HideMyAss Review: Features and Tests
What do you do if you want to be private on the network? Personally, I surf the network via Virtual Private Network. I have already tried a lot of them (and even ranked 5 top VPNs), and today I’ll tell you about another one. What’s it?
It’s Hide My Ass. Got it interested?
So do I! It’s called really amazing! Let’s check if I can “hide my ass” on the network ☺
Here is my plan for the review:
- Features of VPN
- Servers and platforms
- How to use Hide My Ass?
- How to get Hide My Ass for free?
- VPN tests
- Conclusion: pros and cons
I always start my articles about VPNs with the overview of features and tariff plans offered by a VPN provider. How much does Hide My Ass cost?
The provider has 4 tariff plans that are offered for different periods of duration: 1, 12, 24 and 36 months. Whatever subscription period you choose you will have access to the same set of features.
Here is the price list of HMA:
Remember! There is no difference in features when it comes to different plans of HMA! Pro VPN. They all are Pro, and they only differ in length only.
What’s their logging policy?
Having used dozens of VPNs, I have analyzed the same number of logging policies. What do I look there for?
Of course, no-logging policies!
What about Hide My Ass?
The provider claims that the logs aren’t logged. They are even specified on the list below:
Still, if you’ve read attentively up to the end, the provider of HMA collects and stores users’ IP addresses for 3 months.
So, I was a bit disappointed. It means that for at least 3 months the provider is aware that it’s me who was connected to HMA servers.
It seems clear that it’s a big drawback as most leading providers from my list (NordVPN, Surfshark and others) are really no-log VPNs.
But the plus point is that HideMyAss logging policy is transparent, and it’s highlighted what data are stored by the provider.
What protocols are used?
In accordance with the activity a VPN subscriber performs online, it may become necessary to switch between VPN protocols (oh yes, HMA offers this opportunity).
Among the reasons that may cause the necessity to change a protocol, I would distinguish slow speed, unstable connection to the network and errors while opening sites.
HideMyAss VPN has 4 available protocols:
This tunneling protocol is used when you want to experience the fastest possible speed. Of course, it’s a plus when you aim at streaming and downloading torrents. It’ll be also rather beneficial for VoIP communication. However, it doesn’t provide protection against hacking attacks and monitoring.
- OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
It’s a universal protocol applied for all operating systems. Besides, It’s rather flexible and fast. And what’s the most important, it’s very secure (for sure, it depends on the ciphering algorithm one chooses). However, not all portable devices support this protocol.
This protocol is integrated into almost all operating systems. It works rather fast but its security is doubtful in view of a set of vulnerabilities.
This technology is mainly used for VPN connections. It serves to authenticate and encode the data packets sent by VPN users.
Important! OpenVPN can be applied for the devices running on Android, Windows and Linux only. Whereas IPsec, PPTP and L2TP are available on all operating systems HMA can be installed on.
What encryption methods are applied?
Ciphering algorithm depends on the tunneling protocols. Thus, HMA VPN provider offers different encryption methods:
- AES 256-bit is available for OpenVPN and IPSec;
- RC4 algorithm with RSA 128-bit key is used for PPTP (with MPPE protocol for encryption);
- AES/3DES 256-bit key encryption is used for L2TP.
All of them are reliable, and it would need hundreds of years to guess a password even in case a supercomputer is used for that purpose.
What are other useful features?
Luckily, users of this VPN provider have access to all functions:
- auto-connect to VPN (these custom settings let HMA users determine when their gadgets connect to VPN or disconnect from it);
- IP Shuffle (this function makes it more complicated for third-party agencies to track your location by periodically randomizing your IP address to mask your IP);
- Split Tunneling (it serves to route only specific app traffic through your VPN; it’s up to you to decide what apps will be used through a secured VPN connection);
- Personal Privacy (enabling this feature, you allow your data (app and device) to be shared with third-parties);
- Kill Switch (the opportunity to be secured round-the-clock is possible due to HMA Kill Switch which blocks the connection to the World Wide Web in case of a VPN connection drop);
- free web proxy (the provider offers one more additional service free of charge; to make use of it, you are to enter the targeted URL, choose one of 6 possible locations and enable some additional features);
HideMyAss offers a free proxy
- 5 devices for 1 user (I find it extremely beneficial that HMA! Pro app can be set up on an unlimited number of gadgets; however, it can be used simultaneously on 5 of them only).
How many VPN server locations do you need to get impressed?
I was impressed by HMA’s server network. Why?
There’s something you’ll like as well.
Study the list of their servers and platforms to know for sure whether you have a chance to make use of it or not.
Hide My Ass software is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. As you can see, it’s available for all major operating systems, but it’s not available for routers and other platforms (Smart TVs, gaming consoles and others).
Platforms compatible with HMA
How many servers does Hide My Ass provide?
There are HMA servers in 190+ countries and that’s really amazing! Still. The number of servers is quite poor. By the moment (by 03.06.19), there are only 930+ servers. And is that all for such a diverse network of locations?
Just let’s compare it with NordVPN that has 5100+ servers only in 60 countries. What can you say about it?
You may be wondering if HMA’s servers leak IPs or slow down internet connections too much. Am I right? Find more details in the section dedicated to VPN tests.
When I’ve opened the application on my Android smartphone, I’ve found out that all servers are subdivided into 4 categories:
- Quick access
When you open the app for the first time, you’ll see the list of recommended locations. They perform the fastest speed based on your geographical location. However, when you open it next time, you’ll also get access to the list of servers you’ve recently used.
This list seems to be endless. I’ve found the full list of countries (as well as regions) where HMA VPN provider has placed its servers. They are listed alphabetically, which I find very handy. Only Canada, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Spain, the UK and the USA possess servers in more than 1 place. There are HMA servers in 54 regions of America!
The provider offers servers which are specially optimized for streaming. They are in only 4 places: Donkey Town (the UK), Miami (the US) and 2 servers for streaming in New York.
- Favourites (to add definite servers to the list and for your convenience, you are to click the “heart”).
Locations by HMA! Pro
To my disappointment, there are also special HideMyAss servers for torrenting. They aren’t seen in the mobile version. But I’ve found them when using a desktop version of the app.
P2P servers by HMA! Pro are located in only 8 places: Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), Netherlands (Amsterdam), UK (London), the USA (Miami, New York, Washington).
As I’ve already highlighted, HideMyAss software can be used on a set of platforms. The steps to unrestricted streaming and better privacy are simple to follow:
- Create a HideMyAss account when visiting the official website of the provider.
- Choose one of the packages on offer and pay for a subscription with VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, UnionPay or PayPal.
- Download the HideMyAss app installer for the device you use and start the setup.
- Use the credentials to start using the client and connect to one of the VPN servers.
The VPN app is rather handy even if you are not a tech user.
It’s possible to make your internet connection protected against the prying eyes in a single click. Besides, you have an opportunity to choose locations manually and try the Freedom mode. I recommend using it when you aim at becoming less restricted online. It automatically chooses the nearest place where censorship restrictions are minimal. Thus, apart from high speed, you’ll benefit from no online limits.
Although HideMyAss doesn’t have a free plan for its users, there is a chance to try the service without payment.
It’s possible to accomplish it by means of a trial period which lasts for 7 days.
Having contacted the support service of HideMyAss, I’ve asked about the terms of a free trial.
Here’re the results:
- a free trial is available for all platforms and operating systems supported by the provider;
- credit card details are required to make use of this beneficial facility;
- free trial users have access to all HMA servers and function the paid users do;
- a client will be charged automatically at the end of a 7-day free HideMyAss use;
- a person can cancel the subscription any time before the VPN trial ends;
- after a 7-day trial period, a user will be charged for a 1-year subscription automatically.
Apart from a trial period, HideMyAss offers time when any HMS subscriber can get money back. This facility is called a money-back guarantee (or refund).
Here’re the terms for HMA refund:
- the period when a user has the right to get money back is 30 days;
- the refund is possible in case a person hasn’t downloaded or uploaded 10GB+ data;
- the refund is possible in case a person hasn’t connected to the servers over 100 times.
In my opinion, a free trial period is enough to understand if the service meets your requirements or not considering that Hide My Ass provider doesn’t impose restrictions on free trial users.
However, some users find it inconvenient that HMA is not a free VPN provider.
Coming to the practical part of my personal HideMyAss application analysis, I’d like to mention that I use different services to check if it’s vulnerable to leaks. Whereas the service I use to check the speed is always SpeedTest (dot) net.
If you are concerned about the results, ignore this sentence and move on!
In view of a vast number of VPN server locations, I had to try a lot of them to check if they are vulnerable to IP leaks or not.
The results have exceeded my expectations!
I have connected to 47 locations to check if they are leaking. Not all of them perform good speed (it’ll be described a bit later), but they all happen to be resistant to leaks.
Here are just a couple of examples:
Successful IP leak test results of Hide My Ass VPN service give reasons to believe that its subscribers can count on security and privacy while being connected to the Internet through its application.
Hide My Ass speed test
Now when I’m sure HMA is not leaking, it’s time to check how good it is in terms of speed. This rate influences the subscribers of the service stream.
VPN services may reduce the speed in view of the fact that the distance between a user and the site increases. It happens because the VPN server a person uses to get access to the blocked content is located in a third-party country.
It doesn’t matter what VPN provider you use, the speed through a VPN connection will be always slower. Even CyberGhost has some slight speed drops.
Turning to speed test results of HMA servers, I must admit that there are far more fast VPNs in the market.
Before I sign in to the HMA account, I test the speed on my Android device when VPN is off. I connect to the Internet through a 4G network. The download speed is 10.1 Mbps. By the way, the performance would be higher if I use the corporate WiFi network.
The maximum speed drop is observed when connecting to the server in New York (the USA) – 64% at the rate of 3.59 Mbps. The fastest server I’ve tried is located in Germany.
And how surprised I was when my download speed became faster (by 0.9%, but still) with a German server. It made me think about possible throttling by my ISP.
The remote servers performed slow speed. That’s why HMA is not reckoned to be called the fastest provider.
Here are the examples of speed test results when using different servers:
- USA – 3.58 Mbps;
- Germany – 10.2 Mbps;
- Netherlands – 8.98 Mbps;
- UK – 4.86 Mbps.
The remoteness of servers has a strong influence on the speed. So that I’d recommend connecting to the nearest ones.
Test for Netflix
HideMyAss states it isn’t blocked by Netflix. And therefore, it can unblock this streaming site.
In view of 105 servers placed in the United States, there is every indication that I can get access to the US Netflix library with HideMyAss.
Well, it’s time to check it.
I won’t lie saying that I’ve tested all 105 US servers to check if they manage to unblock Netflix content available in the United States only.
I’ve connected to 20 of them. The result is great!
19 out of 20 HideMyAss servers I tested helped me to unblock “Twin Peaks”, which is blocked outside the US region.
HideMyAss unblocks US Netflix content
In spite of some security scandals HMA was involved, it’s used by thousands of people around the world. The reasons are diverse. But to my mind, there are some strong sides of this VPN provider that make people subscribe to it:
+ HideMyAss application is very handy;
+ optimized servers for streaming and torrenting;
+ IP shuffling (facility to change IP automatically every 30 minutes, 1 hour, 6 hours, 12 hours or daily);
+ simultaneous use of up to 5 devices;
+ HMA price (a good discount is offered for 3-year plan users);
+ diverse protocols and ciphering mechanisms.
However, there are some things I dislike:
- speed is slow when connecting to the remote servers;
- lack of cryptocurrency payment;
- special terms for a refund;
- some data can be shared with third parties.
To conclude, HideMyAss is not a bad VPN provider if you are looking for the service to bypass local restrictions. Servers in 280 places of the world promote this facility.
However, I wouldn’t entrust my data to the organization which headquarters in the UK and allows for users’ data to be shared with third parties.
If you are not impressed by HMA facilities, I’d like to offer you the best VPN providers as great alternatives to this service:
It’s absolutely no-log VPN provider with the richest possible network of VPN servers and numerous advanced features (Tor over VPN, double VPN, obfuscation, etc.).
Super-fast VPN servers located all over the world, beneficial Romanian jurisdiction and 6 multi-logins per account are enough to be absolutely safe and unrestricted online.
Low-cost packages, facility to install the app on a set of various devices and incomparable security features make it one of the best providers in the market.
Affordable price (for 3 years)