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Hotspot Shield vs PureVPN 2021

We put these VPNs to the test to find out which is the best!

If you are looking for a minimal VPN service, Hotspot Shield is a suitable choice, but PureVPN offers much more for a small bump in price.

In fact, the simplicity is all Hotspot Shield really has going for it. Its 128-bit encryption is inferior to PureVPN’s 256-bit encryption, and it offers only Catipult Hydra for its protocol, versus 5 of the core protocols that PureVPN offers, such as OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2, etc. While Hotspot Shield has a lower price and easy interface, can it make up for its deficiencies elsewhere? Read on to see. More Info

How do these VPNs Compare?


Hotspot Shield’s slightly faster speeds are the only real advantage over PureVPN. While both these VPN’s aren’t as fast as services like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, they still get the job done, and can work just fine with streaming platforms and large downloads.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield PureVPN
Download speed reduction 40% (UK) 40% (UK)
Upload speed reduction 38% (FRA) 37% (FRA)
Ping time to google.com 107ms 41ms
Average time to connect (sec.) 12ms 11ms
Unblock successful for Bbc-logo Netflix-logo Youtube-logo Netflix-logo Hulu-logo
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Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.


PureVPN offers 750+ servers in over 140 countries, giving users plenty of choices for their desired location. Hotspot Shield is far behind in this category, offering just 27 locations in 27 countries total. This greatly reduces your ability to get around geo-blocking.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield PureVPN
Server Locations 27 180
Server Countries 27 141
IP Addresses 27 750
Dynamic Server Switching
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The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow


Both PureVPN and Hotspot Shield have good customer support. They both offer 24/7 live chat, in-depth email responses in a small amount of time, expansive knowledge bases on their websites, and plenty of tutorials.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield PureVPN
Email Response Time 9 7
24/7 Support
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Video Tutorials
  Visit Site Visit Site

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Ease of Use

Hotspot Shield
After signing up and choosing the platform, installation and setup took less than two minutes.

Hotspot Shield connects automatically to the closest server to your location. You can, however, change your virtual location manually by selecting the country you desire from the dropdown list. You cannot choose which server in the country — Hotspot picks for you.

When we turned on Hotspot Shield, we were already streaming Netflix, and it continued to stream without issue. However, when we tried to use Hulu, we experienced an error. You must have a premium account to stream Netflix, and it only works with the virtual US location selected.

There isn’t much configuration to Hotspot Shield, which is suitable for those who aren’t technically savvy. You can turn on/off automatic startup and turn on the kill switch option. Other than these few settings, there is not a lot to personalize.
PureVPN app is easy enough to be used by novice VPN users and offers enough settings to appeal to a seasoned player. The basic interface is simple and you just have to select a server and click on Connect. The default protocol is automatic but you can pick another option from the list. There are some tabs that let users change the settings and customize the app according to their needs.

PureVPN has apps for all major platforms, and has browser extensions as well. There is a large selection of servers and special servers for online streaming, sports streaming, anonymous file sharing, and data retention security. Or you can just connect to the fastest server of a particular country.

PureVPN works on mobile devices, and is generally successful accessing Netflix and Hulu, and definitely works in China.




Visit PureVPN Website

Which VPN Will You Choose?

Hotspot Shield is fine for those with the most basic of VPN needs, but there’s really no reason to go with it when you can get so much more from other services for a small increase in price. PureVPN has the edge here, mainly due to server choices, better encryption, and more protocols, along with helpful features like split tunneling. More Info

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