To install and begin using HMA VPN, create an account on the HMA website and choose one of its pricing plans. From there, download HMA onto your preferred device and enter your login details.
For us, this entire process took around 10 minutes to complete and we didn’t encounter any issues.
On desktop, the HMA app launches a second installer following its initial download. This downloads quickly and only happens on your first time launching the HMA Windows or Mac apps.
HMA VPN hasn’t updated its app design since 2019. Despite this, its apps are still easy to use, with a streamlined and intuitive user interface.
Below is an in-depth overview of our experience using HMA VPN on every major operating system:
Desktop & Laptop (Windows & Mac)
HMA’s Windows and Mac apps adopt the same easy-to-use interface but differ in available features.
Apart from the Advanced tab on the Windows app (top), HMA’s desktop apps are identical.
Upon launching HMA for the first time, you are given a quick tutorial on how to use the app and what its features mean. This is particularly helpful for VPN beginners.
Additionally, the side panel can be expanded at any time and contains comprehensive explanations for HMA’s advanced settings.
You can start your VPN connection by simply toggling the central button to ‘ON’. There’s no need to open your settings or server list to do this.
Once connected, you can click the ‘shuffle’ button next to your VPN IP address if you want to quickly get a new one. We like this feature but we wish the option to change VPN protocol was alongside it. It’s annoying having to open an entirely new window to do this.
HMA’s desktop apps make it easy to view all 195 server locations. VPN servers are split into categories including: continent, P2P-optimized, and streaming. You can also use the search bar to locate a specific VPN server location.
However, we don’t like how the settings open in an entirely new window and blocks the home screen of the app. It isn’t obvious that you have to close this window to return to the main app, either.
Within the app’s settings, the option to change VPN protocol is filed under ‘Advanced’ and not ‘Connection.’ This is unintuitive and may confuse VPN beginners and experts alike.
We also don’t like that you can’t resize the HMA app on Windows or Mac. This made it difficult to use the app alongside a second window, such as a torrenting client.
Mobile (iPhone & Android)
HMA’s mobile apps are easy-to-use with a sleek, uncluttered UI. You can connect to a VPN server by tapping the connect button on the home screen.
Split tunneling is only available on the HMA Android app (right).
Both apps support the Lightning Connect feature (optimal location on iOS) if you want to connect quickly without a specific server location in mind.
The iOS app is the least functional of all HMA’s apps – providing almost no configurability and options.
In fact, ‘connection rules’ is the only setting and is limited to basic toggles relating to cellular data and trusted WiFi networks.
There’s no VPN kill switch, protocol selection, or split tunneling.
The Android App offers far more advanced features and configurability than its iOS counterpart. These include IP shuffle from desktop, kill switch, TCP-only mode, and split tunneling.
You can quickly access these features by tapping the tabs at the bottom of the homescreen.
We are disappointed to see that HMA hasn’t added any mobile-only features to either of its apps. There isn’t an option to switch to a dark mode interface and HMA doesn’t take advantage of any iOS or Android integrations.
The end result is apps that don’t feel optimized for mobile. Instead, HMA’s mobile apps are identical to their desktop counterparts in almost every way.
Android TV App
HMA VPN’s custom Android TV app retains the user-friendly design of its desktop and mobile apps.
It didn’t take us long to setup the HMA Android TV app.
You can use the Lightning Connect button to quickly connect to the nearest available server or you can choose one of HMA’s 195 server locations.
There’s a search function to make server navigation easier as well as tabs for each continent.
During our testing, we were able to stream US Netflix and BBC iPlayer directly on our TV screen without any issues.
The Android TV app runs on all Android-powered Smart TVs and streaming devices. You can also use the VPN on a Chromecast with Google TV device.
The Android TV app includes useful settings such as split tunneling, a VPN kill switch, and IP Shuffle.