Hola VPN Review 2018 – Security Threats, Problems & Alternatives

Editors' Review

Hola (VPN)
I'm glad I finally got to watch the Lost Girl webisodes exclusive to Canada, but You need to pick one that has servers in the Netflix regions you want. PIA should have a mobile app over on their site. I'll help regardless of if you use my link or not. If there's extra interest I can always do some more Googling.

Install Hola VPN engine

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This topic has come up numerous times in the past I've even mentioned it a few times and most people say they only turn Hola on while browsing internationally, they don't leave it on all the time.

I'm always disturbed when my friends tell me about their amazing discovery of Hola, but I've given up on trying to convince them it's not safe and that they should pay for a different service, but it always falls on deaf ears. Deactivate the extension in chrome when you're not using it.

My PC is on almost all the time, who knows what tomfoolery my IP has been exposed to?!? Can you disable it completely and then enable it for quick stuff like buying games that are cheaper in some regions? How much are you exposed to risk then? How long does it take for an automated process to utilize your PC and try a few cracking attempts at an online bank?

How long to register a reddit account and spam a few posts in popular subreddits? It is well known among the netsec, vpn and privacy crowds, yeah. But most people don't know, understand or care about that stuff. I figured my fellow Netflix crowd would care if it was spelled out for them with some evidence, especially in light of the 8chan thing. Someone in another thread was saying they updated their FAQ with that blurb after this 8ch post.

I am unsure if that is true or not but it would be pretty scummy if it were accurate. Yeah, it was shown in the HN thread I linked to. Has anyone actually had any problems with hola?

People spend a lot of time telling about the things that can happen but I haven't seen a single post where someone was complaining that something was wrong with it. You can either listen to expert opinions, or by all means follow the links and if you're still skeptical, run Wireshark and watch it yourself.

Now, are there any reported cases of these types of bad consequences actually happening to someone? I'm not doubting the risk, I just don't feel that it's a large enough risk to run around posting this everywhere on Reddit and to quit using it. People would know the risks if they read what they signed up for instead of just blindly accepting and clicking to install it.

From the server side, yeah, this current headline was triggered by the post from the 8Chan admin. No, I choose to continue using it because it's currently the best one to use because of the regions it has. I'm not too worried about people downloading child porn through my ISP because I'm pretty sure that they won't just use hola and consider themselves safe. I think it's silly for so many people to jump onto the slippery slope argument that someone's just going to download child porn and you'll get in trouble for it.

Until I have an issue with it I will continue using it. You're assuming that their end result is just to browse kiddy porn without being caught. It could be used as a randomised Swatting-like troll. It could just be used as an extra layer of security for the "attacker". You're assuming Hola is just what they're using, as opposed to one bit of it. That's fine with me, I've no vested interest as far as your internet safety is concerned.

I've done my best to make everyone aware of how it works and what the risks are. Most people were not made aware of the risks. They did not give informed consent. That is arguably the biggest issue. This reason this has become more widely known is because the service has been used to attack 8Chan. I believe you are giving those downloading kiddie porn a bit too much credit for doing it intelligently.

The last guy they caught in my area was doing his downloading at the public library. Unblock US has been mentioned a few times in this thread, as well as a few other options. All modern mobile OSs should allow you to manually specify a DNS server which these services provide. If you wanted a free one, well then you're out of luck. Really though, you should always question whether you're the customer or the product being sold.

In the case of most free services, you're usually the latter. I have PIA but I haven't found a way to get it on my phone.

Doesn't seem practical to buy another solely for mobile use. PIA should have a mobile app over on their site. Have you tried that? If it doesn't support your phone's OS then your out of luck. Although, if all you were using your PIA account for was to access another country's netflix, then you can just switch full time to a DNS service.

Sorry, I replied to your parent post before I saw this. But yeah, the mobile version is good on Android at least.

There are instructions for iOS devices here too:. Zenmate, but it's not for free on mobile however there is a 7 days trial. Also it only has like 4 or 5 countries to choose from. It actually is free now on mobile. Well on iOS at least, I'm not sure about android or windows.

I use PIA all the time. I'll either run it directly on my phone using the Android client, or I'll run it on my laptop and use Connectify to share that VPN over Wifi.

If you're using something unusual like Windows Phone, you can set it up manually if you're on 8. I'm an affiliate for PIA but if you have any trouble, gimme a shout. I'll help regardless of if you use my link or not.

Or if you use another service, I'll still do my best to help. A little off topic but what about Zenmate? Does that work the same way? Reason I worry is because at times Zenmate can slow my internet down to a crawl, turn it off and everything works fine. That's why they only have a certain amount of countries you can fake. They have some servers in some countries to which the user connects.

But companies like ZenMate that work for the most part free I know, they have a premium subscription now are dangerous in a different way: No proof, that ZenMate is one of those doing it like that, but you always have the risk.

They're not working for free what minimizes the risk of them wanting to sell your data. They seem to be a professional little startup company. I agree with your second bit, which is why I try to minimize using Zenmate and others and also disabling it fully when I don't use it.

ZenMate use a Freemium model and they did some shady ad injection shit a little while ago. I wouldn't use them, but they'd struggle to be as bad as this Hola shit.

I've updated the OP with links, explanation of alternatives etc. Any questions, reply or orangered and I'll do my best to help. Can you provide anymore info on the ad injection? I'd love to use a paid VPN but I can barely afford my Netflix sub atm, so right now it's just about picking whichever is less shitty. Although I definitely plan on switching when I get things sorted out. Annoyingly I can't find the thread in which it was discussed. Googling returns too many irrelevant results.

They stopped after a while, but it was a scummy thing to do that destroyed my fledgling trust in the company. There are other options to tide you over until you can do it properly. Yeah I can understand that. Also thanks for the link I'll have to give it a try, although I think I might have a dynamic IP address which is a pain. I want to watch UK Netflix and this program doesn't really seem to have any options of any sort.

I'm a PIA affiliate but I do my best to help if you use my link or not , and will do my best to help even if you use a different service. Having recently relocated to the UK, but having my bank accounts etc still in the US, Hola has been a lifesaver. Then I looked at the other side of it Pisses me off too. Hola worked very well. I hated deleting it but I guess we should have known better.

Can't upvote this enough. Read Brennan's post an hour ago and I'm fuming. Mostly at myself because of course Hola works like that. How the hell could I be so dumb and install it.

Shady as all fuck. Spread the word and warn people against using it. I'm betting most users won't give their informed consent to being an exit node. Is simply uninstalling the extension sufficient to remove any possibility of my connection being used as an exit node via Hola? Depends on what you installed and what was installed afterwards. If, right now, you just have the Chrome extension, removing all trace of the extension should do it.

Make sure Chrome doesn't try to reinstall it automatically though. If you installed the Windows client or Torch or the Media Player, uninstalling the extension won't cut it. So I'm assuming that this is only for their native apps? Been using VPN as a much better alternative. Just an FYI for other IPVanish users out there, I wrote in to support asking if they use their clients as exit nodes for other users and here was their reply:. We do not use our clients as exit nodes. When you connect to any of our VPN servers, communication through other users connections is impossible because of the way we have our network address translation NAT configured.

Yeah, anyone charging for a service should not be reselling their own fucking clients! Dude, UK Netflix selection is awesome. What sorta stuff are you into? And I wouldn't worry too much just yet, with Hola being slammed, someone is bound to come out with a better replacement soon. It also appears that the DDoS mentioned above is not the first time Hola has been used for malicious activity. While analyzing the protocol used by Hola, Vectra researchers found 5 different malware samples on VirusTotal that contain the Hola protocol.

Bit late to the party. I installed Hola after a friend recommended it. Did it less than half an hour ago, then did some searching to make sure it was safe which, yes, was a bad idea AFTER I installed it. Came across this post, and now I've removed it from Firefox with the remove extensions thing.

The icon's disappear from my taskbar, and searching my computer for the term "Hola" comes up with nothing. Have I fully uninstalled it? I've also updated my OP with alternatives although they aren't free. If you've any questions or anything, post here or orangered me and I'd bet someone will help you.

I do have a question; your linked list of alternatives is so long, I can't possibly read through every single response. I tried ZenMate free and as good as it is, it doesn't allow me to actually view from my home country UK unless I pay a Premium. I wish to stay free and use an extension as I only used Hola because Netflix's region restricted access is crap and I can't watch South Park in the UK. If there's a free alternative that doesn't handle or sell my data, that would be great.

Although I'm not going to hold out much hope tbh. Sorry buddy, there's good and cheap, but there aren't any free ones I'd recommend. I don't use it often enough to warrant a subscription. As long as ZM doesn't start throwing up red flags, I'll be happy to settle.

You can, if you get suspicious, use Wireshark to see what's going out of your computer. Although it can't see what happens to your traffic! The fact is pedos aren't using Hola to run kiddy porn. Also you can compleyely turn off the extension when not in use. Once again someone is using the scary spectre of child pornography to control you. I have to wonder why. I always turn it off right after loading the content to gain access and then tracking activity on chrome task manager.

My guess was that all the content was stored on one central location and then granting access based on your geolocation like one European site. I'm not an expert on network engineering so I might be wrong. Depends on what you're using. If you're just using the Chrome extension, it should only be when the extension is enabled. If you installed the Windows client, it's probably constantly. I sure as fuck wouldn't risk it.

I'd nuke it all from orbit. I have the Chrome extension and I only ever use Chrome when I need it but yeah I think I'm going to disable it and get that other one. Funny story, Hola keeps turning itself back on as of recent.

I keep removing the button from my menu in Firefox and it keeps re-adding itself. I'm glad I finally got to watch the Lost Girl webisodes exclusive to Canada, but I want to use other Netflix's, but honestly after reading this it's really not worth it. I'm going to uninstall it now. Sorry to bring bad news! There are cheap although not free alternatives that I can recommend.

If you can afford the up-front payment, it's pretty cheap over the year. If you're a heavy Netflix user, work out how many hours you spend watching and divide the cost of the VPN by the hours over a year. It works out pretty cheap! You are minimising some of the risks, but if you use Hola, you are at risk. If you're asking for advice, ditch Hola. Is simply deleting it from my extensions enough?

You need to remove the completely remove Hola. How you get rid of it depends on what Hola stuff you installed. I'm assuming it's just the Chrome extension, in which case: If you need any more help, reply and I'm sure someone will assist. If no-one else helps, give me a shout and I'll walk you through it or whatever. I don't turn on Hola a lot, but how exactly do I get rid of that small fire-thing in the corner of my google chrome?

I didn't see it before but now I can't un see it. Don't really know what I'm gonna do now though, I just don't have the extra cash to pay for a vpn. It's not too expensive mate.

And if you know anyone you can share with, you get two simultaneous connections so you can share pretty easily. You also get access to the Ultra HD streams, if you have any devices that'll support it!

I've also linked elsewhere on the thread instructions to setting up your own DNS-based server. According to the instructions, it's piss easy and the free credit will cover you for a couple months. It's not ideal, but it might tide you over until you can afford a better solution.

It might sound crazy but even that price is out of my range at the moment. I'm totally unemployed and yet somehow ineligible to receive welfare, so I'm basically living off my family like a leech, depressingly. I never really used hola to watch netflix, except for when the Fargo series was only available in Holland.

I mostly used it to get around my ISP's block on pretty much every torrent site. I know its dumb to use torrents without some kind of anonymity protection, I just wish I could actually afford it. Hopefully my situation changes soon. If you want paranoia, you need to change things together to give many layers of protection.

Need to be able to switch to other regions especially Brazil within the browser. Don't want to use any software just a one-click solution like Hola. I need to be able to buy games from nuuvem lol. Not that I'd use. I've seen some people like ZenMate, but I don't trust them either.

You can also set up PPTP if you don't want to use the client they supply. I'm worried that Hola is still somehow running on my computer. I followed all of the instructions on the Adios Hola site including removing all Hola files, data, and registry keys. I even uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it and logged out of Netflix and logged back in and I'm still in Netflix US. While I'd love to be able to continue to access Netflix US, I'm thinking that Hola must still be lurking in the background somewhere and I'd rather have the peace of mind that I'm not making my computer vulnerable.

Has anyone else had a similar experience or know what I can do to make certain that I'm rid of Hola? There are a few different possibilities.

But first, check that you don't have Hola listed in Add and Remove Programs? Next thing to check is DNS. Let me know if you need a hand with either of those. Meh, prove I was the recipient of child porn on my local machine Otherwise turn it on when you use it and off when you don't.

Y'all are gullible ad fuck. Yes Hola runs an exit node. No child porn is being downloaded on your connection. There's a clear smear campaign against Hola for years now. In May , Hola came under criticism from 8chan founder Frederick Brennan after the site was reportedly attacked by exploiting the Hola network, as confirmed by Hola founder Ofer Vilenski.

After Brennan emailed the company, Hola modified its FAQ to include a notice that its users are acting as exit nodes for paid users of Hola's sister service Luminati. You might know it as a free VPN or "unblocker", but in reality it operates like a poorly secured botnet - with serious consequences.

Hola browser has also been used for DDOS attacks. In response to the criticism, Vilenski told Business Insider , "[we have been] listening to the conversations about Hola and while we think we've been clear about what we are doing, we have decided to provide more details about how this works, and thus the changes [to the website] in the past 24 hours". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject.

It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved 28 September The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 September Retrieved 3 June How is Luminati different from Tor or a proxy network?

Popular privacy-minded browser plug-in has backdoor for hackers - report". Retrieved 30 May Retrieved 18 June You could be part of a DDoS, content theft — or worse". Retrieved 7 June

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