- Free version available
- Hotspotshield is a dubious tool that has a special relationship with NSA and FBI employees. It is by no means safe to use.
- Presumably equipped with a Trojan to monitor users
- Data transfer to US authorities
Table of Contents
Hotspot Shield Review: Be Careful With It!
We tested a VPN provider that has a special relationship with US authorities and secret governmental services. Hotspot-Shield VPN.
Of course, many questions arose about why someone offers VPN service anonymization. A service, which is directly supported by U.S. intelligence bodies! You must understand the logic. Many citizens in the United States continue to think that the authorities want to do only good for them. That is, without a doubt, true. But do we want to trust such a service after all the information that we know from the time of Edward Snowden’s documents – this is another question!
“Hotspot Shield users trust US authorities to protect the privacy of foreigners.”
|Local legislation has an impact on customer protection||✘|
|No log files||✘|
|Own DNS Server||✘|
|IP addresses owner||✘|
This review is also slightly different from our usual format. So far, we have not received any technical answers to our written requests to Hotspot Shield VPN. Much of what we found was confirmed by our assumptions. There are clear ties with US NSA intelligence, as well as with the FBI! And finally, each user must be aware of the potential for “monitoring”.
When we look at the managers responsible for Hot spot Shield, the closeness and connections to the US authorities become clear to us:
- Alec Ross
He was a technology advisor to “Hillary Clinton” when she was in the US government and also supported the attempt and start of international surveillance on the internet by the NSA directly to the US government.
- Reed E. Hundt
He was chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission under Bill Clinton as president of the USA and thus presumably played a decisive role in the expansion of NSA surveillance measures at the time.
- Dr Peter Hoag
He was also a co-founder of a CIA subsidiary: Cardinal Technologies, which worked on technological standardisation of data transmissions in the US networks. Cardinal Technologies was also an advisor to some US-friendly governments in Europe and probably still works for US-related intelligence agencies.
- Kevin Cook
He is still in the management of Barracuda Network, which became notorious for its “backdoors” (backdoors for US authorities) on hard drives and firewalls.
- Rick Roth
Is known as a national advisor to the US authorities on corporate networks in the USA and is regarded as a liaison between state interests and corporate interests in the USA.
- Doug Maine
Worked at IBM as a manager for finance. IBM itself has become known for its cooperation with US authorities at the time, including for international espionage, and was banned from China for this reason, among others.
- Greg Coleman
Has held senior editorial positions in many US global companies such as AOL, Huffington Post and several online media houses, all of which have consistently provided pro-US government coverage and also opinionated on privacy but also circumvention of encryption for government purposes.
- Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
The former Minister of Defence is also known for his good contacts with US authorities and many say that this is one of the reasons why he made it to the position of Secretary of Defence by the grace of the USA without ever having won an election.
Reference: All persons are also listed as managers and responsible persons at the operating company “AnchorFree.com – Team” of HotSpotShield.
(The page was changed after some scandals and Edward Snowden’s documents, but the link shows the last published version, but today they keep a lower profile)
The list of supposed “US government envoys” to Hotsport-shield could be extended even further. It is rather unlikely to assume that all these people are now suddenly also committed to protecting the privacy and anonymity of international users. A public commitment to “freedom and democracy” does not necessarily mean respectful treatment of the privacy of non-US citizens.
What they mean by freedom, whether this applies only to US citizens or to every user who is supposed to use Hotsport-shield, remains unclear. Even though many of these people state this as the main argument for their commitment!
The “Goldman Sachs Group” finances the company!
Those who install HotspotShield may also voluntarily become part of the “US strategy for international surveillance on the internet”.
Hotsport-shield can also be understood as a “Trojan with voluntary user self-installation!
What sounds ironic at first glance has a serious background. The technical components of the service make it possible to monitor users much better than would be the case WITHOUT using it. With allegedly 400 million installations on PCs worldwide, Hotspotshield can be a very interesting factor in the strategy of monitoring the entire world on the Internet!
Technical realities also allow for targeted surveillance
In our test, we installed the application on a specially prepared Windows PC. In addition to the usual VPN connection certificates, access certificates were also installed. This would make it technically possible to connect to the user’s PC unnoticed or to send various data to dedicated VPN servers without being asked. The data transmission would also be encrypted and therefore the user would hardly be able to prove it.
The company’s communication suggests the protection of one’s own privacy, anonymity and security! However, it is important that potential users are also aware of the possible dangers involved.
Prices / Tariffs
The basic service is provided to you today for free. It offers unlimited NSA access to your PC, including tracking all your activities and all due to your privacy!
|Costs / Tariffs|
|Tariff (1 Month )||7.99 USD|
|Number of simultaneous connections per account||5|
|Test options||Free tariff availableMoney-back guarantee|
Streaming – TV and video content
Streaming is allowed and possible in all available locations.
|Streaming of TV and video content|
|Use on home router||✘|
|Use with KODI||✘|
|Supported international streaming platforms|
Torrent with Hotspot Shield
|Download and torrent|
|Torrent use allowed||✘|
|Own Torrent Server||✘|
Anyone who installs this service can also voluntarily become part of the US International Internet Surveillance Strategy.
At first glance, it sounds ironic, but it has a rather serious background. Technical components of the service allow you to control users much better than without using a case. With approximately 400 million PC installations worldwide, Hotspot shield can be a very interesting factor in your worldwide monitoring strategy for the Internet!
Specifications also allow for targeted monitoring. In our test, we installed the application on a specially prepared Windows PC. In addition to the usual VPN connection certificates, access certificates have also been installed. Besides, it could technically be unnoticed on the user’s PC to connect or request various data for sending to the server. Data transmission will also be encrypted, and thus, the user is unlikely to be able to prove this.
This is also especially bad from our point of view, as Hotsport-Shield has been widely advertised in Turkey in recent years. Government activists must trust this service. As a Turkish journalist recently reported via Twitter, he was accused of criticizing the government and he always used this service himself.
Of course, Hotspot Shield is available in all languages!
A simple trojan, such as HotspotShield, is used only if it is easy to install. Language versions help a lot with this. service is translated into all the necessary languages of the world.
|RAM disk (k.HDD)||✘|
|No log files||✘|
|Autom. IP change||✘|
|Own IP addresses||✘|
|Own Torrent Server||✘|
Hotspot Shield VPN on the router
Use on routers and other devices is excluded! The provider does not offer such an opportunity. Thus, we recommend Surshark VPN, which is compatible with routers.
|Operation on VPN client router|
|Use on routers||✘|
|Own router application||✘|
Travelling with Hotsport-Shield
Hotsport-Shield VPN is definitely not recommended. This VPN technology is, as I said, not anonymous. There is no protection in insecure and large networks. For these purposes, we would recommend another provider.
|VPN for travel and abroad|
|Use in restrictive networks (China, hotels)||✘|
|Protection in insecure wifi networks||✔|
|Shadowsocks or SOCKS5||✘|
Online-Gaming with Hotsport-Shield VPN
Unfortunately, Hotspot Shield is not compatible with any gaming systems.
|Use on game consoles||✘|
The service’s customer service also gets a big minus point in our test report. You can only find answers to your questions on the company’s FAQ page.
|Customer service||FAQ website|
|Language in customer service|
IMPORTANT – Note!
We recommend that all users who have/had HotSpot Shield installed should re-install the device. This means deleting the entire hard disk/storage medium of the device and reinstalling the operating system. Simply uninstalling the HotSport-Shield software is not sufficient to avoid possible surveillance in the future, as advanced spy files may have nested in your system.
And our opinion about the positive presence on the internet
Which we also find staggering! Many VPN comparison portals apparently do not do any research on the providers at all. Otherwise, it is not explainable that we found Hotspotshield rated as a normal VPN service on more than 100 also German VPN provider comparison sites on the Internet. sometimes with top marks awarded. Why is there such a thing?
Editor’s note: This test report is based on information which the editors can also substantiate through sources. Some of these sources were linked in the test report, others we will not publish here. The conclusions drawn from this information are, of course, based on editorial interpretation and freedom and are an important part of “free expression of opinion” as it is felt and appreciated in “normal democracies”!
We are looking forward to discussions about this.
Erstellt am: 11. October 2022