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Hola Founder Confirms VPN Sells Users’ Bandwidth



/ 2 years ago

hola-vpn-chromeThe operator of 8chan says the bandwidth of millions of Hola users is being sold for reuse, with some of it even being used to attack his site. Speaking with TorrentFreak, Hola founder Ofer Vilenski says that users’ idle resources are indeed utilized for commercial sale, but that has been the agreement all along.

Faced with increasing local website censorship and Internet services that restrict access depending on where a user is based, more and more people are turning to services such as Hola designed to overcome such limitations by sending your internet traffic via other networks. This then makes it appear that you’re located in another country – such as America.With prices plummeting to just a few dollars a month in recent years, VPNs are now within the budgets of most people. However, there are always those who prefer to get such services for free, without giving much consideration to how that might be economically viable.

With prices plummeting to just a few dollars a month for the service, VPNs and proxies are now within the budgets of most people. However, there are always those who prefer to get such services for free, without giving much consideration to how that might be economically viable.One of the most popular VPN/geo-unblocking solutions on the planet is operated by Israel-based Hola. It can be added to most popular browsers in seconds and has an impressive seven million users on Chrome alone. Overall the company boasts 46 million users of its service.

Now, however, the company is facing accusations from 8chan message board operator Fredrick Brennan. He claims that Hola users’ computers were used to attack his website without their knowledge, and that was made possible by the way Hola is setup.

“When a user installs Hola, he becomes a VPN endpoint, and other users of the Hola network may exit through his internet connection and take on his IP. This is what makes it free: Hola does not pay for the bandwidth that its VPN uses at all, and there is no user opt out for this,” Brennan says.

This means that rather than having their IP addresses cloaked behind a private server, free Hola users are regularly exposing their IP addresses to the world but associated with other people’s traffic – no matter what that might contain.While this will come as a surprise to many, Hola says it has never tried to hide the methods it employs to offer a free service.“Hola has gotten greedy. They recently (late 2014) realized that they basically have a 9 million IP strong botnet on their hands, and they began selling access to this botnet (right now, for HTTP requests only) at

“Hola has gotten greedy. They recently (late 2014) realized that they basically have a 9 million IP strong botnet on their hands, and they began selling access to this botnet (right now, for HTTP requests only) at https://luminati.io,” the 8chan owner said.

Thank you to TorrentFreakfor providing us with this information

Image courtesy of  Itproportal


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