How HideMyAss! VPN Works
First off, in order to assess a VPN service, we have to understand how it works. Old VPN users might be familiar with this, but those who are new to this technology might still be confused. Here is a brief explanation of how a VPN works.
A virtual private network’s mission is to provide a secure connection between your computer and the internet so you can surf the web without any trace. Instead of using your real IP address when you are browsing, HideMyAss masks yours and gives you one of their IP addresses in the server location of your choice. It means that if you choose a server located in, for example, Brazil, you will appear to be using the internet from Brazil, making you difficult to track.
When you visit a website, the data is exchanged between HideMyAss and that website, then delivered to you safely and securely through a ‘VPN tunnel’ – an encrypted connection that makes all your data unreadable in case someone tries to decrypt it. HideMyAss! uses privacy tools similar to those of banks and governments to provide maximum security.
HideMyAss! Feature Updates
Security and Protocols. HideMyAss! Still offers different protocols that subscribers can choose from: OpenVPN-TCP, PPTP, and L2TP with 256-bit encryption. The OpenVPN-UDP is still also offered, which makes for a faster and more secure connection. Using a stronger, more secure protocol while connecting to a public Wi-Fi will decrease the chances of somebody hacking your personal information (such as bank account details and account passwords). Using HideMyAss! will ensure your safety in public Wi-Fi connections and will protect your device from malwares, phishing sites, and spam sites.
The only downside is that it is based in the UK, which is not really an ideal country for protecting your privacy if you really think about it. The GCHQ is a British intelligence and security organization, and there are talks that it is similar to NSA, which has been conducting a mass surveillance on US citizens. So even if HideMyAss! Is a service that envisions to protect your privacy, it is still subject to UK’s data retention policies.
Servers and Server Locations. HideMyAss! Now have over 940 VPN servers located in more than 190 countries around the world. They also have more than 120, 000 IP addresses and allows you to constantly switch servers so you won’t have to be ‘located’ in the same place for too long.
Their internet connection speeds are consistent but slow, according to a speed test conducted by BestVPN. HideMyAss! Promises to deliver unlimited bandwidth so subscribers can access more geo-restricted websites and content, but only the UK servers have the best results. The upload speed with the New York servers gave complicated results, so it might be somewhat difficult to stream and watch your favorite movies and TV shows even when they’re geo-restricted (just be careful with this one, though; you don’t want to break international laws on media licensing).
IP Address Features. HideMyAss! Uses the dynamic IP address assignment, which means that the IP address used by your computer when you log in is only temporary – it can change even by turning your router on and off. This feature makes it difficult for you to be tracked because you have no permanent IP address.
Their IP address history record is also still up and running, which means that you can check to see what IP addresses you have been using while subscribed to their services, plus a third-party IP address checker to see what IP address you are currently using to browse the web.
Another great feature that HideMyAss! Still offers this 2017 is the Secure IP Binding, where it enables you to force applications on your computer to work only if it is connected to the VPN servers. If you open an application without connecting to the VPN servers, it won’t be able to access the internet.
Keeping of Activity Logs. HideMyAss! Keeps connection logs, which includes the time of your connection and disconnection, the duration, and the bandwidth usage. On a lighter note, they do not keep your online activity logs, such as the websites you visit, the data transferred between the websites and your computer, and the IP addresses that are accessed. They are very conscious about their subscribers’ privacy, which is a good thing.
Device Connections and Compatibility. Regarding device connection, HideMyAss! Still hasn’t changed: they only allow you to simultaneously connect two devices to their VPN services. Compared to other VPN services where they allow you to connect up to five devices, this feature is not extremely favored by many users. However, it is compatible with almost any device, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, which is a good thing.
Customer Support. HideMyAss! Provides customer support through live chat, email, and phone (one of the very few VPN services to offer phone assistance). Their support page on their website contains many useful and relevant articles for frequently asked questions.
Pricing and Plans. HideMyAss! Still offers the same pricing as last year, with their wittily-named plans including Kick-Ass ($9.99 per month for one month), Half-Ass ($6.66 per month for six months), and Smart-Ass ($4.99 per month for twelve months). Plus, they offer a seven-day free trial so you can get a feel of their services, and a thirty-day money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with their services.
Overall Review. Their services are great, and they still have the same features in their VPNs which is great – even better if they add more to it later this year. The only downer with HideMyAss! Is that it is based in the UK, which does not really fare well in terms of privacy.