Best HideMyAss Alternatives 2023: Which VPN Is Faster?
There aren't many alternatives to a VPN if you're interested in online anonymity and streaming otherwise geo-restricted content. HideMyAss (HMA) is one of the most well-known VPNs available, however, not necessarily the best as quite a few other services excel in different areas.
In our EXPERTE.com VPN comparison series, we carefully assessed 27 providers. Below, we'll let you know the best alternatives to HMA and their strengths and weaknesses.
Potential Disadvantages of HideMyAss
You might be wondering why you need an alternative to HideMyAss in the first place. The VPN doesn't do anything wrong per se, as our review showed, however, it does have some weaknesses that its competitors don't, such as:
The app's mascot (a colorful and cheeky donkey) certainly has fans among the userbase, however, we're not among them. To us, the app shows its age and we'd prefer something more modern and elegant, like those offered by its competitors.
Mixed streaming performance
During our test, we could only occasionally rely on HMA to grant us access to otherwise unavailable streaming content. We couldn't watch Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content from abroad, despite its dedicated streaming servers. Luckily, we didn't encounter any issues with Disney+ and BBC iPlayer. Under ideal conditions, a VPN should grant access to all streaming catalogs.
No split tunneling (desktop)
Split tunneling is a useful VPN feature: It allows you to specify which apps or websites use your VPN or regular connection. HMA offers this, but only for Android devices, and not in the desktop app.
Located in the UK
When it comes to where a VPN is based, there are several different views: Some users prefer offshore VPNs located in places like Panama or the British Virgin Islands, since they adhere to less restrictive data privacy laws and aren't members of intelligence-sharing agreements. Others see countries with strict data privacy laws as better since it means that information is in safer hands.
HMA is based in the UK and belongs to the second group. Whether that's an advantage or disadvantage depends on you.
Doesn't offer SmartDNS
Many VPN services include Smart DNS, a feature that makes it possible to bypass country restrictions on just about any Internet-capable device. HideMyAss is not among them.
WireGuard is widely seen as the new gold standard among VPN protocols. Many of the biggest VPN services have integrated it, however, once again, HMA isn't among them.
HideMyAss Alternatives: Our Top 5
As the above has shown, HMA is far from perfect. At the same time, none of its competitors are either, with some simply doing better in specific areas. Below, we'll introduce you to our Top 5 alternatives to HideMyAss:
Better Overall Package: NordVPN
NordVPN was the best service from our VPN sample with the Panama-based provider offering an unbeatable combination of user-friendliness, reliability, and security at an affordable price. Applications are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV, as are Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser extensions.
What we like
NordVPN excels in the core features of a VPN but also offers a number of extras, such as ad and malware blockers. Split tunneling and a kill switch are also included.
In addition, there's a visually-appealing user interface, excellent performance, and a large server network to look forward to. Overall, NordVPN does everything just a bit better than its competitors, including HMA.
NordVPN was EXPERTE.com's best VPN.
What makes NordVPN better than HideMyAss?
There's no doubt that NordVPN offers a better overall package: Its performance is stronger (as shown by our speed test), more features are available (including split tunneling for desktop users), and streaming is more reliable. As if that wasn't enough, NordVPN's two most affordable packages cost less than HMA's.
Lots of features, including split tunneling
Good for streaming
Supports Smart DNS
WireGuard-based protocol (NordLynx)
Server network could be larger
More Affordable: Surfshark
Our price-performance winner, Surfshark, has only been on the market since 2017, however, it's quickly and rightfully established itself as one of the leading VPNs. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the VPN offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, as well as Android TV, Apple TV, and Fire TV.
What we like
Surfshark's relatively low cost is definitely a big advantage, however, that's far from the only thing we liked about the VPN: The program scores owing to its top security standards, powerful performance, and a wide variety of features. Alongside split tunneling, you'll also get access to MultiHop and static IPs.
The program can be installed and used on an unlimited number of devices as well. Rounding things out, we found its app to be well-executed.
Surfshark was EXPERTE.com's top price-performance pick.
What makes Surfshark better than HideMyAss?
Surfshark is more affordable than HMA (when signing on for a 12 or 24-month contract; HMA's monthly rates are slightly lower). The VPN also finished several places ahead of HMA in our speed test, offering more features, such as Smart DNS and desktop split tunneling. In terms of streaming, Surfshark was far more reliable than HMA.
More affordable 12 or 24-month subscriptions
Huge selection of features, including split tunneling
Expensive monthly price
iOS apps not as well-developed
Better for Streaming: ExpressVPN
Our list continues with ExpressVPN, which, like Surfshark, is based in the British Virgin Islands. Both versatile and reliable, this VPN's quality impressed across the board, however, its developers have priced the service accordingly.
ExpressVPN is available for all typical operating systems and can also be installed on routers and gaming consoles.
What we like
During testing, ExpressVPN was always near the front of the pack: Its apps are some of the best on the market, it put in a strong speed test performance, and with its 3,000 servers across 94 countries, surpasses many of its rivals. Another positive: ExpressVPN regularly allows its commitment to security to be independently audited by third parties.
Are you looking for a streaming VPN? If so, ExpressVPN is worth checking out.
What makes ExpressVPN better than HideMyAss?
ExpressVPN surpasses HMA both in terms of its appearance as well as what's under the hood. Said differently, it offers more power in a better-looking package.
The service is especially good at streaming content from abroad and bypassing geo-restrictions, as we were able to access catalogs on all four services we tested it on. Even HBO Max couldn't prevent ExpressVPN from giving us access to otherwise unavailable content.
Strong streaming performance
Includes Smart DNS
Offers split tunneling
Questionable parent company
Free and More Focused on Privacy: ProtonVPN
Proton VPN is a Swiss open-source VPN that has continually improved over the past few years and is now just a step or two away from our winner's podium. It offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, as well as Chromebooks and Android TVs. If desired, it can also be manually installed on routers or other hardware.
What we like
There are two things in particular that we like about Proton VPN:
- 1.Its emphasis on user privacy and security is visible in its open-source approach and range of features. For example, "Secure Core" makes it possible to route traffic through an additional VPN server in a country with strict data privacy laws, before heading to your target country.
- 2.The service also scores by offering the most generous free VPN package on the market, setting no data limits whatsoever. This means that you can surf as much as you'd like, even though you're limited to a small number of server locations and cannot stream video content.
In our opinion, Proton VPN offers the best freemium VPN on the market.
What makes Proton VPN better than HideMyAss?
Proton VPN is open source, whereas HMA isn't. Alongside useful security features that HMA doesn't offer, Proton VPN also includes split tunneling. During our speed test, Proton VPN finished a few places ahead of HMA, staking out second place overall. Rounding things out, for streaming, the Swiss provider also did well, allowing us to access otherwise unavailable content catalogs on all four providers we tested.
Powerful free version (no data limits)
Security features like "Secure Core"
Lacks Smart DNS
Server network could be larger
Limited support options
Customizable App: Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA), from the US, belongs to the same (somewhat dubious) parent company as ExpressVPN. Its apps are offered for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
What we like
PIA's unique app is the reason it features on this list: Its modules can be customized to your individual preferences. With other types of software, this might seem unremarkable, however, it's a true rarity in the world of VPNs. And we couldn't be happier.
The Quick Connect module displays your favorites and recently used servers, while Quick Settings is where you can turn things like port forwarding on or off. In other words, you can choose which features and information should be displayed in the VPN's app.
Beyond that, PIA scores with its large server network and solid streaming performance (we only had trouble with Disney+).
PIA's VPN app can be fully customized to your preferences and needs.
What makes Private Internet Access better than HideMyAss?
PIA offers a much better app and was more reliable in terms of streaming than HMA. Its selection of features is also wider: Split tunneling is available for desktop users, as is Smart DNS. Rounding out the positives, the WireGuard protocol is integrated.
Modular, customizable apps
Lots of features and settings
Includes split tunneling
WireGuard is supported
Disappointing speed test performance
Questionable parent company
Of course, there are more than just 5 alternatives to HideMyAss. In our VPN review series, we thoroughly assessed 27 providers across five categories, "Configuration and Usage", "Server Network", "Performance", "Security and Privacy", and "Customer Support".
Below, we've included our complete ranking as well as links to each individual review:
HideMyAss is a decent VPN, however, it suffers from a few shortcomings. Thankfully, there are a number of good alternatives that are a step ahead of HMA:
NordVPN offers what is likely the best overall VPN package on the market, Surfshark excels in terms of its price-performance ratio, ExpressVPN is a user-friendly, streaming-focused all-arounder, ProtonVPN is all about security and open source, and Private Internet Access serves up a fully customizable app.
Other alternatives to HideMyAss can be found in our comprehensive EXPERTE.com VPN comparison series.