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Hide My Ass! Pro VPN Review

Verdict

If you need to virtually be in a specific location to access a given service or make sure that your websites and services are accessible, and if you don’t care about media streaming, Hide My Ass! is the provider to choose, thanks to its massive range of endpoint countries. Unfortunately, this UK-based service keeps logs as a legal obligation and costs more than most of its comparable rivals.

Pros

  • More endpoint countries than any rival
  • Streams Netflix US and BBC iPlayer

Cons

  • Keeps logs
  • Expensive

Key Specifications

  • Connect up to five devices
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • UK pricing: £59.88 per year, £114.84 per three years
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
  • Seven-day trial, requires payment information and consumption of no more than 10GB of data

Based in the UK but owned by Czech online security firm Avast, Hide My Ass! (HMA) is, of all the many VPN services we’ve reviewed, the one with the widest range of endpoint locations, covering most of the planet with servers in over 190 countries and territories.

In early 2020, Avast came under fire for its sale of anonymised user data for marketing purposes via its Jumpshot subsidiary. However, the company has confirmed to Trusted Reviews that none of its VPN brands, including Hide My Ass!, have ever logged user data for this purpose.

Related: Best VPN

Hide My Ass! – Features and usability

Because HMA is headquartered in the UK, it’s subject to Britain’s stringent data retention laws. HMA notes that, although it doesn’t log any of your activity while connected, such as which websites or IP address you connect to or what data was transferred, it does log your IP address, along with connection and disconnection times, duration and bandwidth usage “to prevent abuse and for diagnostic purposes.”

In 2011, long before it came into Avast’s ownership, the company complied with a court order to hand over data that helped in confirming the identities of individuals involved in the LulzSec hacking case.

HMA nonetheless promotes its services as a means of bypassing internet censorship under oppressive regimes. In a blog post that covers the service’s role in allowing protesters against the Egyptian government to gain access to websites such as Twitter, which were blocked by the local government, the company states that it follows UK law and “there isn’t a law that prohibits the use of Egyptians gaining access to blocked websites such as Twitter, even if there is one in Egypt.”

In keeping with this, HMA’s glossy client includes a Freedom Mode that lets you “access the web via the closest free-speech country.” Other settings enable automatic connection to the VPN as soon as Windows launches, SOCKS5 proxying and a Secure IP Bond feature that allows you to specify applications that you want to allow online only when the encrypted VPN connection is up and running.

While HMA used to be one of the more expensive VPN providers around, it hasn’t increased its prices in a while, making both monthly and two-year subscriptions pretty good value compared to the rest of the market.

The latest update to Hide My Ass!’s payment options once again lets you pay in British pounds and has streamlined the available subscriptions. Like Avast’s other VPN services, it no longer offers a monthly subscription option. Two-month subscriptions have also gone by the wayside. Instead, you can pay £59.88 per year or £114.84 per three years. Retail editions containing a licence key are available for those who’d rather not give their VPN provider any credit card details, and also tend to be cheaper than buying directly from HMA’s site.

If you do buy direct, there’s a seven-day free trial, but note that it requires your payment information and automatically renews to become a one-year subscription if you don’t cancel it.

Related: What is a VPN?

Screenshot of HideMyAss running on Windows 10.

Hide My Ass! – Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
HideMyAss! (HMA) HTTP 86.56Mbps 91.20Mbps 38.64Mbps
HideMyAss! (HMA) FTP 100.51Mbps 66.34Mbps 34.96Mbps

Average HTTP download speeds for the January 2020 VPN group test, measured from a test system in the UK with a high-speed fibre connection, were 81.41Mbps from UK endpoints, 89.42Mbps for the Netherlands and 43.02Mbps from the US.

Hide My Ass!’s HTTP download performance has seen something of a return to form in our latest tests, putting in an above-average performance in the UK and Netherlands, although it’s still a little sluggish when connecting via the US.

HMA has never been my first choice for region-shifting, but I had no trouble watching Disney+, Netflix US or BBC iPlayer using its endpoints. However, All 4 spotted that I was connecting via a VPN.

Should you buy Hide My Ass!?

Hide My Ass! is completely up front about the legal history and status of its service, which is laudable. However, the fact that it has handed over logs in the past is an enduring red flag for privacy enthusiasts. This should also serve as a reminder that the only VPN you can entirely trust is one that you fully control yourself – but that’s not practical for everyone.

Beyond that, HMA’s biggest problem is that it’s rather costly for what it offers, unless you really need a vast number of endpoint countries.

Get HideMyAss! (HMA) now

If you need to virtually be in a specific location to access a given service or make sure that your websites and services are accessible, and if you don’t care about media streaming, Hide My Ass! is the provider to choose, thanks to its massive range of endpoint countries. Unfortunately, this UK-based service keeps logs as a legal obligation and costs more than most of its comparable rivals.

However, unless you specifically need an endpoint that its rivals don’t offer, Windscribe performs similarly for much less money and has a proper free tier, NordVPN is faster and better at streaming, while Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN’s no-logging policies have been demonstrated in court.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

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