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Hotspot Shield VPN Officially on iOS — Secure Browsing, Bandwidth Compression, Access Blocked Sites/Services

Hotspot Shield Now Officially on iOS -- Say Hello to HTTPS, Bandwidth Compression, Out-of-US Netflix, Pandora | 40Tech

When we first told you about Hotspot Shield, it was to use the free Virtual Private Network to bypass blocked media, as well as increase your browsing security. Over a year later, we posted a tutorial on how to use the VPN to watch US Netflix outside of United States, using your iOS devices. Unfortunately, the Hotspot Shield sign up process for iOS was broken soonafter, and their customer service team didn’t have a lot to say about it. Now we know why: Anchorfree, the creators of Hotspot Shield have released an iPhone app that makes all of the steps go away, and even solves a few of the problems.

The new Hotspot Shield app will have you up and running with a couple of touches, installing two VPN configurations on your iPhone or iPad. The second one is for manual use — you turn it on when you need it, and leave it off when you don’t. The default configuration, though, is Always On, which handily accomplishes two things: it allows you to automatically have the VPN’s data compression and additional security in place whether you are on WiFi or mobile broadband, and it also fixes potential annoyances by automatically re-establishing the VPN’s connection when it drops (which is still a regular occurrence).

In testing, I found that the VPN is more stable on iOS than it was previously, and that using it was practically painless. I also discovered, very quickly, that the free-ness of Hotspot Shield — at least for mobile — is a thing of the past. In comparison to other VPNs, though, especially services that are as effective, the price is still more than worthwhile. You can use the VPN free for a week, after that, it’ll cost you $0.99/month or $9.99/year. You can also use a purchase code the app provides you to activate up to five personal devices that are connected to the same iTunes account. If the incredibly attractive price is to much for you, and you already have an old Hotspot Shield VPN installed on your iOS device, it should still work, at least for now — mine does, anyway.

Hotspot Shield VPN for iOS, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch | 40TechHotspot Shield VPN App for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch | 40TechHotspot Shield VPN App for iOS | 40Tech

Some other fun features of the app are the abilities to track your bandwidth savings and to control your compression level. You can turn it off completely for WiFi, or turn it up to maximum to save bandwidth on images and the like. This will downgrade image quality, of course, but how much is your data worth to you?

All in all, I recommend it to pretty much everyone on iOS with even a passing interest in security (or in using Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, etc., outside of the US). You can never be too careful with your data, and HotSpot Shield does a decent job of protecting you. According to ReadWriteWeb, it was even used during the revolutions of the Arab Spring to allow “users to skirt detection of officials that may have been monitoring mobile internet activity.” Handy, that…

If you do decide to use Hotspot Shield for iOS, do keep a couple of things in mind:

  1. The terms of service are very explicit about the VPN being for personal use only. Don’t use it for business or they may cut you off.
  2. Using a VPN to access a US-only service outside of the US may be considered breach of that service’s terms of use. You may want to double-check that before going ahead to make sure you don’t have any issues — especially if you pay for said service.

What do you think of Hotspot Shield for iOS? Do you plan to use it to increase your browsing security? Let us know in the comments!

 

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About Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to bobby-travis.com.

14 Responses to Hotspot Shield VPN Officially on iOS — Secure Browsing, Bandwidth Compression, Access Blocked Sites/Services

  1. Hotspot Shield VPN Officially on iOS nice. It’s helps us many ways i think that. Do you want more …..

  2. I heard you can use Hotspotshield without paying. Do you know how to do that? I am using hotspotshield on my pc for free but I dont know how to use it on my iphone for free.

    • The app has effectively killed the old completely free way to do it on iOS. The old way still works (sometimes better than the app), but you need a pass code for the VPN. Might be a few floating about forums, somewhere, you never know.

  3. Netflix doesn’t work anymore with the VPN-App. Everytime netflix shows error 139! The Old way is still working, but the bandwith is very slow. I’am really angry, because I pair for 1year :( !!

    • That’s annoying, to say the least. Likely, it is either Netflix blocking Hotspot Shield, or Hotspot Shield angling for a new pricing package.

      I’m guessing the former, as I remember Hulu blocking the service periodically. If that’s the case, then keep trying. They usually find a way around it after a while.

  4. I also get error code 139, but why am I still able to access the Netflix account? Have you found a solution in the meantime?

  5. Yes! This error 139 is annoying!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Watch US Netflix on Your iPad/iPhone When Outside of the US | 40Tech - November 10, 2011

    [...] UPDATE 3: The iOS app for Hotspot Shield is officially here! Check this post for more info. [...]

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