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HideMyAss Review – Fast Speeds, but Privacy Concernsopen_in_new
If you’ve ever thought about your internet privacy and whether or not you’re safe, you’re not alone. The people at HideMyAss (HMA) promise total privacy and protection through the latest and greatest technology.
HideMyAss comes with a lot of benefits, but it also comes with some significant downsides. We don’t want to scare you too early but, HMA has some logging policy issues that we’ll discuss later on.
Are the good features enough to outweigh the bad? Let’s see.
Like many VPN services, HideMyAss sets out to do what everyone else wants to do; protect your identity by allowing you to remain anonymous online. Many VPNs try and fail at this because their service is either too slow, not secure enough, or too sketchy for anyone to trust.
HideMyAss seems like a reputable service from the outside looking in. It has a professional website, top of the line encryption standards, decent speed tests, and a ton of servers.
What could go wrong?
Safety and security is an essential part of a VPN, right? You want a service that smoothly and seamlessly hides your IP address to keep all the “peeping toms” out. During our research, we test security based on a few factors:
We looked at HMAs leak test and found that for the most part, it came back clean. Next, let’s look at the level of encryption HMA uses. It uses OpenVPN 256-bit encryption so it’s about the best you can get.
Lastly, one of the biggest problems we have with HideMyAss is its logging policy. It is not afraid to share the fact that it collects your username, connect and disconnect times, amount of data, IP used to connect, and VPN IP used.
This is horrible; if anything goes wrong, it has a direct connection between the IP that signed on and the VPN server that is used.
It gets worse.
It monitors the use of the network to improve the service, to prevent fraud, and to prevent abuse of the system or illicit activity.
Let’s go back in time to 2011 when a young man named Cody Kretsinger was involved in the Sony Pictures hack. He was using an HMA server at that time, and HMA handed his information over to the FBI.
Streaming Netflix is hit or miss on HMA, sometimes it works, and other times it does not. It depends what server you use, and during our research, we found that one server in the Netherlands worked while none of the others did.
HideMyAss doesn’t come right out and say that you shouldn’t torrent on its servers, but it strongly encourages you not to. During our research, we found many users complain of prolonged data transfer and occasional blocking of torrent clients.
Keep in mind that HMA tracks and stores almost everything you do, if you are violating its terms, you are going to get caught.
When you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it does. HideMyAss is not cheap. They offer one premium payment option with a 30-day money back guarantee. Here is a breakdown of the pricing for HMA:
It’s not all bad news with HMA. One of the best things about this VPN is its server speeds. We noticed during our research that most users experience about a 30% reduction in speed when on an HMA server. It might sound bad, but this is nothing compared to some other VPNs we have tested.
US and EU servers performed well with the Asia servers being the slowest at about 19 Mbps.
We usually attribute high download speeds to the number of servers a service has available. HideMyAss has over 930 servers in 280 locations across 190 countries; that is impressive.
Its servers span all corners of the globe from Greenland to South Africa so you’ll have the best chance of getting fast speeds if you choose one that is close to your current location.
During our research, we look for things like response times and the available points of contact for customer support. HMA provides a few different ways for you to contact them. You can get support via email, social media, or live chat on its website. We always find live chat to be a double-edged sword when it comes to VPNs.
Some services have a great process of handling inquiries, and they do so promptly. Others take days to respond, and it becomes pointless even to call it a “live chat.” During our research, we found that response times were quick via the live chat but not so much with email and social media for HMA.
Would we recommend HideMyAss to our readers?
Yes and no.
This VPN has a large number of servers, strong speed test results, and top-notch encryption. But, all of that goes out the window if it is logging your information, storing your data, and giving it away to those who ask. The potential is there with HMA, but there are also risks.
In addition to logging concerns, you also don’t get access to Netflix or torrenting so we can’t even recommend it for that purpose.
If you can overlook some of the shortcomings, you mind find a good VPN in HideMyAss.
Make sure to check out some of our other VPN reviews!