Hola review

December 2017
quote
Hola is an unsafe VPN service provider and users looking for anonymity and privacy should stay away from it.
quote
Overall score
5.9
Highlights
  • A free service
  • Integrated adblocker
  • Good for unblocking
Best for:
privacy
Gaming
privacy
Sports
privacy
Pandora
privacy
Hiding IP
Supports:
privacy
Roku
privacy
Kodi
privacy
Hulu
privacy
HBO

Hola Ratings

3
privacy
Privacy
7.1
speed-performance
Speed & Performance
5.1
apps
Apps
6.8
server
Servers
5.2
support
Support
7.2
Value for Money
Overall score

5.9

General overview

Hola Networks Ltd. is an Israel based company that provides free browser and desktop based VPN services. Hola VPN is used to unblock content, stream otherwise blocked videos and access geographically locked websites that you cannot view from your current location. Furthermore, Hola VPN uses a peer-to-peer overlay network, which means that using bandwidth, the Internet can be accessed through your computer, but only when a user’s device is completely idle. That makes Hola the first community powered VPN where users share their resources.

Sadly, in 2015, it was reported that Hola sells their data to their commercial network called Luminati. The sold user bandwidth turned Hola’s community into a botnet.

Hola general highlights:

Overall Rank
#46
Money-back guarantee
-
Setup time
7 min.
Device count per license
1
Mobile apps
iOS & Android
Best price
-
Overview - conclusion
Hola is a free VPN service that unfortunately was turned into a botnet.
Privacy
3

In 2015, it was revealed that Hola also runs another business called ‘Luminati’ and sells access to the Hola network. By selling its users’ bandwidth, Hola turned their VPN into a botnet. How? Hola uses all of their customer connections as a peer-to-peer network, where each user is turned into an exit node. Standard VPN providers have proxy locations available almost everywhere, but Hola uses users from all around the world, making you browse the web through someone else’s internet. What this means is, if you’re using Hola services, any other user can browse and search for anything, it will be as if they are browsing from your computer.

It is disconcerting because you might be subject to illegal activities, downloads and search inquiries. Hola markets, but the user traffic is not encrypted, even though their website states otherwise. At one point Hola was even found to be injecting ads into users’ browsers, but later stopped doing that and is now considered ad free. All of these points make Hola’s services very untrustworthy. On the whole, it can be said that there is no guaranteed security and the customers have no real privacy whatsoever.

Privacy - highlights
  • No real privacy
  • Not safe for users
Privacy - Conclusions
Using Hola's services is extremely unsafe ant not recommended.
Features
7.1

In addition to website access, desktop and browser versions have an integrated ad blocker and video accelerator. Ad blocker is used for blocking annoying ads, malware and tracking. The ad blocker is quite good and it really helps to get rid of irritating ads and pop-ups. Hola video accelerator is intended to lessen video buffering times and help stream faster.

Hola VPN facilitates a good speed, which definitely should not be a problem for browsing the web freely, but the video streaming might be slower. Another great feature is that both the browser extension and the desktop app are very easy to install, both take barely a minute and are available to use right away. Hola VPN works like your typical browser, there are also suggested top sites based on your original location. You can choose to view certain websites from a vast list of countries, but it doesn’t necessarily means that the particular locations will work.

Features - highlights
  • Integrated adblocker
  • Integrated video accelerator
Features - Conclusions
Hola is very easy to install and offers good server speed.
Apps
5.1

A big advantage of Hola’s services is that it can run on several devices at the same time, you just have to log-in on those devices from the same account. It covers pretty much every imaginable platform - Hola browser extension works on various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, while the VPN services can also be set up on various devices, including mobile, smart TV’s, routers and so on.

Apps - highlights
  • Can be set up on routers, TVs and more
Apps - Conclusions
You can run Hola on multiple devices and has a wide range of device coverage.
Support
5.2

When speaking about support, it can be said that it is pretty much not existing. Any inquiries are left unresponded and it typically takes days to reply to emails, so don’t expect the replies to be speedy. Of course, there are millions of Hola users worldwide, which means that there are a lot of issues and inquiries coming from all around the world to reply to. Still, if you’ve run into an issue, it is better to check Hola’s FAQ page firstly and look up for solutions there.

Support - highlights
  • Non-existing support
  • Takes days to reply
Support - Conclusions
The customer support is slow and it takes days to receive a response.
Value for money
7.2

Even though Hola VPN is free, you can upgrade your account to a premium one for only 5 dollars a month. Premium users can use their Premium plan on multiple browsers and are guaranteed that they are never used as peers. Also, you can cancel your subscription anytime with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Value for money - highlights
  • A free service
Value for money - Conclusions
While it is free, you can upgrade your subscription plan.
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