CyberGhost VS HMA

What happens when you consider subscribing to one of two reputable VPN providers? It can be difficult to spot the differences because the more prominent players tend to mirror each other regarding features and price. And simply browsing through their respective marketing may not make those differences explicit. But there are differences – regarding protocols, encryption, streaming, torrenting, privacy practices, security, pricing, etc. – and we’ll highlight them in this review.

So in this post, we’re going to compare CyberGhost and Hide My Ass side-by-side to determine which of the two is better for the typical VPN user.

Highlights

CyberGhost

  • Works well with streaming sites
  • Adheres to a robust no-logging policy
  • Provides apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire

 

Hide My Ass

  • Doesn’t work with most streaming sites
  • Rather expensive
  • Updated privacy policy for no-logging
  • Provides apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android


CyberGhost vs Hide My Ass pricing

CyberGhostHide My Ass (5 devices)Hide My Ass (10 devices)
Subscription periodsn/a7-day free trialn/a
One monthOne monthn/a
n/aSix monthsn/a
One yearOne yearOne year
Two yearsTwo yearsTwo years
Three yearsn/aThree years
Special offer
Highest price per month$12.99$11.99$7.99
Lowest price per month$2.75$4.99$5.99
One-year price $71.88$59.88$95.88
Money-back guarantee 14 days for monthly subscriptions, 45 days for others30 days30 days

Given the above, we can see that CyberGhost is more expensive for a short-term subscription (i.e., one month). However, if you choose to go long-term, the gap narrows quite a bit. And if you go for CyberGhost’s three-year plan, you’ll be paying significantly less than what it would cost you for Hide My Ass’s three-year subscription.

Their respective money-back guarantees are also a bit of a mixed bag. CyberGhost’s refund policy is 14 days for monthly subscriptions and extends this to 45 days for all other subscriptions. In contrast, Hide My Ass provides a 30-day money-back guarantee with all its subscriptions.

CyberGhost vs Hide My Ass features

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Simultaneous connections75 or 10
Operating system appsWindows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon FireWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Manual install devicesLinux, routers, set-top boxesLinux, routers
Split tunnelingYes (with the Exceptions feature)Yes (Android only)
Free extrasAd-blocking, malware scanning, browser extensions for Chrome and FirefoxBrowser extension for Chrome

Both VPN providers are comparable in terms of compatibility. CyberGhost gets the edge for its dedicated Amazon Fire app and set-top box support. It also provides more free extras, such as ad-blocking and malware scanning – which is not available with Hide My Ass.

Both providers also support split tunneling, albeit in a limited fashion. With CyberGhost, you get the Exceptions feature. It allows you to specify certain websites that will not use the VPN tunnel. This option is only available when using OpenVPN. Hide My Ass, for its part, supports “full” split tunneling insofar that you can specify which apps use the VPN tunnel and which ones do not. However, the feature is only available on Android for some reason.

Both providers also provide Chrome browser extensions, but CyberGhost goes the extra mile and also provides a Firefox browser extension.

Regarding the number of simultaneous connections, Hide My Ass offers 5-device or 10-device plans. The latter is, of course, more expensive than the former. CyberGhost, on the other hand, provides a generous seven simultaneous connections on all its plans.

Streaming capabilities

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Streaming service
NetflixUK, US, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, and a few othersUS
HuluUS, JapanNo
Sky GoYesNo
Amazon Prime VideoYesNo
BBC iPlayerYesNo
ABCYesNo
CBSYesNo
NBCYesNo
ITV HubYesNo
Channel 4 (All 4)YesNo

Hide My Ass works well with Netflix US – and that’s pretty much it. So if you’re big on streaming over VPN, this likely won’t be enough for you.

CyberGhost’s streaming support is essentially night and day with Hide My Ass. CyberGhost supported every streaming site we threw at it.

Both providers provide sublists of servers based on what you want to accomplish.

Clicking For Streaming on the left-side of CyberGhost’s app displays all of its dedicated streaming servers. It even lists the services for which the server is optimized. With Hide My Ass, we get roughly the same thing by clicking Streaming on the left side of the app. The sublist of supported servers will be displayed, but with fewer details (the compatible streaming services are not listed).

Which of these VPNs work in China?

Neither CyberGhost nor Hide My Ass work reliably from China. CyberGhost stated that its software rarely works in China and that the issue goes beyond simply bypassing the Great Firewall. Its Support team told Comparitech that there are even some Chinese ISPs that block access to CyberGhost’s website altogether. That makes even installing CyberGhost’s app a technical challenge.

Things aren’t much better with Hide My Ass. While there’s a chance you may be able to connect from China, Hide My Ass does not guarantee access from restricted jurisdictions. You can test your luck, but if you need a VPN that can consistently work in China, you should look at other VPN providers that work in China.

Setup and interface

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Automatic setup wizardWindows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV/ FirestickWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Main location selection List-based or task-basedList-based or task-based
Extra settings pages YesYes
Mobile friendly YesYes

CyberGhost’s desktop app is well-designed and easy to navigate. When selecting servers, you can search by region or select a task from the left-hand side of the app to get a subset of servers optimized for the chosen task.

CyberGhsot App - Task-based selection

While different, Hide My Ass’s app adopts a similar design philosophy, allowing you to choose servers based on location or by specifying a task on the left. Like CyberGhost’s app, this lists the optimized servers for the selected task.

HMA App - task-based selection

Both apps provide users with a Settings page to customize the app to their needs. CyberGhost’s settings are more comprehensive than HMA’s, but that isn’t necessarily bad. It really depends on the type of VPN user you are. Many will prefer to keep things simple.

CyberGhost App - Settings

HMA App - Settings

CyberGhost and Hide My Ass provide mobile apps for iOS and Android. And both are straightforward and adapted to smaller screens.

CyberGhost - App - Mobile

HMA - App - Mobile

Servers and performance

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Server countries91210
Total number of servers8,9991,040

CyberGhost provides its users with more servers than Hide My Ass. Hide My Ass has servers in more countries but, on the whole, operates far fewer servers than CyberGhost. Which offer is better? That will depend on whether you prefer more servers or more locations.

Below is a list of countries that displays where each provider hosts VPN servers:

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Afghanistan
Andorra
Albania
Antigua and Barbuda
Anguilla
Aruba
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Aland Islands
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Aruba
Armenia
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belarus
Belize
Belgium
Benin
Bangladesh
Bermuda
Bhutan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burundi
Burkina Faso
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Islands
Cook Islands
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Costa Rica
Cote Divoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecouador
Egypt
Eritrea
Estonia
Etheopia
El Salvador
Eswatini
Finland
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Fiji
France
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Gibraltar
Grenada
Greece
Greeland
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Italy
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Isle of Man
Israel
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Nauru
Namibia
Nepal
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
Norfolk Island
North Korea
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Palestine
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Republic of the Congo
Republic of Djibouti
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
Sao Tome and Principe
San Marino
Saint Helena
Saint Lucia
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Solomon Islands
Spain
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Sweden
Switzerland
Sudan
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Togo
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks and Caicos Islands
Uganda
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Uruguay
Vatican
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia

Security

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
OpenVPN data encryption AES-256AES-256
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-4096
Cloaking technologyNoneNone
App securityAutomatic wifi protection, kill switchKill switch
DNS statusPrivate DNSPrivate DNS

The differences between the two VPN providers are pretty important in this category. CyberGhost supports OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2. All three of these VPN protocols are considered very secure. For its part, Hide My Ass supports OpenVPN (very secure), and then it also supports the weak L2TP protocol and the wholly insecure and deprecated PPTP protocol. Not only that, but OpenVPN, with Hide My Ass is only supported on Windows and Android. All other operating systems need to use L2TP/IPSec, which is soon to be deprecated. So on the security front, CyberGhost has the edge.

Both services use 256-bit AES encryption and 4096-bit RSA keys with OpenVPN (as well as with IKEv2, for CyberGhost). WireGuard uses different ciphers that are deemed very secure too.

CyberGhost vs HMA - Encryption

Both providers include a kill switch in their apps and their own DNS servers inside the VPN tunnel. Despite that, because of the protocols supported by each provider, CyberGhost is clearly the more secure service of the two.

Privacy

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
HQ baseRomaniaUnited Kingdom
Connection logsSomeSome
Activity logsNoneNone
User details for sign-upEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoinNo

CyberGhost is based in Romania, which does not have mandatory data retention laws. And while CyberGhost does collect limited connection logs for statistical purposes, that data cannot be used to identify an individual user. Beyond that, CyberGhost adheres to a robust no-logging policy and does not log any of your activities. So even if it were under legal pressure, it could not hand over what it doesn’t have in the first place. You can also sign-up using a disposable email address and pay using bitcoin for maximum privacy.

With Hide My Ass, things are a little bit different. The service is based in the UK – a Five Eyes nation. That theoretically means that other Five Eyes nations could collect information on a UK national and subsequently share that information with the UK government.

Both providers have in the past been tied to some rather dodgey privacy practices. Hide My Ass was previously in hot water when, in 2020, it was revealed that its parent company, Avast, was selling user browsing data. Prior to that, in 2011, it was revealed that Hide My Ass handed over IP logs to law enforcement, which led to the arrest of a LulzSec hacker.

It has since updated its privacy policy to make it clear that this is no longer occurring and now conforms to a solid no-logging policy. Like CyberGhost, it still collects limited connection logs. But, again, this data could not be used to single out an individual user.

In regards to CyberGhost, its parent company, Kape, was caught distributing malware in 2021. That’s definitely not what you want from your VPN provider…

Both CyberGhost and Hide My Ass have since cleaned up their act and both provide private and secure VPN services today, although CyberGhost may have the edge in terms of security.

Configuration

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Address allocationSharedShared
Static IP address possibleNoNo
DDoS protectionNoNo
Ad & malware blocking YesNo

Both CyberGhost and Hide My Ass give shared IP addresses to their users. That means all users connecting to a given VPN server will share the same IP address (the server’s IP address) as they go about their business on the internet. Shared IP addresses are better for user privacy as they make it more difficult (if not impossible) to correlate the traffic from that IP address to a specific user.

Unlike Hide My Ass, CyberGhost comes with ad and malware blocking capabilities. This is done using DNS blackholing, where DNS requests are referenced against a list of known ad networks and malware distributing domains and blocked whenever they match. This enables CyberGhost users to browse the web with far fewer ads and tracking, and enhance their protection against malware. Good stuff.

Customer service

 CyberGhostHide My Ass
Live chatYesYes
Ticket supportYesNo
Email supportYesYes
Average email response time49 minutes?
Phone supportNoNo
Searchable knowledge baseYesYes
Video guidesNoNo

CyberGhost and Hide My Ass both provide live chat and email support. CyberGhost also has a ticket system in place for Support issues. They also both provide a searchable knowledge base and several FAQs for the most common issues users may face.

To test each provider’s response time with Support emails, we sent three questions to each provider in three separate emails. The first two questions are pretty generic and common, so there’s a good chance their respective Support department would have a canned response for those (nothing wrong with that). The third question isn’t as straightforward to answer. We did that to try and see how they handle vague  questions that require explanations.

The results are below:

CyberGhost   
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
What kind of logs does CyberGhost keep?1 hour, 5 minutes1Yes
CyberGhost on a DD-WRT router?48 minutes1Yes
What's the difference between the CyberGhost app and the browser extension?34 minutes1Yes
Hide My Ass   
QuestionInitial response timeNumber of emailsQuestion answered
What kind of logs does Hide My Ass keep??1No
Hide My Ass on a DD-WRT router??1No
What's the difference between the Hide My Ass app and the browser extension??1No

At the time of writing, roughly 24 hours after sending my Support emails to both providers, I only received responses from CyberGhost. Not only that, but two out of three questions were answered in under an hour. The remaining question was answered in 1 hour and 5 minutes. That’s an excellent response time.

The answers I received were always polite and clear, and they all directly answered my questions. Each response from CyberGhost also asked me if there was anything else they could help me with. CyberGhost’s Support is quite simply fantastic.

I don’t want to come down too hard on Hide My Ass. While it has been 24 hours, and I haven’t gotten a response, it may well come later. Assuming Hide My Ass answers my questions within 48 hours, that’s still not bad. However, 48 hours is a long time to wait if you’ve got issues that prevent you from connecting to its VPN network. I’ll update this section if I get a response within 72 hours.

But regardless of whether or not that happens, CyberGhost still takes it, hands down, regarding the quality of the Support it provides its users. Its response time (as well as its responses) was stellar.

The winner: CyberGhost

CyberGhsot - Winner

While neither of these two services is bad, we feel that CyberGhost has the edge over Hide My Ass. On almost every front, CyberGhost manages to outperform Hide My Ass. CyberGhost supports more devices, operates more servers, and works with many more streaming sites. Additionally, its privacy practices are more robust, and its Support is excellent.

You could do much worse than subscribing to Hide My Ass. Easily. However, given the above results, I recommend CyberGhost over Hide My Ass.

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