Competition between today’s VPN is rough. There are hundreds of options in front of you, each promising to bring you complete online freedom. However, it’s no longer enough to ensure the best possible digital protection or to unblock the world’s most popular websites. And that’s why certain VPNs invest plenty in building their own brand. One of the best examples of that is a VPN that we’ll talk about today – Hide My Ass VPN.
This VPN service comes with a comedic twist that begins with its name and ends in funny graphics found throughout the official website and its range of apps. However, when it comes to its capabilities, there’s nothing funny about Hide My Ass. It comes with numerous serious and impressive claims that we’ll test one-by-one. So, welcome to our hands-on review of Hide My Ass!
Just like in our other VPN reviews, we’ll start by giving you basic information about this VPN. We want you to easily compare different options you have, so the following table will most certainly come in handy. So, let’s start.
|Jurisdiction||The United Kingdom|
|Logs||Usernames, timestamps, and IPs collected|
|Number of Servers||900+ servers; 190+ countries|
|Encryption Standards||AES 256-bit; OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)|
|Speed Reduction||Up to 25% on average|
|P2P Support||YES (for legal torrents)|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers|
We know that many are searching for the best VPN for streaming. These VPNs can unblock popular streaming websites, allowing you to take full advantage of your subscription. So, let’s see if Hide My Ass works with Netflix and other services.
Media Streaming Support
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
And we have one more table for you in this introductory part. We’ll present our findings, so you can get a glimpse of what to expect from Hide My Ass. In case you don’t find any deal breakers, make sure to read the rest of this review.
The Bottom Line
|Pros||Easy to use; Simple installation; Plenty of server locations; Better than average speeds; Unblocks Netflix.|
|Cons||Data collection involved; No IPv6 leak protection; Missing basic features.|
|The Final Verdict||Hide My Ass can’t keep you protected online. However, we can recommend it for unblocking Netflix and downloading torrenting in a speedy manner.|
To truly get to know this VPN, we recommend you to carefully read the rest of this article. You can be sure that we’ve spent a lot of time testing Hide My Ass, which means that we can tell you how this VPN works, what to expect, and whether it’s worth the money.
Hide My Ass VPN – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review in 2019
Just like we do in our every VPN review here on TechNadu, we start by checking the background information on Hide My Ass. Then, we’ll go over the application, all of its features, check its performance and more. To learn about how we review VPNs, please click on the provided link.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Hide My Ass comes from the UK, collects your personal data and keeping them for 30 days, and has even leaked private data in the past. This isn’t a VPN to use if you want to be anonymous. Our Score: 1/10.
Needless to say, you want to find a trustworthy VPN service. And the only way to achieve this is by taking a close look at the VPNs’ background. We’re here to do the hard work, so here’s what you need to know about Hide My Ass VPN.
Hide My Ass VPN Jurisdiction
This VPN service is coming from the United Kingdom, which immediately raises a red flag. After all, the UK is one of the countries that doesn’t hide its data collection efforts and it’s a member of the 5 Eyes Alliance. Therefore, you must be wondering how’s it possible that a VPN could base its operations in this country? Well, let’s take a closer look.
First, let’s see the current situation in the UK. Last September, the European Court of Human Rights found that the British government’s data collection program to be unlawful. As revealed by Edward Snowden, the UK has been intercepting phone and Internet data and the government was sharing that data with other countries. However, this development doesn’t mean that the UK is obliged to stop data collection programs in the future.
It is also worth noting that the UK is still a member country of the European Union. This means that the EU’s GDPR laws apply in this country as well, which are made to limit data collection and preserve your right to privacy. However, the UK is poised to leave the EU not far from today, so the question is what will happen then, and will the UK do with personal data?
When it comes to Hide My Ass, they aren’t proudly telling that they’re from the UK. However, they can’t hide that fact and they’ll confirm their country of origin when directly asked. That’s why it’s not surprising to know that they collect some information like your username, time stamps, your real IP address, and your virtual IP address. And we’re pretty sure that all that data can be used to identify what you do online.
Hide My Ass Past Data Leaks
Back in 2011, Hide My Ass (HMA) handed over incriminating data to the FBI related to a LulzSec member. An individual named Cody Andrew Kretsinger was accused of using HMA’s proxy service to hack into the systems of Sony Picture Entertainment. In this case, HMA played the crucial role as this company was able to confirm the individual’s identity and its online activity.
HMA has altered its logging policy since then – however, it still collects data. Of course, paying for a subscription doesn’t mean that you don’t have to respect the law. And HMA never said that it doesn’t log data. Therefore, you just need to be aware that Hide My Ass in not a VPN that will make you truly anonymous – so adjust your expectations accordingly.
Supported Platforms & Devices
HMA has apps for many desktop and mobile platforms. However, it can’t compete with top-rated VPNs as there’s no Android TV or Amazon FireOS support. Our Score: 6/10.
Next, we will check the list of supported devices by Hide My Ass. Since HMA supports up to 5 devices within one account, you want to make sure that you can use on desktop and mobile devices as well.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, MacOS, Linux.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Routers||Compatible DD-WRT and Tomato routers.|
In terms of the supported devices, HMA covers the basics. There are native apps for Windows, MacOS, and Linux users. And when you’re on the go, you can rely on either Android or iOS. To cover any other type of devices, you need to install HMA on a supported and compatible router.
It’s important to note that top-rated VPNs usually bring apps for Amazon FireOS (Fire TV Stick and Fire TV), and they also bring Web browser extensions. In theory, HMA can protect all your devices, but you’ll need to invest in a DD-WRT or Tomato router, which is an added expense. Android TV users also can’t count on an official HMA app, which is a shame considering that there’s a native Android app for smartphones.
Installation & Initial Configuration
You can install HMA within minutes. The entire procedure is very simple and quite streamlined, so even complete beginners won’t have any problems. Our Score: 10/10.
To get started with HMA, you first need to sign up for a new account. Then, you can proceed to download the official app from its website. We’ve tested HMA on Windows, where its installation file takes around 15MB, which means you should download it quickly. When downloaded, double-click to open it.
Upon the initial launch, you’ll be asked for your user credentials. Once you supply them, you’ll see a message that your authentication has been successful and that you no longer need to supply your credentials. This is a standard procedure for any VPN these days, so nothing extraordinary here.
When it comes to mobile platforms, all you need to do is to download the official Android or iOS app from its respective App Store. Open the application, sign in, and you’re ready to go.
Hide My Ass barely covers the basic features. What’s surprising the most is that it doesn’t support IPv6 and asks you to disable this protocol altogether. Our Score: 3/10.
Every VPN offers plenty of interesting features, and some of them come with overly aggressive marketing messages. That’s why you need to focus on the basic set of features, and check whether your chosen VPN brings all of them.
VPN Features Checklist
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||NO|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
We were surprised to hear that even though HMA brings DNS leak protection, it doesn’t support IPv6. Instead, this VPN is asking its users to disable IPv6 altogether, which doesn’t look like a good long-term solution. However, the good news is that there’s a kill-switch, which blocks all your traffic once a secure connection becomes unstable, which is crucial with certain activities like torrenting or media streaming.
The question is if Hide My Ass is capable of protecting their users against data leaks? Well, that depends on which Web apps you use. However, it would be good to have IPv6 leak protection, as this isn’t some high-end feature. And when it comes to more advanced features, HMA will unlikely answer your prayers. It doesn’t have an ad-blocker, it doesn’t protect against malware, and there’s no split-tunneling support. As you can see, HMA is actually quite barebones.
Even though HMA has servers spread across the globe, it’s server network size can’t compete with those of top-rated VPNs. Our Score: 5/10.
If there’s an area where Hide My Ass truly excels, that would be its server network. Even though it doesn’t have the highest number of servers, they’re spread evenly across the globe. However, even this area isn’t without its problems.
Server Count Info
|Number of Servers||900+|
|Number of Locations||280+|
|Number of Countries||190+|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
As you can see, HMA has servers in 190+ countries, which is astonishing. However, things didn’t seem that great upon taking a closer look. Many of HMA’s servers aren’t located in the country they state – but they are rather virtual servers. This means that they could be located anywhere on the planet and they provide country-specific IP addresses. Therefore, we would have liked to see a nice list of virtual and regular servers, as Hide My Ass is trying to avoid this kind of transparency.
And when it comes to the total number of available servers, we have to say that some VPNs are numerous steps ahead. HMA offers 900+ servers and their server network has been stagnant for a while now, while top-rated VPNs have 5,000+ servers.
Ease of Use
HMA brings a very simple application whose interface is suitable for complete beginners. The only downside is that you can’t resize its window. Our Score: 9/10.
Hide My Ass VPN brings a mobile-like interface, which is common for today’s VPNs. The home page presents three options, so here’s what each of those can do.
- Instant Mode: This option allows you to let HMA decide which server works best based on your location. This is usually a nearby server which provides the most reliable performance.
- Location Mode: You can also select a server manually. Click on ‘Change Location’, and you’ll see a very long list of countries. Each of those expands into individual cities. Click on any country or specific city to establish a secure connection.
- Freedom Mode: This is something that we don’t see often. As HMA states, this mode connects you to a free-speech country from where you can unblock news and websites. As such, it’s designed to be used in more restrictive countries with censorship involved.
In the top-left corner, there’s a hamburger button that reveals a series of additional options. You can go here to adjust your user experience, check your account information, and get help. We’re going to take a closer look at each of those options, so here’s what to know.
- Preferences: HMA’s preferences are fairly simple. In the General tab, you can decide to enable HMA on system startup and fine-tune its behavior. Under the Network Security, you can set up automatic VPN connection, exclude certain networks from being covered, and you can also decide to shuffle your IP. The final tab, named Kill Switch, allows you to enable or disable this option.
- Account: If you want to check your license key and when will your subscription end, this is where you can find such information. If you click on ‘Manage Subscription’, you’ll be taken to HMA’s website where you can get detailed information.
- Help Center: This item serves as a shortcut to HMA customer support center. We have a dedicated segment about it, found at the bottom of this article.
- Support Request: Once again, this is a shortcut. This one’s designed to open a page on HMA’s website from where you can submit an official support request. As you can imagine, this comes in handy if you’re facing any technical issues.
- Diagnostics: When trying to get help, you’ll be often asked to send your diagnostics. This is a text file that describes the application’s behavior and is used by tech experts to check for problems and find solutions.
- Quit: The name says it all – this is where you can shut down the application and its related services.
All in all, we believe that Hide My Ass has done a good job of providing an easy to use interface. It would have been even better if the window size isn’t fixed. If you have an ultra-high monitor resolution, you’ll want to scale it up a bit, as the text can be hard to read at times.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
As per our tests, HMA unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer. And it also supports torrenting, but you should strictly stick to legal files only. Our Score: 5/10.
Now, the time has come to check whether HMA can unblock the world’s most popular services. First, check out the table below and later we’ll discuss our findings.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
Other sources on the Web can give you polarizing information about this VPN’s media streaming capability. So, when it comes to our tests, you’ll be happy to know that Hide My Ass has managed to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer. However, we didn’t have the same luck with Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
As you can see, this result is a mixed bag. Therefore, we can recommend HMA to subscribers of Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Both of these websites were quite responsive, and we managed to play movies without any buffering.
When it comes to torrenting, HMA offers 9 servers optimized for P2P traffic and these are located in Europe and across the USA. However, there are two things to note. First of all, you might experience slower performance if you’re not near the location of the chosen P2P server. And also, HMA checks what you download so you should definitely stick to legal files only.
Security & Privacy
Hide My Ass isn’t leaking your private data, but it collects an alarming amount of personal information which makes it a bad choice for privacy-conscious users. Our Score: 2/10.
As you can see so far, Hide My Ass shows promise in certain areas but fails in other. However, all of that doesn’t matter much if this VPN isn’t capable of providing total online anonymity. So, let’s take a look at the way this VPN keeps you safe and protected online.
Supported Encryption Protocols
To make sure no one can see what you do online, Hide My Ass uses 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. This is considered to be the standard among today’s VPNs, with many security experts saying that this is the most secure encryption you can get today.
Aside from encryption, HMA also supports OpenVPN as the only VPN protocol available. While other VPNs offer PPTP, IPSec, SSTP, and others – HMA isn’t going that route by saying that it only uses the most secure tools available. Even though we agree that you should always use OpenVPN, it would have been nice to have a few additional options available.
We’ve also taken a good look at HMA’s logging policy as this VPN has proven to be problematic in the past. As we’ve talked about earlier, it comes from the UK and it has provided data to the American FBI in the past. This is a clear indication that this VPN service collects personal data. So, after taking a look at HMA’s logging policy, we’ve found the following types of data that are being actively collected:
- Your username;
- Time-stamps about when you connect and disconnect from this VPN;
- A total amount of data that you’ve transmitted (upload and download);
- Your true IP address;
- The IP of the VPN server that you use.
As HMA states, the reason for this data collection is the prevention of possible frauds against this service for 30 days and will be deleted after that, except the username. However, we don’t think this explanation is good enough. Also, we’re pretty sure that HMA’s collected data can identify what you do online, which beats the purpose of using this VPN in the first place.
DNS Leak Test
We also want to make sure that you’re using a VPN that doesn’t actively leak your data. This is why we’ve tested HMA for DNS leaks, and here are the results.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the DNS leak test detected our virtual IP address and its associated server. This means that our true information was never revealed, so we can say that HMA doesn’t actively leak your personal information.
Speed & Performance
Based on our speed tests, HMA throttles your Web connection by around 25% which is actually a favorable result. Our Score: 8.5/10.
Hide My Ass doesn’t aggressively advertise its speeds, which gave us a bad first impression. However, as you’re about to see, this has turned out to be a highly positive side of this VPN service.
We’ve started with testing the speed of our Web connection, without the VPN involved. We got 147.19 Mbps for downloads and 9.67 Mbps for uploads. We’re going to use those numbers to see by how much this VPN slows us down.
Then, we’ve tested the speed of a nearby server by allowing HMA to find a server with good performance. It looks like those algorithms are working fine, as we got 133.91 Mbps for downloads and 9.00 Mbps for uploads. We have to say that those are nice numbers.
Lastly, we’ve connected to a server in the USA which is remote in comparison to our location. Based on the final test, we got 84.38 Mbps for downloads and 7.05 Mbps for uploads. So now, it’s time to put all those numbers into a table and see the final result.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||147.19 Mbps||9.67 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||133.91 Mbps||9.00 Mbps||9.02%|
|Remote Server||84.38 Mbps||7.05 Mbps||42.67%|
We can see that Hide My Ass throttled our Web connection by 25% on average. This is actually a very good result, meaning that HMA can guarantee fast performance. However, you should also know that there are speedier alternatives out there who keep the level of throttling between 15-20% which is considered to be the best possible result.
Hide My Ass’ team knows how to provide timely help, and there are numerous communication channels available. Live-chat is on the table as well. Our Score: 10/10.
In times of crisis, you’ll want to have reliable customer support offered by your chosen VPN. Therefore, here are all the ways you can get help if you become an HMA customer:
- Live-Chat Support: Across the official website of this VPN service, you can find a button that leads to live-chat (bottom-right corner). We’ve used this option a few times and we were able to get help each time, in a timely manner.
- Installation Guides: Even though installing HMA is fairly simple on desktop and mobile, you’ll need help for installing it on a router. The official website brings help via a series of step-by-step guides.
- Knowledge Base: Instead of offering FAQs, HMA offers a rich knowledge base with dozens of questions answered.
- Community: Now, here’s something we don’t see often. If you become a subscriber, you’ll get access to HMA’s community where you can post your question, and have it answered by other HMA users. This isn’t the most active part of the official website, which is a shame. Nonetheless, it can be very helpful.
- Support Tickets: Lastly, you can open a support ticket and send your question to HMA’s team. Be prepared to wait up to 24 hours if you use this option, which is actually speedier than what this VPN’s competitors offer.
Even though HMA’s 24-month plan brings an attractive price, we wished to see it more affordable. Also, there are no anonymous payment methods. Our Score: 7/10.
Hide My Ass offers several subscription plans, whose price is different based on the duration of those plans. We’re going to show you what to expect, so take a look at the table found below.
|Subscription Plan||Total Price||Per Month||Savings|
When it comes to the monthly plan, you’ll have to pay $11.99 – which is actually quite expensive for what’s on offer. However, the price quickly goes down if you go for its long-term plans. You can buy HMA for $6.99 if you go for its 12-month plan. Or you can get HMA for $4.99 per month via its 24-month plan.
Considering that it can’t unblock the hugely popular media streaming services and it does have some loopholes in data collection, we wished to see HMA priced more affordable. However, the good news is that you can count on a 30-day money-back guarantee, which should make your choice risk-free. Finally, you should know that you can pay via credit cards, UnionPay, or PayPal. As you can see, there are no anonymous payment methods.
Do We Recommend Hide My Ass VPN?
Yes, we can recommend Hide My Ass – but only to those who want to unblock Netflix, without thinking about data collection. Sadly, this VPN can’t be recommended to those who want to be 100% anonymous – which should be its main purpose. Even though it shows a lot of promise, it delivers only so much.
- PROS: Simple installation; Easy to use UI; Plenty of server locations; Great speeds.
- CONS: Collects data; Indiscretions in the past; Missing some basic features; Unblocks Netflix only.
- OUR SCORE: 6.0 out of 10!
HMA isn’t for everyone. However, those looking for a way to unblock Netflix and stream HD movies could be perfectly happy with this option. If you feel comfortable with this, don’t hesitate and subscribe to Hide My Ass today!