Plans and Pricing
HideMyAss, as most of our reviewed VPN providers, has three plans based on subscription duration:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
HMA offers apps for all major platforms - Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. You can say that it is a pretty standard set.
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.
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.
We have compared the connection speed. The first test has been performed without VPN connection:
Download – 71 Mbps, Upload – 48 Mbps. Then we used HideMyAss and connected to one of the more remote, but not too geographically distant server.
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.
Just ask yourself – how could you resist a product with a logo as cute as this one:
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.