Hola VPN Review: Geo-Restrictions Are From The Past
We understand how overwhelming it is to choose out of a long list. Our part is to lead your way towards the right decision, that's why we put our list of VPN providers in your hands. For this review, we will be introducing you to Hola VPN, a company with a mission to deliver, which is to bypass the geo-restriction on the online content and protect users' security.
To summarize, Hola VPN provides ad remover, a video accelerator, and two plans to choose from. Let's see what else Hola VPN has to offer.
The review for Hola VPN is a tricky one, mainly due to the existence of a free version with no restrictions and a premium version. So which plan should you get, if any at all?
Let's dive into our review to help you make a choice.
Hola VPN Speed
In this section, we checked how Hola VPN fairs against its competitors in terms of speed tests, number of servers, geographic distribution, and the fastest available protocol for both the free and premium versions.
1. Hola VPN in speed tests
Hola VPN Free: The free version of Hola is faster than the premium version; are you surprised? Don't be; Hola VPN free isn't really a VPN but rather a P2P proxy network. It lacks any form of encryption (Very risky), which is the reason behind its' paradoxical speed advantage over the paid version.
Hola VPN Premium: The Premium version of Hola, on the other hand, had mixed scores and was below average when tested, making it a less-than-optimal choice.
2. Number of servers and geographic distribution
Short explanation: Hola VPN Premium has 1500+ servers distributed over Z countries. In comparison, the free version uses P2P IP addresses (Including yours).
Long explanation: The best VPN services always offer many server locations. The high number of servers (especially when they are quality servers) can relieve internet traffic congestion. When a server has too many users, the speed will drop. Having multiple servers in certain areas helps relieve that congestion pressure.
3. Fastest available protocol
Short explanation: IKEv2 is the fastest available protocol by Hola VPN.
Long explanation: in the VPN world, many protocols exist, with differences between protocols making the difference in how secure a VPN is, how fast, and whether it can bypass geo-censorship. Typically, the trade-off is between speed and security, with the PPTP protocol typically being the fastest but the least secure.
Hola VPN Security & Privacy
One of the main reasons a person might use a VPN is because they want to secure their VPN connection and stay anonymous while privately surfing the internet. The most important features regarding security and privacy include:
Hola VPN's core technology uses P2P networks to let its HTTP redirect users' requests to go through other users' connections in non-blocked locations.
1. Hola VPN encryption and protocols
Hola VPN provides AES-256-bit encryption for the premium product, but the free product doesn't have any encryption protection.
Pro mode: The protocols available for Hola VPN Premium include IKEv2/IPsec and PPTP/L2TP (default: IKEv2/IPSec).
|Uses TCP port 1723 and IP protocol 47 Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)
|UDP ports 500 and 4500, and ESP IP Protocol 50
|Faster than IKEv2/IPsec
|Slower than PPTP/L2TP
2. Hola VPN logs policy
Short explanation: Hola Free actively logs information, while Hola Premium has a no activity logs policy.
Long explanation: Hola Free gains its income by selling logged information of users of the free version online. Subscribing to the premium product turns it into a no-activity log policy.
3. Kill switch
Short explanation: Hola VPN doesn’t have a kill switch feature on the free version. However, the premium version has it.
Long explanation: Hola VPN doesn't have a kill switch on the free VPN. A kill switch acts to sever your connection to the internet in the event your VPN connection fails, therefore protecting your real IP. Kills switch protection is divided into IP leak protection and DNS leak protection. Hola VPN premium VPN does an outstanding job with both.
4. Hola RAM-based servers
Short explanation: Hola doesn’t have RAM-based servers.
Long explanation: A RAM-based server means that the data, instead of being saved to SSD drives, is saved on RAMs. This is advantageous to security because RAM is wiped clean every time the servers reboot. Hola actively logs user data, which means they wouldn't want it to be lost.
5. Based country
Short explanation: Hola is based in Israel.
Long explanation: Hola VPN is based in Israel; while it's outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, it's been known to cooperate with them on several occasions. VPN companies based inside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance are considered a possible security threat as these countries are known to spy on their citizens and share information internally. (Read more on the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance)
6. Warrant canary
Short explanation: Hola doesn’t have a warrant canary system.
Long explanation: A warrant canary is an indirect method to warn customers of governmental attempts to subpoena where the presence of the warrant on the company’s official website means the local government hasn’t tried anything yet.
In the event the warrant canary is removed from the company’s page, it means they were asked.
Hola in Practice
In terms of the applications of VPN in the real world, we dive further into how Hola fares against the rest in the following categories:
Hola struggles with unblocking streaming websites despite claiming the premium service can easily do it. We found it inconsistent, especially with the free service. However, on occasion, it unblocks Netflix and Hulu.
Short explanation: Hola doesn’t allow torrenting.
Long explanation: Hola doesn't allow users to torrent using their server, whether it's with the free version or the premium, and that's probably for the best since Hola officially logs many forms of data.
Short explanation: Hola doesn’t have specialized gaming servers
Long explanation: When it comes to gaming, the reason why you would want to use a VPN for games is variable, but one thing is clear: No one wants to lag at all. Companies with specialized gaming servers make sure your gaming experience will be smoother than with companies that don’t have specialized gaming servers.
4. Hola VPN dedicated IP servers
Short explanation: Hola VPN doesn’t have dedicated IP servers.
Long explanation: Mostly, when using a VPN, you want a dynamic IP (an IP that changes whenever you reconnect to a server). In certain situations, this is not the case.
5. Geo-censorship bypass (Obfuscation)
Hola doesn't work well in high-censorship countries like China.
6. Split tunneling
Short explanation: Hola doesn't have the split tunneling feature.
Long explanation: The split tunneling feature means you can selectively use your VPN on a certain type/source of data outgoing from your device.
Split tunneling in certain situations is favorable. For example, you're torrenting while playing a video game or watching a YouTube video. In such a scenario, you would want only the torrenting encrypted. VPN encryption will slow the connection speed relative to not using a VPN since the encrypted data is larger than non-encrypted.
7. Tor over VPN
Short explanation: Hola doesn’t have Tor over VPN support.
Long explanation: The torrent onion router (Tor) is a P2P program to enter the dark web. Using a VPN adds an extra layer of anonymity, especially at the entry node, with the addition of data encryption. However, in the case of Hola, it's for the best that they support Onion over VPN since they log all your data, making it risky for your security.
What You Get for Free
Hola VPN's free version goes beyond geo-restrictions and makes it all available. It also gives access to a handful number of IPs. The VPN also supports community power. How? Routing to other non-blocked connections means that users support each other through the network using P2P technology.
More features are also available for users who want to beef up their privacy. However, this is a premium option that is not free of charge. Let's see what you also can get for free.
Using the free version can be an exciting option to enjoy unlimited web browsing. However, it can have its downsides, including sharing your bandwidth with other users and risking your privacy and security.
Other users could be an exit server for someone else, which means if a user is hacking or sending spam, your IP will be associated as well. To avoid taking the risk, you can upgrade to Hola Premium for unlimited bandwidth and a more private internet connection. Or you can choose from our top recommendations NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
• Hola ad remover
You don't have to deal with pop-ups and ads while playing your favorite game, watching a video, or surfing the web. Hola ad remover blocks ads, malware, and trackers. Since it is free of charge, we need to make sure that it works well. Surprisingly, it worked very well. We also wanted to see how people reacted to its efficiency, and the majority of reviews were about how effective and efficient it is.
• Hola Video Accelerator
A slow internet connection affects all you do online. Personally, I might wait for written content to open and read it, but this is unbearable when watching a video. With one simple click, you can speed up videos and stream faster without wasting time.
Hola Video Accelerator improves your video-watching experience. Also, we checked and viewed a bevy of customer reviews to know whether it really works or not. For some customers, it seems that it worked well without buffering. Others found it useless and didn't work according to their expectations.
• Hola Browser
Basically, this feature is what you need for an unconstrained browsing experience. It unblocks geo-restricted content, blocks annoying ads and pop-ups, and beefs up your browser's speed.
Hola VPN protects browser traffic only and with less secure encryption than other VPNs. The reason might be that Hola's mission is to unblock content in the first place. However, we have alternatives on our website that you can check. Or you can take our word for it and use NordVPN or Express VPN to make it all secure while enjoying an unlimited online experience.
Read our full reviews on NordVPN and Express VPN.
Hola Compatibility Support
Hola VPN premium is compatible with:
- Windows: Win 8 and higher
- Mac: OS 10.11 El Capitan and higher
- iOS: iOS version 8.0 and higher
- Android: version 5 and higher
Hola is available as an extension on:
- Google Chrome
1. Supported languages
Hola VPN supports the following languages:
2. Customer support
If something goes wrong, you can click on support at the bottom of their website and choose from multiple options depending on your problem. Support options include general information, troubleshooting, billing, and payments. You can also contact them via email or their social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter.
Pricing & Payment
Hola VPN offers a version that is free of charge, alongside other subscriptions that we think you need to know about in detail. Before listing out the subscriptions, we want to remind you of the multiple platforms supported by Hola VPN, including Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Edge, Playstation, Xbox, Huawei, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Take a short way and find your plan from the table below:
|Free Hola VPN
|Hola Premium Plan
|Hola Ultra Plan
|Limited time per day
|Number of devices
|Video streaming quality
|24/7 personal support
|Fast worldwide servers
|Access 7,746,299 million IPs worldwide
|$14.99 billed each month
|$29.99 billed each month
$7.69 per month
$92.26 billed every year (Save 49%)
$19.99 per month
239.88 billed every year (Save 33%)
$2.99 per month
$107.55 billed every three years (Save 80%)
$7.99 per month
$287.64 billed every three years (Save 73%)
Available payment methods include:
- Major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.)
Hola VPN is great for unblocking your favorite content on any website you wish, including Hulu, YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. However, sharing your bandwidth with other users is not so pleasant. Besides risking your IP address, it gets associated with hacking attempts and spam sent by other users. If you want to get both full online access and keep your connection secure, we recommend either upgrading to Hola Premium or Hula Ultra or you can also shift to using other VPN providers, like NordVPN or Express VPN.