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I have the Hotspot Shield VPN on one of my computers. It works fine, but I've noticed that it runs in the background after I restart my computer and even after I removed it from the startup folder. I also just don't like the look of it - the design (opening tabs, shady ads, etc.) screams "malware! malware!" but its the only VPN I have access to. I'm not sure if I want to install it on my new laptop, however.

Does Hotspot Shield fool around in the registry? Is it safe to have on my computer? If I uninstall it, will it be completely wiped from my computer?

EDIT - I mainly use VPNs to get past OpenDNS.

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Is Hotspot Shield safe?

Hotspot Shield VPN may not be malware but you need to be careful how you install it.

However, it also hides in the installation package other free software to infiltrate your computer. Once it gets inside your PC, it will change your homepage to http://www.trovi.com/ and search engine to Hotspot Shield Customized Web Search.

Moreover, it may install associated extensions such as Hotspot Shield toolbar and Hotspot Shield API Server to your browsers without your knowledge. Hotspot Shield Search may display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may record browsing data and collect personal information. The Hotspot Shield Toolbar is used to enhance advertising revenue and to increase a site’s page position in search results.

The link below contains detailed uninstall instructions.

Source How to Remove Hotspot Shield

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It is "safe", but you have to be careful installing it, using it and uninstalling it as I just had the problem with it. I couldn't surf the Internet without Hotspot Shield, which sucked. But luckily someone in another website told me what to do. If you ever have the same problem. Here's how to fix it:

  1. Start >> Control Panel >> Network and Internet >> Network and Sharing Center
  2. On the side there is a 'Change Adapter Settings' click on it.
  3. Right-Click your Adapter. NOTE: Make sure it is your adapter and not Wi-Fi! In this case my Adapter is Hamachi. So Right-Click >> Status >> Properties
  4. Now if you are using Hotspot Shield, you should see 'Hotspot Shield Routing Driver 6' or something along those lines. Disable it by unticking and then Select it. (Make sure it's selected! The writing should be highlighted with blue!) And then press 'Uninstall'.
  5. Now reconnect with your Wi-Fi and that should fix the problem. Hopefully.

If you are wondering how you can get this error for some reason, You can get it by uninstalling the program while it's still running and an error occurred, Something like that!

Hope you find this helpful.

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