Written by: Bogdan Patru
The AnchorFree HSS VPN adapter is a virtual Network Interface Controller that comes with Hotspot Shield, a reputable VPN provider. It helps you to better access Anchorfree’s network.
In order to efficiently connect to HSS, you have to download a few drivers for the HSS VPN adapter. You can find those quickly, so there’s no problem there.
Hotspot Shield is one of the best online privacy providers out there, but its primary use is to gain access to geo-blocked content. Not that its security protocols aren’t any good, but we’ve noticed some leaks, and the logging policies are dubious at best.
Moreover, the installer package is filled with extra free software that you didn’t ask for.
These are intrusive apps that will change your homepage and search engine, for example.
It’s all done under the guise of the motto “secure and protect,” acting on the carefully-built trust one would have toward a high-quality VPN. However, these misleading tactics are hardly the modus operandi of a trustworthy VPN.
AnchorfFree, the company behind the VPN, has long been associated and known to work with third-party advertisers, and there was even CSIRO study which showed that Hotspot Shield gathers user information that it then sells to the highest bidder.
Either way, if for any reason whatsoever, you decide that Hotspot Shield is no longer trustworthy, and you want to get rid of it, then you need to know the exact steps in doing this.
There are multiple steps included because it’s not just as simple as uninstalling a program from Control Panel. This is a common problem with bloatware.
This is how you cut off the root of the plague:
To do this, you have to open the Task Manager and search for any HSS (Hotspot Shield) associated processes.
You’ll find them easier by looking under the “Description” category for Hotspot Shield. Whatever process you see with that description, terminate it immediately.
If not removed, these malicious will fly under the radar, waiting for the right opportunity to bomb your overall security and the integrity of the system files. This ‘anti-aircraft’ strategy should keep you safe.
This is the primary method you use for uninstalling any other program.
Just go to Start, Control Panel, access the Uninstall Programs option, search for Hotspot Shield and the Hotspot Shield Toolbar, and then click on the Uninstall/Change option.
Click Yes, and there you go, just uninstalled Hotspot Shield. Or at least that’s what you would think.
Unfortunately, this VPN app is quite `sneaky, and it infiltrates your whole system, swirling its tentacles around everything that it can find.
To burn it down completely and clean your computer of any toxic residues, there are three things you need to do:
– Search for any HSS-related files in your system and purge everything, including, but not limited to:
– Look for folders associated with Hotspot Shield as well, in Program Files and the AppData folder especially, like:
In these two steps, make sure that your Windows Explorer file manager is set to displaying the hidden system files as well. You can’t possibly fathom how those HSS files and folders will try to elude your investigation.
– Clean the registries
Pay attention to this last step, as it will take some time. There are a lot of registry keys and entries that you must be able to track down first.
Also, tread carefully when deleting the registries; whatever you remove cannot be undone – you kill it, it stays dead. Maneuver that scalpel carelessly, and you might cut off the life cord to your entire OS in the process.
Whether you’re using Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or any other internet browser, Hotspot Shield installs a toolbar with the package installer. You have to manually eliminate it to properly get rid of HSS.
For Internet Explorer:
For Mozilla Firefox:
For Google Chrome:
You want to make sure that there are no left-over infections and residual files or folders.
Just install a quality antivirus such as AVG and then clean everything.