HideMyAss Review – 2017 Update

I had hoped to see some changes with HideMyAss since our last review, especially in the privacy department. While performance-wise we didn't experience any issues, the recent negative headlines surrounding HMA should make anyone pause before signing up to their service. Keep reading this HideMyAss review for further details, or test them out for yourself using the link below.
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Review of: HideMyAss
VPN by:

Reviewed by:
On September 15, 2016
Last modified:December 20, 2016


Read our updated HideMyAss Review to see why you should avoid "Hiding Your Ass" with this relatively disappointing VPN provider.

Pricing & Plans

HideMyAss offers one all-inclusive plan, with three different tiers of pricing available: 1, 6, and 12 months. While the month-to-month price is a bit high, the annual plan is fairly cheap at just $4.99 a month.
HideMyAss pricing stays pretty close to the industry average, although it’s not quite as affordable as Private Internet Access or ibVPN.

HideMyAss Pricing

HideMyAss allows various payment options when signing up, including all major credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfer. I was disappointed to see the absence of a Bitcoin option, but even this small detail seems to fit right in with HMA’s general lack of privacy.
HideMyAss Payment Methods
HMA has a 30-day money back guarantee in place, although this isn’t available for orders made through Google Play or iTunes.

The free trial does require payment information to be submitted, but HideMyAss doesn’t charge you until the trial is up. You can cancel any time during the trial, which should be enough time to see if the service is right for you.


  • ProsPROS
  • Website is easy to navigate
  • Only need an email to sign up
  • Additional free services
  • Relatively affordable
  • Seven-day free trial
  • ConsCONS
  • Based in the UK
  • Poor track record with privacy


HideMyAss started in 2005, originating as a free proxy service, and has now grown to become one of the largest VPN providers around. Unfortunately, a black mark on the service is that it is based in the UK and is subject to mandatory logging and GCHQ monitoring.

HideMyAss operates under Privax LTD, a company based in the UK. Privax was purchased in 2015 in a deal worth up to $60 million by AVG Technologies, whose security software has over 200 million active users. It is worth noting that AVG has itself been recently acquired by Avast Software, meaning HMA is in line for another change in ownership.

Due to immense popularity, HideMyAss has the largest network of any VPN provider, with over 940 servers and 120,000 IP addresses in 350 worldwide locations.
HideMyAss Servers
I was somewhat disappointed to see that HideMyAss only offer up to two simultaneous connections, which is slightly lower than average. IPVanish allow up to five, while ExpressVPN support up to three connections at a time.

HideMyAss does stand out from other competition by offering a nice array of free services to take advantage of. You can download free Chrome and Firefox extensions, which include a Panic Button, IP Checker and Web Proxy service. I’ll highlight some of these services further down.

Visit HideMyAss »

Security & Privacy

HideMyAss users have the option to choose between four available protocols: OpenVPN-UDP, OpenVPN-TCP, PPTP, and L2TP. The OpenVPN protocol comes as the default, but can be changed according to your needs.

As mentioned already, HMA are in the UK, which might be one of the worst countries for privacy in the world (other than the obvious ones!) This Means that no matter what HMA might claim, they are subject to the same data retention policies as everyone else.

Throw in the recent LulzSec fiasco and shadowy NSA-like governmental institutions such as GCHQ into the mix and it’s easy to see why the UK is a very undesirable country for privacy.

As mentioned already, HideMyAss offers four protocols to choose from with OpenVPN-UDP set as the default. I was disappointed to learn that HMA uses 128-bit Blowfish encryption, a far cry from the industry-standard AES-256. Hash authentication is SHA1-160 with RSA-1024 handshake encryption. While these levels of encryption are acceptable, I’d like to see improvements before recommending HideMyAss.

While HMA stresses that it does not keep any usage logs, this doesn’t seem to be the case considering past events. HMA do claim to keep connection logs for “diagnostic purposes” and this is somewhat of a grey area as well. Time of connection and disconnection, duration, and bandwidth usage are all included in these logs.

Looking to combine a VPN service with P2P activity? HideMyAss doesn’t explicitly state if P2P is allowed on their servers, but I was able to torrent and download without any issues. That being said, BestVPN has recieved comments from readers who have been sent DMCA notices while using HMA. Tread carefully!

The website

HideMyAss has a nice website that is easy to navigate and has an account management area that makes managing your subscriptions a breeze. You can also access the referral system as well as business plan options from the homepage.
HideMyAss Homepage
HMA also has a blog kept regularly updated with helpful security tips and VPN installation guides.


HideMyAss’s customer service is what I have come to expect with most VPN providers, with options for live chat and e-mail, as well as an extensive knowledge base. I was slightly disappointed (but not surprised) to see the absence of telephone support.

HMA Support

To get a better idea of the quality of HideMyAss support, I conducted a quick live chat test. I did the test on a weekday morning to see what kind of response time I could receive. Surprisingly enough, I received an answer just a few minutes after submitting, with a knowledgeable rep being very helpful regarding encryption.
Donkey Live Chat
Social media is a huge deal these days, and HideMyAss doesn’t miss a beat by maintaining a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. HMA appears to be quite responsive on these profiles, regularly posting content and engaging with followers.

The Process

Signing Up

Signing up to HideMyAss is pretty quick and only requires an email and your payment details in order to get going. If you are signing up to the trial like I did, take comfort knowing that HMA won’t charge until the seven day period expires.
hidemyass review
I liked the ability to combine HMA’s free anonymous email service when signing up, which adds some additional privacy to the process. More on that further down.

The HideMyAss Windows VPN client

The HideMyAss Windows client is pretty light when compared to the competition. The client is easy to use and comes with three options for connecting to HMA servers. The “Instant” option quickly connects to the nearest server and ensures the best speed. “Location” allows you to choose a server from HMA’s vast list. The final “Freedom” option is slightly gimmicky as it connects to the closest country with a “high level of freedom of speech”.
hidemyass client
When I described the HMA Windows client as “light,” I wasn’t kidding. The only additional feature other than the connect/disconnect slider is an IP change feature which will randomly assign you a new IP address.

While the client was simple and straight to the point, I was left wanting a lot more. Compared to BolehVPN or ExpressVPN, HMA has a lot of work to do.

Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC and IPv6 Tests)

Speed tests were done on some of HideMyAss VPN servers (Germany, UK, and USA) to see how the service performs.

hidemyass download test
hidemyass upload test

Graphs show highest, lowest and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.

As you can see, the speed test results were fairly consistent, even if they were quite slow. With HideMyAss based in the UK, I wasn’t surprised to see some of our best results coming from the UK servers. HMA’s New York City server did give some confusing results regarding upload speed (better than Germany!).

I also did run into some connection trouble with the Dusseldorf, Germany location and wasn’t able to access the Internet when connected. Whether or not the server is part of a bigger issue remains to be seen. In fairness, I didn’t experience any other connection issues with HideMyAss.

The usual checks for DNS or WebRTC issues resulted in no leaks through HideMyAss’s servers. When considering HMA’s controversial history regarding privacy, this was a sigh of relief.

Other Platforms

In addition to the Windows client we mentioned already, HideMyAss has apps for iOS, Mac, and Android platforms. I gave the iOS app a whirl to get an idea of how the service performs on a mobile device.

hidemyass ios app

After downloading the 10.5 MB HMA app from the App store, I was able to quickly sign in and choose from the wide range of servers available. The iOS app resembles the HideMyAss desktop client regarding functionality and design. You can choose your VPN protocol (IPSec, L2TP, or PPTP) and there is a setting that allows you to always stay connected to a VPN.

Installation guides and tutorials for additional platforms are also available directly on HMA’s website. Check them out if you have Android, Windows Phone or any other device.

Other/ Free Services

HMA also offers a range of free services that you can use from the website. While these aren’t jaw-dropping or reasons to instantly purchase a subscription to HMA, they are nice additional touches.

HideMyAss Free Proxy Service

For starters, their “Free Proxy Service” offers a simple way to bypass geo-restricted content on the Internet. You choose which country to connect to and the website you want to visit, and HideMyAss takes care of the rest.

hidemyass proxy

While this is a nice way of allowing people browse restricted websites for free, the free proxy is also very limited. Streaming, encryption and gaming are not supported, and speeds are (understandably) lower than using a VPN.

HideMyAss Anonymous Email Service

HideMYAss also offers an “Anonymous Email” service, which allows you to instantly create a free email account. This allows you to hide your email address when signing up to services (such as HideMyAss!).

anonymous email

Anonymous email is a nice extra service that adds a certain degree of anonymity to the sign-up process. You can also set your email address to auto-delete after a certain period.

HideMyAss Anonymous Link Referrer Service

HideMyAss also has an Anonymous Referrer Service that allows you to create anonymous links that are untraceable back to you. The service is useful when you don’t want a website owner to know who referred traffic to their site.

anonymous linking

When a website owner looks at a link create through this service, the only entity they will be able to trace the link back to is the HideMyAss website.

HideMyAss Review Conclusion

I liked

    • Easy to navigate website and apps
    • Additional free services
    • Seven-day free trial
    • Only need an e-mail when signing up
    • Pretty affordable plans

I wasn’t so sure about

    • Encryption strength
    • Apps lacking some advanced features

I hated

    • Based in the UK
    • Poor track record with privacy

As one of the biggest VPN providers out there, there was hope that HideMyAss had corrected some of the issues since the last review. Unfortunately, a skimpy VPN service (minus the free services) in addition to some extreme privacy concerns have confirmed HideMyAss as one of the worst VPN providers out there.

HMA does boast an impressive list of locations (assuming they all work), and the website and clients are pretty easy to navigate. If you are looking for an affordable option for general web browsing, it might be worth checking out HideMyAss’s seven-day free trial.

My biggest concern with HMA is the privacy issue. With HMA being from the UK and subject to extremely strict laws regarding privacy, I don’t think my opinion will be changing anytime soon. Impending UK legislation such as the Snooper’s Charter creates even more doubts regarding HideMyAss.

Visit HideMyAss »

Thomas Ujj Born in Canada, raised in the U.S, yet somehow living in Hungary. I have a passion for anything technology related, gaming, freedom and privacy, food and Italian football team AS Roma.

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35 responses to “HideMyAss Review – 2017 Update

  1. Their speeds suck. I connect from Spain to French and German servers and while I have a 300MB fibre optic line in Spain (and reliably get these speeds on, once I am connected to HMA, the speed drops to something like 1-3 MBits/s. Laughable! I will cancel my subscription asap.

  2. It no longer works at all Unlocator or unblockus much much better. I was on automatic renewal. Today, I cancelled 10 minutes after renewal was chqrged. Their response for refund request after 3 years of subscription – tough luck, after 1st 30 days no refund. But i die get a kind regards.

    See below.

    Ava (Hide My Ass! Support)
    May 11, 15:28 BST

    Thank you for your patience.

    I have checked your Pro VPN account and this order was indeed placed as an automatic renewal.
    This means that when you placed your order you authorized automatic billing on your account.

    As per our Refund policy we issue refunds for the first order within 30 days of purchase, so on this occasion we are unable to authorize a refund as explained here:

    We believe that initial 30 days of service are sufficient amount of time to make sure if our service works for everyone’s specific needs, that is why we offer refunding option in this period only.
    The automatic billing is now turned off and no further renewals will take place.

    I am sorry that I cannot accommodate you in this matter and I appreciate your understanding.

    Kind regards,

  3. I used this vpn to bypass geo blocking for streaming. it used to work, but now it doesn’t anymore and they say they can’t do anything about it. useless.

    1. Hi geo,

      I’ll just point out that in our opinion, HMA is the most dishonest VPN service in the market. Services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer are actively blocking VPN users based on their known IP ranges – there are ways around these blocks (smart DNS routing and/or refreshing IP ranges), but it is a cat-and-mouse game. I therefore strongly advise that you take full advantage of any free trials and money-back guarantees that are on offer. This will allow you to find out for yourself which VPN services work for the content you want to stream.

  4. They were good a few years ago now terrible. Just cancelled my subscription. VPN doesn’t work for unblocking sites as promised and customer service is a joke. Their website is also full of glitches, unrecognised password problems and endless trouble resetting it. Absolutely no point using or paying for this.

  5. These guys are the biggest ripoff scam I have in my 40 years of traveling experienced!
    They are not what they say they are, they will not do what they say they do, don’t fall for there great web page, its pretty messed up company!

    I signed up for a specific purpose and it did not work. I requested a refund 30 minutes after signing up and compliant to their refund policy. I’m already discussing with them via email for three days and no refund was issued. So, THEIR 30 DAY REFUND PROMISE IS A LIE!!!!

  6. I have tried their service based on past reputation. They just don’t deliver. Customer support is poor. When I asked for a refund -as per their policy- they refused it. It’s a trap.
    Don’t trust them. Many other serious providers available.

  7. I just spent the past 3 days trying to renew my membership. Their payment processing company is asking me to donate blood for a simple transaction. I’m already a customer. It’s not rocket science! Take my money and give me the service. Now, I’m going through hell with these crappy gift cards and bit shit coin companies. What happened to hma? Did they change management/owners? I can’t believe what I’m going through for a simple purchase. I’m going to be overseas soon. I thought hma was one of the best. What the fu#k happened!? This would explain the poor reviews.

    Bought a 1yr license for $14.99. Can’t even use it in two different Win10 systems (@work and @home). The connection is so SLOOOOOWWWWWWW it is downright terrible. It took forever to even resolve DNS names. Every webpages timed out and might only come up after multiple refreshes. And I’m halfway between LA & SanDiego … major centers of technology. Don’t waste your money.

  8. HMA has poor product and customer service overall. Speed wise you will be better off elsewhere for the price. As for their service rendered it’s nothing spectacular and many times borderline frustrating. As for refund you can forget it as they will circle their TOA till your head spin!

  9. HMA automatically renewed my subscription for one year. I have not used their service in considerable amount of time. They are refusing to provide a refund at this point which means that they took about $80 from me knowing that I do not want their service. I have escalated this issue and will follow up with the results.

    • Not Rated
    • Not Rated

    I used hma years ago and wanted to restart my subscriptionwhile I was already overseas. What a Mess! Four days and countless hours later I still had nothing-except a charge on my credit card I’m fighting. My transaction needed up being flagged as suspicious-something I didn’t know for three days because the login messages said NOTHING about that, only that I needed to wait 24 hours (36 hours after I placed the order). I finally found a message from Avante in my spam. In addition to requiring a copy of my ID they also wanted me to send them a copy of my credit card statement! Really,nobody else has ever asked for that. I wrote them a nasty email, asking if they really expected me to do that overseas. The next day they changed their minds, but by now I’d lost the use of hma for four days on a six day trip. I’d had enough and did not want hma to have one cent of mine so now I’m fighting to get a refund. It’s too bad as I’d used them a fee tines in the past. NEVER AGAIN

    They are very unreliable. I do not suggest buying in any circumstances. The customer support is terrible. It is terribly slow, and will disconnect from server in 15 minutes or so. They will take your money if you are not careful. They took $78 from me due to a recurring payment, and will not refund. I had no clue that the payment was recurring. Please, do not give this company your money as they do not deserve it. Go to other VPN’s like ZenMate.

    Do not trust them with your credit card number! I was charged one-year fees (70+USD) because I wasn’t able to cancel my order on time, because their on-line ‘account management’ service was down and no one replied to my support requests on time!! I have complained to the consumer protection board, and now I’m also wondering whether I have to cancel my credit card so that the same doesn’t happen next year.

    Poor track record with privacy! 2 hackers arrested because of hidemyass pure privacy protection!

  10. Do not use HMA. Thieves and fraudsters. Hadn’t used their service in several months so I canceled it. Never received a confirmation regarding the cancellation. Noticed in the terms that the cancellation is effected AFTER the next pending billing cycle. Meaning you cancel, they charge you anyway for one more month. “Fine.” I figured I could eat $10 to get rid of them.
    The subscription lived on, recurring even. So I got charged for December (which is bullshit, but expected) and also in January. I have had to “cancel” again, and have opened an investigation with my financial institution. I will also be seeking cause for fraud in both the US and the UK.
    Unless you want to be ignored and ripped off?

    DO NOT USE HideMyAss VPN.


  12. I have been using HMA for several years, and it worked well until the crackdowns by geo-blocked streaming services this year (2016). It now no longer works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime and is thus useless for an English speaking pat living abroad. One gets disingenious replies from HMA hinting at workarounds which don’t work. They then say they ask customers to respect the terms of service of the sites they visit. So it is clear that they do not intend to fix this! In short, HMA is no good for video streaming services.

    This is by far the worst experience I have ever had with any company ever. A poorly functioning VPN that automatically bills you for “renewal”. It is automatically renewed and they will fight to make sure that you get hit for an extra year subscription. Avoid this company at all costs and cancel ASAP if you have already sent them money.

  13. These guys renew your subscription yearly without sending an e-mail. They’re crooks, stay away from them. ALSO, it doesn’t work with netflix anymore.


    Our business had an issue where this software revealed our true IP and identity to a specific website we were visiting. HMA denied this and were unable to resolve the issue. We subsequently stopped using the software and found a better alternative.
    WE HAVE JUST BEEN CHARGED AGAIN AND THEY ARE REFUSING TO REFUND. They have taken 6 months payment from us! They can see we have not used this service for months and are refusing to refund ‘subscription’ payment. They can see clearly from their logs that we have not logged in our used this account for months.

    Be very careful of their refund policy; they will try and defend it by saying we have a policy- This is only for 30 days and the first payment made. In other words they deliberately trap you with ‘subscription’ payments.

    Their customer support were unable to fix the issue, we no longer use the service, they are refusing to refund.
    WE have been in contact with multiple support staff and not a single one of them are able to resolve this. Please do not believe their comments below that they have resolved anything.

  14. guys stop using HMA VPN immediately,,,they keep logs,,forever,,,FBI was able to get the names of the sony hackers very easily…chek your self on google search,,,,

    Even when you do have access, the connection lags. Everything is slow. Also, double check that it’s actually masking your IP. It may pop-up saying it has, but in fact hasn’t . If you encounter into an issue, god help you. You’ll spend a week in emails replying to a ton of different “specialists” within their team. Apparently, one hand doesn’t know what the other one is doing. Never had this issue when they were Privax LTD. Now they’re Avangate B.V. … read those reviews. Run is my advice. Run far away.

    It’s the worst VPN ever, False advertising, SLOOOOW speed and horrible support. I strongly suggest you stay away. Add to it, you will not a refund even after you prove that their VPN doesn’t work, They are just thieves. I am planning on taking legal action against them. They have to be stopped. Add to it that they keep records of your activity. The worst. And did I say its very sloooooooooooooooooow?

    I’ve used them for about 15 months and there service has got worst, as many others have said the do not hide your ass, also you can’t log in to many geo protected sites. Originally one of their big claims.

    Also be very careful if you do subscribe, I’ve just had a long winded argument with customer services (there’s a joke) explaining, or should I say hiding behind small print, and admitting that it’s impossible to sign up to HMA without auto renew.

    Be aware as I’ve been charged for another year to a service which doesn’t perform as it should.

    There are many better options out there and I think HMA know it they way they refuse refunds. A good service and people wouldn’t want to leave.

  15. HMA was working pretty well a few years ago. But now almost all websites detect your real location. I asked HMA if they were expecting to fix those issues. Their only response was that they don’t guaranty any result. Meaning even if we pay to hide our location that doesn’t mean HMA will be able to hide our location. Okay so why using a service which obviously doesn’t work anymore?
    I am going to cancel my plan right away. The worst was that they even didn’t pretend they were working on it. It looks like they just admit they screw you.


        Our business had an issue where this software revealed our true IP and identity to a specific website we were visiting. HMA denied this and were unable to resolve the issue. We subsequently stopped using the software and found a better alternative.
        WE HAVE JUST BEEN CHARGED AGAIN AND THEY ARE REFUSING TO REFUND. They have taken 6 months payment from us! They can see we have not used this service for months and are refusing to refund ‘subscription’ payment. They can see clearly from their logs that we have not logged in our used this account for months.

        Be very careful of their refund policy; they will try and defend it by saying we have a policy- This is only for 30 days and the first payment made. In other words they deliberately trap you with ‘subscription’ payments.

        Their customer support were unable to fix the issue, we no longer use the service, they are refusing to refund.
        WE have been in contact with multiple support staff and not a single one of them are able to resolve this. Please do not believe their comments below that they have resolved anything.

  16. I’ve used them for years, since before they became a UK outfit. I think they’ve gone down the tubes since that time.

    Their new offering doesn’t offer Secure IP Bind which means you can think you’re behind their proxy but some prog of yours is happily doing things on its own – after a local power reset or glitch or something.

    They suspended my account on the grounds that some authority complained that I had – as best I can make it out – ‘attempted to hijack an account’ !!

    I never do any such thing. Ever.

    They sent me no further details. They told me maybe my machine had been hijacked and told me to clean it and then they’d restart me, which they did after I told them I’d run everything I could find and found no threats.

    But they’re still sending me sort of authoritarian threatening emails, got one just now.

    Keep logs? Of course they keep logs. This ‘authority’ complained and they – HMA – tracked the IP complained of back to me. So where’s your anonymity? None. There is none.

    I will be getting rid of them. There’s other ways. Better something you can trust than putting yourself in the hands of this mob.

    Just let my subscription run out. And check their config, I think they’re very quick to automatically sign you up again if they have your credit card.

    Bit downvote. Simply: they don’t hide your ass.

    Had used HMA for a couple months now, but just was just recently sold out on a torrent share I had used, so I definitely don’t feel as though I will continue with this VPN.

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