to upgrade to a paid plan, there are a few different options for you to use. You can choose from the premium plan and the family premium plan. The two plans differ in that the family premium plan allows more devices per user on the account for a total of 25 devices.
You can choose to pay monthly or by the year. If you opt for monthly payments, you will get the premium plan for $18.51 ($12.99 US) and the family premium plan for $28.49 ($19.99 US).
If you opt for the year, you get the premium plans for $11.39 ($7.99 US), and $17.09 ($11.99 US) a month, respectively. It is charged in a one-time payment of $136.63 ($95.88 US) for premium and $205.03 ($143.88 US) for family premium.
Each plan starts with a seven-day free trial and a 45-day money-back guarantee. There is no charge to you for seven days. After seven days, you do pay for the service. If you decided that you are not happy with the service for any reason, you will get your money back fully in the first 45 days. This guarantee allows you to try the service risk-free.
Hotspot Shield offers NZ customers an extraordinarily fast option to secure their online data and gain access to great streaming content. It allows you to use P2P torrenting services with more privacy and safety.
The service works great on many different devices. You can try it out for 45 days to see if it works well for you. Once you’ve experienced the speed and security, you will be amazed at how easy and inexpensive the VPN is to use.
While it doesn’t have any third-party audits and some users may complain about the ads in the free version, Hotspot Shield’s great security and incredible speed make it a good choice for a lot of New Zealanders.
Here are some quick, frequently asked questions. All this information is covered in greater detail in the Hotspot Shield NZ review above, but if you only have one or two quick questions, you can get it answered here and save time.