HideMyAss is a VPN service that has been around for a long time, we could in fact define it as a historical VPN provider. In fact, it has been active since 2005, the year in which the founder Jack Cator , who at the time was a sixteen year old high school student, set up a web proxy to circumvent the protection of his school’s website, who knows for what purpose … On that occasion, Jack discovered that it was a service that could have been very successful, at first with his classmates, but then, opening it to the public, he realized that in reality the demand was quite widespread.
And so HideMyAss ( HMA for friends and for the sake of brevity) came to life. Initially it was a totally free service: you arrived and surfed through the proxy made available by the founder, the landing pages were displayed within a frame of the official website, then as its popularity and management costs grew the paid service was created, which over time has reached over 400 million subscribers.
We want to share a little curiosity about the name: in English ” hide my ass ” means ” hide my c … (butt)”, but ” ass “, in English, is a term that is also used to indicate the donkey and so that a donkey has become the mascot of the site, which obviously responds to the name of Jack, just like its founder.
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HideMyAss plans and pricing
First, HideMyAss offers a 7-day free trial period . To activate it, however, you need to insert a credit card, as, if you do not cancel before the deadline, you will be charged for an annual subscription. In any case, there is always the possibility to take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee.
Speaking of rates, at the moment HMA offers four plans: we start from the classic monthly at € 10.99 , with a one-time payment, then there is the 12-month plan, at € 4.39 per month but always with single payment of € 52.68 (with a saving of 60% compared to the previous plan). By choosing, instead, the 24-month plan, the monthly rate drops to € 3.99 , always with a single annual payment, but the most convenient plan, as also suggested by the provider, is the 36-month one, so the rate drops to € 2.99 per month with a single payment that guarantees a 73% discountcompared to the one-time monthly plan. All plans, as we said, offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
A six-monthly plan is also available from € 8.99 per month, always with a single payment and a tariff plan dedicated to companies. There are three business plans: one with 10 simultaneous connections at € 19 per month with monthly billing , which is discounted to € 10.75 if you choose annual billing, one with 20 connections at € 39 per month discounted at 19.92 € if you choose billing every 12 months and finally the plan with 30 simultaneous connections at € 59 per month with billing every 30 days 0 € 25.92 with annual billing . It is also possible to request a personalized quote. For business plans, payment by bank transfer is also provided .
Business plans are more efficient than those aimed at the private public. For example, the plan with 10 simultaneous connections offers the possibility to connect 5 devices per user, for a total of 50 per month. In addition, the business plans offer interesting features such as automatic IP address replacement at user-defined intervals (once every 10 minutes to once a day), which is great for preventing IP spoofing . In addition, corporate plans are reserved for the use of an “intelligent” kill switch in addition to the standard one, to keep certain specific applications under control, which are indicated as “at risk” by system administrators.
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Finally, a free web proxy is offered that can basically be obtained on Firefox or Chrome , by installing the appropriate extension. In this case, a simple registration is required (required data: e-mail and pseudonym, but no disposable e-mail). Unfortunately, you can only choose between five locations (France, Germany, Holland, United Kingdom and United States), with reduced speed (about 32 Mbps), however more than abundant for simple navigation, another positive thing is that there are no limits of traffic.
- Click here to sign up for one of HideMyAss plans
HideMyAss is a British company that recently joined the Czech Avast group . Consequently, unfortunately, he must comply with the directives of his own country, which, as a founding member and promoter of the 5-Eye alliance , strongly believes in preventive interception (i.e. prior to the existence of a crime report) and in the archiving of traffic data of individual citizens. Relative to the Czech Republic, the situation is even better than the Italian one (since it has not joined 14-Eye, unlike Italy), however, remains subject to European regulations regarding data retention and cannot prevent a subsidiary from complying with the laws of the country of origin.
The positive side, however, is that HideMyAss uses its own DNS servers directly , not relying on those of the reference providers in the individual countries. Consequently, it is able to avoid DNS leaks without problems , even in the event of an IPV6 attack , and is also the only subject to really manage the routing of its users, for better or for worse.
Furthermore, since May 2020 , HideMyAss has also adopted a totally zero-log policy . Therefore, user data, queries to DNS servers, activities and other information that could allow users to be traced are no longer collected. Unfortunately, there are no certifications to confirm these criteria and, in any case, a possible change to the British regulations could cancel these business practices.
HideMyAss stands out for its excellent speed use, especially not going too far from your country. Therefore, remaining in the neighboring areas, the physiological drop in performance does not exceed 10% . Unfortunately, if you move away, the percentage will inevitably rise.
The speed of the HideMyAss network is probably due to the fact that it is the VPN service with the greatest coverage in terms of countries, servers and IP addresses: 21o + countries ( 290+ locations ), over 1,080 servers and 110,000 IP addresses. We are talking about three times higher quantities than Nord VPN and which far exceed even those of Express VPN , in comparison with which HMA yields only with respect to the number of servers.
In terms of security, HMA is state-of-the-art, thanks to the AES 256 protocol over Open VPN , in Galois / Counter mode and 4096-bit RSA keys .
On the streaming front there is both good and bad news: HideMyAss has 5 servers dedicated to video services, which work perfectly with Netflix and the BBC Player , but not with Hulu and, in the past there have also been problems with Amazon Prime, although it is available a community where you can find various answers to the most common problems.
Finally, there are dedicated servers and protocols for P2P too, although, at least judging from what you can read in the knowledge base, some additional configuration may be required on your machines. It is also unclear whether HMA monitors the torrent traffic of its users to protect itself in the event of copyright complaints.
App and installation
HideMyAss offers apps and browser extensions that are really easy to install and use, you will also find versions dedicated to Apple TV and some compatible routers .
For everything else on the knowledge base you can find detailed configuration instructions: NAS Synology or QNAP , other routers, Chromecast , Amazon Fire devices and so on .
The apps are all too simple to use and, if you want, you can also use them in fully automatic mode. In this case, they will activate the maximum security protocols and connect to the fastest server. The settings remain configurable, albeit in a very limited way. For example, HideMyAss does not allow you to choose the cryptographic protocol to apply. Finally, pay attention to the (anonymous) data collection that serves to report bugs and performance drops to the company. It is in a submenu and by default it is always activated (which, in hindsight , does not even comply with the European regulation on privacy, GDPR ).
HideMyAss is a solid VPN service with a lot of strengths and weaknesses. Basically, the heaviest flaw is the registered office , which is located in one of the countries participating in the 5-Eye alliance . Surely not even the difficulty in unlocking the contents of Amazon Prime or the fact of not being able to configure the security protocols, but in hindsight none of these defects prove to be fatal. On the other hand, HMAalso offers a free browser service, with no time limit, as well as a 7-day trial period. Furthermore, the number of locations covered by the service is the highest on the market and this, as we have said, has a very positive effect on overall speeds. Our advice is at least to carry out the trial period, to personally verify if the service fully meets your specific needs and to evaluate the effective impact of the advantages offered.