HMA VPN has a particularly wide range of endpoint countries, which makes it a good choice for anyone who needs to appear to be in lots of different places.
- More endpoint countries than any rival
- Recently improved transparency and logging policy
- Mediocre performance
- Endpoints for over 290 countries:HMA VPN has the world’s largest VPN network, with endpoints in over 290 countries making it a leading option if you want a connection in a specific location.
- Free 7-day trial:You can use HMA VPN for seven days and cancel before you have to pay a dime.
Based in the UK but owned by Czech online security firm Avast, HMA (formerly HideMyAss!) is, of all the many VPN services reviewed, the one with the widest range of endpoint locations covering most of the planet, with servers in more than 190 countries and territories.
It’s reasonably priced, but neither as fast nor as good at streaming as its rivals, and note that there’s no monthly subscription tier available.
Security firm NortonLifeLock has been attempting to acquire Avast and its subsidiaries, but this has been held up by national regulators. It’s thus impossible to predict how HMA may be impacted by this in the future.
Pricing and Subscriptions
HMA’s price has become more reasonable looking over the year, mostly due to changes in the rest of the market. A five-device account costs $59.99/£39.48 per year, $95.76/£69.36 for two years and $107.64/£86.04 for three years.
There’s also a seven-day free trial available. This is limited to 10GB of throughput, requires your payment information upfront, and automatically renews to become a one-year subscription if you fail to cancel it.
Privacy and Protection
- Improved transparency in recent months
- Has a no-logging policy, but previously handed over logs
HMA VPN is headquartered in the UK, so it’s subject to Britain’s stringent data retention laws, and famously provided data that confirmed the identities of individuals involved in the LulzSec hacking case.
However, since April 2020, the company’s present privacy and logging policy makes it clear that no identifying browsing or originating IP address data is stored. Parent firm Avast has public transparency and warrant canary pages for all its services.
This new policy is far more in keeping with HMA’s promotion of its services as a means of bypassing internet censorship under oppressive regimes, which is something its huge number of endpoint locations very much lends itself to.
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 HMA, have ever logged user data for this purpose, and Jumpshot has now been shut down.
Features and Usability
- Features a ‘Freedom’ mode
- Supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and more
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.
As well as Windows, macOS, Android and iOS clients, HMA provides plenty of information on setting up its service on a wide range of other platforms. It regularly releases scripts to help Linux users connect using OpenVPN, rather than having to do a fully manual configuration.
- Slow speeds in the United States
- Not a good option for streaming video
All of my testing was carried out on a virtual desktop physically located at a data centre with a high-speed internet connection in London. This testing setup produces results under optimal connection conditions. VPN clients are tested on their default settings.
|HMA VPN||209.60 Mbps||110.40 Mbps||19.87 Mbps|
|Reference Group Average HTTP||310.77 Mbps||306.83 Mbps||194.52 Mbps|
|Reference HTTP without VPN||489.60 Mbps||532.80 Mbps||490.40 Mbps|
While HMA’s UK endpoint is quick, and its Netherlands one perfectly usable, things started getting rather slow when I connected to the US. Unfortunately, this state of affairs has been more or less the same for the past year, making HMA hard to recommend on performance grounds.
HMA has never been been particularly good for being able to watch video while connected, even though it has a handful of dedicated endpoints for video streaming – in the US, UK and Germany. You can always use split tunnelling to set up a browser to stream video outside your VPN connection, although this has potential privacy risks if you’re not careful.
Should you buy it?
You want lots and lots of country endpoints:
HMA VPN provides access to a whopping 290 countries, which is substantially more than any other VPN we have reviewed.
You want a speedy US performance:
Performance speeds with a US endpoint were extremely slow, while it also performed slower than average in the UK and the Netherlands.
Beyond the fact it has previously handed data over to the authorities, HMA’s biggest problem is that its offering is rather costly. Nevertheless, if you need to be in a specific location virtually to access a given service, or ensure your websites and services are accessible – and media streaming isn’t a priority – then HMA is the provider to choose, as a result of its massive range of endpoint countries.
But unless you specifically need an endpoint that its rivals don’t offer, ProtonVPN and NordVPN perform better and cost less, while Perfect Privacy’s no-logging policies have been demonstrated by server seizures. For more information, check out our Best VPN ranking.
How we test
We run tests from a London-based connection that typically sees speeds between 500Mbps and 700Mbps, which means that we’re able to get a good idea of what each VPN’s maximum speeds currently are.
We test multiple endpoints from each provider in three locations: the UK, the Netherlands and the U.S.
Tested speeds with three endpoints: UK, USA and the Netherlands.
Researched security and no-logging claims
Tested all available features
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No, you need to pay for a subscription. There is a 7-day free trial, but you need to provide your payment details up front, and could be charged for a year’s subscription if you don’t cancel in time.
HMA VPN is based in the UK, but owned by Czech online security firm Avast,