Press & News

AnchorFree’s Online Privacy Tool Continues Explosive Growth in Wake of Increased Online Censorship

More Than 7.5 Million People Now Use Hotspot Shield Each Month to Surf an Uncensored and Secure Web

SUNNYVALE, CA–(Marketwire - August 6, 2009) - With growing censorship and political tensions around the world, an increasing number of Internet users are turning to a free online privacy and security tool called Hotspot Shield to access the Internet freely and safely. Developed by AnchorFree Inc. in 2005, Hotspot Shield has seen its user base explode by 550 percent since 2008 and is now serving more than 7.5 million monthly users across the globe, averaging almost 30 million page views per day.

Hotspot Shield is a free ad-supported virtual private network (VPN) that guarantees its users complete privacy and security online. Available on desktop computers, laptops and iPhones, it establishes a secure tunnel between a user’s computer and Internet connection, encrypting entire Web sessions to keep IP addresses protected and the user anonymous. As a result, third party Web sites and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) cannot block or censor Internet content, and therefore cannot track any information exchanged by the individual online.

“Hotspot Shield has perhaps become the biggest disruptor of censorship in the world, enabling anyone to access the Web freely and securely,” said AnchorFree Founder and CEO David Gorodyansky. “Many of our users are in countries where individual efforts to thwart governmental censorship online have recently been thrown into the spotlight. We are playing an important role in opening the Web and allowing people to access sites like Twitter and Facebook in order to share their stories with the world.”

Providing Internet Access Abroad

When Hotspot Shield is downloaded and enabled, all Web activity is immediately encrypted, and the user’s identity becomes anonymous. This opens the Web to users in emerging regions where content is censored and enables complete freedom to access information online without any geographical barriers. As a result, no matter where users are in the world, they can enable Hotspot Shield to access Twitter, YouTube, Google and all other Internet sites as if they were inside the USA.

As Internet content has continued to be censored in many regions, Hotspot Shield has experienced massive growth in emerging regions, such as the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and China; eighty-five percent of these Hotspot Shield users are English-speaking.

Hotspot Shield’s growth worldwide has fueled a significant increase in traffic flow and revenue to many prominent Web sites often prohibited overseas, including Google, Orkut, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, as well as news sites such as BBC, FOX and CNN. For example, Hotspot Shield currently brings 800,000 users per month onto YouTube in regions where it is blocked, and about 500,000 users per month globally onto Facebook.

Keeping the Web Secure

In addition to allowing Internet access abroad, Hotspot Shield also prevents potential security breaches at home or on public Internet networks. Many Hotspot Shield users in the United States use the tool to secure their Wi-Fi connections at airports, hotels or coffee shops, as well as to secure online shopping or financial transactions.

Many users also use Hotspot Shield to prevent Web sites, ISPs and search engines from tracking online activity, thus eliminating any concern over the ever-thinning line between privacy and invasive targeting techniques online.

About AnchorFree and Hotspot Shield

AnchorFree enables millions of users globally to surf the Web freely and securely through Hotspot Shield, the world’s first and most popular ad-supported virtual private network. More than 7.5 million monthly users in 190 countries rely on Hotspot Shield to secure their Web browsing experience, proliferating freedom of information online and democratizing the Web. It is the only free way to ensure privacy and total anonymity online on desktop computers, laptops and iPhones. Hotspot Shield is powered by AnchorFree’s proprietary communication platform that enables marketers to distribute ad campaigns, messaging and content to millions of users, totaling almost one billion page views every month. AnchorFree is a privately held company with more than $11 million in financing and is based in Sunnyvale, California. For more information or to download Hotspot Shield, please visit www.anchorfree.com.

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