HideMyAss, also known as the VPN donkey, is one of the most popular VPN providers in the market. Its great success is partly due to its being one of the oldest VPN services on the market. Besides that, HMA features a vast array of features that makes it a very flexible VPN suitable for multiple tasks.
The company has created one of the most user-friendly VPN client. Its design is attractive and intuitive. As you will discover in this Hide My Ass review, inexperienced users can even download a simplified version of the client to access all HMA functionalities easily.
The company has its headquarter in the UK. That means that in compliance with local regulations the company is forced to keep logs of your activity.
This is often pointed as a major privacy issue, and therefore some consider HMA not a reliable VPN service. This is quite questionable.
It all depends on what you need a VPN for.
Basically, the logs policy should be of concern to you only if you are planning to use your VPN for tasks that are somewhat illegal. (Read more in the “Privacy & Security” section)
Otherwise, Hide My Ass will perfectly protect your digital identity, and you don’t have to worry about anything. We can easily say that for about 90% of users, HideMyAss VPN is one of the best choices on the market.
CONSIERING THE COMBINATION OF STRONG ENCRYPTION AND FEATURES THAT COMES WITH IT, HIDEMYASS IS ONE OF THE BEST DEAL IN THE VPN MARKET
Before getting into all the details of HMA features and security standards, let’s see a list of the main highlights of this VPN provider;
- Unmatched server network
- Unlimited traffic
- Unlimited Server switch
- P2Pand BitTorrent allowed
- Great performances
- Excellent encryption algorithm
- User friendliness
- Affordable price
- Hidemyass Proxy List
- 2 simultaneous login
- 30-days money back guarantee (try HMA risk-free)
Our HMA review will get into these details, and we will test them to see how this VPN provider performs.
Table of Contents
- 1 Overview
- 2 Does HideMyAss Unlock The US Netflix Library?
- 3 Price & Plans
- 4 The Website
- 5 Signing Up And Software Download
- 6 The New “Super-Easy” Client
- 7 Privacy & Security
- 8 Speed Test
- 9 Customer Support
- 10 A Wide Range Of Add-on Features
- 11 HideMyAss Review Conclusion
It is relatively easy to fall in love with this VPN provider.
Inexperienced users are attracted by the friendly interface while advanced customers can enjoy the many features that come with it.
First of all, HideMyAss has the most fantastic server’s network in the industry. Once you subscribe to anyone of its plans, you will have access to an incredible network of over 700 servers located in 320+ locations. The servers are distributed in more than 190 countries and have at heir disposal more than 94.000 IP addresses.
THE VAST NETWORK OF VPN SERVERS AROUND THE GLOBE MAKES HMA ONE OF THE MOST FLEXIBLE AND ALL-PURPOSE PROVIDERS ON THE MARKET
These numbers are pretty impressive and unmatched in the industry. The network keeps growing almost on a monthly base.
To begin with, this is good news since such a wide net of server gives you an incredible flexibility and you can totally enjoy what a VPN connection is for.
Whether if you are traveling or you want to access any website around the globe, HMA always has a server in the Country you need. Just pick a server in the location you need, and you will appear like connecting from wherever you like around the world.
With this simple operation, you can access geo-restricted websites, avoid censorship, hide your IP address and get full access to your digital freedom.
Strongest Selling Points
There are a few things that make HMA one of the most appreciated VPN on the market.
The connection speed is excellent. It is not as good as ExpressVPN, but we used Hide My Ass to watch stream content, and we never experienced buffering.
The client is a high selling point. It is not intimidating.
Especially if you use the new version 3 of the software, you can control your VPN connection with just a few clicks. Inexperienced users are very comfortable with this client that makes using the VPN as easy as it can possibly be.
If you are an experienced user, the version 2 of the software will allow you more customizations than version 3. Using version 2 you can set your VPN connection as you like. But we will get into the details of the client in the section “The New Super-Easy Client.”
HideMyAss provides some additional features that you may find interesting like:
Customer support is excellent. The Live Chat is available 24/7 and the response time is extremely quick. It may look like a detail, but when you use a service to protect your privacy, you need an efficient customer support in case of problems.
Of course, as with any other VPN provider, HMA has some downside.
For instance, it would be better if the company had a no-logs policy.
That would make HideMyAss 100% secure even when torrenting copyrighted material. But other than that this VPN provider confirms its status of one of the best VPN on the market.
Overall, HideMyAss is a multi-purpose and highly efficient VPN that can meet the needs of the vast majority of users.
HIDE MY ASS IS A USER-FRIENDLY AND EFFICIENT VPN PROVIDER. EVEN LOW-TECH USERS WILL FIND IT VERY INTUITIVE
Does HideMyAss Unlock The US Netflix Library?
Yes, HideMyAss unlock the Netflix US Library.
We had a chat with the customer support to understand if HydeMyAss unlock the US Netflix library in 2017.
They have reported that recently the server “USA NY Liberty Island” has been updated and you can now access Netflix from here. You just need to go to the server list in your client and locate this particular server in NY area. Once you are logged in you can now navigate to Netflix US and watch your movies.
NOTE: Netflix US will not work if you connect to any other server in the US.
Besides Netflix, HideMyAss works perfectly at unlocking any other geo-restricted content.
Thanks to the many countries where you can find available servers, there is practically no website that cannot be unblocked.
Just connect to the Country where the website is originally from, and the magic will happen. You will appear like connecting from inside the Country, and the website will allow you full access to its contents.
Price & Plans
Like almost any other VPN provider, there are 3 different subscriptions available.
Each plan is all-inclusive. The most convenient plan is the one-year subscription that makes you save 57% on the regular price.
If you go for the 1 year subscription, you will enjoy your VPN for just $6.55 per month (only $0.20 a day.)
Considering all the features included and the performances of this VPN, this is an excellent price. Hardly ever you can find another VPN provider offering you the same quality for such a low price.
You can rely on a 30 days money-back guarantee policy that you can use to test the service. That’s enough time to decide if you’re happy with it or not.
Just be careful because conditions apply to Hidemyass 30 days money-back guarantee. You can request a refund only if:
- your bandwidth usage is less than 10GB (the total of upload and download activity through the VPN)
- you have not exceeded 100 sessions (the number of times you have connected to the service)
- you have not previously claimed a refund (e.g. for another account)
- refund policy doesn’t apply to orders on Google Play and Apple iTunes Store
If you stay within this conditions, you can trust the guarantee offered by the company. You can test the service risk-free.
The payments methods accepted are:
- Bank/Wire transfer
Bitcoin is not among the options.
We would be very happy to see Bitcoin payment implemented in the future since it will add an extra layer of security for subscribers that need to be totally anonymous.
The website has a fresh look and is very easy to navigate. In the homepage, you will find a few straightforward and well-organized information that gives you an overall view of the services offered.
If you want to explore the different features of the service, you need to click on the top menu “Tools & Contact.”
A drop-down menu will give you access to several areas of the website including the HideMyAss Proxy List. Here you will find even the blog where interesting information about online security is regularly posted.
Signing Up And Software Download
The process to sign up is very simple and straightforward:
- Select the plan you would like to subscribe
- Enter an email address
- You’ll be redirected to the payment page
- Proceed with the payment
- Open your account page
- Under the section “Software & Help” you’ll find the list of all the software available (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linus)
- Download the software for your operating system (or you can even install it on routers to protect all your devices)
- You are ready to surf the net in total protection.
Alternatively, you can find the software download area even in the Homepage clicking on the top menu “Download VPN.”
The New “Super-Easy” Client
HMA Client Version 3
The company has recently released a new version of its client. The VPN donkey has always been a user-friendly VPN provider, but the new software version 3 has taken the usability to a higher level.
The software is amazingly simple.
It is of great help if you are inexperienced. However, even if you are an advanced users you will appreciate its practicality.
From the main page, you can connect just clicking the big connect button. That’s it.
To select the server you want to connect to, you have three options:
- Instant mode. It will automatically select the fastest server closer to your location. With this mode, you will always get the highest speed possible at any given time.
2. Location Mode. You can manually choose the country and city where you want to connect from. You will use this feature if you need to unlock any geo-restricted website or avoid censorship. For instance, to unlock US Netflix Library you go to the US server list, select “USA NY Liberty Island” server, and you can now access Netflix.
3. Freedom List. It selects the fastest server in Countries nearby your location where the Internet usage is not restricted. It is very useful when traveling to countries like Turkey or China where the Government ban certain websites. The VPN client will look for a server in a nearby Country that allow you to avoid the censorship.
When you connect using the new Software Version, your connection will be protected by Open VPN protocol. This is the protocol that guarantee the highest level of security.
The new software, anyway, doesn’t give you access to several features like the Kill-Switch, Ip Binding and so on. These options are only available in the version 2 of the software.
HMA Client Version 2
If you want to have total control and enjoy your VPN connection to the full, you need to download and install the version 2 of the software.
This is the most comprehensive version. Through this software you can customize your VPN connection as you like. This is the software that allows you to enjoy the full potential of HideMyAss.
However, this version is better suited for experienced users. Otherwise you just have to play with it for a while and you’ll master all the features in no time.
The Client Version 2comes with several interesting functionalities among which you can find:
- IP Address Settings: From here you can manage your assigned IP address. You can either change it manually or schedule a change. You can decide, for instance, to change your IP address at regular intervals automatically. It is a feature that will greatly enhance your security and will make you totally untraceable. You will experience a short period disconnection every time the software changes your IP address. The IP checker instead is a handy tool to make sure your real IP is hidden, and you are not the victim of an IP leak.
- Secure IP Binding (Kill Switch): We love this functionality. From this window, you can set a list of applications that cannot connect to the Internet unless the VPN is active. IP binding prevent accidental information leaks like, for instance, if you have applications that update automatically. The update could start at a time when the VPN is off, and so your data is unprotected. IP binding will prevent that not allowing the application to go online unless the VPN is active.
- Speed Guide: Are you looking for the best performing servers? The speed guide will help you in finding them. You can choose between a Ping Test, Express test or a Full test. For the first two, the test will take just a few seconds. The last one is more accurate and comprehensive, but it takes a while to be completed. Speed test can only be done when the VPN is disconnected.
Privacy & Security
The VPN donkey supports all the major VPN protocols. You can consult the following comparison table to understand how different VPN protocols work and the level of security they guarantee.
|Info||Open-source VPN protocol with modular network design and cross-platform portability; licensed under GNU-GPL||Basic VPN protocol, first VPN protocol supported by Windows. Based on PPP and most common protocol.||Tunneling protocol that uses IPSec for security/encryption and works via UDP|
|Encryption Strength||OpenVPN is using OpenSSL with algorithms 3DES, AES 256, RC5, 256 bit encryption for control channel (e.g. password, authentication, etc.)||PPTP is using MPPE protocol for encryption, with RSA RC4 algorithm and 128 bit keys||L2TP is using IPSec for encryption with 256 bit key for encryption, 3DES/AES algorithm|
|Usage||via client application that needs to be installed, using *.ovpn config file, username+password||via device/OS built-in client, using username+password+server address||via device/OS built-in client, using username+password+server address and preshared-key|
|Speed||Depends on many factors, there are no fixed rules on what speeds can be achieved with a certain protocol. Using OpenVPN via UDP is generally faster than via TCP.||Depends on many factors, there are no fixed rules on what speeds can be achieved with a certain protocol.||Depends on many factors, there are no fixed rules on what speeds can be achieved with a certain protocol.|
|Stability||Very stable protocol on all kinds of connection (WLAN, wired, mobile, etc.)||Comparatively unstable, often caused by compatibility issues with GRE protocol on routers and ISPs||Proven as stable as OpenVPN on various kinds of devices, networks and operating systems|
|Supported Devices/OS||Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, DD-WRT, etc.||Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, DD-WRT, etc.||Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, iOS, Android, DD-WRT, etc.|
|Security||OpenVPN does not have any major security issues, it's the protocol of choice for max. VPN security||There have been several security vulnerabilities found in Microsofts PPTP implementation, e.g. against dictionary attacks||L2TP is considered very secure due to the fact that it's being used along with IPSec.|
|Ports Used||OpenVPN-TCP is using TCP port 443, OpenVPN-UDP is using UDP port 553 (can be configured to use other ports)||PPTP is using TCP port 1723 and GRE Protocol 47||L2TP/IPSec is using UDP ports 500, 1701, 4500 and ESP protocol 50|
|Advantages||Best speed and security, gets past most firewalls and network/ISP restrictions||Easy setup/configuration, good speeds, supported by biggest number of devices||Easy setup/configuration, bypasses restrictions by networks or ISPs|
|Disadvantages||Less easy to setup than other VPN protocols, poor support by some mobile devices, requires to install a client application||Stability may vary depending on network Does not offer government level security Easy to be blocked||Slower speeds, easy to get blocked|
|Conclusion||OpenVPN is the protocol of choice for max. security as well as for speed when connecting via OpenVPN-UDP.||PPTP is easy to setup and use with decent speeds, but can result in unstable connections. Less secure than other VPN protocols.||L2TP usually achieves lower speeds than other protocols, but its ability to bypass network restrictions and strong security make it a good choice.|
For security purpose, remember that HMA is based in the UK, and due to National regulation, they have to store logs of your activity.
Simply said, if for any reason you have to go through a legal investigation, the company may be forced to disclose details about your Internet usage.
However, a legal investigation is not something that happens every day and to every user. You will face it only if you engage in serious illegal practices otherwise nobody will ask to access your logs.
Our suggestion is to be careful when using HideMyAss for potentially illegal activities like P2P or BitTorrent. Avoid connecting to servers located in Countries with an active Internet surveillance like the USA, Canada, Uk, and Australia.
Alternatively, you may consider some of the best no-logs VPN providers like ExpressVPN that will guarantee full protection even in this area.
You may want to read our guide on how to download Bittorrent safely where you can find a list of the best VPN for torrenting.
If instead you don’t care about P2P and BitTorrent or you don’t engage in anything that may lead to a legal investigation, HideMyAss guarantees you an excellent level of security and privacy.
HideMyAss protect all your data using OpenSSL with algorithms 3DES, AES 256, RC5, 256 bit.
This is a strong encryption protocol that hides your sensitive data to any third parties either if they are government agencies, hackers, cyber criminals or else.
Once your data is encrypted, it will be transformed into an unreadable code. Even if someone intercepts it, it will be totally useless because they can not read it.
This type of encryption is the same one used by military organization because it is tough to break.
Therefore your digital life is entirely safe and you can browse the net worry-free.
HMA GUARANTEES AN EXCELLENT LEVEL OF SECURITY FOR USERS THAT DO NOT ENGAGE IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES
We performed the speed test for our HideMyAss review from Europe, and the results have been kind of interesting.
As you can see from the screenshots below, the overall speed has always been good. The difference in speed with or without VPN was just minor.
It was surprising to see that while connecting to servers in the USA, performances were still excellent. Despite the long distance, the difference in speed was insignificant or, in some case, even better than servers closer to our location.
In the event of speed problems, we’ve found pretty unique the functionality that emulates the servers of some Countries without connecting to the Country itself.
It sounds a bit confusing, but it is pretty simple.
For instance, if you are connecting from Australia but you need an IP address in the USA, you can log in to a server in Sidney that will make appear like you’re connecting from USA.
In this way, you will have the US IP address you need, but the connection will be faster since you are connecting to a server closer to your location.
This functionality is available only for a few countries, mainly USA and UK.
During the speed test, we checked even for IP leaks, and we never had one.
Customer support is excellent. It is available through;
- Live Chat
- Ticket support.
We tried to get in contact through the live chat late at night to see how efficient it is. To our total surprise, we got in touch with an agent in less than a minute.
We repeated the experiment several times at different hours, and we always got a response within a few minutes.
This is definitely an efficient customer support and a big plus for a VPN provider.
Either when asking general information or technical assistance, the customer service was always knowledgeable and helpful. They were able to assist us in real time and to address our issue promptly.
To have a good customer support is important for a VPN provider.
After all, we are talking about your security, and if you experience any problem with your VPN, you cannot wait for days to have your problem solved.
CUSTOMER SUPPORT WORKS JUST FINE. IN A FEW MINUTES THEY WILL ASSIST YOU 24/7
A Wide Range Of Add-on Features
Hidemyass comes with several features for its customers. Some of them are free and very useful to enhance your security online.
#HideMyAss Free Web Proxy
You can use this feature even if you don’t subscribe to a VPN plan.
Anyhow, you need to remember that this service has several limitations. First of all, your IP will be masked but your data is not encrypted.
Speed is considerably slower than using the VPN service, and it doesn’t work for streaming or gaming.
When you subscribe to HideMyAss Proxy List, daily you will receive a list of Proxy servers that have been tested during the last 24h and are for sure working.
HMA sends out between 500 and 1000 IP:Port proxies every day and they are all HTTPS, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5.
Hidemyass will email you the proxies in raw .txt format on a daily basis.
The service costs only $24.95 for a lifetime subscription.
This free tool allows you to create a new temporary email account when you don’t want to use your real email.
It can be useful, for instance, when you subscribe to HideMyAss or any other VPN service if you want to keep your email secret. Or when you subscribe to any other service, and you want to avoid spamming and advertisement.
You decide for how long the email account will be active with options that go from 24h to a maximum of 24 months. After that the email account will be automatically deleted.
If you need to post a link to another website, but you don’t want the website’s owner to track back to you, you’ll find this tool very useful.
The Anonymous Referrer will generate a link to your target website that you will use instead of the original one.
When you create a link using Anonymous Referrer tool, it is impossible to know who created the link and to trace back to you or your website.
These extensions are compatible with Chrome and Firefox only.
It includes an IP checker to know instantly if your real IP address is masked and single click activation for Web Proxy.
Only for Chrome, there is even a Panic Button that hides all your browser’s windows with just one click. You can even protect the windows with a password.
To use the extensions you have to pay a monthly fee.
HideMyAss Review Conclusion
HideMyAss VPN has become one of the most popular VPN providers on the market for good reasons. Our review confirms that its good reputation is well deserved.
We really like its user-friendliness.
The software is incredibly simple to use and especially the new client version 3 makes managing the VPN connection like a breeze. Alternatively, the old version 2 of the software is still easy to use but gives you access to a lot of functionality to enjoy the service to the full.
HMA still store some of your logs, and that may be a problem for some users. If you love torrent and P2P and this is the main reason why you are considering a VPN connection, this is not the right service for you. You should look for “no-logs” VPNs like ExpressVPN. Here is a list of no-logs VPNs you can use for torrenting and P2P.
In any case, if your use of a VPN is entirely legal (as it should be!) this privacy issue in not a problem at all.
All in all, the VPN donkey is an excellent VPN service.
The incredible number of servers around the globe makes this provider a very flexible VPN. With so many servers and IP addresses available, any geo-restricted content can be accessed.
HideMyass once again proves to be one of the best VPN on the market and an excellent choice for the vast majority of users. It combines amazing flexibility and user-friendliness for a superior user experience.
|Rank||VPN Name||Rating||Monthly Price||Website|