Free services that unblock country-restricted contents on the Internet such as Hulu, Pandora, the BBC or Netflix usually do not last that long before sites start to take notice and block them from making contents available or they become that popular that they can't keep up with the traffic that is needed to power them.
While I can't say for sure if Hola Unblocker will share the same fate as countless other solutions before it, I can confirm that it is working right now as advertised.
The solution is available for web browsers such as Firefox and Google Chrome, and also for Android, Windows and Apple systems. If you install it in a browser of choice, it does its magic in the background right after installation. You won't really notice that it is there and working, until you visit a site that it can unlock for you.
That's great if you are on holiday in another country for instance but do not want to miss your favorite show, or want to access your Netflix account for some video streaming to wherever you are right now.
The browser extensions unlock the following sites currently on the Internet:
So how does it work? Hola works like a VPN service but with the difference that it uses p2p technology to distribute contents between members. While you may notice an uptick in upload bandwidth when your computer is idle because it is used to make available contents that you can watch to other users, not all contents need to be streamed so that the overall impact should not be too high after all.
The Windows client comes with two additional features, including that it should work in every browser that you are using which means that you can make use of it in Internet Explorer or Opera for example as well. It also includes the Hola Web Accelerator which aims to speed up web browsing and a Firewall Unblocker which provides you with the means to escape networks, e.g. at school or work, and also country wide restrictions that prevent access to specific web contents.
Holo works really well for now, and I did not notice any issues during that time. Playback was fluent and access was granted immediately on all sites I tested it on. For now at least, it is a great solution if you want to access the sites it supports.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.