HideMyAss Review 2020
HideMyAss is a UK based service available with a price tag of $3.99/mo. It has 1,000 servers across the world, many of which are optimized for streaming as well as torrenting. The VPN has received 4.2/5.0 star rating overall for its streaming efficiency, security features, and customer support.
HideMyAss is one of the oldest VPN services working in an online privacy industry since 2005. It offers 1,000+ servers in 190+ countries, covering even more countries in its network than the likes of PureVPN and ExpressVPN.
It also bears mention that HMA VPN has revised its logging policy. The company no longer stores any connection or data logs that could be tied to your identity. The live chat customer support is highly responsive and helpful, making the service as a whole quite user-friendly.
Based on these capabilities, HideMyAss has earned a 4.2/5.0 rating overall.
My Rating Criteria
I have checked HideMyAss as per my own 9 steps rating criteria that consists of:
- Jurisdiction – Where is HideMyAss located?
- Security – Is HideMyAss safe enough?
- Leaks – Does HideMyAss leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Servers – Is HMA P2P compatible?
- Speed – How fast is HideMyAss?
- Streaming – Does HideMyAss unblock US Netflix?
- Compatibility – How many devices does HideMyAss support?
- Pricing – How much does HideMyAss cost?
- Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit Reviews & Support
Jurisdiction – Where is HideMyAss located?
HideMyAss is based in the unsafe jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. The country is one of the most heavily surveilled in the world and is also one of the core members of the Five Eyes alliance.
Nonetheless, eve an unsafe jurisdiction isn’t much of a problem if the provider has a good logging policy. HMA has a decent but not ideal logging policy, but it does state that the VPN will cooperate with UK agencies if they receive a court order:
In 2011, the provider was involved in a controversy where they gave incriminating evidence of certain users performing illegal activities using their service. The good thing is, HMA openly states its policies and unambiguously states their stance on data logging and compliance with UK law.
Security – Is HideMyAss safe enough?
HideMyAss is a fairly safe VPN service possessing industry-standard security protocols. You can choose between PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN (UPD & TCP) protocols for establishing your VPN sessions.
For encryption, it uses AES-256-GCM, with 4096-bit RSA keys for handshakes, authenticated with SHA256 for Windows and Android. For Mac and iOS, HMA uses IKEv2/IPSec with Apple’s own stack for best compatibility and security.
Additional Security Features
Other than the basic features, HMA also includes some additional security features to further guarantee your online privacy and security.
HMA Kill Switch
HideMyAss offers a Kill Switch that works in two modes: System-wide or on the App level. The System-wide Kill Switch will cut you off from the web entirely if your VPN connection drops. The App-level Kill Switch, on the other hand, allows you to choose specific apps that you want to block from accessing the internet when the HMA VPN connection is interrupted for any reason.
These functionalities give users a lot of control over their online privacy.
HMA IP Shuffle
HideMyAss also offers an IP shuffle feature that periodically reshuffles your IP address for privacy purposes. You can select the frequency of IP shuffle by setting it to switch once a day, twice a day, ever 6 hours, etc.
IP shuffling makes it much harder for trackers and hackers to keep a trace on you online, boosting your privacy while you surf the web in peace.
Logging Policy – Does HideMyAss keep logs?
HideMyAss keeps no personally identifiable logs. The company used to log some bits of information that could get you thinking “do they really need to know that about me?”. I won’t lie that I am a fan of HMA’s service improvements over the years, so it was puzzling why the company hadn’t given the same thought to revamping its logging policy.
Well, they have gone and done just that now. The company has revised its logging policy and they are no longer storing information that could be potentially tied to your identity. For instance, HMA previously stored the timestamps of your connections, subnet of originating IP address (with the last number – or octet – anonymized), the IP of the HMA server you are connected to, and the amount of data transmitted.
In the updated logging policy, HMA is only retaining the day of your connection and the amount of data transmitted, both of which are rounded to the date of your connection and the round figure of your data transfer.
All of this information is deleted every 35 days. In addition, as before, the provider keeps absolutely no records of your online activities or your IP address, which are two most sensitive pieces of information that anyone could maintain about you.
Best of all, the company is going to have its logging policy audited by an independent cyber-security consulting firm VerSprite, which will verify the anonymization of user behavioral data and the disconnection of this data from personal identifiable information (PII) that HMA stores for legal and billing purposes.
If the the company passes the audit, it would join the ranks among the few no-logs VPN providers that have been independently audited.
Therefore, HMA gets full marks for its revisited logging policy and it is certainly a welcome change from the company.
Leaks – Does HideMyAss leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
HideMyAss does not leak IP, DNS, & WebRTC when enabled:
HMA successfully protected my IP from leaking:
The VPN is free from any leaking DNS as well:
HMA has no WebRTC leak problem as well:
I also checked HMA’s installation files through VirusTotal and the result came clear.
Servers – Is HMA P2P compatible?
HMA offers 1,000+ servers across 190+ countries worldwide. Thus, HideMyAss has almost every country in the world covered in its network.
HideMyAss also offers p2p-optimized servers that allow you to unblock torrent websites and download files without any IP leaks. These servers have “p2p” label attached next to them:
Does HMA Work in China?
HideMyAss is unreliable for China. There are a number of threads on HMA’s official forums where representatives have confirmed the status of HMA and its functionality within China:
It might work for some users, but generally, it’s not very reliable if you want to bypass censorship within China using HideMyAss.
Speed – How fast is HideMyAss?
HideMyAss offers moderate speeds. To test the VPN’s speed performance, I used speedest.net and a base internet connection of 30 Mbps.
In the performance test, I used three servers, US, UK, and Germany.
The service delivered the fastest speed on the US server:
The UK server was slower, measuring 16.28 Mbps:
Finally, the Germany server was the slowest of the three with 15.75 Mbps:
Thus, HMA is not the fastest VPN you can have, but it performs well enough to be worthy of consideration.
Streaming – Does HideMyAss unblock US Netflix?
HideMyAss works with US Netflix and other streaming services. There are several streaming-optimized servers in its network which are incredibly efficient at unblocking streaming services.
I was able to unblock US Netflix with its California server in a single attempt:
Other Streaming Services
HideMyAss is generally good for streaming purposes. I also tested it for BBC iPlayer using its Donkey Town UK server. This immediately let me access the British streaming service from the outside UK:
Compatibility – How many devices does HideMyAss support?
Interestingly, HMA is compatible with all the leading platforms like Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS. The service also supports routers.
A single HMA subscription allows 5 simultaneous connections.
HideMyAss Windows App
The HMA Windows client is very nicely designed and super-easy to use. You can choose your preferred server location for the main screen and click the toggle switch to turn it on or off.
You can also configure settings for the Kill Switch, App Kill Switch, IP shuffle, connection protocol as well as change other preferences.
HideMyAss Mac App
The Mac app of HideMyAss looks and behaves pretty much the same way as the Windows app. It also offers a Kill Switch and IP shuffle like Windows but uses IKEv2/IPSec protocol rather than OpenVPN.
HideMyAss Android App
The Android app has a 4.5/5.0 rating on Google Play Store. It works smoothly and has a great UI. Like the desktop apps, you can choose servers from the main screen:
It offers much the same features as desktop apps with the addition of another cool feature: Split-tunneling. This feature allows you to choose which apps go through the VPN and which are directly accessing the web.
HideMyAss iOS App
The HMA iOS app has a 4.6/5.0 rating on the App Store. The iOS app supports the fewest features out of all other apps of HMA. For instance, it lacks Kill Switch as well as split-tunneling.
It does support IP Shuffling and the strong and fast IKEv2/IPSec protocol. Overall, it is a decent app that offers excellent connectivity but could be improved with the full support of all HMA features.
Pricing – How much does HideMyAss cost?
Currently, HMA follows a relatively costly pricing structure. You can choose your preferred plans from these below-mentioned packages that include:
As far as their payment methods go, they offer limited options including:
Remember, all these pricing plans come with a generous 30 days money-back guarantee. Furthermore, they have an exclusive 7 days free trial along with 5 devices simultaneous connections benefit in their armory.
Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit Reviews & Support
HideMyAss has a 3.9/5.0 rating on Trustpilot based on almost 2,500 user-submitted reviews.
This shows that the provider is reasonably well-trusted by people in the industry.
HideMyAss Reddit Review
The Reddit community by and large does not hold HMA in a positive esteem. This is likely due to the aforementioned Lulzsec controversy that gave HMA a bad name, a memory that is etched too firmly in most Redditor’s minds despite how far the service has come over the years:
HMA has good customer support options. You can reach HMA representatives through live chat, that is pretty quick at responding and answering your queries.
It took me less than 10 seconds to receive a response from this nice guy from HMA customer support Brandon:
So, in terms of customer support, I’m very happy to see that HMA people (or donkeys) are so efficient at their jobs.
Comparison between PureVPN and HideMyAss
I have mentioned the prominent features of both these providers i.e PureVPN with HideMyAss to let you decide about your privacy in the right way.
|Servers||2000+ in 140 Countries||1,000+ in 190+ Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux,|
Android & iOS
|Jurisdiction||Hong Kong||United Kingdom|
|Logging Policy||Zero logs||Keeps connection logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Live Chat & Email Support|
|Trust Pilot Score||4.8||3.9|
HMA offers some nifty features to online privacy seekers. It has servers in 190 countries and provides a wide array of tunneling protocols. However, if you’re not happy with the service for any reason, here are a few good alternatives to worth considering:
- Avast SecureLine VPN
- Ivacy VPN
- VPN Windscribe
- Hideman VPN
- Private Tunnel
- VPN Proxy Master
Do I Recommend HideMyAss?
Yes, I recommend HideMyAss to privacy-conscious people and Netflix fans across the globe.
HMA VPN has a large number of VPN servers, covering over 190 countries and is known to consistently deliver quality service. In addition, I’ve personally tested the VPN for this HideMyAss review and found it to be working perfectly well with streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
The service offers decent security and privacy features as well an excellent customer support. Even the logging policy, which I had misgivings about previously, has been revised with a much stronger focus towards user privacy.
For this reason, the VPN has earned a rating of 4.2/5.0.
In case, you want to know about VPNs other than HMA, read this exclusive VPN reviews 2020 guide.
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