- author: Andrew Marsden
The colorfully-named Hide My Ass has done more than most to bring VPN services into the mainstream. Since its launch in 2005, the London-based VPN provider claims it has attracted more than 10 million subscribers.
It’s clear that Hide My Ass has led the way in popularizing VPN usage, but does it have more to offer than a memorable name and a slickly branded site? It sure does:
- Servers in 280+ locations
- Nice privacy & security extras
- Great speeds & unmetered bandwidth
- Wide device support including Android & iOS apps
Plans & Pricing
Hide My Ass offers three different packages. They all come with the same functionality, but like most VPN providers, you’ll be rewarded with cost savings if you commit to a longer subscription period.
The monthly package costs $11.99 per month. The 12-month package is a better deal at $6.99 per month. But the most affordable option is the 2-year plan at $4.99/month.
There is a 30-day free trial and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. Just be mindful of your data usage amounts during the free trial, because no refunds are granted if you exceed 10GB of bandwidth within that time frame.
Payments are accepted via credit card, PayPal, and bank transfer.
Features & Functionality
When it comes to feature-set, Hide My Ass stands up well to any of its competitors. If you want to legally access streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, you can count on an excellent range of international servers and some nice tools to ensure you get the best speeds possible. If, on the other hand, your main concern is privacy, Hide My Ass offers a choice of several VPN protocols, as well as some useful extras to ensure your browsing remains private.
Second-to-none for server options
Hide My Ass gives users a choice of 890+ servers in over 280 country locations. In total there are more than 120,000 IP addresses available.
Unmetered VPN service
Hide My Ass places no limits on bandwidth usage, so you can stream, download and do all your regular internet stuff without worry. You can also switch between servers as often as you like.
Get the best speeds
Load-balancing and Speed Guide tools help you get the most from already decent download/upload speeds.
You get a variety of VPN protocols to choose from, as well as some useful extras like IP Binding and Scheduled IP Changes.
Hide My Ass ’s software is user-friendly and feature-packed, whether you’re using it on Windows, Mac, Android or iOS.
You can use Hide My Ass VPN on 5 connections at the same time.
Privacy and Security
If your main reason for wanting a VPN service is to protect your privacy and ensure the security of your data, then Hide My Ass is a great choice, whether you’re using the internet at home or via a wifi hotspot. Further, it offers a great selection of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN-TCP, L2TP, and PPTP. OpenVPN over UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which gives a decent speed boost without sacrificing reliability.
But what makes Hide My Ass stand out from the pack are the added extras:
Hide My Ass’s IP Binding is a kill switch that ensures that a specified application, such as an internet browser or BitTorrent client, will only work if the VPN is operating. This is great if you tend to forget to set your VPN before visiting sites where you would prefer private browsing. It also ensures that if your VPN service suddenly drops for whatever reason, you won’t be automatically switched to your regular IP while you’re in the middle of doing something sensitive.
Scheduled IP Changes
This is another great tool for the privacy conscious internet browser. It allows you to set your IP address to change randomly at set intervals in order to keep snoops off your trail. You can also check your IP address history so you can see which of the thousands of IP addresses you’ve used in the past.
In many ways, Hide My Ass offers a superb VPN client with great extras to protect your online activities. However, it’s worth noting that because it’s a UK-based VPN provider, as required by British law, it will pass on your connection logs and real IP address if presented with a court order.
When it comes to choosing a VPN service, it’s easy to prioritize other features over the availability and quality of customer support. But it’s something you’ll end up regretting if you need technical assistance or have any issues in setting up your device, which is always a possibility with a VPN.
When we contacted Hide My Ass’s customer support via the live chat feature (which is available 24 hours a day), we found them to be quick to respond and efficient in providing answers. You can also open a support ticket via the email system. Hide My Ass’s website does its best to direct you to the relevant guide or instructions contained in their vast online Help center. Finally, there’s phone support too, available between 9am-5pm UK time.
The Hide My Ass Knowledge Base is stacked with guides, articles, and videos to help you get familiar with every conceivable aspect of your VPN service. It’s certainly comprehensive, but we felt it could be a little more approachable. However, overall the quality of the support we received was good.
Overall, we found that the speeds we got from Hide My Ass were equal to, or slightly better than, their main competitors. It’s no surprise that speeds varied widely depending on which server was being used, but that’s quite usual for a VPN service.
More importantly, we had no problem accessing high quality video from our Netflix account, either on a laptop or mobile phone. Given the sheer number of servers (particularly in North America), you shouldn’t have any issues watching your favorite shows from abroad.
Speaking of servers, Hide My Ass has a couple of neat tricks up its sleeve to aid you in choosing the best server at any given time:
This tool works out which of the servers based in a given location will give you the best speeds based on current usage levels, and it will automatically connect you to the fastest server available.
If you would rather manually choose the fastest-performing server, the Speed Guide allows you to perform a ping test – or full upload/download speed test – from within the client software.
Given the great options, massive server selection, and unmetered bandwidth, you’ll never have to worry about switching between native browsing and browsing via the VPN. Just leave it set to your preferred server, and use the internet as usual to enjoy lightening-fast speeds.
Pros & Cons
- Easy to use apps for every device
- No logs or monitoring
- Simple to use
- Fast, reliable network speeds
- Free trial available
- Limited phone support
Ease of Use
Once you’ve signed up for one of Hide My Ass’s packages, you’ll receive an email with a link to a page where you can download the software client for your operating system. The software client is simple to use, and even for the novice VPN user, the instructions are not intimidating but extremely straightforward.
Upon opening the client, you’re presented with the main dashboard screen, where you simply need to enter your login details, choose which country and protocol you wish to use, and connect. If you want to dig deeper, you’ll find everything you need via the menu on the left-hand side. Country selection allows you to browse the complete selection of servers filtered by VPN protocol.
We liked the option to explore and select servers via a graphic map. It looks cool and serves a useful purpose in showing your exact proximity to each server so you can make the best decision about which to use.
Setting up Secure IP Binding and Scheduled IP Changes is equally straightforward, and you can also check your subscription and billing details from within the client.
Using the Android app was a cinch. The app is bright, colorful, and it takes seconds to get connected to a server. You don’t have access to all of the settings that are available in the desktop software, but choosing servers, saving favorites, and server switches are all just a swipe away.
If your device isn’t supported by the available applications, you can still use the VPN service. The only difference to be aware of is that you’ll have to set it up manually. It is less user-friendly, but Hide My Ass provides all of the instructions you’ll need under the Help section on its website.
Hide My Ass is one of the best VPN services around for the average internet user who wants to boost their online security or access legal media from anywhere. The software is attractive and straightforward to use, the selection of servers is unrivaled, and extras like IP Binding and Load Balancing are genuinely useful.
Our goal is to provide answers to all of your questions so you can make a confident purchasing decision. We welcome your feedback, so please email us at service@ top5-vpn.com with suggestions and questions. We’d love to hear from you!