Hide My Ass! Review
If you are looking for a reliable VPN service with servers in numerous countries around the planet and a huge IP pool to choose from, Hide My Ass! may be a great choice. This VPN is very well known, and the London-based company that operates the service has a strong reputation. Pricing is quite reasonable, starting out as low as $6.55 per month.
The biggest drawback is that there is no free service and no free trial. You have to purchase at least one month to test out the service. There is a 30-day money back guarantee, so you are not completely at a loss if you decide you do not like the service. You need to be willing to put money down to try it though. Another drawback concerns compatibility. There is no Linux GUI client yet, only a command-line. There is also no mention of Windows 8 compatibility.
Reasons to Use Hide My Ass!
• You are using the Internet on a public network, and you do not trust the privacy or security of the network. You can use Hide My Ass! to encrypt your online activities with an extra layer of security. The security standards used by Hide My Ass! are the same as those used on government networks.
• You want to access websites that are blocked on a work or school network, like Gmail or Facebook.
• You are trying to view streaming content that is unavailable in your region. For example, you are in America and want to watch the BBC online.
• You want to boost your connection speed. This may work better some times than other times.
When you purchase Hide My Ass!, you get access to 622 VPN servers in 75 countries. OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP protocols are all available, and you get Free HMA! Pro VPN software.
Supported Operating Systems
Microsoft Windows: Windows 7, Vista, XP.
Mac: Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion.
iPad, iPhone, and iPod: Yes.
Because Hide My Ass! can run on the operating systems above, it is compatible with both Windows personal computers and Mac computers. You can also use Hide My Ass! while browsing on your mobile device if you have an iPad, iPhone, iPod or Android. If you have any problems while installing and running the software, make sure you check to see whether another program on your computer is blocking it (like an antivirus program). Unfortunately you will not be able to use HMA on PS4, WII and Xbox devices.
Premium Pricing Policy
If you would like to use Hide My Ass!, you have to purchase a package. You can pay in increments of 1 month, 6 months, or 1 year.
• 1 month: $11.52
• 6 months: $49.99 ($8.33 per month)
• 1 year: $78.66 ($6.55 per month)
As you can see, the service is quite affordable when you purchase one of the bulk packages. Since there is no trial offer for Hide My Ass!, it would be wise to purchase a single month first so you can give the program a try and decide whether you like it. Then you can decide from there whether you would like to buy a 6-month or year long package.
No matter what package you purchase, you receive HMA! Pro VPN Software, which includes a speed guide to help you find the fastest servers for your connection, multiple protocols, and an easy to use interface. You can connect in a single click, and you can even set up the software to automatically change your IP address at scheduled intervals. This is an advanced feature which is not available from every VPN provider.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee when you buy Hide My Ass!, which means that you can get your money back for the first month if you are not satisfied. This is the closest thing to a trial offer the company offers. This is why it would be smart to start by just ordering the first month. Then you can go from there and purchase more time at a lower rate.
IP Addresses Diversity and Assignment
As previously mentioned, Hide My Ass! does quite well when it comes to IP address diversity. There are 622 servers in 75 countries, and the IP address pool has more than 77,500 addresses to choose from. Another nice thing about the IP addresses is that this really is a global VPN. There are servers in every continent, not just the USA and Europe. There are plenty of servers available in Asia and even a couple in Central and South America. If it is important to you to be able to choose from any continent, you will like what you find here. It is also great that you can schedule automatic IP address changes!
When you sign up for HMA, you get unlimited bandwidth. You are free to browse to your heart’s content and watch as much streaming content as you want.
The user interface is simple and clear and easy to navigate, with helpful tabs along the left-hand side of the screen that allow you to adjust different settings. You can select a location and an IP address quickly from a dropdown list, and connect with the click of a button. In the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you can see at a glance whether you are connected or not. Even if this is the first VPN you ever use, you should find it incredibly easy to use.
Many customers have reviewed Hide My Ass!, and say that they experienced stable, reliable connections, and that they were very pleased with their purchase. If disconnects are something you are concerned about, you should not have to worry about them with HMA.
A speed test by one reviewer with HMA showed a decline in download speed from 11.24 mbps to 10.71 mbps. While a slight decline is not great, at least we can say that it is better than a major decline. Other users reported that their speeds were comparable using the VPN or not, and a few reported a slight boost at times.
HMA’s VPN software has a feature called Secure IP Bind, which forces applications like IE or Chrome to only connect to the Internet once they are first connected to the VPN. Encryption depends on what type of protocol you use to connect to the Internet through HMA, but encryption standards are the same as those used by government networks for their data.
If you need help while you are using Hide My Ass!, you can contact the company via email or live chat. Live chat is staffed from 8 am to 10 pm GMT. You also have the option of signing up on the forum and asking your questions there. That way you can get support from company agents as well as other users, and you may get an answer more quickly outside of business hours.
We have seen reviews stating that customer service is fast, friendly, and knowledgeable, and we have also seen reviews stating that it is terrible. It is entirely possible some of these poor reviews are connected to fallout from the Lulzsec case mentioned above. The best way to gauge the quality of the customer service team would be to send an email or get on live chat yourself to ask them some questions before you purchase service.
To all indications, the service is reasonably fast and very reliable. Strong encryption protocols protect your private data as you surf the web and conduct your transactions. No bandwidth limitations mean you can stream content and surf the net all you want once you have paid for service.
Because there is no free trial however, it would be best to purchase only a single month’s service first so you can test drive the software and the company. If you are satisfied with your first month, you will probably want to purchase one of the larger packages so you can enjoy the excellent discount HMA offers on long term contracts.