Hola Claims its US Netflix VPN Service is Safe

By Gary Cutlack on at

You may have seen people sharing some form of attack on the VPN services offered by Hola recently, as some "facts" about how it handles anonymised traffic went viral -- much to the horror of its users. Hola's now issued an apology of sorts, setting the record straight on how it works.

The problem, according to Hola, is that some users don't realise it's actually a P2P service that reroutes internet traffic around the world, so it's decided to whack something front-and-centre on its site to explain this awkward fact.

Hola explains: "We assumed that by stating that Hola is a P2P network, it was clear that people were sharing their bandwidth with the community network in return for their free service. After all, people have been doing that for years with services like Skype. It was not clear to all our users, and we want it to be completely clear."

As for the claim that Hola's mass distributed user network is comparable to a botnet, Hola denies this quite firmly, saying: "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."

It say users should see about a 6MB hit per day on additional bandwidth use thanks to the way it shuffles traffic around the world -- a small price to pay for global Netflix access for some. And it's basically not really sorry and will be carrying on, and you can always pay for the premium service if you don't want someone else using your computer as a router. [Hola via BBC]