Based in the United Kingdom, HideMyAss has a large presence in the VPN marketplace. Not only does the company offer a fantastic VPN option, but they offer customers a wide range of tools that are designed to protect identities and online privacy. Although these features are sure to attract potential VPN customers, they are also services that are invaluable to the majority of Internet users. The fact that HideMyAss offers these features for free speaks very highly of the company.
HideMyAss has a commitment to Internet freedom and users’ rights. HideMyAss customers are not privy to absolute privacy, however, due to UK legal requirements. That said, HideMyAss does everything it is legally able to do to protect the freedom and privacy of its customers.
Like some other VPNs, HideMyAss offers just one package to its customers, but that package can be paid for in a series of tiers. The longer your subscription, the better the price. There is no free trial for HideMyAss, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee. Pricing tiers for the software are:
- Monthly – Pay $11.52 per month if you want to pay on a month-to-month basis.
- Bi-Annually – You can pay $49.99 every six months if you want to pay only twice per year.
- Yearly – You experience a 43 percent savings if you pay for an entire year up front. The cost of the yearly subscription is $78.66.
When you compare HideMyAss to other providers, the pricing seems a bit high. Take into consideration, though, that you can choose among 340 servers in 53 countries and more than 40,000 IP addresses. You can choose between PPTP, OpenVPN and L2PT protocols without bandwidth restrictions. You also have the ability to connect two devices simultaneously.
HideMyAss provides customer support via both live chat and email. All questions are answered within 24 hours but, if you send a question during UK daytime hours, you typically receive a response in under an hour. The live chat feature is available 12 hours per day, and there is a forum available for users to post and answer questions. HideMyAss also maintains a blog that is updated routinely. The blog features tutorials, tips and articles of interest.
Privacy and Security
HideMyAss is incredibly dedicated to the privacy and security of its customers. 160-bit and 256-bit OpenVPN encryption are both utilized, and 128-bit PPTP encryption is available as well. The free tools that you can use to protect your anonymity are rarely offered by other companies at no cost to the consumer.
You may read in the news that HideMyAss handed over information to UK law enforcement, resulting in the arrest of one of its members. Unfortunately, HideMyAss is required to provide this information when called upon to do so, as it must abide by UK legal requirements. While some customers saw this as a major fail on the part of the company, it’s important to note that the company was only following the letter of the law; something it must do if it hopes to stay in business.
The HideMyAss Website
The HideMyAss website is easy to navigate, and any information that you need is clearly displayed. The clean look of the site makes it inviting to a wide variety of users. Pricing information is up front, and the features of the site are navigated to by following quickly identified links.
Signing up with HideMyAss is very simple. You are asked for an email address, preferred payment method, a username and a password. After signing up, you receive a confirmation email with an activation link. Click on the link and you can choose how to connect to HideMyAss’s servers.
Downloading and installing HideMyAss for Windows was very simple. By following prompts, we were able to install the software in just a few minutes. Once installed, the HideMyAss dashboard becomes available, allowing you to quickly connect to the Internet via any VPN protocol you prefer.
You can choose to connect to any server that HideMyAss possesses in the world. Alternately, you can allow HideMyAss to select a server for you, based on country or other custom setting. Built in server load balancing ensures that you are always given the option of connecting to a less busy server.
We recommend spending some time on the dashboard, customizing your settings based on your needs and preferences. It is quite simple to change how you connect to your VPN, and reading the forum will give you some fantastic tips on customization.
You can pay for your subscription with a variety of methods. Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and more are accepted.
HideMyAss has dedicated clients for both OSX and Windows. You can use the OpenVPN client for Linux, and you can follow set up guides to use PPTP on Windows 7, Windows XP, iOS and Android.
Because we mentioned the free features offered by this fantastic company, we would be remiss not to list them. Here is what you get from HideMyAss at no extra cost:
- Web proxy
- Free IP port proxy lists
- Disposable email addresses
- Web proxy browser extension
- HMA! Panic button
- HMA! IP checker
What we like about HideMyAss:
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 340 servers located around the world
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Variety of VPN protocols
- Unified VPN client
- Clean, easy-to-navigate website
What we don’t like about HideMyAss:
- UK regulations mandating information logging
- Connection speeds poor with PPTP
Overall, HideMyAss has put a lot of work into their software. Users are given an amazing array of services that are sure to protect their identity and privacy. HideMyAss is the best VPN client we have discovered so far. Poor speed with PPTP is not a deal breaker. The freebies cannot be ignored, and the 30-day money back guarantee makes the software risk free.
If there is one thing that we caution, it is that the company is required to log certain aspects of your subscription and surfing habits. If you aren’t breaking the law, this is of no consequence to you. We only think that is something you should be made aware of.