Say "NO" to Hola.
Hola has become a popular VPN, perhaps because it works on a number of popular browsers, including Google Chrome and Firefox, as well as mobile device operating systems. Some statistics suggest that more than seven million Chrome users have used Hola.
But Hola has been linked to some undesirable outcomes. And if you've been using it and you think you're surfing the Web safely and that your data traffic is just running through secured networks, you're in for a surprise. And then you'll realize the main reason it's offered for free.
When you join Hola, so it's reported, your computer becomes part of the data network for other users. (see: 'endpoint.')
If you're connected to a website, your computer is an endpoint. If you're logged in to HOLA and visiting sites Hola, it now becomes possible for other users on the Hola network the ability to connect to websites through your connection, more or less.
That's not what most users want to happen.
So instead of Hola establishing a network of servers and routers, the "users" become the "network!"
What's even scarier is the news that Hola, in certain instances, sells its users' bandwidth through a sister company. What that means, the safety experts say, is that if you're using Hola, your computer—working as an endpoint connection for other Hola users—could even be sold to shady characters for questionable or even illegal purposes as they try to stay anonymous on the Internet.
And that could get scary for you. Because if law enforcement were to get involved, they would see your IP address as part of the connection! If some Internet hack or attack happened to go through your endpoint connection, the authorities could soon be contacting you for an explanation.
One well-known Internet personality, Frederick Brennan, says the fact that Hola is free is the problem. "Hola does not pay for the bandwidth that [it offers], and there is no user opt-out for this."
The type of traffic that can, and likely will, pass through these exit nodes can be quite undesirable—where nothing is off-limits. You need to ask yourself if you really want to be part of that kind of darker Internet traffic.
IMPORTANT: If you use Hola and you don't like the way this sounds, you may want to unsubscribe immediately and not log in again.