Hide My Ass Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 24, 2020

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Features

4.4/5

Speed & Performance

4.5/5

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

4.6/5

Pricing

3.7/5
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HideMyAss! VPN Pros:

HideMyAss! VPN Cons:

HideMyAss has been in operation for over 15 years now, so a lot of you may already be familiar with it. 

With such a punchy name, I was hopeful that this VPN would have some innovative features and a lot to offer. You can read on to discover my thoughts about it.

Overview

With over 900 servers in 190 countries around the world – HideMyAss is a big player in the VPN world. They have a reasonable 320+ server locations to choose from and service over 400 million customers. They are based in the UK but serve the whole world. Sounds impressive, however, the company could not have come from more humble beginnings.

Now, before I tell you a bit more about HideMyAss, I must tell you that the UK is not a great jurisdiction for a VPN. This is because the UK is entered into data-sharing agreements and alliances with other countries, which don’t fall in the favour of the VPN user.

This means that if pushed – HideMyAss is required by law to disclose any details held on their users. There are 14 member states that work together in the Surveillance Alliance, so you won’t just be subject to the disclosure to the UK Authorities – because any of the member states can request that HideMyAss disclose data held.

HideMyAss was founded back in 2005 by a 16-year-old boy.  This is the story – fourteen years ago – Jack Cator built his first web proxy to circumvent his school firewall. Cator was not the only schoolboy (or girl) who was frustrated with this sort of oppressive school restriction. Overcoming this obstacle was his ticket to creating HideMyAss – a company that would go on to be sold to Avast (no less).

HideMyAss is now owned by Avast, which is a massive online security company that is based out of Prague. Avast is one of the major players in the VPN space. It is HUGE that HideMyAss were acquired by such a large company. Want to know more about Avast? –  I have covered Avast in detail in my Avast Review.

What is the HideMyAss server network like?

The server network at HideMyAss is impressive. The VPN has more than 1,000 servers, which are spread across 190 countries. Therefore, in terms of country coverage, this VPN is the best. It means that 96 per cent of the world’s countries are covered, which is pretty impressive, right?

The fact that HideMyAss has such a vast server network makes it a great choice for anyone who is looking to connect to a server in a unique location.

A lot of the other servers I have reviewed tend to have most of their servers in the UK and the US. When it comes to places like the Middle East and Africa, they do not have many options. Luckily, this is not the case for HideMyAss, as they have plenty of servers in these areas too.

Plus, you can find city-level servers in a number of locations, especially in the US where there are 65 city-level servers for you to select from. You can also find city-level servers in Spain, Germany, Canada, the UK, Russia, France, and Australia.

It is vital to note, though, that one of the main reasons why HideMyAss is able to offer so many server locations is because it utilises virtual server locations. Not all of the servers are virtual; some are physical. 

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Speeds

HideMyAss has some decent upload and download speeds. However, it can sometimes take a while to connect. Their servers don’t suffer from the lag or buffering that you might have found with other VPNs or your local ISP.

One of the reasons that HMA can deliver such a fast service is due to the number of locations that they provide servers in. In fact, they offer UNLIMITED uploads and downloads – so their streaming is truly unrestricted – which is awesome news for those of you looking to access censored content in a hurry.

Security

As you know, security is always one of the most important things that I consider when assessing any sort of VPN.

HideMyAss has all of the security features you would expect, as well as a few extras. The robust and military-grade AES-256 encryption is used, as are first-party DNS servers. You are also going to have the option of a few tunnelling protocols, which include OpenVPN, L2TP, and IKEv2. I always recommend OpenVPN in this case, and you can read my review about it.

As mentioned, you do get a number of advanced features with HideMyAss, which is always good news! I was pleased to see that there is an IP refresh tool, which you don’t get with a lot of other VPNs. this will give you a new IP address in the same location if your current one is blocked suddenly. Split-tunneling is another feature that you will get.

I must touch upon the fact that there is a cause of concern when it comes to HideMyAss and Mac or iOS users. A lot of users have reported security flaws on Apple products, and there seem to be features missing for these devices when compared to Android and Windows, so I would always air on the side of caution if you are an Apple user. Instead, look into NordVPN.

Finally, there is a kill switch with HideMyAss – hallelujah! This is available for Mac, Android, and Windows clients. This is great news, as I am always apprehensive about using or recommending a VPN that does not have a kill switch. A kill switch means that you are going to be protected even if your VPN connection drops out. 

Does HideMyAss keep logs?

I was delighted to see that HideMyAss is a genuine no-logs VPN provider. This was not always the case. It used to have a pretty intrusive logging policy in place, but that is no longer the case.

This means that none of your data is going to be collected or logged by this VPN. You can have peace of mind that your online activity will remain private. 

The only information that is collected by HideMyAss is the following:

  • The amount of data transmitted during your session
  • Date of connection

HideMyAss has provided their reasons for collecting these two pieces of information. In terms of the amount of data that has been transmitted, the company collect this information so that they can effectively plan for server improvements and net network capacity. They collect information on the day of your connection so that they can troubleshoot for abuse and support handling. 

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Ease of use

You can get started with HideMyAss in a matter of minutes. Their apps are really simple and easy to use and install with just one click. So, no technical experience required for the setup (phew!)

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Torrenting

Although there is a lot to like about HideMyAss, one thing that I would not recommend it for is torrenting. The main reason for this is because of the fact that the VPN has a bit of a dodgy history in terms of its privacy policy. Instead, I would look to ExpressVPN.

Yes, they have become a no-logs VPN, yet it is still early days on this front and so I would not risk it with torrenting.

In the past, HideMyAss users have reported that they have had their accounts suspended for being in violation of the laws in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

While things seem to have changed and HideMyAss does not appear to hold onto any information that could personally identify someone, their stance on torrenting is not very clear either, which is another reason why I do not recommend it for this purpose. 

While speaking to a customer service representative, they indicated that torrenting copyright material is against the terms of service of the VPN and could cause the account to be suspended. 

Therefore, HideMyAss clearly has not been set-up with torrenting in mind and it would be better to go for a VPN service that has.

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Unblock streaming services

Possibly the best features that HideMyAss offers is the unblocking of geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Hulu. If you are looking for a VPN that seamlessly unblocks Netflix or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world – look no further than HideMyAss. 

Although HideMyAss has grown into a big network, with hundreds of millions of users, they still keep their speed consistently fast – which is impressive.

They have dedicated servers specifically for streaming, and they are some of the most reliable that I have come across.

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Compatibility

HideMyAss provides Apps for almost every device on most operating systems such as – Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux. The apps are very intuitive and the UX is clean and straight forward, even for the complete VPN noob. 

You can check out my “reviews by device” if you would like more information on the best VPN for a specific device.

You can download HMA on as many devices as you want. To activate the VPN you simply input the license activation key – and away you go – simple! There is a restriction of 5 simultaneous connections per subscription, which is normal – within the industry.

Games consoles and streaming devices

You will be able to use HideMyAss with all streaming devices and games consoles, yet some configuration is going to be needed.

The VPN needs to be installed at the router level if you are going to run HideMyAss on the likes of your Xbox or PS4.

Browser extensions

There are browser extensions available on HideMyAss, and I must admit that they are some of the best that I have come across.

However, there is one drawback, and this is the fact that they can only be accessed when you are using a server at one of the following five locations:

  • New York, United States
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Paris, France 

Customer support

When looking for a VPN Provider – the customer support offered is important. If for any reason you need some extra information or assistance, it is good to know you will receive it in a friendly and timely manner. 

You can get in touch with HMA customer support via their online live chat feature or you can send them a message that will be answered by their staff via a ticketing system.

The customer support is available twenty-four hours, seven days a week – which is great to know, especially when they ensure that all messages get answered by a real person.

Pricing

In terms of pricing, there are two options for you to select from. The first is a 12-month plan, and the second is a 36-month plan.

The 12-month plan is £39.48, which equates to £3.29 per month. 

The 36-month plan is £86.04, which equates to £2.39 per month.

Their free trial is a decent length – 7-days, which should be more than enough time for you to decide if their service is a fit. However, if you are still unsure, they offer further 30-day money-back guarantee.

Summary

HideMyAss is the perfect VPN provider for people wanting to access geo-restricted content on Hulu, Youtube, iPlayer or Netflix. I would say that is their strong point. They are also great for the complete beginner due to the ease of use.

They are not suitable for people looking to surf the web anonymously due to the fact they are based in the UK and subject the 14 eyes policies, that state that they must disclose users details if requested from any of the member states.

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