Are you still on the fence about HideMyAss VPN?
What a fancy name for a vpn service that’s supposed to actually hide your identity online?
What about the claims by the company that they are the fastest VPN?
If you want to choose a premium vpn today, it can get quite confusing and hard to set on a particular one that will serve you right.
Every vpn company pushing for their product would make bold claims about their product… to the point you may not know who is saying the truth.
I faced the same frustration when I wanted to buy my first vpn.
I first started with a one of the free vpn services, wasn’t satisfied and decided I wanted to get a subscription from a premium vpn.
That’s how I ended up reading about and testing different kinds of vpn services in order to find what each one really had to offer… and you know what? Most don’t offer you much.
In this HMA vpn review today, we are going to do an in depth review of the HideMyAss vpn and what it has to offer you in 2020.
While reviewing HMA, we’ll not only look at the HideMyAss pros but also its cons.
Before we get into the details of this HMA review, let me give you a quick summary of what I found out.
HideMyAss is a VPN company based in the UK, that offers securely encrypted internet access, unblocking of georestricted content and average connection speeds.
While they are known to have kept and handed over logs to the FBI that were used to prosecute one of their customers, they’ve since updated their logging policy to keep less identifiable information.
Let’s dive right into the details and find out what this really means for the average HMA vpn user.
|Streaming||Netflix US, iPlayer|
|Free trial||7 days|
How many servers does HMA have?
This is where this vpn service provider stands out from everyone else.
HMA has a huge collection of 1,000+ vpn servers spread of 290+ different locations in 190+ countries, with a total IP address count of 110,000+…
Now, that’s the highest number of IPs I have ever seen any vpn server provider have in 2020.
While other vpns like NordVPN have a collection of 5,300 servers, which is higher than HMA, their total IP count is also 5,300… pretty low compared to HMA.
This means that wherever you are, you’ll mostly likely find a nearby HMA server to connect to, either in your country or neighbor.
And the nearest the server is to you, the faster the connection speeds.
In fact, in the HideMyAss app, you’ll find an option to select the fastest server close to you or to connect to servers in a particular country.
You’ll also be able to connect to certain specialty servers, like we’ll discuss later.
So, if you are looking for a vpn service provider with a huge collection of servers and IP addresses, HMA is your guy.
A little while back it used to be very easy to access geo restricted content from popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu etc…
But as they became popular, they went on a crackdown of vpn IP addresses that were being used to access restricted content.
As a result most vpn IP addresses have been banned and continue to be banned from access every other day.
So a good vpn service provider should be able to avail new IP addresses to its users as soon as the current ones are identified and blacklisted by these platforms… to ensure continued access.
Will you be able to access popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer with HMA vpn?
I first started by testing HMA vpn with Netflix… and here’s what I found out.
While I was able to access Netflix in the US, I kept getting proxy server errors every now and then.
Netflix streaming with HMA is not smooth and is a kind of hit and miss.
Because of this, if you are particularly looking for a vpn service provider for Netflix streaming HMA vpn is not great for that… look elsewhere.
As for Amazon Prime and Hulu, I wasn’t able to stream anything completely because they immediately detected I was using a vpn and blocked me.
On the flip side though, I had success streaming content through BBC iPlayer in the UK flawlessly.
If you are looking for a vpn to unblock iPlayer in the UK, HMA vpn is the best so far.
But if you want to also have options with other streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ABC, HBO GO among others, then HMA will frustrate you for no reason.
I am testing and putting together a list of the best vpns for streaming. Once the article is ready I’ll come back and update the links.
Does HideMyAss vpn match the speed availed by its competitors?
Let’s find out.
We all agree that for some reason, internet connection speeds are expected to drop when you connect to a vpn as opposed to without a vpn.
The question is, to what extent will you experience a dip in speed?
I tested HMA speeds by connecting to 3 different servers based in the USA, UK and Hong Kong.
I then used speedtest.net to test for the ping time, download and upload speeds.
Here is what I found out.
Before connecting to HMA servers, my download speed was 29.29Mbps while my upload speed was 6.30Mbps.
After connecting to the US based server, my download speed dropped to 20.89Mbps while my upload speed dropped to 4.51Mbps.
Things got better on the UK server though.
Download speed was 22.92Mbps while upload speed was 4.17Mbps.
The Hong Kong based server even excelled both the US and UK servers in terms of speed.
My download speeds only dropped to 24.67Mbps while my uploads increased to 5.47Mbps… the ping time was also relatively shorter than for both other servers.
While that might sound great… it’s not when you look at the entire picture.
Both the US and UK servers fell short of the 80% minimum speed drop that I consider acceptable for a premium vpn.
Even thought the Hong Kong server dropped my download speed upto 84% of my original, I still consider this not great because on average, the speeds were below 80% of my original speeds.
Depending on what your needs are, HMA speeds are rather acceptable but definitely out of the league of the fastest vpn providers out there.
Does HideMyAss vpn allow torrenting?
No vpn review in 2020 is complete without talking about torrenting because it’s why a good number of people get vpns anyway.
If a vpn is able to offer you dedicated P2P servers for optimized torrenting and file sharing… it’s a good vpn.
Because of copyright laws, torrenting is not permitted in certain countries so for the servers based in those countries you won’t be able to torrent.
However, the good news is that HMA has a list of P2P servers optimized for torrents.
So when you are ready to torrent, head over the application interface, and on the left column click on the P2P menu item.
From there you’ll be presented with a list of P2P servers that you can then choose and start torrenting.
I’m still running some tests to put together a list of the best vpns for torrenting, I’ll come back and update the link once it’s ready.
In conclusion… YES, HMA vpn allows torrenting on certain specialized servers. Just P2P servers in the app settings.
Does HMA vpn really hide your ass?
Now this is where I give a big thumbs down for this popular vpn service… and you should too.
First of all, let me remind you that a while back, HMA vpn happily handed logs to the FBI about a customer who used their servers to hack the Sony pictures website.
The prosecution led to a conviction and the dude is now serving time in prison.
What does that tell you?
HideMyAss definitely keeps information about your internet usage that could actually be used to identify you… even if they deny it 10 times. 🙁
Initially, HMA vpn would log information about your email address, username, password (of course), your real IP address, your connection timestamps and bandwidth usage.
You tell me… once you have my real IP address, what else do you need to actually find me and smoke me out? Just swing by my apartment.
So if your main reason for purchasing a vpn is complete anonymity online, then HMA will not make you happy.
I am working on the best vpn services for complete anonymity online… will publish soon.
Back to HMA.
It’s important to note, though, that the company is now under new ownership and in order to repair this broken trust, they don’t log your IP address anymore.
Instead HMA vpn logs your subnet mask i.e. your IP address without the last digits.
Whatever, this shows that this vpn company is still very user log happy!
So if you are torrenting with HMA, you should know that you are not completely anonymous after all… trouble could follow you to your doorstep someday.
There are also many other situations when HMA collects your IP address that you should be aware of.
To begin with, wenever you connect to their vpn servers, your apps will send information about your operating system, app version as well as events like whenever you uninstall their app.
HMA will collect and log your IP address if you are using their free browser proxy.
Whenever you email their support staff or chat with someone through their live chat, your actual IP address is logged too.
Installing and using their browser extensions will also lead to your IP address being collected and logged.
Once you buy a HMA plan, I’d suggest you use it for other things other than torrenting.
Clearly, HMA is not a vpn for privacy and anonymity online by a long shot.
If you want to hack, I’m also doing some testing to find the best vpns for hacking… brb.
Is your personal information safe once it leaves the vpn servers?
As a standard for most vpn service providers, they’ll offer you end to end tamper proof encryption for your data while it’s being transmitted.
HideMyAss vpn is not let out here.
They implement AES 256-bit encryption technology that is a NSA recommended bulletproof technology used by governments and militaries to encrypt sensitive classified information.
So, yes, you data is thoroughly encrypted and unreadable to the prying eyes of a hacker.
Even if they hijacked your session traffic through a wifi, they won’t be able to decrypt and read the actual data.
Apart from this encryption, HMA vpn also provides you with some of the best vpn connection protocols for tighter security.
You’ll have various options like OpenVPN over UDP and TCP, PPTP and L2TP.
OpenVPN is the best vpn connection protocol available today and you should always use it for all your connections.
Even though it comes as the default, you have the option of selecting a different connection protocol in the HMA application settings panel.
Overall though, combine HMA vpn AES 256-bit military grade encryption with OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and that’s the safest you can get online in 2020.
If you want a vpn that guarantees security of your data online, HideMyAss vpn will provide the best protection possible.
So, apart from the encryption and data connection protocols we already looked at above, what other security features does HMA vpn have that takes your online safety and privacy to the next level?
Here are a couple more…
Ad & Malware Blocker
First, let’s get the bad news out.
None of the HideMyAss vpn apps provide you with an ad or malware blocker when you are connected to the internet.
Even though this is a feature most modern vpn providers have embraced and happily provide, for some reason it’s conspicuously missing from HMA apps.
I hope they add this feature soon.
Even though normal internet browsing is not very server resource demanding, other activities like torrenting and streaming need faster, optimized servers.
Does HideMyAss vpn have any dedicated servers for such activities?
First of all, HMA vpn has specialized servers for unblocking geo restricted from some of the most popular streaming services like Netflix and iPlayer.
In order to connect to these servers, all you need to do is head over to the app settings window and select streaming. You are then presented with a list of servers optimized for streaming.
Secondly, you also get specialized dedicated servers for torrenting and P2P file sharing over the internet.
Again, accessing these servers is the same process… go to the HMA app and click on the P2P option and you’ll get a list of dedicated servers for torrenting that will also offer great connection speeds.
Like I already said though, if torrenting is illegal in your country, beware of using HMA for this because your torrenting won’t be entirely anonymous.
I look forward to HMA introducing other features like non shared dedicated IPs that only let one single connection at a time.
In some countries, normal internet usage is heavily regulated… like it was a criminal offense to access certain sites.
For example, in a country like China, a lot of social sites access in censored, including Facebook, Twitter etc.
Since these countries have very robust firewalls that will detect if you are trying to use a vpn to circumvent the censorship, it’s pretty hard to have your way through.
This is where obfuscated servers come into play.
With an obfuscated server, your vpn connection is able to unblock censored content while still concealing the fact that it’s a vpn.
Even though HMA vpn has also been able to bypass China’s firewall, it’s still blocked in certain parts of China.
So if you are looking for a vpn to one day carry with you to China then… meh, you can think of HMA, but don’t count on it to bail you out in all parts of the country.
Most wifi networks experience connection drops every now and then… and it happens without you even noticing.
But as for your privacy online, your connection is only private as long as you remain connected to the vpn server.
If for some reason your internet connection drops and your vpn app disconnects from the vpn server, your real IP address is exposed and your internet is not safe anymore moving forward.
Not until you reconnect your vpn again.
This is where a kill switch comes in handy for your vpn connection.
With a kill switch on, your entire device’s internet connection is cut off whenever there is a connection drop and the vpn app disconnects from the server.
As a result of this, your real IP is not exposed and your internet access is only restored once the vpn reconnects.
HMA vpn has a very powerful kill switch exactly for this purpose.
The Windows, macOS and Android apps come with an inbuilt kill switch that once turned on will always ensure that you only access the internet when it’s safe to do so.
In addition to that, these apps also have an IP reshuffle feature that changes your vpn IP at an interval you set.
Could be a couple hours or a day… this ensures that you are not constantly using the same vpn IP address for security.
Remember, though, that HMA logs every vpn IP address that you ever use.
Back to the security features.
The apps also have an auto connect feature that when turned on will always connect the vpn whenever you enter a new wifi network.
However, as you might have realized, all these features are great but they lack in the iOS app.
So you don’t get to enjoy this added security functionality when using the iOS app 🙁
IPv6 leaks, DNS leaks and WebRTC leaks tests
Does HMA route your DNS queries through third party DNS servers? This could lead to other third parties knowing the actual sites you visit.
So I used ipleak.net to test HMA for IPv6, DNS and WebRTC leaks.
As you can see in the screenshot above, my traffic is directed through an IPv4 address so that my IPv6 address is not leaked.
DNS queries are also only run through HMA DNS servers, so no third party can know the particular websites that I visit.
The WebRTC leak test also did not show any possible leaks.
The Onion Router, akka Tor, the only browser I know of today that provides the closest thing to anonymity online.
While it will hide your online activity by bouncing your packets through a variety of servers, the entry node to the Tor network always sees your real IP.
So combining Tor with a vpn that supports it leads to complete anonymous browsing.
Unfortunately, as of the time of writing this HideMyAss review in 2020, HMA does NOT support the Tor browser.
I couldn’t find any articles on their support blog for configuring HMA with Tor.
For a Tor user looking for a vpn what will seamlessly integrate with and has support for your favorite Tor browser, HMA won’t work out for you.
However, any other browser works fine… there are extensions for Chrome or Firefox.
That’ a lot of talk, but what will HideMyAss vpn really cost me?
Because they do keep logs, HMA vpn should be too ashamed to ask for premium prices but instead let me pay them pennies and beg me to stay, right?
Let me be upfront with you.
HideMyAss is a very premium vpn service provider. You’ll pay an arm and a leg to get their wimpy Netflix unblocking, not so private torrenting, connection timestamp logs and average connection speeds. Or will you?
HMA offers you 3 pricing plans, 1-month, 12-month and 36-month plans.
1 month plan, billed monthly costs $11.99.
12 month plan costs $6.99/month billed as $83.88.
36 month plan costs $3.99/month billed as $143.64
Even though these are not the best discounts out there, they still look ok right?
Well, wait until you here this…
According to their pricing policy, when your plan renews it renews at the monthly rate at that time.
So if you buy a 3 year plan today and pay $143.64, when your plan renews after 3 years, and say the monthly plan then will still go for $11.99, you’ll pay $431.64.
What? Are you kidding me?
For other vpns like NordVPN, once you start a 3 year plan at a discount, say at $119, that’s what you’ll pay every three years… regardless of the price at that time.
I’ll let you decide for yourself about the pricing.
So let’s say you are happy with everything HMA vpn has to offer at this point and want to buy a plan… what payment options do you have.
First, you’ll have an opportunity to use all of the major credit cards, PayPal and wire transfer.
HMA does not support crypto currencies like Bitcoin.
So if you want to take you anonymity to the next level by using a disposable email address and some bitcoins, you are out of luck.
HMA maintains only payment options that in my opinion are completely traceable.
That shouldn’t be a problem for most people though, as people like to shop with their credit cards, debit cards or PayPal.
What if after purchasing your HMA vpn plan, you realize you don’t like what you get?
Can you get your money back or just count your losses and move on?
Every HideMyAss vpn plan comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
So you have 30 days from the time you purchase to try this vpn service and decide if you want to keep it… if not, simply ask for a refund and you’ll get your money back, right?
Not so fast.
If you really want your money back, you should not have used more than 10GB of bandwidth during that time when you were “testing” their platform.
Otherwise, they won’t be very happy about it and won’t process your refund.
What if you still want to try HMA vpn but don’t want to put a single dollar on the line, does HMA offer a free trial?
HideMyAss vpn offers a free 7 day trial for you to try their vpn service before buying.
But only after you submit working credit card details or your PayPal so that they can start billing you immediately after 7 days.
Will you be able to use HMA on your iPhone and Android TV at the same time?
How many devices does HMA vpn support?
They support all the major operating systems and have apps for Windows, Android, iOS and macOS.
You’ll also get Chrome and Firefox extensions for use in your browser.
There are also a ton of detailed tutorials on how to configure your HMA vpn with Linux and routers for home use.
While writing this HideMyAss review in 2020, HMA supports upto 5 simultaneous connections from the same account.
However, if you configure your router you can connect as many devices as your router allows.
Clearly from this HMA review, there are a lot of cons with the HideMyAss vpn…
- 1,000 servers
- P2P servers
- Kill Switch
- Works in China
- Average speeds
- No dedicated IPs
- No Hulu, Amazon
- No Bitcoins
- Only 5 devices
- Keeps logs
- No ad blocker
Your decision to purchase a subscription of HMA will depend on what your priorities are or what you are currently looking for in a vpn.
With the millions of paying subscribers and the amazing huge collection of vpn servers across the globe, there are definitely a group of people that are satisfied with this vpn service.
Would I recommend the HMA vpn… ?
Yes and No.
Let me explain…
If all you want is a vpn service that encrypts your connections with a bulletproof protocol so that you can’t be hacked, then HMA is the vpn for you.
However, if you want more than just a secure connection but complete anonymity online, then HMA vpn is not for you…
From the past cases where they’ve handed over data that was used to incriminate one of their customers, it’s clear that they do keep user logs that can be used to identify who you really are.
Plus, if you are not okay with their wimpy Netflix unblocking, stay away from HideMyAss… there are better vpns for unblocking Netflix.
|NordVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||6||$ 3.49/m|
|Surfshark||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||P2P servers||Unlimited||$ 1.99/m|
|ExpressVPN||Netflix, Hulu, iPlayer||All servers||5||$ 8.32/m|
Have you used HideMyAss before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.