Just to get right to the door: Hola VPN is a bad and, in our view, fraudulent VPN service that we do not recommend. Moreover, this review will also make clear that Hola is not a full VPN service. It is actually no more than a browser plug-in or add-on that uses some of the principles of VPN connections. It is in fact more of a proxy service.
Features Hola VPN
Hola VPN has become enormously popular in a short time. This is mainly due to the fact that the software does what one expects of it: bypassing geographical blockages. A big difference between Hola and other VPN services is that the network used is the network of Hola users. In other words: when you use the free Hola VPN, other Hola users use your internet connection. In fact, in exchange for the free use of Hola, your Internet connection is sold to third parties.
Use of Hola
In the vast majority of cases Hola is used in the browser, mainly to view geographically blocked content anywhere. Hola is mainly used as a browser plugin, extension or add-on within Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Internet Explorer. This gives you the possibility to change your browser location and click connect. From that moment on, websites that you approach will think that you are at the chosen location. The plugin can simply be found in the browser extension store of the different browsers.
iPhone and Android apps
There are also apps available for iPhones and Android phones. These apps ensure that you can also easily unblock services on your phone. So on your phone you can also bypass geographical blocks with Hola.
Hola VPN for Chrome and Firefox
As said, Hola VPN is mainly known for its browser plugins. In the Chrome extension store you will see that the Hola VPN Chrome extension is highly appreciated by users. But don't be tempted by this. The addon for Firefox can be downloaded from Hola itself, but this too is strongly discouraged. This addon works the same as the extension for Chrome. So you share your own data connection with others who use Hola.
Not available for Safari or Microsoft Edge
Other popular browsers include Safari, which can be found on Mac OS X computers and Microsoft Edge. Hola didn't release an extension or addon for this browser, so if you want to use your Hola on your PC or laptop you'll need to install Firefox or Chrome.
As mentioned above, Hola uses the connection of its users to offer the unblock service to other users. Many users who find this out sooner or later want to delete Hola. Fortunately, removing Hola VPN is not difficult. Simply go to the extension screen of the browser in which you installed Hola. Then look for this service and click on uninstall. Your internet connection is no longer used by other users. We tested the removal from the browser in our review and it went perfectly.
Privacy and security
VPN connections should be encrypted and secure. This is not the case with Hola, they appear to be totally unreliable. Thanks to some ip leak tests it appeared that your ip is often leaked while using it, this means that your privacy is certainly not guaranteed with Hola VPN. It is also unclear whether your data is encrypted by Hola. On their website they say "All or some of your data is encrypted", so very vague. As mentioned before, Hola VPN uses your internet connection as an exit node. This means that the paying users of Hola VPN and Lumanati proxy service use your internet connection. In practice, this means that if a user of the aforementioned services does something illegal on the Internet, you are responsible for it. This seems to us to be a very bad thing and therefore gives Hola VPN a big enough lack of privacy. Moreover, in the past it has appeared that the computers of Hola VPN users were used to carry out DDOS attacks. So by using this unblocker, your internet connection was used for criminal offences on the initiative of Hola VPN.
Update: phishing attack via Hola
It has become painfully clear again in July 2018 that the Hola VPN developers are not paying attention, something that is to the detriment of its users. For example, there was a hacker who had access to the Hola VPN development account, and with access to the developer account he could publish an update
. In this way, bad software ended up on the computers of Hola users. This way it was possible for the hacker to steal a large number of ethers (a crypto currency) from Hola users.
Torrent and Hola VPN
The most commonly used client is the browser plugin for the different browsers. When you connect to Hola's network in this way, only the browser traffic passes through the connection of Hola. Possible torrent traffic via for example uTorrent is not routed via this one.But because with tests we did for this Hola VPN review it has become clear that your ip address is regularly still leaking, Hola VPN uberhaubt is not suitable for downloading or uploading torrents.If you want to safely download we recommend you to read the download page anonymously. On this page you will find the best VPN's to surreptitiously download in order to avoid a download penalty.
Netflix and Hola
Because of the model that Hola uses, namely with peers, you would think that Netflix would work well via Hola VPN. However, in practice it turns out that it is more often than not impossible to watch Netflix via a Hola VPN connection. At ExpressVPN you are a lot better off if you are looking for a VPN service that you can use to view foreign versions of Netflix.
Hola is particularly known for its free service, so you can use Hola free of charge. But as with many internet products: if something is free, you pay for it in a different way. In the case of Hola VPN you pay with your own internet connection that you make available to other users. There is also a paid version available, which is called Hola Premium. The service has the same functionality as the free service. An advantage of Hola Premium is only that you will not be used as an exit node and that you can also use a Hola connection on multiple browsers at the same time, so our advice is to find an alternative to Hola VPN. We have created a page with the best free VPN services, where you can find alternatives for Hola that are really much better.
Conclusion Hola VPN
Hola VPN is basically just an unblocker. It works fine to bypass geographical blockages. However, to do this you have to hand in a large part of your privacy and security on the internet. We think this is a very bad thing, because you also use a VPN to surf the Internet securely and to deal with your privacy in a conscious way. The conclusion of this Hola VPN review is that we strongly discourage this VPN service. We advise you to choose a better alternative from this list of VPN providers.