NordVPN vs Hola

NordVPN and Hola VPN are two of the biggest VPNs on the market. However, while they have this in common, they’re actually very different. Below, we’ll examine what each Virtual Private Network has to offer and ultimately, which is better for the average person.

Can’t choose between NordVPN or Hola?

If you’re on the fence about which of these VPNs is best for your needs, we suggest NordVPN. It’s extremely fast, works with just about every streaming service we’ve tested, and is packed with security tools. Better still, it’s currently available at a huge discount.

Below, we’ll break down every security feature these tools offer, let you know exactly how secure they are, and measure their performance in a series of head-to-head tests. Even if neither of these providers is right for you, this post should give you a better understanding of what to look for when browsing VPNs in the future.

Summary: NordVPN vs Hola VPN

NordVPN

  • Exceptionally fast speeds
  • Constantly improving security toolkit
  • Works with major streaming services
  • Provides 24/7 support over live chat

Hola

  • Can connect lots of devices at once
  • Over 40 locations to choose from
  • Multi-platform support
  • Good money-back guarantee

NordVPN vs Hola VPN price comparison

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
Subscription periodsOne month, one year, two yearsOne month, one year, three years
Special offer63% discount on the 2-year plan80% off three-year plans
Highest price per month$12.99$14.99
Lowest monthly cost$3.09$2.99 per month
One year price$59.88$92.26
Money back guarantee30 days30 days
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

Normally, when one of the providers we’re examining has a free plan, we ignore this and just compare the paid subscription options. However, Hola’s free offering has real privacy implications and failing to mention these wouldn’t be fair or impartial.

If you’re looking for month-to-month coverage, you can expect to pay a little more. NordVPN costs $12.99 USD (GBP £10.23) monthly, while Hola’s paid plans are $14.99 (£11.80) per month. This last subscription option is significantly more expensive than we’re used to seeing, so we’d expect something truly exceptional from Hola. Does it deliver? We’ll find out a little bit later.

On the plus side, both NordVPN and Hola offer long-term discounts. NordVPN offers over 60 percent off its two-year plans, which effectively cuts the cost to $3.39 (£2.67) per month.

Hola’s one-year plans work out at $92.28 (£76.24), or $7.69 (£6.05) per month. If you’re willing to commit for even longer, you can secure an 80 percent discount with the three-year plan. These cost $107.64 (£84.66), effectively dropping the monthly price to $2.99 (£2.35).

Both NordVPN and Hola include a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can always sign up, try the service for yourself, and claim a full refund if it fails to meet your expectations.

BEST DEAL FOR NORDVPN:Save 60% when you choose NordVPN’s 2-year plan.

BEST DEAL FOR HOLA VPN:Cut the monthly cost to just $2.99 by choosing the 3-year deal.

NordVPN vs Hola VPN features

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
Simultaneous Connections101 or 10
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Smart TVs, Routers
Manual install devicesSelect routersSelect routers
Free extrasAd-blocking, Dark Web Monitor, MeshNet, malware-scanning, automatic wifi protection, browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and FirefoxBrowser extensions for Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Firefox, mobile browser
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

Both services cater to the most popular operating systems. Notably, they each have their own Amazon Firestick app, which is something not many providers can say. However, NordVPN has an edge here, as it has a command-line based app for Linux.

Hola, meanwhile, has a spotty history where availability is concerned. Its Chrome extension was previously taken down for containing malware (though Hola denied this, and the extension is once again available). Additionally, it was removed from the Google Play Store for similar reasons, and is now only available from the Galaxy Store and App Gallery, since Hola does not allow users to download the .APK file directly.

NordVPN has a clear advantage when it comes to extra features. It’s able to block ads and trackers automatically and users have access to servers specifically designed for torrenting, accessing the dark web, or beating censorship. There’s even a Smart DNS feature that can help you access geo-blocked services on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like Smart TVs and games consoles. Hola has premium DNS servers that designed for the same purpose, but only paying customers can use them.

Hola might be more appealing if you’re looking to connect lots of devices at once. It allows 10 simultaneous connections, whereas NordVPN permits the industry standard six connections. That said, you can get around these limits by installing your VPN on a router. Hola only supports one specific router, while NordVPN provides step-by-step instructions for over a dozen types of firmware. Further, Hola does not allow torrenting under any circumstances, whereas NordVPN supports it on any server.

Streaming and Netflix comparison

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks ABC
Unblocks CBS
Unblocks NBC
Unblocks ITV
Unblocks Channel 4
Unblocks Hulu
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

NordVPN has long been a favorite of users who like to stream, because it’s consistently able to access major services securely. In our tests, NordVPN worked flawlessly with every platform, and in the past, we’ve had success with a far wider range of services than were listed above. We were particularly impressed with NordVPN’s Netflix performance, since it’s rare for a VPN to work with more than a couple of libraries.

Hola’s performance was the exact opposite. It failed to securely access any of the services we tried except for BBC iPlayer, and even that was inconsistent. Despite this, when you try to uninstall Hola, it displays a message claiming that it had “the highest unblocking rates of websites, content, and streaming”. I’d love to see the data backing this assertion up but unfortunately, Hola didn’t reveal its source.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

Hola does not work in China. NordVPN does, though, and users should be able to use the service as normal. Even assuming the Great Firewall is updated and blocks traffic from the regular servers, NordVPN offers obfuscated servers that should get you back to browsing freely. Note that you’ll have to enable Obfuscated servers in the settings menu before they’ll be available for selection.

It’s worth mentioning that NordVPN’s website is blocked in China. This service has a copy of the site that’s still accessible, though. Simply contact customer support before you leave and make a note of the URL. I’d also recommend saving manual configuration guides, just in case the apps temporarily stop working during your visit.

Setup and interface

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
Automatic setup wizardLinux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Main location selectionMap-based/List-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

NordVPN has clean, well-organized apps that feature both a list of servers and an interactive server map. It’s extremely user-friendly, with clearly-labeled settings and a Threat Protection tab that lets you toggle each feature individually. The full settings menu is neatly broken up into different tabs, and never feels too overwhelming despite the number of options available.

Hola VPN connecton steps on app

Hola’s desktop app feels a little unsure about what it’s supposed to be. On one hand, it has the simple main screen with quick-connection button we’ve come to expect from novice-friendly services, but its menu includes extremely obscure settings like ESP cipher transform, DH group, and PFS group. These impact that the encryption algorithm works and there’s almost no situation where an average user would ever need to change them.

Servers and performance

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
Server countries111218
Total number of servers6,000+Unknown
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

There’s a real difference in network scale here. NordVPN operates one of the largest networks on the market, with over 6,000 spanning 60 countries. There’s even a tool on its website that points you to the best server for your intended purpose.

Now, that sounds pretty impressive but Hola’s website says that it has servers in over 210 countries including Palau (population 18,000), Nauru (population 12,000), and Tuvalu (population 11,000). Spoiler: it doesn’t. Instead, Hola mostly functions as a P2P proxy. If there are other Hola users in these locations, it could technically claim that they’re acting as a server, but this is far from guaranteed. There are traditional VPN servers spread around the world too, but these are only for paying users.

When it comes to speed, there’s no contest. NordVPN is one of the fastest services on the market, averaging around 200 Mbps in our latest VPN speed tests. Meanwhile, Hola’s speeds were highly-variable based on the location chosen. Some were quick enough to stream live TV without any issues, but others struggled with general web-browsing.

Here are all of the locations you can connect to in each app:

NordVPNHola
Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
New Zealand
North Macedonia
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Vietnam

Security

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, NordLynxIKEv2/IPsec
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096Unknown
Kill Switch
Private DNS serversIssues reported with DNS leakage
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

First and foremost, we have to stress that free Hola plans do not offer any privacy benefits, and actually allows others to use your connection for whatever they like. Even still, there are several critical differences between these two VPNs’ offerings.

NordVPN supports standard OpenVPN connections and has its own WireGuard-based protocol named NordLynx, as well as IKEv2 support on MacOS. Hola, however, relies on IKEv2, which is pretty secure but supported by fewer devices. NordVPN also offers obfuscated servers capable of bypassing the strictest VPN-blocking in the world, meaning you can use it just about anywhere.

There are a couple of similarities, though. Both services offer 256-bit AES encryption (though only on Hola’s paid plan), which is widely considered uncrackable. They also include automatic connection features and a kill switch that’ll stop you accidentally browsing unprotected. We’d prefer to see Hola offer encryption to all users, since without this, it’s hard to say that it really offers any security at all. Additionally, for the price, we’d really expect more in the way of advanced features — it’s more expensive than services that include bonuses like dark web monitors, streaming-optimized servers, and ad-blocking.

Privacy

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
HQ base of operationPanamaNetanya, Israel
Connection logs Yes, it keeps heavy logs
Activity logsNoneBandwidth
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

NordVPN has twice been independently audited to prove that it doesn’t keep any logs. Its mobile apps do collect device identifiers for analytics purposes. You can refresh these manually, and we recommend you do so periodically. Users can pay in three different cryptocurrencies, or buy a gift card using cash at several major superstores. In other words, signing up anonymously is about as easy as it could possibly be.

Hola has some particularly concerning privacy implications for free users. To begin with, its free plan doesn’t even change your IP address. Further, during installation, it tells you that in order to use the service for free, you must allow it to “occasionally access websites through your device”. We haven’t heard of any legitimate providers that require this permission, and it’s concerning that Hola would even request it.

But what about paying customers? Well, Hola’s own privacy policy explicitly states that it logs users’:

  • Source IP address
  • Operating system
  • Browser type
  • Which websites you visit and how long you spend there
  • The dates and times at which you connected
  • Which apps are installed on your mobile device

That’s a lot of information, especially for something that is supposed to keep your activities private! It also allows you to register using a Google or Facebook account, thereby tying even more identifiable data to your VPN account. All in all, there’s a lot that could be improved upon here.

Customer service

No valueNordVPNHola VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comhola.org
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time3 hours, 45 mins2-3 days
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$3.09
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
$2.99
SAVE 80% on a 3-year plan

NordVPN wins decisively in this category. First of all, it has a 24/7 email and live chat service manned by an in-house customer service team. Staff are more than happy to answer general questions about the service before you’ve even signed up, and we usually receive a response in seconds, not minutes. Paying customers also have access to a ticket system for more complex problems. There are even multilingual setup guides on the NordVPN YouTube channel.

The only support that free Hola customers get is a searchable knowledge base. For anything else, even email support, you’ll need a premium subscription. What’s extremely unusual is that there’s no live chat whatsoever. Most major VPNs offer this at least some of the time. I know that if I paid almost $15 per month for a service, I’d want to be able to get help immediately.

The winner: NordVPN

NordVPN May 2024  

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

It’s rare that we see such a disparity between the services we’re comparing, but Hola consistently over-promises and under-delivers. Users are effectively asked to compromise their privacy for access to geo-blocked websites, unless they’re willing to pay well above market rates for a service that keeps more logs (and provides lower speeds) than its rivals.

NordVPN, on the other hand, has proven time and again to be a reliable, privacy-conscious provider with top-tier security features and real everyday potential. Unlike Hola, it allows torrenting, works in countries with extreme censorship, and provides around-the-clock support. In short, it’s better in almost every way.

NordVPN Coupon
Up to 74% off + 3 months FREE
Get Deal >
Discount applied automatically

Methodology: How we compared NordVPN and Hola VPN

We believe that it’s better for everyone if users understand what they’re actually paying for. That’s why we’ve taken the time to create as comprehensive a comparison as possible, breaking down every feature and tool these services have to offer. We started by focusing in on the areas that would have the biggest impact on the average user, and we’ve listed these below:

  • Network: This is a crucial thing to consider, as network spread determines how far away you’ll be from your nearest server. Additionally, it has an impact on which streaming services you can theoretically access. We also check to see if there are servers that are specifically designed for certain tasks.
  • Performance: Speed is extremely important as a slow connection can lead to disconnects, buffering, sites that won’t load properly, and ultimately, a more frustrating experience. We regularly speed test leading VPNs to track their performance to see whether they’re quick enough for day-to-day tasks.
  • Versatility: A VPN that only works sometimes is effectively useless. To make sure that yours can handle anything you throw at it, we check to see if they work in places like China, if they allow torrenting, if they’re reliable enough for gaming, and if they work with popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer.
  • Security and privacy: If a VPN can’t keep your browsing habits private, what’s the point? Our team checks to see which protocols are supported, whether the encryption is up to industry standards, and whether there are any safeguards or additional security tools like kill switches, leak protection, or stealth modes. We also look into each provider’s audit history as this gives us a way to prove their logging claims, rather than simply taking them at face value.
  • Ease of use: The more user-friendly a service, the better. Ideally, it’d offer user-friendly apps for all major platforms, 24/7 live chat, and enough configuration options to be flexible without overwhelming newcomers. Anything that simplifies the experience, like streaming-optimized servers, is a huge bonus.
  • Price: We’ve reviewed dozens of VPNs, so it’s immediately obvious if one is charging more than is really justified. We’ll always let you know if you can save using a long-term discount, and whether there’s a free trial, money-back guarantee, or seasonal promotion running.

Interested in learning more? Our full VPN testing post explains exactly how we put providers through their paces and ensure only the best make the cut.

NordVPN vs Hola: FAQs

Is Hola VPN safe to use?

One of the biggest problems with Hola is that its free service is just a glorified proxy. In simple terms, it lets other users send data through your connection and vice versa. There’s no encryption unless you pay, and until then, theoretically anyone could use your IP address to commit crimes online.

Unfortunately, the security issues do not end there. It has previously been removed from the Google Play Store and Chrome extension library for allegedly containing malware, and in 2018, a fake version of the app was uploaded, allowing attackers to access users’ crypto wallets.

Finally, Hola records a ton of information about your activities. If you’re looking to privately access the web, there are less expensive alternatives out there, many of which offer more in terms of functionality.

Which is better for torrenting: NordVPN or Hola VPN?

Hola VPN actually doesn’t allow torrenting at all so this isn’t much of a contest. NordVPN has no problem with users torrenting, and actually offers servers that are specifically optimized for this in dozens of countries.

You can technically port forward using NordVPN but 0nly if you have the service installed on your router. You’ll have to balance the time it’ll take to set up against the value of being able to access a greater number of peers and decide if it’s worth it.

Does NordVPN work with Netflix?

NordVPN works extremely well with Netflix. It’s able to securely access a wide variety of regional libraries, no matter where you are in the world. Additionally, you can use any server you like since if NordVPN can’t access the catalog of the country your server is in, it’ll just redirect you to the American version of the site.