HideMyAss (HMA VPN) offers a variety of server locations and works on Netflix. However, security can be improved, features remain limited, and speed is inconsistent. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a basic VPN, but there are still other better VPNs for the same price.
HideMyAss VPN is still good in 2023
HideMyAss has a funny name (which seems to prefer HMA abbreviated now) and has been around for quite some time, ever since Jack Cator built it in 2005 at the age of 16. HMA VPN has evolved significantly since then, but better VPNs have eclipsed its success. Today, this once-in-a-lifetime startup called Privax Limited belongs to Avast – one of the most famous cybersecurity companies in the world.
|service name||HideMyAss VPN|
|Number of positions||190 Countries|
|Number of Servers||1100 servers|
|Unblock Netflix||Yes, on some servers|
|Equipment used at the same time||5 simultaneous connections|
|Protocols||OpenVPN UDP / TCP, IKEv2 / IPSec, L2TP|
|Customer support||24/7, live chat|
|Logging policy||No, independently audited|
|Price||From $ 2.99 / month|
A few years ago, I got the impression that HMA VPN offers fast connection speed but not very well if you need optimal security. So, before starting this HMA VPN review, I decided to check if that continues. To find the answers, I intend to consider the following questions:
- Is HMA VPN safe to use?
- Does it unblock Netflix?
- Does it allow torrents?
- Is HMA fast enough for the money?
Join me on my journey to discover the truth about HMA VPN.
- Servers in over 190 countries
- There are places that are not available in others
- Not bad for Netflix
- Poor security
- Used to cooperate with authorities
- Speed is not consistent
Security and privacy features
HMA VPN has never been known for its security or privacy. Even its homepage says more about unblocking websites than surfing the web safely. It also doesn’t provide a complete list of features that can help users ensure their personal information is not stolen.
So, is HMA VPN secure? I guess we’ll have to find out for ourselves.
Encryption and tunneling protocols
The encryption of HMA VPN is still up to standard. HMA offers military-grade AES-256-GCM encryption that is virtually unbreakable and will take billions of years for brute force.
Below are the tunneling protocols (the technique of transmitting data over many networks with different protocols) that HideMyAss VPN provides:
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
- IKEv2 / IPSec
While the list doesn’t include WireGuard and many others, I’m happy to see that HMA only chooses the most secure protocols.
Starting with the v5 client version, HMA offers a second, smarter version of Kill Switch for Windows. While the Kill Switch will normally disconnect your internet connection if there is a problem with the VPN, App Kill Switch will enable the HMA app whenever you launch an app in the list (think uTorrent or Popcorn Time) . This means, for example, that your torrenting will only start after HMA has started.
You can easily enable or disable both from the Options menu. There, you can also make a list of the apps that will initiate the VPN connection when you launch them
Does HMA VPN keep accessing data?
HMA VPN has reduced the amount of information it recorded after the launch of the v5 version, to the point that it is now claiming that they are a non-archiving provider. Furthermore, their data retention policy has been independently audited by consulting firm VerSprite.
Your IP and messages will be stored for six months whenever you contact HMA VPN by email or live chat. When communicating over the phone and by other means, your personal information may be stored “as long as it is needed”.
Other technical features
Here are the additional HMA privacy and security features:
- Split Tunneling
- IP mixing (making it harder to track when connected to a location)
- Use only TCP (instead of UDP, which is fast but slightly less secure)
I feel a bit lacking in the absence of Tor over VPN or other hidden protocols.
Speed and Performance
When it comes to VPN speed, it’s best to check for yourself – home or work is the location that works best for you. However, on my HideMyAss speed test, I’m trying to determine its average speed.
|Average speed||49 Mb / s|
|Base level||250 Mb / s|
|German servers||35 Mb / s (reduced 86%)|
|United States servers||25 Mb / s (reduced by 90%)|
|Australian server||23 Mb / s (reduced by 90%)|
|Base level||235 Mb / sec|
|German servers||110 Mb / s (53% reduction)|
|United States servers||73 Mbps (68% off)|
|Australian server||32 Mb / s (reduced by 86%)|
|Base level||4 ms|
|German servers||37 ms|
|United States servers||111 ms|
|Australian server||313 ms|
In short, I can say that HideMyAss! delivery speed is not consistent. Our first speed tests showed speed skipping rates of 20% or less, but now it’s 90% or better. The fact that many of the HMA VPN’s 1100+ servers are virtual doesn’t help and the company is lying about their actual counts.
Anyway, this is enough to stream in HD without buffering.
Does HideMyAss VPN support your devices?
Maybe yes. HMA! there are custom apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV.
This VPN allows for 5 concurrent connections per account, which means you can use it on all your devices at the same time and still reserve room for an uninvited guest.
HMA VPN desktop application: Windows, macOS, and Linux
The HMA VPN app for Windows and macOS is quite similar in design and features. Both offer AES-256 encryption, Kill Switch, leak protection, etc. The two most important features that are only for Windows are the OpenVPN protocol and the App Kill Switch.
After launching the app, you will see the home screen with the default option to connect to the fastest server. Additionally, you can choose any of the more than 290 other locations. Clicking “Add” in the top right will bring up your connection status and enable a speed test, while the gear in the top left will open Options.
Linux users can choose the OpenVPN software or configure it manually using the command line. HMA VPN for Linux supports Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and others. What’s missing here is Kill Switch, IKEv2 support, Leak Shield, and other features tuned for the graphical version.
HMA VPN mobile apps: Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad)
HMA’s apps for Android and iOS offer nearly the same level of security as desktop apps.
HideMyAss for Android doesn’t have a new App Kill Switch, but it does offer Split Tunneling. Meanwhile, the iOS version uses IKEv2 / IPSec instead of OpenVPN, but without Kill Switch (like most iOS VPNs) and Split Tunneling.
Other platforms for HideMyAss
HideMyAss has no app for other platforms but they do offer four pre-installed routers:
- Netgear R6400 AC1750 DD-WRT for 1-4 devices
- Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 DD-WRT for 4-8 devices
- Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT for 8 or more devices
They are sold by FlashRouters and come with a Privacy app that allows you to manage the router from your smartphone or laptop, switch locations, and set the Global Kill Switch.
Install HMA! A router can be a good idea as that eliminates the limit on the number of concurrent connections and the need to install apps on every device. This also allows you to protect IoT devices and other HideMyAss incompatible devices, such as smart TVs or game consoles.
If you already have a router, chances are you can set up HMA! up there. This VPN provider supports DD-WRT, Tomato, and OpenWRT, among other things.
Is it possible to use HMA on Netflix and Streaming?
HideMyAss! unblock US Netflix if you use their dedicated streaming servers in New York or Miami. I found the speed to be good enough to watch your show in Ultra HD mode, unfortunately, the Florida server provided a slightly slower connection.
Unfortunately, the streaming servers in the Netherlands, UK, and Japan don’t work with Netflix. In fact, HMA couldn’t even load the website properly, causing the website to fail. Hence, using HideMyAss for Netflix is only a good option if you’re happy with the US as your only option.
Speaking of other platforms, I unblocked BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO using HMA VPN. Amazon Prime isn’t available yet, but customer support makes sure they’re looking for a solution to this problem.
What about Kodi? Since it allows for a bunch of official and unofficial add-ons, you can definitely look for a way to get HMA to work on Kodi.
Does HideMyAss support torrenting?
Yes, HMA! VPNs allow torrents and offer good speeds, but only on P2P-optimized servers.
They have Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, and no leak, which is a big plus. But if I were you, I would be cautious about torrenting with HMA VPN. Here’s why:
- The company is headquartered in the UK – a country ready to invade your privacy
- HMA! has cooperated with the authorities in the past and makes no secret that they can do it again if needed
To stay safe while torrenting, choose one of the best VPNs for P2P.
Support: live chat, support tickets, and guides
HideMyAss VPN client department offers the following services:
- Live chat 24/7
- Support Tickets
- Basic knowledge
- Frequently asked questions
Their website is easy to use and you should have no trouble accessing the Support section. You are also accessible right from the app, which allows for creating diagnostic reports to help solve your problem faster.
HMA! There aren’t many tutorials and troubleshooting articles, but they cover a lot of more important topics. There are also community forums with topics on general VPN usage or specific issues with different versions of an application.
Alternatively, you can contact HMA’s customer service by filling in a support ticket or live chat 24/7 with HMA. This took a bit longer than some of the top VPNs, but I got what I wanted, plus their agent was both polite and knowledgeable.
Can you get a better VPN than HMA for that price?
Below are HMA’s prices! for Black Friday 2020. Regular price lists are usually scattered across different websites and you will rarely find all of them available in one place.
- 12 months for $ 4.39 / month
- 36 months for $ 2.99 / month
As you can see, HideMyAss! cheaper ExpressVPN but more expensive than NordVPN or CyberGhost.
You can pay with a credit card, UnionPay, or PayPal – no cryptocurrencies. There is a 7-day free trial available, but is essentially a money-back guarantee and needs your payment details. After the trial period, you will automatically be charged $ 83.88 for the 12-month plan.
HMA VPN’s refund policy allows a 30-day refund, valid after a 7-day trial, but comes with conditions attached – it only works if you don’t exceed your capacity and session limits use. To me, it was a very sneaky and reckless move that wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the HMA documents.
In the “How do I unsubscribe?” Section, updated on July 18, 2018, HMA makes no statements about bandwidth or (re) connection limitations. However, on December 20, 2018, the article “How to apply for a refund” states that you will not receive money if you use 10GB of bandwidth or more or have 100 or more user sessions.
Should I use HideMyAss?
As my HideMyAss review shows, this is a pretty cool service with some cool features, but also some negligence.
If security and privacy are really important to you, then choose something from My List of the Best VPN Services.
However, there is one unique feature of HMA – that’s available in over 190 countries. So if you get caught up in some love triangle on Tinder in Bermuda and still have some unwatched Turkish police comedy Behzat C on Netflix, you won’t find a better VPN. HideMyAss.