HMA VPN Review & Test 2020 - Good Overall, But Some Drawbacks

Katie Kasunic | Updated on 31st March 2020
Technology Researcher

HMA is a popular VPN provider with a large network of 1,000+ servers in 190+ countries.

Some of this VPN’s biggest strengths are its user-friendly interface and impressive speeds.

It's newest update, HMA Version 5, includes new design features and an auto-generated diagnostics mode. Arguably the most impressive update is its Lightning-mode feature, which connects you to the fastest and closest server automatically.

HMA also offers robust security; all apps are protected by military-grade encryption. Mac, Windows, and Android users enjoy additional protection from a smart kill switch.

Downsides include HMA’s collection of partial connection logs, UK headquarters, and the VPN’s inability to consistently streaming Netflix despite being able to access it. For a VPN that has higher privacy standards, check out NordVPN.

Streaming - Does HMA VPN Work with Netflix?

HMA claims to be an excellent VPN for bypassing geoblocks on streaming content for Netflix. The VPN’s network even has five specialty servers optimized for streaming so that you can watch your favorite content in HD without buffering delays.

I started my streaming tests by connecting to HMA’s US servers. Three of HMA’s specialty streaming servers are located in the US, which is great for accessing US streaming content. While I could access Netflix, streaming was hit and miss. I was unable to stream for long without getting disconnected from a server.

I wasn't able to access Hulu or Amazon Video at all, each time I was caught by Hulu and Amazon’s VPN bans and blocked from streaming content.  I was able to access and watch BBC iPlayer. If you want to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and more, why not check out our top picks for streaming?

HMA Network and Servers

HMA has 1,000+ servers across 290+ locations in 190+ countries.

This network includes five streaming-optimized servers based in Germany, the UK, and the US.

There are also eight P2P-optimized servers. These are located in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US.

I had no problems connecting to the servers that I tested, although speeds varied across locations.

HMA VPN Speeds

I was impressed with the results of my speed tests on HMA’s server network. Before connecting to HMA’s servers, I started with a connection speed of 111.10 Mbps download and 8.05 Mbps upload.

Using HMA’s Lightning Connect, which automatically connects you to the best nearby server, I connected to a local server in the UK. The server gave me 104.00 Mbps download speed and 7.79 Mbps upload speed.

Next, I tested the speed of one of HMA’s streaming optimized US servers. Even though this server was much farther away than my physical location, my download speed only dropped to 101.99 Mbps – although my upload speed took more of a hit.

Unfortunately, these speeds aren't consistent across all servers. Connecting to a server on the other side of the world in Japan caused my download speed to drop to 24.69 Mbps.

It is worth noting that most of HMA's servers provide excellent speeds. You shouldn't have trouble finding a fast server as long as you don't need to connect to a location that's too far away.

However, I would have liked to have seen more consistent speeds across all server locations in the network.

Is HMA VPN Good for Torrenting?

HMA offers good support for torrenting. P2P traffic is allowed on designated high-speed optimized servers.

P2P-enabled servers are clearly listed on the HMA app. You can choose and connect with one click.

You should be aware that HMA does keep partial connection logs. This may not be ideal if you are looking for completely anonymous torrenting.

Security - Is HMA VPN Safe?

When you connect to HMA’s server network, your IP address is hidden, and your data is protected with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. There is also a choice of secure protocols, including UDP and TCP OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP.

HMA offers strong security with little to no configuration.

An OpenVPN connection with a UDP port is the default protocol on all platforms except iOS, which uses an IPsec protocol.

It’s generally a good idea to use OpenVPN protocols whenever possible. They offer the most robust security without the vulnerabilities of older protocols.

Depending on your device, the IPsec protocol can sometimes offer better connection speeds than OpenVPN.

I would recommend avoiding PPTP in most cases. It’s an older protocol that has more security vulnerabilities.

HMA also offers a kill switch on its Mac, Windows, and Android apps. This is a great security feature that will keep your data safe even if your VPN connection suddenly drops.

Excluding iOS apps, all other HMA clients feature IP shuffling. This automatically switches you to a new IP address after a specified period of time and can help you avoid tracking and surveillance.

If you plan on using the IP shuffle feature, it’s a good idea to make sure the kill switch is turned on as well so that your data isn’t leaked while you switch between servers.

When I tested HMA, I didn’t detect any DNS leaks. I was pleased with the safety and security of this VPN overall.

Does HMA VPN Keep Logs?

HMA is based in the UK, which is one of the founding members of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. This isn’t ideal from a privacy perspective.

The UK government is known to spy on its citizens online. Any surveillance gathered by the UK can be shared with other countries in the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance as part of the intelligence-sharing agreement.

Fans of total anonymity may also not like the fact that HMA does keep some logs.

However, it’s important to note that the provider does not log any user activity or identifying information.

HMA’s logging policy states that it does not collect any of the following information:

  • The IP address you use to connect to HMA servers
  • Websites you access through HMA servers
  • Data sent or received through the HMA network

Some information is logged by HMA for diagnostic purposes, as well as to help prevent fraud and abuse. HMA retains the following information for 30 days:

  • Your VPN license ID
  • A timestamp indicating when you connect and disconnect to HMA’s network
  • The amount of data downloaded and uploaded each session
  • The subnet of your real IP address, which includes everything except for the last four digits of your IP address
  • The IP address of each HMA server you connect to

After 30 days, this information is deleted on a rolling basis. However, HMA has the right to retain the information for longer if your account is suspected of fraud or abuse.

Does HMA VPN Have an Adblocker?

HMA does not include an adblocker in its VPN service.

Does HMA VPN Work in China?

Although HMA has worked in China in the past, it does not reliably provide service to customers in China. Many users in China may find that HMA is blocked.

HMA has stated that it will continue to look for ways to provide better access to customers in China. Currently, though, it is not able to guarantee that HMA will function in China.

Price and Value for Money

HMA offers three pricing plans, each with the same features. As is common with VPNs, HMA’s longer subscription plans offer a better value for your money.

The subscriptions are affordable and reasonable for HMA’s quality of service. However, the discounts offered on HMA’s longer plans aren’t as big as those offered by some other high-quality VPNs.

HMA also has a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service risk-free. This is a great option if you can’t decide if HMA is the right choice for you.

You can pay for HMA through PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and UnionPay.

Is HMA VPN Compatible with my Device?

HMA is compatible with all major platforms. There are native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. HMA also provides user-friendly manual installation guides for Linux and routers.

There are a few differences across devices. HMA’s Windows, macOS, and Android apps include a kill switch, IP Refresh, and IP Shuffle. None of these features are available on HMA’s iOS apps.

The Windows app also gives you the ability to choose which apps are covered by the kill switch.

The native Android app offers a useful split-tunneling feature. Split-tunneling allows you to choose which parts of your connection you want to protect with the VPN.

You can connect up to five simultaneous devices with one HMA subscription.

HMA VPN Customer Service

There are several ways to get in touch with HMA’s support team if you run into any issues.

You can submit a request ticket on the website or reach out through HMA’s 24/7 live chat support. You can also get in contact with the support team through social media.

When I tested HMA's live chat, I received a response within two minutes. The customer support agent was prompt and helpful.

HMA provides other resources on its website, too.

There is a series of guides on topics like cybersecurity, geo-spoofing, and online privacy. These guides are funny and engaging, as well as informative.

There are also detailed installation guides, FAQs, a knowledge base, and a community forum.

User Experience

HMA’s interface has one of the most user-friendly designs that I’ve tested.

After a fast and easy installation process, you can connect to HMA’s servers with a single click using Lightning Connect. This automatically connects you to the best nearby server.


If you want to manually select your server location, you can choose from an easy-to-browse list. Connecting to any server is as simple as clicking on it.

You can also use the drop-down menu to navigate to your saved favorites or view a list of servers optimized for streaming or P2P traffic.

If you do want to manually customize your experience, the settings are straightforward to navigate. Most features can be enabled with a single click.

There is a sidebar where you can toggle the kill switch and auto-connect. Under 'Settings,' you can enable IP Shuffle or choose to automatically connect to the VPN when on an unfamiliar wi-fi network.

The automatic kill switch is disabled by default. Make sure to turn it on before connecting to a server if you want to be protected by this feature.

Conclusion

With a large network, fast speeds, robust security, 24/7 live chat support, and reliable access to BBC iPlayer, it’s clear that HMA has a good service to offer.

Whether or not HMA is right for you depends on your needs.

If your main goal with a VPN is geo-spoofing to escape censorship or access geo-restricted content, HMA could be a great option. But it's still no match for our most highly-rated vendors for unblocking Netflix, which all have global servers, lightning-fast speeds, and will keep you secure, too.

HMA’s robust security will keep you safe while connecting to unsecured public wi-fi networks.

On the other hand, if your goal is total anonymity, you may want to look elsewhere. HMA’s UK headquarters and partial logging policy cannot guarantee you complete privacy.

Our reviewers have tested and vetted nearly every VPN for issues like privacy and speed. If you need complete security and privacy from any prying eyes, I would recommend you use a service with a stated no-logs policy like NordVPN.

Features Details
Number of countries with servers 190
Number of servers 1000
Number of IP addresses 110000
Does VPN keep logs? No
Does VPN include a kill switch? Yes
Number of devices per license 5
Ease of Use 4.7 / 5.0

Downloading and installing HMA on your device is incredibly easy and only takes a few minutes.

First, choose your subscription plan, complete your payment, and open an account.

You will be automatically directed to the correct download link for your device.

When the quick installation is complete, you can start using the app by either providing your login credentials or entering the license key that was emailed to you.

The HMA app has a user-friendly interface. You can navigate to the app preferences to adjust your settings or get started right away with Lightning Connect.

You could easily use HMA without ever manually adjusting any settings. Just be aware that the kill switch is turned off by default. It can easily be turned on within the app’s preferences.

Pricing 4.0 / 5.0
36 Months Plan
$3.99 /month
24 Months Plan
$4.99 /month
12 Months Plan
$5.99 /month

HMA offers three subscription pricing plans, with longer plans offering better value for your money. Each of the plans includes the same premium features.

You can take advantage of a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the service.

HMA accepts payments through PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and UnionPay.

Reliability & Support 4.5 / 5.0

Although HMA is easy to install and use on all major platforms, there are several ways to get help if you run into any issues. The provider’s website has some useful resources, including detailed installation guides, FAQs, and a knowledge base.

If you still need help, you can visit the website’s community forum to post your question or browse questions submitted by other users.

You can reach out to HMA support by submitting a request ticket or contacting the team on social media. The website also features 24/7 live chat support.

Although you may have to wait for a support agent to become available, we received helpful assistance from a live chat support agent within a couple of minutes.

The Bottom Line

Fast, user-friendly VPN that is great for streaming and escaping censorship

HMA offers a sleek, powerful service with a user-friendly interface and excellent server speeds. One-click Lightning Connect makes it easy to escape government surveillance and censorship. On the other hand, privacy lovers may not like the fact that HMA keeps some connection logs.

  • World's largest network of servers
  • Often has sales with significant discounts
  • Cross-platform capabilities
  • 2 simultaneous devices
  • Great website
  • No data restrictions
  • Get started with HMA VPN now
Money Back Guarantee (Days) : 30
Mobile app :
Number of devices per license : 5
VPN Plans: www.hidemyass.com
Watch the short video review and tutorial below of HMA VPN
HMA VPN User Reviews
4.1
Phil
  •  1
Sneaky billing -- ripoff

I set my account to not auto-renew a year ago. But this year it did it anyways. You have to go to your Paypal account and explicitly de-authorize billing from HMA. So HMA doesn't follow the setting in your account...it does whatever it can get away with.


See Plans Reply to this review

Did you know? We approve all user reviews. Companies can't pay to include or exclude any.

    Arno Mediano
    This is normal when you do via third party payment method

    You need to de-authorise in PayPal who manages subscriptions for you. Same with Apple Store. Nothing unusual.


    See Plans Reply to this review
    Heisenberg
    •  1
    Definitely not recommended

    HMA has helped several times in the past to identify individual users for the judiciary through corresponding logs. HMA has completely failed. A VPN provider that is able to identify individual users specifically in their usage behavior is extremely bad.


    See Plans Reply to this review
      Not a fan of L.E
      Stay well clear of HMA VPN.

      As the other review states they are well known for keeping logs of peoples online activities. You only have to do a small amount of research online to find that out. If you want to end up in court or even prison than go with Hide My Ass VPN. Personally i use Proton VPN from the same guys that run Protonmail email which uses inline PGP encryption and has a zero knowledge architecture so even Protonmail can't access your emails. They take online privacy seriously and have a very smart group of people that work there. You can get a paid email & VPN package for around 12 euro a month and can even pay with bitcoin which is probably better than using your credit card with your name linked to your account. Also they are not under US or EU jurisdiction so that has to be a plus.


      See Plans Reply to this review
      Hans Bladby
      •  5
      Working perfect

      I like this excellent service a lot. It is working absolutely perfect. I have been using it for a couple of weeks, in my PC, in my mobile and also in an Asus router. It is easy to order and setup, no matter which device.


      See Plans Reply to this review
        Compare HMA VPN with the top alternative VPNs
        Was this review helpful? 0 0
        Sorry about that!
        (Minimum 10 characters.)
        Nord is offering 70% off their VPN for a limited time!