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BSN’s Hide My Ass VPN Review: The Snitch

Dominik

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Protecting your digital identity and browsing history is a task of great importance, so you’ll naturally want to carefully review all available options so as to make a maximally informed decision and pick the one with the funniest-sounding name. Ok, probably not, but we assume that’s something along the lines of what whoever came up with the name “HideMyAss” was thinking.

In any case, today we’re taking a look at the since-renamed British service provider which nowadays goes under a much more posh name of HMA VPN.

Things could be worse as at least HMA VPN doesn’t actively throttle any kind of torrent traffic, though peer-to-peer sharing probably won’t be near the top of your priority list once your Internet speeds get nuked. As for video streaming, the vast majority of HMA’s servers get detected by both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, so even if the service was otherwise perfect, its utility is limited. Alas, it’s anything but.


Hide My Ass VPN Review Summary
1.85 BSN Score
Pros
Its name may be funny to users below the age of reason. Silly logo. Single-handedly keeping donkey representation in the VPN space above zero.
Cons
Shockingly isn’t very good at hiding its customers’ behinds SpeedsAreAss. Even those who don’t know better will find the lack of a monthly subscription tier annoying.
Summary
The average Asiatic donkey can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour over short distances. Seeing how HMA is way below average in virtually every aspect not involving a systematic betrayal of customer trust, we’d wager most people can avoid it if they start running the moment they’re done skimming this review.
Performance1.5
Privacy & Security1
Ease of Use4
Pricing2.5

HMA VPN Privacy & Security

We are disappointed to report that HideMyAss does not, in fact, have a good track record with hiding the behinds of consumers its blunt name appears to be addressing. Quite the contrary, it logs enough user data to reliably get them arrested by UK authorities, the very same ones that tend to be quite happy to do U.S. authorities’ bidding, as Julian Assange can attest.

This, by itself, is reason enough to steer clear of HMA VPN forever. But just to drive that point home, it bears noting the platform is not just prone to frequent DNS leaks (which can help identify you) but is also owned by Avast, the very same company that’s quite upfront about charging you for privacy and then adding “syke” to its terms of use. But don’t worry, HMA VPN doesn’t need a warrant to spy on you – it has a habit of doing so even completely unprompted.

HMA VPN Warrant Canary

HMA doesn’t keep a warrant canary, which is perfectly in line with its other anti-privacy policies and overall track record. The only alternative is going to its parent’s Transparency Report for a rundown of its latest dealing with law enforcement and realizing the firm is regularly handing over user information, having done so 45 times over a two-year period ending in 2018. What about newer data, you ask? There is none, as Avast hasn’t updated its report since mid-2019.

HMA VPN Performance

HMA VPN isn’t a free service, but you’d never guess that from the average speeds provided by its servers. Of course, the physical distance between you and your provider’s servers is always a massive factor affecting VPN performance. But even when connected to nodes within a 100-click radius of our VPN testing cave, we found the speeds offered by this solution to be pretty underwhelming, having consistently witnessed performance drop-offs of around 75%, which is pretty baffling for any server that isn’t actively combusting.

All of that makes HMA VPN an absolutely horrible choice for protecting one’s privacy seeing how the company simply doesn’t care about that. Some may argue they’d rather have their government and HMA spy on them instead of Facebook but it’s not like Zuckerberg’s surveillance machine doesn’t play ball with the authorities, and at least it doesn’t charge you for doing so. In other, significantly more poetic and pretentious words, HMA VPN is the ying to PIA’s yang.

HMA VPN Ease of Use

HMA is one of the most accessible VPNs out there, which makes sense given its extensive tracking practices – how can you achieve world domination if your spyware is too complex for old people to install and forget about?

No joke: if everyone at the firm was as good at their jobs as the people who spearheaded HMA VPN’s 2018 rebranding after being given the name “Hide My Ass” to work with, the issues of eroding privacy protections and government-sponsored surveillance machineries wreaking global carnage would have been solved ages ago, whereas Elon Musk would have been reporting to a donkey in a trench coat by now, informing his four-legged overlord of the fifth consecutive Tesla vehicle generation launch executed with zero setbacks and waiting times.

Alas, in this much more boring reality, HMA continues to con people out of their money in exchange for privacy that doesn’t exist.

HMA VPN Pricing

Strangely enough, pricing is one aspect wherein HMA doesn’t play the mainstream card, and instead chooses to present any unsuspecting victi-I mean, prospective customer with an ultimatum: pay for at least a year of service or get lost.

We’ll count this as a plus because HMA VPN isn’t a service anyone should use, so anything that helps drive people away from it should be praised. On the off chance you hate yourself or are related to HMA’s founder (no “what’s the difference” jokes, please), you can get a year’s worth of HMA in your life for a one-time fee of $83.88, which amounts to $6.99 a month.

A week-long free trial is also on offer, just in case you really, really aren’t buying any of this and want to send some of your data over to HMA just to spite those angry Internet people reviewing VPNs, but would prefer to do so for free if at all possible because you’re sort of broke since you’re the kind of person passing up days disagreeing with strangers on the Internet over highly obscure topics instead of looking for a job.

HMA VPN Review Summary

The average Asiatic donkey can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour over short distances. Seeing how HMA is way below average in virtually every aspect not involving a systematic betrayal of customer trust, we’d wager most people can avoid it if they start running the moment they’re done skimming this review.


Editor’s Note

BSN’s HMA VPN Review has been written by Dominik Bosnjak, a long-time VPN-user-turned-advocate who spends more time scrutinizing VPN Providers on a daily basis than he’d like to admit. When he isn’t writing VPN Guides and covering general Tech News, he’s probably spending time with his dog, video games, or both. Fun fact: the Shih Tzu in question is the only remaining creature in Dominik’s life who hasn’t told him they’re sick of him talking about Best VPN practices and government-sponsored erosion of digital privacy which made using the Internet less convenient over the years. He occasionally dabbles in video editing, Wall Street memes, and demonstrating a remarkable lack of guitar-playing ability.

If you want more tidbit-sized rants about any of those things, you can find him on Twitter @dddominikk.

The overall score doesn’t represent an average of all individual ratings but a weighted average which values Performance as 33%, Privacy & Security as 33%, Ease of Use as 12%, and Pricing as 22% of the final figure. It’s meant to standardize our reviews by giving more weight to the attributes we value the most in VPNs (speed, privacy, and security) without completely disregarding the rest. Naturally, much like any other review out there, the starting points/ratings are still inherently subjective to a particular reviewer’s experience.

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