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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

HMA VPN vs hide.me VPN vs Buffered VPN 2024

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Nicky Hosek
    Nicky Hosek

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Note: Buffered VPN joined forces with StrongVPN, so we'll be referring to it as StrongVPN in this comparison.

    Today, we’re comparing three underdogs of the scene, who nonetheless each have a dedicated following. Having been around since 1995, StrongVPN is a longstanding presence in the VPN industry, which has acquired multiple other VPNs in recent years, including Buffered VPN. HMA is another stalwart whose quirky approach has been attracting users since 2005. hide.me also has a decent history, going back to 2012.

    True to its name, hide.me is the only VPN not based under the jurisdiction of any global intelligence-sharing networks. On the other hand, HMA is headquartered in the UK and StrongVPN in the US, both of which are part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. That does not necessarily cause alarm, with all three VPNs having strict no-logs policies in place as well as advanced security features. But, StrongVPN is the only one whose policies have not been verified through an independent audit.

    While it’s certainly important, there’s much more than privacy to consider when comparing VPNs. Below, we’ll help you find the best VPN for you based on its torrenting performance, apps for popular devices, and server networks for users in the US, and abroad.

    Our Score

    Features 7.0/10
    Pricing 7.0/10
    Ease of Use 7.0/10
    Reliability & Support 6.6/10
    Features 9.0/10
    Pricing 9.6/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.6/10
    Features 8.1/10
    Pricing 6.3/10
    Ease of Use 8.8/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Matthew Amos
    Matthew Amos

    Senior Editor

    Our Score: 7.0/10

    HMA (formerly HideMyAss) is a relatively cheap VPN that claims to offer more server locations than anyone else. However, it has faced some serious controversies in the past. Is it a VPN that can keep you safe and anonymous online? To find out, I performed extensive tests on all its features and explored its updated privacy policy. I also checked out several connection issues customers have rep...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    P
    Paulo
    10.0/10
    Excellent value for money!

    First, it's a full VPN. Very intuitive and easy app. Lots of connection options and without much loss ... of speed. The official website has the payment method in my local currency, with a localized value and thus leaving a fair value through the VPN. Thank VPNMentor for the product recommendation and targeted discount.More

    Latest negative user review
    K
    Kaan
    2.0/10
    Terrible Support

    I had a return request. because my ISP blocked their servers and I contacted their support team. My ti... ckets have not been answered for 14 days. I do not recommend them with this terrible support and no wireguard support. 1/10More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Matthew Amos
    Matthew Amos

    Senior Editor

    Our Score: 9.0/10

    Offering a popular free version and cheap premium plans, hide.me claims to be one of the best value VPNs in the world. But will the free version keep you safe online, and how do its paid plans stack up to other premium VPNs? To find out, I performed extensive tests on every feature that hide.me offers. I explored speeds, streaming capabilities, and safety with the free and paid versions. In ad...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    A
    Anonymous Reviewer
    10.0/10
    Best VPN for free

    It works perfectly fine, the speeds are good, and there are a lot of different locations. I have had ... no problems with this VPN, and I like that it has a 10GB data limit monthly (more than most competitors). I tried every other free VPN, but all of them are slow and aren't as fast as this one. In my opinion, download this VPN and you will be happy.More

    Latest negative user review
    P
    Penki
    2.0/10
    Not working with my Asus RT-AX88U

    Will not work with Asus routers - Hide.me Service has no Interest in compatibility with Routers. I ha... d to change the Provider from Hide.me to NordVPN and its all OK now. I had a Bad Time and now the sun shines on the VPN Sky - thanks NordVPN.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Doris Muthuri
    Doris Muthuri

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 8.1/10

    Update: Buffered VPN merged with Encrypt.me. We have thoroughly tested Encrypt.me, and you can find everything you need to know in our review. Buffered VPN has a lot to offer due to its user-friendly interface, fast connection speeds, and reliable security. One thing it can't do is unblock Netflix, you'll need a premium vendor like ExpressVPN for that. In addition to dedicated apps available for ...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    D
    Don Bartlem
    10.0/10
    I considered a number of VPN's before going with Buffered which I find excellent.

    No issues in any aspect, On the rare occasions that I required assistance (in the initial set up stage... ), the Help Desk was outstanding. Would highly recommend Buffered to anyone considering using a VPNMore

    Latest negative user review
    T
    Trev
    2.0/10
    They are no more

    After being a customer for more than 2 years and paying a premium price for a good service. THEY DON'T...  EXIST ANYMORE.. No warning, just logged in one day and my app doesn't work and they have changed their website name. STAY AWAY, sounds dodgy.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $2.69/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices
    Starting price $8.33/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    While hide.me puts up a decent fight, HMA just manages to outscore it as the best VPN overall. HMA tends to be the better choice for Windows and Android, thanks to advanced features, like the IP Shuffle and connection rules. However, its lack of features and flexibility on iOS and macOS allowed hide.me to shine in these categories. Still, HMA sealed the deal with its P2P-optimized servers for torrenting users and its wide server network.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    This round is an easy pick because HMA is the only VPN that offers P2P-optimized servers in this comparison. All three VPNs support torrenting on all servers, but HMA’s P2P servers are designed for better download and upload speeds while torrenting. There are a number of these locations worldwide, so most users should be able to find a P2P-optimized server near them.

    Best VPN for Windows

    Due to its superior security and privacy features, this round goes to HMA. On top of split tunneling and a kill switch, the IP Shuffle will help you stay private and untraceable online. hide.me’s Windows app has solid capabilities, but the look and feel of it is somewhat dated. StrongVPN has a very modern and sleek interface but doesn’t back it up with many features.

    Best VPN for Android

    HMA’s Android app tops the bunch with most of the same capabilities as the Windows version. On top of all the normal protections, you can fine-tune your on-the-go security by easily setting up connection rules for public Wi-Fi. It’s available on all Android 6.0 (Marshmallow, API 23) devices or later as well as Android TVs.

    Best VPN for Mac

    hide.me finally scores a win with its feature-rich app for macOS. The key advantage of using hide.me is that you have multiple protocols to choose from, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and SoftEther. In contrast, HMA only offers IKEv2/IPsec on macOS. Like its other apps, you do get the IP Shuffle feature for HMA on macOS, but this isn’t enough to overcome the shortcomings in other areas.

    Best VPN for iOS

    hide.me offers the best iOS app for the same reason. Like most VPNs, hide.me, HMA, and StrongVPN lack a kill switch and split tunneling on iOS. However, hide.me still supports all its VPN protocols, with the exception of SoftEther. Still, HMA is very close behind with its connection rules feature which is useful if you often use public Wi-Fi.

    Best VPN for USA

    With servers in 210 countries worldwide, including 55 different locations across the US, HMA wins this round by some distance. hide.me and StrongVPN have decent selections, with 14 and 15 US options, respectively. With its extensive server network, HMA is simply the best choice, whether you want a VPN with servers in or outside the US.

    The Bottom Line

    hide.me and Buffered VPN (now StrongVPN) put up a good show with their impressive security and privacy. However, HMA caters to a much larger global audience with the most worldwide server locations of almost any VPN. It also has advanced features to help preserve your online privacy, like an IP shuffler and customizable connection rules. If you factor in the user-friendly and highly capable apps for Windows and Android, there can only be one real winner.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is HMA VPN better than hide.me VPN and Buffered VPN?

    Yes, HMA VPN is better overall than hide.me VPN and Buffered VPN. It has 1080 servers in 210 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.99 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between HMA VPN, hide.me VPN and Buffered VPN?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then HMA VPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests.

    Is HMA VPN faster than hide.me VPN and Buffered VPN?

    Yes, HMA VPN is faster than hide.me VPN and Buffered VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free.. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do HMA VPN, hide.me VPN or Buffered VPN offer any deals?

    HMA VPN, hide.me VPN, and Buffered VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    A previous London-based journalist, Nicky is a freelance writer based on a farm in South Africa. When she's not training horses, she writes fluent, intelligent cybersecurity articles with creativity and flair.