Hotspot Shield review vs. NordVPN

⏳ Short on time? Here’s the overall winner.

The better choice between Hotspot Shield and NordVPN is NordVPN. Here are all the things which we’ve tested:

  • Privacy: Hotspot Shield has worse privacy features than NordVPN
  • Features: Hotspot Shield has less features than NordVPN
  • Speed: Hotspot Shield is faster than NordVPN
  • Countries:  Hotspot Shield has less countries available than NordVPN
  • Security: Hotspot Shield has worse security than NordVPN
  • Price: Hotspot Shield is more expensive than NordVPN
  • Compatibility: Same price
  • Support: Same support

1. Privacy

I’ll start with a comparison of the most important aspect of any VPN - privacy. During review I will consider whether VPN logs anything (IP address, traffic, DNS logs, bandwidth, or any type of timestamps) and the jurisdiction of VPN’s country of origin.

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN
IP addressYesNo

Hotspot Shield is located in United States which is part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is part of enemies of the internet countries while NordVPN is located in Panama which is not part of 5 9 14 eyes countries and is part of enemies of the internet countries.

It’s important to note that If you are like me and you will be using VPN only to unblock GEO-restricted content, privacy will not be that important factor but it’s still essential for any VPN.

2. Features

The next category I want to compare are features of Hotspot Shield and NordVPN such as kill-switch, unblocking of streaming, support of P2P traffic (torrenting). I am a heavy user of various streaming platforms so for me it’s important whether VPN unblocks major streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO or BBC. I don’t do much torrenting but it’s always good to use a VPN while doing so. If this is an important factor for you, definitely look for a VPN which supports P2P traffic.

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN
Streaming (Netflix)YesYes
P2P traffic - torrentsYesYes

As you can see from the comparison table above, Hotspot Shield has kill-switch, supports streaming services, and supports torrenting. On the flipside NordVPN has kill-switch, supports streaming services, and supports torrenting.

3. Speed

Being hidden behind VPN shouldn’t limit the speed of your connection. I’ve measured the speed of each VPN against a 100mbps connection - which should be sufficient for any activities including heavy streaming in 4K or downloading large files.

In my test Hotspot Shield was more on the below average side while NordVPN had fast speed. If there were no limits in speed on a 100mbps connection, I consider VPN a “fast” one. If the speed is limited somehow but still achieving decent values, I categorize it as “average”. The “slow” is usually used for VPNs which limit your bandwidth significantly.

4. Security

I will start by comparing the type of encryption Hotspot Shield and NordVPN use, what tunnelling protocols are available, and finally we’ll test whether it leaks the IP address or DNS.

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN
Tunneling protocolsOpenVPNOpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, PPTP and IKEv2
IP leaksYesNo
DNS leaksYesNo

The most important factor of a VPN service is a strong encryption of the traffic which is forwarded through the VPN servers. The most common encryption types in cryptography are SHA encryption or AES encryption which are not really comparable against each other. There might be different lengths of encryptions (eg. 128-bit, 256-bit, 2048-bit) and while usually the higher is the better, for most use cases you will be fine with any encryption. Watch-out if there is no encryption at all. Hotspot Shield uses 256-bit and OpenVPN protocol and NordVPN uses 256-bit and es 256-bit and OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, PPTP and IKEv2 protocols. I’ve tested both VPNs also for IP and DNS leaks and Hotspot Shield had no IP leaks and No DNS leaks while NordVPN had No IP leaks and No DNS leaks. 

5. Price

Probably one of the most important decision factor for the majority of users will be price. Shocking? Not really. We all love to compare things and I am not different. It’s always good to get the best value for your hard-earned money, isn’t it? So let’s see whether Hotspot Shield or NordVPN is cheaper.

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN
Trial versionYesYes

6. Compatibility

Hotspot Shield supports 5 connections at the same time while it works fine on all the platforms below. You can use NordVPN on 6 devices at the same time with support of all these platforms:

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN

7. Support

Should you have any problems with Hotspot Shield or NordVPN you can reach out to their support via:

NameHotspot ShieldNordVPN


Hotspot Shield ranked in our list on 92. position while NordVPN. is on 1 position. If you are looking for a better choice, see our rankings here.