Hide My Ass! review

A huge range of servers and many security features makes Hide My Ass a fair choice

Price
£57
  • Unrivalled geographical coverage; No P2P blocking; Advanced options
  • Some logging; Uses third-party DNS; Quite expensive

Hide My Ass (HMA) offers a huge number of servers, spanning 221 territories at the time of our review. It's owned by UK limited company Privax, which is reassuring in some ways, although the UK is a member of the five-eyes surveillance group of countries. Subscribers can use two devices or a supported router. There's no free trial, but there is a free browser-based version.

HMA's Windows client isn't especially attractive, but it does present you with a lot of information and options. You can quickly select country and server, choose OpenVPN or PPTP protocols, and view the session output as you connect.

Advanced options include scheduled IP address changes to help mask your activity further, and secure IP binding to prevent critical apps connecting outside of the VPN. The load-balancing feature connects to the less busy servers in your chosen location.

We measured packet loss of about 3%, but there was no noticeable performance impact, and in most sessions HMA made little dent in our bandwidth. Whoer.net detected a possible VPN connection through WebRTC, but no other issues, while DNSleaktest.com showed that the service was using OpenDNS rather than its own servers.

Bandwidth is unlimited and P2P traffic is not blocked, but despite the range of servers, we couldn't find one that worked with Netflix US or iPlayer content. Overall this is a well-specified, but pricey service, and at the time of our review its geo-unblocking performance was poor.

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