In short, yes. Your VPN connection is very secure and private, whether you use Hotspot Shield Basic or Premium.
Our proprietary VPN protocol, Hydra, which is based on OpenVPN, uses standard, proven Transport Layer Security (TLS) based on NIST recommendations to establish a secure client-server connections and encrypt the payload.
The handshake is a standard TLS 1.2 and no protocol downgrade is allowed. It uses RSA certificates with 2048 bit key for server authentication and Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman algorithm (ECDHE) for Ephemeral Key Exchange.
Ephemeral in this case means that encryption keys are generated for every user session and erased from memory when the session is over.
Our steadfast security, inspired by the software defined perimeter (SDP) model pioneered by the US Department of Defense, supports both 128-bit AES and 256-bit AES encryption, and we use 128-bit AES encryption as a standard.
Fun fact: it would take nearly 14 billion years to decrypt 128-bit AES encryption at current computer power. To put that into perspective, that’s about 3X the age of our Solar System (~4.5 billion years old), or as long as the Universe has existed (~14 billion years old).