Review: HideMyAss (HMA) VPN

Quick Review: Long-term subscriptions are cheap. It’s very easy to install and use. The speeds are good. Doesn’t work well at unblocking Netflix streaming services outside of the UK. Missing some advanced features found in other VPNs

Overall Rating
4.5/5

There are many good reasons why you might want to hide your computer or mobile device’s identity when online. Using a VPN from a company like HideMyAss (HMA) is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. I’ve been using HideMyAss for quite some time and thought I’d write a review about my experiences of using it.

UPDATE: My HMA subscription ended and I now use NordVPN for VPN. The reason I moved from HMA to NordVPN is that NordVPN has a feature that enables me to watch US Netflix (I’m located in the UK) on my Smart TV

How Does HideMyAss Work

HideMyAss offers a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The VPN allows computers and other devices to connect to the internet in a way that means nobody else on the internet knows where you’re connecting from, what you’re doing or what data you’re sending \ receiving.

The VPN works by your computer connecting securely to a HideMyAss server in a country of your choice. The HideMyAss server then connects to the internet on your behalf, this is called proxying. If anyone tried to work out who you were and where you were located they would only see the HideMyAccess proxy server.

Why Do I Need A VPN

You don’t need a VPN, but they do have their uses. Below is a list of common things that VPNs are often used for:

Online Safety & Security

 A VPN hides your IP address (your computer’s internet address) and encrypts all your internet traffic, making it virtually impossible for third parties (good or bad) to track your online activities or determine your physical location.

Watching Porn

If you like your porn then you can safely go to your favourite porn sites without your internet service provider (ISP) logging your visit.

UK internet service providers are required by law to keep a record of all domains visited by customers. The logs can also be used by ISP online safety tools to show customers which sites have been visited.

Downloading Torrents

If you download films, music and software from torrent sites with software like uTorrent, then you will want to be using a VPN.

If your ISP detects that you are downloading from dodgy sites your internet connection may get restricted. The ISP could also potentially report you to authorities for copyright infringement.

By using a HideMyAss VPN all your ISP can see is that you’re connecting to a HideMyAss VPN server, they can’t see what websites you’re accessing or what you’re downloading.

Accessing Streaming Services In Other Countries

If you are located in the UK it is only possible to access streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, Paramount, Apple TV etc) that are intended for UK audiences.

However, with a HideMyAss VPN you can connect to one of their US proxy servers, which tricks the streaming service e.g. NetFlix, into thinking you are in the US and so you get US Netflix.

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It is also possible to use a HideMyAss VPN in a country outside the UK to access UK streaming services. For example, Brits abroad can use a VPN to access the BBC iPlayer or ITVX  when on holiday

Secure Public WiFi Use

A HideMyAss VPN can be useful when connecting to public WiFi, such as in airports, cafes, or hotels. The VPN encrypts your data, protecting you from potential cyber threats like hackers and identity thieves.

Pros: HideMyAss VPN

  • Cheap – HideMyAss subscriptions can be picked up very cheaply. Generally the longer the subscription, the better the value. HideMyAss regularly have sales throughout the year. Also check out coupon \ voucher sites which can give significant discounts on HMA subscriptions

  • Lots Of  Proxy Locations – HideMyAss have many servers in over 190 countries. The extensive network allows users to easily find a server that meets their needs for speed, location and bypassing geo-restrictions.

  • Fast – The HideMyAss VPN speeds are roughly the same as if I wasn’t using a VPN.

    The image below shows two internet speed tests In the UK that I performed. The top test is using the HideMyass VPN, the bottom test is without a VPN. As you can see using the VPN is very slightly slower for both download and upload speeds.

    HMA VPN Speed Test
    HMA VPN Compared To Virgin ISP Speed Test
  • Easy To Use – I think a lot of people don’t use VPN’s because they think they’re going to be technically complex and difficult to understand.

    The HMA software is really simple to use. There are no tricky questions during the installation. Using the software is simply a case of opening the HMA app and clicking ‘Connect’ for a UK VPN. If you want to connect to a different country, just select the location from the drop-down list and click ‘Connect’…….super easy

Cons: HideMyAss VPN

  • Missing Advanced Features – HMA isn’t packed with advanced features that you find with other VPN service providers. I think for the vast majority of people (me included) HMA has everything you need. If you’re technical and after particular functionality, it might be worth looking elsewhere.

  • Customer Service – I’ve only had to contact HMA customer service on one occasion and it wasn’t a great experience.

    I raised a support ticket about a problem with my activation code which should have given me a 3 year subscription, but when I entered it into the software it showed as expiring after one year. The issue was resolved by HMA sending me a new activation code, but for some reason, this took two weeks.

  • US Netflix – Accessing US Netflix from the UK is a hit-and-miss affair. To access US Netflix requires connecting to one of the HMA US servers. Sometimes it works and other times Netflix knows that I’m using a VPN and shows the error message below
Netflix Proxy Error - Access US Netflix
Using VPN To Access Netflix From The UK

Note: If you do get the error message above, it is worth trying different US based HMA servers until one works, hopefully. 

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Why Run HideMyAss VPN on a router

The most common way that people use HMA VPN, is to install the HMA software onto each computer or mobile device that they want to have a VPN.

Installing HMA software on each device has several disadvantages

  • The HMA software can not be installed on all devices e.g. smart TV

  • HMA VPN standard can only be installed on a maximum of 5 devices

  • It is a bit of a hassle having to install the HMA software on multiple devices and keeping it up to date

Having HMA VPN installed onto a router, means that every device that connects to the router for internet access is automatically protected by the HMA VPN.

Installing HMA VPN on a router has the following advantages:

  • Devices, like smart TVs, that the HMA software can’t be installed can access the internet using the HMA VPN

  • HMA VPN only needs to be set up on a single device, the router

To use HMA VPN on a router requires a third-party router from a company called Vilfo 

Note: HMA in the past allowed customers to use OpenVPN to connect a router to their proxy server. HideMyAss no longer support using OpenVPN 🙁

Conclusion: HMA Review

I’ve been using HMA for many years and never felt the need to move to another VPN provider. The main issue for me is the slightly annoying hit and miss access to Netflix US. Generally, HideMyAss VPN works well and is easy to use. 

If you’re looking to get a VPN give HMA a try. They have a free 7 day trial that you use to see if it does everything you want. 

 

FAQ: HideMyAss VPN Review

How Many Devices Does Hide My Ass Work On?

The standard subscription allows HMA VPN to be on 5 devices. The Family Plan subscription allows HMA to run on 10 devices

Which devices does HMA VPN work on?

HMA VPN can be installed on the following devices:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Android (Smartphone, Tablet & TV)
  • IOS (iPhone & iPad)
  • Linux
  • Router (limited)

Can HMA VPN be used for streaming?

Yes, HMA VPN can be used to unblock and stream content from various services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and others. However, its effectiveness can vary based on the specific server and the streaming service.


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