Chances are that you can find a VPN service that better meets your specific needs and requirements elsewhere. It’s recommended to explore various options and compare their features to find the VPN that is the best fit for you.
|Large server network with 1,100+ servers in 290+ locations||Logs some user data, including connection and disconnection times|
|Offers secure and fast connection speeds||Limited support for torrenting and P2P|
|User-friendly interface and easy-to-use apps||No split-tunneling feature|
|Compatible with multiple devices and platforms||No free trial available|
|Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee||More expensive than some competitors|
|Offers strong encryption and security features, including a kill switch and leak protection||No cryptocurrency payment options available|
|Has 24/7 live chat customer support||Limited support for streaming services, such as Netflix|
HMA, which stands for “Hide My Ass,” takes online privacy seriously, despite its humorous branding featuring donkey imagery. By encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through its own secure gateways, HMA can conceal your online activity effectively. The company claims connection speeds of up to 20Gbits/sec and boasts a network of over 1,000 servers in 210 countries and territories, allowing users to virtually locate themselves anywhere in the world.
HMA offers a seven-day free trial, one of the few VPNs that do so. If you’re satisfied, you can then choose between a year’s service for £39.48 (equivalent to £3.29 a month) or three years for £86.04, making it an affordable option at just £2.39 per month. These prices allow for up to five simultaneous connections and client apps are available for all major desktop and mobile platforms, as well as a Chrome extension that provides VPN control through your browser. HMA also offers ten-connection options at £5.99 and £4.59 per month, respectively. Alternatively, users can configure the VPN on their router, sending all their traffic over a single secure connection. HMA supports a wide range of routers, and users can choose between the L2TP and PPTP protocols. Note that the latter has comparatively weak security.
Although HMA does not make any guarantees about BitTorrent or video streaming support, the VPN does not block file-sharing connections. HMA’s website offers tips on accessing popular streaming services. If users encounter any problems, they can seek technical support via 24/7 live chat.
HMA VPN review: What’s it like to use?
The HMA VPN app for Windows has a simple interface that is beginner-friendly. The main switch for turning the VPN on and off is prominently displayed. Advanced options are available via a discreet “More” button in the corner. From here, users can view data transfer stats, run speed tests, and customize kill-switch and auto-connect settings.
HMA’s default setting is “Lightning Connect,” which automatically connects users to the fastest server available. However, users can easily choose a specific location from a panel with more than 290 countries and cities. Servers optimized for media streaming and torrenting are also available. The Android app has a similar design, with three icons at the bottom of the interface.
While the lack of information on server speeds is a drawback, HMA’s kill-switch feature can be customized to suspend traffic for specific apps instead of shutting down the entire computer if the VPN connection is lost. Overall, HMA VPN is user-friendly and easy to use on both Windows and Android platforms.
HMA VPN review: How fast is it?
When using a VPN, it’s expected to experience a decrease in internet speeds, but some providers have faster connections than others. To determine HMA’s performance, we conducted tests using the Google Speed Test service on a domestic Virgin fibre broadband line on both a Windows 11 laptop and an Android tablet.
On Windows, HMA’s performance was impressive. With the VPN disconnected, we recorded a download speed of 214Mbits/sec. After engaging “Lightning Connect”, which selected a server in London, the download rate was 202Mbits/sec. This is one of the best results we’ve seen, leaving little room for other VPNs to outperform HMA. Unfortunately, HMA’s Windows client doesn’t support split tunnelling, which is only available in the Android app.
When switching to the USA, we experienced a larger decrease in performance. We chose the New York server and measured download speeds of 142Mbits/sec. Although this is still adequate for most online activities, it’s less exceptional compared to other VPNs. For instance, ExpressVPN delivered 187Mbits/sec in the same test, while NordVPN delivered an impressive 196Mbits/sec.
On Android, HMA’s performance was also satisfactory. Using the HMA app on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, we recorded a downstream speed of 194Mbits/sec via the London server and a stable 118Mbit/sec via the New York server. These speeds are good enough for most users, and with split tunnelling available for mobile apps, you can bypass the VPN for performance-critical tasks.
HMA VPN review: Is it good for video streaming?
HMA proves to be a suitable VPN for video streaming as it delivers a fast performance. Our Windows laptop seamlessly accessed the US content on Disney+ and Netflix once we connected it to the New York server. In case of any problem, HMA’s “Refresh IP” button conveniently allows users to acquire a new IP address in the same region and try again. US-based Hulu subscriptions are also accessible through HMA.
However, accessing UK streaming sites was a different story. Despite connecting to a UK server, BBC iPlayer didn’t work, insisting that we weren’t in the UK. We even tried switching to the optimised “Donkey Town” location for streaming, but it didn’t work either. Now TV was also inaccessible, but we were able to watch content on BritBox.
Our experience with Android was even more challenging. While we were able to access US-only titles on Disney+, the Netflix app didn’t connect at all with the VPN active. Accessing Hulu was also impossible. Moreover, we weren’t able to access any of the three major British streaming services, making this test almost completely unsuccessful.
Overall, we don’t recommend HMA for streaming. While no VPN can guarantee unrestricted access to geo-restricted content, we’ve had better experiences with other services, such as our preferred streaming VPN, ExpressVPN.
HMA VPN review: Is it secure?
Although HMA claims that it doesn’t log any records of users’ online activities, the company is owned by Avast, a Czech security specialist that is seeking a merger with US-based Norton. Additionally, HMA’s operations are still located in the UK, where the company was founded, and all of these countries share intelligence and cooperate with each other. In theory, if authorities were to investigate your activity, they could force HMA to reveal your information. Therefore, other VPNs have chosen to set up in more privacy-friendly locations, such as Hide.me VPN in Malaysia and PureVPN in the British Virgin Islands.
Despite this, HMA has several useful features to prevent accidental identity leaks. In addition to the kill-switch, the smart auto-connect option enables users to automatically engage the VPN when connecting to a network that isn’t marked as private. Although there’s no multi-hop or double-VPN feature available, users can change their IP address on a user-defined schedule, making it difficult for remote servers to track them.
HMA VPN review: Should you buy it?
HMA VPN boasts impressive global coverage and fast speeds, making it a popular choice for users seeking a user-friendly VPN. Its affordable pricing also makes it attractive to those who require five simultaneous connections. However, there are two significant drawbacks to consider. Firstly, despite having a large number of servers, HMA struggles to unblock major streaming services. Secondly, for users prioritizing privacy, it may be wiser to choose a VPN based outside the jurisdiction of European and American authorities. As a result, we cannot recommend HMA as the best option for most VPN users and suggest considering providers better suited to your specific needs.
HMA VPN review: Quick facts
|Based in||Czechia / UK|
|Cheapest price||£2.39/month (three-year subscription)|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
|24/7 customer support||Y|
|Netflix and Disney+||Y / Y|