FAQ


Introduction to Hola

What is Hola?

Hola's goal is to make the internet faster, more open, and cheaper to operate. Hola is a collaborative (P2P) internet -- Hola works by sharing the idle resources of its users for the benefit of all. Hola provides several products based on this resource sharing technology:

What is a community powered (Peer-to-Peer) VPN?

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

How does Hola protect my privacy and security?

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

Which operating systems, browsers and devices can I use Hola on?

Hola may be installed as a browser extension to Chrome, Firefox, or Opera on Windows and Mac PCs. Hola can also be installed as an app on Android or iOS. It is also available as an application (.exe) for Windows. All downloads are accessible directly from our home page (installation and use of Hola is subject to our Terms of service and Privacy policy). Our users satisfaction is a top priority and if you found that Hola does not support a certain platform, you can always visit our recommendation page for complementary services

Is Hola free?

Hola is free for private (non-commercial) use on PCs and requires a subscription on iOS and Android.
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 subscription:

Is Hola using my bandwidth?

Like any P2P network, Hola is a "value exchange" network - you get the Hola service for free (on PC) 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. 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 on PC 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 clip. Premium users of the Hola network pay a monthly subscription and in return only use the network and do not contribute to it with their idle resources

Can I use Hola and not be a peer contributing to the community?

Yes, consumers can pay a fee to only use the Hola VPN but not contribute their un-used resources to the network. This would mean that you will be using Hola as just any other paid-for VPN service. Sign up for Hola premium here

How can Hola be free?

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 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 PC 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)

How does Hola make money?

We keep Hola free for PCs by selling the same VPN service that you use to businesses

Hola works because it is 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 service, 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 monthly subscription (or $45 per year)

I love the Hola service. How can I share my love?

We definitely need your help to make the internet better! Here's what you can do:

What is the Hola commercial VPN service?

Hola is free for non-commercial use. In order to keep hola free for consumers on PC, Hola operates a commercial VPN under the 'luminati' brand allowing carefully screened corporations to use the Hola VPN network for a fee. Corporations use our VPN service for things like checking their web sites from various countries, check how their brand is represented in various web sites, etc. For more information see luminati.io or contact sales@luminati.io

Which are some typical use cases for the Luminati services?

Hola makes the consumer VPN service free by providing a commercial version of the VPN service to businesses for a cost. New customers of our commercial service must pass a vetting process to ensure compliant use of the network. Brands typically use our service for activities such as:

How can I use Hola for my business?

Hola and Hola Premium are for private, non-commercial use. Please see Luminati service for a commercial license to Hola. Your commercial license will provide you with these additional features:

Hola For business:

General troubleshooting

I forgot my password, how can I reset it?

To reset your password go to forgot password

Can I use my account on multiple devices?

The Hola service is provided for each platform individually. If you have a subscription on one platform, it will not work on another platform, therefore; you need to buy another subscription if you want to use Hola on an extra platform

Can you change the email address?

We can not change your email address once you registered with it. If you registered with a wrong email, register again with the right email address

I can not play or recognize torrents anymore, what should I do?

Hola has discontinued its torrent 'Media Player' feature, and now offers the video accelerator product for better video streaming from your favorite sites -- faster video start time, and less buffering.

I can not find 'safe mode' feature anymore, where is it?

Hola stopped supporting 'safe mode' feature, if you have any problems with a specific domain, please check out our recommended VPN providers

Hola is on, but I still can't access the web page I want to see. What should I do?

Try each of these separately:

Hola's icon disappeared from my browser. What should I do?

Try each of these separately:
For Chrome

For Firefox

I get this message: 'Hola cannot work because another extension is controlling your proxy settings'. What should I do?

Disable all other extensions to check if any of them is causing the issue. If it was, enable them back one by one to find the extension which is causing the conflict with Hola

I get this message: 'There seems to be an error - Reload Hola'. What should I do?

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 the company. Otherwise, try the following:

I have a premium membership. Why my status is not updated to premium?

Your premium membership is associated with the account you used to register to Hola when you started the membership. As long as you are signed in using that account you will appear as a premium user

For example, if you registered with your Google account and you are using your Facebook account, Hola will not recognize you as a premium user

The email you received from Hola after starting your subscription indicates which account is associated with your membership

If you used PayPal to pay for your membership, it may take few minutes for the membership status to get updated

In case you have a premium membership but still do not see that in your status, check the following:

Is it possible to pay for premium without automatically recurring payments?

If you'd like to manually buy each subscription period (monthly, yearly) separately, you can do the following:

  1. Go to the Premium page and start a monthly or annual premium membership
  2. After completing the payment process, go to your account's page
  3. Follow the instructions to turn off auto-renewal

Please note: iOS subscriptions are not renewed automatically. Therefore, there is no need to stop subscription

How do I keep Hola's version updated to the latest version?

We update Hola often with bug fixes and new features. We keep your version of Hola automatically updated.
Android and iOS users: Make sure to keep automatic updates on

Which information should I provide to Hola when reporting a problem?

If you have gone through the above troubleshooting steps and are still facing problems, send us a bug report, and include as much of the following information as you can:

Note: Many times resetting your PC/Phone and making sure that you have internet connectivity will solve your problem.

I have problems with Hola on Firefox: sites are missing, I'm stuck on an old version, I keep getting redirected to install Hola for Firefox, etc.

Some old versions of Hola for Firefox which were installed from the Mozilla Add-ons store don't get automatically updated to the newest version of Hola
Uninstall the current Hola you have, and go to Hola's website, click 'Get Hola, it's free!' to get the latest version of Hola

I can't install the Hola client (exe)

Try the following:

How do I uninstall Hola?

You can uninstall Hola as follows:

How do I stop Hola from starting automatically when Windows starts?

I received an account verification email, but the link is not working

  • If the verification link is not 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
  • The verification link might have expired. To request a new verification link, visit my account, sign in, and then resend a verification link
  • If you are still unable to verify your email address within 48 hours, please send us an email
  • I have feedback or an idea for Hola!

    We love to hear your feedback and ideas Send us an email!

    Android troubleshooting

    When does my device contribute to the Hola peer network?

    You can read here more about community powered (Peer-to-Peer) VPN

    How can I clear my browsing history?

    Please note: You can also set Hola to clear the browsing history every time you exit Hola by checking 'Clear history on exit' for the top of the list

    Hola is not working for me

    If Hola isn't working on your Android device, it's possible that there is a conflict with another application or system settings
    The following apps can not run at the same time or might cause conflict with Hola:

    Proxy settings:

    App is set to a 'browsing from' country with Hola but still does not work:

    Go to Hola app > settings > turn 'Popular List' off

    How can I temporarily disable Hola app?

    Go to Hola app > settings > turn off Hola

    How do I uninstall Hola?

  • Open 'Play Store'
  • Press the 'menu' button then under 'Apps & Games' choose My apps & games'
  • Look for Hola and uninstall it
  • Please note: This does not stop payments nor end the subscription in case you have Hola Premium! To stop the subscription visit 'Subscriptions' in 'My account' settings on the 'Play Store'

    How do I use Hola on Android apps that I cannot find on the store?

    Bug report

    To report a problem on Android, please do the following:

    iOS troubleshooting

    I have a problem with Hola on iOS, what should I do?

    Please see our iOS's FAQ for all iOS related questions at Hola iOS FAQ

    Hola accelerator

    What is the Hola accelerator?

    The Hola accelerator is an extension that helps you to stream videos better with faster start time, and less buffering

    Billing FAQ

    I have a billing question, what should I do?

    For all billing questions, please visit our billing's FAQ at Hola Billing FAQ

    Hola VPN

    What is the Hola VPN?

    Hola is the first community powered (Peer-to-Peer) VPN, where users help each other to make the information on the web accessible for all again. We take great care to be able to provide you this service while protecting your privacy, security, and personal information

    Hola is very easy to setup (one click) and is free and ad-free for PC users. It is useful for seeing how a website looks like from a certain country, for more secure browsing, for overcoming government censorship (e.g. using 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 on PC for private use. For commercial use of Hola for a commercial level vpn, please see Luminati service

    How do I use Hola?

    Go to a website which you wish to use, click Hola's extension icon in your browser, and choose the country you would like to access the site from. 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' which 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

    Why do I get a Hola popup on some websites asking if I want to access this page using Hola?

    When Hola identifies a webpage that many people in your country are using Hola to access it, Hola assumes that you may want to access this page via Hola as well. You can click the 'unlock' to access the page via Hola, or click 'x' to continue browsing normally. According to your decision, Hola will create a rule which you can change afterwards

    Does Hola work on AppleTV or any SmartTV/ PlayStation/ XBMC/ embedded Android devices, etc?

    Hola does not support these platforms. Visit our recommendation page to see our recommended complimentary services which support these platforms

    Security & privacy

    How does using Hola VPN make me more secure?

    While on the internet you are constantly being 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 corporation. You are probed and sniffed, and thus open to identity theft. Changing 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 sniffing

    How does Hola make its network more secure?

    Hola works on several different levels to ensure a high level of security:

    The overall security of the Hola network is reviewed and managed by our CSO (Chief Security Officer). We also run occasional vulnerability bounty programs to have our products and networks analyzed by external researchers

    Hola's networks are not attractive to people or entities with malicious intent since we can see the real origin and destination of each request - thus if a cyber criminal were to use the Hola network, the cyber's criminal information may be passed on to the authorities. There are other VPN networks that don't see both ends of the connection, and thus are 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' auditors and have also appointed our Chief Security Officer

    Every technology may be vulnerable to misuse. 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

    How does Hola ensure the legitimate use of its consumer network?

    Hola regularly monitors the consumer network for traces of misuse or security breaches. In addition, architecture modifications allow Hola to see the origin of each request, thus if a cyber criminal were to use the Hola network, the cyber's criminal 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

    How does Hola ensure the legitimate use of its commercial network?

    Before a business can use Hola’s business VPN network (Luminati), Hola’s compliance officer runs that business through an “onboarding” process to validate the customer, its corporate entity and its use of the network. Hola allows only legitimate businesses to use the commercial network for legitimate business uses. In addition, Hola’s architecture allows Hola to see the origin and destination of each request, thus if our network was abused, the abuser's 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

    Why does Hola need the various permissions for the Chrome extension and the Android app?

    In order 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 work best
    More details about the Android permissions needed can be find below.
    Device & app history: Hola allows you to launch apps from it 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

    Does Hola share any of my personal information with the rest of the Hola community?

    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

    My antivirus software is marking some files related to Hola as unsafe, are they?

    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

    Could the Hola network be used by criminals to hide their identity?

    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

    What are the risks of a community powered commercial VPN?

    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

    What is the role of Hola’s Chief Security Officer?

    Hola’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) is responsible for the overall security of the Hola network. Hola’s CSO leads the development, implementation and management of the organization’s security vision, strategy, and programs. Recent actions include internal and external security audits, security bounty program, securing the consumer and commercial onboarding processes, and changes in the Hola network architecture

    What is the Hola vulnerability bounty program?

    In order to expose Hola’s products and networks to external scrutiny, we occasionally offer a vulnerability bounty program by which researchers can receive recognition and compensation for reporting security vulnerabilities. This program allows Hola to discover and resolve security issues before the general public and thus prevents the abuse of the Hola networks

    Misc.

    Is Hola "Open source"?

    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

    Can I use Hola together with another VPN service?

    Using two VPN services at once can cause an unexpected 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

    When I'm using Hola do I still need to register as a user or pay the website I'm watching?

    Yes, you still need to register and pay for sites that require that even when using Hola. Also, you must always comply with the site's terms of use

    Can I run Hola on a virtual machine? Can I run it on both the host and guest systems simultaneously?

    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

    Why does Hola recommend other VPN services?

    Hola provides a service for Windows, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android, and iOS. For other devices we provide you with a list of the best VPN's for your needs, as chosen by our users who needed these services. Prefer not to pay for a VPN? There's always Hola!

    Can I use Hola on my router?

    Not with Hola - but you can with other VPNs.

    How can I remain updated as to the latest improvements and new product features?

    Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook