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Hola VPN alternatives

Hola VPN alternatives

Hola is one of the most famous VPN variants around, but it’s also one of the oldest, having been introduced back in 2012, and one of the most controversial. Is it still a viable option for privacy fans and, if not, which Hola alternative should you go for?

Whether you are a long term Hola VPN user or you’re thinking of signing up, this blog will explain what the VPN has to offer and suggest a few excellent alternatives which may well deliver better protection and performance.

Introducing Hola: one of the VPN world’s most innovative providers

When Hola debuted in 2012, it offered something almost revolutionary. Building on the expansion of peer-to-peer downloading, the developers Ofer Vilenski and Derry Shribman realized that P2P could also be used to create privacy tools for web users.

By leveraging large communities of P2P users, Hola could route traffic through multiple nodes, theoretically delivering both improved privacy and better speeds than conventional web connections.

When users sign up for Hola, the network can then use parts of their bandwidth that are currently underused, making more efficient use of web capacity overall – a neat concept that other VPNs haven’t really tried to imitate.

Instead, conventional VPNs route traffic through remote servers, which assign anonymous IP addresses and send data onwards to destination websites. With Hola, you can still achieve anonymous browsing, but there are no routing servers. It’s a very different style of VPN.

Importantly, it’s also a free VPN (at least for desktops). If you just want a barebones VPN, the basic client is free of charge, but freemium rates apply for the Hola PLUS package, which allows you to minimize the amount of your bandwidth used by other Hola members.

Have there been any problems associated with Hola VPN?

However, while Hola has been very innovative in the way it uses bandwidth, the service hasn’t been able to dodge controversy. Here are a few issues that VPN experts have flagged for Hola users to think about:

  • The Hola Privacy Policy states that the VPN collects browser data, information about which sites you visit, the time you spend on those pages when you access them, and the date you visit them. So that’s quite a lot of logging compared to the best VPNs.
  • Hola is also pretty invasive when it comes to linking to social media accounts, seeking to harvest information about your name and address and even your friend list.
  • The Privacy Policy also states that “We may also transfer or disclose Personal Information to our subsidiaries, affiliated companies” – which is extremely vague, and not reassuring.
  • Hola is based in Israel, a state that routinely cooperates with the extended 14-eyes alliance, making surveillance a concern.
  • Hola doesn’t use 256-bit AES encryption, relying on burying your data in their network of users. That’s hardly as effective as military-grade protection.
  • Testing regularly shows that Hola leaks user IP addresses, and it almost never bypasses the geo-blocking measures of various online platforms, so Netflix fans will be disappointed.
  • The client lacks basic security features like a kill switch, so if your protection drops, you’ll be totally exposed.
  • In 2017, Hola was exposed as using its network to run a botnet, potentially using innocent users’ bandwidth for criminal activities. So there’s a small chance that signing up for this P2P privacy network puts you at risk of prosecution for the sins of its developers.

So, there are plenty of potential downsides associated with using Hola. These issues regularly place the service in the lower ranks of VPNs, and we wouldn’t argue with that too much. While Hola was once a creative force, there are probably too many security and performance issues to recommend it to users today. So where else should you look for a Hola alternative?

Find the best Hola VPN alternative from our rankings

Thankfully, there’s absolutely no need to rely on a poor-quality VPN for your digital security. In today’s market, VPN users are spoiled for choice, and many of the best Hola VPN alternative providers are hardly more expensive than the service’s PLUS package. Here are some of our suggestions:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPNBefore we discuss free VPNs, it’s worthwhile to offer a couple of elite Hola VPN alternatives. In almost all global rankings, ExpressVPN sits near the top of the list, and with good reason. Fast, with a huge server network, 256-bit encryption, solid customer support, and clients for all major devices, this provider outscores Hola across the board. But it’s not free. Read ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPNThe main competitor to ExpressVPN, NordVPN, has a larger network of servers (5,700+ compared to 3,000+) and also offers various additional security features, such as Double VPN. But in general, there’s not much of a difference between these two, except for the cheaper NordVPN long-term plans. For the record, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, while NordVPN is located in Panama – and both should be outside the surveillance net of major powers. Read NordVPN review

3. TunnelBear

TunnelBearNow, let’s move onto budget alternatives. After all, the key selling point with Hola for most people is its free package. For much stronger free protection, give Tunnelbear a try. The free Tunnelbear package limits users to 500MB of data per month, but it has truly global reach and is very easy to use. Moreover, with 256-bit encryption, it’s light years ahead of Hola when it comes to security. Read TunnelBear VPN review.

4. Windscribe VPN

WindscribeAnother leading contender for the free VPN crown, Canadian provider Windscribe matches Tunnelbear’s encryption and IP protection and may be just a bit faster as well. But in this case, users can benefit from a whopping 10GB of monthly data. As usual, the free client suffers a little in comparison with the paid version, with limited servers for unpaid members. But as free VPNs go, it’s very competitive. Read Windscribe review.

5. Proton VPN

Proton VPNProton VPN is one of the most secure VPN services in its own right, but the reason we’re putting it on this list is the free version. This is a VPN tool with hands down the best free version on the market. You get plenty of features as well as unlimited data transfer/bandwidth. Who says that privacy has to be expensive? Read Proton VPN review.

Why you should think twice about using free VPNs

Proton VPN, Windscribe, and Tunnelbear are respected free VPNs, and they are much more reliable than Hola. However, it’s important to know the difference between free and paid-for VPN services.

Generally speaking, a free Hola VPN alternative will come with noticeable restrictions on its performance, with fewer servers, no P2P coverage, data limits, and slower speeds. This can cripple the experience for streaming fans.

They very rarely manage to work around the geo-blocking used by companies like Netflix and regularly resort to displaying ads to make up their revenue. Using free VPNs to beat censorship in countries like China is almost never possible, and the risk of IP leakage is just much higher.

For all of these reasons, we would advise Hola users to upgrade to a high-quality paid VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. In many ways, there isn’t that much difference between the pseudo-VPN service offered by Hola and free genuine VPNs. So take some time to make a decision. Your privacy matters, and with some great VPNs available, there’s no need to take unnecessary risks.

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  1. Oals1 May 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Hola is pretty decent. I have used it on and off for some time. Proton VPN seems to be better (I’m talking about their free version) so I mostly use that now. Hola VPN is ok if you aren’t doing something very important or you just need to get a new IP for some reason. It doesn’t always work but it does most of the time. Proton VPN works well except for Netflix which no free version can seem to crack (wouldn’t that be something, no?).

  2. ridiculousmethods May 28, 2019 at 8:21 am

    NordVPN should od the job, from just $2 a month, I think anyone looking for a decent VPN should stop their search at NordVPN

  3. Jahid Tech Bangla April 9, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    I could connect to Uk websites and use them perfectly, your amazing people, best VPN found on the internet. Suggestable for browsing content and watching hotstar like country specific video providers. I don’t know about others but this works great for me so I recommend

  4. Benky Tam February 21, 2019 at 9:40 am

    The ranking was well arranged, and I think NordVPN will likely take the place of ExpressVPN if NordVPN puts more effort towards enhancing their level of efficiency and making the platform more easy to use.

  5. Gabe Lackmen February 21, 2019 at 9:04 am

    Picking a VPN service is a daunting task. With hundreds of different VPN providers out there, choosing the right one means striking the right balance between services, ease of use and pricing.

  6. nintendoboy February 20, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I’ve been using Express VPN. No complain at all for the quality of their service.

  7. Annabella Knight February 13, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Hola VPN is an age long and effective VPN. Interesting Hola was the first VPN I heard of and the first I used. Remember Hola is your best option for privacy.
    Try it, you won’t help but recommend someone

    1. Fracoise Pourin February 22, 2019 at 1:19 pm

      I actually wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I used Hola for a time myself, but then I looked more into online security and it was clear that there are much better options out there.

  8. Elizabeth Austin February 6, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Hola is my first VPN experience. I am not sure if there is any VPN more popular than it, perhaps because of it’s rating as one of the oldest. It is reliable, easy to set up, and you can still achieve anonymous browsing with it

  9. Linda Single February 3, 2019 at 6:37 am

    You really explained this well, but I feel like this is pretty chancy to do now knowing much. I think I will pass for now.

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