Are there any disadvantages to using Hotspot Shield?

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Yes: use of any proxy server, including HS, slows down internet use (so you may not want to use a proxy server for accessing unblocked content); how much slower proxy server use is compared to non-proxied internet use depends on your preexisting internet access speed—the slower your direct access is, the less a proxy server affects your speed; to operate, the HS client needs to be installed (not just run, e.g. off a USB thumbdrive), so you probably can’t download / install / use it on most cybercafés’ workstations; and — HS’s ads can be slightly distracting; if you want to avoid ads, you can get the same service from other companies such as IAPS, Witopia, HotSpotVPN, or VPNTunnel by paying a monthly fee of about USD10 (assuming you have a credit card or PayPal account). more
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