Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium: which is best?

Hotspot Shield Premium and Private Internet Access (PIA) are two of the most well-known VPN services, and they are similar in that they both provide robust encryption, unlimited data transfer, and access to geo-restricted content. There are some significant distinctions between the two services, however, and you may find that one is preferable to the other.

When it comes to protecting user data, PIA is the gold standard. The business does not keep records of your online actions and allows you to use a number of anonymous payment methods. With PIA’s extensive server network, you should be able to connect to a fast server that is geographically close to you.

The speeds of Hotspot Shield are well-known. The Catapult Hydra protocol is the company’s proprietary technology that ensures lightning-fast and always-on connections. Hotspot Shield also has a sizable server network, allowing it to bypass geo-restrictions on numerous streaming services.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Price

The price differences between PIA and Hotspot Shield are minimal, but PIA is the cheaper option overall. The best value is found in PIA’s two-year agreement. It’s one of the market’s best deals. Hotspot Shield charges more than average for its VPN service because it sells additional products in conjunction with it. They consist of a spam blocker for mobile phones and the popular 1Password password manager.

FeaturePrivate Internet AccessHotspot Shield Premium
Monthly price$11.95$12.99
Yearly price$3.33/month$7.99/month
3-year price$2.03/month$4.99/month
Number of devicesUnlimited5
Free trial30 days7 days
Free versionNoYes

You should include a password manager—whether it’s 1Password, a competing product, or one of the best free programs—among your arsenal of internet security tools. Using 1Password to create a secure password makes it much more difficult to guess than using something like “456,” “password,” your mother’s maiden name, or even your first street address. There’s no need to commit it to memory, either.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Comparison Table

FeaturePrivate Internet AccessHotspot Shield Premium
LoggingNo logsNo logs
Payment methodsBitcoin, credit card, PayPal, etc.Credit card, PayPal, etc.
Server network3,300+ servers in 78 countries2,000+ servers in 70 countries

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Features

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium

Both services are compatible with most major OSes, and Hotspot Shield can even be used on Google Chrome. Hotspot Shield supports a conventional maximum of five concurrent connections. If you have a big family, you might find PIA useful because it doubles that amount. You can purchase a Hotspot Shield family plan. Malware can be prevented when using either Private Internet Access or Hotspot Shield. Ads and trackers are also obstructed by PIA. But it doesn’t stop all commercials. The secure browser Brave blocks all advertisements by default and does not require additional ad-blocking software.

You can get Boxcryptor for free with select PIA plans, and if not, you can buy it separately. This program encrypts data before uploading it to a cloud storage service. There are some functions and features that neither VPN provides. While PIA does offer more options, the best VPN is the one that best meets your needs.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Security

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium

WireGuard, widely considered the fastest and most secure protocol, is now in use by PIA. Hotspot Shield employs its own, supposedly superior and secure Hydra protocol. Our benchmarks showed that PIA was significantly quicker than Hotspot Shield. In contrast to Wireguard’s open source nature, Hydra is privately owned. While both VPNs cover the bases in terms of security, Hotspot Shield is missing a kill switch in its iOS apps. If your VPN connection drops, a kill switch will cut off your internet access immediately.

FeaturePrivate Internet AccessHotspot Shield Premium Security
Servers3,300+ servers in 78 countries2,000+ servers in 70 countries
ProtocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec/L2TP, PPTPOpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, Hotspot Shield Protocol
PrivacyStrict no-logs policy, based in the USStrict no-logs policy, based in the US
Security256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection
Ad blockingYes, with optional DNS-based ad blockingNo

PIA provides a number of tunable safety options. It also enhances your privacy protection with a couple of extra features. With multi-hop, you can send data through multiple servers simultaneously. Data cannot be saved on RAM-only servers because there are no disc drives. When you quit your browser, all of your history and bookmarks are deleted along with it. At PIA, we only use RAM in our servers.

Hotspot Shield and Private Internet Access both safeguard you from malicious software. Although it does not improve VPN security, Hotspot Shield’s free subscription to 1Password is an additional layer of protection. The safety features of Hotspot Shield are reliable and effective. PIA provides access to more options, which may be welcome to power users.

Winner: Private Internet Access

In this comparison, Private Internet Access (PIA) comes out on top. PIA uses the well-known WireGuard protocol, which is known for being fast and safe. Benchmarks show that PIA is better than Hotspot Shield, which uses its own protocol called Hydra. For data protection, PIA has safety options that can be changed, privacy features that are better, the ability to use multiple hops, and servers that only use RAM. PIA also shows that it cares about privacy by removing browsing history and bookmarks when the browser is closed.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Privacy

Both VPNs have their headquarters in the United States. As a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance, this country should raise red flags for privacy advocates. PIA’s no-logs policy has more weight because it was put to the test when law enforcement was unable to obtain relevant data for a court case. But this VPN is owned by Kape Technologies, which has a bad reputation for spreading adware in the past.

Hotspot Shield, meanwhile, has been accused of keeping track of user data in the aggregate and selling it to third parties. TouchVPN is another freemium VPN owned by Aura, the company that currently owns Hotspot Shield. One could make the case that the company’s primary goal is to harvest customers’ personal information in exchange for free services. This seems extremely implausible, but you can form your own opinion.

Winner: Private Internet Access

In this comparison, Private Internet Access (PIA) comes out on top. Even though PIA is owned by Kape Technologies, which has a bad reputation for making adware, the company’s “no-logs” policy has been tested and found to work when law enforcement was unable to get the information they needed. This makes it better than Hotspot Shield and TouchVPN, which have been accused of keeping track of user data and selling it.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Customer service

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium

It may be challenging to contact PIA. Hotspot Shield has all the usual support options, including phone assistance, which is unusual among VPN services. In two separate tests, we emailed Hotspot Shield a total of six questions. In less than an hour, we got responses to four of them. The average time was significantly skewed by the one response that took over nine hours. When compared to other VPNs, Hotspot Shield’s responsiveness is outstanding. Trustpilot users have given both VPNs a “excellent” rating.

FeaturePrivate Internet Access (PIA)Hotspot Shield Premium
Availability24/7 live chat, email support, knowledge base24/7 live chat, email support, phone support
Response timeTypically within minutesTypically within minutes
Quality of supportGood, knowledgeable staffExcellent, very responsive staff
Ease of useEasy to use website and support portalEasy to use website and support portal
OverallExcellent customer serviceVery good customer service

When compared to PIA, which has a weighted average rating of 4.6/5, Hotspot Shield has a rating of 4.8/5. Compared to PIA, fewer users rate Hotspot Shield’s service as “bad” (7%) than PIA’s 10%. Recent dissatisfaction with Hotspot Shield was concentrated in one area: billing problems. Recent PIA complaints focused primarily on the airline’s unresponsive customer service and technical support teams. To put things in perspective, Hotspot Shield has over 550 user reviews while PIA has over 8,500. Many reviewers are free users, which could give a false impression of Hotspot Shield’s quality.

Both VPNs’ online portals are clumsy, but they do provide a wealth of helpful resources. The website for PIA had problems being read in five browsers but was accessible with older versions of Maxthon and Opera. The Hotspot Shield site is clumsy to use. Both sites’ main navigation bars feature a “Support” option, but those options lead only to search bars. It can be difficult to find the assistance you require on both platforms.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium Servers

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium

PIA and Hotspot Shield, PIA’s server infrastructure is far superior. Some of Private Internet Access’s 29300+ servers are physically situated in the aforementioned countries, while others are hosted virtually. This huge fleet is not wholly its, and the servers in question are not RAM-only. However, peer-to-peer connections are not blocked. However, Hotspot Shield has more than 1800 servers in 80+ countries. No physical servers are used, it does not manage the entire server infrastructure, and it does not use RAM-only servers. On the plus side, there’s always torrenting.

Winner: Private Internet Access

In terms of server infrastructure, Private Internet Access (PIA) is the clear winner. With more than 29,300 servers, PIA is much better than Hotspot Shield. Some of PIA’s servers are hosted virtually, while others are physically located in different countries. Even though not all servers are RAM-only, PIA does not block peer-to-peer connections. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield has more than 1,800 servers in 80+ countries, but they are not physical servers, and Hotspot Shield does not manage the entire server infrastructure or use RAM-only servers. Torrenting is a benefit of Hotspot Shield, though.

Private Internet Access vs Hotspot Shield Premium: Overall Winner

Private Internet Access and Hotspot Shield Premium are both trusted VPN services, but Private Internet Access is the clear winner. Private Internet Access offers the best combination of security, privacy, and value because of its strong encryption, large server network, strict no-logs policy, and low prices. Hotspot Shield Premium has fast speeds and easy-to-use features, but it doesn’t do as well when it comes to privacy and openness. This makes Private Internet Access the best choice for users who want a VPN service they can trust.


Is Private Internet Access better than Cyber Ghost?

CyberGhost is the quicker option, despite PIA’s larger server network. It has more countries covered than PIA, so users from all over the world can connect to a server that is geographically close to them for increased speed and performance.

Which is more secure VPN or hotspot?

Using a trusted virtual private network (VPN) to access the internet while using a public hotspot is the safest option. Your information is secure, and no one can see what you do online.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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