While they may take the wordplay pretty far with the donkey mascot all over their website, Hide My Ass offer a very reasonable service. It's not great, but it's easy to use and they have excellent support. They did give one user up to authorities in the past, but it was for a pretty serious crime, so unless you're hacking the Pentagon, your security and privacy concerns shouldn't be too great.
They are based in the UK, which is a red flag if you have concerns about the government. Because of where they are located and the data laws in place, there's not much that they can do when the authorities demand a user's information. They have a huge amount of servers all over the world. Stationed in more than 190 countries, they have 916 servers in over 350 locations. All up, they offer more than 120,000 IP addresses and the number continues to grow. Hide My Ass allow you to connect with two devices simultaneously and they also have clients available for most major devices and operating systems.
The website for Hide My Ass is fun with some interesting cartoons, including what seems to be a donkey criminal or donkey magician, I haven't quite figured it out. There's a whole lot of yellow in the colour scheme, which is great for anyone who is into canary sweaters and sunflowers. It might not be as visually appealing to others. Apart from that, the website is as easy to use as any other and full of useful information. They have a regularly updated blog and also include reviews. In addition, Hide My Ass offer a number of free services. This includes a basic web proxy service, a proxy list that gets updated in real time, an anonymous email service, a file upload facility and a range of browser plug-ins.
Plans and Pricing
Hide My Ass offer a standard service package with discounts for the length you subscribe for. If you only want to sign up for one month at a time, it will be $9.99. If you pay ahead for six months, the price works out to $6.99 per month. If you pay for the full year at once, it will work out to $4.99 every month. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so you are free to give it a try and see if it works for you. They accept credit cards and PayPal.
Their support begins with a range of helpful articles that contain an extensive amount of information. They have setup guides for all of the operating systems that are available, as well as a knowledgebase and FAQ. They even have a range of help videos, if you tend to figure things out better visually. If you can't get it sorted by yourself, they also offer ticket support and live chat. The replies are generally prompt, courteous and helpful.
Privacy and Security
Technically, their security and privacy are great. They offer OpenVPN, PTPP and L2TP protocols, but you should generally stick with OpenVPN. OpenVPN and L2TP use 256-bit encryption, while PTPP uses 128-bit. One of the biggest concerns that people have with Hide My Ass is that they handed over a user's details to US authorities over a pretty serious hacking incident in 2011. They could find the user because they keep partial logs. Because they are based in the UK, there wasn't a lot that they could do when the US government came knocking on their door. Granted, this all happened because the individual put the security details of millions of people at risk. It's doubtful whether they would chase you with such force over a pirated copy of Toy Story 3. If you have serious security and privacy concerns, then you might be best off looking elsewhere. If you're not the Edward Snowden type or some kind of international criminal, you should probably be fine.
Signing up is a breeze, but because they don't accept cryptocurrencies, it can't be done completely anonymously. You will have to give them an email address as well as the details from your payment method. Once you have paid, they will send you the links to download the client.
Once you download and install the client, you will be met with its Dashboard. It displays your status here and you can choose your protocol and server. In the left menu, you can select your country, IP address settings, Secure IP Bind and proxy settings. You can also check your proxy settings as well as your billing and packages.
We tested out the speeds and here's what we got:
|No VPN||UK Server||NL Server|
|Download Speed (Mb/s)||6.5||4.68||4.98|
|Upload Speed (Mb/s)||3.06||2.15||2.46|
As you can see, the speeds are far from great. They aren't horrible, but speed is definitely not a reason that you would choose this service. There were no problems with the IP or DNS leak tests.
Hide My Ass is a good VPN. I even give them extra points for their donkey mascot. It comes at an okay price, they have great customer service and a ridiculous number of servers. Their client is easy to use, their website offers a lot of free things for users and they don't have any bandwidths restrictions. Unfortunately, the speeds aren't great, they keep logs and have been known to hand a user over to the authorities. Because it's easy to use, Hide My Ass is a fine option for the everyday user who wants a VPN, but if you have grave security concerns, it's best to stay well away.
Are you a Hide My Ass user? Leave a Hide My Ass review below with your thoughts on the service, and help others out when making their decision.