Hidemyass (HMA) is owned by Privax Limited, a London-based company with its registered office in London, England. The company has been operating since 2005, and today boasts as the proud owner of top-notch VPN service.
Pricing and Packages
HideMyAss pricing plans are offered in three different denominations – each loaded with the full range of features and functions that make HideMyAss a globally recognized trend setter in the VPN industry.
Here is a snapshot at HMA order page showing 3 of HMA usual plans, prices, discounts and per month costs.
At $ 11.52, the Kick-ass plan (1 month) is slightly higher than the industry average. But given the absence of any free trial, this one will come as a handy option for users new to the VPN world.
Go for the Half-ass (6 month) plan in case you are not a first-timer. It is priced at $49.99 which spreads to a friendlier $8.33 per month. This plan will give you a 27% saving a month in comparison to the first option.
The most suited plan is obviously HMA’s full year plan. At $78.66, it gets you a superb discount of 43% and costs just $6.55 for a month. If you have already established a good connection of trust on HMA, go for this one.
You do not need to worry if you experience dissatisfaction in using the HMA service even after you have used some your HMA subscription. They have a credible 30 day money back guarantee so you could test drive their service at all levels.
In addition to the above three plans, HMA also offers deals for business and bulk customers. Scroll down on the official HMA page and hit ‘Business Sales’ if you’re looking for one of custom bulk plans for your workplace, school or any other setting.
HideMyAss Speed Test
All VPNs impact internet speed to some extent. This is because VPN makes a private gateway for encrypting, securing and transporting your online data.
Even though HMA has more users than many big providers, it has been able to manage its VPN servers quite effectively by distributing bandwidth loads. Hence, you would find HMA to have decent speeds in most times of the day.
Here are the speed test results for HideMyAss for a Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Luxembourg servers. You can do one for yourself using HMA’s built-in speed test tool.
I used a 10 Mbps internet connection and ran the speed test at the peak time (between 8pm-10pm). To make the test objective and accurate, I made use of PPTP protocol, the one that is known to have the lightest load on your internet speed.
As you can see, the download test result is quite impressive, with only a few turns offs for Amsterdam servers. The upload speed, over 100 KB/s, is also really consistent for most of HMA servers.
The ping time isn’t very impressive, but its consistency shows that you won’t experience great fluctuations once you are used to HMA.
HideMyAss: Server Coverage
HideMyAss has the widest server base and coverage that extends to 180+ countries and 300+ locations. With a single HideMyAss VPN plan, you get an unlimited amount of bandwidth and usage from HMA’s 840+ VPN servers.
Altogether you have over 113,550 IP addresses to switch from, and you won’t have to incur any additional cost for all that.
Because of rising demand in the past year, Hide My Ass has smartly outdone other VPN providers in server expansion and coverage.
HMA Protocols and Encryption
HMA supports all major protocols needed for the secure transmission of online data. Three most preferred and suggested protocols, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP, come as default in the HMA client.
Encryption of online data is one of the most important reasons users sign up for premium VPN services. Effective encryption levels go up to 256 bits.
Encryption can take a slight toll on speed if your internet connection is not heavy duty. For this reason, it is advisable to use an encryption level that corresponds to your security, anonymity and accessibility needs.
- Just in case you are not aware, PPTP and L2TP are Microsoft powered tunneling protocols. PPTP generally uses AES 128 bit encryption, while L2TP makes use of a securer, 256 bit, encryption.
- Although not the best ones for security, both PPTP and L2TP are in wide use by VPN users due to their simplicity and lighter loads on speeds.
- Third protocol, OpenVPN, is flexible yet secure protocol which can apply multiple encryption algorithms as defined by the VPN provider. OpenVPN combines security with speed to get the best performance for your VPN.
Log and Privacy Policies
Like all credible VPN services, HideMyAss won’t store information about your web sessions and browsing history. HMA has a strict no log policy and it cannot monitor what you do (or don’t do) over the internet.
However, you need to provide a minimum amount of information which HMA must collect to establish and register your VPN subscription. This includes username, email address, password (encrypted) and IP address with which you are using your VPN. The good news is that this information be used to identify what data is being transmitted through the VPN connection. You can thank encryption for that.
Remember that the HideMyAss VPN service has a more trustworthy setting than its free web proxy. In that, HMA must collect information related to your date & time of proxy use sessions, and even the files and websites you viewed via the web proxy. Like all providers, HMA stores some of your VPN data such as use of bandwidth and IP addresses being accessed. This is necessary for effective server and load management for a VPN service provider.
HMA Software and Device Compatibility
HideMyAss has one of the most user-friendly and easily configurable VPN clients. The service has dedicated VPN software for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac users.
In addition, you can also use HideMyAss for your gaming devices and TV consoles by configuring your router. This includes internet enabled devices such as Apple TV, PS3, XBOX and Boxee Box.
Linux users can only avail a CL client to configure HMA; they haven’t yet developed a user interface for Linux operating system.
The user interfaces for Windows and Mac clients are really simple and sleek. No strings attached with HMA super-fine VPN software. Here is the first look into the dashboard of HMA’s windows client.
Options for email support, live chat and forums are available at the top rightmost part of the user screen. This is something you will not find in VPN clients from other providers.
Further, there is an extensive ‘map overview’ of the available (active) servers in different locations. The following one is one of United States. Note the active server count in different locations.
HMA supported models for Mac included Tiger / Leopard / Snow Leopard / Lion / Mountain Lion / Mavericks. The user interface appears to be much like same as that of Windows client. See below.
The IP settings options came as really surprising for me. It shows up a short view of your new and change IPs/ISP locations so could be sure in an instant from where you have connected your VPN with.
There are also options for Quick VPN Country Change and Quick IP Address Management in case you are in need to appear with a specific country or IP.
Payment Methods and Portal
HideMyAss has a secure payment gateway and you can choose from among several options to settle your subscription.
Payment via credit card (visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) will get you the quickest success with sign-up. PayPal, being the most common means for online payment, is also a popular payment means for settling your HMA dues.
PayPal holders get an additional security for payment and refund of service because HMA gets PayPal collections only after a certain date. Web Money is just another effective alternative for PayPal, even though it is not as popular.
Bitcoin, amongst the newest additions in the payment tray of HMA, is gaining some acceptance amongst users who do not wish to leave any of their personally identifiable financial information with HMA.
Being anonymous payment, you could be sure that HMA won’t become the cause of any leak of your financial data in any way.
HMA has one of the most comprehensive customer support plans you will find in the VPN industry. Depending on your needs, you can avail HMA support via live chat, email, knowledge base, jargon buster and set up guide.
HMA’s live chat support is up during 8am-10pm GMT, or 12 hours so to say. Emails are answered within 24 hours, but you should only go with it if the issue you’re facing needs expert-level assistance. There used to be an On-Call facility for HMA users in the past but HMA has turned off that option for some time now.
Keep in mind that HMA has a very extensive knowledge base on its website. So before you go for any other option, do have a short look into HMA’s extensive knowledgebase.
Conclusion and Recommendations
If experiencing with complex VPNs are not your class, don’t think for the second time while signing up for HideMyAss. It has established its name as the VPN of choice for privacy and security mindset.
HideMyAss has 400+ VPN servers in North America, 300+ VPN servers in Europe, 60 in Asia, 43 in Africa, 20 in Oceania, 14 in South America, and 6 in Central America. No wonder it ranks as one of the top VPN service providers online.
HMA has a room for improvement in a couple of things. It needs to make its pricing packages a bit more flexible to make them appealing for VPN first-timers.