“Hola is making your life better – just don’t call us a VPN though”

With access to global, reliable content taking on more importance than ever, brands like Hola! are front and center in breaking down barriers. Just don’t call them a VPN though.

Jonathan Zurel, Global Communications Manager at Hola

Apr 13, 2022 · 5 min read

Tell us about Hola

We created Hola with the idea in mind that Access to Global Content should be for Everyone. Pretty simple, but what that means in real terms is that we believe the internet should be free of borders, free of hurdles, free from the word “blocked”, making your life better in the process. Just don’t call us a VPN though  - acronyms don’t do justice to our values and don’t tell the full story of what we do.

Making your life better - that’s a bold statement - how do you put this into practice?

We’ve all experienced being told “this content has been blocked in your country” - that’s a pretty clear statement, but the question is “why?”. I have yet to come across a satisfying answer to that. The internet was created to be open to all, that’s its inherent nature. In a world where access to information, access to content, access in general, gets blocked as an act of war or aggression - we simply won’t abide by this. We want to be the platform of choice for access to worldwide online content.

Blocking is so prevalent, that even the president of Ukraine reached out to Elon Musk to open up the internet, after connections were throttled, or even shut down, due to the Russian invasion. You don’t need to be Mr Musk to play your part in maintaining online access. With Hola being a peer-to-peer network, through our community of users, we are able to provide access to content throughout the world, a full picture of what is available, no matter what. 

For example, whether you’re based in Germany, Singapore or Argentina, the content you are exposed to can vary hugely. The core of what we do is democratizing this content, on a global level. What you want access to - whether it’s the entertainment you want or the best prices on e-commerce websites - should not depend on where you are located in the world. Your experience should be optimized and free of barriers.

So, on a more granular level, how do you know what to offer to your customers?

We like to think of Hola users as a community, even a fellowship. As we are driven by giving our users the best experience possible, much like other online communities, we are able to share what the “Top 10 most searched for” content is where they are based. However, where we do draw the line, is with “recommended searches for you”, as this would mean that we are tracking on a more individual level. We believe in “intelligence of the masses” or what some call “smart mobs” - we share what the wider trends are, without looking at any one person individually.

How have you always managed to be a free service?

Hola gives access to any site on the Internet. Whether e-commerce, streaming or booking platforms. Users contribute minimal device resources  to a vast pool in exchange for a free, unrestricted browsing experience. Our paid Hola Premium offers added features for advanced users - but we will always also have our Free product available, by the way, we are the only access product on the market that doesn’t require payment. We are totally unique that way. (Click here for more info on this).

You mentioned earlier that you don’t want to be known as a VPN - why is that?

Look, we are a technology company, we know that. But the vast majority of our customers are not techies - all they want is to find a way to access the entertainment or e-commerce content that they are after. We want to help them achieve that in a user-friendly, fun manner. That is where we position ourselves as a brand and what our products do. 

People do not speak “tech”, they speak their own language. That is the level on which we want to engage with our customers. We are all human - we are not all “tech” - we want to connect to our customers on that human level. 

Any new developments in the pipeline?

We are constantly working on giving our customers the smoothest and fun experience. What that means is our in-house Tech experts are always working on giving them the best. So, on an ongoing basis, we are working on new tweaks or even new products. 

We recently launched our own browser - unique amongst our competitors, which also includes our flagship extension. It will also include our ad blocker and ad skipper products, which will make for even smoother enjoyment of our customers’ chosen content.

Without giving too much detail away, we are currently also working on a way to make online shopping a truly global experience - so as you see, our aim is and always will be opening the gate to safe ways of making your life better.

Jonathan Zurel, Global Communications Manager at Hola

Apr 13, 2022 · 5 min read