In order to further clarify how Hola works and better explain our policy, we've modified a few FAQs and added new ones. We are tuned to online discussions and do our best to provide more answers and clarifications as needed.
All edited changes are clearly marked as .
Visit Internet Archive for previous versions of this page.
Hola's goal is to make the internet faster and fully accessible to everyone.
Install Hola on your PC phone or tablet to make your internet faster, more open and more anonymous.
Hola lets you have access to information that is otherwise not available in your geography
while protecting your online privacy. It also lets you stream videos faster than ever before.
Hola is a collaborative internet -- it works by sharing the idle resources of its users for the benefit of all.
Hola is the first community powered (Peer-to-Peer) VPN, where users help other users to make the web world-wide again. This means that Hola routes your traffic through other nodes (peers) in the Hola network, as opposed to routing through power-hungry costly servers. This allows Hola to provide you with a superior VPN service with minimal underlying costs. Since it uses real peers to route your traffic and not proxy servers, it makes you more anonymous and more secure than regular VPN services. This also means that Hola is harder to detect and block.Currently, Hola runs in a hybrid mode - combining traditional VPN architecture and peer-to-peer technology. Chrome browser extension and Opera browser add-on operate as a standard VPN service and are not part of the Hola peer-to-peer network.
We have built Hola for you, and with your privacy and security in mind. Hola routes your traffic through other nodes in the Hola network, making your IP harder to track, thus allowing you to be more anonymous and secure. When your device is not in use, other packets of information from other people may be routed through your device. Hola does this securely, not allowing any access to any of your information. Your device is used only as a router. As with any new technology, in addition to the benefits it brings there can be work arounds (such as in wifi where malicious people can try to hijack your WiFi hotspot). Thus, Hola invests in protecting you and closing these work arounds as they are identified. We also do not collect, store or sell your personal identifiable information (PII), and never will.
Hola is free for private (non-commercial) use. The only exception is Hola VPN on iOS which costs $4.99 (monthly) or $44.99 (annual) due to Apple's restrictions.
Commercial use of Hola for business class VPN is available through our Luminati service. The Hola peer to peer architecture makes Hola free
and secure. However, some users may prefer not to contribute their idle resources to the Hola network, and thus can join the Hola premium service
which lets you use Hola without your idle resources being used in return.
About Hola premium:
Payment is a monthly subscription ($5 per month) or yearly subscription ($3.75 per month) that can be stopped at any time without any further obligations
Helps fund our efforts to make the internet better!
Includes "Tab VPN" -- which lets you access even more sites by routing all of the traffic within a browser's tab through our Network (normally, Hola routes only
a certain part of the traffic through the VPN network, as per the routing rules used for a site).
You are never used as a peer
You can use your premium membership on multiple browsers by signing in to http://hola.org in each browser
(you must be signed in to http://hola.org for the premium membership to take effect)
Like any P2P network, Hola is a "value exchange" network - you get the Hola
service for free and in exchange you provide some network and
processing power when your computer is not in use. This is similar to
Skype and other P2P services. There was also some flurry around Skype as
it was maturing (see here).
In order to provide you its functionality, Hola sometimes needs to
route your services through nodes (other people's devices) on the Hola
network. In return, some of their traffic is also routed
through your device securely. They cannot access your device, they are only routed through it. Hola is free only to non-commercial users.
For commercial use by businesses, Hola provides similar routing
functionality through the Hola network for a fee. This is how Hola
makes its revenues. The amount of traffic that Hola passes through a
node on its network per day on average is less than a 20 second youtube
VPNs have existed for almost as long as the Internet. VPN companies need to setup and maintain
servers in various countries. These servers are then used to route your traffic in order to change
your IP, make you more secure and anonymous. In addition, these VPN companies need to pay bandwidth
bills for their users' traffic. This is very expensive. This built-in cost and the need of any company
to turn a profit makes a traditional VPN service quite expensive for the end user (typically around
$10 per month).
Hola built a peer to peer overlay network for HTTP, which securely routes the sites you choose through
other Hola users' devices and not through expensive servers. Hola never takes up valuable resources
from these users, since it only uses a user as a proxy if that users' device is completely idle (meaning
device is connected to electric power (not on battery), no mouse or keyboard activity is detected, and
device is connected to the local network or Wifi (not on cellular)). This makes Hola the first VPN
service without underlying operational costs.
Although Hola doesn't need to pay for bandwidth, we still need to pay the engineers who create,
maintain and keep improving the free Hola service. Hola generates revenue by selling a commercial
version of the Hola VPN service to businesses (through our Luminati
brand). This is what allows us to keep Hola free for our users. Users who want to enjoy the Hola
network without contributing their idle resources can do so by joining
the Hola premium service for $5 per month (or $45 per year).
We keep Hola free by selling the same VPN service to businesses for legitimate use only.
Hola works because its a peer to peer network - you use the network and
contribute to the network. To provide this service without charge to
our community, Hola charges validated corporations for use of the
network. For Hola users that do not want to be a peer in this network,
we offer the Hola Premium, which lets you only use the network, but not be a part of it.
Hola keeps your information private and does not pass it on to any
third party. Consumers have grown used to having Internet businesses collect some of their personal information and sell
that on to third parties (either as advertisements or other). Hola's
business model is different -- we don't collect any of your personal
information -- we use a small fraction of your computer's resources
when they are not in use (so that we never slow you down) for the
benefit of the network. We find that to be much less intrusive than the
existing business models. You can always opt out by paying the $5
Hola is free for non-commercial use. In order to keep hola free for consumers, Hola operates a commercial VPN allowing carefully screened corporations to use the Hola network for a fee. The name of this commercial VPN is Luminati and it allows the following benefits:
Automation: Developer API that enable controlling the routing of your HTTP requests via software
Allow many concurrent sessions
High bandwidth/high request rate with multiple IPs
Hola makes its money by selling its VPN service to businesses for
legitimate commercial purposes, such as brand monitoring (checking the
prices of their products in various stores), self test (checking how
their corporate site looks from multiple countries), anti ad fraud
(ensuring that the adverts are not inserted enroute to use), etc. We
vet our customers carefully, ensuring that only legitimate businesses
use Luminati for legitimate uses. Hola can track packets from origin to
destination, keeping the network safe.
Go to the site you want to access, then click the Hola extension icon and choose the flag of the country you want to view the site from
If that does not work, press 'Not working' on your Hola extension menu, and choose one of the other VPNs offered in the list
If that does not work, disable and enable the Hola extension (in the add-on or extension page of your browser)
Try forcing the site to reload by pressing the CTRL key and F5 (or Shift key + refresh button)
Clear your browser's cache, including the cookies (typically under 'Settings' > 'Privacy' or keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE)
Close all of your browsers, re-open and try again
Disable all your other extensions to check if that may have been the problem. If it was, enable them back one by one to find the culprit
Un-install Hola (on your browser's extensions, and through add/remove software), and re-install Hola from Hola's site
Disable any other VPN (Virtual Private Server) or other proxy
software or extensions running on the computer. (These extensions
are known to have problems working together with Hola, we recommend
disabling them when using Hola - IE tab, Avast WebRep, Flash
Test your Hola VPN by going to www.ip2nation.com. It should show you the country which you are from. Now click
the Hola icon and change to a different country. The ip2nation.com page will refresh, and you should show you that your country is now that country you chose.
If it does not, continue with the steps below, and let us know in your problem report to Hola (email@example.com)
Make sure you have the latest version of your browser:
Chrome: click the menu button > About Google Chrome. Chrome will check for the latest version and prompt you to restart if needed
Firefox: click the ALT key (to reveal the menus) > click Help > click About Firefox. Firefox will check for the latest version and prompt you to restart if needed
Restart your computer
These Chrome settings may have problems running together with Hola. Disable or remove these settings and try again: SPDY, HTTP Pipelining
Try disabling your Anti Virus or Firewall to see if they are causing the problem. If they are, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will help you find the right settings
If you still have problems, please see the problem report list below on what to send to us, and email it to us at email@example.com
In Chrome, try clicking the ">>" (more) icon on the top of your
browser to see if Chrome hid the Hola icon there
Try to resize your address bar by grabbing the right hand side of it and pulling it to the left. This may uncover the Hola icon
Open your extension page ("Tools | Extensions" in Chrome, or "Add on page" in Firefox), disable and re-enable Hola. If there's a
'Show Button' button in the Hola section of the extensions page, click that button.
In Firefox, right click a button on the top Navigation Toolbar
Choose customize - this will open the Customize Toolbar
Look up for an item named hola_firefox_ext
Drag the item named hola_firefox_ext up to the Navigation Toolbar
If this did not work for you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You could be receiving this message because you are behind a corporate firewall that Hola cannot pass through, or the Hola system may be down, or some other
problem we are not able to pinpoint.
If you are behind a firewall (e.g. at work), try connecting to a different network (different wifi for example), or outside of the company. Otherwise, try the following:
Disable and enable the Hola extension (in the add-on or extension page of your browser) and try again
If that does not work, clear your browser's cache, including the cookies (typically under 'Settings' > 'Privacy' or keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE)
Close all of your browsers, re-open and try again
Un-install Hola (on your browser's extensions, and through add/remove software), and re-install Hola from Hola's site
It could be that our servers are temporarily down (pretty rare), so try again in an hour, but write to us about it at email@example.com in any case to let us know.
Your premium membership is associated with the account you used to sign in to http://hola.org when starting the membership. As long
as you're signed in with that account you will appear as a premium user.
For example, if you signed in with Google when getting the membership and now you are using your Facebook account, Hola will not recognize
you as a premium user.
The email you received from Hola after starting your membership indicates which account is associated with your membership.
If you used PayPal to pay for your membership, it may take a few minutes for the membership status to get updated.
In case you have premium mebmership but still do not see that in your status, check the following:
If you're not signed in, you'll be asked to do so. Use the same account you used when starting the membership. If you're not sure which account
to use, refer to the email you received from Hola after starting your membership.
Check the Premium Membership section for your membership status:
If it says you have a valid membership, it means your membership was recognized.
If it says you don't have a premium membership, you may be signed in using the wrong account. Try logging out and logging in using a different method
and check the My Account page again.
e.g. if you're signed in using your Google account, log out and try signing in using your Facebook account or your email address.
We update often with bug fixes and new features, and we keep your version of Hola automatically updated.
Android users: Make sure to select 'Allow automatic updating' inside the Google Play app for Hola to stay up to date automatically.
Some old versions of Hola for Firefox installed from the Mozilla Add-ons store don't get automatically updated
to the newest version of Hola. Install the latest version now which includes more sites and bug fixes and automatically updates itself to the latest version. Note:If you have uninstalled Hola but are still getting redirected, it's easy to fix! You can do it two ways:
Re-install Hola from the above and then uninstall again, that's it. Or:
In Firefox click 'Tools' > 'Options' then under the 'Advanced tab' click 'Network', then 'settings'. If see anything under
'Automatic Proxy configuration URL' (should be empty after uninstall), then clear it, then select 'Auto-detect Proxy settings'
for this network. This should reset the previous settings
AD-blocker apps: turn off any Ad-blocking application, such as AD-blocker and AdFree
VPN apps: Hola can't work with other VPN applications at the same time, such as Onavo Extend, TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield.
This is because only one App at a time can use VPN Auto-configuration or manage the device's IP Tables.
Turn them off before using Hola.
DNS apps: Hola can't work with other DNS applications at the same time, such as SetDNS or DNS Changer. This is because only
one App should manage DNS resolution, and Hola includes its own DNS management. Turn them off before using Hola.
Some cell phone operators pre-install Proxy IP settings on your phone, which won't let Hola run. Here's how to remove this setting:
Open Android Settings > Wireless and Networks > More...(Android 4.0+) > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names
Tap on the currently enabled APN (the one with the green or blue dot)
Delete the IP address you see here (we recommend writing it down in case you want to add it back later)
You can turn Hola off via the app: just click the orange smiley guy and click the on/off button to turn it off. When the Hola icon
goes gray our service is off, and so everything should be just as if Hola is uninstalled. Now you can check again if Hola was causing the problem or not.
Click Remove on the right hand side of the Hola listing
Hola client for Windows:
Click Start > Control Panel > Windows XP: select
"Add/Remove Programs", Windows Vista/7: "Programs and features"
> select Hola from the list > Uninstall Note: You may want to reboot if you are having networking problems.
If your verification link doesn't work, it's possible that it was broken by your email system. If the verification link isn't clickable or part of the link is cut off, please copy and paste the entire URL into your browser's address bar and press Enter.
It's also possible that the verification link has expired. We set the expiration time to be relatively short for your protection. We still have the account information that you entered, however. To request a new verification link, visit https://www.hola.org/my_account and sign in with your email address and the password you selected when you created the account. You'll be given the option to have a new verification email sent.
If you're still unable to verify your email address after 48 hours, please send us an email with a detailed description of the problem, and we'll do our best to resolve it.
The internet is slowed down by server response times, internet congestion, round trip times, and poorly written communication stacks in operating systems.
Hola removes these bottlenecks by securely caching content on peers as they view it, and later serving it up to other nearby peers as they need it.
Hola also compresses communication between peers to further speed the net. As more people install and use Hola, the faster and less congested it will be!
No. Hola actually reduces your mobile data usage through better, smarter data caching. Expect to save between 20-30% of data usage after
a few weeks Also, your phone only acts as a Peer on the Hola Network when plugged in to a power supply and when connected to the
internet over a Wi-Fi network.
To accelerate your internet, Hola routes some of your internet traffic through other nodes in the Hola network, and thus servers may see the traffic coming from other IPs in the network.
This has a very nice side effect -- it makes your IP harder to track, thus allowing you for more anonymity on the web when you want it. You could call this an extension of Google's "Incognito mode".
We call this service the "Hola VPN". This is a VPN service similar to many such services that exist on the internet, but is very easy to set up (one click) and is free and ad-free.
It is useful for seeing how a web site looks like from a certain geography, for more secure browsing, for overcoming government censorship (e.g. seeing Facebook from a country that blocks it),
for overcoming your corporation's internet site blocking, for seeing a site in its native language (e.g. seeing the Spanish news site as it appears to Spanish users), and more.
Hola is free for private use. For commercial use of Hola for a commercial level vpn, please see Luminati service.
Go to a web site, press the Hola extension icon in your browser (or sometimes in your task bar), and choose the country from which you would like
to access this site. Now Hola will switch your IP (your internet address) to the country you selected so that you are virtually browsing from that country. Enjoy!
Hola is a 'community VPN' -- it is a generic routing platform provided by Hola, with thousands of 'routing scripts' that are created by the community. These scripts define
how information is routed to the selected sites. Better routing rules mean faster browsing, more secure and more open use of web sites.
Power users can write Hola scripts that will be automatically available to all Hola users
(information on writing scripts is here).
When Hola identifies a web page that many people in your country are using accessing through Hola, it figures that you may want to access this page via Hola as well.
You can press "Yes" to access the page via Hola (this will show you a menu of routing methods people are using to access this page the page - typically best to choose the top one which is the most popular),
or press "No" to continue browsing normally (you won't see this message again for this site).
Hola has created a video player that lets you stream your videos
instantly. Just hover over the download link and press 'play' on the Hola player that pops up.
Content sites can embed the Hola player into their web site, thus enabling
their users a great HD streaming experience without incurring any CDN costs.
Search on Google for a download of the application's APK, for example if you're looking for the Wikipedia app (which you may not be able to download if blocked by your government),
search for "Wikipedia APK download" (this is the application's installation file)
Once you finish downloading the APK file, press it to install
Short answer - no. Long answer - Hola uses the VPN feature on Android to provide you with the speed and other capabilities. When an app uses the VPN feature,
the Android operating system places the notification icon ('key') in the tray and the app cannot remove it.
While on the internet you are constantly being tracked, probed and
sniffed. You are tracked by the sites that you are looking at (which
products are you browsing? which articles are you reading?), and
possibly by your government, ISP and coorporation. You are also probed
and sniffed, and thus open to identity theft. Change your IP when
accessing sites is an extended measure in addition to your browser's
"incognito mode", so that others cannot get information from your
browser, and cannot track requests coming from your IP as belonging to
you. Depending on the proxy rule you choose, Hola will also encrypt
some or all of your traffic, making you even more secure from outside
Hola works on several different levels to ensure the highest level of
security that we can:
Developing the product with strong security in mind.
On the architectural level, through third party security audits
By monitoring our consumer network, policing it against illegal content and misuse.
By validating the businesses that use our commercial network
(Luminati) to ensure only legitimate use, and by correlating
requests to those businesses so that in a case of misuse we would
be able to report that to authorities.
By monitoring the network for traces of misuse or security
Hola's network enables Hola to see the origin of each request, thus if
a cyber criminal were to use the Hola network, his information may be
passed on to the authorities. This makes Hola un-attractive to abusers.
There are other VPN networks that don't see both ends of the
connection, thus much more attractive for these uses.
Hola has zero-tolerance for misuse of its network, and will cooperate
with the authorities on any such conduct.
On May 27th a group of researchers ("Adios") found several
vulnerabilities with the Hola client. Within hours Hola patched those
and updated the network. In addition, we reviewed and modified our
security architecture, got external security audit from one of the 'big
4' auditorsand have also appointed a Chief security officer.
Every technology may be vulnerable to mis use. For example, home WiFi
access points may be hacked into by passer bys, and used for illegal
activity. Hola is a P2P product. P2P architecture has its own
challenges, and Hola works to minimize those challenges whether through
technological measures, filters, and certain policing of the network.
If you are concerned about P2P technology you should un-install Hola.
We care about your privacy. Hola does not make this information public, and does not disclose or sell it to any third party.
In order to accelerate your data traffic and to route your traffic through other IPs, Hola must act as a proxy for your data thus requiring various data permissions.
We only ask for the permissions we need for the app to be at its best.
More details about the Android permissions needed can be find below. Device & app history: Hola allows you to launch the apps we can unblock/accelerate which you have installed in your device. Identity: Hola also needs to create an ID for your Android device which it does from the various hardware readings Photos/Media/Files: We use the external storage of the device for caching and storing data Device ID & call information: Hola uses peer to peer technology as a VPN proxy so we need to identify when the device idle, connected the WIFI and power supply so we won't waste your data plan, battery or slowing down your phone.
No. Hola handles your HTTP requests exactly like HTTP web proxies do according to the HTTP RFC standards, and in a similar way to how ISPs do it in the
normal course of your browsing. That also covers 'Cache:' public/private HTTP headers and the correct handling of them.
This is a false positive report. The file it's catching is part of the Hola smart cache (you can mark it as safe, don't delete). We are working
with the top antivirus vendors to get Hola completely whitelisted, so that these types of false positives don't disturb our users.
Like other commercial networks, Hola is a managed and supervised network and thus any illegal activity such as CP, etc. would be reported to the authorities
with the real IP of the user. Criminals will typically not use a commercial service since their identities are at the hands of that commercial entity.
Non-commercial VPNs such as TOR are completely anonymous, and nobody has access to the source of the requests on that network. That makes these networks ideal for criminal activity, and running an exit node is most likely helping the wrong people, as well as putting the operator in danger. Hola is a commercial network, run by a commercial company that has its customers and its business in mind. Thus, when sensing any dubious activity on our network we are able to see the source of the request and help law enforcement get to the cyber criminal. We've never yet heard of a case where a Hola user had any such problems despite having an install base which is thousands of times bigger than any other comparable network such as Tor. If you are still concerned about these risks, you have the option of not installing or un-installing Hola.
At the moment we do
not have plans to open source the product as a whole, but we do have portions of Hola that accelerate open source projects submitted to them, including:
jemalloc (the FireFox mallocer), tcmalloc (Google Chrome's mallocer), Cygwin, sqlite, openssl and other projects.
It might because Hola also implements a patented DNS resolution algorithm and it may/may not use OpenDNS on your computer, depending on various parameters
of the configuration of your computer. So the short answer is: try it out and if it works for you - good. If not - send
us an email, and we will check if we can help.
Using two VPN services at once can cause un-expected behavior. If you'd like to use two VPN services, simply quit Hola while using the other VPN
service, and when you want to use Hola again close the other VPN service.
Yes, Hola works on Windows, even if running under VMWare. Our browser extensions work on all operating systems that support Chrome and Firefox
(except mobile). However, you should close the Hola client on the host system before you open the virtual machine, and never try to run Hola on
both the host and guest operating systems at once.