While browsing the internet today, folks are faced with so many challenges ranging from data throttling by their own network providers, to malware, to cyber-attack, to government agencies and corporations keeping tabs on them and so on. In the midst of all these challenges the need for a very effective tool that provides anonymity, security as well as other astounding services to improve the overall browsing experience continues to have a high demand all over the world.
Fortunately, such a tool already exists in the form of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). The demand for the best VPNs is on the increase and the industry has been growing steadily with many new VPNs companies springing up almost every year.
With so many good VPNs available to users worldwide today, there is a need to effectively evaluate some of these services so that users can easily decide for themselves which particular VPN best suits their needs. To successfully achieve this, some of the best VPN services have to be compared just like other similar products are compared on the market.
In this review, we compare NordVPN and Hotspot Shield which are two of the best and biggest VPN service providers today.You can read a review about Hotspot shield at BestVPN24.com.
Our basis of Comparison
In order to have an in-depth knowledge of each, we critically examined both VPN service provider based on some key factors like; their overall performance, privacy and security, speed, pricing packages, features amongst others.
Number of servers: NordVPN boast of more than 4000 servers in over 100 countries which makes it one of the biggest companies in the VPN industry, Hotspot Shield has just about 2500 servers in 25 countries in the world.
Encryption Protocols: The encryption protocol utilized by any VPN service provider to a large extent determines how seriously it takes the security and privacy of its users and also how it intends to deliver its promise of keeping their online activities safe, secure and fast. NordVPN utilizes the state of the art AES 256- bit double encryption together with tunneling protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP, IPSec, and L2TP to provide the best security possible. Hotspot Shield uses the obsolete AES-128 encryption protocol as well as the Catapult Hydra tunneling protocol.
Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection: A kill-Switch is a vital part of the security infrastructure of the best VPN services. In situations where there is a failure in a secure connection, a kill-switch quickly terminates such a connection and protects users from any likely attack.
Both Hotspot Shield and NordVPN have a Kill-switch. However, Only NordVPN has a smart DNS and a DNS leak protection which also reinforces its security system and makes it one of the best in the industry.
Hotspot Shield VPN is compactable with all the major operating systems such as Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. NordVPN is compactable with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and Linus devices.
In addition, NordVPN allows users up to 6 simultaneous connections while Hotspot Shield allows for 5 connections at once.
The best VPN companies have a strict no log policy which implies that the activities of users are not monitored or tracked. Both NordVPN and Hotspot Shield have zero-logs policies.
Streaming and Torrenting Services
A VPNs ability to bypass geo-locked contents and allow users access to premium contents from any part of the world is truly one of its most prized features. Hotspot Shield and NordVPN allow users access to contents from popular sites like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime and many others.
Both Hotspot Shield and NordVPN allow Torrenting but only NordVPN has dedicated Torrenting servers.
Many VPN service providers allow user’s access to a split tunneling feature that hides their connection while they perform certain tasks online. Hotspot shield provides this service for its users through its Chrome browser extension; NordVPN does not have this feature.
Money Back Guarantee: This feature ensures that short-term users or first-time users can easily get a feel for the services offered by their favorite VPNs before getting a subscription. Both NordVPN and Hotspot shield offer a money back guarantee service. NordVPN offers a 30-days money back guarantee while hotspot shield offers an amazing 45-day money back guarantee.
Security and Privacy
In terms of security of users, Hotspot shield appears to be lagging behind as it uses the obsolete AES -128 encryption with the relatively unknown Catapult Hydra protocol as opposed to the AES-256 and several encryption protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP) utilized by NordVPN and many of the best VPNs services today.
Customer Support System
The best products and services in any industry have a very good customer support system that ensures that users’ queries are promptly and efficiently solved at all times. Hotspot shield utilizes the ticketing customer support system which implies that users have to generate a ticket, fill a form, submit and wait for a period of time before their queries are addressed. NordVPN has a more robust customer support system that makes use of several channels such as the 24/7 live chat, e-forms, email and also their website.
In terms of performance, Nord VPN utilizes more than 3500 servers in over 100 countries worldwide while hotspot shield users only have access to about 2500 servers in 25 countries.
While most VPNs affect browsing and streaming speeds, overall, the speed test conducted on both VPNs showed that they are really stable and reliable. They both compete favorably with each other in terms of speeds. Average speeds of 90 Mbps in places in Europe, 80Mbps in Asia, and 70Mbps in the US were recorded from their servers. Despite being the smaller VPN Company in terms of the number of available servers Hotspot shield appears to be providing a premium service for its users in terms of speed.
One of the first things people consider in any market is the prices of products and services in relation to the value or utility they can derive from them. In this regards, Hotspot shield offers users four packages/plans. It’s a one month plan cost about $12.99, the 6-months plan costs $8.99/mnt, and the 1-year plan costs $5.99/mnt and lastly, the lifetime plan costs just $119.99. Potential or first-time Hotspot shield users can take full advantage of its free plan as well as its very generous 45-days money back guarantee service.
NordVPN offers users a monthly subscription at $11.95, a 1-year subscription that costs $5.75/mnt, and a 2-year subscription that costs $3.29/mnt. While it has no free plans it offers users a 30-day money back guarantee.
Hotspot shield and NordVPN performed exceptionally well on the various test we carried out on them. While NordVPN appears to be the all-around better service of the two in terms of features, robust encryption protocols, and excellent customer support etc, we were quite impressed with the performance of hotspot shield in terms of speed, security and privacy.