Access sites like Hulu, CBS, iTV and Pandora regardless of which country you’re in. Even better, there’s no need to change your DNS settings or set up a VPN. Hola Unblocker is an Android app, a browser extension and a program for Windows that makes bypassing region restrictions a snap. Seriously, this app could not get any easier to use.
The web is full of great media content – if you live in the right country. Otherwise, it’s blocked for most of the world. James told you that VPNs are old, and showed you better ways to access region-blocked video. Chris showed you how to beat region blocked media sites on Android, and Hola was one of the apps listed.
Hola Unblocker is among the easiest tools for the job. Even better, it can seriously speed up the wireless web, if you’re an Android user. By default it supports a (very) limited number of sites, but with a little tweaking you can add more.
Getting Started With Hola
Head to Hola.org to get started. You’ll be presented with the various versions of Hola Unblocker.
Android users should download the app. Windows users can download a system-wide app (Windows 8 not supported). Everyone else can use the browser extensions.
Most of the sites this service allows you to access are US-based, but that doesn’t mean those of us living in America can’t also benefit. For example, we could use it to watch Downton Abbey months ahead of the PBS broadcast.
Spoil every plot twist! Ruin the show for everyone! Prevent your friends from talking to you! You can also create your own scripts to access other region blocked content – more on that later.
The Android app is similar to the Windows one – simply download the app and it will run in the background. You can configure which services are on and off:
You can also pick which sites you’d like to bypass region restrictions on:
As you can see, Facebook and Twitter are included in the list. This is useful if your corporate firewall blocks the sites, so office drones rejoice! Both of these sites are also blocked in certain countries –notably China – so Hola can help you access them while traveling. Note: breaking the law in a foreign country is generally a bad idea, and we’re not responsible for anything you do.
Creating Your Own Unblocker Script
The number of sites unblocked is currently quite limited, but advanced users can add more. Just click the “I’m Smart” link in the Hola settings, and check out this GitHub page for instructions. Be warned: this is mainly ideal for advanced users. Don’t be too nervous, however: it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m a hockey nerd, and I was able to quickly make a script for bypassing NHL Gamecenter blackouts based on code I found on GitHub:
Add my NHL script to Hola here, if you’re interested. Subscription required, of course, and you’ll need Hola installed in order to use the link. It basically routes all NHL.com traffic through Spain; tweak a little and you’ll get the hang of making your own. Currently you can only route requests through three countries: the US, the UK and Spain.
Android users probably don’t want to type code on their device. Don’t worry, just create the script on your computer, then send the link to your Android device using the provided share link. It works, regardless of what browser you use on Android. Note that you may need to turn off location services for this to work on Android – certain apps check your location via the device settings before checking GeoIP.
The flexibility to create your own unblockers really gives Hola an edge over the alternatives – there’s no need to wait for someone else to unblock a site you love. That said, there are limitations: I would like to create another script for CBC.ca, but sadly there is no Canadian server to route traffic through at the moment. Someday, hopefully.
Hola As A Web Accelerator
Bypassing blocks isn’t all Hola is good for – it also promotes itself as a website accelerator on Windows and Android. Here’s their demonstration, on an Android phone:
I can’t so I noticed much of a different personally, but my connection is relatively fast to begin with. Let us know if this improves your speed in the comments below.
Download Hola Unblocker
Ready to get started? Just head to Hola.org. You’ll find multiple versions there for most platforms (though nothing for iOS – Apple presumably won’t allow them into the App Store).
What are you using Hola to unblock? Let us know in the comments below, along with any custom scripts you maybe have written. Seriously,share your scripts. There don’t seem to be many floating around the web at the moment, which is too bad.