Hola VPN Review
Hola VPN is probably one of the most controversial VPNs out there. It is also very likely that it is the most used VPN as well with over 100 million users. I strongly believe that this high number of users is attributed to its free service, but let us find out what else it entails.
Is My Privacy Protected with Hola VPN?
What types of information do we collect?
We collect the following types of data from you when you use the Services:
• Log Data: Log data may include the following information- browser type, web pages you visit, time spent on those pages, access times and dates.
• Personal Information: Personal information is information that may be of a private or sensitive nature, and which identifies or may identify you. The Personal Information we may collect and retain includes your IP address, your name and email address, screen name, payment and billing information or other information we may ask from time to time as will be required for the on-boarding process and services provisioning.
When you create an account on the Services you are able to do so by using your credentials with a designated third party website or service (“Third Party Account”) such as Gmail®. Doing so will enable you to link your account and your Third Party Account. If you choose this option, a Third Party Account pop-up box will appear that you will need to approve in order to proceed, and which will describe the types of information that we will obtain.
This information includes your Personal Information stored on your Third Party Account, such as user-name, email address, profile picture, birth date, gender and preferences. Any Anonymous Information that is specifically connected or linked to any Personal Information is treated by us as Personal Information, as long as such connection or linkage exists.
• Registering through social network account: When you register or sign-in to the Services via your social network account (e.g., Facebook, Google+), we will have access to basic information from your social network account, such as your full name, home address, email address, birth date, profile picture, friends list, personal description, as well as any other information you made publicly available on such account or agreed to share with us. At all times, we will abide by the terms, conditions and restrictions of the social network platform.
How do we use your information?
We use your information in order to provide you with the Service. This means that we will use the information to set up your account, provide you with support regarding the Service, communicate with you for updates, marketing offers or concerns you may have and conduct statistical and analytical research to improve the Service.”
Hola is very clear on the fact that should the authorities ask for your information, they will gladly comply. This means no privacy whatsoever and makes me wonder what service exactly users are signing up for.
How Much is Hola VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Hola is a Freemium VPN, which means it offers a Hola Free VPN and a Hola Premium VPN. The free version of Hola has all the features offered by the VPN, except it doesn’t give permission to be used on multiple browsers, and your IP address is shared with other users.
If you do not want your IP address shared with other users, you better use a premium version of Hola. The Hola premium version will further give you security with SSL encryption. It offers a monthly subscription of $5/month or $3.75/month (annual subscription). Hola allows you to cancel your subscription anytime you want and offers a great 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hola VPN Speed Test
When connected to Hola VPN, it offers a great speed which you can use for streaming and torrent downloads. Speed largely depends upon the location of the servers. USA, Canada, and UK are highly preferred servers for faster speed.
When connected to P2P nodes, the speed was much lower for Hola VPN, and that does not comes as a surprise. While using this service, we failed to experience any connection drops or a major speed drop. However, there were problems with speed when using the Hola extension because it crashed a few times.
How is Customer Service at Hola VPN?
Unfortunately, Hola’s support gets low marks. This is mainly due to unresponsiveness. Several emails sent went unanswered for five days, as of this writing. I can only wonder why Hola’s design or sales teams haven’t responded to my queries about the service. As there isn’t a Live Chat or ticket-based support option, you’ll have to make due with a pretty sparsely populated FAQ section. That, or literally praying that someone will eventually reply to your messages
Hola offers a wide range of highly useful features for all its users. Using Hola, you can easily change your GPS location, switching between countries as you please. Besides providing you with unlimited IP addresses from 190 countries around the world, which you can use to mask your own IP, Hola also has a few great additions.
To boost your browser to the Hola level, you get the Hola Accelerator feature that helps you stream any movie, show or video smoothly. The Hola Accelerator reduces video buffering and enhances instant start. Moreover, Hola provides an excellent ad blocker to make your Internet surfing more enjoyable and free from annoying pop-up ads. The Hola ad blocker also protects you from different malware and malicious tracking. Additionally, Hola doesn’t support any ads within its client, because it earns money thanks to its business platform Luminati, which is reserved for commercial and business use only.
Is Hola VPN Safe?
P2P file sharing is a no-brainer, as the backbone of Hola’s service is based on P2P architecture. It’s unclear if Hola is monetizing your data in any way, though speculation to that effect wouldn’t exactly be unwarranted. However, it’s plain to see that usage and connection logs are kept, even if the last sentence mentioning ”aggregated” data is meant to throw you off – it’s simply false. The unique IP address, times, dates, and click-trails we all leave when browsing online are exactly the reason folks like us go for VPN technology in the first place. Otherwise, why use one? On the other hand, Hola is great for unblocking while basking in the glory of your long-dead and buried privacy. There isn’t any information as to what types of encryption are used (if any), but the heavy IP leaks that came up during testing would basically invalidate encryption anyway.
I honestly don’t like this VPN and no amount of torture will make me like it. I get it, it’s free but it is definitely too problematic for me. As if that’s not disappointing enough, you literally get zero privacy so what’s the point? I strongly recommend that you look for quality elsewhere because you definitely won’t find it here at Hola VPN.