Download of the day: Hotspot Shield VPN

Keep it secret, keep it safe

If you’ve ever idly looked at a shed online only to spend the next decade being followed around the internet by adverts for sheds, you’ll know that when you’re online you leave a footprint.

But you probably don’t realise just how many different organisations are tracking you online – and if you’re on a public Wi-Fi connection, how vulnerable your data may be. Hotspot Shield VPN aims to protect your privacy and your data on Windows, Mac and on mobile devices too.

Why you need it

Hotspot Shield VPN creates a virtual private network, or VPN for short. It keeps your online surfing anonymous, and has the happy side-effect of bypassing geographic blocks – so you can bypass those annoying “this video is not available in your country” messages on your favourite video sites, or blocked sites if you’re connecting at work or school. And if you’re connecting to public Wi-Fi, Hotspot Shield encrypts your communications so that the bad guys can’t intercept what you’re doing.

If you’re sharing secret stuff or just don’t want advertisers to track your every move, Hotspot Shield VPN is a powerful ally.

Download here: Hotspot Shield VPN

The best free VPN service 2016

With ever increasing surveillance and the growing threat of data theft, protecting your privacy is more important than ever. These are our three favorite services for keeping your online activities private.

For more, see our complete guide to the best free VPN services

1. CyberGhost VPN

Incredibly easy to use and dedicated to your privacy, CyberGhost VPN is the best free VPN for Windows.

2. Tunnelbear

Secure your connection with just a couple of clicks with Tunnelbear's encrypted tunnelling service.

3. VPNBook

An excellent option for more advanced users, VPNBook can protect your whole home network.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," he says. "And there's a lot of crap."