Is Hola VPN Safe (Read This Before You Use It)

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Hola is a popular free VPN service with millions of users around the globe. It offers convenient and easy-to-use apps as well as browser extensions ideal for beginners. In recent years, however, many experts lashed out at the provider saying that it is dangerous for its users. If you are among its subscribers, you surely want to know if Hola VPN is safe to use. This article reveals all the truth about Hola.

Is Hola’s Jurisdiction Friendly?

Hola is registered in Israel that is not a member of intelligence alliances such as 14 Eyes. On paper, it is a good place to base a security-oriented business such as a VPN but in reality, it is not. According to Edward Snowden’s revelations, Israel closely cooperates with NSA. This means that there is a two-way data exchange between the country and members of the alliance. It is no doubt that VPN services become an object of close attention of intelligence agencies. If a provider has a weak privacy policy (running ahead, Hola is awful in this regard) then it becomes a storehouse of information. 

Logging Policy

A truly secure service is one that doesn’t collect any information about its users and their activity on the web. That’s why every person strives to find a zero-logging VPN. What kind of policy does Hola have? If to be completely honest, Hola introduced one of the most terrible logging policies around. I can put up with the fact that some services keep connection logs to improve performance, but Hola went a step further. Not only does it collect connection logs but also personal information about its subscribers (i.e. information that identifies a particular individual including his/ her name, IP and email addresses, and even credit card details). If you think that it is the worst that can happen, Hola will shock you even more. The service frankly says that it discloses personal information to third-parties, subsidiaries, and affiliate companies.

Are You Safe when Using Hola VPN?

People use VPNs to reliably secure their actions on the internet. Such services mask clients’ IP addresses and encrypt their traffic. Even if you are on an unsecured network and there is a risk that cybercriminals intercept your data, they wouldn’t be able to read it. What Hola can do is change users’ IPs but it doesn’t offer any encryption whatsoever. So basically, Hola is much closer to proxy than to a VPN. 

Hola uses a completely different approach in building its network than other classic VPNs. Instead of developing a server network embracing the globe, this provider uses its clients’ devices. When employing servers, VPN providers install security protocols to encrypt traffic routed through such facilities but this scenario doesn’t work with Hola. Regular users don’t have any encryption on their computers. Therefore, when traffic is redirected through their devices there will be no encryption. On top of that, if you connect to an infected device, there is a risk that you will catch a virus or malware, too.

If all these facts still didn’t repeal you, here is one more worrisome news. The company was caught red-handed when trading data about its clients to the third-parties. They keep extensive logs, so it comes as no surprise that they make use of this information.

Alternatives to Hola VPN

Hola is definitely a bad choice for your security. Luckily, VPN industry teems with services that put your safety first and really walk the talk. NordVPN is one of such providers. It offers some of the best security facilities in the industry including unbreakable encryption, an extensive server network, and a straightforward no-log policy. NordVPN doesn’t provide its services for free, but when it comes to your peace of mind it’s a worthy investment. 

Hola VPN Safety Conclusion

So, if you think that Hola VPN will take care of your online privacy, you are majorly wrong. The service does it in the opposite way. It collects any possible information about its users and transfers it to anyone who is interested. It takes advantage of users’ bandwidth and gives little in return. Hola VPN doesn’t encrypt your traffic in any way so you are vulnerable in the face of spies, hackers, cybercriminals, and malware. They say that the only free cheese is in the mousetrap… if you use Hola you are already in the mousetrap, so think about it next time you are going to connect to a free VPN.

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