Hola VPN and Windscribe are just two of many VPN options available for you to choose from. At first glance, it can be difficult to tell the difference between some VPN services. This is particularly the case when so many make big claims about their server speed or standard of security, for example. It’s not realistic for you to test them all — not without investing a great deal of time and money.
In an effort to provide some clarity, we’ve put Hola VPN and Windscribe under the microscope. We take a look at every aspect of their services such as their server locations, security features, pricing, and even their response time to email enquiries. All of this information is broken down into easy-to-digest sections complete with side-by-side tables so you can quickly and easily compare and contrast what Hola and Windscribe have to offer.
- Highly discounted three year plan
- Easy-to-use apps and browser extensions
- Generous connection allowance
- Fast response time to emails
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Works with some Netflix libraries
- Doesn’t keep identifying logs of users
- Extra features including Double VPN
Hola VPN vs Windscribe pricing
|Subscription periods||One month||One month
|One year||One year
|Special offer||Get 80 percent off the Hola VPN three year plan (works out at $2.99 a month).||Get 36 percent off and pay $5.75 a month with a yearly Windscribe subscription plan.
|Highest price per month||$29.99||$9.00
|Lowest price per month||$2.99||$5.75
When it comes to subscription plans, Hola VPN offers the most flexibility. Windscribe only has monthly and yearly subscriptions. Hola VPN sells a three year option. Although you have to pay more up front, you’ll save the most long-term with Hola VPN’s three year deal which, at 80 percent off, works out at just USD $2.99 a month ($107.55 in all).
In contrast, Windscribe’s best offer is 36 percent off its yearly plan. You’ll pay $69 ($5.75/month). While not as cheap as Hola VPN’s three year subscription, it still works out to be more affordable than Hola VPN’s annual plan, which costs $92.26 ($7.69/month).
Should you prefer the flexibility offered with a monthly plan (you can easily cancel and switch providers), know that Hola VPN is very expensive at $14.99 a month. Windscribe is far more affordable at $9.00 each month.
Hola VPN has Premium and Ultra tier plans. The key differences are faster server speeds and more simultaneous connections per account (20 instead of 10).
It’s not entirely accurate to say that Hola VPN and Windscribe offer money-back guarantees. In order to be eligible for a full refund with Hola VPN, you must not have used Hola Premium at all for up to 14 days after purchase. With Windscribe, you must have used less than 10GB of data on the paid plan to be eligible for a refund. Furthermore, it must be less than 3 days since the purchase.
Best Deal for Hola VPN:Hola VPN’s three year plan is currently available at an 80 percent discount which works out at just $2.99 a month.
Best Deal for Windscribe:You’ll pay as little as $5.75 a month (a saving of 36 percent) when you choose Windscribe’s yearly subscription plan.
Hola VPN vs Windscribe features
|Simultaneous connections||Up to 10 (Premium plans) or up to 20 (Ultra plans)||Unlimited|
|Operating system apps||Windows, Mac, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV
|Manual install devices||Set-top boxes, routers||Set-top boxes, routers
|Split tunneling||Proxy split tunneling||Yes (Windows and Mac)
|Free extras||Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions||Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, Double VPN servers, ad blocker
You can download and install Hola VPN and Windscribe apps for desktop (Windows and Mac) and mobile (Android and iOS). The two VPN services both have an app for Amazon Fire TV. One key difference is that Windscribe also has a Linux app. To use either VPN with a compatible wifi router (and by extension your Smart TV or games console), you’ll need to follow the manual setup instructions provided by the VPNs.
Split tunneling is a feature you may find useful. It lets you decide which apps use the VPN connection. For example, you may want a particular streaming service to bypass the VPN in order to enjoy faster speeds. Hola VPN offers proxy split tunneling on its browser extensions and Android app. Windscribe’s split tunneling feature is available on its Windows and Mac apps.
Hola VPN and Windscribe both make browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Hola VPN also has a browser extension for Opera. Although highly convenient, browser extensions only secure traffic at the browser level and not the traffic of apps.
Overall, it’s Windscribe that provides more free features. It boasts Double VPN servers as well as an ad blocker.
Streaming and unblocking
|Netflix||No||Yes, multiple countries including the US and UK
|Amazon Prime Video||No||No|
You can use Hola VPN and Windscribe to bypass content restrictions on many websites when you travel abroad. However, geo-blocking is particularly common when it comes to streaming services due to copyright and licensing agreements surrounding movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, this is where these two VPNs fall far short of the best VPNs for streaming which work consistently with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.
Of the above popular streaming platforms, Hola VPN failed to work with any while Windscribe was only able to securely access a few Netflix libraries: the US, UK, Canada, and Japan. It struggled to work with any of the other streaming services listed above. It’s always worth trying more than one server and clearing your cookies before each new attempt.
You can use a VPN easily enough in almost any country. Indeed, VPNs are legal in the vast majority of countries. However, many VPNs don’t work in China due to the country’s advanced censorship system. The Great Firewall blocks many different websites and services including the likes of Netflix, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Even most VPN websites are blocked in China. Like many other VPNs, Hola VPN is unable to get around the restrictions.
The good news is that Windscribe is one of few VPNs that actually works in China (albeit most VPN services have been blocked at some point so things can change at short notice). Its Stealth protocol disguises VPN traffic as regular web traffic. Note that this can lower speeds somewhat due to the extra layer of encryption and decryption required. Windscribe’s website is blocked in China so you’ll need to download and install Windscribe ahead of your visit.
Setup and interface
|Automatic setup wizard||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Main location selection||List-based||List-based
|Extra settings page||Yes||Yes|
Even if this happens to be your first time using a VPN, you’ll be able to get set up and connected to a server quickly and easily. Hola VPN and Windscribe make the process easy with their automatic setup wizard for their desktop and mobile apps. Once signed in, you can connect to a server with a single click. Alternatively, browse the various server locations from a dropdown list.
It’s fair to say that Windscribe’s app UI is a little bit more cluttered than that of Hola VPN. Should you need to adjust your settings, you can toggle them in the settings pages of both VPNs. Windscribe has plenty of configurable settings, including split tunneling and firewall mode. Hola VPN goes a bit overboard with more obscure settings that most people won’t ever need, such as ESP cipher transform.
Servers and performance
|Total number of servers||Unknown||400+|
|Server speed||Unknown||55 Mbps
Windscribe doesn’t have the largest server network around. Its server count stands at approximately 400 servers, although the good news is that these servers cover 70 countries worldwide. As such, you can access a wider range of geo-restricted content including websites and services from home when you travel overseas on vacation.
Hola VPN differs from Windscribe because it’s a virtual peer-to-peer proxy network. In this case, your internet traffic is routed via the connections of other users on the network. As such, there’s no clear number as to how many locations are available as it depends how many people are using the network and where they’re physically located.
Using the free version of Hola VPN allows others to use your device’s idle internet connection. Subscribing to Premium allows you to use the network without contributing to it. Windscribe connection speeds averaged 55 Mbps in testing which is fast enough for streaming and torrenting. Hola VPN’s speeds were a lot more inconsistent and really depended on the location chosen. Generally speaking, the closer the server to your physical location, the faster the connection.
Below is a full list of server locations for Windscribe VPN. Hola VPN’s server locations are not included. It’s primarily a P2P network and available locations vary based on who is using it. While it states that Premium plans have access to a network of high performance servers, there’s no information available online regarding server locations.
Here’s a list of the countries in which Windscribe offers servers:
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||✔|
|United Arab Emirates||✔|
|VPN protocols||IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP/L2TP||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|OpenVPN data encryption||256-bit AES||256-bit AES
|OpenVPN control channel encryption||Unknown||RSA-4096|
|Cloaking technology||None||Yes (stealth protocol)
|App security||None||Kill switch, ad blocker|
|DNS status||Private DNS||Private DNS|
Hola VPN uses IKEv2 as its default tunneling protocol. Although this is fast and secure, it’s not supported by as many devices. PPTP is an option on its Windows desktop app, although the protocol carries some security vulnerabilities, so we don’t recommend it.
Windscribe offers multiple protocols. Like Hola VPN, IKEv2 is available. However, it also supports WireGuard which is a newer protocol known for being particularly fast. Indeed most of the fastest VPNs have implemented WireGuard in recent years. OpenVPN is another option with Windscribe. OpenVPN is highly configurable and supports a wide range of devices.
Both VPNs use 256-bit encryption to secure your data. Of the two, only Windscribe offers a kill switch. This is available via its Windows, Mac, and Linux apps and is referred to as a “Firewall” while the Android and iOS apps have an “Always ON VPN” function that works in a similar fashion. Should the VPN connection drop, a kill switch cuts your internet traffic. This prevents your data from being exposed — particularly useful if you’re on an unsecure public wifi network.
Windscribe offers an ad and tracker blocker which is available on its desktop and mobile apps as well as its browser extensions. Unlike Hola VPN, it has a Stealth protocol for bypassing censorship restrictions in places like China. Considering the cost of Hola VPN, we’d expect to see more in the way of security features.
|User details for signup||Email address||None (email optional)
|Anonymous payment options||None||Bitcoin|
Windscribe is headquartered in Canada, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. Countries within the alliance engage in extensive online surveillance of citizens and may share this intelligence with other members. Fortunately, Windscribe operates a no-logs policy and uses shared IP addresses, so even if user data were to be requested by authorities, there shouldn’t be anything identifying to provide.
Hola doesn’t operate a no-logs policy and log data may also log “web pages you visit”. Needless to say, this is not a VPN that respects your privacy.
To sign up with Hola VPN, you’ll need to provide an email address. This is common practice among VPN providers although it really shouldn’t have to be the case. Windscribe makes it entirely optional. Based on all of the above, it’s probably not a surprise that Hola VPN doesn’t provide you with any anonymous payment options. Windscribe accepts Bitcoin and if you opt not to provide an email address and use a Bitcoin mixing service, you can sign up anonymously.
|Dedicated/static IP address possible||No||Yes, static
Windscribe is like most VPNs in that it uses shared IP address allocation. Connecting to one of its servers means you’re assigned the same IP address as other users on that server. This is advantageous for privacy reasons because all online activity among users is mixed up and harder to trace back to its origin.
The free version of Hola VPN differs somewhat in that it’s a community-based P2P network. When you connect to one of the available locations, your traffic is routed via another user’s home internet connection and IP address. However, it states that this is not the case for Hola Premium which “uses a dedicated network of high performance servers”.
Although neither VPN offers specific DDoS protection, you are protected from DDoS attacks to an extent when you use a VPN. As long as you’re connected to a server and your IP address has been changed, it will be the VPN address that’s impacted by an attack. You’d then simply switch servers to continue your online activity as normal.
|Average email response time||3 hours 7 minutes||28 hours 30 minutes
|Searchable knowledge base||Yes||Yes|
It’s somewhat disappointing that neither of these VPN providers offers live chat support even to customers on paid plans. They do offer email support and, having tested this for ourselves, it’s fair to say there’s a significant difference in response time. Windscribe took over 24 hours to get back to us on average. To make matters worse, it only replied to two out of three of our enquiries. Hola VPN replied in three hours on average — this is particularly fast email support.
You may prefer to search for a solution yourself in which case both VPNs have knowledge bases for you to do this. Aside from various troubleshooting sections and FAQs, you’ll find step-by-step setup guides. These guides include screenshots to help make the setup process that much quicker and easier.
Hola VPN has an old, inactive YouTube channel so the handful of tutorials there are likely to be well out of date. Windscribe’s YouTube channel is very active and up-to-date. It explains how to use its service on various platforms. It also covers other relevant topics such as split tunneling (one of Windscribe’s available features).
|Question||Response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|Does Hola VPN work in China?||12 minutes||1||Yes|
|Will Hola VPN slow down my internet speed?||1 hour and 10 minutes||1||Yes|
|How do I install Hola VPN on my router?||8 hours||1||No|
|Question||Response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|Does Windscribe work in China?||9 hours||1||Yes|
|Will Windscribe slow down my internet speed?||2 days||1||Yes|
|How do I install Windscribe on my router?||No reply received||N/A||N/A|
Hola VPN and Windscribe are similar in that they both offer free and paid tiers. However, we don’t recommend their free plans which are too limiting in terms of performance as well as security features. Hola VPN has some positives such as its generous connection allowance, easy-to-use apps, and fast email support. Despite this, it’s Windscribe that comfortably comes out on top in this VPN comparison.
Windscribe allows unlimited simultaneous connections per account and is packed with extras including Double VPN servers and an ad and tracker blocker. We generally found speeds to be faster, and it was also a much stronger unblocker of content. Unlike Hola VPN, Windscribe doesn’t keep identifying logs of its users. There’s even the option to sign up anonymously because you don’t need to provide an email and can pay in Bitcoin.
Unfortunately, neither Hola VPN nor Windscribe has a money-back guarantee. You can claim a full refund within the first three days with Windscribe if you’ve used less than 10GB of data.