HMA VPN (“HideMyAss”) promises to enhance your anonymity and security while online. It also lets you access blocked sites and bypass censorship. These are standard features of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. How does HMA compare with the competition?
It compares well. It’s affordable, fast, and reliably accesses streaming media. It’s available on Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, Apple TV, and more. But some alternatives may suit you better. Read on to learn how HideMyAss compares to its competitors.
What Are the Software’s Strengths?
Streaming Video Content
VPNs allow you to access content that’s not available in your own country. When you connect to a VPN server, it appears that you’re located where the server is. As a result, streaming services attempt to block VPN users. HideMyAss gets through to that content anyway.
I tried watching Netflix when connected to eight different HMA servers and was successful every time:
– Australia (Sydney): YES
– Australia (Melbourne): YES
– US (via Singapore): YES
– US (Los Angeles): YES
– US (Washington DC): YES
– UK (London): YES
– UK (Glasgow): YES
– UK (via Singapore): YES
If you expect to access streaming content while connected to a VPN, HMA is a solid choice. That’s not true of all services. Here’s how it compares to the competition:
– Surfshark: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)
– NordVPN: 100% (9 out of 9 servers tested)
– HMA VPN: 100% (8 out of 8 servers tested)
– CyberGhost: 100% (2 out of 2 optimized servers tested)
– Astrill VPN: 83% (5 out of 6 servers tested)
– PureVPN: 36% (4 out of 11 servers tested)
– ExpressVPN: 33% (4 out of 12 servers tested)
– Avast SecureLine VPN: 8% (1 out of 12 servers tested)
– Speedify: 0% (0 out of 3 servers tested)
VPNs make you more secure while online, but that’s often at the expense of speed. All of your internet traffic will be encrypted and passed through a VPN server, which takes time. HideMyAss will have minimal impact on the speed of your internet connection.
My naked, non-VPN download speed is normally over 100 Mbps; my last speed test result was 107.42 Mbps. However, that’s at least 10 Mbps faster now than when I tested the other VPNs mentioned in this article. That’s good for me—but it’ll give HMA an advantage. Therefore, I subtracted 10 Mbps from the results of the competitors I tested.
I installed and enabled HMA VPN and performed some speed tests when connected to servers around the world. Note that I’m based in Australia, which is why those servers are listed first.
– Australia (Sydney): 95.57 Mbps
– Australia (Melbourne): 71.30 Mbps
– US (via Singapore): 67.71 Mbps
– US (Los Angeles): 60.09 Mbps
– US (Washington DC): 71.50 Mbps
– UK (London): 51.62 Mbps
– UK (Glasgow): 5.05 Mbps
– UK (via Singapore): 64.73 Mbps
The maximum speed I achieved was 95.57 Mbps—not much slower than my regular download speed—and the average was 60.95 Mbps. Here is how our adjusted figures compare to the competition:
– Speedify (two connections): 95.31 Mbps (fastest server), 52.33 Mbps (average)
– Speedify (one connection): 89.09 Mbps (fastest server), 47.60 Mbps (average)
– HMA VPN (adjusted): 85.57 Mbps (fastest server), 60.95 Mbps (average)
– Astrill VPN: 82.51 Mbps (fastest server), 46.22 Mbps (average)
– NordVPN: 70.22 Mbps (fastest server), 22.75 Mbps (average)
– SurfShark: 62.13 Mbps (fastest server), 25.16 Mbps (average)
– Avast SecureLine VPN: 62.04 Mbps (fastest server), 29.85 (average)
– CyberGhost: 43.59 Mbps (fastest server), 36.03 Mbps (average)
– ExpressVPN: 42.85 Mbps (fastest server), 24.39 Mbps (average)
– PureVPN: 34.75 Mbps (fastest server), 16.25 Mbps (average)
Speedify is the fastest VPN I’ve tested, especially when it combines the bandwidth of two different internet connections. HideMyAss and Astrill VPN are not too far behind.
HideMyAss is affordable. A yearly subscription costs $59.88 (that’s equivalent to $4.99/month), while three years costs $107.64 (equivalent to just $2.99/month). You can install the software on as many devices as you like and connect up to five of them at any time. A 7-day free trial is available (credit card required).
That makes it one of the most affordable VPNs we’ve reviewed. Here’s how it compares to other services’ yearly subscriptions:
– CyberGhost: $33.00
– Avast SecureLine VPN: $47.88
– NordVPN: $59.04
– Surfshark: $59.76
– HMA VPN: $59.88
– Speedify: $71.88
– PureVPN: $77.88
– ExpressVPN: $99.95
– Astrill VPN: $120.00
And here are the most affordable plans from each service prorated monthly:
– CyberGhost: $1.83 for the first 18 months (then $2.75)
– Surfshark: $2.49 for the first two years (then $4.98)
– Speedify: $2.99
– Avast SecureLine VPN: $2.99
– HMA VPN: $2.99
– NordVPN: $3.71
– PureVPN: $6.49
– ExpressVPN: $8.33
– Astrill VPN: $10.00
I wanted to get an idea of how happy long-term users are with each service, so I turned to TrustPilot. This site doesn’t just show me how each company is rated, but how many users reviewed each one, including detailed comments about what was good or bad.
– PureVPN: 4.8 stars, 11,165 reviews
– CyberGhost: 4.8 stars, 10,817 reviews
– ExpressVPN: 4.7 stars, 5,904 reviews
– NordVPN: 4.5 stars, 4,777 reviews
– Surfshark: 4.3 stars, 6,089 reviews
– HMA VPN: 4.2 stars, 2,528 reviews
– Avast SecureLine VPN: 3.7 stars, 3,961 reviews
– Speedify: 2.8 stars, 7 reviews
– Astrill VPN: 2.3 stars, 26 reviews
PureVPN and CyberGhost have incredibly high ratings and a broad user base. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are not far behind. HideMyAss has a solid rating but significantly fewer reviewers than the winners.
Speedify and Astrill VPN have terrible ratings, but there are few reviews, so this should be treated with caution. Most negative comments related to Astrill were about customer service. Speedify users seemed to be achieving high speeds but had higher expectations. Note that the Avast rating is for the company as a whole (including their popular antivirus software), not just the VPN service.
I’m surprised that PureVPN is at the top of the list. I found it slow and unreliable at streaming from Netflix. Users report good experiences with the software, speed, and support. Many users who gave a low rating complained about not being able to watch Netflix content.
What Are the Software’s Weaknesses?
Privacy and Security
VPNs keep you secure and anonymous online by hiding your IP address and encrypting your traffic. They may also use a kill switch to automatically disconnect you when you become vulnerable. HMA’s is turned off by default.
Some VPN services include additional security features. HideMyAss offers fewer than some services but gives you the option to periodically change your IP address, making you harder to track.
Some VPNs go further by including a malware blocker and using double-VPN and TOR-over-VPN. Here are VPNs that provide these features:
– Surfshark: malware blocker, double-VPN, TOR-over-VPN
– NordVPN: ad and malware blocker, double-VPN
– Astrill VPN: ad blocker, TOR-over-VPN
– ExpressVPN: TOR-over-VPN
– Cyberghost: ad and malware blocker
– PureVPN: ad and malware blocker
8 Alternatives to HideMyAss
HideMyAss has a lot going for it, but it’s not the best VPN for everyone. When considering the alternatives, avoid those that are free. These companies need to make money somehow; they might do that by selling your internet usage data. Instead, consider the following eight reputable VPN services.
NordVPN is a highly-rated service that shares HMA’s strengths and offers more security options. It’s the winner of our Best VPN for Mac roundup and runner-up in Best VPN for Netflix and Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick. Read our full NordVPN review.
NordVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Firefox extension, Chrome extension, Android TV, and FireTV. It costs $11.95/month, $59.04/year, or $89.00/2 years. The most affordable plan is equivalent to $3.71/month.
Nord’s fastest servers aren’t far behind the speed of HMA’s, but on average, it falls behind. It’s just as reliable at accessing streaming content and only a little more expensive.
It does better with security. Both services keep you secure and anonymous online, but Nord offers more tools, including a malware blocker and double-VPN. If you want a fast VPN with these features, Nord VPN may be the service for you.
Surfshark is similar to Nord. It’s affordable, fast, and suitable for streamers. When you pay in advance, it’s less expensive for the first two years. It’s the winner of our Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick roundup. Read our full Surfshark review.
Surfshark is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV. It costs $12.95/month, $38.94/6 months, $59.76/year (plus one year free). The most affordable plan is equivalent to $2.49/month for the first two years.
Again, Surfshark’s advantages over HMA are its security features. It offers TOR-over-VPN for additional privacy (at the expense of speed). The company uses RAM-only servers that don’t retain any information once they are turned off. This ensures that any sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
3. Astrill VPN
Astrill VPN and HMA VPN offer similar speeds. Astrill is almost as reliable when accessing streaming services. It also includes additional security features at a higher price. However, it receives a much lower trust rating from its users. It’s the winner of our Best VPN for Netflix roundup. Read our full Astrill VPN review.
Astrill VPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. It costs $20.00/month, $90.00/6 months, $120.00/year, and you pay more for extra features. The most affordable plan is equivalent to $10.00/month.
The two apps are close competitors when it comes to speed and streaming. Astrill’s best download speed of 82.51 Mbps is just below HMA’s adjusted speed of 85.57. On average, across all the servers I tested, it’s a little slower. It’s also only a little behind on my streaming tests. All of the HMA servers I tried could access Netflix, while just one of Astrill’s failed.
It’s when we consider price and additional security features that the two services diverge. Astrill is significantly expensive. Its best value plan equates to $10/month, while HMA is just $2.99. But Astrill has additional security features: an ad-blocker and TOR-over-VPN. If you’re looking for a fast service with those features, Astrill may be your best choice.
Speedify is HideMyAss’s closest rival. The services cost the same, are reliable services for streamers, and are insanely fast. Both services prioritize speed over additional security; Speedify wins the race here. It’s the service to choose when you need the fastest connection possible. Read our full Speedify review.
Speedify is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. It costs $9.99/month, $71.88/year, $95.76/2 years, or $107.64/3 years. The most affordable plan is equivalent to $2.99/month.
Speedify is the only VPN service I tested that outclasses HideMyAss with speed. In fact, you can use the service to achieve speeds even faster than your normal Wi-Fi connection provides. It does this by combining the bandwidth of several connections—say, your Wi-Fi and a tethered iPhone.
Both services are secure but don’t have additional features like a malware tracker, double-VPN, or TOR-over-VPN. HMA has one advantage: it can randomize your IP address to give better protection against trackers. Both services cost just $2.99/month when you choose the best-value plan.
ExpressVPN is half the speed and double the price of HMA. It obviously has different strengths and is rated very highly by its users. The service offers additional security features and is effective at bypassing internet censorship. It’s the runner up in our Best VPN for Mac roundup. Read our full ExpressVPN review.
ExpressVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, FireTV, and routers. It costs $12.95/month, $59.95/6 months, or $99.95/year. The most affordable plan is equivalent to $8.33/month.
ExpressVPN is extremely popular. I’ve heard that it’s commonly used in China because of its ability to tunnel through internet firewalls. It also offers TOR-over-VPN, a feature that enhances your anonymity at the cost of speed.
However, when trying out the service, I didn’t find it reliable when accessing Netflix. Eight out of the twelve servers I tested failed. It’s also significantly more expensive than HMA: $8.33/month compared with $2.99 when choosing the best value plan.
CyberGhost is highly rated and very affordable. It blocks malware and reliably streams video content, but at half the speed of HideMyAss. It’s the second runner up in our Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick roundup.
CyberGhost is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, FireTV, Android TV, and browser extensions. It costs $12.99/month, $47.94/6 months, $33.00/year (with extra six months free). The most affordable plan is equivalent to $1.83/month for the first 18 months.
CyberGhost takes streaming services seriously, offering servers that are specially optimized for the purpose. I successfully watched Netflix content on both of them, as I did with all of HideMyAss’s servers. However, in my experience, CyberGhost’s servers only achieved half the speed of HMA’s.
Both are affordable, but CyberGhost is the cheapest VPN I tried. It costs just $1.83 for the first 18 months and $2.75 after that. HMA costs $2.99. The services include different security features: CyberGhost blocks ads and malware while HMA randomizes your IP address.
7. Avast SecureLine VPN
Avast SecureLine VPN focuses on ease-of-use, HideMyAss on speed. While both services enhance your security online, they lack the privacy features offered by other services. They cost the same and are fast, though HMA is faster. Read our full Avast VPN review.
Avast SecureLine VPN is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. For a single device, it costs $47.88/year or $71.76/2 years, and an extra dollar a month to cover five devices. The most affordable desktop plan is equivalent to $2.99/month.
The maximum speed I encountered while using Avast Secureline is a little slower than HideMyAss. However, the average across all servers is significantly slower. It’s also unreliable when accessing streaming content. I had success with only one server out of twelve, compared to all of HMA’s.
Neither VPN offers a malware blocker, double-VPN, or TOR-over-VPN. Secureline is a solid choice for non-technical users and those loyal to the Avast brand.
PureVPN is our final alternative. In terms of features, it offers few benefits over other services. However, the company has won the trust and respect of their users. On TrustPilot, they have an impressive rating of 4.8 stars from 11,165 reviews in total. Previously it was one of the cheapest VPNs on the market, but not anymore. Price increases over the last year have left it priced well above many other services.
PureVPN is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and browser extensions. It costs $10.95/month, $49.98/6 months, or $77.88/year. The most affordable plan is equivalent to $6.49/month.
PureVPN is the slowest service I tested and is unreliable at streaming video content. In my tests, I was able to watch Netflix on only four of eleven servers. The software includes a malware blocker but doesn’t support double-VPN or TOR-over-VPN.
So What Should You Do?
HMA VPN is an affordable, effective VPN service with a colorful name. As that name implies, it protects your privacy when you’re online. However, it doesn’t provide some of the advanced security features that other services do. The network is one of the fastest on the market and can reliably access streaming video content.
Should you consider an alternative? That depends on your needs. Let’s look at the categories of speed, security, steaming, and price.
Speed: HMA is fast, but Speedify is even faster. Astrill VPN is another alternative, offering similar speeds to HMA. NordVPN, SurfShark, and Avast SecureLine aren’t far behind.
Security: HMA will definitely make you more secure online, but it doesn’t include the advanced features that other services do. Notably, it doesn’t offer enhanced privacy through double-VPN or TOR-over-VPN like Surfshark, NordVPN, Astrill VPN, and ExpressVPN do. It also doesn’t block malware as Surfshark, NordVPN, Astrill VPN, CyberGhost, and PureVPN do.
Streaming: Netflix and other streaming services try to block VPN users, but their efforts are not successful with HMA. It’s suitable for streamers, as Surfshark, NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Astrill VPN also are.
Price: HMA is very affordable. Its best-value plan costs just $2.99/month, the same as Speedify and Avast SecureLine. CyberGhost and Surfshark are even cheaper, especially during the first 18 months to two years.
In conclusion, HideMyAss is a fast and affordable VPN that will keep your online activities safer. Speedify is an even faster service that costs the same but is unreliable at streaming Netflix content. If you prioritize security over speed, NordVPN, Surfshark, and Astrill VPN are reliable options.
For in-depth information and testing results, refer to our VPN roundup articles: