Troubleshooting website access issues

Some common reasons why you may be denied access to content on a website are:

  • Browser cookies reveal your actual location - If you tried to access the website while Hotspot Shield was disconnected, the website may have already stored cookies on your device that reveals your actual location.
  • You're not signed in to your Elite account - If you are not signed in to your Elite account in the Hotspot Shield app, you will experience the same download limits and access restrictions as a Free user.
  • You're not connected to the appropriate Virtual Location - Depending on the website you're trying to access, you will need to connect to the Virtual Location (country) where the content is available. For example, if you want to watch BBC content, be sure to connect to the UK/GB Virtual Location first.

General Troubleshooting for Access Issues

Before you access blocked or geo-restricted content, it's important to do the following:

  1. Connect Hotspot Shield (turn protection on).
  2. Sign in to your Elite account in the app. learn how
  3. Select a Virtual Location based on the content you want to access. For example, to access Netflix USA, select the US Virtual Location.
  4. Verify your IP address reflects the Virtual Location at
  5. Try to access the website again.

If you still have trouble, please clear your browser’s cookies.

  1. Disconnect Hotspot Shield.
  2. Clear your browser’s cookies. learn how
  3. Reconnect Hotspot Shield.
  4. Restart your browser and try to access the content again.

If clearing your browser's cookies didn't help, please try switching to another Virtual Location and then back to the appropriate one. This will connect you to another Hotspot Shield server.

Troubleshooting Access Issues on Windows

  1. Disconnect Hotspot Shield.
  2. Clear the DNS cache on your browser.
    • For Chrome browsers, go to chrome://net-internals/#dns and click Clear host cache.
    • For other browsers, refer to this article.
  3. Reset the DNS Resolver Cache.
    1. Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
    2. Type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter. A command box will briefly appear, and the DNS Resolver Cache will be cleared.
  4. Reconnect Hotspot Shield.
  5. Restart your browser and try to access the content again.
Do not use any other VPN/Proxy service, or Windows built-in VPN, while using Hotspot Shield.
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