Hotspot Shield is top grossing mobile VPN for third year running

Hotspot Shield
(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

Anchorfree’s Hotspot Shield VPN is still the top VPN app by consumer spend worldwide, new figures have shown.

According to mobile app analytics company AppAnnie, while Hotspot Shield - which is listed in our best free VPN list - has maintained its supremacy on iOS, its hegemony has been challenged by NordVPN, which took top spot on Android.

At the time of writing, both apps had reached 10 million downloads with Hotspot Shield having four times the amount of reviews as NordVPN.

AppAnnie’s report highlights actual revenue generated by the apps rather than sheer downloads. In-app product prices range from $5.49 to $78.99 for NordVPN and from $7.49 to $43.99 for Hotspot Shield. 

TurboVPN, which is headquartered in Singapore, is the undisputed leader in mobile VPN at least on Android, with its free offering that has raked in more than 100 million downloads

Its in-app products costs between $0.89 and $32.99 and the freemium model worked for them as the company was ranked fifth in terms of revenue sandwiched between Norton WiFi Privacy Secure VPN and Avast Secureline.

Has mobile VPN peaked?

Elswehere. other popular VPN brands, including our current editor’s choice ExpressVPN, as well as the likes of IPVanish, Surfshark or Cyberghost did not make the top 10.

A worrying stat for VPN providers everywhere is that the number of mobile downloads worldwide has decreased for the first time. There were 103.5m downloads in the first half of 2019 across both iOS and Android, compared to 104.5m in the second half of 2018.

Although this is a 29 percent year-on-year rise, the increase seen in H1 2018 was up on the previous half by more than 50 percent, with recent Chinese and Russian bans on VPN one possible explanation as to why growth has stalled.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.