- Prices starting from $6.55
- 860+ VPN servers in 190+ countries (116850+ IP addresses)
- 30 days money back guarantee
- Fully compatibile on all Devices and Operating Systems
- Offers L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN and SSTP protocols
- Lazy tech-support and Live Chat service
- Unpopular data logging policy
- No free trial
These are undiscounted prices (even though the crossed out original prices indicate otherwise) that remain active on the HideMyAss website around the year. HideMyAss brings out any major discounts for customers a few times each year – so make sure you keep checking the website every time an international event comes around.
If you put aside the additional services that HideMyAss offers (more on this later) and judge HideMyAss strictly for VPN services, the only unique selling proposition that HideMyAss has is the server strength. It is perhaps the only characteristic that allows HideMyAss to stand tall and proud in the VPN industry.
HideMyAss has a separate tab on the home page totting 'Servers'. Not a lot of VPN service providers can do that, but HideMyAss does it with pride. I'm talking 860+ VPN servers spread out across in 310 locations in 190 countries. That gives HideMyAss the power to make over 116850+ IP addresses available for its VPN users.
A very large concentration of HideMyAss's servers is positioned in the United States (Over 300). The second largest concentration of HideMyAss's servers is located in European countries, followed by server counts in the UK region and the North American/Canadian regions. Asian, South American, Central American and African regions have at least one server in each country.
The server locator on the website is pretty nifty but I somehow feel that it would have been better if HideMyAss had presented a server-load distribution instead of a simple list boasting the server count.
HideMyAss offers OpenVPN,PPTP and L2TP on all servers – and I'm very impressed with the IP count listing as well, but all of that information is useless for me if I don't know how much load which server is currently experience. All that jazz does not really add more than a cursory utility to my user experience.
HideMyAss Android App
With HideMyAss Android App, you can not only secure your device but you can watch all the blocked movies and TV shows and can access all the blocked websites as well. Setting up HideMyAss on Android is a fairly easy task and you can set it up with ease without any hassle.
The HideMyAss App for Android is easily available on Google Play and can be downloaded for free. The app is supported by all the devices that have Android version 4.0 or up. For those of you who are wondering how much space does HMA Android App need to run on your devices, relax! It only takes 8.9MB of your storage.
The HideMyAss Android App lets you choose the server and the IP you wish to connect to. The efforts that were put in designing this app cannot be over looked because you can directly contact the Customer Support of HMA with the app as well! And it gives you a sign-up option as well, if you are not a user of HMA.
HideMyAss Android App is a great addition to your Android devices that works wonders and provides you restriction-free access to all the websites and ultimate security against hackers and malware.
It takes a mountain load of confidence to put an active speed-test tool in your VPN client. And I salute the courage that HideMyAss has for putting in three types of speed tests.
I decided to use the built-in speed testing tool and see what results I get. Sitting from my UK IP, I managed to get the following pings, upload speeds and download speeds when I ran the Express Test. Do remember that I ran these tests on the PPTP protocol.
I figured that these figures were ok if you consider that the fact that I'm using HideMyAss from a UK IP, so I decided trying out some alternative servers that were geographically dispersed. The scores I got were pretty impressive.
HideMyAss is owned by UK (London) based Privax Ltd. The company has been registered for over three years now and claims (on its LinkedIn page) to have over 10 million unique website visitors every month and over 150,000 active paying subscribers. With a workforce of no more than 50 people, Privax Ltd does not have a separate website and seems to focus entirely on providing privacy and security
The physical location of the company is 7 Moor St, London, London W1D5NB, UK.
As a pioneer in the provision of commercial VPN services, HMA is a king in the VPN industry! But HMA seems to believe that nobody cares about anything else but service quality; and that it is ok to fall short on other perimeters as long as service quality remains unparalleled.
While I can appreciate that there is a method to this madness: a single-focused consistency to HMA's somewhat bullish attitude to the rest of the VPN using community; this HideMyAss review is going to take a twist and give HMA credit only where it is due – meaning that there will be merciless demerits where there are weaknesses!
Protocols and Encryption
HideMyAss provides users PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols. Encryption levels for each protocol differ. I took the liberty of making sure that this HideMyAss review provides specifics on the encryption levels that each protocol provides.
PPTP: For encryption PPTP uses MPPE 128bit cipher with compression and MS-CHAPv2 authentication.
L2TP: L2TP is using IPSec for encryption with 256 bit key for encryption, 3DES/AES algorithm
OpenVPN-TCP: For encryption the cipher in use is CBC mode of Blowfish with encryption strength of 128bit, hash algorithm is 160bit SHA1, and the control channel is same TLSv1/SSLv3 DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA, 1024 bit RSA.
OpenVPN-UDP: Same encryption and security as OpenVPN-TCP, but working via UDP protocol. This allows better speeds and bypasses more restrictions.
HideMyAss uses a multi-pillared customer support system:
- HideMyAss Support Page (Knowledge Base)
Email (Support Ticket)
You can access the 'Email' feature through the HideMyAss support page (by clicking on 'Help'). The email page contains a simple form where you can select the nature of your query and provide details about your problem.
I decided to test HMA's customer support with two tickets – both placed within minutes of each other.
The first support ticket was opened on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 8:25 AM.
This is what I wrote:
I've been using VPN for some time now, but I like what you guys have to offer but I wanna know if you guys offer split tunneling. Because I can't see it any of your screen shots or the pages on your website.
I received no response for my support ticket and I was more surprised than disappointed at the apparent negligence. I thought my ticket would remain unattended and eventually go down the list so far that no sane person would scroll down to search for unresolved tickets that old. Boy was I wrong.
Little did I know that HMA would reply to both my support tickets in one response.
I opened the second support ticket on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM.
This is what I wrote:
Your support forum only shows instructions on setting up HMA VPN on XBOX via ICS on Mac. I have a PC with Windows XP, not a Mac.
The response came on the same day (which is great), at 06:03 PM (which is not so great). So zero points for timing!
The response was quite detailed, and the cherry on top was that HMA support chose to respond to BOTH my questions in ONE reply.
HideMyAss's Response (I decided to copy-paste a screen-shot for authenticity):
The LEAST they could have done was to indicate a combination of both support tickets in the subject line! Honestly is it that difficult!?
HideMyAss publishes service updates and press releases on its Blog all the time. The Blog is an excellent and quick way to learn about latest updates and offers.
The quick way to access the HideMyAss Blog is to scroll right down once you get to the official HideMyAss website. The second method is to 'Tools & Contact' on the yellow bar on top of the page to reveal the drop-down bar from where you can select 'Blog' under 'Connect with us'.
Clicking on 'Tools & Contact' will reveal the drop-down bar from where you can select 'Community' under 'Connect with us'.
Clicking on 'Community' here will take you to the official HideMyAss Forum where HideMyAss users discuss service related problems and issues.
Veteran HideMyAss users and HideMyAss personnel seem to be very active on the Forums, which is always a good sign and indicates a stable operation.
HideMyAss Support Page
You can access the HideMyAss support page by clicking on 'Help' on the yellow bar on top of the HideMyAss page.
The HideMyAss Support page is a great place to start if you are a first time VPN user. The support page is basically the headquarter of the HideMyAss knowledge bank. Here you can learn everything there is to know about service features and functions.
For all my readers who will not be fortunate enough to be up during the 12 hours when HideMyAss live chat support is available, I took the liberty of taking a screen shot of how the HideMyAss live chat icon will look. When the live chat staff decides to grace the live website visitors with its blessings, you will be able to see the following graphic in the lower right corner of your screen.
HideMyAss will provide you the option to Auto-Renew your subscription if you select either 'Credit Card' or 'Paypal' as a payment method.
Also, it merits highlighting that HideMyAss is not a big one for expansion where payment methods are associated.
Depending on which one of the four payment methods you choose to select, the HideMyAss website will forward you to the gateway for that payment method.
There is not client available for the Linux platform. Users wishing to configure HideMyAss on a Linux OS can download the interface-based HideMyAss client for Linux on request.
In the smart phone category, HideMyAss smart phone apps are also available (for the iPhone and iPad) on iTunes and the HideMyAss app for android is also out.
The Android app is the latest addition to the HideMyAss software family and much like the iOS app, it comes with the full range of HideMyAss features.
Setting up HideMyAss on a router can get slightly complicated. The HideMyAss website has a webpage with a list of recommended routers.
There is a tutorial available for just about everything, and if you don't manage to find a tutorial through the HideMyAss support page, there is sure to be a discussion on the subject in the HideMyAss forum.
The sign-up process begins with creating your account at HideMyAss. You will land at the 'Account creation' page no matter which subscription plan you click on.
Once you have created your account with your desired user name and password, the next stage is to select a payment plan and a payment method.
You can also set the file on timed self-destruct or set a download count after which the file will auto-delete. This is perhaps the only additional feature on the HideMyAss website that has any outstanding characteristics.
Testing the HideMyAss Software for Windows
I decided to take the HideMyAss client for Windows for a test run.
The 'Dashboard' is your basic login area, protocol selection menu and quick server-selection drop-down list.
Every time I tried to connect to a server, I ended up with a pop-up window notifying me that the server was loaded:
‘The server you are trying to connect to is loaded more than 30% of all other servers from the city’
The pop-up window would recommend another city to me and give me 30 seconds to decide if I wanted to connect to the recommended server. I would agree to the recommendation, only to be faced with the same message and again and this time faced with another server recommendation. Not cool!
The ‘Country Selection’ tool lets you be as picky as you please about server selection. You can sort countries based on protocol type, or you can explore the built-in map if you want.
The IP Address Settings tab will let you make changes to the time period after which the HideMyAss client will change your IP. The tab also has an IP address identifying option that lets you confirm if your IP has changed yet or not. Nothing special here really.
If you ask me, I think ‘Secure IP Bind’ is HideMyAss’s way of making up for the absence of Split Tunneling feature. It is essentially a fail-safe that allows HideMyAss to keep a check on application you use to connect to the internet.
The feature triggers (for applications you identify) when you forget to switch on HideMyAss before you begin using them. It also works if your VPN connection with the HideMyAss server disconnects for any reason during your surfing session.
In both cases, the Secure IP bind feature disables your application from connecting to the internet – until you reactivate your VPN by reconnecting to a VPN server. Pretty neat, but not an adequate substitute for Split Tunneling.
It has the largest number of VPN servers in the industry and is known to consistently deliver quality service. It rarely comes up with discount offers (only two actually: Summer holidays and New Year) and has a live chat support system that is online only 12 hours out of every 24. And it can do that because it is one of the best VPN services in the world right now.
I’ve been reviewing VPN service providers to know that HMA is one of the few VPN service providers that have chosen to minimize changes on the website.