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Hide My Ass! (HMA!) Is a UK-based firm, with Its claim to fame being its massive number of subscribers — today it’s over 400 million. This provider has seen its share of controversy with regards to user privacy. It recently made upgrades in the hopes of winning back the loyalty of its readers and redeeming itself support to it. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
We took it To get a test run to see how much it has improved and if it’s worth the money.
What’s a VPN?
When you trigger a VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel to Guard your data as it passes from the computer to a host. From there, your data exits onto the internet. It is a very simple idea, but one with tremendous impacts to your privacy and security.
For one thing, it prevents anybody lurking in your local Network from intercepting or observation your action. Though the airport or coffee shop Wi-Fi system appears safe (it may even be password-protected) it is not actually safe unless you’re using a VPN. For another thing, a VPN may prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from collecting information about your online activities so it can sell anonymized user data to the maximum bidder.
A VPN makes it Challenging to correlate your Activities with your identity. Since your visitors is exiting from the VPN company’s server, you appear to have its own IP address, effectively hiding your true site. Additionally, it forces even the most determined attacker to test and sort through all of the visitors from other users on the same VPN server to obtain what they’re after. For these reasons, and more, you need a VPN in your life.
Be aware that a VPN encrypts your traffic till it exits through the VPN server. Provided that the site you’re accessing uses HTTPS, your data must be secure all the way and its journey. Additionally, while VPNs can provide a modicum of anonymity, a tool like the Tor network is far better at hiding your identity.
Journalists and activists have long used vPNs To circumvent censorship in countries with repressive internet policies. They’re also useful if you’re looking to circumvent geographic restrictions on streaming content. A VPN can spoof your existing location, giving you access to restricted content like BBC streaming or MLB TV. Many VPNs do not appreciate these activities (which may be in breach of terms of service or even local laws) and content providers like Netflix are also cracking down on users that spoof their place and the VPN services they use to perform it.
There’s a Fantastic chance Which you may have never laid hands on a VPN before. If that is the case, do not worry! We have got an entire feature on how best to set up and use a VPN. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
There are many techniques. My Preferred method employs the OpenVPN protocol, which is known for its speed and reliability. Additionally, it is open-source, and therefore has been chosen over for potential vulnerabilities by anyone with the interest to do so.
Hide My Ass utilizes OpenVPN on Windows, with an older version That supports L2TP, and PPTP, also. There are also two different versions of the macOS app that, taken collectively, support IPSec (IKEv1 and v2), L2TP, and PPTP. Be aware that these old versions of this program are being phased out by the developer. The iOS variant uses just IPSec, and the Android program uses just OpenVPN.
That’s a bit of a hodgepodge, and I am disappointed that Hide My Ass does not offer OpenVPN on all platforms. Nevertheless, some of the issue is using the platforms. Apple requires programmers to jump through extra hoops if they want to include OpenVPN within an app, but many are starting to move in this direction. I’d love to see Hide My Ass do exactly the same, across the board.
Your Privacy With Hide My Ass
With any security item, you want to Be Certain that the Company behind it will be operating in your best interests. This is especially true for VPNs, which are intended to increase privacy and safety. If a VPN business is simply as nosey as your ISP, there is not much point in using it.
What is notable is that Hide My Ass Will store this data for two to three months, while VyprVPN stores it for just 30 days. Other providers hold less information, or else they dispose of it immediately. Hide My Ass says it keeps this data for this period of time so as to improve performance, prevent fraud, and stop bad guys from using the VPN to send spam. The company, notably, also lists document sharing as one of the illegal actions it takes this information to prevent, despite the company being fine by means of BitTorrent on some servers.
It might be possible that this information could be used To correlate a user’s identity to particular activity on the internet, but it would probably be very difficult. Even with this information, an observer would have to know which VPN host to watch and then compare that activity against Hide My Ass’s logs, and be able to parse out the target’s visitors from everybody else using the same server.
In the past, some VPN companies monetized users by Injecting ads into their internet traffic. Hide My Ass states that it does not do this, and goes much farther. A company representative explained to me that the firm doesn’t profit from user data at all.
The actual location of a VPN company also issues, as it Can inform what protections are afforded to customers. Hide My Ass works under the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and gets its own business headquarters in London. The UK at large does have data retention legislation. That’s not perfect. Many other VPN services operate in countries without data retention laws, or in ones which have privacy protections for customers. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
I do not believe it is possible to make a decision About a company’s advantages based on its own place. But, it is important to comprehend policies and that the laws on the job in a company with intimate access. I encourage readers pick a VPN service with which they can feel comfortable, and to think about this advice.
Servers and Server Places
A key differentiator between VPN services is the number of Available servers and their geographical distribution. A great deal of servers means you’re more likely to find a server that is not bogged down with other consumers. For its part, Hide My Ass has a respectable 876 servers at its disposal. That said, Personal Internet Access, NordVPN, and TorGuard VPN have over 3,000 servers apiece. These are my benchmarks for robustness from the VPN server class.
Geographic distribution of these servers can be quite important. Lots of locations means more to pick from for spoofing purposes, but also ensures that no matter will be a nearby server for your best performance. Hide My Ass has a very impressive server locations across some 220 nations. It’s easily the broadest list among the VPN services I have reviewed.
The list of available server locations Provided by Hide My Ass is particularly noteworthy since it covers regions often ignored by other VPN businesses. It has, for instance, numerous server locations . It also maintains servers in China, Russia, and Turkey, which have net policies that are especially repressive.
Some consumers May Be concerned about a company’s Use of virtual servers. All these are servers which produce a single server efficiently operate as servers that are many. Virtual servers may also be configured to act as though they are in 1 country when they’re in a different, which is a problem if you’re concerned about where your data is traveling.
I was told by A company representative that a 225 of the 286 server locations offered by Hide My Ass are servers. Only 61 of the host places are hardware, and 450 of Hide My Ass’s 876 servers are virtual. That’s far beyond other providers. NordVPN TunnelBear, IPVanish, and TorGuard utilize physical infrastructure.
A business representative explained to me that majority of the Firm’s physical server infrastructure is located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Miami, New York, Prague, Seattle, and Singapore. This doesn’t really jibe with what Hide My Ass lists on its own site. I’d love to see future versions of Hide My Ass be clearer about when you’re linked to a virtual host.
Installation and interface
Getting Started with Hide My Ass! Is super easy and the upgraded apps are very user-friendly. You’ll be given a license key, As soon as you sign up for your own account. It is possible to use this or your credentials (password and username ) to log into any app. For the purpose of this inspection, we’ve tested out the Windows client and the iOS program. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
As Soon as You’ve Launched the desktop and logged in, you will be greeted with the Success! screen. Click Got It! To access the main screen of this program. Here you have three options for modes: Instant Mode, Location Mode, and Freedom Mode.
In Instant Mode, you can click the arrow And you’re going to be linked to the fastest server for your site.
In Location manner, you can choose that You connect to. Click on Change Location to see your options. There is a drop-down listing which allows you to select servers based on various criteria. We all will show you an alphabetized country list. Clicking the arrow to the left of each nation name will show you special locations within this country.
Quick Access shows you a list Recently linked to, in addition to some options. Streaming will provide you a selection of two servers acceptable for unblocking popular streaming services like Netflix, one at the united states and one in the UK.
Peer to Peer shows You permit P2P filesharing. Ultimately, there’s the Favorites option; to mark a server as a favorite, you can click the heart to the right of the server name.
Going back To the main screen, the one other option here is Freedom Mode, that is aimed at users that want to bypass censorship. This mode will link you to a server in the nearest country that’s regarded as free of censorship.
You can Get into the Settings by clicking on the menu icon in the upper left corner of the main display and choosing Preferences. Here, you’ll see three tabs: General, Network Security, and Kill Switch. From the Generalscreen, you can change your startup options, like starting if the program starts or when you turn on your pc.
Additionally you Have a Private Privacy section housing one alternative that relates to Quick Access in Location Mode. If you would like to hide your history, you can uncheck the box.
Next, We have the Network Security screen in which you may select settings for automatic wifi protection. You can also turn on the IP shuffle feature which makes it more difficult for somebody to detect where you are by periodically changing your IP address. One option in this display allows you to use TCP with OpenVPN. Nonetheless, this is only recommended if UDP is blocked or throttled. TCP is more secure, but UDP is generally faster.
The Final tab will be the Switch tab, so that it works for all programs where you can toggle on this attribute. You decide whether or not to apply it to those and can also add single applications.
This Is a program and it’s definitely both visually pleasing and searchable.
Many Providers will have a mobile app that’s unrecognizable compared to the desktop version. However, HMA! Has streamlined its product, and also the iOS app looks almost identical to the Windows version.
Once you’re You’ll get to the main screen, which is basically exactly like the display in the desktop program. Here you can choose from Location Mode, Immediate Mode, or Freedom Mode.
The Only real difference is that when you pick Location Mode, your choices are presented in another method. You have three tabs: Countries, Cities, and Favorites, but missing are speedy Access, and the options found in the such as Streaming, Peer to Peer.
To Access the streaming servers in the app, you will need to visit the Cities list and find the Liberty Island server beneath US, New York. The UK, Donkey Town server can be found to BBC iPlayer and UK Netflix.
Moving on, The settings for the app can be accessed by clicking on the menu icon in the upper corner of this display and select Settings. There you have two options: Link Rules and Personal solitude.
In The Link Rules segment, it is possible to correct wifi security settings and choose whether to auto reconnect when wifi or mobile connections are disrupted.
The privacy department has 1 alternative: Share usage data with third parties for analytics, which will be your consent to”enable app and device usage data to be shared with third parties for analytics.” Bear in mind this is enabled by default so it might be one of the things that you wish to turn off.
Overall, This is a slick and intuitive program, but some users might be missing extra features like a kill button and also the choice to switch protocols.
Servers and performance
The Hide My Ass! Network comprises more than 850 servers covering more than 190 countries. Some of them are virtual servers, but a customer support representative was unable to tell us just how many. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
As we Discussed previously, HMA presents many choices for selecting the ideal server, such as distinct modes and the ability to indicate servers as favorites. Are indicated with a emblem.
We analyzed Servers for functionality in also the UK and the US in terms of streaming browsing, and downloading. When surfing, there were no substantial issues, aside from there being an obvious lag in page loading times when connected with a UK server. This is not unusual for distant remote servers (the evaluations were carried out in Toronto, Canada), but could be bothersome, particularly for users with already slow internet speeds.
We didn’t See any lag or buffering while streaming 1080p with any of those test servers and were able to play online games without any difficulties.
HideMyAss! and Netflix
Hide My Ass! unblocks Netflix! But don’t expect to link to some Waiter and proceed. When we tested servers that are random using US Netflix with the client, we had no luck. However, if you choose the Streaming choice in the dropdown within Location Mode, then you’ll see two choices: a US server (USA, New York, Liberty Island) along with a UK server (UK, Donkey Town). Note that in the app, you will have to find these inside the Cities listing in Location Mode.
Connecting Into the US server gave us access without issue. Connecting to the UK one allowed access to UK Netflix as well as BBC iPlayer. Many providers just focus on supplying US Netflix access, so it is refreshing to see one which strives to provide access to the UK library also. What is more, BBC iPlayer is seriously cracking down on VPN use, so the capability to unblock this support is a nice perk.
If you are Looking for Amazon Prime Video, you might need to go everywhere. HMA! Is having trouble unblocking this service at a customer care representative and this time informed us that there isn’t any estimated time for when it might be working again.
HideMyAss! in China?
Hide My Ass! Does not operate reliably in China. It used to, but recent HMA! Responses in service forums have suggested that the support will no more function for a few users. You could try your luck, but you’d best look elsewhere if you want a trusted China VPN.
HideMyAss! Speed test functionality
For any VPN That is compatible with our evaluation procedures, we conduct ongoing speed tests which have been designed to be as empirical as you can. We utilize a Canadian evaluation server to connect to VPN servers in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Australia, the US, and Germany. For each and every location, we download a test file (50MB in size) in the US server. This is done four times every day. The average speed for every test is listed and the data is displayed.
You can see From the easy chart below HMA! Compares to the VPN services we’ve been testing. In regards to download speeds, while it doesn’t have the fastest rates, it’s near the front of the pack.
You can see that the spread in outcomes isn’t as tight as a number of the evaluation VPNs, by clicking the comprehensive tab. This means when it comes to speeds you might see some inconsistency.
It is Important to be aware that these tests aren’t definitive and may function as a general indication of the functionality you may see. The volatility of the web adds a factor of randomness. What’s more, you will probably see more wait times with a slow link, and smaller or discrepancies. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
For those who need Any aid while setting up or using the support, HMA! Includes a few alternatives for you. Clicking the Help tab on the website, you’ll find also a Knowledge Base along with a Getting Started section. These each home posts associated with setting up questions. There is some crossover so before searching for other alternatives you might choose to research both.
In addition, You’ll locate a Community button which leads to a forum section. This is segregated into different topics; some seem to be out of date, while others are active. There are some general FAQs.
If you do not Discover what you’re looking for, or you simply need a quick reply, you can click on the live chat button. The service is knowledgeable and prompt, and representatives were able to solve. At one stage, a representative was not able to answer some safety questions and advised he’d escalate the problem as an email request. This has been responded to in under 2 hours that’s very quick for an email reply.
Security and privacy
Hide My Ass! Is based. The UK can be a Five Eyes (and Fourteen Eyes) country, so it is part of an alliance which allows monitoring by outside governments. Plus, it’s home to the Snooper’s Charter which imposes regulations on British ISPs that greatly affect user privacy.
For many VPNs, data retention legislation in their home country aren’t really an issue. That is because they function using a real policy whereby no link or traffic logs are kept by them. They can not be tied to a single user when connection logs are kept by them.
Additionally, Hide My Ass! Telephones the VPN IP address Connected into a session. Here is the IP address when you visit it that a site operator can view and record. Since the actual and VPN IP addresses are logged, involving the finish and VPN site logs, it might be possible to piece together each of a user’s online activity. You may have seen news of a 2011 FBI case involving HMA! In which it handed over logs which were used to track a LulzSec hacker down. This can be a mark for privacy.
1 way to Make this less of an issue and to perhaps confuse matters a little would be to take advantage of the IP address shuffle feature. This periodically transforms out your IP address to get a different one, when enabled in the Network Security screen of the app. It wouldn’t make you untraceable but may add a layer of obfuscation.
Privacy Issues aside, on the security front, Hide My Ass! Fares pretty well. It utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, which is deemed military-grade. This is in conjunction with 4096-bit RSA keys and perfect forward secrecy. It uses the protocol UDP by default, but you can switch to TCP inside the desktop client. PPTP, L2TP, IPSec are also available, depending on what program you are using.
The desktop versions boast To work for apps that are specific. The internet connection will be killed by A kill button if the VPN connection drop for a certain reason. This feature isn’t available from the mobile apps
A live chat Customer service representative advised us that there’s not any DNS leak protection. However, a different company representative assured us that there is actually DNS and IPv6 leak security, but no WebRTC escape protection. When the service was analyzed by us we did not see any DNS leak problems aside from WebRTC leaks. HMA! Does use DNS servers whereas private ones would be preferable from a privacy perspective.
One handy Attribute that Hide My Ass! Provides is automatic wifi security, which is customized in the from the Network Security section of their desktop or the Connection Rules tab of the mobile app settings.
Features and pricing
Hide My Ass! Offers one merchandise with prices you sign up for. It’s definitely not one of the services available. A 12-month planwill put you back $6.99 a month, which can be greater than the normal price for a similar duration. What’s more, a lot of VPN providers that are top will offer an plan; for example, a two- or three-year term with discounts. Hidemyass Facebook Cookies Required
If You are not ready to sign up to get a one-year term just yet, HMA! Does provide a six-month plan for $7.99 per month or you could cover a monthly basis for $11.99 per month. These prices are a little above average if you compare to competitors.
Payment Options include PayPal, major credit cards, and UnionPay. For more privacy-conscious users, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not viable payment methods. There’s a money-back guarantee, so if you’re not fully satisfied with the support, you can have your payment refunded.
So what do You get for the money? Hide My Ass! Has a community of over 850 servers in over 180 countries. Some are devoted to accessing streaming websites and specific servers allow P2P filesharing (read: torrenting). All plans come with unlimited bandwidth and you can connect up to five devices. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be configured using Linux and a few routers. Pre-configured routers can be found as an alternate.
From a Security perspective, HMA! Offers perfect forward secrecy, encryption , automatic wifi protection, and the desktop programs include a kill button. However, the logging coverage issues which plagued the ceremony remain, so privacy is still a problem.
For the most part, HMA! Offers a great service. It’s unlimited bandwidth, speeds, and a community of servers. It is able to unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix US, Netflix UK, and BBC iPlayer. Additionally, it offers powerful security, intuitive programs, and customer care.