HideMyAss runs an extensive network of more than 1080 servers in over 290 locations around the world. The VPN service is available in almost all countries.
HMA VPN software was thoroughly tested and evaluated by us to determine its speed, security, privacy and streaming capabilities.
HMA’s dedicated streaming servers allow for unblocking of platforms such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer at high speeds.
We were disappointed by HMA’s privacy and security test results. Despite using industry-standard AES256 encryption, the kill switch of the software didn’t work well and is only available for Windows and Android.
We are also concerned about the company’s UK jurisdiction, and past cooperation with law enforcement.
This Hidemyass VPN review will explain why the VPN is not as secure and private as some of the best VPNs.
HideMyAss Key Data
- Data Capability: Unlimited
- Speed: 96Mbps
- Logging Policy Anonymous Server Usage Information
- Data Leaks: No
- Jurisdiction: UK (Five Eyes Member)
- Servers: 1080
- IP addresses: 1080
- Countries: 190
- Netflix USA: Yes
- Torrenting: Unlimited
- Simultaneous connections: 10
- No Works in China
- Support: Live Chat
- Over 3 years: the lowest price $2.99/mo
- Free 7-day Trial (Payment Information Required)
- Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days
- Official Website: Hidemyass.com
- HideMyAss keeps logs: No
- Logging & Jurisdiction Rating: 7.5/10
HideMyAss has now adopted a private log policy. This is in response to the need for data retention, which was its biggest drawback. HMA does not collect or log any internet data that could be used against you. HideMyAss will not see your web activity.
HideMyAss does not collect any of the following information:
Date of connection — whether the connection is in the morning or night is also recorded
The amount of data sent during your session — this data will be rounded up to the nearest 100 MB
HMA logs a limited amount of data, which is not tied to any particular user.
VerSprite, a reputable cybersecurity consultancy firm, has verified the HMA’s revised log policy after an audit of HMA’s systems.
VerSprite gave HideMyAss the highest possible privacy impact rating — a low-risk user. You don’t have to believe what VPN services claim. Third-party security audits give real evidence about VPN activities.
HideMyAss does not retain any personal information other than your username and email address, as is the norm among VPNs.
It is important to note that HMA’s No-Logs Policy clearly states that your internet activity will be not tracked or logged.
HMA, despite its improved log policy, has a poor record in protecting customers’ anonymity. This is why we will explain it further below.
HMA has its headquarters in the United Kingdom
HideMyAss, which is owned by Privax Ltd., launched its first subscription-based VPN services in 2009.
AVG, a Czech antivirus firm, bought AVG for $60 million in 2015. The VPN was gaining popularity. Avast, another Czech antivirus company, purchased AVG in 2016.
Privax Ltd, despite Avast being the parent company, is still based in the UK.
Due to the intrusive data retention laws in the UK Investigatory Powers Act (or the ‘Snooper’s Charter), the UK is an awful base for VPN providers.
All intelligence-sharing agreements within the Snoopers Charter are subject to HideMyAss. If necessary, the company will provide information to law enforcement.
The UK is also a member the Five Eyes Alliance (FVEY), which is an international intelligence-sharing arrangement that collects and shares surveillance data between the most powerful countries in the world.
HideMyAss shares user logs with law enforcement
HideMyAss’s track record in logging is very poor.
One case saw Anonymous member being arrested by HMA after it granted the FBI access logs to the connection logs. This was in response to a UK court order.
A Texas judge was also arrested for stalking, harassment and other crimes. His identity was discovered using connection timestamps by HideMyAss users.
HideMyAss tried to justify its actions, but most VPN users saw it as a breach in trust.
Such an intrusive policy made it easy for law enforcement to request personally-identifiable information from HMA to identify a specific user.
Although the company has a much more transparent no-logs policy, it does not compromise its privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction. To restore trust in HMA, we need to conduct real-world testing and have third-party audits.
What is HideMyAss' privacy rating compared to other VPNs.
HMA is not as privacy-friendly as other VPNs, as we have discussed.
Below is a table that compares HMA’s privacy features with four other VPN services.
Speed and reliability:
HMA offers impressive speeds across all boards
Speed & Reliability Rating
HMA Speed Test
HideMyAss was able to deliver very fast speeds during our tests. It is now up there with the best VPN services. Only 3% of our download speeds dropped when we connected to a nearby server.
Our internet download speeds were compared before and after connecting with a HideMyAss server. This allows us to determine how much HMA affects our internet connection speed when we connect to the closest HideMyAss server.
HMA’s speed performance was stable, and it was capable of handling data-intensive tasks such as HD streaming and video conferencing with no issues.
These are the full results of our local speed tests:
Our download speeds decreased by 3% when we connected to HMA (from 99Mbps to 96Mbps). Similar results can be expected when you connect to a server close by.
These speed tests are truly impressive. HMA recently added 20Gbps servers into its network. This has allowed it to close the gap with some of the fastest VPNs available.
Results from UAE Speed Test
Test VPN speeds with a 100Mbps connection. This gives us an accurate estimate of average VPN speeds when connecting to different locations around the world.
HMA Price & Value Rating
You have many pricing options, including a 7-day trial for no cost.
Price & Value Rating: 7.5/10
HideMyAss has many pricing options that will suit any budget. In fact, there are almost too many. You can also try the service for free for 7 days. The monthly and short-term plans offered by the service are expensive for what they offer.
Refund and Payment Options
HideMyAss can accept a variety of payment options including:
HMA’s 30-day guarantee of money back
HMA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You are still eligible to receive a full refund even if you consume large quantities of data within 30 calendar days.
You can disable auto-renewal in the member’s section of the website.
HMA offers a 7-day trial for no cost
HideMyAss provides a free 7-day trial that allows you to try the software without purchasing it. Sign up and you will need to provide payment details.
HMA offers a free trial that allows you to use the VPN on any platform, unlike other free trials. All server locations will be available to you, as well as unlimited bandwidth.
You must cancel your trial before you pay the $83.88 annual subscription fee.
HMA boasts the greatest coverage of server locations
Server Locations Rating: 9.5/10
HideMyAss, which has servers in over 190 countries, is the best VPN to choose for VPN server locations. HMA has servers in all countries. However, HMA’s total server count can cause future server congestion.
HideMyAss VPN is the best choice for VPN server locations. It has over 1080 VPN servers located in more than 190 countries. This covers 96% of the countries around the globe.
HMA has a large selection of servers, making it a great VPN for those who aren’t near the usual VPN server locations like the US and Western Europe.
We were particularly impressed by the fact that HideMyAss covered regions in Africa and the Middle East better than any other VPN provider.
HMA’s servers are located in these areas, so your connection will not be routed to distant servers. This results in faster speeds.
HMA uses many virtual servers locations
HideMyAss can offer servers in many countries because it uses both virtual and physical server locations.
A virtual, or fake, VPN server location is not physically located. It provides an IP address for one country but a physical server in another.
Below is an example of how we connected to a Kenyan HMA Server. The actual physical location was in Hallandale, Florida, which is in Avast’s server park.
HideMyAss rents its VPN servers?
Many VPN services rent servers from data centers instead of purchasing them.
Although renting servers can reduce operational costs, it also adds risk as another party (the host server) is responsible for protecting your data.
HideMyAss customer service agent confirmed that the company rents a significant portion of the hardware it uses in its VPN network. Agent said that HMA maintains complete control over the installation and management of their hardware.
We recommend VPN services that are owned and operated by the majority of their server network. This will ensure privacy and reduce third-party involvement.
We tested IPVanish and VyprVPN, and found both VPN services have large server networks that are self-owned.
HMA has some private DNS servers that are owned by Avast, its parent company. We have privacy concerns about these servers.
HMA VPN is not recommended for torrenting
HideMyAss is not recommended for secure torrenting due to its past mistreatment of users privacy and history of cooperation with law enforcement.
HMA users have reported account suspensions in the past for violating Digital Millennium Copyright Act laws (DMCA).
HMA representatives confirmed that HMA has no way of identifying individuals users after a DMCA investigation.
HMA’s position on torrenting is unclear and muddled. Another HideMyAss support agent claimed that torrenting copyrighted materials is against VPN terms of service and threatened to suspend an account.
Security & Features
Is HideMyAss safe (HMA)
HideMyAss can be used safely. HideMyAss masks your IP address, DNS requests and uses AES256 encryption. It also uses first-party DNS servers. HMA did not pass our security tests on iOS or macOS and is the only major VPN that does not support WireGuard.
Advanced security features of HMA VPN
HMA offers split tunneling and the Refresh IP Tool, which will assign you a new IP address to the same place if your IP gets blocked suddenly.
A system-wide kill switch is available for Mac, Android and Windows clients. If your VPN connection is lost or disconnected, this will prevent your data from being leaked.
HMA’s kill button is not available for iOS devices and does not work with macOS Catalina, Big Sur or macOS Catalina.
HMA VPN encryption and security
HMA’s security was very strong, according to our tests. HideMyAss uses the following encryption:
Connection is established via a secure RSA-2048 handshake.
An Elliptic curve Diffie Hellman (ECDH key exchange) provides perfect forward secrecy.
An SHA-384 hash is used to authenticate the integrity of the data.
The AES256 cipher encrypts data transmitted during the session.
Wireshark (packet capture software) was used to test the VPN traffic. We are happy to confirm that the VPN encrypted data transfers.
The internet data we received was converted to random strings of text, not plain text. Hackers and snoopers can’t see your credit card details or passwords on public WiFi networks.
Results of the HMA VPN leak testing
IP address leaks enable advertisers, governments and websites to see where you are and match it to your activity.
HideMyAss, like most popular VPN services has built-in protection against IPv4 or IPv6 leaks.
HideMyAss ran through several leak tests. Unfortunately, it leaked our iOS IP address due to our VPN connection dropping.
HMA’s software did not suffer DNS or IP leaks. Below is an example of how Windows app hides our true IP address.
Security issues on iOS and Mac by HMA
HMA’s app security is quite strong. However, HMA’s macOS software and iOS software have a worrying history of security flaws.
HideMyAss Mac App was prone to security flaws in 2017. If a hacker had access to the device’s root, these vulnerabilities could have allowed malware to be installed.
HMA’s VPN kill button does not work with Mac devices that run macOS Catalina and Big Sur. HMA knew about the bug since December 2019 but has not yet fixed it.
HMA running on macOS Catalina revealed our true location in the United Kingdom when our VPN connection crashed. This occurred despite the fact that we were connected to a Mexican VPN server and had the VPN kill switch activated.
More importantly, HideMyAss iOS does not include a VPN kill switch.
Both iOS and Mac apps use IKEv2/IPsec protocols. IPSec, an older VPN protocol that is less secure than OpenVPN or patched WireGuard protocols, is more vulnerable to attacks.
Bypassing Censorship Rating
HideMyAss is tested every week via a remote connection to Shanghai. Unfortunately, the VPN has not worked. We’ve been prevented from signing in to the VPN since day one.
Obfuscation technology is used by the best VPNs in China. This allows them to bypass China’s VPN ban. Unfortunately, HMA does not have any obfuscation tools.
These limitations aside, HideMyAss is still able to work in countries that have less restrictive VPN restrictions. Recent tests showed that HMA was able to work in Russia, Turkey, and the UAE.
The HMA app for Windows has many features and is easy to use. It is also very well designed.
Windows apps have a variety of security settings. We love the system-wide and app-specific kill switch. The IP Shuffle rotates your IP at regular intervals.
Windows clients only use OpenVPN (UDP or TCP options) to ensure speed and security. TCP is faster, but slightly less secure than UDP. We recommend that you stick with TCP.
WireGuard is our second favorite protocol. However, it’s not available in any HMA app.
The HMA Windows app is easy to use and allows you to see the 190 HideMyAss server locations. The VPN servers can be divided into different categories with streaming and torrenting servers clearly marked.
Split tunneling is not available on Windows clients, it’s only on the Android app.
HMA’s macOS application is among the most user-friendly and well-designed VPN apps that we tested on both our Macbooks and iMacs.
In our testing, the macOS application performed flawlessly without crashing.
The following areas are where the Mac app is more problematic than the Windows client:
Only the IKEv2 VPN protocol is supported
Lacks split tunneling
Does not have an app-specific kill button
MacOS Catalina kill switch broken
We are especially disappointed by the absence of OpenVPN protocol support and kill switch. IKEv2 is less secure than OpenVPN and older.
The HideMyAss app for iPhone/iPad retains its friendly design but is not as functional as other VPN apps. It offers almost no configuration options and little flexibility.
In reality, “connection rules” is the only setting that can be used and it is limited to basic toggles related to trusted WiFi networks and cellular data.
These are the major limitations of HideMyAss iOS App:
OpenVPN is not supported
No kill switch
No split tunneling
As you can see, our IP address was leaked on our test iPhone due to the HMA VPN connection falling.
We are also disappointed that IKEv2 is still the only VPN protocol available. IKEv2 is less secure than OpenVPN and is still our preferred VPN protocol.
HideMyAss’ Android app is far better than its iOS counterpart. This app has far more features and configuration options.
The following settings are available in HMA’s Android App:
OpenVPN is used by default
These are some of the most advanced VPN features available, and we’re happy that IP Shuffle was added to the Android app.
The VPN split tunneling feature can only be used on Android. This setting allows apps to use the standard internet connection instead of the encrypted VPN tunnel.
HMA VPN’s web extensions unblock US Netflix consistently, have unlimited bandwidth and are free.
However, the browser extension can only be used to access five VPN server locations. The following locations are covered:
New York, USA
The browser extension is completely free so we don’t worry about the limited choice of server locations. The countries that are available are all well-known.
The HMA VPN browser extensions do not provide VPNs.
The HMA web proxy does not geo-spoof your geographic location. Web proxies do not encrypt web traffic and don’t hide browser activity.
HideMyAss’ web proxy has another problem: It logs too many information.
Your IP address originating from
The URLs encoded by the website you visited
Files accessible on the sites you visit
HMA’s highly intrusive data collection is not something we like. HMA’s VPN extensions are the best way to unblock geo-restricted streaming sites.
Support for Customers
Good online support, but not much live chat
Customer Support Rating
HMA’s customer service is good, but not everything we would expect from a well-known VPN. The live chat isn’t available 24/7 and the knowledge base isn’t as extensive as those of other VPNs. However, the email support team is well-informed and responds quickly to queries.