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Hello VPN Review 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying

Author Image Ivana Sarandeska
Ivana Sarandeska | Cybersecurity Researcher
Updated on 26th January 2022

Hello is a small VPN promising to offer online anonymity and access to geoblocked content.

It’s promoted as a mobile service, which was an instant red flag for me. I really prefer to be able to use a VPN across all my devices, rather than having a separate service for my smartphone. That being said, Hello’s promise of “secure and private internet access” sounded encouraging, so I dove in.

I took the VPN for a test run to measure its capabilities when it comes to streaming, speeds, security, and privacy. I also looked into its compatibility, pricing, ease of use, and customer support service.

Disappointingly, what I found is an overpriced VPN that doesn’t really deliver on its promises — and that’s not ready to compete with the best VPNs just yet.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Hello VPN Features — Updated in January 2022

5.5
💸 Price 2.95USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 1000
💻 Number of devices per license 3
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Estonia
🛠 Support Via Email
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Decent Unblocking Capabilities

HelloVPN unblocked a handful of streaming platforms during my tests, but Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu were out of reach.

While the VPN has streaming-optimized servers, they took a long time to connect — sometimes up to 40 seconds. However, its regular VPN servers did a good job. I could watch HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, SlingTV, and HBO Max.

Since the speeds were mostly fast, I could stream in HD without buffering or interruptions.

Unblocks: Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, SlingTV, and BBC iPlayer

HelloVPN unblocked Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, SlingTV, and BBC iPlayer during my tests.

While I did have to wait for the shows to load, I didn’t experience buffering while I was watching. This is a little inconvenient, as I’m used to having everything load instantly. However, the overall experience was pleasant.

screenshot of Amazon Prime Video player streaming Honest Thief unblocked by Hello VPN

I could watch Amazon Prime Video but my connection was slow

Blocked by: Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu

I couldn’t access Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu with HelloVPN.

Hulu allowed me to load the home page, but the moment I clicked on a show, the platform gave me an error, as it identified the VPN.

screenshot of Hulu error

I couldn’t use Hello VPN to watch Hulu either

The Netflix-optimized server couldn’t bypass the platform’s geoblocks. On top of that, it took over 40 seconds for it to load.

Disney+ didn’t allow me to stream at all, as all I could see was a black page.

Overall, HelloVPN gets the job done, but not entirely. There are much better streaming VPNs out there that don’t have any problems unblocking hundreds of websites.

Speeds — Fast Enough for HD Streaming

HelloVPN provided me with decent speeds on most servers.

In order to determine its performance I measured:

  • Download speed — the amount of data received in a given timeframe. It’s measured in Mbps and impacts the quality of your streams.
  • Upload speed — the amount of data you can send in a specific timeframe, measured in Mbps.
  • Ping — measures the time needed to get a response from the server. It’s measured in ms and it’s an important metric in gaming.

Before I began testing, I measured my base speed. I had 39.79 Mbps download, 59.43 Mbps upload, and a ping of 4 ms.

The first server I tested was in Arizona. It resulted in a download speed of 19.02 Mbps (52% decrease), 6.23 Mbps upload (89% decrease), and ping of 174 ms. While this drop is quite large, I could still stream in HD and browse without interruptions.

For my next test, I connected to its LA location. I had 15.10 Mbps download, 4.29 Mbps upload, and a ping of 169 ms.

screenshot of HelloVPN's speed test results

HelloVPN provided me with fast speeds on most of its servers

On its London server, I had similar results. Usually, a VPN shouldn’t slow you down by more than 20%. Since HelloVPN slowed me down by more than 50%, I can’t recommend it for anything more than casual streaming and browsing.

If you need a reliable service for gaming, then I suggest you take a look at these VPNs.

Server Network — Small, but Well Distributed

Hello VPN has 1,000 servers around the globe. Locations are in the US, Canada, Turkey, Ukraine, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Estonia, Greece, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

In the apps, servers are neatly grouped in different categories based on their primary purpose. Hello VPN offers 3 categories for streaming, gaming, and regular VPN servers. I found this very useful because it was easy to choose the server I needed.

screenshot of Hello VPN's UI showing the servers

You can easily choose any server and connect

The servers also support establishing UDP and TCP protocols, which is basically a choice between getting better speed or stronger security for your connection.

However, some of the servers I tested weren’t very reliable. The speeds would drop to under 1 Mbps and some servers didn’t work at all. So, I can’t guarantee that you’ll have the best experience.

Security and Privacy — Good Features

HelloVPN uses great security features, but I couldn’t find any information about its encryption level. This is an important bit of information left out by the VPN, and it determines how secure your connection is. While some types of encryption are impenetrable, others can leave you exposed to hackers.

For protocols, it offers IKEv2, OpenConnect, OpenVPN, and T-GFW. You can easily switch the protocol within the app and choose the one that’s suitable for your needs.

The OpenVPN protocol is the most popular and industry-standard for VPNs. It’s fast, secure, and usually the best choice. IKEv2 is a little faster than OpenVPN and a great choice for mobile devices, as it allows you to establish a fast and reliable connection. OpenConnect is an SSL-based protocol and had a few major security breaches in the past, so I wouldn’t recommend using this option.

The VPN’s HQ in privacy-friendly Estonia is another plus point. That places Hello VPN outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, keeping you safe from this international data sharing agreement.

I didn’t identify any IP or DNS leaks during my tests either, meaning that my connection was secure and my IP address and DNS requests weren’t being accidentally leaked.

screenshot of Hello VPN's IP and DNS leak test

The VPN performed well in my leak tests

HelloVPN offers a kill switch, which shuts down your internet connection in case of a connection error. This is important, as you won’t be exposed if the VPN fails. It’s not turned on by default, so you’ll need to access the settings and activate it before you start browsing.

It has a no-logs policy, so you can be sure your identity and browsing history are hidden. HelloVPN doesn’t collect your IP address and DNS queries. However, it records a randomly generated user ID. This is assigned to your device once you install the app, and the data is used to see how many users access the same servers. By doing this, HelloVPN gets an idea of how popular the servers are, so it can increase their capacity. This reduces overcrowding and improves the overall performance.

The VPN promises to reset the servers on a daily basis, which assures that no data remains stored for more than 24 hours.

Overall, HelloVPN is secure and I can recommend it for basic needs. However, if you need more advanced security features, I recommend you take a look at these VPNs.

Torrenting — Allowed

HelloVPN allows torrenting on all its servers. Its representative told me that no ports are filtered or tracked, so you should be completely anonymous during P2P transfers.

Since the VPN has a kill switch, you don’t have to worry about having your IP address intercepted by other peers on the network — if the VPN fails, your internet connection will be shut down.

Keep in mind that downloading copyrighted content is illegal in certain parts of the world, and you can get in trouble for it. Make sure you check every file you access so you don’t accidentally share copyrighted material.

Does Hello VPN Work in China? — Yes

HelloVPN’s representative told me that the VPN works in China. However, you won’t be able to find it in the Chinese App Store, so you’ll need to install the app before you arrive.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Up to 3

You can only connect 3 devices to Hello VPN’s servers. This is a lot less than what more established VPNs offer, but it's somehow understandable since it's not compatible with a lot of devices.

Device Compatibility — Limited

Hello is available on Android, iOS, and macOS. There’s no support for Windows or Linux. Nor are there alternative options for installing the app on other operative systems and devices. Also, there’s no info where there’ll be any additional apps soon.

This is another disappointing offering from the VPN. Although it is promoted as a mobile VPN, there are other services that you can use to cover all of your devices at once. Take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Windows or the best VPNs for Linux if you’re looking to protect devices on those platforms.

Ease of Use

5.3

Set-Up & Installation — Fast and Easy

Hello VPN is very easy to install and use. You can download the app you need from the AppStore or PlayStore. Once the app is downloaded, just press install.

You can open the app, but to establish a server connection first you need to sign in with your username and password.

screenshot of Hello VPN UI

You can easily find and adjust all the settings

The interface is simple and modern-looking. All options are just a few taps away.

It was a bit annoying to have to remember to enable the kill switch. I prefer VPNs that enable them automatically. But it wasn’t too hard to find in the settings, even if you’re new to VPNs.

Compare Hello VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs

9.9
9.5
9.3
9.3

Pricing

1.3
Ruby 1 Year
$2.95 /month
Gold 1 Year
$4.38 /month
Diamond 1 Year
$5.67 /month

Hello VPN offers two payment options: weekly and yearly. The weekly plan comes with an expensive price tag — you can get a few months of a premium VPN for the same price. The yearly plan has a more affordable price and comes with a 3-day free trial.

The only accepted payment options on Android are debit/credit card and the payments are processed via Google Play. For Apple users, payments are handled by the App Store. So users might pay using debit/credit card, PayPal, Apple Card, Apple Pay, Apple Cash, or Apple ID balance (from gift cards or adding funds).

This is not ideal considering that most VPNs accept a variety of payment methods, including cryptocurrencies (which I like to use because it gives you another layer of anonymity in your purchase).

Hello VPN states clearly in its Terms of Service that refunds are handled by the AppStore, which means there’s no real money-back guarantee. It doesn’t specify anything about Android purchases, but the system should be similar — refunds handled by the PlayStore.

I couldn’t find any additional information on whether there was a usage or time limit to refunds, which didn’t give me much confidence when making my purchase.

Reliability & Support

3.3

Hello VPN has email support and an in-app live chat. I found the latter quite frustrating, as I prefer to be able to ask questions via live chat before I purchase a VPN. With Hello VPN, you don’t get access to this support until you’ve paid for a subscription.

Even worse, no one answered either form of support during my tests. I tried emailing the address provided on the website and using the live chat in the app but never got a response.

There is an FAQ section on the website. However, it consists of 4 seemingly random questions with one-line answers. It won’t help you if you need assistance setting it up or want more information about the VPN before you buy.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

HelloVPN is a decent VPN, but there’s room for improvement. During my tests, the speed dropped by more than 50%, which is not terrible, but not great either.

Its security features seem to be reliable, and the privacy policy guarantees that no data is stored on the servers. However, the price is quite high, it’s not compatible with a lot of devices, and you only get 3 device connection. For less than that, you can get a much better VPN.

FAQs on Hello VPN

Is Hello VPN safe?

Yes, Hello VPN appears safe. I didn’t identify any IP and DNS leaks, and the VPN uses the secure OpenVPN protocol.

However, there is no additional info available about the security measures it employees or a full privacy policy.

Can Hello VPN unblock Netflix?

No. Even though it has specialized Netflix servers, I couldn’t use them — the Netflix homepage simply didn’t load. The VPN did unblock a few other platforms, though.

Will Hello VPN slow my speeds down?

Yes, quite a lot. During my tests, the speed dropped by more than 50%. If my connection was any slower, watching in HD would have been impossible.

Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 0
Mobile app : Y
Number of devices per license : 3
VPN Plans: www.hellovpn.app

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