HMA Review: Quick Expert Summary
HMA VPN has really good security features, very intuitive and fun apps (that feature a funny animated donkey), and 1,000+ servers in 210+ countries, but it’s only good for secure and fast browsing and torrenting.
In addition to industry-standard security features like a kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and a strict no-logs policy, HMA VPN also offers:
- IP Shuffle.
- Dedicated P2P servers.
- Tor over VPN.
- And more …
However, there are a lot of issues preventing HMA VPN from competing with the top VPNs on the market — it lacks advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, it doesn’t work with a lot of popular streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu (despite having dedicated streaming servers), it doesn’t work in restrictive countries, its quick-connect feature is buggy, it’s expensive, and its customer support is terrible.
HMA VPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, offers multiple monthly and yearly plans, and backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|🏅 Overall Rank||#21 out of 78 VPNs|
|📱 Number of Devices||10|
|💸 Starting Price||$2.99 / month|
|🎁 Free Plan||No|
|💰 Money-Back Guarantee||30 days|
HMA VPN Full Review
I spent a few weeks testing and researching HMA VPN to see if it’s secure, fast, and easy to use.
HMA VPN secures your data with industry-standard features, offers extra features like IP Shuffle and Tor over VPN support, has easy-to-use apps for all of the major platforms, and maintains good speeds on nearby and distant servers.
But there are a lot of things I didn’t like about HMA VPN — it lacks advanced security features, doesn’t work with top streaming services, doesn’t have obfuscation tools, is pricier than most VPNs, and has terrible customer support.
Overall, HMA VPN is an intuitive VPN that is good for secure browsing and torrenting, but it falls short in too many other areas for me to rank it as one of the best VPNs in 2022.
HMA VPN Features
HMA VPN has the following industry-standard VPN security features:
- 256-bit AES encryption. HMA VPN uses bank-grade encryption to secure your internet traffic.
- No-logs policy. HMA VPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited and confirmed, but the audit report hasn’t been released to the public.
- Kill switch. This feature disables your internet access if the VPN disconnects to prevent accidental exposure of your data (available on Windows and macOS).
I also really like the App Kill Switch, which allows you to deny specific apps (like torrent clients) from accessing the internet if the VPN disconnects. This way, it will prevent you from torrenting if you lose the VPN connection, but you can continue your other online activities undisturbed. And I really like that HMA VPN automatically connects to a VPN server when you open apps that you assign to the App Kill Switch.
HMA VPN uses 2 VPN protocols: OpenVPN (Android and Windows) and IKEv2/IPSec (iOS and macOS). While both protocols are very secure and have good speeds (IKEv2/IPSec is faster than OpenVPN), I’d like to see HMA VPN add WireGuard in the future. In addition to having great security, WireGuard is much faster than IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN.
I like that HMA VPN includes built-in IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection on all devices. Many other top VPNs like VyprVPN make you manually disable IPv6 and WebRTC, so it’s nice to see that HMA VPN handles everything for you in the background.
HMA VPN supports The Onion Router (Tor) on all of its servers — you just have to download the free Tor browser and connect to a VPN server before browsing the Tor network. While the Tor network is pretty secure, it could still accidentally leak your IP address. But if your IP is leaked while you’re connected to HMA VPN, only HMA VPN’s IP address will get leaked — and not your personal IP address. Tor over VPN connections normally slow down your speeds because of the multiple levels of encryption, but I was impressed that Tor websites loaded in 2-3 seconds with HMA VPN. Although it was easy to browse the Tor network with HMA VPN, I still prefer to use ProtonVPN, which lets you browse Tor sites in normal browsers like Firefox and Chrome (you don’t need to download and use the Tor browser).
HMA VPN also has other extra features, including split-tunneling, IP Shuffle, IP Refresh, and a built-in speed test.
Split-tunneling lets you choose which apps go through the VPN tunnel and which apps go through your local network. HMA VPN’s split-tunneling works really well (but it’s only available on Android) — I tested it by downloading a file while connected to a Czech server, and I watched content on YouTube through my internet service provider’s (ISP’s) network. I was able to securely and quickly download the file and watch my favorite videos at the same time without experiencing slowdowns.
HMA VPN lets you split-tunnel apps and web browsers, unlike top competitors like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN, which both only allow you to split-tunnel apps. That said, I still prefer ProtonVPN and Private Internet Access — both VPNs let you split-tunnel IP addresses, which basically allows you to exclude specific websites instead of an entire browser.
Overall, HMA VPN has good split-tunneling, but only on Android. I’d like to see HMA VPN add this feature at least to the Windows app in the future — it’s rare to find split-tunneling on macOS and iOS. On the plus side, HMA VPN’s split-tunneling works well, there are no bugs, and it’s very easy to use.
HMA VPN’s IP Shuffle feature lets you choose how often the VPN app changes your IP address during the VPN session (very few VPNs offer this). IP Shuffle will assign you a new IP address from the same server location (country and city) you’re connected to.
I really like how customizable this feature is — you can pick from 5 different intervals (30 minutes, 1 hour, 6 hours, 12 hours, and daily), or you can manually enter any length of time you prefer. It’s a good feature because it provides more security by making it harder for someone to track your location. IP Shuffle is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
HMA VPN recommends enabling the kill switch to avoid traffic leaks when you use IP Shuffle — this is because you’re actually disconnected from the VPN for a few seconds when HMA VPN changes your IP.
Overall, HMA VPN’s IP Shuffle feature changes your VPN IP at specific intervals, making it very difficult for someone to monitor it.
HMA VPN’s IP Refresh gives you a new VPN IP address with 1 click — without having to disconnect and then reconnect to the VPN server. IP Refresh is available on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS.
I tested this feature with popular streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime to see if it would help me avoid detection. Unfortunately, HMA VPN’s IP Refresh feature didn’t work very well — even after 10 IP refreshes, I still was denied access to those sites.
VyprVPN has a similar feature — its proprietary Chameleon protocol automatically refreshes your IP during the VPN session. But it works better because it can access most streaming sites (except Disney+).
Overall, HMA VPN’s IP Refresh feature is very convenient, but it’s not very good.
Built-In Speed Test
HMA VPN has a built-in speed test that lets you test specific locations to find the fastest server, but its results are overinflated. I tested this feature alongside a third-party speed test from Ookla, and HMA VPN’s speed test was not accurate. HMA VPN’s speed test said I would have the fastest speeds (200 Mbps) with a server in nearby Austria rather than with a server in my home country (Romania). I tested the Austrian server using Ookla Speedtest, but my speeds were actually 31% slower than on the server in Romania.
ExpressVPN’s built-in speed test is very accurate and always recommends the fast servers based on your location. I ran multiple speed tests with ExpressVPN’s speed test tool, and my download speeds were always similar to my results with Ookla’s Speedtest.
Overall, HMA VPN’s built-in speed test is convenient and easy to use, but it displays higher speeds than what third-party speed tests show.
HMA VPN Privacy & Security
HMA VPN has a clear no-logs policy — it doesn’t log your IP address, online traffic (visited sites and downloaded files), bandwidth, and timestamps. HMA VPN only logs your email address for communication purposes.
HMA VPN is headquartered in the UK, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share surveillance data). But HMA VPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited and verified by cybersecurity company VerSprite — so even if UK authorities requested user data, HMA VPN wouldn’t have anything to hand over. But I’d like to see HMA VPN publish the results of the audit for full transparency (like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN, and TunnelBear).
Overall, HMA VPN has a transparent and straightforward no-logs policy that has been independently audited and confirmed.
HMA VPN Speed & Performance
I ran speed tests in 60+ countries in all regions of the world where HMA VPN has a server to determine my average VPN speeds. I experienced a 94% slowdown, but I live in Romania, which has very fast internet speed tests. While I had big slowdowns on very distant servers in Japan, Australia, and Mongolia, I still had good speeds on local servers in Romania and servers in Europe and the US. My colleague in the US also performed speed tests to get a fairer sense of HMA VPN’s speeds — on average, he experienced a 37% slowdown, which is above average.
I started with a speed test of my local network to get a baseline for my speeds:
I then used HMA VPN’s quick-connect feature (Lightning Connect), which automatically connected me to the fastest server based on my location. Instead of connecting me to a server in Romania, I was connected to a server in neighboring Hungary. My speeds decreased by 94%, which is a lot. Even so, websites and HD videos loaded instantly. However, 4K videos loaded in 5 seconds, and I experienced minor buffering while skipping through them.
I also manually connected to a server in Romania, and my speeds were faster than on the Hungary server (I was not happy that Lightning Connect failed to connect me to the fastest server). My 4K videos loaded instantly and didn’t buffer while I skipped through them.
Next, I tested a VPN server in the US. I experienced a 93% slowdown. Websites and HD videos instantly loaded, but 4K videos took 5 seconds to load and buffered frequently. But I didn’t experience any freezes during Voice over IP (VoIP) calls.
Finally, I ran a speed test on a Japanese server and experienced the biggest slowdown — websites loaded in 5 seconds and HD and 4K videos took 10 seconds to load (and they buffered very frequently). My VoIP calls took longer to connect, and I even experienced dropped calls.
Internet speeds in Romania are very fast, so it’s not fair to compare my results to what people from other countries might see. That’s why I asked my colleague in the US to also run some speed tests.
First, he ran a speed test while connected to his local network to get a baseline of his speeds.
Next, he used Lightning Connect and was connected to a server in New York. He experienced a 15% drop in speed, which is really good, and he was able to browse, torrent, stream, and play video games as if he wasn’t using a VPN. My colleague manually connected to a couple of other nearby servers — 2 out of the 3 servers were faster than the server he was connected to via Lightning Connect, but the difference was only between 5-7% (it still shows Lightning Connect is not very accurate).
When my colleague connected to a server in France, his speeds were reduced by an average of 14%, which is even slightly less than the decrease he experienced when connected to a local VPN server in the US. He noticed a very minor slowdown during his online activities — websites took up to 3 seconds to load, and YouTube videos started in 1-2 seconds.
Finally, he connected to a server in Australia, which is one of the most distant servers from his location. While his speeds were reduced by 71%, my colleague reported that he had similar speeds for browsing, streaming, and playing video games as he did in France.
Overall, my colleague and I had the fastest speeds with HMA VPN on local servers (in Romania and the US), but our speeds remained fast even on the most distant servers. But I experienced noticeable slowdowns while connected to very distant servers in East Asia, and I didn’t like that the quick-connect feature failed to connect me to the fastest server.
HMA VPN Servers & IP Addresses
HMA VPN has 1,000+ servers in 220+ countries and 290+ locations. While other VPNs have more servers (ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers, and CyberGhost VPN has 7,400+), HMA VPN provides the most countries and locations. This makes it very easy for just about any user in the world to find a nearby server to get good speeds.
I like that HMA VPN shows the cities for some countries, but I wish it would also show the server load percentage (how many active users are connected to a server) or latency (how long it takes the internet signal to travel from your device to the server). That information makes it easier to determine which servers have the fastest speeds. ProtonVPN displays the server load percentage, while Private Internet Access displays the latency.
I’d also like to see HMA VPN offer better P2P support. It allows P2P traffic on servers in only 6 countries, including in the US, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the Czech Republic — users in other parts of the world won’t be able to connect to nearby servers to get fast download speeds. When I tried torrenting on HMA VPN’s non-dedicated P2P servers, my downloads stalled. While I had pretty fast download speeds with HMA VPN (I downloaded an 18 GB file in 25 minutes while connected to a P2P server in the US), I prefer to use other VPNs for torrenting, like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, which both let you torrent on all of their servers and have faster speeds.
HMA VPN has dedicated streaming servers in the US, the UK, and Germany. But when my team members from the US and the UK tested them, these servers didn’t work with Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+. We also tested non-dedicated streaming servers, but they didn’t work either.
Unfortunately, HMA VPN doesn’t have dedicated IP addresses (IP addresses that are only assigned to you). If you need a dedicated IP, Private Internet Access and CyberGhost VPN offer them for a small additional cost, and PrivateVPN offers free dedicated IPs.
Overall, HMA VPN doesn’t have as many servers as other VPNs, but it has servers in tons of countries around the world to provide almost any user with a nearby server location for fast speeds. While the dedicated streaming servers don’t work with streaming apps, HMA VPN supports P2P traffic on servers in 6 countries.
HMA VPN Streaming & Torrenting
HMA VPN is able to access BBC iPlayer, but it can’t access Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu — my team members and I were unable to watch streaming content while connected to HMA VPN’s dedicated streaming servers. But we were able to unblock less popular sites like VRV, Pandora Radio, and Sony Crackle.
HMA is decent for torrenting — it allows P2P traffic, but only on servers in the US, the UK, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. In my tests, I had very good speeds for downloading files, and I was able to use all of the most popular torrent clients (qBittorrent, uTorrent, Deluge, and more). But HMA VPN doesn’t have port forwarding, which allows you to connect to more peers to get faster speeds.
Before I downloaded any files while connected to HMA VPN’s P2P servers, I ran leak tests on servers in all 6 P2P locations. Fortunately, I never saw any leaks.
Overall, HMA VPN is not good for streaming, but it provides pretty good torrenting support. My team members and I weren’t able to watch Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, but my colleague in the UK was able to access BBC iPlayer. And while HMA VPN only allows P2P traffic in 6 server locations, it’s compatible with popular torrent clients, doesn’t suffer leaks, and has good download speeds.
HMA VPN Bypassing Censorship
HMA VPN doesn’t work in restrictive countries. It doesn’t have obfuscation tools that can overcome internet firewalls.
If you’re in a restrictive country, I recommend using ExpressVPN because it consistently bypasses VPN blocks.
HMA VPN Plans & Pricing
HMA has 1-month, 6-month, 12-month, 24-month, and 36-month subscription plans, as well as 3 HMA for Business plans. All of the personal plans allow up to 10 simultaneous connections and include the same features.
HMA VPN’s 1-month plan is similarly priced as other top VPNs, but the 6-month, 12-month, and 24-month plans are pricey. HMA VPN’s 36-month plan offers the best value and it costs $2.99 / month.
HMA VPN’s Business Plan offers a 1-month and a 1-year subscription plan for either 10, 20, or 30 simultaneous connections.
HMA VPN accepts 20+ payment methods including credit cards, PayPal, Alipay, Giropay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. But I was a little disappointed that HMA VPN doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments, which offer more privacy. If you want a VPN that accepts crypto payments, I recommend Private Internet Access.
HMA VPN backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, HMA VPN has flexible payment plans, but they are pricier than other top VPNs. While HMA VPN doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments, it accepts about two dozen other forms of payment and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
HMA VPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps
I installed HMA VPN on my Android and iOS smartphones in 1-2 minutes, and it took 3-4 minutes to add HMA VPN on my Windows 10 PC and MacBook Pro.
I really like HMA VPN’s Android app — it’s really well-designed, easy to navigate, has 1-click connections, makes it very simple to manually select a server, and all settings have explanations.
I also love the animated donkey logo that wears a different disguise every time you connect to a server — too bad the disguises don’t vary based on the country you connect to.
The Android app is the only one that has split-tunneling. Also, it comes with IP Shuffle, IP Refresh, full leak protection, and OpenVPN. There’s an Auto-Connect option that lets you configure HMA VPN to automatically connect to a server when you use unsecured WiFi, secured WiFi, and mobile data. And I like the Wi-Fi Threat Scan feature — it scans WiFi networks when the VPN is off and alerts you or automatically connects you to a server if it finds any threats.
That said, I don’t like how HMA VPN’s Android app is missing a kill switch (HMA VPN claims it has a kill switch for Android, but I didn’t find it even when I followed its step-by-step instructions). When I emailed customer support requesting more information, I never received a response. If you’re looking for a really good kill switch for Android, I recommend Private Internet Access. Also, HMA VPN’s Android app lacks the built-in speed test, but that’s not a big loss since it’s inaccurate.
Overall, HMA VPN’s Android app is good. While there’s no kill switch, it has a very intuitive interface, it’s feature-rich, and it’s fun to use.
HMA VPN’s iOS app is nearly identical to its Android app. The design is the same, and it’s just as easy to automatically and manually connect to a server. HMA VPN’s iOS app also has full leak protection, the IP Refresh and IP Shuffle features, and the automatic connection options for WiFi networks and mobile data.
The iOS app uses IKEv2/IPSec, which is secure and provides fast speeds. But it doesn’t have the Wi-Fi Threat Scan feature, split-tunneling, and the kill switch. That said, most VPN iOS apps don’t have split-tunneling and kill switches (Private Internet Access is one of the few VPNs that has a kill switch for iOS).
Overall, there are better iOS VPN apps out there, but HMA VPN’s app is still easy to use and has good features.
HMA VPN’s desktop apps are similar to its mobile apps in design, except that they have a convenient side panel on the home screen where you can access the built-in speed test, monitor your data usage, and quickly enable or disable the kill switch and auto-connect features.
You can easily connect to a server with 1 click, it’s simple to manually select a server, and it’s very easy to navigate the app. And the animated donkey logo is still present to keep you company (I also love TunnelBear’s desktop apps, which display an adorable bear wearing a hat that resembles the country you connect to).
The desktop apps don’t have split-tunneling, but you get a kill switch, including the app-based kill switch. The apps also have full leak protection, secure protocols (OpenVPN on Windows and IKEv2/IPSec on macOS), and the IP Shuffle and IP Refresh features.
Overall, I’m happy with HMA VPN’s desktop apps. There’s no split-tunneling, but the Windows and macOS apps have very good security features.
HMA VPN’s Apps: Is HMA VPN Easy to Use?
HMA VPN has very easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. The desktop apps are slightly different from the mobile apps, but it’s very simple to transition between them due to the intuitive design.
I like the desktop apps the most because they have a kill switch, IP Refresh, IP Shuffle, and auto-connect. But the Android app is also really good — it has almost the same features as the Windows app, but it also comes with split-tunneling.
HMA VPN Customer Service
I was very disappointed with HMA VPN’s customer support. It offers good setup tutorials, but the frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guides, and community forum are not up to the standards that I expect from top VPNs, Also, HMA VPN’s email support is awful, and there’s no way to contact a live chat representative.
HMA VPN’s support guides (called the Knowledge Base) are neatly organized by device, include a handful of articles, and provide information on features, connectivity issues, and more. However, a few of the guides are outdated, and only some of the troubleshooting guides answered my questions — I had to reach out to a customer support rep to resolve my issues more often than I did with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
The community forum is very easy to navigate and it’s simple to post a question, but I don’t think the forum is helpful. HMA VPN customer support reps typically respond within a day, but they don’t fully answer the question left by the user, or they say a support ticket was created for the user — what’s the point of a community forum if the reps are only going to open a support ticket instead of answering the question that was asked? I really like VyprVPN’s community forum — the customer support reps always provide helpful answers.
HMA VPN’s email support is really disappointing. I sent the support team 10+ emails, but I only received a response to 1 email — and it took 3 days and the support rep only answered a part of my question. Many of the top VPNs like Private Internet Access and VyprVPN respond to emails within 2-3 hours and provide thorough and informative information.
HMA VPN says that it offers live chat but it’s not available. When I clicked on the Help button and requested to speak to a live chat representative through the bot, the live chat window never opened. My only option was to leave a message and have the support reps contact me through email — but I didn’t want to do this because I hardly received a response from the email support team! ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN all have excellent 24/7 live chat that is easy to access, and the reps are responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable.
Overall, HMA VPN has lousy customer support. There are decent setup guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting articles, but its community forum is mostly useless, its email support is unresponsive, and there’s no way to contact live chat.
Is HMA VPN a Good VPN in 2022?
HMA VPN is secure, has easy-to-use apps, 1,000+ servers in 210+ countries, and fast speeds, but it’s only really good for secure browsing and torrenting.
When it comes to security, HMA VPN protects your data with 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy (that’s been independently audited), a kill switch, and full leak protection. HMA VPN supports torrenting on dedicated servers in 6 countries, and it also offers extra features like split-tunneling (only on Android), IP Shuffle (provides more privacy by changing your IP address during the VPN session), Tor over VPN.
That said, HMA VPN has some major drawbacks. It lacks advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, it doesn’t work with popular streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime, its quick-connect feature doesn’t always connect you to the fastest server, it doesn’t work in restrictive countries, it’s pricier than most competitors, its email support is terrible, and its live chat is unavailable.
HMA VPN allows up to 10 connections, has flexible payment plans, and backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
HMA VPN Frequently Asked Questions
Does HMA VPN work with Netflix?
No, HMA VPN doesn’t work with Netflix. HMA VPN has dedicated streaming servers for Netflix, but they didn’t work during my team’s tests (we always got the proxy error message).
HMA VPN also can’t access other popular streaming sites like Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, and Disney+, but it does work with BBC iPlayer and smaller sites like VRV, Sony Crackle, and Pandora Radio.
If you need a VPN that consistently works with Netflix and other top streaming apps, I recommend ExpressVPN.
Is HMA VPN free?
I normally don’t recommend using free VPNs — they lack important security features, have slow speeds, set a limit on your data, and have buggy apps. But if you really want a free VPN, ProtonVPN has the best free plan one out there — it’s very secure, comes with unlimited data, maintains good speeds, and provides access to servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands.
Is HMA VPN good for torrenting?
HMA VPN is P2P-friendly, but there are better torrenting VPNs out there. While it has good download speeds and works with popular torrent clients, it only allows torrenting on servers in 6 countries (so it may be hard for some users to find a nearby server).
My favorite VPN for torrenting is ExpressVPN — it allows P2P traffic on all of its 3,000+ servers, has some of the fastest speeds in the industry, and works with all of the major torrenting clients.
Does HMA VPN keep logs?
No, HMA VPN doesn’t log your IP address or internet traffic (the sites you visit and the files you download), and its no-logs policy has been independently audited and verified.