Hola VPN Review

Our rating
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25%
Features Read more toggle icon
75%
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Hola VPN may be a suitable choice if you are looking for a VPN for accessing geo-restricted streaming content. However, if you require additional features and strong levels of privacy and security, it cannot compete with premium VPNs.

Hola is a tempting free service that offers an alternative method of protecting your internet privacy. Unlike typical premium VPN services, Hola does not depend on a dedicated network of VPN servers. Instead, the provider describes the service as a "peer to peer" VPN, that works by rerouting web traffic through its users. This means that your internet data might pass through the devices of other users who have installed the service.

This method has some benefits. There are no fixed servers, meaning it is more difficult for websites to detect your use of a VPN. However, Hola only protects web traffic and it does not encrypt your data.

  • pro icon Unlimited internet access
  • pro icon Free version
  • pro icon Fast speeds
  • con icon No encryption
  • con icon Stores and shares user information
  • con icon Malware-like behaviour on network
Price Starting At: 2.99 $ / monthly 49 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5000+
General information
Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 10
Number of Netflix Libraries: All
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, macOS, Windows
Router support:
VPN Promotion: Get VPN from Hola VPN for 2.99$ per month
Capabilities
Unlimited Bandwidthcross iconKill Switchcross iconSplit Tunnelingcross iconZero Data Loggingcross iconFree Version / Trialcross iconMobile Appcross iconBrowser Extentioncross iconNetflix Approvedcross iconFirestick Compatiblecross icon
Payment options
  • Alipay
  • Discover
  • GiroPay
  • Google Pay
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Mastercard Debit
  • Paypal
  • Sofort
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • Visa Electron
Geolocations available
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Hola VPN Security

25%

When it comes to user security and privacy, Hola is likely not the best option on the market. Hola is a free service that works in a different way to conventional VPNs. Unlike most VPN providers, Hola does not depend on a fixed network of VPN servers. The provider describes its service as a "peer to peer" VPN. User internet traffic is rerouted through its users' devices. Thus, your web traffic may pass through the devices of other users, and the traffic of other users might pass through your computer.

This method does offer some advantages. There are no fixed VPN servers, which means it is harder for websites to detect your use of a VPN connection. It also reduces costs as there are no server management costs or bandwidth costs, meaning that the service can be offered for free.

However, there is a range of security risks that come with this method. Hola only protects web browser traffic and even that data is not encrypted in the same way as with other VPNs. Therefore, the service may be successful at unblocking streaming sites, but it will not provide the same level of privacy as a conventional VPN product.

One main issue is if you download one of Hola's apps, you are allowing the provider to use your device and system to reroute the data traffic of other users through your connection. The provider states that it only uses devices when they are connected to electricity and file and claims to use no more than 1000MB per day on desktops, 3MB from mobiles. However, if your device becomes an exit server for another user, more significant concerns arise. If the user sends spam or engages in dubious activities such as hacking, your IP address may become linked to those activities.

Users can prevent these issues by upgrading to Hola's Premium plan, which doesn't share your data with other users, and enables access to a network of Hola's own VPN servers.

Typical VPNs reroute your internet traffic through their own network of servers, meaning that they have the potential to log your activity. Hola's model of passing data through its users may seem like a tempting alternative, but it does come with its own issues.

Hola states that it regularly monitors the user network for security breaches or misuse and that it can link activity to the origin of any request it considers to be a security breach. Despite that this may be intended to catch hackers and cybercriminals, it requires a higher level of logging and monitoring than is typically seen with conventional VPNs.

The privacy policy also states that the company may store log data including access information, browser type, web requests, navigations request, web pages and applications accessed, access dates and times, bandwidth used, and time spent on web pages. Hola may also collect and store IP addresses, usernames, email addresses, device version, screen name, payment details, and more. So, if your anonymity and privacy are important to you, Hola is not a good choice.

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Hola VPN Features

75%

The Hola free VPN service is available on almost every device and operating system. There are dedicated custom browsers for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox.

It is necessary to note that if you choose to install one of the Hola free VPN apps rather than the browser extensions, you are allowing the provider to utilize some of your device's system, as the activity of other users may run through your connection. However, Hola does state that it only uses idle devices that are connected to a power source.

Upgrading to Hola's Premium subscription plan means that you do not have to share your connection with other Hola users. With Premium the service is available on a greater range of platforms and enables access to Hola's own network of servers. However, its annual plan is costly, at $7.69 a month. If you are happy with the basic tools, Hola's main service is free to use.

Installing Hola's free VPN on a Windows device will prompt customers to install the Chrome or Firefox extension and Hola app. Once the extension is installed, it monitors the websites you access and offers alternative countries for sites you may want to unblock. For example, if you are accessing a United Kingdom streaming site from the United States, you may be asked whether you want to continue as normal, without Hola, or using Hola with a UK IP address, or utilizing Hola with an IP address from a different country.

The Hola Free VPN version enables access to a range of streaming sites including United States Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more. The free VPN version does limit access on certain sites such as Netflix to an hour a day. If you want unlimited time on your favorite streaming sites, you will need to sign up for the provider's premium plan.

Also, it is necessary to note that the free version will not always identify when you require assistance. In such cases, you can use the VPN Hola app in the same way as a typical VPN. Simply, click the address icon, select your desired location, and allow the web page to refresh before accessing your content.

If you are concerned about free Hola monitoring every website you access, you can deny the installation of the browser extension proxy and use the custom browser app. However, this does mean that you will have to let Hola share your connection and data with other customers.

The Hola VPN ltd browser provides a simple home page with icons for popular streaming websites including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more. The company is successful at unblocking a decent range of streaming services and rarely encounters connectivity problems. This is impressive for a free product and is not a bad option if you want to stream media, but for most users, it may not be worth the security risks.

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Is Hola VPN Safe?

If you want to keep your private online information private, it is necessary to choose a VPN app that does not store logs. Hola is not the best VPN choice if you want to protect your web privacy and anonymity. The terms of Hola’s privacy policy reveals that the service stores almost everything regarding bandwidth and connections including IP addresses, billing information, email address, connection timestamps, web request information, device name, and more.

The policy also states that this information may be shared with partners, affiliates, and third parties which may result in malicious marketing offers and targeting advertisements.

If you download and use Hola’s applications, you are putting your online privacy at risk, especially if you use the free version. When you use the Hola application, your bandwidth is being shared with customers in other countries across the world. This means that if another user gains access to your shared connection and carries out illegal activity, your connection will be linked to the investigation.

Also, the provider does not offer any additional security tools such as split tunneling technology, industry-standard encryption, or security protocols. We would, therefore, recommend looking at conventional VPN service providers if you want to actually protect your private information and online identity. Despite the fact that Hola’s free version may be successful as a streaming unblocker, it is an extremely risky product with no security or encryption standards. It also has a history of misusing private customer information.

If you are on a budget, we would recommend looking at Surfshark, which comes with a host of premium security features and unblocking capabilities. There is a free trial too, allowing you to test the product before you commit to a paid subscription.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
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