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Hotspot Shield vs Windscribe VPN 2021

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

Hotspot Shield is one of the most used VPNs in the world, offering both a free and paid service, both of which are the same except for bandwidth limits. On the other hand, Windscribe offers some unique features to go along with what is a very good VPN service overall. Hotspot Shield only offers 128-bit encryption currently and a proprietary protocol, while Windscribe has 128 and 256-bit encryption available, along with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols. Let’s see how they stack up. More Info

How do these VPNs Compare?


Both of these VPNs are about the same when it comes to speeds, but Windscribe has a slight advantage most of the time. Each VPN is suitable for streaming media without any problems.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield Windscribe VPN
Download speed reduction 40% (UK) 38% (UK)
Upload speed reduction 38% (FRA) 42% (FRA)
Ping time to google.com 107ms 203ms
Average time to connect (sec.) 12ms 14ms
Unblock successful for Bbc-logo Netflix-logo Youtube-logo Youtube-logo Netflix-logo Hulu-logo Kodi-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.


Windscribe has a solid amount of servers, with 300 locations spread around 52 different countries. Hotspot Shield limits their network to one location in 27 countries, which can limit you with unblocking certain content, or accessing some websites.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield Windscribe VPN
Server Locations 27 300
Server Countries 27 52
IP Addresses 27 300
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


Neither of these VPNs excels in customer support. Windscribe has an email ticketing system that has a moderate response time, and a live chat in the form of an automated bot, albeit somewhat helpful. Each VPN has a good knowledge base on their site, but Hotspot Shield does have a very fast email response time, in addition to a large troubleshooting section.

VPN vendor Hotspot Shield Windscribe VPN
Email Response Time 9 2
24/7 Support
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Video Tutorials
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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.
Windscribe VPN
Windscribe’s interface is simple enough, and doesn’t take long to get used to. Protocol settings are automatic when you first open it, but you can change your preferences after the initial startup. The user interface consists of a small window that displays the server location, your IP address, Firewall toggle switch, a giant On/Off button and a hamburger-themed menu that allows users to adjust preferences, see their account details, and get help, among other options.

If you’re needing to bypass the China firewall, Windscribe can. It also works with Netflix, can do P2P, block ads, has an anti-social tracking feature, changes time zones on request, and can create a proxy gateway or hotspot. There are also lots of advanced settings experiences users can toggle with.




Visit Windscribe VPN Website

Which VPN Will You Choose?

Hotspot Shield is a decent VPN, even as a free version, but Windscribe’s multiple security options, better encryption, bigger network, and useful features all combine to make it a better VPN overall, and without any privacy issues that Hotspot Shield has dealt with. More Info

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