@hidemyass is a cleverly, if not crudely, named VPN solution. It gained notoriety through its branding and a good reputation from its product which is simple to use and pretty well equipped. Hide My Ass is expensive but is it worth the added cost over other VPN services? We signed up to learn more…
The most incredible thing about Hide My Ass is the staggering number of resources from which users can select. The service has over 100,000 IP addresses spread across 900 servers in 300 locations. Beyond that, however, it doesn’t really offer much else.
Hide My Ass does not include ad blocking and each subscription provides only two licenses. You can change your IP address from the server tray, but it no longer includes an app that used to allow you to change your address at set intervals. If you’re looking for a VPN with these advanced services, you will have to look elsewhere.
Using the Service
We downloaded the Hide My Ass app onto a Windows 10 machine. We found the design to be clean and well thought out with a very simple layout. Users can choose from three modes: Instant Mode, Location Mode, and Freedom Mode.
Instant Mode is recommended for use during average browsing sessions and won’t slow down your connection in a significant way. Location Mode allows you to select one of the many servers Hide My Ass owns by country or even city. Freedom Mode simply prompts the service to find the closest “free speech” country.
We were disappointed by the lack of additional features like server stats.
Hide My Ass is based in the United Kingdom which means it’s subject to mandatory logging and GCHQ monitoring. It’s considered one of the largest VPNs in the world because it is operated by a company called Privax Ltd. which was owned by AVG Technologies until they were acquired by Avast Software. With so many changes in ownership, the company has acquired millions of users since it began operating as a proxy server in 2005.
Hide My Ass provides the choice between four protocols including OpenVPN-UDP,-TCP, PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP. They only use 128-bit Blowfish encryption with SHA1-160 has authentication and RSA-1024 handshake encryption, which is less secure than the industry standard AES-256-bit encryption you would expect from a world-class VPN.
As for logging, Hide My Ass is a bit vague about its policy. While it claims that it only keeps connection logs for diagnostic purposes, even this information could be used for an end-to-end timing attack.
Speed and Performance
Unlike many other VPNs, Hide My Ass doesn’t claim to be fastest, and the results of many speed tests prove it. The results are average, but when used correctly there are many VPNs that actually speed up download times. If speed is important to you, there are certainly faster alternatives to Hide My Ass on a spec sheet, but in practice, the latency is tolerable and won’t make that much of a difference to your connection.
Hide My Ass support is only available 12 hours a day, but users have a number of options for getting in touch with an agent should you need assistance. You can call or live chat with a real person when the service is available or you can create an email ticket when it is offline. They also have a social media presence on several platforms where you can engage with them.
Their knowledge base is also quite useful, offering solutions for all OS platforms, devices, and problem type.
Pricing and Plans
Hide My Ass offers one plan and three pricing tiers for you to choose from. These include a monthly payment plan at $11.52 per month, a bi-yearly plan at $8.33 per month, and a yearly plan at $6.55 per month.
The company does not offer a free trial, but there is a 30-day, money-back guarantee to give you peace of mind. A decent range of payment options are available, but it’s not an exhaustive list. You can pay using a credit card or one of a few online payment providers including WebMoney and iDEAL Banking, but Hide My Ass does not accept any cryptocurrencies.
HideMyAss offers an impressive number of servers, but it lets users down in other areas such as features and privacy. Despite that, it remains one of the most popular VPNs for very effectively doing one thing – hiding your… online presence.