Hola VPN Free Review 2023: 5 Cons and 1 Pro
Hola VPN Free: A Non-secure VPN that Exploits User Devices
- Inadequate for ensuring internet anonymity
- IP addresses are shared with other users
- Limited privacy
- Scant features
- Unstable connection speeds
- Unlimited traffic
The design of Hola VPN Free is distinct from other VPNs. Instead of connecting to the provider’s servers, the application links to the devices of other users who, in turn, facilitate the change of IP address and location.
Consequently, prior to utilizing the app for the first time, users must consent to Hola VPN Free‘s utilization of their device for its purposes, which among other things, helps reduce server infrastructure costs.
The service is managed by Israeli company Hola VPN Ltd. It is the operational approach, specific privacy conditions, and absence of advanced features that contribute to Hola VPN Free‘s relatively low rating of 4.6/10 in our assessment. By comparison, the paid service NordVPN scored 9.4/10, and Proton VPN Plus garnered a final score of 8.6/10.
Hola VPN Free‘s rating drops due to factors such as below-average transfer rates, which are largely dependent on users. The critical security feature, the kill switch, is only available on Windows devices. User support is among the worst for VPNs, and most problematically, past incidents of user devices being compromised via IP address sharing have occurred.
Despite this, the Hola VPN Free application is user-friendly and easy to operate. It is compatible with various operating systems and device types. Hola VPN Free also successfully unblocked videos from all major streaming services in our tests.
A significant advantage of Hola VPN Free is the unlimited data transfer volume. Most free VPNs usually enforce a monthly limit, after which the service ceases to function.
Due to its operational model, Hola VPN Free is only suitable for a specific user demographic. For enhanced security and anonymity, we recommend other services, including free ones such as Proton VPN Free or TunnelBear VPN Free.
Hola VPN Free Subscription: Discount Code, Free Trial, Money Back Guarantee…
- Your Price:
Free (10 devices)
Hola VPN Free can be used for free for an unlimited duration.
The same provider also offers a paid service, Hola VPN Premium, which can connect to 6,500 servers in 42 countries globally. The service operates on a traditional VPN principle, allowing you to hide your IP address and browse the internet anonymously.
The most affordable subscription variant, Hola VPN Premium, is priced at $2.89 per month.
- Your Price:
Hola VPN Free and Supported Devices: Android, iOS, macOS…
- Device limit: 10
- Android: YesAndroid is supported by 98 % of reviewed VPNs
- Android TV:YesAndroid TV is supported by 37 % of reviewed VPNs
- Apple TV:YesApple TV is supported by 18 % of reviewed VPNs
- Fire TV:YesFire TV is supported by 44 % of reviewed VPNs
- Chromebook:NoChromebook is supported by 21 % of reviewed VPNs
- Chromecast:NoChromecast is supported by 16 % of reviewed VPNs
- iOS:YesiOS is supported by 99 % of reviewed VPNs
- Kodi:NoKodi is supported by 22 % of reviewed VPNs
- Linux:NoLinux is supported by 60 % of reviewed VPNs
- Mac:YesMac is supported by 98 % of reviewed VPNs
- NAS:NoNAS is supported by 25 % of reviewed VPNs
- nVidia Shield:NonVidia Shield is supported by 15 % of reviewed VPNs
- Playstation:YesPlaystation is supported by 20 % of reviewed VPNs
- Raspberry Pi:NoRaspberry Pi is supported by 18 % of reviewed VPNs
- Roku:NoRoku is supported by 16 % of reviewed VPNs
- Router:YesRouter is supported by 54 % of reviewed VPNs
- Windows:YesWindows is supported by 100 % of reviewed VPNs
- xBox:YesxBox is supported by 20 % of reviewed VPNs
- Brave : YesThe Brave browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Chrome :YesThe Chrome browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Edge :YesThe Edge browser add-on is offered by 19 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Firefox :NoThe Firefox browser add-on is offered by 35 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Opera :YesThe Opera browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Safari :NoThe Safari browser add-on is offered by 0 % of reviewed VPNs.
- Vivaldi :YesThe Vivaldi browser add-on is offered by 45 % of reviewed VPNs.
A single Hola VPN Free account allows simultaneous connections on up to 10 devices.
The Hola VPN Free app is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices, but does not support Linux. Hola VPN Free can also be used on Android TV, Fire TV, and Apple TV smart TVs, and is compatible with Playstation and Xbox.
Hola VPN Free supports selected router brands, providing a convenient means to secure all devices connected to the same network. The service provider specifically recommends Keenetic routers.
VPN functionality on NAS, Raspberry Pi, Chromebooks, and other less conventional devices is not available.
VPNs can also be utilized through Chrome, Opera, and Edge browser extensions.
Hola VPN Free App: User-friendliness, whitelist, server selection…
- App Languages: 🇺🇸 English
- Whitelisting: NoWhitelisting is supported by 52 % of reviewed VPNs
Although the Hola VPN Free app is straightforward and easy to navigate, it lacks numerous features. Compared to other VPN apps, we rank it as less proficient.
Among the relatively standard features, the kill switch is available but only on the Windows platform. The kill switch severs the device’s internet connection when the connection to the counterpart is lost, preventing the user’s IP address and actual location from being revealed. An optional delay can be set determining how long the device will remain disconnected from the internet following a failure.
To connect to the VPN, users must first select a location and then click a button. Each time the location is altered, the app prompts the user to change the VPN settings, which can be somewhat irritating. Once connected to the VPN, the virtual IP address is displayed on the main page and the connection duration is recorded.
Automatically connecting to the VPN when the device starts or when the app launches is only available on Windows. Similarly, altering the protocol used is only possible with the Windows app. Hola VPN Free does not support whitelisting, which enables the selection of apps and websites that will not connect via VPN.
The app is exclusively available in English and does not support other languages.
The Hola VPN Free browser extension provides slightly more options, allowing users to change the language, activate incognito mode, and enable pop-up ad blocking.
Hola VPN Free Connection Speed: Upload, Download & Latency
- Traffic limit: Unlimited
The design of Hola VPN Free is fundamentally different from conventional VPNs because other users assume the role of servers. Hence, transfer speed is contingent on the connection speed of the other party, and consequently, it can vary significantly even when connected to someone within the same country.
Like other reviewed VPNs, we conducted connection speed tests on Hola VPN Free. The results should be interpreted cautiously.
We achieved an average download speed of 63 Mb/s, which is mediocre compared to other VPNs but is sufficient for downloading larger files.
The upload speed of 115 Mb/s was adequate for uploading purposes, but we once again highlight the unique operational principle of the service.
The server response speed of 15 ms is impressive. With such a value, Hola VPN Free would rank among the better tested services. A lower value is preferred for response speed as opposed to download and upload speeds.
Hola VPN Free Server Locations
Hola VPN Free utilizes the devices of other connected users instead of servers. Therefore, the number of servers and the list of countries cannot be as definitively stated as with other VPNs.
While the Hola VPN Free application menu displays an extensive list of locations, their availability depends on whether a user from that country is currently connected to the application. The list does include the US, UK, Australia, or countries with governmental censorship like Russia, Turkey, or South Africa.
Using Hola VPN Free to unblock foreign content can be challenging because a user from that country must be connected. To reliably connect to a server in another country, we recommend using the paid services of Surfshark (97 countries) or ExpressVPN (94 countries).
The significant risk of using Hola VPN Free is that your device effectively acts as a VPN for another user. Thus, there is a real risk that your IP address can be exploited for illegal activities.
Users of the paid variant, Hola VPN Premium, do not participate in address sharing. Instead, they can connect to 6,500 servers in 42 countries worldwide.
By its very design, Hola VPN Free does not offer dedicated servers or the ability to connect to the fastest server.
Hola VPN Free Security Features: DNS Leak Protection, Kill Switch…
- DNS leak protection : NoDNS leak protection is offered by 93% of the reviewed VPNs.
- Kill Switch: NoKill Switch is supported by 85% of the reviewed VPNs.
- Multi-Hop: NoMulti-Hop connection is offered by 20 % of the VPNs reviewed.
- Tor: NoTor support is offered by 18 % of the reviewed VPNs.
Hola VPN Free is one of the few tested services that do not implement DNS leak protection. It is only available to users of the paid version, Hola VPN Premium.
To safeguard data, Hola VPN Free uses IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP protocols. Modern protocols like OpenVPN or Wireguard are not included in the menu. In addition to AES128 and AES256 encryption, Hola VPN Free also employs 56-bit DES3, which is considered obsolete and susceptible to being cracked.
The key security feature of a kill switch is only found in the Windows application, lacking on all other platforms. A kill switch severs the device’s internet connection if the VPN connection fails, preventing the exposure of the IP address and the user’s real location. This feature is fundamental and typically found in most free VPNs.
Browser extensions primarily offer internet pop-up blocking, which functioned reliably throughout our tests.
Hola VPN Free neither supports Tor traffic nor multi-hop connections. The idea behind the latter is to simultaneously establish a connection through two different VPN servers sequentially, enhancing privacy and security.
For increased account protection, two-factor authentication can be activated when a new device is linked. Apart from the password, a code generated by the mobile app is then necessary.
Despite no DNS leaks or exposure of our real IP address during our tests, we wouldn’t recommend Hola VPN Free for those needing to conceal their identities. In the unverified experiences of some Hola VPN Free users, the application sometimes connects you to a location where nobody else is currently connected. In such a scenario, the application exposes your real IP address without any safeguard.
Moreover, past concerns have been raised about the app’s vulnerability due to bugs that could compromise a user’s device.
Hola VPN Free & Streaming: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime…
- Amazon Prime: YesAmazon Prime streaming is supported by 51 % of reviewed VPNs
- Disney+: YesDisney+ streaming is supported by 54 % of reviewed VPNs
- HBO: YesHBO streaming is supported by 57 % of reviewed VPNs
- Hulu: NoHulu streaming is supported by 48 % of reviewed VPNs
- Netflix: YesNetflix streaming is supported by 65 % of reviewed VPNs
- YouTube: YesYouTube streaming is supported by 95 % of reviewed VPNs
Somewhat unexpectedly, Hola VPN Free managed to unblock streams from nearly all tested platforms. We were successful with Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and HBO when connected to a US site and could view content there. Hulu was the only platform where we were unable to play video.
The bitrate during testing was relatively low, preventing us from watching 4K content. Additionally, video often stuttered when connecting to distant servers, providing a less than optimal user experience. For streaming video, we recommend opting for a different service.
Among the free services, Windscribe Free is usable albeit with some limitations, while among paid options, NordVPN—priced at $4.07 per month—is an excellent choice. NordVPN does not impose data transfer limits, and its speed is more than enough for watching 4K video.
Features of Hola VPN Free: AdBlock, Static IP…
- Blocks Ads: NoAd blocking is offered by 43 % of the VPNs reviewed.
- Blocks Malware: NoMalware blocking is offered by 33 % of the VPNs reviewed.
- Blocks Trackers: NoTrackers blocking is offered by 36 % of the VPNs reviewed.
The features provided by Hola VPN Free are limited when compared to its competition.
Hola VPN Free lacks the ability to block ads, trackers, or malware. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer whitelisting apps or websites, nor does it automatically protect unsecured Wi-Fi networks. A kill switch is only available in the Windows application.
Advanced multi-hop connectivity or dark web data leak monitoring isn’t possible with Hola VPN Free either. Among the sparse available features is an automatic connection when the application or computer boots up.
Even for an extra fee, a static or dedicated IP address isn’t offered.
Hola VPN Free‘s CPU usage and App Performance
The Hola VPN Free app presents an average device load. Like most VPN services, you likely won’t notice it operating while using your computer.
During our tests, the Hola VPN Free app utilized about 0.2% of the laptop’s CPU and battery power, with RAM consumption between 50 and 60 MB. Given these requirements, Hola VPN Free can operate on older devices.
When the connection is switched off, these figures decrease, and complete shutdown of the application results in zero usage. The desktop app occupies approximately 100 MB of disk space.
Hola VPN Free Torrenting Servers
- Torrenting servers: NoTorrenting support is offered by 88 % of the reviewed VPNs.
Despite Hola VPN Free being based on P2P sharing, it does not support torrenting. Also, due to the way the service operates, there aren’t any servers optimized for torrenting.
For torrenting, we suggest a service offering high connection speeds, robust security, and a kill switch feature. Certain VPN providers even operate servers specifically optimized for P2P file sharing. We recommend CyberGhost VPN or Ivacy VPN in this regard.
What is the country of origin of Hola VPN Free?
- VPN Provider: Hola VPN Ltd.
- Country of origin: 🇮🇱 Israel
Hola VPN Ltd., based in Netanya, Israel, operates Hola VPN Free. The company was established in 2007.
Though Israel isn’t part of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance of countries, it has collaborated with them previously. Members of this alliance monitor their citizens’ internet activities and share the gathered information among themselves in response to security threats or other dangers.
Hola VPN Free retains a considerable amount of user data. It shares the gathered information with third parties and might release it to pertinent authorities upon request.
Hola VPN Free and Privacy: Logging Policy, Security Issues…
- No-Logs Policy: NoThe No-Logs Policy is followed by 78% of reviewed VPNs.
Hola VPN Free may also gather information about the apps you use on your device.
This collected user data is shared with third parties. For instance, your IP address is shared with other users of Hola VPN Free who might use it for illicit activities.
Hola VPN Free‘s provider also shares data with third parties for analytical purposes. If faced with legal issues, it transfers the gathered data to government authorities. Hola VPN Free has not been audited by an independent party, and there is no Transparency Report available to attest to its security.
The degree of security and privacy compliance is inadequate. Hola VPN Free is entirely unsuitable for ensuring protection and privacy.
Hola VPN Free Support: Chat, e-mail…
A knowledge base with answers to frequently asked questions is accessible on the Hola VPN Free website. You can directly click the support page from the application.
Technical support can be reached via a form on the website. A response is sent to the specified email, with support answering a test query within a few days.
There’s no live chat or any other form of technical support available.
Hola VPN Free FAQ
Is Hola VPN Free good?The feature set of Hola VPN Free is very limited, with some options only accessible through the Windows application. We find its level of privacy and security utterly insufficient, which stems from the operational principle of Hola VPN Free. The service stores a large amount of user data and shares collected information with third parties.
Is Hola VPN Free secure?Although Hola VPN Free hid our IP address and prevented DNS leaks, the service doesn’t have its servers and utilizes other users’ devices for operation. Likewise, Hola VPN Free has significant privacy gaps and collects a vast amount of user data, including full names or profile pictures from social networks. Moreover, it shares the collected data with other businesses.
Is Hola VPN Free free?Yes, Hola VPN Free is free for unlimited usage. However, the service uses users’ internet connections and IP addresses to function.
Besides the free version, a paid version, Hola VPN Premium, is available, where users’ resources are not utilized. Hola VPN Premium offers 6,500 servers in 42 countries worldwide, with subscription prices starting at $2.89 per month.
Hola VPN Free
Hola VPN Free 💵 VPN Price: Free 📱 Device limit: 10 🎞️Unblocks Netflix: Yes 🔌 Router Support: Yes 📄 No-Logs Policy: No 🛡 Kill Switch: No 🖥️Number of servers: 1,000 🗺️Country of origin: Israel
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