Compared to their free plan, Hola’s Premium version enables some enhanced safety protocols, such as military-grade encryption and extra unblocking options for streaming platforms. These features make Hola VPN Premium look attractive for first-time buyers who would otherwise opt for their free version. However, upon taking a closer look, it is clear how inadequate these measures actually are when it comes to protecting your online identity as well as providing access with maximum speed, as other good-quality services will do.
When we compare Hola VPN with what is otherwise offered by top-class providers, there is clearly no comparison in terms of value received – both in terms of security measures and pricing plans, making this offhand choice more questionable upon exploring more options out there in the market right now. Therefore, it is advised that before making any purchase, users should know what they are expecting out of a VPN service and proceed only after comparing multiple services available. Thereby unnecessary data losses can be avoided during transactions, and use the service without feeling regretful about their choice of VPN later on.
Upon testing several of Hola VPN Premium’s worldwide servers, it was found that they all successfully unblocked the platforms attempted. However, the speeds were not sufficient enough to access reliable Ultra High Definition quality content. Even with a faster internet connection, HD was the best quality achievable. Streaming on these sites may be virtually impossible if a user has a base connection of 20 Mbps or slower.
Upon testing Hola VPN Premium’s worldwide servers, it was found that the user was able to unblock the server of Netflix in the US quite easily. It was furthermore found that Netflix servers located in the UK, Japan, and Canada were also successfully bypassed. Hulu was also unblocked within approximately 15-20 seconds, allowing for seamless viewing. HBO worked but with slow load times, while Disney+ was unblocked but with inconsistent quality, still making it usable. Yet overall, Hola VPN successfully unblocked each platform tested, though it did not offer optimal streaming quality.
Hola VPN’s network is powered by a user-to-user community, meaning when you use the free plan, your IP address is shared and connected to strangers. This offers no protection and can expose you to fraudulent activities associated with your IP. Even if you pay for the premium package, your device still uses the same P2P network but does not contribute to it. Numerous countries are available; however, cities within are undisclosed, and selecting a server requires clicking on specific countries; no ‘Quick Connect’ feature exists. Additionally, connection speed can take up to 10-15 seconds, which is considered slow.
Testing Hola VPN Premium’s worldwide servers revealed poor speed performance. Three factors were analysed: download speed, upload speed, and ping. Closer-by servers plummeted, while the servers across longer distances were even slower. This is unsatisfactory for a VPN, where 20% is considered an acceptable drop for short-distance connections. For users with slower internet connections, streaming, gaming, and torrenting online may be problematic.
Hola VPN Premium offers fundamental security features with outmoded protocols such as AES 128, 192, and 256-bit, IKEv2/IPSec, and PPTP/L2TP; the latter two being particularly unsecure. Furthermore, customising encryption standards is only available on Windows and not on other operating systems like macOS, further detracting from its security capabilities. It’s evident that other providers offer higher levels of protection than Hola at a comparable price point.
When testing Hola Premium for gaming, it was found that servers within a short distance delivered acceptable results. However, the long-distance servers had a drastic increase from their usual ping rate, which fetched results in an average of around 270- 274ms, far too high for smooth gameplay. A least efficient download speed of 40 Mbps may be required to guarantee lag-free play.
Torrenting is not a viable option with Hola VPN as it blocks traffic from torrent clients, which in any case, would be unsafe to use with this VPN due to its lack of privacy.
Installing Hola VPN takes approximately a minute. Setting up a home router by following the online guide takes around 18-20 minutes.
Hola VPN is available for the majority of operating systems and some smart TVs, as well as browser extensions. It can furthermore be used on gaming devices without native VPN app support by installing it on a router. Installing it this way also offers the feature of having an unlimited number of devices connected at once.
The premium version of Hola VPN has three plans to choose from which include a monthly payment, a yearly payment option, or an option that stretches for 3 years, with the latter being the most value-offered pick. They also offer a money-back guarantee policy for 30 days. Aside from Premium, there are two different versions; Basic (free with limited usage) and Ultra (speeds are faster, quality of streaming is 4K, and servers are specific to cities).