There is a stern competition going on between VPN providers nowadays. There’re hundreds of options in the market, with each one promising to provide you with total freedom. However, it is no longer sufficient to guarantee to unblock the most popular sites in the world or offer the best possible protection. In that case, we’ll review one of the most popular VPNs in the world, HideMyAss, and see if it offers something extra or not.
HideMyAss is a service with a comical twist, starting from its name and ending in some comical graphics littered all over its websites and applications. In terms of capabilities, however, nothing is funny about this provider. It has many claims that we will test one after the other. So, we welcome you to our hands-on HideMyAss 2019 review.
In our typical fashion, we will begin by providing you with some basic information about the provider. We want you to be able to easily compare it with the other alternatives you have, so we encourage you to first of all look at the pros and cons we have highlighted below.
- More than 100,000 IP addresses
- More than 850 servers in 190+ countries
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 30 days money back guarantee
- Unblocks Netflix
- Support torrenting
- Secure IP bind
- Server load balancing
- They keep log files
- Money-back guarantee WITH conditions
- Can’t unblock the Great Firewall of China
- Quite overpriced
- No DNS leak protection
HideMyAss ranks #5 out of 45 VPNs tested. Here are the best alternatives :
Is it a paid or a free VPN?
Operating hundreds of servers in more than 190 countries, HideMyAss is understandably a paid VPN. However, despite coming with a couple of shortcomings compared to the best VPN’s in the business, it’s generally considered to be overpriced.
When evaluating a VPN’s performance, the two most important factors to review are speed and stability. In this review, we will test how the service performs in terms of speed and stability.
HideMyAss operates a remarkable server network of more than 850 servers across almost 300 locations (cities). Since the United Nations has just 193 members, then it’s safe to say that the provider is literally everywhere!
Probably due to the hundreds of super-fast servers they have, we were able to get decent speeds that were sufficient for both multimedia use and regular browsing during our test. While we can’t really say that the service is the fastest we have seen, the speeds we got were decent.
Without VPN (we were located in London) :
EU Server (Paris) :
US Server (New York) :
Asia Server (Hong Kong) :
Operating almost one thousand servers in 287 locations and promising an uptime of 99.99 percent, HideMyAss is a quite stable provider. It is important for any VPN that’s worth its salt to be very stable, as it means users can be confident about their service and rely on them at all times.
Of course, accessing geo-restricted content on streaming services like Netflix is one of the primary reasons people come to VPNs in the first place. Therefore, how was HideMyAss’s performance in this aspect during our test?
Of course, it unblocks Netflix.
However, don’t expect to just connect to any of the provider’s server and go. Using random servers to unblock US Netflix may give you futile results.
If you, however, choose the Streaming option from the dropdown in the app, you will find two options – a US server and a UK server. Keep in mind that in the mobile application, you will need to locate these in the cities list within Location Mode.
During our test for this review, we connected to the US server and we promptly had access to Netflix without any hassle. Surprisingly, we were also able to connect to UK Netflix when we connected to the UK server. This is remarkable as most other VPNs only focus on unblocking US Netflix.
While BBC iPlayer has some of the most interesting content you might want to watch in the United Kingdom, it’s only available in the UK. Thankfully, with HideMyAss, we were able to unblock BBC iPlayer seamlessly during our test.
Although HideMyAss helps to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, the same can’t be said of most other streaming services. If you’re looking to unblock Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Sky, and Hulu in 2019, then you might need to look somewhere else.
The company is currently having issues with these services, and during our test, an agent told us that there is no estimated timeframe for when they will start working again.
When it comes to security, it’s kind of a mixed bag for HMA. You will soon know what we mean by that after reading the review below.
Where is it based?
HideMyAss is based in the UK, which is a significant red flag.
After all, the United Kingdom is one of the members of the Five Eyes Alliance. Simply put, the country doesn’t hide its data collection efforts at all and that’s a bad thing as far as Virtual Private Network is concerned. Thus, if you’re a VPN expert, then you might have concerns about this kind of provider.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union. Consequently, the European Union’s GDPR laws also apply in this country, which are designed to preserve your privacy rights and limit data collection.
The United Kingdom is, however, poised to leave the United Kingdom in the nearest future. Therefore, the question on the lips of VPN enthusiasts is what will happen afterward?
In truth, HideMyAss doesn’t usually seem to be upfront about being based in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, they cannot hide that information and they will need to verify their origin when asked directly. So, it’s not even surprising to learn that they take some information such as timestamps, your real IP, your virtual IP, and your username. And we are pretty certain that all the collected data can be utilized to see your online activities.
No matter if they stay or leave the EU, the fact that they are based in the UK will always be a problem as far as Logs are concerned. They HAVE to keep them for 30 days, it’s the law.
Since HideMyAss’s log policy has proven to be a problem in the past, we have taken our time to take a good look at it.
Like we mentioned previously, this provider is based in the UK and in the past, it has supplied data to the FBI. So, this is a clear sign that this service collects personal information, and we have found out that they actively collect the following data:
- Your username;
- Timestamps about your connection and disconnection time from the VPN;
- The total volume of data that you have transmitted;
- Your genuine IP address;
- Your virtual IP address;
As stated by HMA, the reason they collect this data is to prevent likely frauds against the provider. Also, the provider states that all the data collected will be deleted after 30 days, except the user’s username.
We don’t, however, consider this explanation to be good enough.
Besides, we are certain that the data they collect can help them to see your online activities, which somewhat beats the original purpose of utilizing a Virtual Private Network in the first place.
To ensure that nobody can see or track your online activities, the provider uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. This encryption is widely regarded as the most secure encryption in the world, and is the standard among VPN providers nowadays.
Apart from encryption, HideMyAss also offers support for OpenVPN, but that’s sadly the only available VPN. While other VPN services offer IPSec, SSTP, PPTP, and many other protocols, there is nothing like that with HMA as it believes only the most secure one should be available.
While we also agree in this review that you should use OpenVPN always, having a couple of extra options would have been great.
If you want to learn more about VPN protocols, read our guide.
Protection against leaks
HideMyAss doesn’t have DNS leak protection and IPv6 support. Both features have become a norm nowadays for VPNs, so we don’t quite understand why HMA has decided to leave it out.
It’s pretty disappointing and this fact may cause many potential users to look away from this service. In fact, many users have a bad review of this VPN because of this.
Despite the many obstacles, nothing can really stop torrenting from getting more and more popular. In fact, there’re millions of people around the world who buy VPN just for torrenting.
So, how well did HideMyAss perform in this regard during our test? Check out the review below!
Is torrenting allowed?
Remarkably, HideMyAss supports torrenting. Peer-to-peer traffic is allowed on 9 designated high-speed servers that are specifically optimized for peer-to-peer sharing.
To simplify things, the service has an interface that allows you to manually select your server location and enables you to navigate quickly to a list of specialized P2P servers.
While HideMyAss’s strong security systems perform an excellent job protecting your privacy, the service still keeps partial connection logs. Nonetheless, there’re two things you must keep in mind, First of all, if you are not close to the location of the P2P server selected, you may experience slower performance. In addition, HideMyAss closely keeps an eye on the things you are downloading so that you don’t download illegal files.
If you’re someone that is after complete anonymous torrenting, then this might not be ideal for you.
Is there a Kill switch?
HideMyAss’s client is pretty user-friendly, and luckily, it includes an inbuilt Kill Switch. For beginners reading this review, a Kill Switch is a feature that disconnects the whole internet automatically as soon as the server smokes.
With this, there is no risk of you losing either your anonymity or security in the event that this happens.
Some countries in the world have strict censorship policies, so most VPN providers don’t usually work in such countries.
However, there are still some VPNs that are capable of unblocking censorship in such countries in 2019. So, you might be wondering how HideMyAss performed during our test in this regard.
In censored countries
While HideMyAss has been effective in China in the past, it doesn’t seem to work in China any longer.
A lot of users may find out that the service is blocked in the Asian country. While the provider states in the knowledge base of their website that they will keep looking for ways to bypass the Great Firewall of China, they can’t really guarantee that it will work for now.
In restricted networks
Whether you are an employee or a student, you could find out that your access to some websites has been restricted. Regardless of the reason for the restriction, HideMyAss is capable of bypassing such restrictions. The VPN will encrypt the data and then hide what you’re trying to access from the network.
When a service has a lot of servers, it means there are more chances of you finding a server that is not bogged down with other customers.
In this regard, HideMyAss has a respectable 850+ servers at its disposal. Many users have a great review of this VPN because of this.
It is also important to consider the geographic distribution of the servers. While a lot of locations means there are more options to choose from, also make sure that regardless of where life takes you, you will always find a server nearby optimum performance. Impressively, HideMyAss has 287 server locations across 190 countries.
The geographic distribution of the servers is especially noteworthy as it covers regions usually overlooked by other companies. For example, it has many server locations across Africa, which is rare among VPN providers. Moreover, it operates servers in Russia, Turkey, and China, countries with stern internet policies. If you’re looking for a VPN that works in Canada, of course, this provider is a good option !
However, some users may be concerned about the provider’s heavy use of virtual servers. According to a representative we spoke to during our test for this review, about 225 out of the 287 server locations operated by HideMyAss are virtual servers. Just 62 servers locations are physical, and about 500 out of the provider’s 938 servers are virtual.
According to another representative we encountered during our test, the bulk of the provider’s physical server setup is located in Frankfurt, Miami, Prague, New York, London, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Seattle.
Of course, this is different from what the VPN lists on their site. So, it would make a lot of sense if future versions of the service can be more explicit about when you’re connected to a virtual server.
The company also has a couple of servers which are optimized for certain activities. For example, it has 9 designated servers for peer-to-peer sharing alone, so this is also impressive from the company.
Compatible devices and simultaneous connections
As we have already seen in this review, HideMyAss is a decent VPN. However, another thing you need to know before making your decision is to know the devices that are compatible with this service and the number of connections it can allow for at a time.
To make this review as comprehensive as possible, we have answered those questions below.
What device can I use with HideMyAss?
When it comes to the devices supported, this provider covers the basics.
It has native applications for :
Not only that, but it also provides mobile clients for iOS and Android, leaving you with no excuse for not protecting your identity. To cover any other kind of device, you have to download HideMyAss on a compatible and supported router.
It is vital to keep in mind that top-rated VPN providers often provide applications for Amazon FireOS and extensions for some popular browsers. Theoretically, while HideMyAss is capable of protecting all your devices, you will have to buy a Tomato or DD-WRT router, causing you to spend extra money.
How many simultaneous connections?
Another highlight is that the VPN can also be used on up to five devices at the same time, which is actually the industry standard. With this, your friends and relatives can also enjoy the VPN while using your account.
Client support is another factor you need to consider before committing to a VPN provider. Of course, we also had this in mind during our test, so we will review the company’s client support below.
How to contact it?
There are many ways to contact the support team should you run into a problem. You can submit a ticket on their official website or contact them through their 24/7 live chat support.
If those channels are inconvenient, you could also contact them through their social media pages.
However, contrary to the company’s claim that their live chat support is always available, no agent was available to attend to us during our test. Nonetheless, we didn’t need to wait long as a support agent finally responded after a couple of minutes.
Is it good?
While we checked out the provider’s support during our test, we really can’t say if its good or not. While it took some time for us to get a response, the agent that responded was friendly and knowledgeable when they finally responded.
You can also turn to some useful resources on their websites if you run into an issue. There is a series of guides on subjects such as geo-spoofing, online privacy, and cybersecurity on their website.
Apart from being informative, the guides are also engaging and funny, which is a reflection of the company’s quirky and fun personality. You will also find the provider’s detailed installation guides, knowledge base, FAQs, and a community forum.
Value for money
Everyone looking to make a purchase is looking to choose an option with the most value for money, right? That’s what we thought as well so decided to include the price comparison in this review to make it more detailed.
Like most VPN companies, HideMyAss offers a variety of subscription plans, which you can review in the table below.
For the monthly subscription, you will have to pay $11.99, which is considered by many people we consulted for this review to be costly for what is on offer.
The price is, however, more appealing if you consider its long-term subscriptions.
For instance, the 12-month plan is priced at $83.99, which is equal to $6.99 per month.
At $119.76, the 24-month plan is even easier on the pocket, saving you about 58 percent of the original price.
For a limited amount of time, you can also purchase a 36 month plan for 107,64$, which is actually cheaper than the 24 month plan ! Don’t miss out !
Since it’s quite porous when it comes to privacy and can’t unblock some media streaming services, we wish the prices were more affordable.
Means of payment
The provider offers a wide range of payment means, in a way to make everything easier for customers. While the VPN doesn’t accept Bitcoin payments yet, it still offers some nice payment means like:
- Credit or debit card
- Bank/wire transfer
Money back guarantee
Thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee, customers are offered the chance to test out the service.
It is worth noting, however, that users mustn’t exceed 10GB of data before asking for a refund.
Additionally, you can’t get a refund if you pay via Google Play or iTunes, so make sure you buy the plan from HideMyAss directly if you want to enjoy the money-back guarantee. A lot of people have complained about not getting their money back, but it’s usually due to their failure to read the terms.
It’s actually the extra features that determine the value of any VPN service in 2019.
So, how many extra features does HideMyVPN have and did we test them while compiling the review? Find your answers below.
HideMyAss has a load balancing feature which gives you information on which server has the fewest number of connected users.
Obviously, this is a way of making sure you enjoy faster speed. In fact, there are many users who have a great review of this service for this particular feature. We’ve also seen this with CyberGhost which is highly appreciable.
Secure IP bind
The provider also has a secure IP bind feature that can be used to create conditions for a particular app that you use.
The feature stops apps from running as soon as you’re disconnected from the VPN, making sure that the apps don’t run unless you’re protected.
This feature enables you to connect to a certain server. Simply put, it provides a straightforward function and also a list of servers in over 190 countries.
Once you click a city or country, the application will request for permission to connect to a VPN server in that location or you can choose to select a server manually from a list of servers available in that location. ]
Click the VPN server and the application connects to that particular server instantly. Again, it takes only one click to disconnect.
When this feature is enabled on HideMyAss, it will give you a new IP after a certain duration, to prevent nobody from tracking your activities online. However, it’s recommended to utilize this feature along with the Kill Switch in order to prevent you from getting exposed while changing your IP address.
This feature was particularly useful during our test.
The Freedom Mode is another feature that impressed us during our test. It allows you to connect to the speediest server located in the closest free-speed country. Actually, this feature is often useful for people who want to access services and sites that are usually restricted by their local governments.
While HideMyAss is a decent VPN provider, it has too many shortcomings to be considered a great provider. In particular, the fact that it’s based in a country that is a member of the Five Eyes means there will always be question marks over its greatness.
Of course, it worked well for unblocking Netflix during our test, it, unfortunately, couldn’t unblock a host of other streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Do we recommend it for anyone looking for the best VPN in 2019? We are not sure of that.
Michael is a talented writer who has dedicated a lot of time into making sure that everyone around the world can use the internet securely. Being an avid traveler, he has acquired a lot of experience while using different VPNs on his travels. When it comes to doing comprehensive “how to tutorials” or testing some VPN functionalities, he’s always the best pick ! He’s here to help you solve your VPN-related issues.