Vpnspecial - HIDEMYASS review

HIDEMYASS





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  • PROS
  • 30 Day money-back guarantee
  • IP address switching schedule
  • CONS
  • Poor email support
  • Records logs

HideMyAss is a VPN service provider which is famous not only for a witty brand name and a grin inducing design of their website and applications. It has one of the biggest lists of VPN servers available (940), though raises some questions regarding the privacy policy. This UK based company already deals with a lot of issues regarding its privacy protection. For example, there is the famous "LulzSec Fiasko" case, when in 2011 HideMyAss co-operated with law enforcement agencies in uncovering a hacktivist group called"LulzSec".

Plans and Pricing
HideMyAss, as most of our reviewed VPN providers, has three plans based on subscription duration:

HMA pricing plans

HideMyAss VPN's pricing

The price is of premium-range, so if your budget us tight, there are several other recommended alternatives. Whilst the 12-month subscription gives you a 43% discount, the $6.55/month is already a decent price. All plans provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Privacy, Security and protocols

All three major protocols are supported by HideMyAss - OpenVPN, L2TP and PTPP. The default protocol for Windows/OS X application is OpenVPN-UDP (also called "Auto-Path"). By analyzing HMA protocols we discovered a drawback - there is no configuration available for the desktop application. This applies not only to the protocol selection, but for any other settings as well. What you see in the UI is more or less all that you get in the terms of VPN configuration:

HideMyAss OS X application window

OS X application window

One the other hand, that is all what 9 out of 10 people might need - just select the VPN server and connect to it.

Regarding customer privacy, HMA states:

When you use our VPN service the only data we collect is as follows:

  • a time stamp when you connect and disconnect to our VPN service;
  • the amount data transmitted (upload and download) during your session;
  • the IP address used by you to connect to our VPN; and
  • the IP address of the individual VPN server used by you.

Which is quite a standard data collection set, though the following statement is:
If we are notified or detect that your VPN account has been used in breach of our terms of service, e.g. for spamming, file sharing or other illicit activity, then we may store your VPN data for an extended period of time beyond the normal 3 month maximum.

Also, the "Lulzsec" story, to which HMA responded themselves - http://blog.hidemyass.com/2011/09/23/lulzsec-fiasco/ - just once again shows that whilst ensuring the protection of personal data, HMA might not be the best choice for any type of "grey" activities.

Customer Support

Upon arriving to customer support section, you'll discover several drawings that are sure to make you smile. Nice design is really appreciated! Besides that, HideMyAss shares a pretty standard set of support options - tutorials as well as a ticket form.

HideMyAss Customer Support options

Customer Support options

HMA also provides live chat support. We have used it once asking for a refund, and it was indeed quick and polite, it felt like we were talking with someone who actually cares.

Platforms Support

HMA offers apps for all major platforms - Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. You can say that it is a pretty standard set.

HideMyAss platform options

Platform support

Though what we wanted to point out with the screenshot is the design difference. The selling part of the website is really well designed while some of the other sections are not. Not to mention, the amount of options to configure and edit is nearly null, except the username, password and some of the subscription details.

Servers and Locations

Large geographical coverage of VPN servers is one of the advantages. They have 940 servers in over 350 locations and this should cover the majority of any usage scenarios.

Server locations

Server and IP address count

The website also shares the map view, though in contrast with many other VPN providers, VPN selection via map interface is not implemented in the desktop application.

HideMyAss servers map

Server map

Performance

We have compared the connection speed. The first test has been performed without VPN connection:

HideMyAss speed review - speed without VPN

Speed without VPN

Download – 71 Mbps, Upload – 48 Mbps. Then we used HideMyAss  and connected to one of the more remote, but not too geographically distant server.

HideMyAss speed review - speed with VPN

Speed with VPN

The results were 15 Mbps download speed and 8 Mbps upload speed. So around 16% of the standard speed, though we did not notice a sharp decrease on standard web browsing experience while using it.

Conclusion

Just ask yourself – how could you resist a product with a logo as cute as this one:

HideMyAss Logo

Logo

But let's be more serious - HideMyAss is a simple, yet fully functional VPN service. It has a premium price range, but is really fun to use thanks to the sleek design. Privacy is not its strongest advantage, though the large geographical variety of servers and the simplicity of usage for many might be a more important factor to choose HMA as their VPN provider. If you like to customize your applications and fine-tune settings, HideMyAss will feel as if you have no control over any potential VPN settings, such as protocol selection and other. But if one prefers "Apple's" approach - "It just works", then HMA might be a really good fit.

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