Is Hotspot Shield good for torrenting? (2022 P2P tests)
Hotspot Shield is a reasonably good choice for torrenting and P2P activities, especially when used with a secure client like qBittorrent.
The VPN uses unbreakable AES-256 encryption, allowing you to download .torrent files on any of its 1,800 servers. It also comes with an unlimited data allowance.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons of using Hotspot Shield for torrenting:
It’s a promising sign that the company is openly endorsing P2P activity. The site features a number of resources dedicated to torrenting safely and anonymously.
Many VPN competitors are often shy about endorsing torrenting, so it’s reassuring to see the VPN provider show an open commitment.
despite this, Hotspot Shield isn’t the most privacy-friendly VPN. This is a concern when it comes to P2P file sharing. The company’s login policy is disappointingly invasive and there is a lack of transparency about VPN Catapult Hydra’s communication protocol.
With governments, ISPs, copyright owners and copyright trolls all looking to identify and expose torrent activity, it is imperative that you trust your VPN to protect your privacy.
Although Hotspot Shield meets most of our criteria for a secure VPN for torrenting, its logging policy is only Not trustworthy enough For us to recommend it as one of the best VPNs for torrenting.
The remainder of this chapter will evaluate the features that make Hotspot Shield good and bad for P2P activity. Alternatively, you can check out some alternative VPNs that we think are better for torrenting.
Fastest VPN in 2022
We regularly test over 68 VPNs, and currently, Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN we’ve seen.
The VPN delivers amazingly fast speeds on both domestic and international connections – making downloading large files quick and easy.
We experienced a little like 0.41% speed loss When manually testing Hotspot Shield, which is practically unknown. Our automated VPN speed test tool also consistently shows that it is one of the fastest VPNs on the market:
Hotspot Shield claims that these amazing upload and download speeds are due to its encryption protocol hydra catapult.
Not much is known about Catapult Hydra, but it is assumed that it is designed to overcome some of the latency issues faced by other VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN and IKEv2.
note: These high speeds are not always directly reflected in P2P traffic. In our experience, Hotspot Shield is fast, but it is not the fastest VPN for torrenting.
Large server network
Hotspot Shield Elite allows you to choose from over 1,800 VPN servers located in 80 countries. This isn’t the largest server network we’ve seen, but it’s a good size and well spread out all over the world. Most importantly, P2P traffic is supported on all of them.
Popular countries like the US, UK, Australia and Canada are all covered, as well as other places that are less accessible, like Belarus and Algeria. A citywide server option is also available in over 35 cities.
The closer you are to the VPN server, the faster your connection will be. Hotspot Shield’s large server network means that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll likely have a server reasonably close.
Network size is also useful because it reduces the risk of server congestion – too many users are connecting to the same server and causing it to run slower.
Expert advice: Connect to the VPN server closest to your physical location to enjoy the fastest download and upload speeds.
There is no data cap or bandwidth limit
Unlike some VPN services, Hotspot Shield Elite does not impose any data cap whatsoever. This means that you can download large size torrent files freely and without limits.
Our tests showed that too Hotspot Shield does not throttle your speeds in any way.
Some VPNs will intentionally limit your connection speeds if you engage in bandwidth-heavy activities. Since avoiding ISP throttling is one of the main reasons to torrent with a VPN in the first place, it is important that the provider you choose does not limit your bandwidth.
note: Free Hotspot Shield Do Enforce a maximum of 500 MB of data. So, even if you did allow P2P traffic, you wouldn’t be able to get much done with such a small amount of data.
Invasive registration policy
- Your IP address: Hotspot Shield logs your IP address during your VPN session but claims not to be linked to your online activity.
- Your actual location: Your IP address is used to determine your approximate location which is then recorded so that you can automatically connect to the most local server.
- Bandwidth usage: The amount of data you use in each session is collected and stored for three years, meant to be monitored, backed up, and improved.
- Contact timestamps: The VPN server connection time details are logged for the same purposes as bandwidth usage.
- Domain name records: Hotspot Shield keeps track of the domains you visit without logging specific URLs. These records are kept for three years, but are compiled on a monthly basis.
- Device information: Details such as the type of device you are using, browser settings, operating system, Internet service provider name, signal strength and other device information are recorded and stored.
- Other data: Hotspot Shield Basic also collects your IMEI number, MAC address, unique advertising ID, and city location and shares it publicly with third-party advertisers.
This amount of logging is crucial to a torrenting VPN. Even if none of this information can be associated with your P2P activity, other VPNs are able to operate their service without infringing on user privacy in this way.
Hotspot Shield claims that IP addresses and other data it stores are deleted immediately after a session, but we can’t know that for sure. It’s a risk you can’t take when downloading torrents – especially when there are so many VPN providers who really have no logs.
It is also worth noting that Hotspot Shield is headquartered in the United StatesIt is a member of the Five Eyes Surveillance Agreement. This increases the possibility that the information recorded by Hotspot Shield will find its way into the hands of the authorities.
Strong encryption and advanced security features
To prevent ISPs, copyright trolls, and other torrenting activities from spying on your file sharing, you need a VPN that uses unbreakable encryption and won’t leak your data.
Hotspot Shield secures your data with military-grade encryption AES-256. It also comes with a file VPN kill switch, which blocks any and all traffic if the VPN connection is lost.
This is an essential security feature for P2P users, but unfortunately Hotspot Shield only offers it to Windows users. macOS or portable torrents are not protected with a kill switch.
The VPN also has DNS leak protection, and when we tested Hotspot Shield, we were pleased to see no data leaks at all.
However, the most interesting feature of Hotspot Shield is hydra catapult. While most VPNs let you choose from a range of VPN protocols, Hotspot Shield forces you to use either their proprietary protocol, called Catapult Hydra, or IKEv2.
There isn’t much information about Catapult Hydra, but we know it is closed source It is designed to provide lightning fast.
Although it is certainly fast and appears to be very secure, the lack of transparency around Hotspot Shield encryption is concerning.
With an open source protocol, the code can be scanned for errors and vulnerabilities. But when technology is closed source, like Catapult Hydra, all we can do is trust Hotspot Shield that the protocol is safe and secured.
If you are a P2P user and care about privacy and anonymity, this may not be enough. Learn more about the safety of Catapult Hydra here.
You may also want to look elsewhere if you are someone who likes to “plant” torrent files. This is because Hotspot Shield does not allow port forwarding, which is necessary to download large files. For a VPN that offers port forwarding, read our PrivateVPN review.
At as low as $2.99 per month, Hotspot Shield is a very fast VPN, has a large server network and is highly P2P compliant. Unfortunately, while he probably Safe for torrenting, the company’s intrusive logging policy and closed source encryption mean we recommend a different VPN for torrenting.