HideMyAss was launched in the UK in 2005, by a 16 year old entrepreneur. Despite originating from a country branded as an “Enemy of the Internet”, it's one of the most famous VPN provider on the market. I used it for a couple years and I never had any problems. However, the situation of HMA is not stable since 2015. So let's review HideMyAss in details now.
HideMyAss, a VPN in the midst of acquisitions
Indeed, Hide My Ass was launched in 2005 by Jack Cator. The incorporation of the business happened in 2010 under Netco Solutions Ltd. Then, the company changed its name to Privax in 2012. Since then, HideMyAss has grown into a world-wide business.
Therefore it caught AVG Technologies' attention (you know, the antivirus company). And in 2015, AVG purchased Privax for reportedly $40 million, with an additional $20 million bonus.
And the following year, Avast Software announced an agreement to acquire AVG for $1.3 billion. In conclusion, HideMyAss now belongs to Avast… Now you understand that the situation can be a bit confusing. But my guess is that as long as Privax is based in the UK, it is subject to mandatory logging and GCHQ monitoring.
On another hand, HideMyAss provides the largest server network. Indeed, it offers over 940 servers and 120,000 IP addresses in 350 worldwide locations. Therefore, you can really unblock most content anywhere in the world.
Furthermore, you can enjoy free tools from HideMyAss: Web proxy, anonymous email, anonymous referrer and browser extensions. Check their website to take advantage of these!
HideMyAss: Plans and pricing
HideMyAss will cost you about £9 if you buy a single month subscription package. However, you can save over 40% with their yearly subscription plan! Which is a good cost for a VPN with such services and quality. As usual, click on the image to get the latest promotions.
Whether you're not sure to subscribe, you can enjoy a trial for 7 days after you signed up. Furthermore, there is a 30 days money-back guarantee policy as well. You can use and cancel the services if you are not satisfied with it. However, once you try it, it is difficult to go for another VPN!
Summary sheet for HideMyAss
|Encryption||Military 256 bit|
|Protocols||PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN|
|Supported devices||PC (Windows, Mac, Linux), Android, iOS, Selected routers|
|OpenVPN supported||Support for SSL-based OpenVPN protocol on 256-bit data encryption.|
|Support type||24/7/365 Live Chat, mail, phone|
|Money back guarantee?||30 days|
The VPN HideMyAss in details
HideMyAss decided to keep two versions of their client in parallel because of the different needs of their users: The version 3: A “lighter” version for first time users who do not need advanced options. And the version 188.8.131.52: A full version that includes all features (dashboard and settings).
Version 3: A simple interface for noobs
With their new interface, HideMyAss makes it super easy to use their services. Indeed, you can choose between three modes:
- Instant Mode: To connect to the fastest server
- Location Mode: To connect to a specific location (country or city)
- Freedom Mode: To connect to the closest country with a high level of freedom of speech
For example, if you want to watch Sky Go in another country, you select Location Mode. And you choose the country (United Kingdom, I hope you're following…) or a city (in the UK). Finally, click on the switch. And your device is now connected from the UK.
And if you're already located in the UK, you can surf anonymously. Because HMA encrypts your connection and anonymize your IP address. In order to connect, the process is exactly the same, select a UK server and click on the switch. Or click on the switch in the Instant Mode.
Version 2: A complete interface for advanced users
First of all, if you want to install this version, you need to download the client from your Customer Area. And there you will have the interface you always had if you're a long date user of Hide My Ass. Ok, it looks old school. But it's efficient and offers more features.
Therefore, in this case, you can use the Quick VPN location change dropdown menu to select a server. Or go to the Country selection tab and select your server.
Version 3: What settings?
Well, let's make it short: There aren't settings. I let you check the Preferences below. Because it's self explanatory!
Version 2: Full service
While I prefer the design of version 3, I must admit version 2 is more attractive for the features it offers. Indeed, for the same price (same subscription) you can enjoy:
IP address settings
This is the perfect feature for marketing operators or for a total anonymity! HMA allows you to continuously change your IP address while connected. And it's automatic and customizable according to your needs.
This feature is similar to what most providers call an Internet Kill Switch. If standard is setting is Enabled, it means that every application is covered. However, it's also possible to manually select the apps you want to protect.
Speed guide and Proxy settings
A quick word on these two features. Speed guide is there to help you select the fastest server. While Proxy settings, as you already guessed, allows you to setup a connection through a proxy. And two protocols are available: HTTP and SOCKS.
That's almost an exclusivity from HideMyAss! Indeed, few VPN providers offer to emulate countries without connecting to physical servers located in these countries. Maybe it's not clear yet, so let me explain.
Let's say you're in Germany, for whatever reason, and you want to watch US Netflix. Then you can connect to a server in the US, of course. Or you can can connect to a server in Germany which virtually emulates an American IP address. So you get a better speed and better ping!
While you can connect to virtual servers on both versions of the software, I couldn't find the list of all the available servers… So I guess you don't really have a choice in the matter. Or you have to review the all list…
HideMyAss was launched in the UK in 2005, by a 16 year old entrepreneur. Despite originating from a country branded as an "Enemy of the Internet", it's one of the most famous VPN provider on the market. I used it for a couple years and I never had any problems. However, the situation of HMA is not stable since 2015.
HideMyAss is a reliable and affordable VPN solution, however with potential privacy isues. It is suitable for all those who need an simple VPN to watch streaming TV and surf anonymously (maybe) on 2 devices only, without limits.
- Good speed connection
- Large selection of countries
- Native app for iPhone and Android
- User friendly
- Logging policy
- Not torrent friendly
- No built-in firewall (NAT firewall)
- No IP binding