Monthly Archives: February 2015

Secure web browsing using Hola VPN

There are a number of ways to access sites blocked by your ISP for whatever reason, but a “tunnel” connecting you directly to the site that your ISP cannot observe, by a Virtual Private Network (VPN) looks a more secure option than using a proxy.

Hola is the most straightforward Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution I have found. And Hola VPN also appears trustworthy – or I cannot find anyone who doesn’t trust their assertion that they do not keep logs – and the How-To-Geeks seem have accepted they do not bundle adware (https://discuss.howtogeek.com/t/warning-your-browser-extensions-are-spying-on-you/12394/40).

First, download Hola at http://hola.org/

To use once installed is easier on mobile devices like ‘phones or tablets than desktops, but none are difficult. These are the various steps:

iOS (e.g. your iPad):
Go to Settings/VPN and choose a national server to connect Hola

Android (e.g. ‘phones, tablets):
Use the Hola browser

PC/Laptop (Windows, I have not yet tried Linux):

  1. Click tiny icon (top right of FF screen)
  2. If turned off, click the blazing Smiley image in the small window to start
  3. Select a country
  4. When connected it will say, “Browsing From” and show the national flag
  5. Hover mouse above flag and a text entry box will appear between “Browsing” and “From”
  6. Type the blocked site’s URL in the box and click on the grey hatched globe icon to its right
  7. The site will be unblocked in the main browser window

One other issue:

“System Administrator has blocked this program”, just close the message, then a bit of arm wrestling is needed:

  • In Firefox, click Tools/Add-ons
  • Hola Better Internet will be in the ln the list of Add-ons, Disable and Enable the Add-on (possibly a few times)
  • Hola may spot you Disabling their Add-on and open a window offering to re-download, don’t worry, they don’t know you are about to Enable again!
  • Keep at it and your System Administrator should eventually be side-stepped.

You can test that it works by going to http://www.whatismyip.com/ whilst connected (it will show your location as that of the national server chosen), or just by unblocking sites blocked by your ISP.