Hola VPN blocked? Fix the issue with this guide
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
- Hola is a free pseudo-VPN available for browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
- As a service, Hola is insecure and we highly recommend you switch to a good VPN.
- Many VPNs are valid Hola alternatives, but choosing the right one could be a bit difficult.
- If you're not ready to switch to another service, our guide will give you a bunch of suggested Hola fixes.
Hola VPN is touted as the first community-powered, or peer-to-peer virtual private network in which users assist each other to make information accessible for everyone on the internet.
Just like with VPN providers that advertise lifetime subscriptions, you should be careful when using free VPNs like Hola. The service has come under intense criticism after being discovered that the service sold its users’ bandwidth and acted as a botnet.
With this in mind, we highly recommend that you stop using the service and go with a legitimate and well-established VPN provider. But if you are willing to take the risk as keep using Hola, the following steps will show you how to fix Hola VPN not working on Chrome and other platforms.
In order to use Hola VPN, you have to install it then go to a website you want to visit, click the Hola extension icon on your browser, then select a country, and Hola VPN will switch your IP address to that country so you’re virtually browsing from there.
However, because of geo-restrictions and country censorships, VPNs have been blocked at one point or another, for example, when using Netflix and you find Hola VPN blocked.
If this is your situation, try the solutions below to unblock Hola VPN and continue enjoying anonymous browsing and internet usage on your computer.
What to do if Hola VPN is not working
1. Preliminary checks
- If you cannot access even when disconnected from the VPN, check your internet connection.
- Check that you entered the correct user credentials – username and password for logins
- Check your IP address for information such as your city or region (country) next to the location you selected. If it shows a location near you, it means you’re not connected to a server location associated with your VPN, so try connecting again.
- Open the website you want to access, and click the Hola extension icon, then select the flag of the country you want to view the website from
- Disable and enable the Hola extension
- Try forcing the site to reload by pressing CTRL and F5 (or SHIFT + REFRESH)
- Clear your browser’s cache, including the cookies (typically under ‘Settings’ > ‘Privacy’ or press CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE on your keyboard
- Close the browser, then open and try again
- Disable other extensions to check if any of these is causing Hola VPN blocked problem
- Uninstall Hola from the browser then go to hola.org and click Start
- Disable other Virtual Private Server, proxy software, or other software that might conflict with Hola. These can include IE tab, Avast WebRep, Flash Blocker, and NoScript.
- Test your Hola VPN via IPLocation site. This site shows the country you’re browsing from. Click Hola extension icon>Select Country and the IPLocation site will refresh and show the country you’re browsing from or any other country you choose.
- Ensure that you have the latest version of your browser.
- Disable your antivirus or firewall (at your risk) to see if they are causing the problem. Third-party app settings like your security software settings which sometimes block the PPTP and L2TP protocols, especially when your set higher than the normal level. Try connecting again, then, allow PPTP, L2TP and IPSec through your antivirus and firewall and re-enable the security software.
- Check if your VPN account may have expired as this can cause connection or blockage issues.
- Check your router settings if you’re connected to a WiFi router. Check for pass-through options for PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec, under Router Firewall/Security tab and enable them. If these options don’t exist, disable the router firewall and try again then reenable the firewall.
- Download the latest version of your VPN.
Note: If you cannot find Hola extension on your browser, do the following:
- Close Chrome and open it again
- Move your mouse to the address bar (next to bookmarks) and drag the address bar to the left
- Click >> (more) icon at the top right side of the address bar
- Check if Hola icon is on the list
- Open Chrome extension settings – ensure Hola extension isn’t installed or download it from the Hola website
- Disable Hola and re-enable it again
- Close Firefox and open it again
- Open Firefox Add-on settings. Ensure Hola extension is installed, or download from Hola website
- Move your mouse to Firefox settings button, then right-click and select Customize.
- Drag the Hola icon back to the address bar
2. Change your VPN to a more secure one
When Hola VPN doesn’t work, or you’re having trouble accessing certain websites, your best course of action is to start using a much more secure VPN that is not a disguised botnet.
You can change your VPN provider to Private Internet Access, which has thousands of servers all over the world. When connecting to a server, you will be assigned an IP address, which can be easily changed in case the IP is blocked.
This is where having multiple servers in a specific area can be of use, as this will give you the possibility to immediately reconnect and have a fresh IP address. Additionally, you are at risk of your IP being shared with anyone else.
Private Internet Access is constantly being updated and new servers are being added constantly. With a reach of over 45 countries, you can bypass geo-restrictions and protect your data at the same time.
Many users have reported that Hola VPN is not working on Chrome. This is due to more and more services blocking Hola users from their platforms.
Here are some of the features you can look forward to when you sign up to Private Internet Access:
- Over 3300 servers in more than 45 countries
- Easily mask your IP for private browsing
- Block ads, trackers and malware
- Military-grade data encryption
- Multiple VPN Gateways
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Strict no-log policy
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access can mask your IP and allow you access blocked content easily. Enjoy a major discount right away!
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3. Flush the DNS
This allows your computer to access your VPN’s DNS automatically, for the proper/correct entries. To do this:
- Click Start
- Click All Apps
- Select Accessories
- Type CMD in the search box, and right-click Command Prompt then select Run as administrator
- Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter. You’ll get a confirmation that says: Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache will be displayed
Has any of these solutions helped? Let us know in the comments section below.
Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:
- Your IP Address:
Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.
We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.
Visit Private Internet Access
Frequently Asked Questions
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Uninstalling Hola for Firefox
Removing the Firefox extension
Step 1: Check if the plugin is installed
Open your Firefox browser, and look for the Hola icon in the top-right corner.
Step 2: Go to 'Add-ons'
Open the 'hamburger menu', and click the 'Add-ons' button.
Step 3: Remove the plugin
After clicking "Add-ons" a window should appear. On the far left, click "Extensions" and search for the plugin that says "Hola Better Internet".
Once you have found this plugin, there will be an option to "Disable" and "Remove" the Hola plugin. First disable the plugin by clicking "Disable", and then remove the plugin by clicking "Remove".
Step 4: Confirm
After clicking "Remove", a window will appear confirming that the plugin has been removed, and trying to convince you to download Hola again; however, we strongly advise against reinstalling Hola. There are plenty of alternatives, that do not compromise your safety.
Removing the Hola service (Windows only)
Removing the Firefox extension doesn't always remove all of Hola, unfortunately. On Windows, you may need to uninstall the Hola service as well.
Step 1: Open your Control Panel
First, open the Control Panel and click "Programs".
Step 2: Click "Programs and features"
Step 3: Look for Hola
Search for Hola in the list of programs. Once you have located Hola, right click the Hola program and click "Uninstall/Change".
Step 4: Uninstall
Once you have clicked "Uninstall/Change", another window will appear asking you to confirm the uninstallation. Click "Uninstall".
Removing the Hola firewall rules (Windows only)
There are a number of firewall rules created by Hola, that are not removed as part of the uninstallation process. The following instructions show you how to remove them from Windows Firewall.
Step 1: Open "System and Security"
Open Windows Control Panel, and click "System and Security".
Step 2: Open "System and Security"
Next, click "Windows Firewall".
Step 3: Open "System and Security"
On the far left, it should say "Advanced options". Click "Advanced Options".
Step 4: Open "System and Security"
After clicking "Advanced Options", a window will open. On the far left of this window, click "Inbound Rules". This will display a list of firewall rules.
Search the rules for the four Hola rules that are shown in the image below. Once you have located these rules, select them, right click them, click "Disable", and finally click "Delete"
Removing Hola files
This part is optional.
Hola leaves behind a lot of files, even after 'uninstalling' it. This part of the guide will explain how to remove these on Windows.
Instructions are likely similar on other operating systems, but have not been tested.
Note also that different installers leave behind different files; if any of these files or folders do not exist on your system, you can safely skip that step.
Step 1: Delete the "Hola" folder
Open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\, drive or the drive where Windows is installed. The first folder to remove is the "Hola" folder located in C:\, shown in the image below. Right click the folder, and click "Delete".
If this folder doesn't exist, you can skip this step.
Step 2: Go to "Program Files"
Step 3: Delete the "Hola" folder in Program Files
After opening the "Program Files" folder, locate the "Hola" folder within this folder. Once you have located the "Hola" folder, right click it and click "Delete".
Step 4: Go to Application Data
Software applications often save data and files to the local AppData folder. This folder is sometimes hidden; however, we can access it quite easily. First open File Explorer, enter %localappdata% in the bar at the top, and press enter. This should take you to your local AppData folder.
Step 5: Remove Hola's application data
Search inside the local AppData folder for the "Hola" folder. Once you have located this folder, right click it and click "Delete".
Removing Hola registry keys (Windows only)
This part is optional.
There are a large number of registry keys still within the registry, that are not removed by the uninstaller. The following steps will show you how to remove these registry keys from your registry.
Making mistakes in the Registry Editor can break your Windows installation. If you're not comfortable with that possibility, skip this section.
Step 1: Run the Registry Editor
First open "Run" by pressing Windows+R on your keyboard, then type "regedit", and click "OK".
Step 2: Remove the Hola user entries
After clicking "OK", a window should open. This is the Registry Editor, which allows you to add, edit and remove registry values.
First, double click "HKEY_CURRENT_USER", then click "Software", and look for the "Hola" folder. Once you have found the Hola folder, right click it, and click "Delete".
Step 3: Remove the Hola system entries
Next, double click "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", then double click "SOFTWARE", and look for the "Hola" folder. Once you have found the Hola folder, right click it, and click "Delete".
Step 4: Remove the Hola default entries
Next, double click "HKEY_CURRENT_USER", then double click "DEFAULT", double click "Software", and look for the "Hola" folder. Once you have found the Hola folder, right click it, and click "Delete".
You're done! Sit back and relax.
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Hola Unblocker for Firefox
Hola Unblocker Firefox is a VPN Proxy service for home users. Users can download the free add-on for the Mozilla browser and view web page content after installing the tools that were previously assigned a IP block or longer lock. These include many US video or music portals such as Netflix.
When it comes to the issue of countries blocking, which is supposed to be so open and accessible to everyone world wide web now and then quite closed. Not only in the event that you would like to from Germany in the video platform YouTube watch a music video clip that was provided by GEMA or else anyone with country-specific barriers. Tech savvy users are numerous software programs, visit our anonymization tools available for download. In the division of anonymization tools and Hola Unblocker Firefox falls.
Hola Unblocker Firefox also lay simplicity to use
The great thing with the free browser extension Hola Unblocker Firefox is that you need to use the tools no special technical skills. The add-on also computer and technology lay people can hide their identity or origin when accessing certain websites and circumventing countries locks. Installation and operation is simple by downloading Hola Unblocker Firefox.
Operating the anonymization tools
The download and installation of anonymity tools are as simple and straightforward as many other free Mozilla Firefox add-ons with free download. The operation is so simple and complicated, because you do not have extra-configure or start the tool. Visiting simply the page with the countries lock and click on the icon for Hola Unblocker Firefox, which is at the top right of the browser window. Then you can select the country manually and within no time the contents are unlocked. The tool almost automatically unlocks the popular video platforms by in between turns with a diversion to non-German proxies.
Currently Hola Unblocker Firefox does not support quite as many sites as compared to some other VPN proxy services. For that anonymizer the unlocked supported website content in no time. Supported platforms include, among others, Hulu, Pandora and Netflix. The tool is also available as Chrome extension. There, the Hola Unblocker supports additionally the platforms Fox and CBS.
Hola Free VPN Proxy Unblocker
Access websites blocked or censored in your country, company and school, and stream media with the free Hola Unblocker VPN proxy service.
Unblock most websites with the free version. To unblock all websites or to secure your traffic, subscribe to PLUS.
Hola is a free and ad-free VPN proxy service that provides a faster and a more open Internet.
Hola VPN is the world's fastest unblocker - using split-tunneling technology. For full encryption, privacy and security, subscribe to PLUS.
If you have any technical issues please write to us at [email protected] (don't post the question - we cannot answer all the posts).
Hola VPN requires the following permissions:
- Proxy: Let Hola extension proxy your traffic through a server in another
country to change your ip and unblock restricted sites.
- AllHosts/WebRequest/WebRequestBlocking: Let Hola extension check every web request and modify it. Hola VPN is the fastest unblocker because it uses split-tunneling technology and only proxy the minimum number of web requests needed to unblock a site.
- Tabs: Let Hola track your tabs and enable VPN only on specific tabs and show popup inside the page to let you enable, disable and fix connectivity problems.
- WebNavigation: Let Hola track your navigations request and enable VPN on a single site and only when it is needed.
- Cookies: Let Hola access your cookies. Some sites cache your country inside cookies, and it is required to clear those cookies before you can access that site from another country.
- Storage: Let Hola save local configuration and cache data.
- ContextMenus: Let Hola add entries to context menu.
Subscribe to PLUS: https://hola.org/plus?ref=webstore
Available on Android: https://hola.org/download/android?ref=webstore
Learn more - https://hola.org/faq.html
Support - https://support.hola.org
Hola End User License: https://hola.org/legal/sla
Vpn extension firefox hola for
The Best VPN add-ons for Firefox
Firefox users have access to a selection of VPN add-ons for the browser which they can install from Mozilla's official add-ons repository.
Whenever a connection to a virtual private network is established, it will be used as the entry point to the Internet. Websites and services that users connect to will reveal the IP address of the VPN server and not the local one.
That's great for a number of purposes. Since you connect to a server in a specific location, you can access contents that are restricted to that location.
A vpn server in the United States lets you access contents restricted to users of the USA even if you are in another country.
Security too is improved as your connection to the VPN is encrypted usually so that others listening in on the traffic don't see clear-text data flowing by.
VPN Add-ons for Firefox
Users of the Firefox web browser, much like Chrome users, have access to several add-ons that provide them with VPN-like functionality in the web browser.
The main appeal of these solutions is that they are easy to setup and use. If you sign up for a VPN service manually instead, it may be required to create a new network connection on your system to make use of it. With add-ons, you may need to create an account but that is about it.
Only add-ons matching the following requirements are included in the list.
- The add-on needs to be available on the Firefox Add-ons website.
- The add-on needs to be compatible with Firefox Stable.
- A free version needs to be provided.
- It may not inject advertisement or manipulate traffic or the browser in other -- shady -- ways.
The browser extension is no longer available on the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons website but only directly on the company website. It is unclear why it is no longer available, but it may have something to do with how the service operates.
Your use of Hola Free VPN Proxy is free of charge in exchange for safely using some of your device's resources (WiFi and very limited cellular data), and only when you are not using your device.
The extension adds an icon to Firefox's main toolbar by default which indicates whether a connection has been established or not.
You can click on the icon to select a server location for the site you are on, and the extension remembers that selection and will establish the same connection the next time you visit that website.
There is also an option to change server which is useful if the server you are currently connected to is not delivering the performance needed to access contents on the website.
Hola Unblocker uses peer connections to support its service. This means that your PC may be used to stream content for other users. The only way to avoid this from happening is to upgrade to a premium account which starts at $3.75 per month if you pay yearly in advanced.
Performance: The performance was excellent. All streaming services that I tried worked fluent without pauses or buffering issues. Access to sites such as Netflix, Pandora Radio, Hulu, the BBC, Amazon.com or NBC.
Proxmate is offered as a free trial extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Users who install it can use the service for three days without restrictions but need to sign up for a subscription to continue using it after that trial period.
A yearly subscription is available for $17.95 at the time of writing but there are also options to subscribe for a shorter period or make a one-time payment instead.
The service lists officially supported channels, TV station streams and media streams in particular, on its site which should work fine with the service. Not all streaming services may work on the other hand.
While that is certainly a let down for users who have installed it to access a service that is not working, it still has its uses for others. The add-on receives regular updates from its developer. The last update dates back 2 months at the point in time the updated version of the top list was published.
You may want to check the options of the add-on as you may find a preference listed there that sends anonymous usage data to the developer.
The add-on for Firefox works without any user interaction. Just visit the site and if it is supported Proxmate will tunnel your connection so that you can access the contents. Proxmate uses proxies to make available its functionality.
Performance: Not all supported services were working at the time of writing. Those that did , Pandora, Crunchyroll and Grooveshark for example, worked fine and without any issues however.
ZenMate Security & Privacy VPN
ZenMate is available as a free, somewhat limited browser extension for Firefox (and Chrome as well). You can use the extension without signing up for an account but may join a 7-day trial of the premium version if you want to test the premium upgrades.
Premium access is available for $59.99 per year. While that sounds expensive at first, it needs to be noted that customers do get access to a full-blown VPN provider and not just a proxy server when they subscribe to ZenMate.
The extension displays an icon in Firefox's main toolbar that you use to pick the geographical location you want as your exit node.
Free users are limited to some locations, including United States and Germany while other popular locations such as the UK are not available for free users. Sites worked fine during tests but it is necessary to switch between exit nodes manually each time a different location is required to access content.
Premium users get more server locations, automatic switching of locations based on the site that is accessed, a full desktop VPN client for Windows and Mac systems, and faster speeds.
Performance: The performance of the service is excellent. I did not notice any issues while using it, and all tested services, Hulu, Pandora and Crunchyroll, worked fine during tests.
Company headquarters: Germany
Terms of Service: https://zenmate.com/tos/
Hoxx VPN Proxy
Hoxx is provided as a free and paid VPN service; paid users subsidize the free users of the service. Free accounts are limited in terms of traffic, support, the encryption strength, and cannot access premium server locations next to that.
You need to create an account before you can start using the service. Once that is out of the way, you can start using the service by connecting to one of the free server locations.
A good selection of locations is provided. You may connect to servers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Australia, and other regions. The connection process is fast and worked without issues during tests.
Performance: Performance was satisfactory in all locations I tried.
Company headquarters: USA
Terms of Service: https://hoxx.com/terms/
It is surprising that only a few add-ons are available to add VPN-like functionality to the Firefox browser. The makers of Zenmate are working on an add-on for Firefox to bring their popular service to the web browser but it is not clear when that is going to be the case.
Hola Unblocker was the only add-on that worked with all services. Its main issue is that its latest version is not offered on the official Add-on repository which means that it has not been audited by Mozilla.
As a Firefox user, it may make sense to install a system-wide VPN instead. There are free ones available, but they do limit the bandwidth available usually. Tunnelbear for example gets you 500 MB of free data each month which is enough to watch a show or two but that is about it.
Now You: Are you using a different add-on to access restricted contents or improve your privacy and security while using the Firefox web browser? Share it with us in the comment section below.
How to Install a VPN on Firefox
Disclosure: Top10VPN is editorially independent. We may earn commissions if you buy a VPN through links on our site.
It’s quick and easy to set up your VPN account in your browser with the help of Firefox extensions. This guide shows you how, with helpful tips to make the process as simple as possible.
Mozilla Firefox is a great private web browser. However, a Firefox VPN extension will boost your privacy by hiding your IP address, geo-spoofing your location, and encrypting your web traffic.
An important note, though, is that most browser VPN extensions are not really VPNs at all, they are proxies that do not encrypt your traffic securely, and only reroute your browser traffic.
Any traffic from other apps, like Skype, BitTorrent, or Steam, will not be anonymized at all, and even your browser traffic will be visible to your ISP.
That said, there are still real benefits to a browser proxy – they make a lightweight addition to your browser without the need to install a full VPN, and they can often give you access to geo-restricted content, like Netflix.
Installation is super simple, too, and won’t take more than a couple of minutes of your time.
If you’re looking for a VPN to use with Firefox, we keep our best VPN for Firefox list regularly updated.
Method 1: Install a VPN Extension
This is the quickest and easiest method. With a few exceptions, it is the best way to get a VPN on Firefox. To demonstrate we’ll use ExpressVPN.
Installing an add-on is easy:
- Find the download link for the extension on your VPN service’s website or in the Mozilla add-ons library.
It is really important at this point that you make sure you’ve downloaded a legitimate add-on which is actually released by your VPN provider, and not a counterfeit one.
If you download the add-on directly from your provider’s website then you’re all good. Fake add-ons aren’t too common and are usually pretty obvious (with weird logos or design), but it pays to be careful.
An example of a fraudulent add-on (left), alongside the real deal (right)
- Install the add-on by pressing “Get Extension” (or equivalent) on your provider’s page, or press “+ Add to Firefox” if you’ve found it in the add-on library.
- The add-on will appear in the top left of your browser window.
- Click the icon to access the VPN or alter any settings. For some add-ons you will need to log in, but ExpressVPN can automatically detect whether or not you have logged into the desktop app.
Method 2: Manually Configure a Browser Proxy
If you don’t want to install yet another add-on on your already-busy browser, but do want to run an in-browser proxy, there is an alternative method: manually configuring the proxy.
We have demonstrated this using ibVPN. The method will vary slightly, but not significantly, with other providers:
- Click on ‘hamburger menu’ in the top right hand corner of your browser, then select Option.
- Scroll to the bottom and, under Network Settings, click “Settings…”
- Tick “Manual proxy configuration”
- You will need to find the correct “IP address” and “port” to connect to from your VPN provider.
- Enter them into the fields provided, then click “OK”.
- If prompted, enter your username and password.
Because this is a manual configuration, it is more prone to problems than simply downloading an extension. If you want to change proxy location you will need to repeat the process, and you may also find you need to periodically change to a more up to date IP address.
What Kind of VPN Add-on Should I Choose?
Broadly speaking there are two kinds of VPN browser extension:
- Lightweight browser proxies
- Remote-controls for your computer’s VPN
Which type you use is up to you, but there are some important differences to keep in mind before you make a commitment.
Lightweight browser proxies will mask the IP address of some of your activity – but only for things carried out in the browser. They will not affect traffic from other apps, such as email or video chat.
They also don’t provide encryption. This means that anyone, from your ISP, to hackers to the government, could look in on your activity.
A VPN remote control, on the other hand, connects to a full VPN installed on your computer.
This means it takes up more space on your device (you will need the actual VPN app installed as well), but also allows it to offer a full VPN rather than just a proxy.
Unlike a proxy the full VPN is encrypted and protects everything on your device, from in browser or from any other apps.
The vast majority of VPN ‘add-ons’ are lightweight browser proxies. Examples include NordVPN, Cyberghost, Hola, and many others.
The only popular remote control add-on belongs to ExpressVPN. Windscribe has suggested 9t intends to transition towards a full remote, but has not yet fully implemented it.
Are All VPN Extensions Safe?
There are lots of VPNs out there – particularly free VPNs – which either won’t work properly or are dangerous. So it’s always important to make sure you stay away from add-ons you don’t know and trust.
Our security study of free VPN apps for mobile, we found 18% potentially contained malware, 25% leaked information, and 67% asked for unnecessary and intrusive permissions.
There are two kinds of browser extensions you need to watch out for:
- Fraudulent add-ons imitating legitimate VPN providers
- Low quality or exploitative add-ons from shady providers
Hola, for instance, is an add-on we never recommend using. Not only is it poorly-encrypted and prone to leaking, but it has also previously been caught selling user data and even mobilized as a botnet.
There are lots of little things which could go wrong with your browser proxy, but thankfully they are generally easy to solve.
You can always contact your provider’s customer service team for technical help, but feel free to try the following first:
- Make sure you have a valid subscription. A paid VPN service won’t work unless you subscribe to it.
- If you are using ExpressVPN, make sure you have the desktop app installed. ExpressVPN’s add-on controls the desktop app, so it won’t work unless they are both installed.
- Make sure your add-on is legit. There are some fraudulent add-ons posing as legitimate providers. Always make sure you have the correct add-on before you install it or enter any of your personal details.
If all else fails, contact your VPN provider.
How to Uninstall a Firefox VPN Extension
Whether you have moved on from a VPN provider or decided that a browser extension doesn’t provide the same level of protection as a desktop app, uninstalling a VPN extension is quick and easy.
To remove a VPN extension from Firefox simply do the following:
- Right click on the extension icon in the top left corner of your browser window.
- Select “Remove Extension.”
If you suspect the add-on you have had installed is fake and/or malicious, you might want to Report it first. You can do this by right clicking on its icon and clicking “Report Extension.”
Either way, the extension has now been removed.
How to Optimize Your Firefox Browser for Privacy
Your IP address isn’t the only thing that can give your identity away online.
Basic things like tracking cookies and more advanced techniques like browser fingerprinting allow advertisers and malicious third parties to follow your activity online.
Fortunately, Firefox is one of the best browsers to protect yourself from this online-surveillance – it just needs a small amount of configuration to optimize your privacy.
First of all you need to disable telemetry – which Mozilla uses to collect several kinds of diagnostic information from your browser.
To disable telemetry:
- Select the ‘hamburger menu’ in the top right hand corner of your browser window.
- Navigate to Options > Privacy & Security > Firefox Data Collection and Use.
- Make sure that every box in this section is unticked.
How to disable Telemetry in Firefox.
Firefox includes a great feature called Enhanced Tracking Protection. It safeguards your privacy by blocking trackers, cookies, fingerprinting techniques (which can be used to identify you even while a VPN is running) and cryptominers.
To enable Enhanced Tracking Protection:
- Select the ‘hamburger menu’ menu in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
- Navigate to Options > Privacy & Security > Enhanced Tracking Protection.
- Choose your protection mode: strict, standard, or custom.
There are different modes available for different risk models: strict, standard, and custom. In our experience the ‘strict’ mode will break some webpages, but is generally quite stable.
How to enable tracking protection in Firefox.
If you encounter a problem, you can always disable content blocking for specific sites by clicking on the shield symbol to the left of the URL bar.
You can also change your default search engine from Google to a more private alternative, like DuckDuckGo or Startpage.
To change your default search engine:
- Select the settings menu in the top right hand corner of your screen.
- Navigate to Preferences > Search > Default Search Engine.
- Choose your preferred search engine from the drop-down menu.
There are even more advanced privacy options available through Firefox, which you can learn about here.
Does Firefox Have a Built-In VPN?
Mozilla does have its own proxy service, called Firefox Private Network, available as an extension of the desktop version of the Firefox browser.
Like many browser “VPNs,” this isn’t really a full VPN, but it does hide your IP address.
Right now, the Firefox browser extension is free, but there are plans to make it a premium feature costing $12.99 per month.
There is nothing wrong with Firefox’s proxy, but it lacks some of the fundamental utility offered by other proxies, and much of the security offered by a full VPN.
While we generally recommend Firefox as the best browser for privacy, the same cannot be said of its VPN extension.
You’re better off using a third-party VPN extension. Read our review of Surfshark VPN, which has a very good browser add-on.
About the Author
Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio
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Hola VPN is a popular Firefox and Chrome extension that allows a person to watch access content. However, there are several issues with the service. The Hola VPN turns your computer into an exit node which allows other Hola users to use your network connection. Other people using your connection could be causing abuse or doing something illegal and you could be held accountable. By installing and using the Hola VPN, you will also be granting people outside the University access to our network. This means, you could be exposing the network to outside threats.
Hola VPN isn’t just an exit node. Hola VPN also sells your bandwidth for their service called Luminati. The service uses the Hola VPN clients for moving large files through the internet. In addition to selling your network bandwidth for their Luminati Service, Hola VPN has also injected advertisement into people’s browser.
Due to the security risk posed by the Hola VPN client and plugin, the College of Engineering will be blocking any computer from the network using this software. The computer will remain blocked until the DECS Support Office can verify that the software has been removed. If you have any questions, please contact the DECS Support Office at 3-8891 or at [email protected]