HMA VPN Review 2024: Lots of Features (If You Have the Right Device)

HMA has a sassy name and transparent policies but does the U.K.-based VPN service have the security and functionality to back it up?
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3.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Hide My Ass's website

VPN
Hide My Ass
  • No logs
  • 1,100+ servers
  • May be buggy on your device

HMA, formerly HideMyAss, is a virtual private network (VPN) with a lot of sass and a dashboard optimized for easy use. The amount of transparency across the HMA website regarding logging and its privacy policy is comforting, especially since it’s written in plain language you don’t need a law degree to decipher.

With features like lightning connect and a free web proxy tool, HMA is a solid VPN provider.

Pros
  • No logs
  • 1,100+ servers in 210+ countries
  • Multiple device support
Cons
  • May be buggy on your device
  • No free version
In this article
Overview
Our experience
Who is HMA VPN best for?
Prices and subscriptions
Main features
Test results
Compatibility
Customer support
Alternatives
FAQs
Bottom line: Is HMA VPN good?

Overview

Price $2.99–$7.99/mo
Free version No
Max # of connected devices 10
# of servers 1,100+ servers in 210+ countries
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, Mimic
Encryption AES-256-GCM
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters London, U.K.
Netflix access Yes

How we test and rate VPNs

We complete standardized hands-on tests for each VPN we review so we can put their claims to the test. This includes vigorous third-party testing by comparing our internet speed while connected to different servers, checking for DNS leaks, making sure the kill switch actually works, and more. We also make sure we can comfortably access popular streaming sites, like Netflix, and still do our day-to-day work without interruption.

Once we’ve completed the testing, our editorial rating is calculated by taking into account key features you’d expect from a good product. We score each VPN in the following categories and use a weighted average to calculate the final rating out of 5 stars: price, server count, speed, security, and features.

To learn more about how we test, check out our full VPN methodology here.

Our experience

We experienced A LOT of issues when downloading, logging in, and testing HMA. There were many times the HMA website refused to load due to an SSL error. (This only happened on HMA’s site and not with any other sites we tried at the same time.) 

The SSL error was frustrating because we weren’t getting it with other websites. There’s a chance HMA’s website was throwing error codes, but since we weren’t able to submit a ticket to support, we were left to diagnose and fix issues on our own.

Additionally, HMA would randomly turn off and give us an error message or only load the website in Polish even though the VPN was set to an English language server. This only happened with HMA; when we disabled it and tried another VPN, we had no problems.

HMA Connection error pop-up offering to troubleshoot or close the window.

Who is HMA VPN best for?

  • Recommended for someone looking for a VPN with lots of options and a sense of humor

HMA’s website is fun to read. This virtual private server works the same as the competition, but with sass. There’s a lot of cheeky language to describe the VPN itself and its company policies. Overall, the product appears to work well. We had a lot of initial installation and connection issues. Once it’s running, though, HMA does its job.

If you appreciate a sense of humor in your tech products, this may be for you, but please don’t choose a security product on wit alone. HMA seems to match that energy with a product that delivers on its promises.

HMA VPN prices and subscriptions

HMA has a variety of options when it comes to your VPN needs. It claims unlimited installation on as many devices as you want, although with only five or 10 devices being connected at once, depending on the plan you choose. 

Additionally, there are pricing options to fit everyone’s needs. Whether you want to pay month-to-month or buy a yearly or multi-year subscription, HMA has a plan for that.

The price points are on par with competitors like NordVPN and Surfshark, but HMA does seem to have a variety of pricing options. This is helpful if you’re looking for a short-term subscription or want to save money on a VPN by buying a longer subscription.

Plan 12 months 24 months 36 months
5 devices $4.99/mo $6.99/mo $2.99/mo
10 devices $7.99/mo N/A $5.99/mo

HMA accepts over 25 forms of payment including major credit cards like Visa, Amex, Discover, and Mastercard, as well as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency like bitcoin is not accepted.

HMA VPN offers a seven-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

HMA VPN features

HMA has a unique feature that allows you to install its VPN app on unlimited devices. The caveat is that you can only be running five simultaneous connections at a time, but that seems like a manageable compromise. This is just one of the interesting features offered by the VPN service. Others include IP shuffle and P2P optimized servers.

This VPN hired a very fun marketing person to create its copy but that doesn’t mean HMA can’t deliver on its promises. The kill switch and IP shuffle features may not be unique to HMA, but their explanations are appreciated, as are the cheeky descriptions all over the site.

Server count and countries

  • 1,100+ servers in 210+ countries

HMA lists 1,100-plus VPN servers in over 210 countries. This is a decent server count in a lot of locations, so it isn’t wrong about having a lot of options.

HMA VPN open to list of server locations.

Another bonus for the VPN is the fact that it has both physical and virtual servers. A lot of VPN companies operate on just virtual servers, but physical ones provide a stronger internet connection. You can even check which HMA servers are virtual or not.

This is a lot of transparency for a technology company. In fact, the entire time we were digging through HMA’s website there was transparency at every turn. This is refreshing since many companies try to bury their third-party data sales and shady logging policies under a mountain of legalese.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • HMA VPN logs policy: No logs
  • HMA VPN headquarters: London, U.K.

HMA is aggressive in its no-logs policy but in a good way. Not only does HMA put its no-logs policy language in conversational language, it also dedicates an entire page to explaining the policy. When we double-checked this against what’s written in the privacy policy, it all held up.

It’s important for a VPN not to keep logs. This service is following you all around the web, so logging means it’s keeping track of everything you do. This gets especially dicey if the company then sells user data. 

You have no idea who is getting your data and what will be done with it. Your best bet is to use products that don’t log your online activity in order to avoid all that uncertainty.

Kill switch

A kill switch is a feature that should come standard on a reliable VPN. This allows coordinates with your computer to kill the connection (hence the name) to the internet in the event your VPN disconnects. It provides you with the safety of protecting your IP address.

HMA has a regular kill switch and an app kill switch. The app kill switch allows you to add specific apps to a list, which HMA will block internet access to any time the VPN disconnects.

HMA VPN open on the kill switch settings under preferences.

Our internet was wonky during testing and HMA shut it down. It shut it all down. Fortunately, we didn’t have issues getting it all back and running.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to split up how your internet traffic is routed. This is useful if one app won’t work with a VPN but you don’t want to compromise the rest of your security. In this case, you could route access to that app through an unsecured channel while the rest of your traffic goes through a secured channel. 

Unfortunately, HMA only offers this feature on Android.

Encryption

HMA uses several different types of encryption depending on the device you’re using. Windows and Android get the OpenVPN protocol in Galois Counter Mode (AES 256-GCM).

For any other device, you’ll be reliant on HMA’s AES 256-bit encryption located on its servers. Don’t worry though, this is military grade and would take literally millions of years to crack with our current computing power.

VPN protocol

Most of HMA's apps only offerOpenVPN protocol. This is an open-source encryption protocol that’s “owned” by, well, everyone. 

Open-source materials are used globally. The strength of the protocol lies in its ability to be developed and modified nearly instantaneously by a global network. If something happens that causes OpenVPN to go down, the network comes to a stop to avoid lost or stolen data. 

So, all this fancy jargon means HMA provides you with a highly secure, extremely relevant piece of software.

The Windows app also provides WireGuard and Mimic protocol. WireGuard is listed as a speedy and secure open-source protocol, while Mimic is a proprietary HMA protocol created to bypass VPN restrictions.

HMA VPN open to the advanced preferences tab.

Free web proxy

A proxy server allows you to access certain places on the internet that may be blocked by your region or local government ordinances. HMA provides a free proxy tool but also gives enhanced options when you purchase its VPN.

The free tool gives you one private tab. The paid version (which you can try for a week free with HMA’s seven-day trial) offers so much more like stopping all internet service provider tracking and working on any device.

HMA VPN test results

When testing VPNs we look for five key points:

  • Does it cause our internet speeds to lag?
  • Can we watch regional Netflix content?
  • Does it leak our domain name?
  • Is there a WebRTC leak?
  • Does the kill switch work?

We go more in-depth into each of these points below. We want to make sure we give you real-world examples of these five points so you can make a decision on what VPN is best for you.

Speed tests

  • HMA VPN speed test results: HMA VPN slowed our speeds significantly with every server outside of the U.S.

We ran speed tests with HMA VPN with a Lenovo laptop running Windows 11 from a physical location in the U.S. We start by taking a baseline test to determine how much HMA would affect our regular internet speeds. 

Test type No VPN US to US US to CA US to EU US to AU
Download speed 384.46 Mbps 310.54 Mbps 178.31 Mbps 150.14 Mbps 166.09 Mbps
Upload speed 514.96 Mbps 388.32 Mbps 244.38 Mbps 473.80 Mbps 428.81 Mbps
Latency (ping) 3 ms 8 ms 47 ms 111 ms 174 ms
Download speed % difference N/A -19.23% -53.62% -60.95% -56.80%
Upload speed % difference N/A -24.59% -52.54% -7.99% -16.73%
Latency % difference N/A 166.66% 1,466.66% 3,600% 5,700%
Test results as of 06/11/2024.

HMA VPN was off to a decent start with our U.S. server connection. We selected the Lightning Connect option, where HMA automatically picks the fastest server based on our location. HMA dropped our speeds by about 20% and increased our latency by about 160%.

HMA VPN speed test results while connected to a U.S. server.

Once we started connecting to international servers, HMA tanked our speeds. Our download speeds decreased by 50% to 60% while our latency increased by over 1,000% to nearly 6,000%. 

HMA VPN speed test results while connected to a U.K. server.

The speed and latency changes weren't noticeable on our browsing or streaming, but it's worth keeping in mind if you value speed from your VPN.

Netflix tests

  • Netflix test results: HMA VPN unblocked Netflix with every server but Australia.

Netflix releases some content exclusively in certain regions. If you want to watch Netflix content in these regions, you’ll need a VPN to trick it into thinking you’re there. Additionally, if you’re traveling outside of your country, you could use a VPN to access your regional programming.

A Netflix stream of Arrested Development while HMA VPN is connected to a U.S. server.

US to US US to UK US to CA US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?
Test results as of 06/11/2024.

When we initially tested HMA, Netflix immediately detected the VPN no matter how many server locations we tried in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. This time around, HMA was successful with every server location but Australia. With the working servers, we didn't experience any issues with buffering or lag.

Netflix blocked us with every Australian server we tried, but we'll take the win of the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. servers working this time around. 

A Netflix error page because HMA is connected to a server in Australia.

DNS leak test

  • DNS leak test results: HMA passed its DNS leak tests.

Domain name system (DNS) is how a computer translates a language humans read into a language that computers can read. If there’s a DNS leak with your VPN, anyone can see the name of your computer (IP address) and possibly find ways to hack your device. 

We’re happy to report HMA did not leak the name of our machine when undergoing a DNS leak test.

HMA VPN's DNS leak test results.

WebRTC leak test

  • WebRTC leak test results: HMA VPN passed its WebRTC leak test results.

WebRTC is how you can use your computer to make video calls. Because your computer is opening itself up to a connection, there’s a chance you can be hacked if there’s a WebRTC leak

In our testing, HMA did not experience any WebRTC leaks.

HMA VPN's WebRTC leak test results.

Kill switch test

  • Kill switch test results: HMA VPN passed its kill switch test results.

We think of a kill switch as an essential VPN feature, but we also test it to make sure it works. That way, we can keep our online activities protected in the event that our VPN connection drops. 

After toggling on the kill switch, we connected to a server in Los Angeles. After opening up ipleak.net, we switched to a server in New York. We were relieved to find that HMA kept our real IP address hidden.

HMA VPN's kill switch test results.

HMA VPN compatibility

Since HMA boasts unlimited devices, it’s helpful if it works on all of the devices you’d like to protect. Luckily, HMA has an impressive list. You’ll find you can install it on a host of operating systems, gaming systems, and even routers.

Here’s a full list of HMA’s compatibility:

  • Windows 7 SP1+
  • macOS 10.10+
  • Linux
  • Android 5+
  • iOS 9+
  • Android TV
  • Routers that support VPNs or flahsed with Tomato, OpenWrt, DD-Wrt, or other custom firmware

HMA VPN customer support

HMA offers live chat, email support, and a knowledge base as customer support options.

Live chat

There is chat support available as a small box on the lower right side of some, but not all, pages of HMA's website. However, it sometimes gives you an "offline" message, and it does not connect you with a live representative. 

Email support

If you have a question the chatbox can’t answer, it will still email a ticket to the support team. You'll need to enter your first and last name, email address, as well as details of your request.

Knowledge base

Finally, HMA VPN provides a knowledge base available with troubleshooting walkthroughs and other FAQs.

Top alternatives

Once we got HMA VPN to work it was a decent service, but it might be too much of a hassle for most. We recommend the following VPNs for a user-friendly and feature-rich experience:

Price $3.99–$15.99/mo $2.19–$17.95/mo $2.03–$12.99/mo
Free version
Max # of connected devices 10 Unlimited 7
# of servers 6,300+ servers in 111 countries 3,200 in 100 countries Servers in 100 countries
VPN protocol NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Encryption AES 256-bit AES 256-bit AES 256-bit
No-logs policy No logs No logs No logs
Headquarters Panama The Netherlands Romania
Netflix access
Learn more Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get CyberGhost

HMA VPN FAQs


+

Who owns HMA VPN?

Avast, a Czech Republic cybersecurity company, is the parent of HideMyAss VPN. Avast merged with NortonLifeLock in 2021 to create an $8 billion cybersecurity company and acquired additional brands AVG and Avira to add to its offerings.


+

Is HMA VPN safe?

The short answer is maybe. While HMA is owned by the Czech Republic parent company Avast, it’s still headquartered in the U.K. which is a Five Eyes country. While the Czech Republic is not one of The Eyes countries, HMA may still be subject to U.K. laws.


+

How many servers does HMA VPN have?

HMA VPN lists 1,100-plus servers in over 200+ countries with both physical and virtual servers. 


+

How do I download HMA VPN?

You can download HMA by visiting the download page or by visiting the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store on your phone to download the HMA mobile app.

Bottom line: Is HMA VPN good?

Answering this question is tough. We kept having login issues with HMA. The VPN generated a support code and a link to support, but when we clicked it, we got an SSL error. 

Since HMA is headquartered in a Five Eyes country there may be issues with user privacy. As far as leaks go, however, HMA was locked tight and that’s a good thing. 

HMA has a user-friendly interface and dashboard and is extremely transparent in its policies. The product has great functionality as long as it’s compatible with the device on which it’s being used. If all of the specs here look good, give that free trial a spin.

If you’re looking for a different product that’s less complicated, check out some of our recommended alternatives.

3.5
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Hide My Ass's website
VPN
Hide My Ass
  • No logs
  • 1,100+ servers
  • May be buggy on your device
Author Details
Mary is a seasoned cybersecurity writer with over seven years of experience. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University, she educates audiences on scams, antivirus software, and more. Her passion lies in educating audiences on helpful ways to protect their data.
Steph Trejos is an Editor at All About Cookies, leveraging her expertise in the cybersecurity field. She holds a B.A. in English: Editing, Writing, and Media, as well as Media/Communications Studies. With over five years of professional writing experience, she has garnered recognition for her work on anti-financial crime topics, such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and cyberthreats.