Owned by Avast, HideMyAss offers a huge network of servers across hundreds of locations. Started back in 2005, it is
one of the longest-running VPN providers. But let’s see how it stacks up to today’s more competitive landscape.
There’s nothing noteworthy here -- just standard pricing for a mid-range VPN. There are multiple options that allow
you to save money the longer you subscribe. This means month-to-month subscriptions are the most expensive. With
that said, Private Internet Access offers a better yearly subscription, though HideMyAss is cheaper than larger
competitors such as ExpressVPN.
HideMyAss offers a 7-day free trial but you must hand over your billing information. If you forget to cancel, you’ll
be automatically charged for whatever subscription option you choose.
You have access to a wide range of apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Sadly, there are no browser
extensions available. Instead, they provide a free web proxy to mask your IP address in any browser.
Ease of Use
Even if you’re new to VPNs, you can easily figure out Hide My Ass’s interface. There’s zero technical jargon you
need to deal with and everything is marked and easy to use. You can choose from three different modes:
- Instant: A one-click connection that takes you to the nearest server.
- Location: For when you need to access a specific location. It even suggests servers for streaming videos, P2P, and
- Freedom: Connects you through the nearest free-speech country.
Reviewers ran into one issue when they delved into customization. They found that the kill switch worked only for
applications, not for the entire system. That meant they had to specify every app they wanted to block manually
should the VPN connection drop.
You can connect up to five devices to HideMyAss. Should you download the client for your router you can protect all
of your devices at home with just a single connection.
While you won’t find a ton of customizability, the service offers a handful of useful features, including:
- IP Shuffle
- P2P servers
- Military-grade encryption (OpenVPN)
- Dedicated streaming servers
- Kill Switch
IP shuffle, as the name suggests, changes your IP address every so often to make your activities harder to trace
back to you. It’s perfect for those who want an extra layer of privacy when browsing the web.
Privacy and Logging
HideMyAss is based in the UK with the parent company -- Avast -- in the Czech Republic. While not the best in terms
of data privacy laws, both countries are better than the US in terms of data logging and retention.
And speaking of privacy, the company states that there is no logging of what resources you access while online or
other data sent or received over VPN. However, they still record every session connect and disconnect, the IP
address you use to connect, the IP address of the VPN you connect to, and how much data is uploaded and downloaded.
While it might not affect people who are using a VPN for browsing or online shopping, for those who are sharing
files or even accessing streaming services in geo-restricted areas, it might cause problems.
With hundreds of servers worldwide, reviewers found connection quality and ping times excellent. When it came to
actual download speeds, results were more varied even within the same country. For example, TechRadar found
download speeds in the US ranged between 15Mbps and 65Mbps. Servers that are further away from your actual location
will also have highly variable speeds though that isn’t unexpected.
TechRadar says, “There’s some scope for improvement… but overall HideMyAss performance better than most…”
If you can’t figure out an issue on your own by browsing the company’s FAQ page, you can take advantage of their
24/7 live chat support to get answers to your questions in just a few minutes.
If your problem isn’t urgent, you can also post on their forum where you generally will receive a response from a
staff member within a few hours.
HideMyAss (HMA) is a decent option for people who want good performance speed and unique features such as IP
Shuffle. However, its data collection policies might be a problem if you’re a more privacy-focused user.
Cloudwards states, “... we think HMA’s combination of features makes it worth your consideration.”