Hola VPN Review 2022
In this Hola VPN review, we’ll go through all aspects, such as security, speed, pricing, streaming, trustworthiness, and more, to help you make a firm decision on whether you should use this VPN or not.
Launched in 2017 and founded by Ofer Vilenski and Derry Shribman, Hola VPN is a familiar name among freebies. It uses a freemium model, which means they have free (no ads) and paid plans available. However, if I were completely unbiased, both of them deliver poor performance.
The “Free Unlimited VPN” offered by Hola VPN is NOT a real VPN. It is more like a proxy service.
Although Hola’s peer-to-peer model may be popular, using it puts you in danger because all of your personal information is accessible and your IP address can be utilized by others.
Hola is one of the worst free VPNs I’ve tested. It doesn’t encrypt your connection. It distributes your information and logs all of your internet activity.
The product has been part of many controversies as part of their strategy of utilizing resources of users as exit nodes for Hola’s paid sister service, Luminati. There is also proof of the VPN acting as a botnet and its other product Hola Browser, linked to DDoS Attacks!
It is, therefore, safe to conclude after extensive testing that Hola VPN Premium isn’t safe to use.
However, it can be a decent option overall if you don’t mind using a service that KEEPS LOG OF EVERYTHING. Paid versions are also available for Hola VPN, which effectively gives 256-bit encryption, authentic servers, OpenVPN, and the ability to stream on VoDs.
The VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and it also has a 4.6-star rating on Google Play Store.
However, in my opinion, if you’re going to pay for Hola VPN, you might as well choose another commercial VPN like ExpressVPN or Surfshark, which have real servers, effective VPN protocols, and also retain no logs. Check out the best VPN services in the market.
And if you’re hunting for free providers, you can check out our dedicated page for the best free VPNs.
Hola VPN Review Pros & Cons
- Easy access to Netflix US, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Big Hola node network
- Android app not available on Play Store
- Slow performance
- Little to no features
- Jurisdiction: Where is Hola VPN from?
- Security: Can Hola VPN Keep Me Safe Online?
- Leaks: Does Hola Hide My IP Address/WebRTC/DNS?
- Servers: How Many Servers Does Hola VPN Have?
- Streaming: Does Hola Work for Netflix and Other VoDs?
- Speed: How Fast are Hola VPN Servers?
- Compatibility: Can I Use Hola VPN on All My Devices?
- Setup and Installation: Is Hola VPN easy to install?
- Pricing: How Much Does Hola VPN Cost Exactly?
- Trustworthiness: Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit & Customer Support
Jurisdiction: Where is Hola VPN from?
Hola VPN has its headquarters in Israel, which although is not an FVEY Alliance member can still be considered a strong ally. The country is one of the closest partners with the US Government and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA).
Of course, the claim of them being an official “observer” is still debatable, considering the documents from Edward Snowden did not have many details about the country. However, Wikipedia still mentions Israel as an official observer to FVEY and NSA shares raw surveillance directly.
If that were not enough, there have been many instances of identifying shady companies with ties to Israel. Some even claim that Israeli authorities yield wider surveillance powers in comparison to US authorities. I really would not like trusting Hola VPN service, which is based in such a country.
Security: Can Hola VPN Keep Me Safe Online?
Is Hola VPN safe? No, Hola is probably one of the most dangerous VPNs out there. It is based in Israel, logs your data, utilizes user resources as exit nodes, and worst of all; suffers from WebRTC/DNS/IP address leaks.
The premium version of Hola VPN offers several fundamental security features but still uses outdated protocols. So for security, I can’t suggest Hola VPN Premium.
Hola VPN Protocols and Encryption Information
Hola Premium VPN utilizes IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP/L2TP, and military-grade encryption standards (AES 128, 192, and 256-bit).
Both PPTP and L2TP are outdated protocols and I don’t recommend using these protocols.
The page also lists DES3 encryption, which caught me off guard. This encryption method is outdated and simple to break.
Furthermore, even after paying for a premium version, you still won’t obtain a basic feature like a built-in kill switch.
Ad-blocking is the sole additional feature that Hola VPN provides.
Does Hola VPN Log Your Data?
Log data may include the following information – IP address, operating system, browser type, web pages you visit, time spent on those pages, access times and dates.
We may disclose minimal Personal Information to other trusted third party service providers or partners for the purposes of providing you with the Services, storage and analytics. We may also transfer or disclose Personal Information to our subsidiaries, affiliated companies, only when it’s necessary.
Leaks: Does Hola Hide My IP Address/WebRTC/DNS?
To get a better idea about the reliability of Hola proxy (despite the many allegations and controversies), I decided to perform VPN tests relating to leak issues. This process took me an entire day, where I checked every single server of Hola, from six VPN testing tools:
- https://ipx.ac/run – Failed
- https://ipleak.net/ – Passed
- https://dnsleak.com – Failed
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc – Failed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ – Passed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip – Passed
Out of the tests conducted on these six tools, the provider did not display any leak issues on Perfect Privacy and Browser Leaks but did fail the tests on IPX, Browser Leaks and DNS leaks.
The results you see below are from the test conducted on the United Kingdom server. The VPN did, unfortunately, leak my original IPv4 public and private IP address. This is why I have censored the information with a red highlight, to protect my own identity.
IPLeak usually gives very accurate results when assessing a VPN and its connection. According to the tool, your IPv4 address and DNS is secure. However, the DNS test did reveal plus 55 servers and encountered 8 errors during the process, so again I would not trust a provider with such a reputation!
For the testing on DNSLeak, I am connected on the same UK server as with all analysis. The test revealed my exact IPv4 public and private address, along with the accurate country and city details, hence why I have blurred the results.
Browser Leaks is the third tool from the list which displays a leakage of WebRTC and DNS. My IPv4 public and private addresses were clearly visible with Hola VPN. This reiterates that the provider sucks in keeping your identity hidden and I would not trust it!
I used two tools from Perfect Privacy to verify whether my connection is secure or not. One is the Check IP tool and the other is a DNS Leak Test tool. The results show that Hola VPN keeps your identity hidden, but I guess that is the fault of the tools, as three different services did show leakage issues.
Servers: How Many Servers Does Hola VPN Have?
There are 190 countries available. However, neither the website nor its apps reveal the cities.
The Hola VPN free version lacks its own servers.
And unfortunately, its manual servers don’t provide you with a precise city-level location, so you can’t immediately select the one that is closest to you, which could lengthen your wait times.
The speed of these servers was “okayish” but the security was insanely poor. Like I showed above, Hola VPN does not manage to encrypt and secure a connection properly, leaking your information!
Is Hola VPN good for torrenting?
Hola VPN does not support torrenting and prevents torrenting data on its network. This implies that you cannot utilize P2P software like Popcorn Time or torrent clients like uTorrent. Without a doubt, I wouldn’t pirate using such a risky VPN.
Sadly, the provider does not offer a StealthVPN a.k.a. obfuscation feature. I still had a representative of mine test the service in China (as part of our 80+ provider’s analysis), but it did not work.
The VPN did not function in other locations like Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt either, where VPN bans are imminent and quite difficult to bypass.
With regards to P2P/Torrenting, I conducted a test on IPLeak.net, which requested downloading a magnet link and then assessing the background behind the network.
Hola VPN was unsuccessful in cloaking my original IP address. This can prove detrimental to torrenters, as they will have to pay hefty DMCA fines, due to downloading copyright infringement content!
Does Hola VPN work in China?
To my surprise, Hola VPN does work in China. I attempted to stream a video on the Chinese website Youku, and it was successful. You can connect to a Chinese location even with the free version with Hola VPN China. Only a small number of premium VPNs provide this.
Virtual Locations Testing
To give users a better idea about Hola Unblocker, I conducted a test on their servers. This was to judge whether the providers’ servers are based in the location advertised or not.
I connected to a server in the United Kingdom, which gave me the IP address: 184.108.40.206. I pasted this address into the CA App Synthetic Monitor ping test.
The tool pings the server to over 90 locations around the world. As you can see, the round-trip-time is quite high for other locations, but in the United Kingdom – London, the ms is as low as 2.419 ms.
The tracert tool from CA Technologies’ App Synthetic Monitor, further verify these findings, displaying a rtt of 4.709 ms. This means, the server is indeed located in London.
For a complete picture, I also copied and pasted the IP address I got from the server (220.127.116.11) and the endpoint address (18.104.22.168) into the Hurricane Electric BGP Toolkit:
Streaming: Does Hola Work for Netflix and Other VoDs?
All of the platforms I tested were unblocked by Hola VPN Premium, but it was too slow to stream in UHD.
I tried many servers in different countries but could only watch in HD. And that’s just because I already have fast internet.
I wouldn’t have been able to stream at all if my base connection had been 20 Mbps or less. So even though Hola managed to unblock every streaming service I tried, I can’t consider it trustworthy.
Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
I tried the Netflix servers in the UK, Australia, France, Canada, and Japan France and I had no trouble accessing their libraries.
Hola VPN Netflix unblocked
I then tried a few US servers with Hulu, and they all worked fine. The connection took approximately 20 seconds, but I eventually logged in and started watching.
Hola VPN unblocked Hulu
Hola VPN managed to unblock HBO Max too.
Hola VPN on HBO Max
I also unblocked Disney+, which is the portal to all Marvel content.
Hola VPN on Disney Plus
Even though Hola VPN managed to unblock every platform I tried, the service wasn’t up to par. Look into these streaming VPNs, which will provide lightning-fast speeds and excellent unblocking abilities.
Speed: How Fast are Hola VPN Servers?
As expected, Hola VPN Premium struggled during my speed testing.
Here are the factors I considered during the tests:
- Download speed: The rate at which you may download data, which is expressed in megabits per second (Mbps). Your ability to load websites and videos quickly depends on this.
- Upload speed: The speed at which you can send data, such as emails, files, and movies. measured in Mbps as well.
- Ping: A latency indicator that counts the time it takes for data to move between your device and the VPN server and back. It’s measured in milliseconds and is crucial for gaming.
I tested Hola VPNs performance by conducting a speed test on multiple servers. For this process, I used the infamous Speedtest by Ookla for Hola’s UK, US, and Canada locations. All tests were conducted on a 50Mbps connection.
Speed Test 1: United States
Speed Test 2: United Kingdom
Speed Test 3: Canada
Overall, I don’t recommend Hola VPN for its speed.
Compatibility: Can I Use Hola VPN on All My Devices?
Device compatibility is not an issue for Hola VPN, which already manages over 191 million users worldwide. For all the prominent operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, routers, gaming consoles, and Smart TVs, the service has its own apps.
For devices that don’t support native VPN apps like Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and other smart TVs, you can install Hola VPN on your router to cover those devices with your Wi-Fi network.
Hola Android Application
Hola VPN has a 4.5-star rating on Google Play Store. After downloading/installing the “Unlimited Free VPN – Hola”, you will be welcomed with a menu that asks you to “subscribe, don’t share resources” or click on “Next”. If you opt for the former, you will have to buy a subscription.
Bear in mind that Hola’s plans are managed differently on varied devices. This means, if you already have a subscription on Windows, the same account will not work on your Android. You will have to indulge in another transaction.
If you opt for the latter, you will have to agree to sharing your resources, after which you will gain access to the “Hola Unblocker”, which acts more like a proxy browser than VPN. All my installed apps are laid out neatly in the menu.
I can select the one where I want to shift my location and then choose a server to my liking. As another option, you can simply click on the country flag on the top left corner, select a server and then search for anything to receive relevant results on that location.
In my opinion, the app is good for unblocking, but I did face a lot of issues when using a VPN server on different apps. The protection was not that convincing and I did encounter connectivity problems.
Hola Windows Application
The Hola Windows application available for download directly on the website was quite similar to its Android counterpart. You typically do not get a VPN, VPN, but a customized Chrome Browser!
Yes, I am not kidding you. Hola VPN has simply optimized the Chrome browser to include a range of its extensions including the Video Accelerator, Ad-Blocker, and Proxy/VPN.
Without an app that cloaks your entire network and not just the browser connection, Hola does not seem like a convincing option for leveraging anonymity online.
You might have a lot of locations available, but that is just about it. The app is more of a proxy than an actual VPN service and does not offer good encryption to keep your identity hidden.
Hola VPN Chrome/Mozilla Extension
This free VPN for Chrome is the same as the Windows application. The desktop version just adds other services to the browser, which includes the Hola Google Chrome extension.
As such, the overall design and appearance is completely identical. You can turn the “proxy” on whenever you want and shift your location using 226 different servers.
However, do remember that this Hola extension is the same caught selling users’ bandwidth for the cost of covering its free service. So, should you really be placing your trust in it?
I do not think so! A better choice for privacy-conscious users is to go for reliable names in the industry like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and PureVPN with safe browser extensions!
Hola iOS App
The iOS app has a straightforward layout. It functions well and has a similar appearance and feel to the Android app. Regarding ratings, the Apple App Store gives the Hola VPN iOS app a 1.8-star rating.
Hola macOS App
The macOS version of the software has a similar layout to the Windows version. It functions as quickly as a browser and offers a similar look and feel. The macOS app also has an option from which you can pick a location.
Setup & Installation
So how does Hola work on your device? Well, you don’t need any prior knowledge to download and set up the Hola VPN apps because they follow a straightforward principle.
The website has areas where you may download the Hola VPN app for your devices. On my Windows device, I installed Hola VPN without any issues after downloading it. The installation should be completed in under a minute.
How to Download Hola VPN on Windows
Pricing: How much is Hola VPN?
Three different plans are available for Hola VPN Premium: monthly, annual, and three years.
There are further 3 Hola subscription categories. A free VPN, a premium VPN, and an Ultra VPN. The only difference between Premium and Ultra is the number of simultaneous connections. Premium offers 10 simultaneous connections, while Ultra offers 20.
The 3-year plan at $2.99/month is the most economical choice because it saves you the most money over time. A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered on each of the plans.
Credit cards, Google Pay, PayPal, Giropay, Alipay, Sofort, and iDEAL are all accepted forms of payment. Sadly, bitcoin payments and online gift cards are not accepted.
How do I cancel my Hola subscription?
To cancel your Hola subscription on Windows and Mac, go to your account page and cancel your subscription.
For Android devices, go to Google Play and search for Hola PLUS Proxy. Now cancel payments to stop automatic payments to Hola. Then just uninstall the app and you’re good to go.
Hola VPN offers a free application and a refund guarantee, covering both bases for their customers. You can test the service out whenever you want to.
The money-back-guarantee lasts for 30 days. However, it is imperative to know that Hola VPN does kind of fool its customers where pricing is concerned.
This is the first I am ever seeing of such a system in the industry! “The Hola service is provided for each platform individually. Thus, if you registered on two platforms, there will be two payments.”
This is a text taken from its Billing FAQ section, where the provider addresses concerns about an account being charged twice. Quite a clever strategy to fool your customers, Hola!
Is Hola premium worth?
No, Hola is not a worthy VPN. It’s clear to state after extensive testing that Hola VPN Premium isn’t any better.
Instead, I would recommend users go for a better alternative like ExpressVPN, that offers high-end security, blazing-fast speed, and an extensive server network.
Trustworthiness: Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit & Customer Support
To give you better idea about Hola VPN, I decided to assess the provider from the perspective of “users” on Trustpilot and Reddit. As an overview, you will not be impressed by what customers have to say!
Hola VPN Trustpilot Review
Hola VPN has a 4.5-star rating on Trustpilot with 1,219 reviews in total.
89% of the users have given the provider either 5-star or 4-star ratings, while the rest have ticked the 3, 2, or 1-star rating checkbox.
Some of the reviews about the VPN are quite serious. A user reports that installing Hola makes it susceptible to numerous threats and intruders that steal bandwidth.
Another Trustpilot reviewer mentioned that the VPN would constantly redirect to another country, despite selecting which exact location to connect to. This is quite problematic to say the least, which is why I do not recommend Hola at all.
Hola VPN Reddit Review
All I did was search “Hola VPN Reddit” on Google and the very first review that popped up stated that the service is a botnet (a verified fact), which turns your computer into an exit node that also steals your bandwidth.
The comments on this Reddit thread particularly surround around the mysterious name of the site that user data is being sold to by Hola VPN called “Luminati.” All users agree though that the provider is shady and certainly not worth the time!
Hola VPN Customer Support
In terms of support, Hola free VPN does not offer 24/7 live chat. But you can get in touch using other channels:
The last option you have for receiving assistance is visiting the FAQ section, which is loaded with relevant queries that should provide enough help.
Hola VPN Alternatives
Windscribe offers both a free and a premium VPN service. Although the paid subscription (Windscribe Pro) is better, the free plan provides a hefty 10GB of bandwidth and is currently the best free VPN on the market.
It features an effective logging policy that limits the number of web logs that may be used to personally identify you to a small number. However, the company is headquartered in Canada, a member of the five eyes alliance.
Windscribe is one of the quickest VPNs for in-city connections. However, I ts international speeds, though, are less striking.
TunnelBear is an entry-level freemium VPN. The service provides industry-required security features and an acceptable logging policy. It quickly unblocks US Netflix. However, it has a limited server network and a 500MB monthly data limit on its free app.
TunnelBear is a quick VPN, both domestically and globally. Its free version is just as quick as the paid one. Although it is significantly slower and less dependable than the finest, most users won’t notice a significant decrease in connection performance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hola VPN
When it comes to using Holavpn, users may have plenty of concerns/questions running through their mind. In light of this, I have listed some of the most common queries we get from our users in one location.
How do I get free Netflix with Hola VPN?
Hola VPN is free. And it works with Netflix. All you need to do is connect to a US server and visit Netflix.
Who owns Hola VPN?
The founders of Hola VPN are Ofer Vilenski and Derry Shribman, and the headquarters of Hola VPN is in Israel.
Why Hola VPN is blocked?
Because the Hola VPN plugin contained malware, Google removed it from the Chrome Web Store in September 2021.
Is Hola VPN safe for Firestick?
How do I install Hola?
Once downloaded the setup from the Hola VPN products page, you can easily install it on your device.
How do I use Hola VPN on my smart TV?
You can use Hola VPN on your smart TV by setting up the VPN on your router.
How long can you use Hola VPN free?
There are no limits on how long you can use the Hola VPN free version.
Is Hola VPN a virus?
Hola VPN is a VPN provider. However, the VPN doesn’t have a good reputation in the market as its app contain malware and virus.
Is Hola VPN hacked?
Yes, Hola VPN was hacked in an endeavor to steal cryptocurrency from MyEtherWallet (MEW) accounts.
Does Hola VPN sell your data?
Yes. In order to make money, Hola VPN sells the data it has acquired and distributes it to other third parties.
Why did Google remove Hola VPN?
Because the Hola VPN plugin contains malware, Google withdrew it from the Chrome Web Store in September 2021.
Is Hola VPN slow?
Although Hola is really quick, it mostly does so because it uses an unsafe proxy rather than a VPN. Because of this, it is impossible to compare its speed results to those of rival providers. Since Hola is more of a proxy service than a VPN, we won’t compare its speeds to those of the other VPNs.
Why is Hola VPN not on Chrome?
Because the Hola VPN plugin contained malware, Google removed it from the Chrome Web Store in September 2021.
Is Hola VPN legal?
Yes. Hola VPN is legal. However, it is the worst free VPN I have ever evaluated. It doesn’t encrypt your connection, shares your information, and logs all of your internet activity.
Anyone who chooses to download it runs the danger of losing their online security, identity, and privacy. It is categorically risky.
Why Hola VPN is not working?
The installation of Hola may be blocked by your firewall or antivirus software. To test whether temporarily disabling these will help, try installing Hola again after doing so (at your own risk).
Do I Recommend Hola VPN?
Concluding this Hola VPN review, after testing the VPN in all the primary categories, I would not recommend this provider to secure your online identity or use it for streaming.
Located in a country that is a close ally to FVEY, recording session/activity information, inability to consistently unblock Netflix, WebRTC/DNS/IP leak issues, scamming users by selling private data, using them as exit nodes… Hola VPN is the bane of digital privacy!
The service failed every aspect of my reviewing process. In simple words, it is a proxy service marketed as a VPN, which does not offer privacy/security of any kind. Users should stay away from this free VPN swindle. Do not fall for its deceiving marketing strategies!