- Connect to 196 Countries
- 30-day Money-back Guarantee
- Access to 120,000+ IPs
“Super slick and easy-to-use, HMA! really shines with its choice of servers and great support.”
City-level server choices are perfect for streaming local events
Huge range of server locations will suit globetrotters
Freedom Mode connects you to the closest free-speech country
HideMyAss! (HMA!) is owned by leading anti-virus software company AVG and thanks to that financial backing has one of the sleekest, best-designed VPN apps in the market. The UK-based service was launched in 2010 and stands out as a sterling choice for anyone looking for a VPN with a broad range of server locations. With over 120,000 IP addresses across over 940 servers, the sheer size of the HMA! networks guarantees performance and reliability. The choice of over 60 US cities makes HMA! an excellent option for users requiring specific US locations to beat live sports blackouts. The corporate backing also provides excellent customer support with snappy response times and rich online resources.
The simple, slick app makes HMA! a great choice for people who just want to connect and get on with their lives rather than tinkering with settings. By the same stroke, if you are looking for the highest levels of privacy and anonymity then HMA! may not be the absolute best choice due to its incorporation in the UK, which leaves it subject to EU data retention regulations and intelligence-sharing agreements with the US.
If absolute anonymity is your priority then HMA! isn’t the best option available to you. It’s incorporated in the UK, which not only means it falls under EU data regulations but also covered by intelligence sharing agreements between the US and the US.
While HMA! does not monitor or keep a record of to what you connect over its service, it does log your connection timestamps, the amount of data transmitted per session and your IP address along with the IP address of the VPN server to which you connected.
These logs are usually stored for up three months then deleted, however they retain logs for longer than that if they suspect you of breaching their terms or engaging in any “illicit activity”.
All that said, if all you need is to browse public Wi-Fi safely and stream geo-restricted content then HMA! is as private and secure as you need it to be. It also has a built-in killswitch and DNS leak blocking while HMA! maintain first-party DNS servers, which is the strongly preferable option for privacy purposes.
|Open VPN (Auto)|
|Open VPN (UDP/TCP)|
|Supports TCP Port 443|
|Supports SSH Tunnel|
|Supports SSL Tunnel|
|Strongest encryption||AES-256||256-bit Blowfish||AES-256|
|First party DNS servers|
|DNS Leak Blocking|
|Anonymous payment method|
|Tor over VPN server|
HideMyAss! has stepped up its speed game in our most recent tests and is showing the kind of performance to match its very nicely design apps. The France server is the current standout and has doubled its download speed to now be zippy enough to deal with several HD streams or other high-bandwidth multi-tasking activities. Not far behind are the German and UK servers, who have also clocked big speed increases in our tests.
It’s also great to see similar performance on distant servers like Mexico, which is a great sign for the overall performance of the global network whatever your access location. The China-based server has also delivered a bump in speed and while slow by western standards, it’s now more like what you would expect. We will be keeping a close eye on HMA! to see if there is yet more improvement in their performance.
|Max download speed||41.67 (FRA)||42.19 (FRA)||61.14 (UK)|
|Max upload speed||15.18 (FRA)||30.71 (UK)||36.64 (FRA)|
|Average time to connect||9s||23s||8s|
|Tested and working with||Netflix, Facebook, Torrenting, Google-Gmail, Gaming, Twitter||Facebook, Netflix, Google-Gmail, BBC iPlayer, Pandora, Youtube||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Gaming, Torrenting, Facebook, Twitter, Google-Gmail, Kodi|
|SERVER LOCATION||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)|
HMA! has a very generous choice of servers locations spread across the globe, typically with multiple options per country. We love how you can choose a country and allow the software to optimise server choice for best performance or choose your own city manually. The US is particularly well-served with choices from Alabama to Wyoming and plenty in between. In fact, for US sports fans looking to beat the blackouts, HMA! is a very strong choice due to the breadth of US cities on offer. It’s also a performance booster for any US-based user as the closer the server, the better the performance. HMA! doesn’t just shine in the US, as it offers many countries that get overlooked by its rivals.
The new HMA! app is really well-designed and one of the best looking pieces of VPN software that we have had the pleasure of reviewing. It’s simple and modern but retains the cheeky, playful branding and feel we have come to expect from HideMyAss! It very much has an mobile app-like feel on desktop with all the action taking place in a smartphone-like window.
The search function works seamlessly, which is great given the vast number of servers to choose from. Confirmation messages and other information, such as your old vs new IP address, are presented intuitively and strike a good balance between keeping you informed and getting out of the way. Very occasionally the interface was slightly unresponsive but it was far from a dealbreaker or frequent enough to be annoying.
The app is very simple to use, even offering an “Instant Mode” that just creates the best possible connection for you. For more advanced users though the simplicity might be a curse, as perhaps our biggest complaint is the lack of advanced manual options within the app itself.
The mobile app trumps the desktop version here as it offers a choice of security protocols whereas the desktop appears to be OpenVPN only with no manual settings at all.
We were really impressed by the customer support from HideMyAss!, via email it was incredibly quick and very helpful. Live chat support is also excellent. The knowledge base on the HMA! website is certainly comprehensive and the only thing holding them back from a perfect score here is that it could be more clearly organised for browsing. There’s a ton of information here that many users might not find unless they go looking.