HideMyAss VPN is one of the oldest VPNs in the market–but that doesn’t automatically mean its the best. They’ve gained a lot of bad attention, for giving out user information, but they also hold a larger and consistent user base. It can be hard to judge immediately if HideMyAss VPN is a “bad” VPN or a “good” VPN just by what people are saying about it.
Is there a reason HideMyAss is talked about everywhere? Is there truth to the legends of old, or is the service falsely touted as something it isn’t? Keep reading to find out the truth about HideMyAss VPN.
HideMyAss VPN is one of the most expensive VPNs. Its introductory pricing starts out at a hefty $11.52 a month, and a full year will set you back $5.99 a month. There is a middle ground of $6.99 a month for a half-year subscription. Payment options are versatile here with BitCoin and gift cards–which is great to see.
HideMyAss VPN does try to goad you into purchasing longer subscriptions through Bitcoin for some reason. You can’t buy one month with Bitcoin–only with other options like Paypal or through a card. Not cool.
Tons of other VPNS allow one-month purchases through Bitcoin, so I’m not sure what the issue is here. HideMyAss VPN doesn’t offer any free trials, but it does offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
HideMyAss VPN has a simple looking software. It’s gray around the edges with multiple tabs on the side and connection log information within the central dashboard. The main dashboard also has a few settings to configure as well in the corner. Here you can find launch options, load balancing, notification settings, and a few other small features.
The rest of the tabs feature country selection, IP address settings, secure IP bind, speed guide, proxy settings, and a billing & packages tab.
The country selection tab presents an attractive server interface where you can manually search through a search bar. You can also see the server lists below organized by countries and the nearest locations.
Some VPN applications don’t have good server organization, but HideMyAss VPN doesn’t fail here. There’s a map riddled with dots showing servers, but the primary interface feels very powerful and easy to search through thanks to the search bar.
The IP address settings tab can be useful if you’re looking to reassign constantly your IP address. However, I’m not sure how useful this feature is since it can cause connection interruptions (HMA does include this information by the feature that is helpful) of proving annoying when accessing sites where you may flag a security warning for changing IP addresses so much.
The secure IP bind is another name for an app kill switch–which is always good to see. This way you can set an application to only work behind the encrypted VPN connection.
The speed guide helps you find the fastest servers for you to connect to which can be helpful–even if most VPN’s try to connect you to a faster server by default.
Proxy settings let you add a manual proxy while billing & packages let you see but not change a slight amount of account details.
Overall, I think HideMyAss VPN app is decent. However, I can’t say that without some degree of caution. The first time I installed it, it wouldn’t connect to anything. I had to reinstall the application and restart my computer. Not only that but while I was trying to get it to work each time I had to end manually the process in Task Manager due to some glitch that would not let my VPN disconnect or close. After this major hiccup, the VPN app worked fine.
Connection times could be quicker–but I liked how easy it was to switch connections from server to server by just picking a new one.I would have also liked to see protocol switches, network kill switch, actual account access from the billing tab (like changing your password), or automatically supported proxies within the service itself.
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Mobile Software 8/10
HideMyAss VPN has a satisfactory mobile application that lets you connect to the VPN service within the application. It’s interface feels a little cheap, as it’s overly bright and colorful and pushing the donkey theme forward–but it’s performance and set-up were flawless. I was connected to a VPN within minutes. I think my experience with the mobile application was better than the PC software. I would have liked to see some more settings within the application (although I did like the option to switch protocols), as it is rather barebone.
Extra Services 5/10
HideMyAss VPN has a few extra services that could be helpful in very particular circumstances. They have an anonymous email service that lets you create a scapegoat email to fill in forms with. This could be useful if your signing up for a service but don’t want spam.
They also offer various browser extensions that are related to their primary VPN offering. One is a panic button that immediately hides all your browser tabs with one button. They also offer an IP address checker and a free proxy extension that changes your IP address. This proxy is a bit wonky, however, and doesn’t act as a fully fledged proxy.
Instead, you just click on it, and it lets you type a new address in the field. It’s like using the websites own proxy service inside the extension to route traffic through–compared to an extension that would connect to a proxy server and then just route all of your browser activity.
A lot of HideMyAss’s extra services are cheap little gimmicks not worth much investigation. They might have singular uses, but things like encrypted email, fully fledged proxy support and VPN routers are nowhere to be seen.
HideMyAss has a decent website stylistically (fan of mustard yellow much) even if it goes a little over-the-top with the donkey theme dubbing everything with some variation of “ass”–like smart ass plan. I would have liked to see much more details in the pricing schemes describing exactly what the VPN offers different from their competitors. It’s also hard to find a good list of what features HideMyAss includes.
Instead, there’s some graphics and spread out paragraphs in a VPN software landing page that doesn’t quite cut it for me. Why, pick HideMyAss VPN over any other VPN? I want you to tell me!
It’s not that HideMyAss isn’t trying to get people to buy it. It just feels like they are selling without actually giving information about the product. The main page just contains information about how a VPN works, and how much HideMyAss costs. While AirVPN’s website might feel a few years behind regarding website design, at least it answers the question “why us?”.
Overall, I felt like I had to explore HideMyAss’s website too much. Signing up works well, as you are just guided through the page to page to find your download, but the tab system for the menu’s websites isn’t very effective, or organized, or intuitively laid out. Even finding the download page can be tricky.
HideMyAss boasts that it has a lot of servers. Unfortunately, a lot of the servers are overloaded. Thankfully, the application lets you know that–but unfortunately, it can be a sort of trial-and-error process. Why let me see an overloaded server as an option?
I had to bounce between a couple of different servers within the application, as well as navigate between tabs before I found a server that didn’t raise a red flag. Even when I did find a server that wasn’t overloaded my speeds were still awful. More on that later.
HideMyAss VPN often gains a lot of scrutiny because of how it handles privacy and logging. It’s well known that they sold someone out guilty of criminal acts 2011. It was a good precedent to show how they use their logging policies. Just because a user uses HideMyAss VPN to become anonymous–doesn’t mean that they truly are–at least when criminal activity is involved.
They also collect information from the VPN service, and this can include the” time stamp and IP address when you connect and disconnect to [their] VPN service, the amount data transmitted (up- and download) during your session together with the IP address of the individual VPN server used by you.” This information is kept for two to three months, which is a considerable amount of time. The best VPNs don’t keep any logs!
While the encrypted email for HideMyAss seems appealing, it becomes less attractive when you consider that they “store the date and time of registration for the anonymous email service, your IP address, password, your actual email address (if you choose to supply it), and, of course, the actual emails themselves. You can delete your account and emails at any time, but your registration details are stored for no more than two years following the deletion of your account to be used as an identifier in case of any potential legal issues.”
The bottom line is that HideMyAss stores information for a long time. Is that information going to cause your trouble? If you file share maybe–if not, you shouldn’t have too many problems with their service.
HideMyAss also only has 128 bit blowfish encryption through PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec protocols.
I’m not going to make you wait for it–HideMyAss might be the slowest VPN we’ve reviewed so far. Testing it on Speedtest.net I received these mediocre speeds:
Deciding that these speeds were a bit saddening, I decided to check the manual speed through a BitTorrent download. Unfortunately for HideMyAss, I still only received a measly 1 Mbps download!
While HideMyAss has a few flaws, their support team isn’t one of them. In only a matter of seconds, Marge arrived on the scene. Marge did come off a bit like a sales agent–since she tried to get me to fix my speed issues and not cancel my service (my reason for the refund), but when I did insist that I wanted to cancel, she was extremely understanding. She explained she would forward my request to the billing team so I would get my refund.I received a refund only a day later. It’s just too bad I couldn’t pay with Bitcoin!
HideMyAss doesn’t have a good foundation regarding speeds or strong server selections–which is surprising since they are an industry veteran. Their website feels lacking without many details provided (although the checkout process and links provided do make for a quick first setup) and a lot of their extra services lack power or utility and are prone to poor logging policies. Overall, HideMyAss doesn’t seem to want to hide your ass that well, or provide the fastest service around. I guess if you don’t like their service you can count on good customer service!
Thanks for reading our HideMyAss review. Comment below with your experiences–head over to our forums to participate in discussion, or rate the VPN yourself to contribute to our community rating!