Hotspot Shield Statistics Revealed: User Base, Growth & More

Reading time icon 8 min. read

Readers help support VPNCentral. We may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tooltip Icon

Read our disclosure page to find out how can you help VPNCentral sustain the editorial team Read more

hotspot shield statistics

Hotspot Shield is surely one of the most popular and affordable VPN services available now.

But you might be wondering how widely used and recognized this VPN is.

If that’s the case, then you’re going to enjoy reading through this article about Hotspot Shield statistics, including relevant data and facts.

Let’s dive right in!

Eye-opening Hotspot Shield VPN statistics

Let’s start with some interesting background stats and facts about the VPN provider:

  • Hotspot Shield VPN was founded in 2008.
  • It received a total of 56 requests for user data in 2018.
  • Hotspot Shield’s VPN application has over 600 million total worldwide downloads.
  • As of 2019, its transparency report shows that it hasn’t produced any user data.
  • Users saved an average of $20 per month on Verizon data usage plans with Hotspot Shield.
  • Hotspot Shield VPN has its headquarters in Redwood City, California.
  • The privacy service helped its users save over $1 million in 8 months.

General Hotspot Shield VPN stats and facts

Hotspot Shield VPN helps its users protect their personal information from prying eyes, snoopers, hackers, and ISPs.

Also, it allows for easy access to restricted apps and websites, allowing its users to surf the internet anonymously.

Let’s examine a few statistics and facts about the VPN provider.

1. User base: not disclosed

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

Although there’s no actual figure for the number of Hotspot Shield VPN users, the provider claims its user base combined almost doubles the total population of the United States.

It says it has topped 600 million worldwide downloads of its application in 200 countries.

In 2018 alone, Hotspot Shield recorded 100 million new users who were looking for ways to protect themselves against government censorship and data breaches.

2. Server Network: over 1800 servers in 80 countries

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

Hotspot Shield VPN has 3200 servers in 80+ countries and in over 35 cities across the globe.

Over 1800 of these servers in more than 115 locations are virtual.

This helps the service to offer coverage in countries like Russia, which has a hostile policy against independent VPN providers.

In addition, it also has numerous virtual server locations in many cities in the United States.

This allows users to connect to any location in order to access geo-restricted content.

3. Subscription plans and pricing: free and premium plans

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

Hotspot Shield offers both basic and premium subscription plans.

The basic plan is free and limited while the paid plan comes in two types- Premium and Premium Family.

With the free plan, you only have access to one server with a speed limit of 2Mbps and a daily data usage cap of 500MB.

The premium plans allow speeds of up to 1Gbps with no data usage limit.

Pricing for the premium plans starts at $2.99 per month.

4. Benefits: Differs based on subscription plans

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

For basic plans, you get to choose from 5 different locations which include Los Angeles, New York, United Kingdom, Singapore, and Auto (automatic selection).

However, the premium plans allow users to enjoy unrestricted access to 100+ virtual locations, 4X connection speeds, unlimited data bandwidth for streaming HD videos, and simultaneous connections on up to 10 devices.

The Premium Family plan comes with 5 member accounts and device connection on up to 25 devices.

5. Ookla rated Hotspot Shield as the world’s fastest VPN in 2019


In 2019, Ookla’s conducted an independent study where Hotspot Shield had the fastest speeds of all the VPNs reviewed in the study.

According to the results, Hotspot Shield increased download speeds by 26.2% while the closest rival decreased it by 42.5%.

In addition, it was 1.4x faster over short distances and 2.2x faster over long distances than other VPNs in the study.

6. Hotspot Shield uses a proprietary connection protocol called Hydra

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

While other VPN providers use protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPSec for their connections, Hotspot Shield relies solely on its self-developed Hydra protocol.

According to the provider, Hydra is its ‘secret sauce’ that is smarter and more modern than all other technology.

It works by differentiating between various types of packet losses and only attempting packet recovery in specific cases to avoid slowing down the user’s bandwidth.

7. Aura has acquired Hotspot Shield as part of its software

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

In a short press release on its official blog, the VPN provider announced that it is now part of Aura.

This came after Aura acquired Pango (formerly AnchorFree Inc.), Hotspot Shield’s former parent company.

Aura is a privacy-focused software company that has a suite of other applications like PrivacyMate, Figleaf, IdentityGuard, and Intrusta.

Hotspot Shield VPN user and demographic statistics

Hotspot Shield VPN announced that they crossed the 600 million downloads milestone on their applications in 2018. Where were these users from?

Let’s take a look at the demographic statistics of Hotspot Shield VPN.

8. Hotspot Shield’s VPN applications got 100 million downloads in 2018

(Source: Fast Company, Hotspot Shield)

In 2017, the application got 70 million downloads.

However, that increased by more than 40% a year later when it got 100 million downloads in 2018.

This happened due to the increased demand for anonymity by internet users, especially in countries with government censorship and data breaches.

In clear terms, a large part of the app’s downloads came during Iraq’s 2018 protests when activists and journalists had to operate without the government’s tracking.

Additionally, millions of Iranians also downloaded Hotspot Shield when their government imposed a 10-day internet blockage on messaging apps and popular social networks.

9. Worldwide usage rank in June 2023 puts Hotspot Shield’s Android app at #4,813 in Canada

(Source: Similar Web)

Based on worldwide traffic, Hotspot Shield VPN is ranked 4,813th in usage in Canada.

Similarly, it is ranked 10940th in the United Kingdom, 9873rd in the United States, and 19,453rd in France.

10. Hotspot Shield helped users save 13 million megabytes of data within 8 months of launching its mobile apps

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

According to its official website, Hotspot Shield VPN offers its users some savings and benefits due to its data compression feature.

This translates to an average of $20 savings per month on Verizon data usage plans and over $1 million in the first 8 months of releasing its mobile apps on iOS and Android platforms.

This shows that in addition to the security and privacy features it offers, it reduces its customer’s data usage.

11. A 2016 study discovered that Hotspot Shield was tracking and selling its users’ information to advertisers

(Source: Research Csiro)

The 2016 study, found proof of JavaScript injection in the Hotspot Shield app’s source code for the purpose of tracking and advertisement.

This code was responsible for collecting users’ personal information which the service could then sell to advertisers.

Apart from this, the service also redirected all traffic going to e-commerce websites through two AnchorFree-owned domains before connecting to the actual requested website.

In addition, it used affiliate codes to collect commissions on all products bought while using the VPN, unknown to the users.

These acts were likened to privacy breaches as these purchases were traceable to a physical IP address.

12. A 2017 study found Hotspot Shield VPN’s privacy policy to be shady

(Source: Document Cloud)

A 2017 investigation by the Federal Trade Commission showed tricky trade practices on Hotspot Shield.

The investigation revealed that Hotspot Shield was making false claims and exaggerating the benefits of using its VPN service.

Also, the investigation panel described the provider’s privacy policy as shady as there was no clarity about the information it collected and how it used it.

It’s however important to note that the investigation was based on its basic (free) plan.

13. Hotspot Shield claims to operate a no-logging policy: How true is that?

(Source: Hotspot Shield)

Hotspot Shield claims to operate a no-logging policy although it collects personal information at sign-up.

According to its privacy policy, it says it only collects diagnostic data like app and device versions, including timestamps.

At the start of your browsing session, it collects your IP address before it encrypts and deletes it at the end of your browsing activity.

It collects and records your bandwidth usage for each session and the server location you used.

This shows that it logs user data but wouldn’t turn it over to the government when requested.

A transparency report carried out in 2019 ascertained that.

Wrap up

Hotspot Shield VPN with a fast-growing user base, is one of the fastest VPN services in the world.  

It’s based in California, USA which raises doubt about the honesty of its no-logging policy.

This is because the United States is one of the Five Eyes alliance countries that believe in keeping user data and information in case of criminal prosecution.

However, the VPN has rid itself of any suspicion and allegations of turning information over to the government in one transparency report.

Although there are past controversies calling the provider out for collecting and selling data to advertisers it is still one of the best options available today.  

Overall, we hope these HotSpot Shield statistics shed some light into what you may not have already known about the VPN’s policies, performance, user base and history.


  1. Hotspot Shield
  2. Hotspot Shield
  3. Hotspot Shield
  4. Hotspot Shield
  5. Hotspot Shield
  6. Hotspot Shield
  7. Similar Web
  8. Research Csiro
  9. Document Cloud
  11. Fast Company

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *