Hola VPN Review [Updated 2020]: What are Risks and Benefits

Data transfer rates with the service were not always particularly distinguishable from the baseline, not-using-a-VPN data transfer rates. However, the upload speed of 7.97 Mbps is hardly acceptable. This is incredibly slow when compared to some of the best VPNs out there. According to Hola Network Privacy Policy, they collect anonymous information (hardware specifications, browser type etc.) to improve their service. The company also collect personal information (IP addresses, name and emails), but also information provided by third party services which can be used to create an account (Facebook, for example).

Hola is a freemium web and mobile application which provides a form of virtual private network services to its users through a peer-to-peer network. User’s of the free service share a portion of their idle upload bandwidth to be used for serving cached data to other users.

Hola VPN Cons

Why Hola VPN is bad?

You might know it as a free VPN or “unblocker”, but in reality, it operates like a poorly secured botnet – with serious consequences.” Much of the criticism against Hola stems from the fact that many free users are unaware that their bandwidth is being used by other users or is being resold to users of Luminati.

If that US Hola user wanted to use an Australian service, they could borrow the Australian user’s IP. When it comes to VPNs, it’s better that you invest in a quality product to ensure that your information is safe. However, if you’re looking for more security when browsing the web, you can consider subscribing to Hola VPN Plus. Hola says that the subscription service not only protects your privacy, but it also allows you to browse from any country.

For instance, using Hola hardly affects data transfer rates. Users who are accustomed to lightning-fast download times will not be disappointed. Also, using peer-to-peer VPN means that websites typically cannot detect that you are browsing via a VPN. This means that you may be able to gain access to services like Netflix, though this seems to rarely work with Hola.

The company claims to collect this types of information in order to be able to provide better services and technical support. However, the service works as a P2P network, which means that other users might access the Internet through one’s computer, using bandwidth and eventually causing trouble. Hola VPN works as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox on all modern operating systems, or as a stand-alone app for Android and iOS. Quite surprisingly, the service is available for Internet Explorer, too. The service has custom apps for all the popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, routers, game consoles, and Smart TVs.

But, as we just established, Hola VPN keeps extensive records of your data. If the company is forced to turn its information over to Israel, the government would immediately have access to things such as your name and original IP address.

 

Although, the free version of Hola VPN doesn’t have its own servers. It uses the devices of its users to form a peer-to-peer network to securely route data.

hola reviews

The catch is that Hola isn’t a real VPN, in that it doesn’t have dedicated servers for you to connect through. What it has instead is a peer-to-peer network of users that have agreed to provide access to their internet connections in exchange for free access to the network. Hola VPN isn’t a VPN in the classic sense, but a peer-to-peer network that does a broadly similar job. If you want to access services that are locked from your region, such as a streaming feed only available abroad, then Hola may be worth a try.

Hola does not specify what kind of privacy or security you receive when upgrading. However, you can connect up to ten devices when using the subscription version of Hola. Lack of Device Support – Hola VPNWhen you view the company’s website, it would appear as though Hola VPN works with dozens of different devices.

  • Users who are accustomed to lightning-fast download times will not be disappointed.
  • For instance, using Hola hardly affects data transfer rates.
  • Also, using peer-to-peer VPN means that websites typically cannot detect that you are browsing via a VPN.

This means that when users log in to Hola VPN, their web traffic is routed through the connections of other users. According to Hola VPN the browser extensions “operate as a standard VPN service” aren’t part of the peer-to-peer VPN network, so at the very least your IP address isn’t being used by strangers. Unlike, say, Windscribe, which restricts the amount of data free users can use, there are no restrictions on Hola VPN’s free plan (read our Windscribe review). Instead, it claims that it can operate the VPN for free by creating a peer-to-peer network, which would make it so the company doesn’t need to maintain servers around the world.

However, there have been some serious concerns about the way Hola makes your bandwidth available for other users. Another thing that stands out about Hola VPN is that there is a noticeable lack of security with the product. Typically, VPN providers use things such as AES-256 Encryption and the OpenVPN Protocol to protect the information of their users. However, because Hola VPN is a peer-to-peer network, these things are not possible. Free Service – Hola VPN ReviewYou can download the service instantly, without having to pay a cent.

Popular free VPN service, Hola, discovered to have malware-like behavior

However, Hola encrypts everything so this shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re skeptical, you can always opt for the Plus version of Hulu VPN which actually offers real servers that are a lot better compared to some other VPNs. Most free VPN services place harsh limitations on things like server choice and bandwidth, but Hola doesn’t.

Hola is one of the better-known names associated with VPNs. It markets itself as the first peer-to-peer VPN on the market, but we don’t think it’s a good thing. Hola is most commonly downloaded as a browser extension to bypass the geo-blocks implemented by services such as Netflix and Hulu. It works as a peer-to-peer VPN; anyone who installs Hola acts as a VPN exit for another user. For example, if someone from Australia wanted to watch US Netflix, they would use the IP address of a US Hola user.

Additionally, Hola VPN Pro is also quite affordable, much more so than other VPN services. Assume that you want to log onto the Internet via Hola in Australia. When you turn Hola on, you log on via other, idle users in Australia. This makes it look like you are connecting via a different IP address. It doesn’t precisely provide traditional VPN services because rather than routing web traffic through dedicated servers located in various locations, Hola VPN is a peer-to-peer system.

Paying users can choose to redirect all requests to peers but are themselves never used as peers. Hola is advertised as a VPN, but when we hear “VPN” we are first thinking about data security (encryption) and privacy.

Hola VPN Overview

The company does have a privacy policy, in which they do mention log data. Stated definitively in the policy is the fact that they log everything about the browser used, the websites visited, how much time is spent on each website and the date and time of access. This is just about the only metric that Hola VPN has going for it.

Data security is lacking completely and privacy is questionable. The fact that Hola is vague on how the service works is dangerous, giving users a false sense of security if they aren’t doing a proper research on the service before using it.

Is Hola any good?

Fast, free and user-friendly, Hola is an excellent tool for unblocking some streaming websites. But the free version doesn’t work with Netflix, Hola and a few other sites, and it can’t match the functionality or anonymity of a real VPN.

Do I Recommend Hola VPN

This too should cause significant concern and make you think twice about downloading Hola VPN. That is bad news for VPN users who looking for a truly private and anonymous online experience. Worrisomely, Hola makes no real, declarative statement on its website about its logging practices.