VPNs protect us from malwares, hackers, identity thieves and vigilant agencies. They also provide us the freedom to access content that is otherwise geographically restricted.
Different types of VPNs are available in the market. Some offer a wide range of servers while others provide robust security features. Our VPN reviews analyze all the aspect of a VPN service and tell you if it is worth your attention. Our choice today is a known VPN, HideMyAss.
This HideMyAss review will discuss its features, pricing, customer service and other things that matter to the netizens.
- 870+ VPN servers in 190+ countries (3627+ IP addresses)
- 30 days money back guarantee
- Free Disposable Phone Numbers
- Fully compatibile on all Devices and Operating Systems
- Free Anonymous Email
- Offers L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN and SSL protocols
- Lazy tech-support and Live Chat service
- Unpopular data logging policy
- No free trial
- Bit Expensive
HideMyAss Review – Company Background
HideMyAss, also written as Hide my Ass and HMA VPN, is owned by UK (London) based Privax Ltd. The company was founded in 2010 and has over 200 million active monthly users. With a workforce of under 200 emloyees, Privax Ltd does have a separate website but it contains little to no content.
The company seems to focus entirely on providing privacy and security and is physical located in 7 Moor St, London, London W1D5NB, UK. Avast Software, a known name software house, acquired Privax in the September of 2016.
As a pioneer in the provision of commercial VPN services, HMA is a king in the VPN industry! But HMA seems to believe that nobody cares about anything else but service quality; and that it is ok to fall short on other perimeters as long as service quality remains unparalleled.
While we can appreciate that there is a method to this madness: a single-focused consistency to HMA’s somewhat bullish attitude to the rest of the VPN using community; this HideMyAss review is going to take a twist and give HMA credit only where it is due – meaning that there will be merciless demerits where there are weaknesses!
Packages and Pricing
HMA offers three pricing plans:
These are undiscounted prices (even though the crossed out original prices indicate otherwise) that remain active on the HMA website around the year. Hide My Ass brings out any major discounts for customers a few times each year – so make sure you keep checking the website every time an international event comes around.
Server Spread and Locations
HMA has a separate tab on the home page touting ‘Servers’. Not a lot of VPN service providers can do that, but this service does it with pride. We are talking 870+ VPN servers spread out across in 280 locations in 190+ countries. That gives this service the power to make over 3627+ IP addresses available for its VPN users.
Very large concentrations of HMA’s servers are in the United States (Over 189). The second largest concentration of HideMyAss’s servers is located in European countries, followed by server counts in the UK region and the North American/Canadian regions. Asian, South American, Central American and African regions have at least one server in each country.
The server locator on the website is nifty but we somehow feel that it would have been better if like some other VPNs HMA had presented a server-load distribution instead of a simple list boasting the server count.
The service offers OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP on all servers – and we are impressed with the IP count listing as well, but all of that information is useless for me if we don’t know how much load which server is currently experience. All that jazz does not really add more than a cursory utility to our user experience.
Android App Review
With Hide My Ass Android App, you can not only secure your device but you can watch all the blocked movies and TV shows and can access all the blocked websites as well. Setting up this service on Android is a relatively easy task and you can set it up with ease without any hassle.
The App for Android is easily available on Google Play and can be downloaded for free. The app is supported by all the devices that have Android version 4.0 or up. For those of you who are wondering how much space does HMA Android App need to run on your devices, relax! It only takes 8.9MB of your storage.
It lets you choose the server and the IP you wish to connect to. The efforts that were put in designing this app cannot be over looked because you can directly contact the Customer Support of HMA with the app as well! And it gives you a sign-up option as well, if you are not a user of HMA.
Speed is one the key factors we look for in a VPN service. After all, what is the use of a VPN service if it slows down your connection to a frustrating degree.
While we tested the speed of this service, we were pleasantly surprised when we received 80% of our normal speed. To us, it seems that this VPN service has all the capability to provide a pleasing online experience.
Protocols and Encryption
This VPN provides users PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols. While PPTP provides better speed, it is considered somewhat unreliable. Therefore, we recommend L2TP and PPTP protocols for better online security.
Furthermore, HMA uses OpenSSL with algorithms AES 256, 3DES, 246 bit, RC5. In our experience, these encryptions are strong to protect our data from hackers, agencies and other cyber threats. Regardless, we recommend AES 246 bit encryption that is widely considered as military grade.
When it comes to protocols and encryptions, HMA has enough tools in the box to provide you online security.
HideMyAss uses a multi-pillared customer support system:
- HideMyAss Support Page (Knowledge Base)
Email (Support Ticket)
You can access the ‘Email’ feature through the HideMyAss support page (by clicking on ‘Help’). The email page contains a simple form where you can select the nature of your query and provide details about your problem.
I decided to test HMA’s customer support with two tickets – both placed within minutes of each other.
The first support ticket was opened on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 8:25 AM.
This is what we wrote:
I’ve been using VPN for some time now, but I like what you guys have to offer but I wanna know if you guys offer split tunneling. Because I can’t see it any of your screen shots or the pages on your website.
We received no response for my support ticket and we were more surprised than disappointed at the apparent negligence. We thought our ticket would remain unattended and eventually go down the list so far that no sane person would scroll down to search for unresolved tickets that old. Fortunately, we were wrong.
Little did we know that HMA would reply to both our support tickets in one response.
We opened the second support ticket on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM.
This is what we wrote:
The response came on the same day (which is great), at 06:03 PM (which is not so great). So zero points for timing!
The response was quite detailed, and the cherry on top was that HMA support chose to respond to BOTH my questions in ONE reply.
HideMyAss’ Response (we decided to copy-paste a screen-shot for authenticity)
The response quality was not so bad, but could have been better. And don’t even remind me that HMA responded to both my queries in one email – if there was a law on support ticket response ethic, I would have made sure HMA got penalized. Not happy!!
Ok maybe the response was ok if you consider the question, but I cannot seem to get my head around the fact that they left me to figure out that both my support tickets had been responded to in one email.
The LEAST they could have done was to indicate a combination of both support tickets in the subject line! Honestly is it that difficult!?
HMA publishes service updates and press releases on its Blog all the time. The Blog is an excellent and quick way to learn about latest updates and offers.
The quick way to access, this Blog is to scroll right down once you get to the official HMA website. You can also go directly to the blog by entering blog.hidemyass.com.
The blog section is updated almost on weekly basis. Here, you will find well-researched blogs related to topical matters.
We believe blogs are a good way to keep users engaged with the VPN service and HMA is using this medium to its complete potential.
Clicking on ‘Help’ will take you to a page that will have Community option on the right corner.
Clicking on ‘Community’ here will take you to the official forum where HMA users discuss service related problems and issues.
Veteran HMA users and personnel seem to be very active on the Forums, which is always a good sign and indicates a stable operation.
You can access the knowledge page by clicking on ‘Help’. The is a great place to start if you are a first time VPN user. This page is the headquarter of the HideMyAss’ knowledge bank. Here you can learn everything there is to know about service features and functions.
The FAQ section of HMA consists of detail answers to customer queries. You will also find some manuals on this section to assist you in downloading and installing the service. Moreover, you can also learn how to configure the service on different platforms through this section.
Payment Methods Options
HideMyAss offers four payment methods:
- Credit/Debit Card
HMA will provide you the option to Auto-Renew your subscription if you select either ‘Credit Card’ or ‘Paypal’ as a payment method.
Also, it merits highlighting that this service is not a big one for expansion where payment methods are associated.
Depending on which one of the four payment methods you choose to select, the website will forward you to the gateway for that payment methods.
The creditcard payments are relatively simpler as you only have to provide your card number, expiration month, expiration year and the security code. In addition, you are required to provide your name, country and email address. Somewhat similar options information is required for paying through Union Pay.
PayPal is another convenient mode of online payment. But just like other methods provided by the company, it is not very anonymous.
The service does not offer a Bitcoin payment option. This surprised greatly us since Bitcoin is the most anonymous mode of payment in the market. According to our understanding, HMA offered bitcoin option until very recently. However, for some reason, it has abandoned this payment option.
Not offering a Bitcoin payment option is definitely a minus for this VPN service. Bitcoin provides a convenient way of transacting without give away any of your personal information.
Bitcoin is the preferred option for privacy seekers and should be provided by a VPN service.
Compatible with All Major Devices
This HideMyAss review of 2018 boldly declares HMA’s apps as extremely user friendly. In the classic yellow/green theme, these apps offer a wide variety of features and are easy to navigate.
HMA offers VPN clients for Windows and Mac, platforms as well as Apple & Android devices. There is not client available for the Linux platform. Users wishing to configure HMA on a Linux OS can download the interface-based client for Linux on request.
In the smart phone category, the smart phone apps are also available (for the iPhone and iPad) on iTunes and the app for android is also out.
The Android app is the latest addition to the HideMyAss software family and much like the iOS app; it comes with the full range of HMA features.
Setting up the service on a router can get slightly complicated. HMA website has a webpage with a list of recommended routers.
For more details and updates on compatibility and support, visit the HMA support page.
HMA has loads of information available to help users setup and trouble shoot their VPN accounts. However, it is a mess! Information is spread out across the website and the support page.
Tutorials are available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Android and iOS. In addition, there setup tutorials are also available for Hide My Ass VPN on Routers, Open DNS and a variety of access options.
There is a tutorial available for just about everything, and if you don’t manage to find a tutorial through the support page, there is sure to be a discussion on the subject in the forum.
The sign-up process begins with creating your account. You will land at the ‘Account Creation’ page no matter which subscription plan you click on.
Once you have created your account with your desired user name and password, the next stage is to select a payment plan and a payment method.
HideMyAss does not offer any free or paid trial. You will have to derive consolation from the fact that the service offers a 30-day money back guarantee on all purchases.
While nothing can possibly make up for the absence of a free trial, the 30 day money back guarantee comes pretty close when considered in addition to the constant availability of HMA’s Free Web Proxy.
Note: list of 5 Best Free VPN providers 2018.
Testing the HideMyAss Software for Windows
We decided to take the HMA client for Windows for a test run.
The ‘Dashboard’ is your basic login area, protocol selection menu and quick server-selection drop-down list.
Every time we tried to connect to a server, we ended up with a pop-up window notifying me that the server was loaded:
‘The server you are trying to connect to is loaded more than 30% of all other servers from the city’
The pop-up window would recommend another city to us and give us 30 seconds to decide if we wanted to connect to the recommended server. I would agree to the recommendation, only to be faced with the same message and again and this time faced with another server recommendation. Not cool!
The ‘Country Selection’ tool lets you be as picky as you please about server selection. You can sort countries based on protocol type, or you can explore the built-in map if you want.
The IP Address Settings tab will let you make changes to the time period after which the client will change your IP. The tab also has an IP address identifying option that lets you confirm if your IP has changed yet or not. Nothing special here really.
If you ask us, we think ‘Secure IP Bind’ is HideMyAss’s way of making up for the absence of Split Tunneling feature. It is essentially a fail-safe that allows the service to keep a check on application you use to connect to the internet.
The feature triggers (for applications you identify) when you forget to switch on the VPN before you begin using them. It also works if your VPN connection with the server disconnects for any reason during your surfing session.
In both cases, the Secure IP bind feature disables your application from connecting to the internet – until you reactivate your VPN by reconnecting to a VPN server. Pretty neat, but not an adequate substitute for Split Tunneling.
Peer to Peer and Torrenting
HMA allows you to conduct legal P2P activities. If you use the service for downloading copyrighted content, the HMA will receive a DMCA notice. In this case, the VPN service will not handover your identity to the authorities. However, if they receive repeated complaints, your account will be suspended.
Therefore, we suggest that you use P2P and torrenting software at your own risk with this service.
HideMyAss Proxy Review
HMA is popularly known due to its free web proxy service which used by millions of users around the world. This service allows users to access geo-restricted content without going through the hassle of employing a VPN.
The unblocking capability of the web proxy is minimalistic and it provides little to no digital security. Moreover, the HideMyAss proxy list is also short as you only get up to five servers on this service.
However, one cannot complain too much about a service that is free and takes absolutely no effort to use.
Privacy and Logging Policy
HMA does not have a good reputation when it comes to user privacy. The service has, from time to time, handed over user data to the authorities. Almost all of these users were involved in criminal activities.
Regardless, this shows that there is always an element of risk while using HMA. Moreover, the VPN service is based in UK, which has some of the harshest online privacy laws.
The UK government mandates all VPN providers to maintain connection logs in details. The police and other authorities can always access these logs. Hence, we can say that privacy and logging policy is not the strongpoint of HMA.
HMA has offers some nifty features to online privacy seekers. It has servers in 190 countries and provides a wide array of tunneling protocols. However, considering its history of sharing customer data, we would not blame you for seeking an alternative.
Fortunately, we have got you covered in this regard. You can check some of the reviews below and determine if these services are better alternative to HMA.
HideMyAss Review on Reddit & Twitter
The customers are the best judge of a VPN service or any other service for that matter. This is why we reviewed social media to see what users think about HMA.
On reddit, one sees similar complains about HMA where the service is accused of leaking customer data.
Also on reddit, a user complains about HMA’s logging and account suspension policy.
On twitter, some users are facing with the Indian servers of the VPN service.
— Shubhu Barot (@IamShubhubarot) July 17, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
Does HideMyAss VPN work with Netflix?
Netflix accessibility is the first thing on many people’s mind when they make their choice for a VPN service. However, it is not easy for a VPN to unblock Netflix. This is because the streaming service has imposed some of the most advanced VPN detectors on its website.
With HMA, you are never sure whether it will work with Netflix or not. The service advertises itself as a VPN compatible with Netflix but on many instances, it fails to unblock Netflix.
You can access Netflix from the Liberty Island server of Hide My Ass. However, even this server is not reliable for streaming content on Netflix. Sometimes it unblocks Netflix with ease while on other occasions; Netflix detects your connection and blocks you from the website.
Is HMA VPN Free?
HMA does not offer a free version. Furthermore, there is no HideMyAss trial available for subscribers free.
The only way for you to test out the service is by making use of its 30 days refund policy.
Nevertheless, the service does offer a free web proxy. Through this HMA’s web proxy, you can get better internet freedom with minimal online security.
HMA VPN has a large number of VPN servers in the industry and is known to consistently deliver quality service. It rarely comes up with discount offers (only two actually: Summer holidays and New Year) and an efficient customer support mechanism.
We analyze VPNs on daily basis but we rarely come across a service that offers such a wide range of servers. As this HideMyAss review reveals, this VPN provider covers a staggering 190+ countries.