While NordVPN is far more popular than HideMyAss!, otherwise known as HMA, HMA has been around since 2005 and is one of the industry’s longest-standing VPNs.
Both VPN providers have a large subscriber base due to various reasons. NordVPN is known for its abilities in unblocking streaming services, and HMA is well-known for its large server network.
We’ve taken a look at the main difference between NordVPN vs HideMyAss! so that you can decide which of the two providers is the best VPN for your needs. Read on to learn all you need to know about both VPNs.
Whether you want a Virtual Private Network that provides first-rate encryption, an excellent choice of additional features, or is great value for money, read on to learn which VPN excels in these areas.
Security and privacy features are essential in ensuring you have a super-secure connection when connected to home and public wi-fi networks. Fortunately, both NordVPN and HMA help subscribers enjoy privacy while using their services.
NordVPN and HMA both employ military-grade, AES-256 bit encryption with 4096-bit keys. NordVPN provides users with the option to use many tunneling protocols, including OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPSec. NordLynx is NordVPN’s proprietary protocol that not only provides a faster connection but which is extremely secure.
HMA also offers various protocol choices, including OpenVPN over TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. OpenVPN is the default protocol on Windows and Android devices, while IKEv2 is the default option for macOS and iOS systems.
Both providers offer private DNS on all their servers to deal with DNS requests, providing users with DNS leak protection. As well as this, the two providers offer IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection to ensure your real IP address stays safe.
When it comes to encryption, your data will be secure regardless of the provider you choose since both VPNs offer super encryption levels.
People employ VPN services to hide their data from third parties such as governments, hackers, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, when you use a VPN, you give that VPN provider all of the same rights to access your browsing data and do with it what it pleases. That’s why your VPN must operate a no-logs policy.
Like NordVPN, HMA VPN has a no-logs policy in place. The provider doesn’t monitor or store browsing activity, DNS queries, or users’ real IPs. However, HMA does store the date and time you connected to the service and how much data was transmitted during the session. HMA has also had its no-logging claims audited by Versprite and gave the VPN company a ‘low-risk user privacy impact’ rating.
A VPN’s jurisdiction is important since it dictates whether the provider will be forced to store data on its servers or share it with the government. NordVPN is based in Panama, an extremely privacy-friendly country. This bodes well for users since Nord does not need to adhere to any strict data retention laws as Panama doesn’t have any.
We can’t say the same for HideMyAss! HMA VPN is based in the UK, a country known for its surveillance of citizens both on and offline. Moreover, the UK is a member of the Five Eyes, an international alliance between several countries in which data is shared on individuals.
Extra security tools can make you more protected while browsing the web. Both providers have some security features on offer that users can easily activate the dedicated apps.
Firstly, NordVPN has an internet kill switch available for users to cut off their connection to the web should their VPN connection go down. As well as a kill switch, NordVPN also offers built-in malware protection in the form of CyberSec, which blocks adware, malware, and access to phishing websites.
NordVPN users can opt to route their connection via the Onion Network in the app for extra privacy. All NordVPN subscribers need to do is tap the Onion button to re-route their connection via the TOR network.
As well as all of the above, NordVPN offers a nifty feature called Double VPN. Instead of your connection passing through one server, it passes through two, changing your IP twice. This gives you more protection in terms of privacy and hides your real IP address further.
Unfortunately, HMA doesn’t offer as many security features as Nord, but there are a few. Like NordVPN, it has an internet kill switch that can be enabled in the app. There is also the smart kill switch, which launches a VPN connection whenever you connect to an internet network. This is a great safety feature as it ensures your web traffic is never exposed when you’re connected to the internet.
Disappointingly, HMA doesn’t offer any other security and privacy features similar to those provided by NordVPN.
The winner: Based on its strengths regarding extra security features, NordVPN is the winner. It provides customers with a lot of additional tools to make their VPN experience more secure.
A good Virtual Private Network should provide users with many device connections and the ability to bypass internet censorship and move freely around the web. Fortunately, both NordVPN and HMA offer extra VPN features to do this.
NordVPN gives each user 6 simultaneous connections, regardless of the subscription plan they choose. This is one more than HMA’s 5 simultaneous connections, which is standard for the industry.
However, each company could afford to offer more connections; nowadays, providers have started to give unlimited simultaneous connections in their subscription plans, like Surfshark.
As streaming platforms become more prominent and we say goodbye to traditional ways of watching films and TV shows, more users want access to streaming sites around the world. Netflix and BBC iPlayer are well known for their anti-VPN firewalls, which only a select few VPNs can bypass.
Fortunately, NordVPN can get past multiple streaming service blocks and has a reputation as one of the best VPNs for streamers. NordVPN works with multiple Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.
HMA is also a good streaming VPN and has more than 165 optimized servers for streaming in its network. During our tests, we were able to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and even BBC iPlayer.
So, if you want to watch streaming content in Europe while you’re in the USA, you can do so with either of these VPN services.
Not all VPNs support P2P traffic; fortunately, both HMA and NordVPN do. NordVPN has over 4000 P2P optimized servers in operation, while HMA supports torrenting across its network. It’s a good idea to employ a VPN if you use torrenting platforms like BitTorrent since you can download on a shared IP address instead of your own and shroud your downloading activity with VPN protection.
While HMA doesn’t excel when it comes to extra security features, the company certainly does regarding extra features for users.
Firstly, users can employ the innovative IP shuffle tool. What this does, is it changes your IP address as often as you’d like during a day; this prevents trackers and websites from following your online movements and building user profiles based on your activity. HMA subscribers can set up this feature in the app within a few seconds.
As well as this, there is the lightning connect button, which removes all difficulty of choosing which VPN server to connect to; you can use this feature to connect to the fastest and closest server possible.
Users can also take advantage of split tunneling with HMA, routing certain apps and websites outside of the encrypted tunnel. This is great if you want a faster connection and don’t mind accessing some apps and websites without VPN protection.
So, what about NordVPN? Nord also offers useful extra features that rival HMA’s. Firstly, there is the Quick Connect button on the app, which removes the difficulty of having to select a server for yourself. Like HMA, NordVPN also offers split tunneling, which is a great option to have.
Another extra feature that NordVPN has in its arsenal is the option for dedicated IP addresses. Should you need an IP address from the same location for recurring activities such as accessing work networks or online banking, then you can purchase a dedicated IP. Shared IP addresses are better at ensuring no activity is linked directly to you but can suffer from the ‘bad neighbor’ effect.
The winner: NordVPN is the clear winner regarding features. It offers a higher number of simultaneous connections and dedicated IP addresses which are useful for some users.
The size of a VPN network is an indication of the provider’s ability to unblock content around the world and whether servers will have high user loads or not.
NordVPN has a respectable VPN server network that consists of over 5400 servers. Any company with over 1000 servers in its reins is considered good, and Nord far exceeds that.
HMA has just over 1100 servers in its network. This is good and still provides users with a lot of options when it comes to IPs and surfing the web. However, it falls short of NordVPN’s large network.
The number of servers is important to consider with a VPN service, but so are locations. Nord operates across 59 countries worldwide which is fairly decent. However, HMA VPN has 290 locations across 210 countries. These figures are jaw-droppingly huge and great news for anyone who wants access to content in almost any part of the world.
One of HMA’s biggest strengths is that it has servers in every continent and pays attention to the African region, which VPN companies usually ignore. While HMA has servers in Congo, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda, NordVPN only has African-based servers in South Africa. That’s a stark contrast to HMA.
HideMyAss! also has servers in some of the most restricted countries on Earth, including Syria and North Korea. We’re extremely impressed with the large variety of location choices since most providers would shy away from countries in which HMA operates.
The winner: In terms of size, NordVPN is the winner. However, we like that HMA VPN has servers in many different countries around the world, enabling people to access digital content from around the world.
VPN pricing plans vary depending on the VPN provider. Both HMA and NordVPN offer various subscription lengths at different prices.
NordVPN pricing options:
HideMyAss! VPN pricing plans:
HMA’s pricing model is a little unorthodox for the VPN industry since there is no subscription length shorter than 1 year. However, the prices are low, which bodes well for users looking for a great deal. HMA also offers a family plan pricing model, which provides services for the same lengths of time.
Occasionally both VPN companies offer their services at a discount. These roll around at specific times of the year and are great to take advantage of. The two providers each accept a variety of payment options, and NordVPN even accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
The winner: We recommend NordVPN for new VPN users since it offers a monthly plan which provides you with more flexibility. However, we like that each HMA plan comes with a 7-day free trial on top of a money-back guarantee period. NordVPN is slightly cheaper in terms of price on its annual and 24-month plans, and so is our winner for this section.
VPN software is known to slow down internet connections slightly, which irks many users. We ran a speed test with each VPN to check which is the fastest.
NordVPN: Using the NordLynx protocol, we put this VPN service to the test and first connected to a US server. Our download speed was 39Mbps, which is extremely fast. We then connected to a server in Hong Kong to test the speed over a longer distance and were pleasantly surprised to achieve a rate of 35Mbps. Our speed test results in the UK were also good, at 38Mbps and 37Mbps on two servers.
HMA VPN: We then ran a speed test with HMA VPN, testing the same locations as we did for NordVPN. Our US-speed was 35Mbps, which is extremely good. This dipped slightly to 33Mbps in the UK and 31Mbps in Hong Kong. Although HMA’s speeds were lower than Nord’s, the VPN service is still speedy.
The winner: NordVPN is slightly faster than HMA, but HideMyAss! still offers good speeds that are suitable for streaming and torrenting.
Whether you use a desktop computer, cell phone, or tablet, you’ll want to ensure that your web traffic is secure and that you have VPN protection on all of your devices.
NordVPN offers support for a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. As well as this, you can use the VPN on your Android TV or with your Amazon Fire Stick TV. There is also the option to connect the VPN to your router and protect all devices on your home network, including gaming consoles.
The NordVPN desktop clients and mobile apps are easy to use and allow novices to get to grips with the VPN software. Users can scroll through a server list on the apps, activate features in the settings like the kill switch, and change protocols.
HMA also supports s variety of platforms, including Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android and Apple TVs. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and like Nord, users can configure the VPN to routers with compatible firmware. HMA also offers a simple mobile app service and user-friendly desktop clients. There is even a tutorial on how to use the software upon downloading it.
The winner: It’s a tie. Both providers support popular systems like Windows and Android and allow users to enjoy their products on other less common devices.
One essential part of a VPN company is good customer service. VPN software can be difficult to get to grips with, so you must be provided with information about the product and support from the VPN service.
NordVPN offers great customer service. First of all, an extensive help section on the NordVPN website is full of information on how to use the service. As well as this, there is an email address you can use to email the customer support team. Another thing that we like is the live chat support on the NordVPN website. You can speak directly to a member of the customer service team and get an answer at that moment.
HMA also offers excellent customer service. There is a help center on its website with a knowledge base; here, users can learn about the service and company. There is also live chat support and an email that customers can use to contact the support team.
The winner: It’s a draw since neither VPN outperforms the other regarding customer support.
So, out of NordVPN and HMA VPN, which is the best service? Both providers are great in terms of security features, offering AES-256 bit encryption and DNS leak protection. As well as this, both VPNs operate no-logs policies and provide support for many different platforms.
However, NordVPN is the winner overall. This is because Nord is based in privacy-friendly Panama, offers excellent extra features, and has a large server network.
I’m Madeleine, and I'm a writer that specializes in cybersecurity, tech products, and all things related to the internet.
I have a keen interest in VPNs and believe that everyone deserves internet freedom and security. I wr...
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