Performs remarkably when it comes to unblocking streaming sites but disappoints
with its speed.
Logs IP addresses
Doesn’t work in China
My Ass! (HMA!); the company is located in the UK; it has come to great fame
after its vast number of subscribers – today
400 million-plus. The providers have seen the flair of controversy and
conflicts regarding user privacy. It recently updated its service to redeem
itself and winning back the goodwill with its subscribers.
put it on a test to know how much it has improved and whether it’s good to buy.
Features and pricing
Hide My Ass! Provides similar product with different prices depending on the period of the term you sing up for. The price range is a bit of a higher side, which could be a big disappointment for many users. A 12-month plan will cost you around $6.99 per month, which, no doubt, is quite expensive than the average price for a similar term. Wait! There is more to it – Most top VPN providers will provide you with an extended plan; for illustration, a two – or three-year term with even higher discounts.
If you don’t want to sign up for a one-year plan, you can go
for a six-month plan that HMA! Offers for a $7.99/month or you can also pay
every month for $11.99/month. These prices are a bit overpriced when you
compare the same services with other providers.
The best part with HMA! Is the ease it provides its users on
the payment options. In short, it accepts almost every Payment options like
major credit cards, PayPal, and Union Pay. However, if you’re more concerned
about your privacy than bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t practical
payment methods for you.
Hey, but what if I won’t get satisfied with the services?
You don’t have to worry about in such case as HMA! Also
offers 30-day money-back guarantee. You can buy an annual plan only if you
found it satisfying and serving otherwise your money will be refunded.
So what is the VPN offering here for your money? Hide My
Ass! Possess a network of 850 plus servers across 180 countries. While some
servers allow P2P files sharing others focus on providing access to streaming
sites. Apps perform on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be
configured manually with Linux and some routers. Pre-configured routers are
also available as an option.
HMA! Provides secure encryption, perfect forward privacy, automatic
wifi protection, and the desktop apps and the desktop apps come with a kill
switch which is pretty attractive from a security point of view. However, the
logging policy problem that troubled the services earlier remains, so privacy
remains an issue.
Getting on with Hide My Ass! Is simple and the latest
version of app is packed with many friendly features. Once singing up for your
account, you’ll get a license key. You can use this or your credentials (user
id and password) to log into any app.
On launching the desktop client and logging in, you’ll come
to the screen. You have to click to access the main screen of the app. Here
you’ll get three options for modes: Instant
Mode, Location Mode, and Freedom Mode.
You can click the arrow, and you’ll get connected to the fastest server for your actual location in Instant Mode.
You can choose which server you connect to in Location mode. Click Change Location to check your options. There is a dropdown list which allows you to select servers depending on the various criteria. All will get through an alphabetized country list. On clicking the arrow to the left of each country, name will get you specific locations within that nation.
Quick Access shows
you a list of servers that you’ve got connected recently along with some
recommended choices. Streaming will
give you an option of two servers fit for unblocking popular streaming services
like Netflix, one in the US and one in the UK.
Peer to Peer shows
you all servers that enable P2P file sharing. At last, there’s the Favorites choice; to score a server as
a favourite, you can tap the heart to the right of the server name.
On coming back to the main screen, there is one more option
here, which is Freedom Mode, which
is aimed at users who want to avoid censorship. This mode will help you connect
you to a server in the nearby country that is deemed to be free of censorship.
You can access the Settings on clicking the menu icon in the
left-hand corner on the top of the main screen and selecting Preferences. Here you’ll get three
tabs: General, Network Security, and
Kill Switch. In the General screen, you can modify your startup choices
like starting when you turn your computer on or when the app launches.
You also get a Personal Privacy section covering one option that links to Quick Access in Location Mode. You can uncheck the box to hide your current history.
Let’s check the Network Security screen next; in this section, you can select settings for automatic wifi protection. You can also turn on the IP shuffle aspect which protects your location from getting detected by periodically altering your IP address. There is also a feature in this screen which allows you to use TCP with Open VPN. But this is only suggested if UDP is blocked or regulated. Though TCP is more stable, UDP is typically faster.
At last, we reached the Kill Switch tab, where you can toggle on this option so that it
performs for every application. You can also include applications and decide
whether or not to use it on those.
This is quite a robust app, and it’s both stunning
Most providers have mobile apps that are
nothing as compared to the desktop version. However, HMA! Made sure its product
is perfectly streamlined and the iOS app looks identical to the Windows
After logging in, you’ll see the main screen,
which is similar to the main screen in the desktop app. Here you can decide out
of Instant Mode, Locations Mode or Freedom Mode which mode you want.
The only real difference is that when you choose Location Mode, your options are
displayed in a different way. You’ll get three tabs: Countries, Cities, and
Favorites, but users might miss the extra options found in the desktop client
like Streaming, Peer to Peer, and Quick Access.
You’ll have to go to the Cities list and search the Liberty Island server under US, New York
to access the streaming servers from the app. You can also get the UK, Donkey
Town server in this list to access the UK Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Ongoing further, you can also access it by
simply clicking the menu icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen and
choosing Settings. You will get two
options here: Connection Rules and Personal privacy.
You can adjust wifi security settings and choose whether to
auto reconnect when wifi or cellular connections are troubled in the Connection Rules section.
The Personal privacy section has only one
option: Share usage data with third
parties for analytics, which can be a matter of consent to “enable app and
device usage data to be shared with third parties for analytics.” Keep in mind
that this is allowed by default so it could be the first thing you want to turn
is a smooth and user-friendly app, but some users might miss those extra
features like kill switch and the option to switch protocols.
Servers and performance
The Hide My Ass! Network includes more 850+ servers which
covers more than 190 nations around the globe. Some of these are virtual
servers which ever a customer service executive will not be able to tell you.
As we told you earlier, HMA gives many choices for the right server; it has different modes and the
potential to mark servers as favourites. Servers enabling P2P are marked with a
We conducted a test on various servers in the US and the UK
to check the performance regarding browsing, streaming and downloading. In
general, when browsing, there were insignificant problems, besides being a
noticeable slowdown in loading time of the page when connected to a UK server.
This is very common for geographically distant servers (the tests were
conducted in Toronto, Canada)), but it can become frustrating, especially for
users who already work on slow internet speeds.
We didn’t get any lag or buffering issue while streaming
1080p using any of the test servers and could play online games without any
HideMyAss! Speed test
Most speed tests are designed to be as empirical as it
could. We use a Canadian test server to connect to VPN servers in the US, the
UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Germany. We download a test file (50 MB in size)
from a US server for each location. This is executed four times at an interval
of six-hour a day. The average download speed for each test is noted, and the
aggregate data is shown.
You can judge from the Simple chart below how
HMA! Perform and competes with the other VPN services we’ve tested till yet.
When it comes to median download speeds, it matches the performance of some
great VPN services while it is not lightning fast.
On clicking the Detailed tab, you can observe that outcome isn’t as tight as some
of the other test VPNs. This means that you can expect some inconsistency in
terms of speeds.
You should keep in mind that these tests aren’t
absolute and can only work as a general review of the performance you might
get. The inherent instability of the internet adds an essential aspect of
randomness. What else, you can expect longer waiting times with a slow
connection, and may be smaller or larger discrepancies.
Yes, it does! Hide My Ass! Unblock Netflix, but
you can’t expect it to connect to any server and run simply. When we tried to
run it on random servers with US Netflix using the desktop client, we got no
luck here. However, if you choose the Streaming option from the dropdown within
Location Mode, you’ll get two alternatives: a US server (USA, New York, and
Liberty Island) and a UK server (UK, Donkey Town). Remember that in the mobile
app, you’ve to search these within the Cities
list in Location Mode.
On connecting to the US
server, we got access to Netflix without any problem. Connecting to the UK, one
provides access to UK Netflix as well as BBC iPlayer. Most providers only focus
on giving US Netflix access; therefore, it’s soothing to see one that also tries
to provide access to the UK library. What else, BBC iPlayer is certainly
cracking down on VPN use, so the potential to unblock this service is a good
If you’re looking for Amazon
Prime Video, you might have to go elsewhere. HMA! Is having trouble unblocking
this service at this time and a customer support representative informed us
that there is no estimated timeframe for when it might be working again.
Does Hide My Ass!
Perform in China?
Hide My Ass! Is not reliable in the case of
China. It worked earlier, but now HMA! Responses in support forums have pointed
towards the fact that the service will no longer work for some users. You can
try your luck, but if you want a credible China VPN, you must check other
Security and privacy
Hide My Ass! Is located in the UK, which means it comes
under data retention laws. The UK is also a Five Eyes (and Fourteen Eyes)
country, which implies that it’s part of an alliance that enables tracking by
external governments. Plus, it’s home to the Snooper’s
Charter which imposes rules on British ISPs that highly affect user
For most VPNs, data retention regulations in
their home country are not a problem. This is because they work with a real
no-logs policy whereby they don’t create any traffic or connection logs. Even
if they maintain connection logs, they can’t be limited to the individual user.
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