Hola! VPN Review

After building a successful operating system for home routers called “Jungo” the founders of Hola sold Jungo to Cisco for a staggering $107M.

Shortly after the success of Jungo the duo had a brain wave and decided that HTTP could be used to make the internet faster and more open. Then Hola VPN was born.

Since 2007 Hola has grown at an astonishing rate. Hola now employs 150 members of staff all around the globe to serve their 179 million international user base.

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Community-Powered Network

Hola! VPN is different from other VPN providers in that they don’t have their own servers. Instead, they use a community-powered peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The way they run their VPN network is by utilizing member’s machines via peer nodes to re-route traffic.

Free users become peers in their network and their machines are used to provide unblocked geo-restricted content. If you surf the web and come up against geo-restricted content, Hola will redirect you to a peer in another location that is within the jurisdiction of the content you wish to access.

If you want to see a movie on Netflix US, and you are in the UK – Hola VPN should redirect you to the unblocked content on a US machine inside their peer-to-peer network.

Freemium VPN Model

Hola is an extremely popular unrestricted VPN service because they offer their service completely free for individuals to use. That is if you are ok with becoming a peer in their network. If you don’t want to become a peer then they do have a premium package that you can upgrade to.

Using the “Freemium” business model has become increasingly popular among SaaS, apps, and games in recent years. The word “Freemium” comes from a mashup of “free” and “premium”. It is a pricing strategy where a product or service is offered free of charge at first. Money is charged later on for upgrades like additional features, services, or goods.

Hola uses the freemium model and gets people hooked before asking anyone to upgrade to their premium VPN package. Because of this model, it is really easy to get started with Hola – perhaps that might explain why almost two hundred million people use their service.

Is using Peers to Route Traffic Safe?

There is always the fear with P2P and Torrenting that it could be used for illegal activity. That is not so worrying when it comes to using a company server, however, when other people’s personal computer becomes involved there could be some serious consequences. According to Hola, using peers makes your connection more anonymous – however, last year this was put to the test when they were subject to some serious hacking.

Why Choose Hola VPN?

Hola VPN serves its main purpose extremely well. They allow you to seamlessly access geo-restricted or censored content easily.  You can select the country that you wish to use and then browse the internet as though you are in that location by hijacking a member’s machine. I am not too sure how I feel about this idea?

One great thing is that if you upgrade to their premium package you no longer need to be a peer in their network and they also offer a full 30-day money back guarantee. Furthermore, they allow you to install Hola on more than one device at the same time. If you upgrade to Hola VPN PLUS then you can connect to their VPN with up to 10 devises at the same time.

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Hola: Overall Ease of Use

Hola is really simple to install and set up. People who are new to the whole VPN concept can get started easily. They also offer their own media player – making streaming media content from the internet a simple unrestricted process.

You can access content from BBC iPlayer and other media players like Netflix from anywhere in the world – which means people can jump on and watch whatever they want from wherever they want instantly.  An attractive offer for someone wanting to binge-watch a series or access live sporting events that may have otherwise been blocked or censored.

Pure-Play Video CDN

I am sure that most people have experienced that loading wheel of doom. You know you find the movie that you want to watch, it takes an eternity to load and then just when you get into it, the movie starts buffering…

That is where Hola’s “Pure-play CDN” steps into the rescue. They have created a first of its kind, signature 3rd Gen CDN that makes video delivery much faster, cheaper and more reliable. The aim is to allow videos to start faster, have way less buffering and be cheaper than any of the other CDNs on the market.

The Hola CDN is optimized to utilize cheap locations and low-cost servers. Their system uses premium local servers when booting up the movie. It then switches between servers midstream to allow for faster performance – thus, improving the overall content experience.

How much does the Pure-Play Video CDN cost?

The pricing for the Hola Pure-Play Video CDN is very cost effective- you pay only for what you use at a fixed price of just 1 cent per GB. With worldwide availability, no setup fee and no minimum spend – which is very reasonable. If you are looking for a cheaper, faster and more reliable streaming experience Pure-Play Video CDN from Hola is well worth a look!

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How to use Hola VPN

Hola is installed via a browser plugin or app. Actually, it was the first time I have searched for a VPN company and the top pick was the Google Chrome Extension page and not the company website. As I write this Hola currently has 8,308,214 users who have installed their Google Chrome extension alone!  Browser extensions are really easy to use and install, even for a novice tech person.

They also offer browser extensions for most other OS including – Firefox, Internet Explorer, Windows,  Mac OS X, and Opera. You can now also get apps for most other devices like iOS and Android. No matter what device you have, Hola will have the solution.

Hola VPN Works with All Devices

Hola Customer Support

Hola has a comprehensive customer support system. You can contact them via email, phone or customer support form. They also provide a user area and comprehensive faq should you get stuck with anything. The only thing I would say is that it would be nice if they also had a live support feature.

Disrupting Markets & Gaining Investors

Hola has some respectable goals – they are looking to make the internet faster, cheaper and more open. Their approach is unique in that they use what they call “advanced routing technologies” by way of their peer-to-peer model. They are creating a new way of using a VPN to access restricted content and browse the web any way you want.

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Because of their unique approach and intense growth they have attracted some impressive investments. Their large international investors include DFJ, Trilogy Magma, Horizons Ventures, and Orange. It will be interesting to see how they progress over the coming years once they plug any holes that hackers could intercept.

Hola VPN Packages & Benefits

Hola will not use your computer as a peer when you upgrade to their premium offering. Furthermore, they say that you can unblock any content in the world with their paid package but not with their free starter package.

When you upgrade to Hola VPN PLUS you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously – which is double the norm in the VPN marketplace. You are also backed by their 30-day money-back guarantee. As always,  with VPN providers – the longer your subscription, the cheaper the price.

Hola VPN Pricing

  • 1 Month plan – $11.95/m
  • 6-month plan – $9.00/m
  • 1-year plan – $6.99/m
  • 2-year plan – $3.99/m
  • 3-year plan – $2.99/m

A Novel VPN App from Hola! VPN

“Fake GPS Location” from Hola is an app that changes the GPS location that you are broadcasting from. Their app overwrites your own IP address and allows you to appear as though you are in another location. They say their app is:

A fast, funny way to trick your friends by simply faking (changing) your phone’s GPS

In Conclusion

As with every VPN provider we investigate, they always seem to have their own unique niche in the industry. Hola VPN leans towards fast and efficient streaming. They have developed their own signature Hola Pure-Play Video CDN that has attracted significant investment. If you don’t mind the P2P approach that the company uses – Hola VPN has a unique and attractive offer for unlocking and streaming all internet content.

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