Hide My Ass Review

Editor’s Rating
Our Rating
Support
Speed
Price

 

Hide My Ass Logo

 

Hide My Ass or HMA if you prefer a more wholesome name is one of the most popular VPN services.  Their VPN service offers a great combination of a low price point, no usage limitations, numerous servers, an unmatched number of IP addresses, and easy to use software.  They have over  829 servers in  172 countries.

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Service Highlights

Servers in  172 Countries
829 Servers
No Download Limits
No Speed Limits
Unlimited Server Switches
111,214 + IP’s
Software to easily connect named HMA! Pro
OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP VPN Protocols
All Ports Are Open
30 Day Money Back Guarantee

 

Company Background

 

Privax Ltd is the parent company of Hide My Ass.  Privax is based in central London, and was founded by current CEO Jack Cator. Interestingly, Cator started Privax when he was only 16 years old and is still only in his early 20s. If you are interested in learning more about Cator and seeing a picture, you can visit this site. He appears to be a little ginger fellow.

HideMyAss.com went online in 2005 as a free anonymizing proxy service.  It gained rapid popularity.  The success of the free service allowed the company to launch the paid HMA personal VPN service.  Since the free proxy service generated such huge volumes of traffic, the company didn’t have to convert many of these visitors into paying customers to start generating substantial profits.

Possibly as a result of Cator’s youth or the largely free service based origins of Hide My Ass, the companies ideology appears markedly different.  In other words, the company appears more focused on offering the best VPN service at the lowest price than maximizing profits.  I suspect most true geeks will respect and appreciate this difference.

Countries

hide my ass server map

The list of countries with HMA VPN servers is ever expanding.  As of today, they have servers in  172 different countries.  This is already more countries than the average user is likely to need, but as with most aspects of life, it is always nice to have options. 

HMA! Pro VPN Software

HMA Pro Screenshot

Speed Tests

Speed is the most important factor when selecting a VPN service.  Most people will see some reduction in speed when using a VPN.  Speed can be affected by the protocol, server distance, server load and capacity, and network routing.  Since many issues determine the final speed, there can be substantial variance from day to day.  A quality VPN server will consistently provide fast speeds.

One way Hide My Ass mitigates server load is by automatically having an option in the HMA! Pro software route users to the server with the least load.  If speed is of the utmost importance, try using the PPTP protocol and connect to the closest server possible.  PPTP is the least secure VPN protocol, but it also has the lowest overhead.  OpenVPN will usually result in the slowest speeds and L2TP/IPsec will fall somewhere in the middle.

Hide My Ass performed well in our speed tests.  Some far away servers, like Russia, were almost unusable.  Fortunately, this was a rare occurrence. Our baseline speed for these tests was 10.81Mb/s down, .98Mb/s up, and a ping of 28ms.

HMA Server LocationVPN ProtocolDownload SpeedUpload SpeedPing Time
San DiegoOpenVPN6.46Mb/s.89Mb/s70ms
Kansas CityOpenVPN8.15Mb/s.85Mb/s39ms
DallasOpenVPN6.42Mb/s.92Mb/s46ms
Asheville, NCOpenVPN6.69Mb/s.90Mb/s71ms
LondonOpenVPN3.19Mb/s.76Mb/s142ms

Hide My Ass Speed Test

Hide My Ass Speed Test 2

 

Bypass Censorship & Unblock Websites

Censorship is a problem in parts of the Middle East and Asia.  Iran and China are particularly notorious for hindering their citizens and visitors from enjoying a free Internet.  In these countries, VPN provider websites are often blocked.  We tested the accessibility of the Hide My Ass website from several major locations in China.  The servers were able to reach HideMyAss.com from Bejing, Shenzen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang Province, and Yunnan Province.  This means residence within China can purchase Hide My Ass.  The Chinese government has also intermittently been able to block VPN connections to some providers.  Witopia is a service that was particularly hard hit by the Chinese governments attempts to disable VPN access.  Hide My Ass has thus far remained usable within mainland China.

 

China Results for HideMyAss

Results for HideMyAss in China

 

Privacy Policy

 

In short, the Hide My Ass VPN will not make you anonymous.  However, it will add security and privacy to your Internet connection while allowing you to visit websites that might otherwise be geographically blocked.

 

Technical Support

Technical support is offered by email and live chat. Support tickets are answered within 12 hours, and there is a 1 hour turn around time on emails sent between 8am-7pm CMT. Live chat is available 12 hours a day. In addition to these standard methods, HideMyAss has a vibrant community forum. Most questions have already been answered within the forum with many being answered by official representatives of the company.

 

P2P Usage / Torrent Policy

Torrents / P2P usage can be a tricky issue with many VPN providers.  On one hand, most VPN services are based on a foundation of free Internet.  On the other hand, no one wants to be sued into oblivion by the almighty media empires.

Hide My Ass allows torrent bandwidth on servers not subject to DMCA rules.  The Russian server comes to mind. This means if you use an American server to download torrents and a media company sends a complaint, you could potentially be kicked off the service. The penalty is still far less severe than potentially being sued for thousands of dollars.

 

LulzSec Anonymity Issues

LulzSec is the commonly used abbreviation for Lulz Security.  They were a community of hackers formed in 2011 credited for several attacks that drew heavy media attention.

Prominent LulzSec Hacks:

 

What does LulzSec have to do with the HMA VPN service?  One of the founders of the hacker community and self appointed leader Hector Xavier Monsegur aka Sabu (his name one IRC) foolishly used Hide My Ass in an attempt to protect his identity from the feds while partaking in his nefarious activities.  I say foolishly because all 111,214 + IPs Hide My Ass owns can easily be traced back to their service, and of course when presented with a subpoena, they will hand over your true identity.

Anyway, the moral of the story is don’t commit felonious computer crimes using Hide My Ass or any other VPN service as your only layer of protection.  Strike that … just don’t commit felonious offenses.  In this case, Sabu turned narc and spent the next six months ratting on his fellow LulzSec members to help save his own hide.

One last amusing note – The web address cantbustme.com resolves to the HMA website.

 

Other Services

Web proxy, IP: Port Proxies, HMA! Web proxy browser extension, anonymous email

Payment Forms Accepted

Hide My Ass VPN Service Payment FormsVisa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Maestro, JCB, Diners Club

PayPal, AlertPay, Liberty Reserve, Google Checkout

 

Price

Hide My Ass offers monthly, bi-annually, and yearly plans. Significant discounts are offered on the bi-annual and yearly plans. Each subscription comes with the ability to have up to two simultaneous connections.

 

$11.52 for 1 Month
$50.66 for 6 Months
$78.66 for 12 Months

 

HideMyAss Pricing Plans

 

Hide My Ass Summary

HideMyAss VPN is the best value around. They are the largest VPN provider with customer centric values. As with any VPN service, some servers can be sluggish at times. Fortunately, with over  829 servers in more than  172 countries and easy to use software (HMA! Pro), it is easy to switch to a faster server. Most HMA servers provide sufficient speed to watch Hulu and Netflix. The wide range of countries makes it easy to unblock even the most obscure services. Popular services like Facebook, Skype, and YouTube were always accessible in our tests because HideMyAss has servers in almost 20 different US states.

Trying HMA is a risk free proposition with the class leading 30 day money back guarantee. Technical support is timely and knowledgeable, although most questions have already been answered within their forums. Both speed and transfers are unlimited. In short, HMA is a great choice for anyone searching for a quality VPN service at a fair price.

12 Responses to “Hide My Ass Review”

  1. Mark says:
    May 2nd, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Hide My Ass is hands down the best VPN service I have ever used. The price is affordable, particularly with the yearly plans and the servers are numerous. The speeds could sometimes be better with the far away servers, but that is to be expected with almost any vpn service. Both the control panel and the included free software are intuitive to use. Overall, I highly recommend Hide My Ass if you are looking for a low cost, reliable vpn service.

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  2. Guy Fieri says:
    May 19th, 2012 at 5:27 am

    I have been very satisfied in the couple years that I’ve used Hide My Ass. The price is right with the longer term plans. They have more servers than I could need and I almost never receive errors.

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  3. Zhāng says:
    May 31st, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Hide My Ass VPN work well. No major issue. Speed change some. Not bad.

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  6. Jason says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I have been with HMA for over 2 years. I rarely take the time to write reviews, but I have been extremely impressed by their service and support. HMA Pro is incredibly easy to use and convenient. There is an occasional speed hiccup. A simple server switch almost always resolves the issue. I highly recommend the service.

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  9. David says:
    March 7th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I agree. Did you also know by using a VPN Service your ISP wont even know what you are doing online.

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  10. Palo says:
    March 20th, 2014 at 2:04 am

    HMA has treated me well for years. My only complaint is I wish they would drop the price. When I originally signed up, they were one of the cheapest providers. It seems like hundreds of cheaper providers have come along recently, and HMA has maintained the same pricing structure.

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  11. Enrique says:
    August 21st, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Hide My Ass provides better software than the other VPN providers I’ve tried. Of course, I wish they were a little cheaper, but I also wish the same of whiskey.

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  12. Chris says:
    December 6th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Hide my ass refused to refund my money after only 7 days of use, I wanted to cancel because it just made my internet connection go in and out. Avoid these scammers.

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