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HotspotShield FAQ

What is Hotspot Shield VPN?

Hotspot Shield is a mobile and desktop app that adds security and privacy to your WiFI Hotspots and private internet network, to protect your data and hide your identity from hackers. Hotspot Shield also provides freedom of access to websites that are not available in your area.

What's the Protocol Used By Hotspot Shield?

Catapult Hydra is a proprietary protocol developed by AnchorFree and it is used to power Hotspot Shield and the majority of large cybersecurity companies that offer VPN services from within their apps, such as McAfee, BitDefender, Cheetah Mobile and many others.

Many carriers such as Telefonica and KDDI also use Catapult Hydra to provide VPN services and Wi-Fi security to their customers, due to Hydra's superior performance and reliability. It is important to note that the proprietary protocol is focused only on the performance of the VPN data transport, while using standard encryption with perfect forward secrecy.

Is My Information Encrypted If I Use the Free Version Of Hotspot Shield?

Yes, all connections are encrypted. One does not need to have a paid Elite subscription to have your information encrypted.

It is important to note, that we use industry-standard SSL encryption and do NOT modify or customize the encryption in any way.

What is the Speed Difference Between Free and Elite?

Often HotspotShield has users inquire about the speed differences between the Free Edition of Hotspot Shield and the Elite Edition. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The speed will vary from user to user. Factors like ISP (Internet Service Provider), your actual download and upload speeds, the physical distance to the server, your actual location, time of day, and physical hardware can all have positive as well as adverse effects on the speed.

Also, please keep in mind that when you’re connected to Hotspot Shield or any VPN service, data going in and out of your device travels through the VPN servers first before reaching their target. That's how internet anonymity is achieved and why it's normal to experience speed reduction from 30%-50% when using any VPN service.

Below is a sample of speed test results that show the difference between the Free Client and the Elite Client. We are only able to show speed tests for United States Virtual Location as Free Edition of Hotspot Shield does not provide any other Virtual Locations.

Why Do I See a Payment Wall When I Try to View Netflix, BBC, Hulu Videos, Etc?

If you are an Elite user and you see a Payment Wall when you try to view Netflix, BBC, Hulu videos, etc, you might not be signed in to your Hotspot Shield Elite account and Hotspot Shield is in FREE mode.

I Have Purchased the Elite Subscription. How Do I Activate My Account?

Once you complete your purchase of Hotspot Shield, you will be provided with an Elite Code. Depending on your method of payment, you will either see the code displayed on the "Thank You" page or receive the code by email. You will then need to create or log into your Hotspot Shield Account.

Creating a Hotspot Shield account from the link on the "Thank You" page will then link the Elite Code to your account automatically. If you receive your code via email, you will need to manually connect the two.

How Many Devices Can I Add to My Hotspot Shield Elite Account?

With Hotspot shield Elite, you have the option to sign in to up to 5 supported devices.

NOTE: Click on the platform icon to download the latest version of Hotspot Shield and click on the platform name to see how to log in using your Elite credentials.