HideMyAss (HMA) VPN review: Avast does VPN
HMA, formerly HideMyAss, is the VPN from security giant Avast that’s good enough to be on our prestigious list of the best VPN options around. Need we say more? We will do it.
A Minute Review of HideMyAss VPN
HMA VPN is one of the older options and that’s a good thing because it means over 15 years of experience in protecting customer privacy online. It also means that the service has accumulated a large number of servers spread around the world. With 1,000 servers in over 290 locations, this is one of the best options for wide coverage.
What sets HMA apart is its privately verified no-logging policy, which means you can rest assured that your privacy is respected at the highest level. Support for many layers of encryption, P2P support, and a private DNS service all add to this online security.
It’s not the cheapest option, but it works on a plethora of devices and supports evasion of geo-restrictions. While for the best streaming service unblocker, it’s not at the top of the list, but more on that below.
- Waiters: 1,000+
- Pitches: 210+ countries
- Devices: 5 simultaneous connections
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
- Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Main features: Privately audited non-logging, lots of servers, good support
HideMyAss VPN Review: How Much Does HMA Cost? Is there a free trial?
HideMyAss VPN isn’t cheap, but it’s not too expensive either. Much like the service itself, this straddles the line, giving you a good, reassuring experience that’s billed at a fair price that you expect for what you get. This means that you can choose a level that suits you and feel that you are getting what you pay for.
These prices are based on offering a maximum of 5 device connections. Pay from $ 5.99 per month for a plan of 10 connections.
Compared to the competition, at the more affordable end, you’ve got Surfshark at $ 2.49 per month for its two-year plan. Then there’s CyberGhost for $ 2.25 per month when you commit to three years.
There is a free trial of HideMyAss, but it is only a seven day experience. Having said that, it should be long enough to see if the service will work for you or not.
Be warned though, this requires you to give yourself payment details and you will be automatically billed for the annual plan at the end of the trial. Don’t worry, however, it’s easy to cancel online before that date. In the worst case, you have a 30 day money back guarantee so you can get your money back if you need it.
It’s a good option as one of the best cheap VPN picks and might even be one of the best free VPN picks for you if you factor in this seven day trial.
Does HideMyAss VPN work on Netflix? What other streaming services can it unblock?
It’s a decent streaming service but it’s not the best. Yes you can unblock Netflix and yes you are ready to use BBC iPlayer. But if you need it for Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus, you’ll be left behind as we strive to make these services work.
Usefully, the Windows client provides a filter that displays the list of locations with only the available streaming servers. Sounds good, but the downside is that there are only six servers that apply here. Four of them are in the United States, one in London and the other in Frankfurt.
When it comes to streaming on the services we could access, like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, the streams were fast. It meant loading the app or website as fast as without a VPN and it also meant getting the highest quality stream immediately with no buffering to worry about.
This is where this 1 week free trial comes in handy as you can try to unlock what you need and if you find it is not up to par where you need it you can try a another service with a better record. For that, check out our best VPN streaming guide.
HideMyAss VPN Review: What Features Can You Expect And How Do They Boost Security?
HMA VPN is super private with a very impressive no logging policy. This means that no details are kept about you, your machine, or your internet activity. As we mentioned, this policy is audited privately by a company specializing in this field. He found the non-logging claims to be accurate with no way to track you based on your HMA account.
There is some very general logging, like the data connection is AM or PM, and a rough idea of how much data is transferred, but that’s it. And without a registered original IP address, all of that data is largely useless in locating anyone.
Security is very tight when you consider that it uses AES-256-GCM data encryption as well as an RSA-4096 handshake, all complemented by SHA-256 data authentication. This is also backed up by two app termination switches in case your connection drops and otherwise leaves you open.
There is P2P support, for torrent users. The downside is that server support is minimal with only a small selection of slots available. But better that than no support since five are in Europe and two in the United States.
Review of the overall speed and performance of HMA VPN
To test the speed and performance of the HMA VPN, we used the two locations in the US on a 1 Gbps connection.
Testing was performed by measuring download speeds using Ookla’s SpeedTest and Netflix’s Fast.com. Each is done in the morning and in the evening.
As you can see, this service only offers OpenVPN as a protocol, which is never a good sign. Still, that meant a stable connection and actually offered very decent speeds of up to 330Mbps. This beats some of the competition that uses the latest OpenVPN protocols. But compare it to the latest WireGuard and it’s blown away by ExpressVPN’s 630Mbps speeds, for example.
It’s not the best or the fastest, but it offers decent speeds that should meet the needs of many very well.
Client configuration and available support of HMA VPN
HMA VPN offers great support, in fact that’s one of the features that really sets it apart. From a wide array of online resources, including installation guides and FAQs to forums, you also have 24/7 live chat support.
We cannot stress how useful this live chat is. Suppose you want to know which is the fastest server in a certain country for you to stream Netflix. Just go to the chat, ask for it and you’ll be straight away. This means that you get the best possible speeds and security from your connection, which makes this service very valuable. Also great for installation advice if you need it.
That said, the setup is straightforward. Choose an online plan, select a payment, and download the client for the platform you need to start with. The Windows interface installs like any other application, with a clean, easy-to-use interface as the end result. Explore front and center server locations in an organized list format. The filter for P2P servers or streaming unblockers is really helpful here.
For mobile apps, you can download them directly from the App Store and install them easily and quickly before connecting. Expect features you typically don’t see on apps like UDP / TCP and IP shuffle connections as well as automatic connection options like Wi-Fi only or phone network and Wi-Fi, for example.
HideMyAss VPN Review: Our Final Verdict
HMA VPN is a super secure and very private VPN option. It only offers OpenVPN, but that means a stable connection with decent speeds. The price isn’t the cheapest, but the level of 24/7 live chat service and the quality of the app’s features are well worth it. Some may miss some streaming services that get stuck, but with easy-to-filter servers and P2P support, that has a lot to offer.
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