Just like the best VPN software in the market, HideMyAss seems to have everything to give you the privacy and anonymity you want when browsing online. Is it just a mere marketing strategy or is HideMyAss safe to use for activities like torrenting, etc. To answer this, let’s dissect through the features you get by using HideMyAss.
Who Owns HideMyAss?
Headquartered in the UK, HideMyAss VPN has been around since 2005 when it was founded by a then 16-year old Jack Cator. In 2016, it was acquired by AVG, a subsidiary of Avast. Avast is a cybersecurity powerhouse itself and the general assumption is that HMA is in safe hands. Not that straightforward, though. There is a good side and the bad side of using HMA. Let’s delve deeper on this.
The Good HideMyAss VPN Security Features
HMA has many speedy servers distributed around the world meaning you can choose to anonymize your identity with a good range of servers to pick from. Most of these servers do actually work unlike in the case of many VPNs who tend to inflate the number just to get customers excited.
HMA also supports a number of good industry-standard techniques to enhance security including top encryption standards, smart kill switch, split tunneling, DNS leak protection, etc. They also assure users that they have a zero-log policy but this is where the VPN is a bit of letdown. In fact, this brings us to the cons of using HideMyAss.
HideMyAss Privacy & Security Flaws
One of the biggest flaws of HideMyAss is the logging policy which captures some vital user private data. HideMyAss tends to dismiss this but their policy clearly states that they store user details from your own IP address, your connection details, the amount of data you use, etc.
In the past, HMA has even been exposed for this, most notably in 2011 when their logs led to the arrest of Cody Kretsinger who was then a member of Lulzsec hackers. To be fair though, hacking is a crime and using a VPN for illegal activity is wrong! Just as a word of caution, HideMyAss will conceal your identity online but they will hand over your logs should they be compelled to by security agencies, according to UK law.
Moreover, there have been serious security flaws which were found to affect user security and privacy. For example, in 2018, security researcher Han Sahin exposed privilege escalation vulnerabilities in the HideMyAss! Pro VPN for Apple’s OS X.
Best Alternative VPNs for You
It is always advisable to go for a VPN with a true no logging and ensure you go through the policy to affirm this. Here are some of the alternative VPNs we recommend for maximum security when torrenting, using public Wi-Fi, unblocking blocked sites in your network and anything worth using a VPN for.
All said and done, is HideMyAss safe to use for hiding your identity online? Our verdict is that HideMyAss (HMA) is not safe to use, and certainly not the go-to VPN if you want military-grade privacy and security.