Company: Privax LTD (UK)
Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
Servers: 940 VPN Servers in 221 Countries
Regular Price: $11.52 / Monthly
Special Promo: $6.55 / Monthly (Grab This Deal)
- Quick Summary
Hide My Ass in a nutshell
Hide My Ass is, hands down, the biggest VPN provider in the world. With 940 servers in 221 countries, and always growing, across the globe, no one touches Hide My Ass for sheer numbers. They’re based in the UK, and have spread further than any British export that isn’t soccer!
Our experiences with Hide My Ass over the last 3+ years have generally been very positive. Their huge network ensures that we’re always able to connect to nearly any country we could want to connect to, their software is easy to use while offering advanced users incredible features, and their 8+ years in the Internet privacy industry has prepared them for nearly everything.
The only thing holding them down to the number 2 position is their support, which has been slower at times. We have received feedback from our readers on their slower response rates, and we’ve listened as we know how important good support can be.
- Reliability & Speed Test
Reliability & Speed Test
Speed wise, Hide My Ass was found to feel the same when you’re using it as any other top 5 VPNs tested. Streaming video speed is normal, and everything else loads as quickly as you’d expect.
Here is how the connection was performing on the day of testing without a VPN connected:
Our Speeds Without HideMyAss
When using HMA, you find that they have virtual servers for clients who want a connection in the USA, but who are far outside of the USA. When tested, the closest virtual USA server was in France:
Our Speeds On a HideMyAss Server Located In France
To compare, here are the results with a server in Manhattan, NYC:
Our Speeds On a HideMyAss Server Located In Manhattan, NYC
You get a quicker ping rate with the physically closer virtual server, and roughly the same download speed with either one. When using the connection to surf around the web, the virtual server feels quicker.
A UK connection had similar results, showing that all connections would operate at nearly exactly the same speed:
Our Speeds On a HideMyAss Server Located In the United Kingdom
After three entire days of testing, HMA did not once drop a connection. Every connection felt exactly the same as the next, regardless of whether the VPN server was 100 miles away, or 10,000 miles away.
Of particular note is HMA’s dedication to monitoring their servers. Out of the 900+ servers that were online when we tested, only 5 were found to be offline, and those servers were in remote locations. Best of all, HMA has been found to work perfectly fine with all geo-blocked content providers – including Hulu. Some IP addresses are blocked by Hulu, simply switching to another US based or virtual server can unlock it for you.Tip: VPN Speeds and Reliability always vary. For the best results, connect to a server close to you (Ping < 100ms) using OpenVPN (the fastest and most secure protocol). If you have issues with a server, disconnect and try a different one. There are no limits on switches.
- Pricing & Discounts
Pricing & Discounts
Hide My Ass has three price points:Best HideMyAss Price
1 Month – $11.52
6 Months – $8.33
12 Months – $6.55
Each one will renew unless you suspend your account. If you really only want one month, you have to be on top of cancelling it. Regardless of which package you choose, you still get all of their excellent software and all of the benefits which go with it – along with complete access to their world conquering network.
Best of all, each plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. There are some strings attached that have caused users some headaches, but few VPN providers offer a refund at all after 7 days.
In comparison to other VPN providers, they rank around the lower end of the price spectrum. Not quite as cheap as Private Internet Access, but roughly the same as our number one ranked IPVanish. Considering all of the useful features that come with their software, and the incredible coverage of their network, they may be the best deal in the industry.
For discounts, HMA will have them from time to time. You have to check with their website to see what they have going on right now. Generally speaking, they offer a discount in connection with major world events. Their graphic for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was our favorite. It was a donkey playing soccer, what’s not to love?Tip: Try HideMyAss for 1 Month to see if it’s right for you. If you like it, upgrade to a longer term and save! If you find it’s not for you, you’re covered by their 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
- VPN Software & Features
HideMyAss VPN Software & Features
This really plays to Hide My Ass’ strength as a tool for defeating geoblocking. You can enjoy their software entirely from the Dashboard tab and never have to stray. This is what the average user will do.
For users with more advanced needs, you’ll find it’s simple to customize your experience. The country selection tab easily lets you navigate their worldwide network via a text based listing of all their servers grouped by country, or the world map we prefer:
Advanced users can simply keep on looking down through the tabs to find their:
- Simple IP address settings tool.
- Secure IP Bind, more often known as a VPN kill switch.
- Speed Guide for the fastest servers near you (Ping tested)
- Choosing between a direct connection, HTTPS proxy, or SOCKS proxy.
Each tab down from the top has a more complicated feature. This is great for user experience as the most useful features for the largest number of users is closest to the top. There’s no digging into the more complicated stuff if you don’t want to.
It seems like more VPN providers are moving towards a layout much like Hide My Ass’ layout. In the early days of VPNs, the interface left much to the imagination. Today, Hide My Ass are leading the way with an interface that is always looking better, working better, and helping users secure their connection faster.
The software has a very simple and clean look. It’s a little bit blander than the yellow and black software of theirs from years ago, but the VPN world is maturing so it’s only right:
Perhaps the greatest strength of Hide My Ass over the years has been the cutting edge features they’ve built right into their software. To start with the most basic stuff, you can use their software to:
Launch when the system starts.
Auto Path for OpenVPN problems where it automatically tries to solve issues.
Use load balancing that switches you to a less busy server within the same city. You can choose how ‘crowded’ the server is by percentage.
These three are all designed to help you get connected quickly, and to maintain a fast connection with no effort on your part. You can find them on your Dashboard tab under ‘Settings’:
Their next best feature is their IP address switching tool. You can choose to simply change your IP at the touch of a button, labelled ‘Change IP’, for complete control when you need it. You can use it when you’re about to visit a different website and want a different IP address displayed to it.
Or you can schedule an IP address change for a certain time. It will be done for you automatically. Both IP address changing tools make it very difficult for someone to track you.
If you’re ever in doubt about where you IP address is, and how websites see it, you can click on their ‘Verify IP address’ button on the bottom. It will take you to this website where you’ll be shown what other websites are seeing:
Next, you can change your Secure IP bind, or VPN kill switch, settings. This will disconnect the connection of certain apps you choose. For example, if your connection to a VPN server drops, and you’re doing a secure file transfer with your legal team, the software will stop the connection for that transfer so your information remains safe. Being able to select only certain apps is a feature completely unique to HMA Pro.
The Speed Guide feature is incredibly useful with their huge network of servers. They automatically display the 10 closest VPN servers. You can then check more servers to test Ping rates, and other server tests.
The last feature, Proxy Settings, is really only for advanced users.
You need not worry about your software crashing with Hide My Ass. After months of testing, lots of playing around, and an attempt at getting it to crash, it stood up to our abuse. This is a good thing as a complex network with a bad piece of software can be a frustrating experience. No such problems here.
Fair warning: If you choose to check the Ping rates of a lot of servers, and they have a lot of servers to check, you can have a longer wait time. The point of their Speed Guide is to lower the wait time for users who want to get server information. If you abuse it you will have a slower experience.
Platforms and Compatibility
Hide My Ass have VPN software for the following platforms:
Along with instructions to set it up on a router, or manually. This is a shorter list of platforms compared to others, such as IPVanish, but it does cover the vast majority of users.
CPU Load / Resources
Hide My Ass’ software is slightly larger than some we’ve tested in terms of file size, but it will not take up very much space on your hard drive at all:
Given the size of their network, you’ll be surprised to find that it only uses around 48.8MB of active memory. For a modern laptop or desktop computer, you’ll be able to run your torrent client, browse around the Internet, listen to music, and play around in a graphics editing program while Hide My Ass is open with no problem. We know this because we tested it!
Overall, Hide My Ass has one of top VPN software tools we’ve used. The interface is clean and easy to understand. You can use their more advanced features with limited knowledge. Navigating their large and complex network is made simple through how they designed they designed this excellent piece of software.
Click Here to Visit HideMyAss
- Servers & Countries
Servers & Countries
As we said in the summary, Hide My Ass has the largest VPN network in the world. The highlights, as of February 7/2015, include:
- 940 total VPN servers around the world
- 189 server cluster locations
- 221 countries with at least one server
- 120,000+ IP addresses
You just can’t match that to any other VPN provider. Hide My Ass wins, period. They have servers in places you haven’t even heard of, but the people who live there sure appreciate it!
- Customer Support
Hide My Ass customer support comes in three forms:
FAQ: The Hide My Ass FAQ is huge, with several different categories clearly arranged to help guide users as to where the information they want may be. “Getting Started,” “Jargon Buster,” “Knowledge Base,” and “Other Goodies” are the categories, and each one helps users in a different way.
Email/Help form: This is the most common way to contact them, and is the weakness of this exceptional provider. Response times have been slow in the past, sometimes taking as long as two days, and this has to be acknowledged.
Live Chat: Their live chat is featured on their homepage, not their support page. Which is odd, we’ll admit, but they’re available 12 hours out of a day. You won’t get answers to complex questions here as most of the time you’ll get cut and paste URLs as answers.
Their customer support can be thorough and helpful, but our experiences, and the feedback from our readers, has pointed out some weaknesses in their customer support. We believe that a well supported customer is a happy customer, and felt it was right to lower their ranking to number two from number one because of this factor alone.
- Policy Highlights
- Speed Guide: You can find the fastest connection either through the default 10 that are closest, or by selecting them yourself. You are able to save your selections in lists for faster testing next time.
- Randomly change IP address: Explains itself, you can select a timeframe for how often you want to change IP addresses. This makes it even harder for hackers to track your online activity.
- Secure IP Bind: This is their VPN kill switch feature. This feature will make it so you will not connect to the Internet through your original IP address. This prevents IP leaking, when your real IP address is exposed to anyone who wants to find it out.
- Server selection: Here you can group servers by region and find the fastest one available.
- Load balancing: The software will alert you to the fact the server you’re choosing is full, and direct you to one with fewer users on it in the same region.
HMA goes a long way to make sure that you have everything you need in their features to sort through their software, and navigate their extensive network of servers.
That said, the complexity of their software, and the sheer size of their network, can be quite intimidating to a new user. For instance, IPVanish will have a list of all their servers with a ping time next to them in one window, giving you the fastest server speeds at a glance. This is not a possibility with HMA. There are 916+ servers and they can’t possibly update this all the time.
You can get around having to test the entire network by creating groups of servers to test in their Speed Guide. If you always want the fastest server in the USA, select each one you may want to use and run the speed test on only those servers. The average user may not want to do this, or they may find it confusing at first.
Their logging policy has been established. They will report to law enforcement when given a subpoena. For a law abiding user, there is no worry on this end. Since they are located in the UK, with strict copyright laws, they have banned P2P sharing on their service. As such, Hide My Ass is not hacker, or P2P sharing friendly.
Hide My Ass is a force to be reckoned with on sheer size alone. With their network size, exceptional software with its advanced features, and competitive pricing, it is hard to beat Hide My Ass as your VPN provider of choice.
The only thing holding them back right now from the top spot is their occasionally lagging customer support. With all of the resources available to you in the FAQ section, and how reliable their service is, you can expect to use their support very infrequently.
If you are looking for a VPN to do P2P file sharing, you’re better off looking at another VPN provider, like CyberGhost, as Hide My Ass do not allow this. For the average Internet user that wants to increase their security, stream some videos on Netflix, and unlock geo-blocked content, Hide My Ass does everything you need.
Click Here to Visit HideMyAss
Customer Reviews – Share Your Experience