First, the strengths — HideMyAss is very resourceful as far as servers. There are over 760 to choose from, but what’s truly impressive is the 320+ available locations. HMA is global when it comes to servers, with some truly exotic additions to the list.
A healthy number of servers means nothing if they aren’t fast. HideMyAss knows that well, offering excellent speed across the board. Even the most intense of streaming sessions won’t have you waiting for the video to buffer. Oh, and Netflix/iPlayer can totally be unblocked abroad, too.
Clients are solid across all platforms as well — although the styling may suit some more than others.
The grass isn’t always green for this VPN, however. Drawbacks include a rather basic features package, without a kill switch or DNS leak protection (although HideMyAss assures you’ll never encounter this problem). The last one can be considered a subjective con, but it would’ve been nice to see love for other protocols.
The most worrying aspect by far is HMA’s location, and, by extension, its logging policy. Despite now being part of Avast, this VPN still operates from the United Kingdom, which has some of the most severe surveillance laws in the world. Although HMA have said that they’ll never disclose details about law-abiding users, a shaky track record and the impossible reality of a true zero-logging policy may be enough for some customers to turn their attention elsewhere.
Overall, HideMyAss remains a very capable VPN and a favorite for accesssing restricted content. With that said, it does little to ensure complete and total privacy, making your choice a matter of priorities.
Most VPNs claim that they deliver the best speeds in the VPN market, but not HideMyAss. Download speeds are a lot better and more consistent even when tested multiple times on the same location than upload speeds which can be erratic somehow. Though it doesn’t make any false claims, HideMyAss delivers impressive speed results among its peers, yet not as fast as other leading providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.
We have to give credit where it’s due — HMA delivers an enjoyable user experience from start to finish, all in a playful, casual manner.
There are no complications to speak of when it comes to installation and setup. The GUI is intuitive, with all settings and preferences being exactly where you’d expect them to be.
We were particularly impressed with the Android app. With an easy setup and a choice between three modes — Instant, Location, and Freedom — you are a tap away from choosing automatic, manual, or censorship-free connections, respectively.
In addition to the usual knowledge base (which is rather comprehensive), HideMyAss provides live chat and a ticket system, which they claim is 24/7 and “from real people”. We can attest to the latter — all in all, our questions were answered in a satisfactory manner, but we did have to wait several hours for a response to our ticket.
We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.
HMA’s prices are in the same territory as some of the best VPNs on the market — on one hand, that’s reasonable considering the whopping number of locations and the stellar performance this VPN offers. On the other hand, you don’t get much in terms of privacy and security.
In any case, you can cancel your subscription at any time and even get refunded with the 30-day money-back guarantee, assuming you’re under the 10 GB bandwidth limit.
You can subscribe to HideMyAss with a credit card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, UnionPay), via PayPal, or using WireTransfer.
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