Whether you’re a VPN newbie or ditching a previous provider, finding a VPN is no easy task. There’s a lot to consider, not least how much you pay. Knowing whether it’ll unblock big streaming providers, the security it provides, and the support you get when you’re stuck are also essential.
Fortunately, we’ve done the tricky bit by comparing two top VPNs – Hide my Ass and PrivateVPN. By the end of this comparison, you’ll have a broader understanding of the pros and cons of each VPN. So, shall we get into it?
Hide My Ass vs PrivateVPN pricing
VPNs can sometimes be quite pricey if you’re only looking for temporary coverage, and PrivateVPN and Hide My Ass are no different. PrivateVPN will cost you $12.95 monthly for a 5-connection plan, whereas HMA charges $11.99 for the same plan type. This is the industry average price range, with HMA towards the higher end of the spectrum.
But, if you’re willing to commit to a longer period, both providers offer discounted rates. For instance, a 3-month plan through PrivateVPN costs just $17.99, and 6 months costs an even lower rate of $53.94 – a 50% & 33% discount. Plus, if you choose its three-year plan, it works out at just $2 per month, an 85% discount. With HMA, the one-year subscription comes up to an average of $4.99 a month (a 58% discount), or even less, with its three-year subscription costing just $2.99 per month.
Both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can sign up and take them for a spin without worrying. Plus, if Hide My Ass is your provider of choice, you’ll get a bonus in the form of its 7-day free trial. Just remember to set a reminder, as HMA will automatically upgrade to the one-year plan if you don’t cancel within a week.
Both services accept prepaid cards, so if you’d rather not use your bank details, that’s no problem. PrivateVPN also takes Bitcoin as a bonus – making it a great choice if you want to sign up anonymously and securely.
Whichever of these providers you go with, you’ll have access to their user-friendly apps for all the popular platforms like Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Linux users need not worry, though – both services offer command line installers, with PrivateVPN taking it one step further by offering official apps for Amazon Fire TV devices. But that’s not all – they also have a Chrome extension, so your browser can be protected without any data rerouting from other apps. Plus, their main apps can even be configured to connect automatically when you’re on a public wifi network. Easy as that.
PrivateVPN gives users up to 10 simultaneous device connections as standard with all its plans. Hide My ass only provides 5 connections with its cheapest plans, which is enough for the average user. However, if you’re set on going for 10 connections, you must pay a little more each month.
With Hide My Ass, you can use a split tunneling feature that allows certain apps to bypass the unencrypted VPN. This is especially useful for activities like anonymously torrenting through the VPN while less-sensitive apps use your standard ISP connection. Unfortunately, it’s only available on Android. PrivateVPN doesn’t offer split tunneling, but its extras include a stealth mode designed to bypass deep packet inspection and regional blocking. So no matter which service you use, your data will be safe and secure.
Streaming and unblocking
When it comes to streaming, most services are not available worldwide. That’s where VPNs come in – they ensure you have access to region-locked services no matter where you are.
PrivateVPN performed exceptionally well here, working with platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer Video catalogs. Only ABC gave it trouble. Hide My Ass wasn’t as successful with ABC and Prime Video but had great success with otherwise difficult services like BBC iPlayer.
Though PrivateVPN lets you know exactly which servers are best for a given streaming service, Hide My Ass has an advantage regarding Netflix libraries – offering more regional ones than its rival. Of course, both VPNs have certain advantages, but whichever one you choose will help you access your favorite shows.
Using the VPNs in China
Navigating the ‘Great Firewall of China’ can be daunting for even the most experienced travelers. Communication securely with people back home is almost impossible, and even information sources are limited.
Thankfully, PrivateVPN has your back. It’s one of the few VPN providers that work in China., allowing access to otherwise restricted content. All you need to do is enable the Stealth VPN option in each app and connect as normal.
Unfortunately, Hide My Ass doesn’t work in China, so make sure to pick the right VPN if you need access there.
Setup and Interface
Finding a VPN provider with an uncluttered, user-friendly app can make all the difference. HMA’s app makes connecting as easy as one click. You get access to servers specified for streaming and torrenting, which you can then favorite for easy access later on. Its vast array of settings might seem overwhelming initially, but each one clearly states what it does.
PrivateVPN takes a simpler approach, categorizing its server list into favorites and dedicated IPs. Its desktop app also provides a ‘simple view’ option that’ll keep your screen free of distractions. The mobile app is even better in this regard, featuring the same simple view mode and all settings on a single page, although it is missing the kill switch that’s available in its desktop version. With these options, PrivateVPN offers a streamlined experience no matter how you connect.
Servers and Performance
Whether you’re looking to stream in 4K or get up to speed with torrenting, these VPN providers have you covered. Hide My Ass boasts triple the servers across 215 countries, providing a reliable service during peak times. However, most of its network consists of virtual locations, which means the IP address does not match the server’s physical location. Virtual locations have their advantages but make it difficult to determine the privacy laws and expected latency associated with each server.
In our speed tests, both providers held up well. HMA delivered an average download speed of 40 Mbps, and PrivateVPN hitting 71 Mbps. PrivateVPN covers most major locations, albeit with fewer servers than HMA.
PrivateVPN and HMA support OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP connections for increased security, although we recommend sticking to OpenVPN for maximum safety. For added protection, both services also feature 256-bit AES encryption with the option to use 128-bit in PrivateVPN’s case. HMA has a longer RSA key length for even tighter security – though PrivateVPN’s keys are considered strong enough.
HMA’s IP rotator can make tracking a user from one website to the next hard. Besides that, a customizable kill switch stops data from being sent over the network when your connection drops. While PrivateVPN has a kill switch, it’s only available on its desktop app.
PrivateVPN operates its headquarters in Sweden. Sweden’s constitution is also part of the 14 Eyes surveillance initiative. PrivateVPN acts as its own ISP and server host, so there’s almost no chance of third-party access to user data. Ultimately, neither service keeps logs or data usage records, so you can rest easy knowing your data stays safe and secure!
HMA and PrivateVPN use shared IP addresses, in which multiple users connect to the internet from a single server’s IP address. That makes tracking any specific user’s activities virtually impossible.
Other options, such as static IP addresses, are available if you’re looking for added security and convenience – though they usually come with an additional cost. Hide My Ass doesn’t offer static IPs, but PrivateVPN does, although it operates a little differently to normal static IPs as it assigns you a unique IP address each time you connect (which is never reused afterward). Static IPs don’t provide the same level of plausible deniability as the shared IP system, but their rotation adds an extra layer of protection from online tracking. Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference and needs.
PrivateVPN really takes the cake when offering helpful, high-quality support. From its live chat help desk and thorough knowledge base to its informative video guides on YouTube, it’s easy to see why so many people turn to it in times of need.
HMA, while still providing respectable customer service with a 24-hour ticket system and searchable knowledge base, could use some improvement in responding to users quickly. With no live chat available, customers have to take their issues elsewhere – but at least there are always helpful video guides from the HMA YouTube channel.
PrivateVPN and Hide My Ass offer great VPNs for a variety of needs. Whether you’re looking for streaming and torrenting, unblocking services, or everyday browsing protection from nosy governments, both VPNs have your back. And while Hide My Ass offers a more extensive network of servers, PrivateVPN is still available in 60 countries, which will be more than enough for most people.
That said, PrivateVPN stands out as the superior choice with its faster speeds, greater reliability when unblocking websites and streaming services, 10 simultaneous device connections as standard, apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and speedy support. Plus, when it comes to privacy, PrivateVPN has got it covered: it has a strict no-logs policy and accepts Bitcoin payments, so you can stay anonymous while using the service. All these factors make it the obvious choice if you want ultimate online security and freedom.
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
Discount applied automatically