Hide My Ass! vs ExpressVPN
Comparison & Test Results 2018
Hide My Ass! (HMA!) is another popular VPN provider. HMA! offers many attractive features to users, making it a valid option for any internet user.
HMA! will be an attractive option for users who are looking for superior global server coverage, fast connection speeds, great customer support and a reasonable price.
ExpressVPN is a well-known Virtual Private Networking (VPN) provider that provides fast connection speeds, top-notch customer support and optimal privacy protections, as well as reliable access to Netflix and BitTorrent.
The provider should prove to be especially attractive to movie lovers who are seeking to keep their online streaming and file sharing activities undercover.
How to Choose a VPN
In this article, I’ll pit ExpressVPN and Hide My Ass! against each other in a one-on-one faceoff.
I’ll be taking a look at the 10 most essential features that any VPN shopper should keep in mind when considering their options. I’ll explain why each feature is important, reveal how well both providers perform in each category and then declare a winner for each category. At the end of the article, I’ll tally the score and name an overall victor.
By the time you reach the end of the article, you should have enough information on hand to decide which provider best fits your needs.
Do you remember the last time you weren’t connected to the internet? In the car, you’re connected, at home or the office, you’re connected, in the restroom…Ew! Wash your hands!
Anyway, a fast connection is an important factor that affects your overall satisfaction with your online experience.
When I test a VPN provider’s connection speed, I first test the speed of my usual ISP connection speed. I then connect to each provider I am testing and again test the connection speed. I do the tests for both providers within minutes of each other to provide consistent readings. I use a gigabit fiber internet connection, so your speeds will vary.
Local Connection Speeds (U.S.)
This test is intended to replicate the type of performance you’ll see when you’re connected to a VPN server located in your own country. (I use a U.S. server for this test, since I’m located in the U.S.)
International Connection Speeds (U.S. to U.K.)
This test is designed to provide an indication as to what kind of bandwidth users will get when they connect to a VPN server located in another country. (I use a U.K. server for this test.)
When you’re on the internet, always assume you’re being watched, because you probably are.
Hackers are always looking to steal your personal and business-related info, and your ISP is now allowed to sell your browsing habits to advertisers and other interested parties. Comprehensive privacy protection is of the utmost importance.
Carefully consider the following when considering the level of a provider’s privacy protections:
ExpressVPN’s location in the privacy-respecting British Virgin Islands means that the provider doesn’t need to keep logs of any kind related to your online travels. They also accept Bitcoin in return for their services.
Hide My Ass! doesn’t cover your ass particularly well in the privacy department, as the U.K.-based provider does log their customers’ online activities and has shared that info with authorities in the past. The provider also doesn’t offer any type of privacy-enhancing subscription payment options.
Neither of these providers will ever be mistaken for a bargain-basement-priced provider. That said, both providers offer their customers a good bang for their buck.
Hide My Ass! charges $6.56 per month (payable at $78.66 annually) or $11.99 per month when you opt for the monthly payment plan.
ExpressVPN’s price is $8.32 per month when you go for the $99.95 annual option, or $12.95 for a month-to-month plan. Keep in mind that you’ll receive 3 months of bonus VPN service added to your annual subscription when you subscribe via my link to the ExpressVPN website.
Money-Back Guarantee Period
Global Server Coverage
Users who enjoy streaming content and gamers who enjoy competing in the online arena will appreciate a VPN’s ability to unblock streaming and gaming content. This feature makes comprehensive global server coverage a vital feature.
Hide My Ass! has 890+ servers located in over 190 countries, and ExpressVPN has 2,000 servers located in 94 countries.
While ExpressVPN offers more servers, HMA! offers servers in more countries, which is the deciding factor in this category.
I would venture to say that the majority of my readers own and use more than one connected device. That’s why multi-platform support is an essential consideration when deciding on a VPN provider.
ExpressVPN offers app support for the macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV and BlackBerry platforms. The provider also offers extensions for the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser platforms. ExpressVPN support for many popular routers is also available.
Hide My Ass! offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. HMA! also offers instructions for using the service with Linux and certain other routers.
Netflix is arguably the most popular streaming service in the world today. However, due to Netflix’s content licensing contracts, what’s available for viewing in one region may not be available elsewhere. That’s where a VPN’s Netflix-unblocking ability comes in.
ExpressVPN offers excellent access to Netflix, providing the most reliable access of any provider I’ve tested. The provider offers extensive global server coverage and fast connection speeds. Plus, the provider quickly sets up new VPN servers when old servers are blocked by the streaming giant.
Hide My Ass! offers limited Netflix access. When I say limited, I mean they offer U.S. Netflix access via their Liberty Island VPN server, and U.K. Netflix access through their “Donkey Town” server.
ExpressVPN and Hide My Ass! both provide easy-to-use applications and reliable VPN service. However, odds are that eventually you’ll need to get in touch with their customer support departments.
ExpressVPN provides 24/7 support via their live support chat option. A trouble ticket system and an easy-to-search support library are also available to aid users.
HMA! offers 24/7 live support chat, support via email and a searchable knowledge base.
Customer Support Winner: It’s a Tie!
A VPN protects their users’ online activities from prying eyes by applying a layer of encryption to their internet connections.
ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, offering OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, PPTP, SSTP and L2TP/IPSec protocols.
Hide My Ass! also uses 256-bit encryption, offering OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec protocols. They lack the SSTP protocol offered by their competitor.
AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, PPTP, SSTP and L2TP/IPSec
AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSech
Heads of large families and heads of small businesses will appreciate a VPN provider that allows multiple simultaneous logins on the same account.
HMA! allows up to 5 connections at once, while ExpressVPN limits users to 3 devices at once.
BitTorrent/P2P file sharing is one of the most popular online activities around, especially among music and movie lovers. However, many countries and ISPs do their best to block this activity, and users face legal or financial penalties in some countries.
ExpressVPN allows its users to share via any of its servers and offers tips designed to improve your P2P experience.
Hide My Ass! allows P2P activities, but only on specified servers. Servers allowing this are currently located in Prague, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and New York.
# of Countries Where VPN Allows BitTorrent Access
94 (All Countries)
Although Hide My Ass! held an early lead, ExpressVPN soon pulled out in front, and it was never close after that.
ExpressVPN was tops in the privacy, multi-platform support, Netflix access, encryption and BitTorrent support categories.
Hide My Ass! won out in the pricing, global server coverage and simultaneous connections arenas.
The providers were a tie in the other 2 categories: customer support and connection speed. Connection speed was close in both the U.S. and U.K. tests, with ExpressVPN edging out HMA! in the U.S. competition, and HMA! squeaking out a win in the U.K. race.
ExpressVPN takes the overall crown, mostly due to its superior privacy protections, top-notch app support, and the much better Netflix and BitTorrent access it provides.