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Summary Review

 

Today, one of the popular VPN providers is HideMyAss (HMA). The founder of the company, Jack Cator. The idea behind the service back in 2005 for Jack was to bypass blocking access to music and games on the school network. In this review, we will try to understand the key issues, whether the service will protect your digital identity on the Internet, how it will cope with unblocking popular streaming platforms, how good is the performance of its servers and other aspects that are important when choosing a VPN service.

There are black spots in HMA's past reputation, remember at least the case of Cody Kretsinger. Yes, he was engaged in non-legal activities, which contradicts the company and it gave the authorities data on a member of the LulzSec team, accordingly it follows that the company was collecting logs on its users. There is even information that the service cooperated with the authorities, but it’s not verified information, so we will not refer to it. Since recently, the company has corrected itself and stated that it does not keep logs of its users, which is one of the key criteria when choosing a VPN service.

In terms of choice of VPN protocols, the service is inferior to competitors, HMA uses only two protocols Open VPN and IPSec/IKEv2, but it’s worth noting that these protocols are open source, with strong encryption algorithms and provide high performance, which can provide anonymity to your digital identity on the Internet.

Cheapest priceLogging policyTorrenting policyServers countCustomer supportMoney back guaranteeLocal speed (Avg.)
2,99$Partially collects logsPermitted29024/7 Live chat30 days67 Mbps

Privacy & Security

 

HMA VPN uses strong military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, which is hard to imagine protecting your data today. The connection between the client and the service is made through RSA keys with SHA256 hash authentication, which is strong protection for your online traffic.

Protection against DDoS attacks. With DDoS attacks cybercriminals send a huge number of requests to your site in order to cause a denial of service, protection against such attacks is necessary not only for the owners of casinos and large corporations, as well as the owners of sites that sell their products online, sites that provide various services online and service provides us to protect the integrity of our connection.

The service in almost all applications uses one of the most popular and reliable protocols today OpenVPN, the protocol was developed by Jeff Yonan open source, for encrypting the tunnel OpenVPN uses the library OpenSSL, the protocol easily bypasses HTTP and NAT. The IKEv2/IPSec protocol is excellent for mobile applications, it is open-source, provides high performance and has strong encryption algorithms. To get rid of IP stalking, they offer a really good solution called IPShuffle to get rid of IP stalking.

With this toolkit, we can stop worrying about our anonymous digital identity and continue surfing the web without fear that someone will intercept our traffic and expose our data and history of your surfing.

Logging policy & Jurisdiction

 

HMA headquarters is located in the UK, and this is the country of the Five Eyes Alliance, who does not know, this intelligence alliance was created in cooperation between countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, and the United States for the purpose of intelligence sharing, it seemed nothing to fear, but cooperation also involves surveillance of online activities of the Internet user, which they may be interested in. Naturally, this fact is a disadvantage of the service, as the jurisdiction of the UK is not considered a favorable country for the privacy of your data.

Let's talk now about the pluses, it is undoubtedly the absence of logging, although the service still partially collects information about you, as stated by the provider, for diagnostic purposes and so that the service is not used by criminals for fraudulent and other purposes. But most importantly, the service does not collect data of your IP address, from which you connect to VPN, the sites you visit while connected, and the actual data you receive or transmit while on the Internet.

We can also observe that the service claims to provide built-in protection from leaks IPv4, IPv6, and other DNS queries, which of course is a big plus for maintaining your anonymity.

And of course, we should also mention the WebRTC leak protection. WebRTC is a technology for browsers to communicate directly without an intermediate server, respectively higher speed and lower latency and WebRTC leakage means that your real public IP address can be detected, thereby compromising your privacy, protection from such leakage is of course a plus for additional protection of your privacy.

 

Performance (speed & reliability)

 

Speed is an important aspect of the overall evaluation of a VPN. In this section, we will test the speed values without a VPN service when connected using the recommended Lightning Connect feature, a convenient feature where we do not have to manually search for the fastest servers available, and then we will connect to the American server farthest away from us and see how it manages the streaming speed. To do this the service offers us to use their built-in speed test, but let's use the independent Speedtest.

HMA has definitely proven itself in terms of fast speeds for streaming. We used the Lightning Speed function and were indeed matched to a nearby server that provided fast enough speeds and I was satisfied with the results. Even on the most distant US servers, the speeds were satisfactory, I was able to watch the Netflix video content in full HD without buffering without any problem.

Of course, when using any VPN provider, your connection speed is reduced, because certain operations are performed to encrypt your data and therefore it takes a little longer to transfer it. But having tested HMA in different parts of the world and calculated the average value (it is available in Summary review) we can safely say that it is a good service with fast enough speeds for streaming and downloading torrents.

 

Features & Usability

 

Unfortunately, for me, HMA does not have a big arsenal of features that further help to increase your privacy, but the most important thing is that firstly HMA has a Kill Switch when let's say unexpectedly a connection with a VPN provider is broken, your data becomes vulnerable, and the purpose of Kill Switch is to disable your device access to the Internet, thereby keeping your data private.

The second thing worth noting is the IP Shuffle, this function allows you to change IP permanently at a certain period, thereby, if someone suddenly has you under surveillance, this task becomes impossible for him, as you constantly change IP address, the application offers us to change the IP every 30 minutes, an hour, 6 hours, 12 hours, daily and you can set the time interval yourself.

What pleased me is there is Split Tunneling, this is when you use the network, you simultaneously access the public network through the same physical network connection, while you are under VPN protection.

The application is easy enough to understand even a beginner, all intuitive, the user interface is pleasant enough, but it's a matter of taste, it is only worth noting the creative approach to creating avatars for service employees and the application logo. In the settings, you can enable the emergency shutdown, set the time interval of changing your IP address, as well as with the help of Lightning Speed in one click to connect to the recommended fast server.

 

 

Server Location

 

HMA has more than 290 VPN servers in 210 countries. The servers are well optimized and have a fairly high speed, namely 20 Gbps.

HMA has a large server network, given the number of countries, the vast majority are physical servers, but also there are virtual servers, they also work fine, physically they are located outside the country, but the IP address use the region to which you want to connect, they are needed because of the inability due to geographical limitations of countries or other reasons to install the server physically

List of countries:

Afghanistan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Belgium, Benin, Bermuda, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Bhutan, Vanuatu, Vatican, Ethiopia, Hungary, Venezuela, Vietnam, Gabon, Guiana, Gambia, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Bissau, Germany, Gibraltar, Honduras, Hong Kong, Greenland, Grenada, Grenada, Greece, Georgia, Guam, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Israel, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Yemen, Cabo-Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Qatar, Kenya, Cyprus, Kiribati, China, Cocos [Keeling] Islands, Colombia, Comoros Islands, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montserrat, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nigeria, Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Caledonia, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Norfolk  Island, Christmas Island, Island Pitcairn, Turkey, Caicos Islands, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Territory New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Romania, Salvador, Samoa, San Marino, San Tome and Principe Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Svalbard i Jan Mayan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, North Korea, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Senegal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Singapore, Syria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunis, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Philippines, Finland, France, Croatia, Chad, Chile,  African Republic, Czech Republic, Sweden, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, South Africa, South Korea, Jamaica, Japan, American Samoa, Andorra, Russia, Macao, Niue, Palau, Australia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, USA, United Kingdom

 

Streaming &Torrenting

 

Let's take a look at how we're doing with bypassing Geo-blocks to access popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and others.

HMA is great for streaming and does a great job of bypassing geo-blocking Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and the BBC iPlayer. Unfortunately, Disney+ fans, if you were looking for an unlock service for this very purpose, I hasten to disappoint you, HMA cannot open access to Disney+ libraries.

HMA has optimized streaming servers, which is a plus, as they provide faster streaming and you can enjoy watching your favorite content from the streaming platform you love.

HMA is also good for downloading torrents via BitTorrent, torrents are better downloaded from optimized servers for P2P in Prague, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, and also New York. But you should always keep in mind that HMA partially keeps logs (time stamp and IP address when you connect and disconnect from VPN service, data volume), which is of course a big disadvantage for the service.

Platforms & Devices

 

Compatibility with devices HMA is not particularly different from other VPN providers, HMA has applications for Windows, for Mac, for iOS and for Android. But as you remember the possibility of different applications is different, so for example for those who use iOS, unfortunately, the function Kill Switch will not be available. With the Windows, macOS, and Android applications the situation is much better, here you will get the full functionality of the service, including split tunneling, emergency switch, and IP Shuffle.

You can connect up to 5 devices to the HMA VPN at the same time, which is average for services that offer VPN services.

 

 

Pricing

 

HMA, like all services, offers us three plans, the longer your subscription, the lower will be the cost of subscription, which is logical, let's look at these plans:

1 Month - 11.99 USD per month

36 Months - 2.99 USD per month

12 Months - 4.99 USD per month.

HMA is also offered a 7-day Trial version and you pay 1 dollar for it, but you get it back right away. I like this offer because during this time you can test all the features of the service, the speed and understand whether it suits you or not.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can pay for the subscription using credit/debit cards, PayPal, PayNearMe, as well as Bank/Wire transfer.

 

Support

 

Customer service is also an important criterion for evaluating a VPN service, here HMA did not disappoint us, if you have any questions that require immediate solutions, you can contact support via online chat, which is available 24/7, you can also send a letter by mail.

The site is filled with a lot of useful information that will be useful to you, there is also a section with frequently asked questions and if you have difficulties with installing applications or setting them up, you can also on the site installation guides, which describe everything in an accessible language in detail. There's also a community forum where you can ask questions yourself, or you can find out if someone has already encountered a detailed problem.

Pros & Cons

 

Pros

Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video, Hulu
Fast enough speeds for streaming
IP Shuffle feature
Huge number of available countries
Uses strong encryption

 

Cons

Registered in the UK, which is part of the Five Eyes Alliance
Partially collects logs
Doesn't work in China
The full functionality is not available in iOS apps

 

Last edited on Mar 2, 2023

 

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