HideMyAss VPN (review) service promises “full privacy and protection” in addition to the newest and best OpenVPN protocol and encryption options.
It claims to offer you access to your favorite sites online (like Netflix?).
Is it more of a proxy or a full VPN service?
We’ll take a look at all the good (and bad), from connections to network speeds and more, during this HideMyAss.c review.
|OVERALL RANK:||#52 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Simple and easy to use|
|LOG FILES:||Some Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||190+ countries, 950+ servers|
|SUPPORT:||Social media and email|
|NETFLIX:||Blocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-bit AES; OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec|
HideMyAss! (Or HMA!) Delivered consistent server speeds, offers good device compatibility, along with many servers. Check it out.
Fairly Consistent Server Speeds
HMA’s combined speed tests place them 20th out of 78 on our list.
That doesn’t sound amazing, but there aren’t tons that separate people at the top.
This is how the method works.
We want to start by getting a baseline reading of our normal internet connection.
Without a VPN, those benchmark speeds were 97 Mbps download and 53 Mbps upload at the time of this evaluation.
We then connect to various VPN servers around the world and use a reputable third-party tool (SpeedTest.net) to request current performance readings.
US Server (New York)
- Ping: 113ms
- Download: 58.98 Mbps (39% slower)
- Upload: 30.38 Mbps (43% slower)
EU Server (Amsterdam)
- Ping: 41ms
- Download: 63.34 Mbps (35% slower)
- Upload: 50.12 Mbps (6% slower)
Asia Server (Hong Kong)
- Ping: 284ms
- Download: 19.25 Mbps (80% slower)
- Upload: 13.09 Mbps (75% slower)
UK Server (London)
- Ping: 45ms
- Download: 64.42 Mbps (34% slower)
- Upload: 43.30 Mbps (19% slower)
These are pretty decent actually. They are not the fastest by any means. But the US, EU, and UK servers were all pretty consistent, which may be a good indicator of the overall performance on your other servers.
Unfortunately, that Asia sank and dragged them a bit. However, if you have a 75% chance of getting speeds from the US, EU, or the UK, you’ll be happy.
There Are Several Servers In Most Major Nations
HMA servers reach all six inhabited continents.
That’s more than 930 servers in 280 locations in 190 countries.
They reach remote destinations like Greenland, they cover Africa and therefore the Middle East quite well, and also a couple of smaller islands in the Pacific. It seems that the only place where they have no server is Antarctica.
That’s significant, because many other VPN companies tout huge lists of servers, only to own them all highly concentrated in North America and Europe, leaving the rest of the planet high and dry.
Here’s how the server counts and the IP addresses are broken down by locale:
Generally speaking, the more servers available, the higher.
Now, it is not the definitive metric. Many VPN companies are around their servers, in fact. they could lease or rent any of these servers to other companies, thus “artificially” increasing their total number.
But overall, overall size can be a pretty good indicator of expected performance. It means that your chances of finding a less crowded server are better. also together closer to their physical location (they tend to be faster than those further away).
Good Device Compatibility
HideMyAss! has predesigned apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android devices. However, it does not support TOR.
The last time I checked HMA !, each account only allows the use of 2 different devices on a single occasion. This has now changed and as of February 2019 you will be using your HMA! it has up to five simultaneous devices.
They also offer an enterprise VPN plan for a larger number of devices. But it is also more expensive.
Fortunately, HMA! also works on routers. FlashRouters, especially, have HMA pre-installed on them, so all you have to try is to sign up.
That means you will connect a router and then connect as many devices imaginable, including smart TVs and game consoles.
You can protect all those devices with OpenVPN (256-bit encryption), PPTP, and L2TP / IPSec. It’s not the most extensive list of protocols we’ve ever seen, but again, it covers the basics well.
Anyway, most people should stick with OpenVPN by default. Unless device limitations force them to L2TP / IPSec. And as a general rule of thumb, stay away from PPTP if it can help you.
The HMA, of course! The program is straightforward to use.
Sign up for an account, get your setup files and authentication code, and you’re ready to go. The app is even available in multiple languages, so you have a lot of potential options.
Simply log in along with your access credentials and you are one click away from connecting.
You can connect instantly. Or change your location and adjust settings. That’s all!
The app also has a built-in kill switch that helps with security.
No complexity or technical skills required. one of the easiest to use apps we have ever tested.
VPN connections are not always as secure as they seem.
The little green icon in your app looks good for travel. But your ISP (and everyone else) can actually see where you are sitting.
We run HMA! through a series of DNS and WebRTC leak tests to specifically look for this issue, and they came out clean on all.
WebRTC leak test:
DNS leak test:
Unfortunately, they allowed us to slightly lower the VirusTotal.com test.
But let’s save that for the downsides below.
HMA! offers most of the functions I would try to find. There are no obvious problems or holes.
Speed is pretty good. many servers. Available for many devices.
But it’s what’s under the hood that scares us a bit. Read on to search.
Suspicious Potential Enter Your Installation Files
A virtual private network (VPN) shields you from the prying eyes of snooping governments, ISPs, and hackers.
But who, exactly, protects you from the VPNs themselves?
That’s the key question we’re trying to help you with during this review.
To begin with, we take the installation files from each VPN provider and run them through VirusTotal.com to verify that they are not inadvertently infecting your machine.
Case in point:
The archives of HMA! They return with a suspicious warning.
This could be a false positive. However, you may want to check your own installation files to make sure they are clean before downloading them to your device.
It is worrying to mention the smallest amount.
But, unfortunately, it’s also just the beginning of a couple of warning signs.
HideMyAss! Collect Some Log Files
This is where HMA! it lets us (and you) down.
Their registration policy confirms that they hold onto the following data:
- Connect and disconnect timestamps
- Amount of knowledge transmitted (upload and download)
- The IP address does not usually connect with the VPN
- The IP address of the VPN server using
That is no longer good. Your VPN does not need to keep track of its own IP address. Because that also gives them an immediate link between online activities and your location (and potentially your identity).
But that’s not all the track. They also collect the following:
- monitor the use of the network for technical purposes and to administer and improve the service;
- prevent and detect fraud against the service (for example, master card fraud);
- prevent and detect network abuse, such as spam, file sharing, or other illegal activity.
It does so on the surface.
However, once you take a couple of historical events into account, you’ll see where the warning points start to fire.
“Recursion” was the web name used by Cody Kretsinger, a hacker involved in the 2011 Sony Pictures hack.
“Was” is that the keyword there. Because Cody is in jail now. Really for a while.
HMA! He turned over his information to the FBI, which was instrumental in Kretsinger’s conviction.
HMA! They did their best to justify his actions, but they have failed to measure his reputation.
Of course, we do not tolerate the use of VPN for criminal purposes. But the very fact that the VPN provider had information about Kretsinger’s activities and handed it over to authorities is troubling to several people.
Especially once his jurisdiction is taken into consideration.
Inside Five Eyes Security Alliance
HMA! is owned by Privax Limited, a UK-based organization.
First of all, the UK is among the most aggressive when it comes to spying on its own citizens. But as a card-carrying member of the Five Eyes security alliance, it means they even have the help of other aggressive governments like the United States.
That’s not good.
You saw why in the last point. When the courts come to call, HMA! will transfer your data instantly. They even have a connection to your personal data.
Another HMA! Users complain about the suspension of their accounts for violating the statutes of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
So guess what is going on?
HMA! it is certainly logging its activity. They are willingly sharing it with the UK courts. so those courts are turning around and sharing it with government agencies around the planet.
Avoiding any criminality while using HMA! can be a good start. But it is not the purpose either.
Using a VPN is not about hiding illegal acts. It’s about keeping your information private.
And all the evidence says HMA! it fails miserably here.
In this case, the VPN in charge of protecting it is also the main one to display it.
Irregular Netflix Streaming And Torrents Are Discouraged
HideMyAss! It was a very popular choice for Netflix streaming a couple of years ago.
Unfortunately, that is not an equivalent case today.
We were only ready to have a server in Amsterdam to stream content successfully.
The others we tried, including New York (US), District of Columbia (US), Montreal, and Glasgow, all failed miserably.
Your site makes bold claims about unblocking content. However, the facts we saw through actual testing debunk these claims.
And while HMA doesn’t ban torrents, they aren’t exactly torrent-friendly either.
They may not block your torrent client, but users have reported very slow data transfer or outright crash of torrent servers.
The DMCA warnings haven’t added to anyone’s level of trust, either. If you receive a warning or account suspension for violating copyright restrictions, it is probably due to HMA! From your torrent activity.
Horrible Support Speed
The HideMyAss! Support team is available on social media and email.
Except they don’t respond as fast as we’d like to see here. Many support requests on Twitter are simply mentioned as quality channels:
However, there are some situations where they will invite a DM with additional information:
(Although you would think the above question would be pretty straightforward to answer.)
We also manually test each customer service department. Just to make sure you won’t stay high and dry once you run into a problem.
So we sent a short support question to the HideMyAss team!
It took me a few days to easily receive a confirmation email.
And since then?
It wasn’t exactly a blunt question or anything like that. I only asked about routers and protocols.
However, all I have encountered since then is radio silence.
I even did a couple of manual inbox searches just to make sure I didn’t miss a thing.
HideMyAss! Pricing & Plans
HMA! has three individual price tiers. You get exact equivalent features with all of them. the only difference may be a small difference in the price of the extended prepayments.
- $11.99 monthly
- $ 83.88 every 12 months ($ 6.99 per month – 42% off)
- $–119.76 every 24 months ($ 4.99 per month – 58% off)
There is a 30-day free trial. You will need to enter a legitimate master card or PayPal to request a benefit. They do, however, provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. in that order, that means you are looking at ~ 60 days to verify driving your service. That is one of the simplest offers you will find.
The only refund issues are that it will be the first time you bought HideMyAss! And it should have only 10GB of bandwidth. You will need to complete the refund request form.
An annual commitment of $ 6.99 a month is not the most profitable VPN out there. But the long test drive period should be worth a couple of extra bucks.
Do We Recommend HideMyAss!?
No, we don’t.
HideMyAss! starts well.
The speed and number of servers were respectable. Also, they could have the simplest name in the lot.
But in the end, the privacy concerns are too overwhelming.
We are sure of HideMyAss! you want to try it in the simplest way possible to support the privacy of your customers. But the combination of its past logging activities, infamous lawsuits, and aggressive jurisdiction is just an excessive amount to overlook.
Also, this affects other activities that you may be trying to find, such as Netflix or Torrenting. Both are basically non-existent at the moment, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Do not misunderstand:
I am totally in favor of catching cyber criminals. However, you are paying for a VPN for privacy at the top of the day.
HMA! deliver tons of things. But, as we have seen, record after record, privacy is not one of them.
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