Access blocked sites outside of your region
- Secures your internet connection
- May allow you to watch sites restricted in your region
- Easy to use and install
- Streams fairly well
- No data transfer limit
- No intrusive banner
- Slows down surfing
Hotspot Shield Elite is a subscription-based service that allows you not only to secure your connection while surfing WiFi hotspots, but also to access sites not normally available outside of the USA such as Pandora and Hulu. It is the paid version of Hotspot Shield and guarantees faster and more stable streaming.
To secure your internet connection, Hotspot Shield Elite creates a Virtual Private Network (a secure connection, usually abbreviated to VPN) between your computer and the Hotspot Shield Elite developer's website, Anchorfree, based in the USA.
Everything is done in an extra tab open in your browser so there's no need to configure anything. A green and red shield in your system tray indicates when Hotspot Shield is and is not connected. The VPN is encrypted with 128 bit SSL encryption so that you can surf safely without worrying about others intercepting your data.
The major reason why users are flocking to Hotspot Shield Elite though is because it allows you to view sites in the USA that are usually restricted to outside users. This is particularly useful for video sites such as Hulu or restricted videos on YouTube. The advantage over the free version is that streaming is much more stable. You can also view your purchase history for Hotspot Shield Elite in your browser.
Hotspot Shield Elite works very well and you don't have to put up with an ad banner at the top of your browser like in the free version. In addition, it tries to install a toolbar at the beginning although you can opt out of this. Also, surfing with Hotspot Shield is noticeably slower than normal but it's fine for streaming video from video sites such as Hulu.
Hotspot Shield now includes malware protection meaning that while using it, you shouldn't get infected by anything that may damage your system.
Hotspot Shield Elite is an easy-to-install and use way of accessing sites that are blocked in your region.