• Number of servers: 7/10
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Pricing: 6/10
  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Reliability and support: 5/10

minimum price:

Free plan

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Honest Hola VPN Review 2021

Honest Hola VPN Review 2021

minimum price:

Free plan

Visit Website
  • Number of servers: 7/10
  • Speed: 8/10
  • Pricing: 6/10
  • Ease of use: 8/10
  • Reliability and support: 5/10

works on:

Windows Windows
Mac OS Mac OS
Apple Apple
Android Android
Chrome Chrome
Firefox Firefox
Apple TV Apple TV
Android TV Android TV

Streaming

STRENGTHS

  • Free version available
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms
  • Fast on local connections
  • Compatible with many devices

WEAKNESSES

  • Sub-par privacy and security features
  • No servers
  • Doesn’t allow torrenting

With over 200 million users, Hola VPN is one of the most popular free services that has been offering a peer-to-peer network since 2012. 

But does it really provide the same level of security, privacy, and protection as other VPNs? Is unblocking websites one of the features? Keep reading our Hola VPN review to learn about everything that this provider has to offer.

How Does Hola Work?

Hola leans more on the proxy side than on the VPN one. Unlike other providers, such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost, which use servers for their traffic, this one relies mainly on a peer-to-peer network that directs your traffic through a proxy tunnel. However, Hola says it also has a traditional VPN server base, so it’s a hybrid service.

Speed

Although Hola isn’t a traditional VPN, we have to test the speed to see if it will hinder your internet use. We connected to several local and overseas connections on a 200Mbps symmetrical connection. Here are the outcomes:

  • Average speed loss: 45% in download speed and 49% in upload speed
  • Local speed: 196Mbps download speed and 189Mbps upload speed on the local UK connection
  • Long-distance speed: Around 60Mbps download speed and 20Mbps upload speed on the US and Australian connections
  • Number of simultaneous connections: One device per account on the Free plan; up to ten devices with Hola Premium, and up to twenty with the Ultra package

Overall, Hola provides better speeds than services such as PureVPN, but it’s not as fast as industry heavyweights such as NordVPN.

Security and Privacy

  • Encryption method: The free version doesn’t provide any encryption, while the Premium plan comes with 256-bit AES encryption, which you can change to 192-bit, 128-bit, or DES3.
  • IP address security: Hola uses the IP addresses of its users to provide its service, so anyone can see yours and use it.
  • Jurisdiction: Israel—not a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes, but still collaborates with this association.
  • Leaks: All of our data leaked with the free plan, and some leaked with the Premium subscription too.
  • Security protocol: IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP, and L2TP available on the Premium Hola subscription only; no OpenVPN protocol.
  • Data collection: Yes (IP addresses, connection timestamps, billing info, visited web pages, browser type).
  • Logging policy: Questionable no-logs policy with the Premium package; logs are kept with the free plan.
  • Split tunnelling: Not available.

If using the internet anonymously and securely is important for you, we suggest going for a different provider, such as HotSpot Shield.

Servers and Server Locations

Many Hola VPN reviews online provide misleading information about the provider’s server base. Since it mainly uses a peer-to-peer network, most of its “locations” are not fixed in one place. 

But Hola also relies on a traditional VPN server network of around 1,500 servers around the world. You get access to all of them with the Ultra plan only; with the Hola VPN Free and Premium packages, you get 500 and 1,000, respectively. 

Hola’s server park is average in size and not as big as that of industry leaders such as ExpressVPN.

Hola’s Primary Uses

Hola VPN unblocks geo-restricted websites. Let’s see which streaming services it gives access to and if it allows torrenting:

  • Streaming: The free Hola unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+ but only for a limited time on the free version. If you want to spend more time streaming or want HD and 4K quality, you have to upgrade to the Premium or Ultra plan.
  • Torrenting: Hola VPN doesn’t allow torrenting, and even if it did, you should avoid it for security reasons. If you need a VPN for torrenting, we suggest going with a secure provider like CyberGhost.

Supported Platforms

Which browsers does Hola support?

  • Hola app on Chrome
  • Hola Firefox plugin
  • Hola on Opera
  • Hola on Internet Explorer 
  • Hola on Safari

On what desktop and mobile apps can you install Hola?

  • Hola for Windows
  • Hola for Mac (only as an extension to browsers)
  • Hola on Android
  • Hola on iOS

Which other devices is Hola compatible with?

  • Routers (with Premium or Ultra)
  • Gaming consoles, Apple TV, and smart TVs (only with Premium or Ultra and via router)

Pricing Plans

Hola’s Free version, which allows only one device per account, is the most popular package among users. But to get more features like a kill switch, unlimited streaming, secure encryption, and access to over a thousand servers, you have to update to the Premium or Ultra plan, which have the following pricing:

Monthly Premium plan £11.99/month
Annual Premium plan £6.09/month; £73.08/year
Three-year Premium plan £2.39/month; £86.04/every three years

 

Monthly Ultra plan £22.99/month
Annual Ultra plan £14.99/month; £179.88/year
Three-year Ultra plan £6.09/month; £219.24/every three years

Overall, Hola’s Premium pricing is in line with another provider, such as TunnelBear

All of the paid subscriptions include a 30-day money-back guarantee. As for payment methods, Hola accepts credit cards, PayPal, AliPay, GiroPay, SOFORT, and iDEAL. Unfortunately, it does not accept cryptocurrencies.

Customer Support

Hola’s customer support was sub-par in our experience. There’s no live chat and no ticket submission platform, and only Premium subscribers can contact customer reps through email. But even the email service was underwhelming—we contacted them about several issues and received no response.

Hola has a FAQ page on its website, but it only includes the most basic issues. Overall, if you have a more serious problem with this VPN, don’t expect to get a solution there.

For top-notch customer support, we suggest opting for another VPN, such as IPVanish.

Want to Consider Other Options?  

Below we compare Hola VPN to a couple of other popular providers.

Hola vs Surfshark

Surshark offers faster speeds on both local and overseas servers with an average speed loss of just 30%, compared to Hola’s 47%. The difference is especially stark when connected to an Australian server, where Hola’s download speed dips by 83%.

As for security and privacy, Surfsharks takes the cake here too. Although Hola’s Premium subscription includes AES-256 encryption like Surfshark, there were data leaks in our tests.

The only advantage of Hola over Surfshark we could find was the fact that Hola has a free version.

Hola vs ProtonVPN

These two providers offer similar features and services, but Hola has higher speeds than ProtonVPN. However, ProtonVPN includes the OpenVPN protocol, TOR compatibility, and diskless RAM servers.

Although Hola offers a free plan, ProtonVPN’s free subscription is better because it includes a strict no-logs policy.

Bottom Line

Hola VPN is an excellent option if you want to watch geo-restricted entertainment content online. It has a large user base, good speeds, and a free subscription. However, you should avoid Hola if privacy and security are among your priorities.

We hope our concise but comprehensive Hola VPN review helped you decide if this provider is right for you.

FAQ

Is Hola safe?

Since it lacks some security and privacy features, we would say that Hola isn’t as safe as a regular VPN. Still, it’s useful for bypassing geo-restrictions if securing your connection is not among your priorities.

Does Hola VPN hide my IP?

With Hola, your IP address is out in the open since it uses IP addresses for its’ peer-to-peer network and didn’t pass our leak test.

Is Hola a VPN?

Hola is a hybrid between a traditional VPN and a web proxy.

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