HideMyAss Alternatives

If you are interested in VPNs you probably heard about HideMyAss. Because of its impressive server coverage and inexpensive price, HideMyAss is the most popular and largest VPN service provider on the market. Unfortunately HideMyAss keep logs (for up to 2 years, no kidding). If you feel uneasy about this, the good news is there are many great HideMyAss alternatives you can choose from, each with its own pros and cons.

Why I Use HMA?

I have been using HideMyAss for years for a simple reason: speed. The closer I’m to a physical VPN server the faster my connection, simple physics. Because of their world-wide coverage, I can virtually live anywhere, have great connection speeds and access to region restricted content no matter where I am or what I want to access. I also use HMA to secure a public Wi-Fi connection!

Because HideMyAss keeps logs (for up to 2 years in some cases), I use something other than HMA for my really sensitive tasks, such as private emails, online banking, online health records etc. Why? Because I value privacy and firmly believe that nobody has the right to snoop into my personal affairs, as in EVER!

HideMyAss Alternatives

So what are some great hidemyass alternatives? The VPN marketplace is way overcrowded. The easiest way to make sense of it is by dividing VPN services into groups starting with the information they log, which can then be further divided based on jurisdiction, number and distribution of VPN servers, and price. Generally speaking VPN providers that keep logs have the same benefits and downsides as HideMyAss, while non-logging providers, especially based in countries with strong privacy protections, offer a higher degree of privacy.

Non-logging providers

  • Private Internet Access (PIA)

    Located in U.S., PIA, short for Private Internet Access, is probably the second most popular VPN on the market, next to HideMyAss. Unlike HideMyAss which keeps logs, PIA doesn’t keep any logs – a true non-logging VPN. In many Internet community website such as: reddit.com, people often recommend PIA as the alternative to HMA. Because of the recent NSA’s scandal, many people have questioned wether they should choose a U.S. VPN company to protect your online privacy. Here is what PIA has to say.

    Where are you located?

    We are located in the US. Being in the US is optimal for VPN Privacy services since the US is one of the few countries that does not have a mandatory data retention policy. Countries in the EU are forced to log, even though some claim they do not.

    Do you keep any log?

    We do not maintain any logs of any kind, period.

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    Private Internet Access U.S. $6.95 No Logs
  • Privacy.io

    Privacy.io is an Australia based VPN provider that doesn’t log any user data. Their subscriptions start at Euro 0.50/day. Currently their server network is limited, but plans to expand are on the way.

    Where are you located?

    Australia.

    Do you keep any logs?

    We don not keep any logs and go out of our way to disconnect usernames from payments to protect our customer’s anonymity.

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    Privacy.io Australia 0.50/day No Logs
  • BTGuard

    BTGuard is a Canadian based VPN provider that allows torrents and costs USD 9.95/month. Currently they only accept PayPal and Bitcoin. Unlike HMA, BTGuard doesn’t keep logs of any kind.

    Where are you located?

    The jurisdiction is Canada.

    Do you keep any logs?

    We do not keep any logs whatsoever.

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    BTGuard Canada $9.95 No Logs
  • TorGuard

    Located in Panama, TorGuard doesn’t keep any logs. They offer a variety of proxy and VPN services starting at USD 4.99/months. TorGuard accepts credit cards, bitcoin, PayPal, Google Checkout and OK Pay, in other words, you can be as anonymous as you want to be. Running an anonymous non-logging VPN has its challenges, such as keeping trouble makers at bay. On spotting any abuse on their servers, TorGuard will change the firewall rules on those servers rather than blocking individual users. That way they can maintain their service while keeping their promises to their customers.

    Where are you located?

    Panama

    Do you keep any logs?

    We don’t keep any logs, not even for a second.

     

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    TorGuard Panama $4.99 No Logs
  • VPN4ALL

    VPN4ALL is incorporated in the Netherlands, but to circumvent the sometimes strict EU record keeping requirements, their server network is run by Web Broadcasting Ltd in the Seychelles. VPN4ALL uses military-strength encryption and accepts credit cards, PayPal, Payza and some local payment methods. They provide simple-to-install software that allows you to easily access their global server network. Pricing plans start at USD 5.95/month.

    Where are you located?

    Seychelles/Netherlands

    Do you keep any logs?

    No

     

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    VPN4ALL Seychelles/Netherlands $5.95 No Logs
  • PureVPN

    Hong Kong based PureVPN doesn’t log user activity. Starting at USD 9.95/month, PureVPN offers strong encryption, world-wide connectivity, and fast speeds. PureVPN also offers “split tunneling”, a feature you don’t usually get from other VPN services. “split tunneling” allows you to select what programs must use the VPN in order to connect to a network. During our testing their service performed well, which makes PureVPN a great alternative to HMA.

    Where is PureVPN located?

    Hong Kong

    Does PureVPN keep logs?

    No, we don’t keep any logs.

     

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    PureVPN Hong Kong $9.95 No Logs

Popular VPN providers that keep logs or partial logs

  • IPVanish

    IPVanish offers first rate service starting at USD 6.49/month. Similar to HMA, IPVanish keeps logs that they rotate on a frequent basis, but they provide share IP’s making it practically impossible to single out an individual users activity. IPVanish supports OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols. Their website has setup instructions for most operating systems and devices.

    Where is IPVanish located?

    US

    Does IPVanish keep logs?

    While we do not monitor, record or store logs for any single customer’s VPN activity, we do record the following data:

    • Timestamp (date and server time) of the connection to us
    • Duration of the connection
    • IP address used for the connection
    • Bytes transferred
  • VyprVPN

    VyprVPN is one of the two services offered by goldenfrog.com a Switzerland-based company, the other is DumpTruck, a secure online file storage solution. Goldenfrog operates their own server network and data centers, so they (and you) don’t have to rely on third party solutions. They don’t do shallow or deep packet inspection, don’t discriminate against devices, protocols or applications, and don’t limit or throttle your Internet connection. A sweet deal starting at USD 6.67/month for one connection via PPTP. Because of the security problems with PPTP you might want to consider VyprVPN Pro for USD 8.33/month which gives you 2 concurrent connections and OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec, 2 more secure protocols than PPTP.

    Where are you located?

    The jurisdiction is Switzerland.

    Do you keep any logs?

    Whereas we do not perform deep packet inspection we do keep data for use with billing, troubleshooting, service offering evaluation, TOS issues and AUP issues.

     

    Provider Jurisdictions Price Logging Policy
    VyprVPN US $8.33 No Logs
  • ExpressVPN

    The US based ExpressVPN allows you to connect either with their own dialer software or by manually setting up a connection via OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec or SSTP. They charge USD 8.32 for unlimited bandwidth if billed annually and offer a 30-day money back guarantee in case you aren’t happy with their service.

    Where are you located?

    US

    Do you keep any logs?

    In addition to the information you provide through our order-form, we may store the following pieces of data: IP address, times when connected to our service, and the total amount of data transferred per day. We store this to be able to deliver the best possible network experience to you. We keep this information secure and private.

Conclusion-Recommendations

The UN Declaration of Human Rights clearly states every human’s right to privacy. Unfortunately we are on our own to protect this right as many governments see it as advantageous to collect massive amounts of data about their citizens and anybody else they can get their hands on. This behavior clearly exceeds what is necessary to protect their citizens and in most cases goes beyond the legal framework those governments are supposed to operate within.

But governments aren’t the only offenders, Google, Microsoft, Apple your local Internet provider, your mobile phone company and many others cleverly hiding out of sight desire to know as much about you as possible, usually to “enhance” your Internet experience (BS!), to keep the Internet free for everyone (more BS!) and various other phony reasons (even more BS!).

Tor and VPNs are the two viable options that can effectively protect your privacy online. Although Tor offers better anonymity compared with VPNs, it is also more difficult to use. Another noticeable drawback of Tor is its speed; Tor is slow, a lot slower than most VPN services. If you’re deciding whether to choose Tor or VPN for Bit-torrenting or accessing region restricted content, your best option is VPN.

To access region restricted content your main concern is speed and VPN server locations. Make sure you connect to a server close by and that the VPN provider has IP addresses within the region you are trying to access. Check out the following service: HMA (61,000+ IP’s in 63 countries).

Most VPN providers don’t clearly state whether they allow BitTorrent. To avoid getting your account suspended or even cancelled, you should choose providers that officially support BitTorrent. You should also consider providers with large VPN coverage and fast connection speed. BtGuard, TorGuard and AirVPN all officially allow Bit-torrenting.

Not all VPN providers treat your anonymity equally. Some will keep your information for years, some choose to keep no record about you of any kind. The less a VPN provider knows about you the better, hence anonymous payment methods or free services requiring no registration (such as Tor) are best suited to protect your anonymity. I recommend having a look at the following service which offer the best anonymity: Private Internet Access with Bitcoin

Finally I should mention that doing business with any VPN provider requires trust, and a lot of it, because a VPN provider potentially has access to every thing you do online. After all you don’t want to replace one evil with another! Therefore, the more paranoid of us are best advised to set up our own VPN server, a pain to do, but certainly not impossible either depending on your level of technical know-how. Check out these pages for more details:

I hope I was able to provide you with a good overview of alternatives to HideMyAss. You might want to check out some of our in-depth reviews of the services I mentioned. Please note that some of the links are affiliate links, after all, we got to keep the lights on ;-)
Image Credit: Garuna bor-bor

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