Friday, 8 June 2012
Hotspot Shield VPN loses quit button, uninstall button takes over
If you have a promiscuous phone that jumps on any open WiFi network whenever it can, your Android device works as advertised.
Unfortunately there's a risk. The WiFi network may be set up by someone trying to grab your passwords, or it may simply be leaky because security is not set up properly.
Enter Virtual Private Networks. These are secure tunnels in unsecure networks. Even if the messenger cannot be trusted, a VPN ensures that the messenger can't read your message.
VPN usually costs money, because your data has to travel through a secure server and bandwidth doesn't come for free. But there are free options.
Hotspot Shield VPN tunnels your data for free. Well, not really free, because the app has ads from banner farms that want to track your surfing behaviour, but those are easy to get rid of.
The bad news: it doesn't work for everyone. Some people report that Hotspot Shield VPN killed their internet connection, so make sure you backup your WiFi settings before you let Hotspot Shield VPN do its thing.
The good news: Hotspot Shield VPN works for me. It's a bit slow, but if the alternative is feeding my passwords into an unencrypted public WiFi network I'd rather trade in some speed to keep my private data private.
The app is not designed very well. Its user interface needs some polishing, and the latest update (to version 0.4.13) made things even more of a mess. The old "quit" button is gone. You can shut down Hotspot Shield VPN with a task killer when you're done with it, or you can hit the uninstall button that's built into the app. The button doesn't uninstall anything, but it shuts down the app like the old quit button used to do.
Update: Hotspot Shield VPN added a deceptive quit button that doesn't work.
Maybe the next update will clean things up again?
• Hotspot Shield VPN