It used to be that only businesses needed to have VPNs, but as legendary folk troubadour Bob Dylan once said, the times they are a-changin’. A VPN, or virtual private network, allows users to anonymize their Internet activity, encrypt their data and even help you get around pesky geo-blocking based on your location. One popular VPN is HideMyAss – keep reading for our detailed HideMyAss review.
Since virtually everything you do online can be seen by anyone who cares to look, VPNs are an absolute necessity for maintaining your privacy and security. But what if all you do online is check Facebook and watch the occasional cat video? Do you really need a VPN? Well if you’re reading this we’re going to assume that you probably stream a lot of video from the web, like any good cord cutter should. If that’s you, have you ever tried to load a video only to be greeted with something along the lines of “sorry this content is not available in your region”? We’re guessing you have, and this is where a VPN can save the day.
Most websites are able to determine your physical location via your unique IP address, and many content providers restrict access based on that address. For example, the BBC iPlayer offers free content to those residing in the UK, but if you’re in the US you’re out of luck. That is, unless you have a VPN, which you can configure to use a server from within the UK, making it appear as though you yourself are in the UK. Sound good? We thought so. For more info, head over to our page on the Best VPN Services of 2016, or keep reading our HideMyAss review below. If you don’t need any more convincing, continue reading for our in depth review of one of the most popular VPN services available, HideMyAss.
Despite the juvenile and dare we say it, cheeky name, HideMyAss is one of the more established VPN services available. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that HideMyAss VPN has one of, if not the largest networks around, with over 100,000 unique IP addresses, spread over 900 different servers in over 300 countries at their disposal. They also have a reputation of excellent customer service and since many people use HideMyAss VPN, there is a robust community of users to offer support.
How Much Does HideMyAss Cost?
No respectable HideMyAss review would be complete without a rundown on the costs! As is the norm with VPN services, HideMyAss offers three different subscription tiers, 1 month, 6 months and 12 months. The service is the same across all options, however the cost is reduced if you opt for longer subscription periods. At the time of this writing, prices are as follows:
- 1 month: $9.99/month
- 6 months: $6.66/month
- 12 months: $4.99/month
While they do not offer a free trial, HideMyAss VPN has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Compatibility and Interface
HideMyAss VPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. While the HideMyAss website offers detailed instructions on how to manually set up the HMA VPN, their downloadable clients are preferable.
The HMA Pro VPN client is easy enough to navigate and has a ton of useful features, including a geographical map showing all available servers and a built in speed test, which allows you to find the fastest server in relation to you, which is an invaluable tool.
Encryption and Privacy
HideMyAss VPN offers three supported protocols. OpenVPN and L2TP both offer 256-bit encryption, whereas the PPTP protocol offers 128-bit. PPTP is outdated and not all that secure, so you’ll want to avoid that one. L2TP is very useful as it is much harder to block, meaning that you’ll have better luck streaming from geo-blocked sites.
Despite the American spelling of “arse” in their name, HideMyAss VPN is based in the UK. Due to the UK’s data retention laws, HideMyAss is required by law to track and keep partial logs of its users online activity. This means that HMA will hand over your info if the authorities come knocking, as seen in the 2011 LulzSec crackdown. However for the majority of users who abide by the law, this shouldn’t impact them that much.
HideMyAss Review: The Verdict
HideMyAss VPN has a large number of servers, more than any other VPN service, meaning that finding a speedy server in the country of your choice is pretty painless. As with any VPN, download and upload speeds can take a hit when routing your traffic, but the HMA VPN client can point you in the direction of a speedier alternative.
Because the company is based in the UK, they are held to UK data retention laws, which essentially denies their users the anonymity many other VPNs offer.
The overall price is reasonable, and the high quality customer support and sheer number of servers justify the price.
Overall, HideMyAss VPN gives users access to an unparalleled amount of servers, coupled with a feature-rich, easy to set up interface. However, users have to forgo the privacy and anonymity they would enjoy with other VPN providers. Considering the sheer amount of users HideMyAss services, it is one that is easy to recommend. Click here to learn more about HideMyAss.
Thanks for reading our HideMyAss review, and good luck to you!