With over a decade serving customers, HideMyAss (HMA) has become a well-recognized VPN service. The London-based company started off with Jack Canton developing a proxy website to get around school firewalls in 2005.
Today, HideMyAss is a multi-million dollar company, a part of the Avast family – one of the largest security firms in the world, and one of the most notable VPN services available.
In this review, we’ll look at what HMA provides to customers, and how well it fares against other services in the space.
HideMyAss VPN Pros
Servers and Locations: Pretty up there in terms of offerings
Offering over 870+ servers in 190+ countries, HideMyAss VPN deserves a spot on the list of top providers with such a generous offering.
Their server quantity is impressive, and spread equally around the globe, giving customers plenty of choices when it comes to VPN access points.
Not many providers can boast these kinds of server figures, making HMA a VPN favorite for millions of users worldwide.
When logged in, you’ll be able to view the list of servers, arranged by location or country. There’s also a search button at the top, that lets users explore servers manually. Combined, these features make for a pleasing and easy-to-use experience.
VPN Speed and Performance: Slow down, cowboy!
At the time of this HideMyAss VPN review, our internet speed was operating at 300Mbps download and 300Mbps upload. We tested from Northern Europe.
To test HMA VPN’s speed, we connected to the most popular VPN servers around the world.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 110ms
- Download: 186Mbps (38% slower)
- Upload: 180Mbps (40% slower)
UK Server (London)
- Ping: 45ms
- Download: 204Mbps (32% slower)
- Upload: 240Mbps (20% slower)
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 43ms
- Download: 207Mbps (31% slower)
- Upload: 276Mbps (8% slower)
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 275ms
- Download: 60Mbps (80% slower)
- Upload: 66Mbps (66% slower)
The test results reveal reliable and strong connection speeds from a variety of locations. It’s common to experience some loss of speed when accessing the internet through a VPN; speed loss usually varies anywhere from 30-50%, depending on which server you’re connected to. Thankfully, HMA keeps speeds strong and gets a thumbs up from us.
Netflix Test: Yes… sometimes
The provider offers two streaming servers; however, they rarely work when it comes to getting around a stronger firewall and bans, such as the Netflix’s. According to a handful of users, HMA works intermittently when getting around Netflix’s protections.
If you can’t access Netflix through HMA servers, you can try cleaning the cache and cookies, but there’s no guarantee it’ll work. Nonetheless, for other streaming platforms with lower protection, this VPN is a great choice.
One of the strongest firewalls is the Great Firewall of China, and unfortunately, HideMyAss falls short there too. This means if you’re based in China, and looking for a VPN to get around the countries’ restrictions, HMA isn’t likely going to solve your restriction issues.
In summary, streaming Netflix access is possible but spotty, and HMA can really only be relied upon to breach lower-security restrictions.
Do yourself a favor and get a VPN that’s known to work great with Netflix.
Torrenting Policy: Again, sometimes?
Torrenting is allowed, but not all of the servers work.
We recommend testing for yourself with their HideMyAss’ trial, found below. Better yet, go with the best VPN for torrenting and save yourself the trouble.
Pricing & Plans: Yes, there is a free trial
As is the case with most providers, HideMyAss offers three price plans for users to choose from:
- 1 Month Plan ($11.99/mo)
- 6-Month Plan ($7.99/mo)
- 12-Month Plan ($6.99/mo)
The monthly subscription is the most expensive one (to be expected), with a price of $11.99 per month.
Choosing from the other two options, users will enjoy significant discounts.
The lowest price is $5 cheaper per month (-41.7% discount), so if you’re looking for a great deal, it’s recommended you sign up for the 12-month plan (considering HMA offers a money back guarantee, there’s no risk involved). Yes, you can find cheaper options from other VPNs, but considering the strong server quality and quantity, we find the prices to be fairly reasonable.
If you’re a business user, you’ll find HMA offering VPN for business, adding a further three additional business price plans. Their prices start from $13 per month, with prices rising depending on the number of concurrent connections; HMA offers user limits from 10 to 30 per subscription. In comparison to other business VPNs, these are at a very reasonable cost, so another thumbs up from us.
As previously mentioned, HideMyAss offers users a free trial as well as a money-back policy.
Usually, providers offer one or the other option, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see HMA offer both. The free trial lasts 7 days, but if you forget to cancel, you’ll find yourself being charged thereafter. It’s also worth noting that HMA limits their free trial to the yearly plan – meaning if you continue beyond the trial, you’ll be automatically assigned to their annual plan.
Another thing to note when giving the free trial a go is that while you have access to the full product, you’re limited to 10GB or 100 server connections, whichever you hit first.
The refund policy lasts for 30 days after you’ve made your purchase, though we’ve heard of users having difficulties canceling – ensure you read Hide My Ass’ policies and sign-up documentation to ensure you know what you’re agreeing to before parting with any cash or committing to anything.
Product Interface: One-click app – super easy for everyone
It’s really a “one-click” app.
With its models for fast access to servers, the provider makes the VPN experience easy. There are three options the user will be given on logging in, and they are as follows:
- Instant Mode: auto-connects you to the best nearby server.
- Location Mode: it’s up to you to choose the server you want.
- Freedom Mode: auto-connect to a free speech country from the ones they have on the list.
Installing HideMyAss is easy, even for VPN beginners. After testing the interface and usage of HMA, we found the whole experience easy to navigate and use, perfect for those looking for something newb-friendly or easy to use – particularly important if you need to quickly access your VPN regularly.
Their website is also great, and finding the information you need is a breeze.
Product Documentation: Video tutorials
HMA’s VPN also comes with great, detailed documentation, so expect plenty of support and information if you get stuck for whatever reason.
Finally, HideMyAss has a library of how-to videos on YouTube, that proved to be extremely helpful for getting to grips with the VPN. We love the inclusion of video guides, as reading guides isn’t for everyone – it’s great to see HMA offer alternative ways to learn how to use their VPN.
Customer Support: 24/7 team at your disposal
Not used a VPN before? No problem. HMA delivers all day, every day live support to their customers.
Just head to their website, and you’ll find their 24/7 support service. We tested the response times of the chat support representatives; the response times were impressive, with a connection to a helpful support staff member taking less than 10 seconds.
Unfortunately, HideMyAss doesn’t offer phone assistance, if you prefer to access help that way. They do, however, offer support ticketing options (sending a question ticket, and waiting for a reply via email), similar to other companies in the space. The waiting times for this type of support can take from a few minutes to a full 24 hours.
Like other VPN services, HMA has provided a comprehensive knowledge base, FAQ, and even a VPN community, where you can find solutions from other HMA users to your problems – a perfect first step before reaching out to HMA support directly.
Overall, a solid offering of support, in a variety of formats – great work, HMA!
Encryption and Protocols: True to their promise
VPN’s are focused on successfully hiding user’s details when accessing the web. How does HMA hold up?
HideMyAss starts off strong, with support for OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. Handily, HMA offers an explanation on each of these protocols, if you’re not already aware of their differences.
HideMyAss has you covered when it comes to data security, with their AES 256-bit encryption.
IP and DNS Leak Test: Aced the test
HMA passed the leak test, meaning your IP address will stay secure and protected at all times while using HMA.
There were no DNS or IP leaks, and the test was negative for WebRTC leaks as well. All in all, HMA passes the privacy test!
HideMyAss Neutral Points
Device Compatibility: Supports all the basics
You’ll have little to no trouble getting HMA to work on your device.
HMA supports Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux devices.
Sadly, there’s no additional support for routers or smart TVs.
HideMyAss VPN Cons
Logging Policy: Uh-oh… HMA is keeping customer data.
HideMyAss has been part of several privacy-associated scandals, which makes us wary of their privacy policies when it comes to customer data usage and protection.
The company has been caught logging users’ activities and has been involved in infamous court cases regarding customer data.
HMA keeps the time and the IP address of every connection to their VPN service. This information is kept for 30 days, which falls far short of industries standards of keeping data logs to a minimum on users
For users looking to torrent, the risks are minimal, since any kind of subpoena for such actions takes longer than 30 days to be actioned.
Overall, HMA’s logging policy isn’t privacy-friendly at best, and downright untrustworthy at worst. If you’re determined to keep your data out of VPN service hands (and the government agencies they might answer to), avoid HMA.
However, if you’re simply looking to use it casually, this may be a good option too.
HideMyAss as a Business
While founded as a small company in London, HideMyAss now operates under the giant security firm, Avast Software s.r.o.
Avast is home to over 400 million users, and operates as a security firm, preventing over 2 billion attacks every month.
Avast also operates other VPN brands such as Avast SecureLine VPN.
Avast is headquartered in the Czech Republic, a country that is not a part of the Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes Alliance.
This gives users an extra layer of privacy as the VPN is not subject to legal action by this massive surveillance organization that can demand data from companies within their jurisdictions.
HideMyAss VPN Conclusion: Fast, but not safe
Virtual Private Networks are all about privacy and security on the internet. If you want to protect yourself and your rights as a netizen, HideMyAss leave a lot to be desired.
There are far better alternatives like ExpressVPN, if privacy is your primary concern.
What HMA does well is server speeds, the number of servers offered globally, and user support and experience.
Starting at $6.99/mo, their subscriptions are on the affordable side, and they offer a free trial.
Nonetheless, we recommend looking elsewhere; privacy concerns are no joke when the point of a VPN is privacy and security.
Our top 10 list is a good place to start.