Hidemyass Pro VPN is no longer a good choice for torrenting or other high-privacy VPN uses (and frankly it never was a good option).
This article will cover the top reasons I believe Hidemyass is bad for torrenting, as well as recommending our favorite Hidemyass alternatives for BitTorrent, P2P and Kodi users.
- Quick Overview of Hidemyass VPN and Privax Ltd.
- What’s good about Hidemyass VPN
- Analysis of Hidemyass’s Torrent/p2p Policy
- Privacy & Logging concerns with Hidemyass
- Why you should NEVER use a VPN that keep logs when torrenting
- Detailed look at the Best Hidemyass Alternatives
Overview of Hidemyass VPN & Privax
Hidemyass VPN was founded by teenager Jack Cator in 2005 using open-source VPN software. It eventually grew into one of the most popular VPN services in the world thanks to it’s catchy name, solid software, and aggressive marketing.
However one area where Hidemyass failed to innovate along with the rest of the VPN industry was their logging policy, which over much of their history kept session data for a reported 6 months.
In 2015, Privax Ltd. (The parent company of Hidemyass) was acquired by AVG, the Antivirus giant. In our opinion, the quality of Hidemyass has mostly gone downhill since then, and their market share has dwindled as a result.
Hidemyass isn’t all bad
Don’t get me wrong, Hidemayss has some redeeming qualities (just not for torrent privacy).
Hidemyass’s Best Features:
- Supported by a Major Company: Hidemyass has the full resources of AVG (worth $1B+) behind it. That means they can afford to spend up on servers, support, and quality software. It also means security is a high priority.
- Good Software: Hidemyass’s software is easy to use, and stable on all platforms. It even includes some nifty features like in-app speed testing on specific servers.
- Servers in 190+ Countries: The breadth of HMA’s network is truly impressive. They have servers in nearly 300 cities and over 190 countries around the world. No other VPN even comes close. On the other hand, are you ever going to use a VPN server in Nigeria or Peru?
Does Hidemyass Allow Torrents? (HMA Torrent Policy)
Historically, Hidemyass has sent their customers mixed messages on whether torrents are allowed on their network.
On the one hand, Hidemyass’s website has several setup tutorials for bittorrent clients, as well as how to use Vuze’s IP-binding feature to prevent IP leakage.
But anecdotally, there are stories all over the internet (especially Reddit) about HideMyAss cancelling accounts for torrent activity. Here are two different examples.
HMA’s p2p policy according to their website
Hidemyass’s website doesn’t have a dedicated page about their BitTorrent/p2p policy like most VPN providers do. Instead, we had to build a picture of their p2p policy by searching their support pages and customer Q&A.
Here’s what we learned:
- Hidemyass ‘technically’ allows torrenting, but not of copyrighted materials
- Torrents should be downloaded using only p2p-optimized servers in Prague, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, or New York.
- Incoming torrent ports may be blocked on all other servers
- Hidemyass DOES keep metadata logs and may share your IP address history with 3rd-parties if compelled.
The real reason to avoid Hidemyass (they keep logs)
Most of the Best VPNs for Bittorrent/p2p are what’s known as ‘zero-log’ or ‘no-log’ VPN services, meaning they keep no records of VPN activity or even metadata about your connection history (ip address, time connected, etc).
The reason is simple: torrent activity is usually tracked by your public ‘torrent ip-address’, which is visible to all peers in your torrent swarms. If a VPN keeps no logs, it’s impossible to determine who was using a certain vpn-assigned IP address, so a no-log VPN provider really cannot identify specific torrent users, even if they wanted to (which most don’t).
Related: Read our ‘Safe Torrent Guide’ and learn how torrents are tracked/monitored (and how to remain anonymous)
What logs does Hidemyass keep?
Here’s the information they collect:
…We will store a time stamp and IP address when you connect and disconnect to our VPN service, the amount data transmitted (up- and download) during your session together with the IP address of the individual VPN server used by you…
and how long they keep it for:
…This data is stored on our system for between 2 and 3 months unless we are required, for legal reasons or under exceptional circumstances (including our own investigations of fraud or abuse), to retain this data for an extended period.
To be clear, they don’t actually monitor your VPN activity or the contents of your browsing history, but IP-address logs can be enough to identify individual bittorrent users. If you use bittorrent frequently and would like to keep your torrent history private, the best option is a non-logging VPN service that allows torrents.
3 Reasons you should choose a zero-log VPN instead of Hidemyass
The advantage of a non-logging VPN is simple. It provides more privacy and anonymity than any VPN provider which keeps connection/meta-data logs (like Hidemyass).
Connection logs consisting of timestamps and incoming/outgoing IP addresses can easily be used to reconstruct your torrent history by a 3rd-party torrent monitoring agency.
Here’s why a non-logging VPN is ALWAYS better for torrents:
- No Logs/No Records: No logs means no metadata, which means there’s no record of your past VPN activity. It’s near impossible to establish any link between your torrent activity and VPN usage.
- More Torrent Friendly: Zero-Log VPNs (like IPVanish and PIA) tend to be WAY more torrent-friendly because they can quickly and automatically respond to any user-data requests with a “we don’t log and don’t have any information to share” statement.
- No Cancelled accounts for Torrenting: There are hundreds of stories of users getting VPN accounts cancelled (with no refund) for downloading torrents. A real non-logging VPN has no idea what you’re downloading online (or whether you’re torrenting in the first place).
And those are just the highlights. Check out our list of the most torrent-friendly VPNs in the world for a full ranking.
THE BEST HIDEMYASS ALTERNATIVES
Here’s our list of the ‘Best Hidemyass Alternative’ VPNs.
They were selected based on several criteria including:
- Logging policy (most are zero-log)
- Software & Features
Here’s the shortlist of our top picks better for torrenting than Hidemyass. We’ll also provide a detailed look at each provider in the sections below.
- NordVPN (Socks5 proxy included. As low as $3.99/month)
- IPVanish | Review Link (Fastest VPN we’ve tested. $6.49+)
- Private Internet Access | Review Link (from $3.33/month. Includes SOCKS5 proxy)
#1 – NordVPN (BitTorrent & Netflix Optimized)
NordVPN takes the #1 spot as the best Hidemyass alternative because it leads the competition in several key features:
- p2p-optimized servers
- Extra security features like double-encryption and VPN-over-Tor
- No restrictions which servers allow torrents
- Lowest price (Under $4/month with their best offer)
- Works with Netflix & Hulu (most VPNs are blocked)
Try NordVPN Risk-Free: All NordVPN subscriptions come with a 30-day, 100% refund policy allowing you to try their service for a full month. Try NordVPN now »
30-day 100% refund policy
#2 – IPVanish (Fastest Alternative)
If speed is your main concern, look no further than IPVanish. They’ve topped our VPN speed tests most years, and consistently deliver north of 50Mbps on nearby servers (results may vary).
They’ve been a zero-log provider since 2014 and have proven a solid choice for BitTorrent users. All plans also include unlimited usage of their zero-log SOCKS5 proxy which adds an (optional) extra layer of privacy in your favorite torrent client.
Read: IPVanish Review & Speedtest 2019
7-day 100% refund policy
#3 – Private Internet Access (old-school and still awesome)
Private Internet Access is the go-to VPN for more torrent downloaders than any other provider (at least by our sites visitors).
Related: Hidemyass vs. Private Internet access (full comparison)
They were one of the first ‘zero-log’ VPN providers, and they’ve show time and time againthat they take that commitment seriously.
Proven Logging Policy: PIA actually beat the FBI in court, proving that they didn’t have any logs metadata to share.
With unlimited bandwidth plans starting at $3.99/month (1 year subscription) PIA is a bargain. They’ve been one of our favorite providers since the beginning.
And every VPN subscription includes access to their zero-log SOCKS5 proxy in the Netherlands. This works great for fast, anonymous torrenting. We have setup guides for uTorrent, Vuze, QBittorent, & Tixati.
7-day 100% refund policy
SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Hidemyass is a solid VPN provider (and reasonably priced after their latest price drop) but they aren’t the dominant force in the marketplace they were a few years ago.
If you plan on using your VPN service for torrenting, file-sharing, or other activities where your anonymity is important, you should probably look at other options besides HMA.
Recommended Option: Take advantage of NordVPN’s special offer while it’s still available.