There are so many VPNs out there now that it can be difficult to know which one to choose. In short, if you’re looking for a free one, then Hola VPN is a good choice, namely because it’s one of the only free ones there its!
The type of VPN you get, and what you pay for it, will depend on the level of privacy and security that you want. It’s worth mentioning right off the bat that Hola is not a VPN that will give you mega privacy and security – the aim of this VPN is to allow you to access websites that would otherwise be restricted in your country or on your network.
The app version of Hola VPN is ideal for Android devices, and while it won’t allow you to get past every block (for example, Netflix won’t be fooled by it), it will allow you to get around most. Think, watching BBC when not in the UK, accessing Facebook or Google while in China, or any myriad of other sites that are blocked around the world for whatever reasons.
The right VPN for you
To choose the best VPN, it’s essential that you’re clued up on what a VPN actually is, what it can be, and most of all, what it can’t be. A VPN is a virtual private network that works by routing your data through a separate server that will both encrypt your data and hide your IP address – this makes you secure and invisible. But not all of these do that, and Hola is one such example.
Hola works differently. They use P2P (peer-to-peer) services to make a VPN, meaning they have no central server. This is odd, and very few, if any, other VPN services do it. First of all, it means that there is basically no encryption whatsoever, so using Hola VPN to hide suspicious or private activity is a very bad idea. Most VPNs have a server that will either log (keep) your data, or discard of it – and they will tell you whether they do this or not. It can be normal for a VPN to do this, although if you want a good one, then it’s best that they don’t. The whole point of a VPN is that no one can see what you’re doing or where you are, if the company providing the service can see everything, then this totally defeats the point.
With this in mind, it’s critical that you understand that Hola VPN states in their private policy that they do store your data. All of it. What you do, where you go, how much time you spend there, your IP address, your billing information – very private and sensitive data, basically. Beyond this, Hola VPN also says that they will sell this information on to ‘reliable’ third parties – meaning all your data is being shared. This is way more than an online tracker could get out of you, so we strongly recommend you only use this VPN service when trying to access restricted sites for things like streaming or reading the news. We do NOT recommend using it for everyday use as it’s extremely incriminating.
Hola VPN is free, so you shouldn’t expect the world from it – like we’ve already said, it’s good for getting around censorship, but that’s about it. Most VPNs come with some pretty heavy encryption – the best ones use 256bit military-grade encryption, and the weaker ones use some less worthy ones. It’s always recommended to go with the best.
Hola doesn’t have any good encryption, so your data isn’t being protected while it’s flying around the web – this is essentially what normally happens, so don’t worry – the real worry is the fact that Hola VPN scoops up literally every single little thing you do and stores it and gives it away to other unnamed companies.
GIVING UP DATA?
Any VPN service is required to give up data in the event that a government agency of the country the servers are based in files a subpoena – this is unavoidable for the most part, and it’s why you should use a VPN based out of a country that values privacy (think tax havens).
Hola VPN is based in Israel, which has the right to seize all the collected information. Israel cooperates with many other countries intelligence services very closely and shares information so if you’re a shady journalist or a secret agent then you might want to consider sticking to Tor. For most people, this isn’t a concern.
Because they reroute your data, VPNs always cause your connection to slow down – this is inevitable, although the top ones are so good that you don’t really notice this. Hola VPN is pretty fast and you’ll be impressed with this. This is one of the other good points about the app aside from the fact that it can sidetrack censorship. It means that it’s good for using to stream content from other countries (BBC iPlayer, etc).
FREE – BUT NOT THAT FREE
The service is P2P, which actually means that it runs off of the bandwidth of other users who are using it. In this way, it essentially eats through the internet bandwidth of users (which actually costs them money) and then provides you a service off the back of it. This means that it isn’t technically free, although you wouldn’t notice much.
Ultimately, if you’re going to use a free VPN, then don’t expect much. A good one costs around US$6 per month, which isn’t a lot to ask for if you’re looking for privacy and security. Hola VPN is the complete opposite of privacy, it will log everything you do and all your personal information and pass it on to third parties. That being said, if you only plan to activate it to access websites blocked in your country and you remember to turn it off once you’ve completed this task, then it’s a quick and easy way to accomplish this.
How to Download Hola VPN for Android
To get Hola VPN on Android, simply press the download button at the top of this page and you’ll be taken to the Google Play Store where you just need to press “Install.” The whole installation and activation process is extremely quick and simple – one of the only other positive points about this VPN service.