The team at AnchorFree has been rather busy lately — not only have they just recently closed a $52 million funding round, they’ve also gotten around to releasing an Android version of their popular HotSpot Shield mobile security app.
“We want to be the default app that users have on while browsing,” AnchorFree CEO David Gorodyansky told me.
Think of Hotspot Shield as a mobile VPN application — once it’s up and running, the app sits in the background and encrypts the data being sent to and from the device.
On top of that, it also packs the ability to optimize web pages for faster load times by stripping out ads and images. The app made its mobile debut on iOS late last year, and plenty of work has gone into the Android version to make sure that users are left with a solid browsing experience.
“Engineering priority went to iOS because Android requires much more testing,” Gorodyansky said.
Perhaps the biggest change between the two is the shift in how AnchorFree tries to make money — iOS users get a seven day free trial and then turn to in-app purchases if they want to continue using the service.
Meanwhile, AnchorFree has prepped both free and paid “Elite” usage models for their HotSpot Shield Android app. The free version isn’t encumbered by any usage restrictions but it doesn’t sport quite as many features as the paid version does. Encrypted browsing, privacy controls, malware protection and protection against “web censorship” are all included, but it lacks the bill-shrinking page optimization service.
That extra piece of mind will cost you either $1.99/month or $19.99/year. It doesn’t seem like a bad deal at first glance, though iOS users actually pay less — they can purchase a month of service for $.99 and a whole year for $9.99. Of course, you’re bristling at the notion of having to pay more for the service than an iOS user, there’s also the option of completing advertising offers in exchange for service credits.