7 Free Alternatives to Hola
Hola is a VPN provider based in Israel that has a lot of controversy surrounding the way they operate.
Last Updated on
Back in 2015, Hola issued a statement to say that they had fixed any vulnerabilities found. However, many users remain outraged by the fact that Hola was using peer to peer protocols as part of their FREE VPN solution. Meaning that people are routed through subscriber’s devices.
Fast forward to 2020, and the Chrome browser extension for Hola clearly states that it is not a peer to peer application. I was curious to find out if they had made changes across the board. Firstly I found out that they now (at the time of writing) have 189 million users, which is pretty impressive. As we said in the review of their Chrome Extension, the user feedback is also decent. So it can’t be all bad.
Invasive P2P VPN Technology
Unfortunately, Hola is still using P2P to run its infrastructure by using the idle resources of users in their network. I had hoped that they had changed their ways because of what it said on their Google Chrome web app store, but no – they still use invasive P2P technologies to run their VPN, not good. Although the community peer-to-peer model is used to keep costs down, you’ll still have to pay for their iOS and Android apps.
Before getting started, it is important to note the 100% free is normally not the best option for a VPN, as often that means that the VPN might use other methods to generate income, such as adverts or selling your data. However, there are some completely free VPN options out there that work on all devices and offer you a good level of security for free.
I’ll be looking at the restrictions imposed on the free VPN plan, data allowances, server restrictions, security and speed to compare the VPNs and provide you with the best free alternatives to Hola. A no logs policy, no confidential information required on sign up the ease of use are also high up on my priority list when looking for the best free VPNs for you.
That being said, let’s discuss some Secure FREE alternatives to Hola:
#1 | Windscribe
Windscribe is currently offering a fantastic free VPN service with a generous 10GB data transfer per month. Currently the best free VPN offering of this standard on the market, a well-deserved #1 spot for a new VPN that is taking the world by storm.
Windscribe is a brilliant option for surfing the web anonymously because you can sign up with just a username and password (no email is required). Which means your browsing data cannot be traced back to you. The Windscribe no-logs policy is pretty robust – they don’t store connection logs, IP stamps, or sites that you have visited. To monitor the amount of data you are using, they gather the information and then delete it within 3 minutes, which is fair.
Windscribe have a community-led marketing approach, whereby the more you spread the word about Windcribe, the more free data you’ll get, which is great. For example, you can get an extra 1GB for referring someone to Windscribe and 5GB for tweeting about them, nice. This referral based marketing approach rewards you for spreading the word about Windscribe. You can even get their unlimited package if someone that you’ve referred upgrades to a paid package.
#2 | CyberGhost
A great free VPN from a world class player in the VPN space comes from CyberGhost. You’ll get unlimited traffic and military grade AES 256 -BIT Encryption and an Anti-fingerprinting System. Which is impressive for a totally free VPN service.
Cyberghost is easy to use and install, even for a complete beginner. For the more advanced VPN user, they have a variety of features on offer. But they don’t get int he way of the ease of use for the novice. The only downside to the Cyberghost FREE VPN would be the advertisements. I wonder if you tried to install an adblocker along with Cyberghost you’d be able to use their service for free? and not get any adverts – that’d be worth a go.
#3 | Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is one of the leading VPNs in the industry and they famously offer a completely FREE VPN plan. The free plan from Hotspot Shield has a 500MB daily cap on data usage. That works out at around 15GB per month, which is quite a bit higher than many of the other free VPNs on this list.
The downside of their free VPN is that they show adverts. So if that is a turnoff for you then probably look to another provider that has no ads. There is also a limit on the server locations on the FREE VPN however if you upgrade you get access to all of their servers located in 25 countries all around the world.
Some VPNs choose to only allow the free service on one device, but Hotspot Shield offers their VPN on 5 simultaneous connections. Hotspot Shield is one of the more secure VPNs out there, so definitely one to try if you are looking for a secure free VPN with a decent amount of data. The only downside would be the adverts. Check out Hide.me below if you are looking for a free VPN that has no adverts.
Visit Hotspot Shield
#4 | TunnelBear
I decided to put TunnelBear fourth on the list because of the fact they do offer a completely FREE VPN, which is honorable. Additionally, as a company they are very stringent on their security, unlike Hola – so I think TunnelBear is worthy of fourth place.
The only thing that puts them at the #4 and not the higher up on the list is the amount of data transfer offered on the free plan. TunnelBear is one of the better known FREE VPN providers due to the fact that it is really easy to use, even for the complete beginner.
TunnelBear is a powerhouse that was acquired by McAfee, they have over 1K servers located in 20 global locations. Their paid options allow for streaming and larger downloads, however, the free app gives you just 500MB of traffic per month. You’ll be able to switch on TunnelBear to unblock geo-restricted content and download a few songs but to have the VPN switched on all the time, then you’d need to upgrade to their premium offering, which is $4.99 per month.
A few other things to note about TunnelBear – they do restrict the number of locations that you can access with their free package. So if you want to access the full range of servers available then upgrade to one of their premium packages, after giving the free option a go. TunnelBear used to ask you for your name on signup and also log some of your activity, however, they have recently tightened there logs policy to remove these requirements.
#3 | Speedify
All VPNs have their niche, something that they focus on doing better than anyone else. For Speedify, they are committed to providing you the security that you need from a VPN while not slowing down your internet connection.
Speedify is owned by Connectify Inc. I find the clear focus on speed very appealing as some VPNs can slow down your connection. Speedify uses many approaches to ensure that you’re connection is as fast as possible. This includes deploying their signature “turbocharging technology” and utilizing all of the available internet connections.
I love that the free plan allows access to all 30 of their servers, unlike many of the other free plans that we have covered so far (who restrict access to servers on the free plan). Data transfer is capped at 4GB for your first month, however, this goes down to 1GB in the second month. I suppose their reasoning is that you’ll have more incentive to upgrade to a paid plan once you have tried everything out and your data is lowered. So take advantage of that first month with the higher data usage limit.
With the 1-4GB free secured VPN from Speedify, you’ll be able to use the data cleverly by switching it on only to unblock geo-restricted content, send secure messages and perform other sensitive transactions online. However, the data allowed is quite low, so if you are happy with the service offered by Speedify upgrading might be a good idea after the first month. If you are looking for optimal performance, Speedify is a great VPN.
#4 | Hide.me
If you’re looking for a privacy conscious free VPN that has no adverts, then Hide.me is well worth a look. With the free VPN from Hide.me you’ll get 2GB data allowance per month. The free VPN option gets you access to 3 of the 30 server locations available from Hide.me.
Privacy is great from Hide.me, they keep no logs at all, which is a breath of fresh air. They also don’t show adverts, which can get in the way of your online experience, so that is something that I particularly like.
Other than the restrictions on bandwidth and servers, Hide.me treat all of their members equally. You get the same technical support as paid members and the performance of the free VPN package is not compromised. Some VPNs throttle the speed when it comes to their free plans in favor of giving it to their paid members, but not Hide.me.
#5 | ProtonVPN
Unlike many of the free VPNs, I’ve covered so far ProtonVPN doesn’t have any bandwidth restrictions on their free plan. Unlimited bandwidth on a free VPN is uncommon, so we’ll give them a big thumbs up for that. The free VPN plan differs from the paid in that with the paid you get access to all of their servers, whereas on the free option you only get access to 3 servers. Additionally, you can only use your free VPN on one device.
ProtonVPN is a pretty secure host, however, they do require your email to create an account. Which could be traced back to you, if that is something that concerns you then a VPN that doesn’t gather your email address (like Windscribe) might be a better option. Additionally, if you are looking to torrent or P2P this is not allowed with ProtonVPN FREE.
Additionally, ProtonVPN FREE may throttle your connection during periods of high volumes of traffic, which is something that can be avoided if you upgrade to their paid plans. The best thing about ProtonVPN free is the fact that you get unlimited bandwidth, which should mean that you can use their VPN freely, most of the time. Definitely worth a look if you are looking for a free alternative to Hola.
#6 | SurfEasy
SurfEasy comes from the makers of Opera – the web browser. Opera offers a completely free VPN built-in to their browser, which is a nice touch. However, you can also get access to SurfEasy on other platforms. SurfEasy has both a free and paid plan that you can take advantage of. Both give you access to 1000 international servers in 28 countries.
SurfEasy is a super fast VPN with great coverage. They say that they offer a:
A no-log VPN for every device
For unblocking restricted content and also avoiding snooping marketers, SurfEasy is a great option – available 100% FREE for Opera browser users. One thing that is great about SurfEasy is that they use an “Ad Tracker Blocker Algorithm” that tracks and blocks cookies used by marketers online, which gives a nice layer of anonymity and safety from invasive marketing techniques.
The free plan is available for every device (and OS) and has a low data cap of 500MB per month. If you are very strict on when you use this free VPN then you could use it to access geo-restricted content, but not movies. Unless you just want to use it for a specific web-based content issue, then the best use for the 500MB is to simply give it a go. If you want unrestricted access to the SurfEasy VPN then this can be done by installing and using Opera as your preferred browser. Not something I’d do lightly as I am a big fan of Chrome, just saying.
All in All
Each free VPN has their key focus, whether that be speed, unlimited bandwidth, no adverts, no logs or an abundance of servers to choose from. The restrictions imposed are generally on bandwidth, but in some cases devices, servers or adverts are the incentive to upgrade to their paid offering. The top 3 free VPNs on this list all capture my attention, but Windscribe’s data, no advertisements, and approach put them top of the list.