If you’re looking for a high-performance VPN that also happens to be easy to use, then you’ve probably considered trying out the HMA VPN service. Created by HP in collaboration with NordVPN, the HMA VPN app offers secure connections to more than 200 countries, efficient logging, and a kill switch should you encounter any problems.
But what if you’re also looking for a simple, free VPN option that doesn’t require any kind of setup? If so, you’ve probably also considered trying out Hotspot Shield, which is one of the most popular, free VPN choices available today.
In this article, we’ll compare the key features of HMA VPN to those of Hotspot Shield, and highlight how they stack up against each other.
One of the first things you’ll notice about HMA VPN is how incredibly easy it is to setup. Once you’ve downloaded the app and created a free account, you can connect to a server in just a few seconds. Then, it’s simply a matter of entering a unique password once each time you connect.
Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, requires you to enter your email address and select a security question before you can set up an account. After that, you’ll need to answer a simple security question to login. Once you’re logged in, you can connect to a server in just a few more seconds.
Both options pass all major security checks, such as TLS (Transport Layer Security), DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security), and are reported to have the best security amongst all VPN services, according to Shields Security
Though HMA VPN does offer some rudimentary security features, such as a kill switch and firewall, they’re not something to write home about. For example, you’ll only be able to connect to a server if it has been previously paired with your phone or tablet, there’s no option to randomly connect to another server, and you won’t be able to make use of the firewall or kill switch features should you encounter any issues.
Bandwidth & Data
The HMA VPN app boasts faster speeds than most other VPN apps, with downloads generally taking no longer than 30 seconds and uploads proceeding at the same speed. According to the company, this is because the app leverages the power of the cloud to process your requests, rather than having them stored on their servers.
Hotspot Shield, on the other hand, states that it provides servers in more than 200 countries, and ensures that your data is encrypted as it travels to another location. When it comes to data transfer, the HMA VPN app can also be rather slow, especially if you’re using the free version.
We noticed that the app often takes several minutes to set up a new connection, even when we use WiFi hotspots, and sometimes HMA VPN will even stop working during peak hours, which can be frustrating if you need to use the app for work.
As for the free version of Hotspot Shield, it doesn’t provide any bandwidth limits or data restrictions, and the company says this is because they don’t want to interfere with your freedom of expression. We’d recommend the paid version of the app if you’re looking for a fast, reliable VPN solution.
Everyone logs off now and then, whether it’s to visit a website or download an app that has restricted content. When this happens, you’ll often see lots of failed connection attempts from your device, which can be incredibly frustrating if you’re not expecting such behavior.
With HMA VPN, whenever you try to connect to a new server, the company’s logging software will store a little bit of information about your device and what happened during that connection. This includes the IP address, the date, and time of day you connected to the service, and even some information about how you used the app during that time. The company claims this is to ensure that they can provide a better experience to future users.
On the other hand, Hotspot Shield only logs your IP addresses and the date and time you connect to their service. That’s it. The company states that they don’t need to log anything else because they don’t see the value in excessive logging.
We’d recommend trying out both apps and seeing which one you prefer. If you need to log off often to avoid restricted content or if you want to keep an eye on what your computer is doing while you’re away, then HMA VPN is the app for you, but if you want to keep your personal information as private as possible, then you should try out Hotspot Shield.