HMA VPN Review: Is It a Good Choice in 2020?

HMA VPN logo
Verdict:
RECOMMENDED
Overall Score:
8.8 / 10

HideMyAss (HMA) is a giant in the world of VPNs.

An industry veteran, the VPN service is known for its fast speeds, robust encryption, and extensive server network.

Whether you are looking for a personal or business VPN, HMA offers it all.

But is it a good choice for you?

Keep reading to find out.

In this HMA VPN review, I’ll examine everything – from speed and security to streaming capabilities and customer support.

General Info & Features

JurisdictionUK
LoggingNo-logging policy
EncryptionAES 256-bit
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
PriceCheck Latest Price
Payment MethodsCredit Card, PayPal, Google Pay, Alipay
Refund Policy30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Simultaneous Connections 5 Devices (Personal Plan) 10 Devices (Family Plan) 10+ Devices (Business Plan)
Location & Servers190+ Countries, 1100+ server
P2P (Torrenting)Yes
Live Chat SupportYes
Supported Platforms
Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Router
Official Website:https://www.hidemyass.com/

Overview of HMA VPN

HMA is a popular VPN service that is used by millions of users across the world.

The VPN was launched in 2005 by Jack Cator, a 16-year old student seeking to get around his school’s firewall.

Fast forward to today, and the service is now owned and run by Avast, a Czech multinational cybersecurity company.

"Now a member of the Avast family, we’re part of the largest and most trusted security company in the world. With over 400 million users out there (and at least one donkey), each helping to make our network stronger against the bad guys, you know you’ll be in safe hands (or hooves)".

- HMA

After a few years of controversy with regards to user privacy, HMA seems to be “dusting itself off and picking up its mission where it left off.”

And in May 2020, HideMyAss announced that it was introducing a no-logging policy, prompting me to give it another look.

So far, I’ve been impressed by the VPN.

It’s fast, secure, and easy-to-use. HMA is also feature-rich and provides access to 1100+ servers in over 290 locations across the globe.

With the VPN, you can beat censorship and unblock geo-blocked media. The VPN also supports P2P traffic and does not impose any bandwidth restrictions.

You can use the service on a wide range of devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Pros

Cons

Privacy & Jurisdiction

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If you pay close attention to the privacy policy of many VPNs, you might be shocked to find out that they still record activity data despite having a ‘no-logging policy.’

Fortunately, HMA is straightforward and transparent about their privacy practices.

Does HideMyAss Keep Logs?

HMA no logging policy

HideMyAss keeps neither connection nor activity logs.

In May 2020, the VPN finally got rid of the intrusive logging policy, which was once its main weakness.

Now, when using the VPN, you don’t have to worry about your browsing history being recorded.

"No activity of any kind is logged. Whether it's where you surf, what kind of data you transfer, or which IPs you access during a visit — we don't log it!"

- HMA

According to its privacy policy, HideMyAss does not log:

  • Originating IP address
  • DNS queries
  • Browsing history
  • Transferred data

It’s also worth noting that the VPN uses its own secure DNS servers, ensuring your queries are protected from third parties.

What’s even more pleasing is that HMA has had its logging policy and privacy practices audited.

VerSprite, a cyber-risk consultant firm, conducted the audit.

It “included analyses of data, traffic, and storage on both the client and server-side, and the disconnection of user identities with data containing information about online user activity.”

HideMyAss received a ‘low-risk rating,’ which is the best possible rating given by VerSprite.

Overall, I was happy with the logging policy.

But while the provider will not log your IP or online activities, they still need some personal data to provide and optimize the service.

However, HMA collects the bare minimum, and the data is stored temporarily. Some of the information they record includes:

  • Email address
  • Activation code
  • Billing information
  • Day of connection

On the bright side, this information is not aggregated and, as such, cannot be traced back to you.

Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws

Jurisdiction remains one of the main drawbacks of HideMyAss.

Although their parent company – Avast – is located in the Czech Republic, HMA is based in the United Kingdom.

The UK is a terrible jurisdiction for VPNs.

The country has some of the most invasive data retention laws you can find.

Through the Investigatory Powers Act, also known as the Snooper’s Charter, the government can force VPNs to share your online activities.

That’s alarming.

And it’s even more so when you factor in that the UK is a member of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

That means they can share the data they gather with other governments like the US, Australia, and Germany.

But it’s not all bad news with HMA.

As mentioned earlier, the VPN has implemented a strict no-logging policy to get around the UK’s intrusive data laws.

Without logs, there’s no data.

If the government subpoenaed the company, they would be unable to get their hands on anything meaningful.

How Secure Is HideMyAss?

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If your VPN is poorly encrypted, it can expose your online traffic to your ISP and other prying eyes.

So, does HMA VPN use secure protocols and encryption?

Tunneling Protocols & Encryption

HMA is highly secure and offers all the security features you would expect from a premium VPN.

In regards to encryption, HideMyAss uses AES 256-bit, the gold standard in the VPN industry.

The algorithm is impenetrable and can keep you safe even on public Wi-Fi.

You can use the encryption alongside either OpenVPN or IKEv2, depending on your device.

By default, HMA uses OpenVPN UDP but gives you the option to connect via TCP.

Other Great Security Features

Fully encrypted servers

HideMyAss offers more than just the basics of VPN security.

It’s loaded with advanced features, including:

  • Leak protection: The VPN comes with built-in protection against both IPv4 and IPv6. It also relies on its own zero-knowledge HMA DNS servers to route your DNS requests, which keeps your traffic encrypted and prevents leaks.
  • Automatic kill switch: HideMyAss apps feature a ‘smart kill switch,’ which makes sure no data leaks in the event your connection to a VPN server drops.
  • Split tunneling: With the HMA, you don’t have to forego your encryption when accessing printers and other LAN resources. The VPN’s split-tunneling feature allows you to tunnel select apps through the VPN while letting everything else connect to the web normally.
  • IP Shuffle: If you’re big on anonymity, then you’ll love HMA’s IP Shuffle feature. It allows you to randomize your IP addresses anywhere from every 10 minutes, making it hard for trackers to keep up.
  • DDoS protection: HMA protects you from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can slow down your internet or completely take you off the internet.

Leak Tests

HideMyAss impresses with its security features.

Its protocols and encryption are top-notch, and the VPN has an internet kill switch to block leaks.

But does the kill switch do its job?

Again, do its leak protection tools stop your IP and DNS information from being exposed?

I connected to random servers and tested for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. 

HMA offers its own leak testing tools, which I found to be quite convenient. I also used multiple other tools, including IPLeak.Org, IP8.Com, and IPLeak.Net.

After extensive testing, I did not find any connection leaks whatsoever.

Below is a snapshot of the results.

Note: When conducting the tests, I connected to the Phoenix, Arizona, and my public IP address was 28.83.132.152.

Connected to HideMyAss

IP Leak Test

IPLeak.org results

DNS Leak Test

IP8.com result

WebRTC Leak Test – WebRTC Tool

WebRTC HMA results

Virus & Malware Test

While leaks can be scary, they aren’t the only issue you should be concerned with when getting a VPN.

That’s because, just like any other software, VPN application files can also inject malware into your device.

After checking for connection leaks, I put HMA through VirusTotal.Com to make sure it was safe.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the VPN app did not contain any malware.

Virus and Malware test results

With its robust encryption, zero leaks, and a verified no-logging policy, HMA should keep you safe online.

Speed & Performance

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A VPN will inevitably slow down your internet connection.

Usually, that’s due to the encryption implemented by the VPN to secure your online traffic.

That said, some VPNs perform better than others.

While some are frustratingly slow to use, others allow you to stream Ultra HD and even 4K videos.

Speed Test Results

On their website, HideMyAss states that it offers 20 Gbps server speeds.

They further claim that each server can stream 4K videos 800 times in parallel.

All that sounds exciting, but it can be argued that the numbers are just theoretical.

So, to see how the VPN performs in real-life situations, I connected to different servers and ran multiple speed tests.

Note: When conducting the speed tests, my baseline speed was 39.84 Mbps download, 26.90 Mbps upload, and a ping of 39 ms.

Network speed without a VPN
Speed Without Using a VPN
HideMyAss London's speed result
London, UK
Speed connected to New York, US
New York, US
Connected to Australia's server
Melbourne, Australia

HMA offers fast speeds. As you would expect with any VPN, the nearest server locations (Europe) delivered the best performance.

I barely noticed any difference in speed when connected to the London, UK server.

To give you a clearer picture, HMA slowed down my internet speeds by a mere 6 percent. Not many VPNs can pull that off.

However, there was a noticeable drop when connected via distant locations.

My download speeds reduced by 29 and 53 percent when connected to the US and Australian servers, respectively.

Overall, I was satisfied with the speeds.

To get the best out of HMA, I recommend connecting to servers closest to you.

CriteriaPing (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Baseline Data39 ms39.84 Mbps26.90 Mbps
Connected to London, UK328 ms37.26 Mbps9.77 Mbps
Connected to New York, US529 ms28.02 Mbps14.65 Mbps
Connected to Melbourne, Australia672 ms18.17 Mbps11.93 Mbps

Media Streamig

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VPNs provide a simple way to access geo-blocked content.

But while most VPN will seamlessly unblock restricted media on YouTube or Facebook, Netflix is a different beast altogether.

The streaming platform is quick to identify VPN IPs and backlist them. As a result, very few VPNs work with the service.

I tested several HideMyAss servers to see if they can unblock the US Netflix library, which is the largest.

The result was a mix of success and failure.

But that was before I contacted customer support and identified the Netflix optimized server.

With the Liberty Island server, I was able to unblock American Netflix and stream US exclusives like Dexter, Jericho, and The West Wing.

HMA also provides a streaming-optimized server for BBC iPlayer, which they’ve labeled Donkey Town.

Streaming ServiceStatus
US NetflixWorking
iPlayerWorking
HuluWorking
Disney+Working
Amazon Prime VideoWorking

Torrenting (P2P)

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While torrenting is legal in most jurisdictions, downloading copyrighted content isn’t.

If you’re caught, you could end up getting DMCA notices, or worse, face fines.

A good VPN allows you to hide your identity and torrenting activity.

Is HideMyAss Good for Torrenting?

Yes, HideMyAss is a good VPN for torrenting.

The service does not discriminate against P2P traffic, and you can download torrents on most of their servers.

And although HMA has a history of complying with the authorities, its new zero-logging policy makes it ideal for torrenting.

Another thing that makes this VPN perfect for torrenting is its robust encryption. HMA’s AES 256-bit cipher is impregnable and can keep you safe when you’re connected to a torrent swarm.

HideMyAss is also fast and does not impose data caps or bandwidth limitations.

Countries & Servers

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HMA VPN server locations

HMA is an industry leader when it comes to global server coverage.

The provider provides access to 1100+ servers in 290+ locations across 190+ countries.

Yes, 190+ countries.

Given that there are only 195 countries, that means HMA has servers in all but 5 countries in the world.

That’s just incredible.

With HMA, you don’t have to route your connection through distant servers. You can easily find nearby servers allowing you to improve speed and reduce latency.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

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HMA’s compatibility is among the best that I’ve seen. The VPN supports a wide range of platforms, including:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Android TV
  • Routers

Additionally, HideMyAss also offers proxy extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

How Many Devices Does HideMyAss Allow at a Go?

HMA allows you to connect 5 devices at a go or up to 10 simultaneous connections on the family plan.

Customer Support

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Customer support is one of the key things I look at when picking a VPN.

You never want to need it, but when you do, you realize how valuable good customer support is.

HMA does well in this category.

Their customer support agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and respond quickly.

You can reach them through:

  • Email
  • Live chat
HideMyAss live chat agent

Live chat support is usually quick and convenient, but HMA takes it a notch higher. On contacting them, I got a response in less than a minute.

Immediately after I sent my query, I received an automated greeting, which was quickly followed by a response from Brandon, a customer support agent.

If you prefer self-help options, HMA has a knowledgebase and a community forum as well.

The help page on their website contains FAQs, setup tutorials, and information on how to get started with HMA VPN.

Further, HideMyAss has a YouTube channel where you can find video content (like animations and tutorials).

User Experience & Usability

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HideMyAss has some of the best-designed VPN apps you can find.

The latest version simplified things further while adding extra customization options for advanced users. This makes it perfect for both beginners and experienced users alike.

Getting started with HMA is quite simple. Installation is a breeze, and the VPN has a simple ON and OFF button that allows you to secure your browsing with a single click.

From the Settings window, you can enable security features, including IP shuffle, internet kill switch, and the app kill switch.

HideMyAss preferences

HMA also gives you the option to exclude private networks and set the VPN to automatically turn on only when you’re using a public network.

Exclude Private Network option

Overall, the VPN is simple and intuitive to use. That holds true across all HMA native VPN applications.

Affordability

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HMA offers one of the most affordable packages I’ve seen, with just $2.99 per month if you opt for the 36-month subscription.

However, their short-term plans aren’t as competitive.

How Much Does HMA VPN Cost?

HMA offers a total of five subscription plans to choose from. There are monthly, biannual, annual, two-year, and three-year packages available.

All come with the same features, and as usual, the long-term plans are heavily-discounted and offer significantly better value for money.

If you decide to sign up for HMA, you can do so using any of the following subscription plans:

  • 1-month plan – $11.99 per month
  • 6-month plan – $8.99 per month
  • 1-year plan – $4.99 per month
  • 2-year plan – $4.99 per month
  • 3-year plans – $2.99 per month

Besides the personal plans, HMA also offers family and business packages.

The family package is perfect if you have a family or more than 5 devices in your home. With the family plan, you can connect up to 10 simultaneous connections.

Currently, HMA offers three subscription options on the family plan:

  • 12-month plan – $7.99 per month
  • 24-month plan – $6.99 per month
  • 36-month plan – $5.99 per month

HMA also offers affordable business VPN solutions, which you can tailor to meet your specific needs.

You can choose between 10, 20, and 30 simultaneous connections as well as create your own custom plan.

Does HideMyAss Offer a Free Trial?

HideMyAss provides a 7-day free trial, which allows you to test the VPN service for a whole week before you sign up.

Payment Methods

When it comes to payment options, HideMyAss accepts just about everything. You can pay using:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay
  • Alipay
  • SOFORT
  • WebMoney

Refund Policy

On top of the 7-day free trial, HMA offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can request a refund on purchases made via their online stores or Google Play.

To get your money back, you’ll need to cancel your subscription within the first 30 days and file a request with customer support.

User Reviews

HideMyAss has been around for a long time, and the high number of users reviews online is a testament to that.

On Trustpilot alone, the VPN has been reviewed over 2500 times.

I went through the feedback, and it seemed most users were happy with the service.

HideMyAss VPN reviews

I also combed through Reddit and multiple online forums, and likewise, most of the recent comments were full of praise for HMA.

More opinions

FAQ

Is HideMyAss VPN Safe?

HMA is safe to use. The VPN does not collect user data, and its zero-logging policy has been both audited and certified as safe.

Is HMA a Scam?

HideMyAss (HMA) is not a scam. The provider – Avast – is one of the most trustworthy in the cybersecurity industry.

Is HideMyAss VPN free?

HMA is a premium VPN and does not provide a freemium version. However, the provider offers a 7-day free trial allowing you to test the service free of charge.

Alternatives to HMA VPN

Not many VPNs can compete with HMA.

The service is fast, secure, and easy to use.

The provider has also done a magnificent job when it comes to its server network.

That said, if you find it hard to look past its drawbacks and controversial past, you can check out the alternatives below.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another exciting alternative for HMA. The VPN provides access to over 3000 servers in 94 countries across the globe.

While that pales in comparison to HMA’s 190 countries, ExpressVPN’s speeds are much superior.

This makes it perfect for torrenting, gaming, and streaming media online. The VPN also offers a Smart DNS service, which allows you to bypass geo-restrictions with zero speed loss.

ExpressVPN’s only major drawback is its steep prices.

But you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee and try the VPN risk-free.

Similarities

Differences

NordVPN

NordVPN is arguably the most popular VPN right now. It’s lightning-fast and works smoothly with Netflix and other primary streaming services.

In regards to security, NordVPN has similar encryption to HMA but offers a wider range of protocols. The VPN supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard.

NordVPN provides 5400+ servers in over 59 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.

If you’re looking for a service that supports multi-hop, dedicated IPs, and the WireGuard protocol.

Similarities

Differences

IPVanish

IPVanish website

IPVanish is the complete opposite of HMA in regards to its server network. While HideMyAss relies heavily on virtual servers, IPVanish uses physical servers only.

Its connections are fast, and the VPN supports unlimited simultaneous connections.

Similarities

Differences

Do I Recommend HMA VPN?

HideMyAss is a well-rounded VPN that offers fast connections, intuitive apps, and a set of advanced security features.

It also has a strict no-logging policy, which has been verified by independent auditors.

Everything considered HMA is a solid VPN service.

But do I recommend it?

You bet I do.

HMA’s past may not be blemish-free, but the VPN has dusted itself off and is now one of the most secure in 2020.

It also offers excellent server coverage and works perfectly with Netflix.

Check out HMA VPN’s discount offer here.

Try HMA VPN Risk-FREE!

Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.

Bram Jansen
Bram Jansen
I'm Bram Jensen, a leading expert in the realm of cyberspace, ever since I was little, books like Neuromancer and The Foundation always fascinated me, this fiction of a world that isn't simply based within the real world. As I started growing up, I started gaining interest in how I could manipulate this cyberspace that's available in the real world, so I picked a career that I knew was right for me.