Hide My Ass! (HMA!) Is a UK-based company, with Its claim to fame has been its huge number of readers — it has more than 400 million, today. This supplier has witnessed its share of controversy with regards. It recently made upgrades to it support in the hopes of winning back the loyalty of its subscribers and redeeming itself. Hidemyass
We took it For a test run to find out how much it has improved and if it’s worth the money.
What’s a VPN?
It generates an encrypted tunnel to, when you trigger a VPN Guard your information as it moves from the computer to a host controlled by the VPN. From there, your info releases onto the open net. It is a simple idea, but one with enormous consequences for your privacy and safety.
It prevents anyone lurking in your neighborhood Network from monitoring or intercepting your action. While the airport or coffee shop Wi-Fi system appears safe (it might even be password-protected) it is not reallysecure unless you’re using a VPN. For another thing, a VPN may prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from gathering information about your online activities so that it can sell anonymized user data to the maximum bidder.
A VPN also makes it more difficult to correlate your Online activities together with your own identity. Because your traffic is exiting from the VPN firm’s server, you seem to have its own IP address, effectively hiding your true location. Additionally, it compels even the most determined attacker to test to sort through all the traffic from other users on the same VPN server to obtain what they are after. For these reasons, and much more, you want a VPN in your life.
Be aware that your visitors is only encrypted by a VPN till it exits through the VPN server. Provided that the site your information must be protected all the way. Additionally, while VPNs can provide a modicum of anonymity, a tool like the Tor system is far better at concealing your identity.
VPNs have long been used by journalists and activists To circumvent censorship in countries with repressive internet policies. They’re also handy if you’re searching to circumvent geographical constraints on streaming content. A VPN can spoof your existing location, providing you with access to restricted content like BBC streaming or MLB TV. Many VPNs do not enjoy these activities (which may be in violation of terms of support or even local laws) and content providers such as Netflix are also cracking down on users that spoof their location and the VPN services they use to perform it.
There’s a good chance Which you may have never laid hands on a VPN before. If that’s the case, don’t worry! We’ve got a whole feature on the best way to prepare and use a VPN. Hidemyass
There are many ways to create a VPN connection. My Preferred method uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is known for its speed and reliability. It’s also open minded, and consequently has been picked over for potential vulnerabilities by anyone with the interest to do so.
Hide My Ass uses OpenVPN on Windows, using an older variant That supports PPTP, and L2TP, also. There are also two distinct versions of the macOS app that, taken collectively, support IPSec (IKEv1 and v2), L2TP, and PPTP. Be aware that these older versions of this app are being phased out from the programmer. The iOS version uses just IPSec, along with the Android program uses just OpenVPN.
That’s a bit of a hodgepodge, and I am frustrated that Hide My Ass doesn’t provide OpenVPN on all platforms. Nevertheless, some of the matter is with the platforms. Apple requires developers to jump through extra hoops if they wish to include OpenVPN within a program, but a lot of them are starting to move in this direction. I would like to see Hide My Ass do exactly the same, across the board.
Your Privacy With Hide My Ass
With any safety item, you want to Be Certain that the Company behind it’s going to be operating on your best interests. This is particularly true for VPNs, which are intended to improve privacy and security. 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 information for two to three months, while VyprVPN stores it for just 30 days. Other services hold even less info, or else they dispose of it immediately. Hide My Ass states that it retains this data for this particular period of time in order to improve performance, prevent fraud, and prevent bad guys from using the VPN to send spam. The organization, notably, also lists file sharing among the illegal actions it requires this information to stop, despite the firm being fine with the use of BitTorrent on some servers.
It May be possible that this advice could be used To correlate an individual’s identity to particular activity online, but it will probably be very hard. In spite of this information, an observer would have to know which VPN server to watch then compare that activity from Hide My Ass’s logs, and also have the ability to parse out the target’s visitors from everybody else using the same server.
In the past, some VPN companies monetized consumers by Injecting ads in their internet traffic. Hide My Ass states that it does not do this, and goes much further. A company representative explained to me the firm does not profit from user data in any way.
The actual place of a VPN company also matters, as it Can inform what protections are afforded to customers. Hide My Ass gets its company headquarters in London, and operates under the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Notably, the UK at does have data retention laws. That is not ideal. Other VPN providers function in countries without data retention laws, or in ones which have favorable privacy protections for consumers. Hidemyass
I do not think it is likely to make a decision About the advantages of a company based on its location. It is very important to understand policies and the laws on the job in a company with such access. I encourage readers choose a VPN service by which they can feel comfortable, and to consider this advice.
Servers and Server Places
A Vital differentiator between VPN services is the amount of Available servers and their geographic distribution. Lots of servers means you are more likely to locate. For its part, Hide My Ass has a very respectable 876 servers in its disposal. Nevertheless, Personal Internet Access, NordVPN, and TorGuard VPN have over 3,000 servers apiece. These are my benchmarks for robustness in the VPN server category.
Geographic distribution of these servers can be very important. Lots of places means more to choose from for spoofing functions, but also ensures that no matter where you travel there will likely always be a nearby server for your performance. Hide My Ass has an extremely impressive server locations across some 220 nations. It is easily.
The list of server places that were accessible offered by Hide My Ass is particularly noteworthy since it covers places often ignored by VPN companies. It has, for example, numerous server places throughout the continent of Africa–a rarity among VPN businesses. It also maintains servers in China, Russia, and Turkey, which have internet policies that are repressive.
Some customers might be concerned about a company’s Use of virtual servers. All these are servers that make many servers are effectively operated as by a single physical server. Virtual servers can also be configured to act as though they are in one country when they are in another, which is an issue if you’re worried about where your data is traveling.
A company representative told me that a 225 of the 286 server locations are servers. Only 61 of the server places are hardware, and 450 of Hide My Ass’s 876 servers are all virtual. That is far beyond other providers. NordVPN TunnelBear, IPVanish, and TorGuard only use physical infrastructure to get their host places.
A company representative explained that majority of the Company’s physical server infrastructure is located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Miami, New York, Prague, Seattle, and Singapore. This doesn’t quite jibe with what Hide My Ass lists on its website. I’d love to see future versions of Hide My Ass be clearer about when you’re linked to a virtual server.
Setup and interface
Obtaining Started with Hide My Ass! Is super easy and the upgraded programs are extremely user-friendly. You’ll be given a license key, As soon as you register for your account. You can use this or your credentials (password and username ) to log into almost any app. With the aim of this inspection, we’ve tested out the Windows client and the iOS app. Hidemyass
Once you’ve Logged in and launched the desktop client, you’ll be greeted with the Success! screen. Click Got It! To access this app’s main screen. Here you have three choices for modes: Immediate Mode and Freedom Mode.
In Immediate Mode, you can click on the arrow And you’ll be linked to the server for your location.
In Location mode, you can choose that You connect to. Click on Change Location to view your options. There is. All will show you an state listing. Clicking the arrow will show you locations within that nation.
Quick Access shows you a list Recently linked to, as well as some choices that were recommended. Streaming will give you a choice of two servers suitable for unblocking popular streaming services like Netflix, one in the united states and one in the UK.
Peer to Peer shows You allow P2P filesharing. Ultimately, there’s the Favorites option; to indicate a server as a favorite, the center can click to the right of the server name.
Going back To the main display, the one alternative here is Freedom Mode, that is targeted at users that wish to bypass censorship. This mode will link you to a host in the closest state that is deemed to be free of censorship.
You can Get into the Settings by clicking on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner of the main screen and choosing Preferences. Here, you will see three tabs: General, Network Security, and Kill Change. In the Generalscreen, you can change your startup options, such as beginning when you turn on your pc or if the program launches.
You also Possess. You can uncheck the box if you would like to hide your recent history.
Next, We have the Network Security screen in which you may select settings for wifi protection that is automatic. It is also possible to turn on the IP shuffle feature which makes it more difficult for somebody to find where you are by periodically changing your IP address. One option in this display allows you to utilize TCP using OpenVPN. This is only recommended if UDP is blocked or throttled. TCP is more secure, but UDP is typically faster.
The Tab will be the Kill tab, so that it works for many applications, where you are able to toggle on this feature. You could even add software and choose whether to use it to those.
This Is a fairly robust app and it is definitely both aesthetically.
Many Providers will have a mobile program that’s unrecognizable compared to the desktop version. However, HMA! Has streamlined its product, and the iOS app looks nearly identical to the Windows version.
Once you’re Logged in, you’ll get to the display, which is basically the same as the screen in the desktop app. Here you can Pick from Location Mode, Immediate Mode, or Freedom Mode.
The Only real difference is that when you select Location Mode, your options are presented in another method. You’ve got three tabs: Nations, Cities, and Favorites, but missing are speedy Access, and the options found from the desktop client, such as Streaming, Peer to Peer.
To Get into the streaming servers in the program, you’ll have to go to the Cities list and locate the Liberty Island server under US, New York. Even the UK, Donkey Town server may be found on this list for access to UK Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Moving on, The settings for the program can be retrieved by clicking on the menu icon in the top corner of this display and selecting Settings. There you’ve got two choices: Link Rules and Personal privacy.
In The Connection Rules section, it is possible to adjust wifi security settings and choose whether to auto reconnect when wifi or cellular connections are interrupted.
The Personal solitude section only has 1 option: Share usage data with third parties for analytics, which is your consent to”enable app and device usage information to be shared with third parties for analytics.” Bear in mind this is enabled by default so it may be one of the first things you wish to flip off.
Overall, This is a slick and intuitive app, but some users might be missing additional features such as a kill switch and the choice to change protocols.
Servers and performance
The Hide My Ass! Network includes more than 850 servers covering more than 190 countries. Some of them are virtual servers, but a consumer support representative was not able to tell us how many. Hidemyass
As we Discussed previously, HMA offers several options for choosing the right server, including different modes and the ability to mark servers as favorites. Servers that allow P2P are indicated using a P2P symbol.
We tested Servers for performance in the US and the UK in terms of browsing, streaming, and downloading. When browsing, there were no significant problems, aside from there being a noticeable slowdown in page load times when connected to a UK server. This is not uncommon for distant remote servers (the tests were completed in Toronto, Canada), but might be bothersome, especially for users who have slow net rates.
We didn’t See any lag or streaming while streaming 1080p using any of those test servers and could play online games without any difficulties.
HideMyAss! and Netflix
Hide My Ass! unblocks Netflix! But do not expect to link to some Waiter and proceed. We had no chance whatsoever, when we analyzed servers using US Netflix using the client. However, if you choose the Streaming choice from the dropdown within Location Mode, then you will see two options: a US server (USA, New York, Liberty Island) along with a UK server (UK, Donkey Town). Note that in the program, you will have to find these within the Cities listing in Location Mode.
Connecting With no issue server gave us access Into the US. Linking to the UK one enabled entry to UK Netflix in Addition to BBC iPlayer. Many providers just concentrate on providing US Netflix accessibility, so it’s refreshing to see one which strives to provide access to the UK library too. What’s more, BBC iPlayer is seriously cracking down on VPN usage, so the ability to unblock this service is a nice perk.
If you’re On the lookout for Amazon Prime Video, you may need to go everywhere. HMA! Is having difficulty unblocking this support at this time and a customer care representative advised us that there is no estimated timeframe for when it may be working again.
HideMyAss! in China?
Hide My Ass! Doesn’t work reliably in China. It used to, but recent HMA! Answers in service forums have indicated that the support will work for some users. You can try your fortune, but you’d best look elsewhere should you need a reliable China VPN.
HideMyAss! Speed test functionality
For any VPN That can be used with our test methods, ongoing speed tests which have been designed to be as empirical as you can are run by us. We use a test server to connect to VPN servers in the Usa, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, and Germany. For every place, we download an evaluation file (50MB in size) in the US server. This is done four times every day in intervals. The typical rate for each test is recorded along with the aggregate data is displayed.
You can see From the easy chart below HMA! Compares to another VPN services we have been analyzing. It is close to the front of the package when it comes to median speeds while it does not have the fastest speeds.
By clicking on the Detailed tab, you can see that the spread in outcomes isn’t as tight as a number of the evaluation VPNs. This usually means in regards to speeds you might see some inconsistency.
It’s Important to be aware that these tests aren’t definitive and can serve as an overall indication of the functionality you might see. The internet’s volatility adds a variable of randomness. What’s more, you see smaller or disagreements, and wait times with a slow connection. Hidemyass
For those who Want Any help while setting up or using the support, HMA! Has a couple of options for you to choose from. Clicking the Help tab you’ll find a Knowledge Base and a Getting Started section. These each home articles related to setting up queries. There’s a crossover so before searching for other alternatives that you might choose to explore both.
Additionally, You’ll locate. This is segregated into different topics; while some are recently active some seem to be out of date. Under that, there are a number of general FAQs.
If you do not Discover what you’re searching for, or you just need a reply, you can click on the live chat button. The service is prompt and educated, and representatives were able to quickly solve. At one stage, there was a representative unable to answer some security questions and advised he would escalate the problem. This has been responded to in under 2 hours that’s very quick for an email response.
Security and privacy
Hide My Ass! Is based. The UK can be a Five Eyes (and Fourteen Eyes) country, so it’s part of an alliance which allows tracking by outside governments. Plus, it is home to the Snooper’s Charter which imposes regulations British ISPs that greatly impact user privacy.
For many VPNs, data retention legislation in their home country are not really a problem. This is because they operate using a real policy that is no-logs whereby no visitors or link logs are kept by them. They can not be tied to a single user, when they do keep link logs.
Additionally, Hide My Ass! Telephones the VPN IP address Attached into a session. This is the IP address when it is visited by you that a site operator can see and document. Considering both the actual and VPN IP addresses are logged, involving the VPN and finish site logs, it would technically be possible to piece together each of an individual’s online activity. You might have seen news of a 2011 FBI situation involving HMA! In which it passed over logs that were utilized to track a hacker down. This is a black marker for privacy.
1 way to Make this less of an issue and to confuse matters a little is to make the most of the IP address shuffle feature. When enabled in the Network Security screen of the app, this occasionally switches your IP address outside for another one. It would not cause you to squint but may add a layer of obfuscation.
Privacy Issues on the safety front, Hide My Ass! Fares well. It utilizes 256-bit AES encryption, which is deemed military-grade. This is in combination with 4096-bit RSA keys and perfect forward secrecy. It employs the protocol over UDP by default, but you can change to TCP inside the desktop client. PPTP, L2TP, IPSec are available, depending on what program you are using.
The desktop versions boast a kill button which can be tailored To work for programs. The online connection will be killed by A kill switch should the VPN link drop for a certain reason. This attribute is not available from the mobile programs
A live chat Customer service representative informed us that there’s no DNS leak security. But another company representative assured us that there is actually DNS and IPv6 leak security, but no WebRTC leak security. When we tested the support for escapes, we didn’t observe any DNS leak issues aside from leaks that are WebRTC. HMA! Does use public DNS servers whereas ones will be preferable from a privacy standpoint.
One handy Attribute that Hide My Ass! Provides is wifi protection, which can be customized in the in the Network Security section of their desktop client or the Connection Rules tab of the app that is mobile settings.
Features and pricing
Hide My Ass! Offers one product with prices varying depending on the amount of term you sign up for. It is definitely not among the providers which might be an immediate turnoff for some users. A 12-month planwill set you back $6.99 per month, which is higher than the average cost for a similar duration. What’s more, a lot of VPN providers will offer an plan; for example, a two- or – term with discounts. Hidemyass
If You are not ready to sign up yet, HMA! Does provide a six-month plan for $7.99 a month or you can cover a monthly basis for $11.99 a month. These prices are a bit above average when you compare to competitors.
Payment Options include UnionPay, PayPal, and credit cards. Unfortunately bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are payment procedures. There is a money-back guarantee, so if you are not fully satisfied with the support, you’ll have your payment deducted.
So what do You get for your money? Hide My Ass! Has a community of more than 850 servers in over 180 nations. Some are devoted to accessing streaming sites and certain servers allow P2P filesharing (read: torrenting). All plans come with unlimited bandwidth and you can join up to five devices. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be configured using Linux and a few routers. Routers are available as an alternate.
From a Security perspective, HMA! Offers perfect forward secrecy, encryption wifi protection, along with the desktop apps come with a kill switch. On the other hand, the logging policy problems which plagued the service from the past stay, so privacy is still a problem.
For the most part, HMA! Provides a support that is fantastic. It’s unlimited bandwidth, speeds, and a decent community of servers. It’s able to unblock popular services such as Netflix UK Netflix US, and BBC iPlayer. Plus, it offers powerful protection, programs, and excellent customer support.