HMA vs Hotspot Shield

As the demand for online privacy and security grows, the competition between VPN providers intensifies. Today, we’ll put two popular VPNs under the microscope: Hide My Ass (HMA) and Hotspot Shield.

We’ll compare them in pricing, features, streaming and unblocking capabilities, performance, usability, security, privacy, configuration options, customer service, and more.


Hide My Ass

  • Large network of servers
  • User-friendly interface
  • Strong encryption
  • No logs policy

Hotspot Shield

  • Fast speeds
  • Affordable pricing
  • Excellent unblocking capabilities
  • Works in China

HMA vs Hotspot Shield pricing

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Subscription periodsOne month, Six months, one year, two years, three yearsOne month, one year, three years
Highest price per month$11.99$12.99
Lowest monthly cost$2.99 per month$2.99
One year price$59.88$95.99
Money-back guarantee30 days45 days
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

In the world of VPNs, pricing is an essential factor to consider, as it often reflects the quality of service and the range of features provided. Hide My Ass and Hotspot Shield offer competitive pricing structures with different plans to suit user needs and budgets.

Hide My Ass

  1. Monthly Plan: Priced at $11.99 monthly, this plan suits users requiring a short-term VPN or avoiding committing to a long-term subscription. This flexibility benefits travelers or individuals who need a VPN for a specific purpose.
  2. Annual Plan: The annual plan, priced at $59.88, breaks down to a cost of $4.99 per month, offering significant savings compared to the monthly plan. This plan is ideal for users who want a long-term VPN solution and are willing to commit for a year.
  3. Three-Year Plan: The most cost-effective option is the three-year plan, which costs $107.64 or $2.99 monthly. This plan offers the best value for users who are confident in their choice and want to enjoy the benefits of a VPN for an extended period.

Hotspot Shield

  1. Monthly Plan: Hotspot Shield’s monthly plan is priced at $12.99, slightly higher than Hide My Ass. This plan caters to users who need short-term VPN access or prefer a month-to-month commitment without being tied to a longer-term contract.
  2. Annual Plan: The yearly plan is priced at $95.88, which comes out to $7.99 per month. With a 38% discount on their annual plan, Hotspot Shield becomes a more affordable option for users willing to commit for a year.

It’s important to remember that VPN prices can change over time, and providers may offer promotions or special discounts. So always check the provider’s website for the most up-to-date pricing information.

Money-back Guarantee

Hide My Ass gives users a 30-day money-back guarantee, while Hotspot Shield outshines its competitor with a 45-day guarantee.

Payment Methods

Hide My Ass accepts payments through credit cards, PayPal, and UnionPay. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield accepts credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies as payment methods, offering more flexibility for privacy-conscious users.

HMA vs Hotspot Shield features

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Simultaneous connections5 or 1010
Operating System AppsWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Android tv, Apple TV, Linux, Routers, Consoles,Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV
Manual install devicesSet-top boxes, Linux, routersSelect routers
Split tunellingon Android
Free extrasAutomatic wifi protection and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and VivaldiBrowser extensions (Chrome, Edge, and Firefox), built-in speed tester
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan


Hide My Ass makes native VPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, ensuring comprehensive platform support for users. These native apps are designed to protect your entire device by routing all your traffic through the VPN. Additionally, Hide My Ass provides browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These extensions, unlike native apps, only protect your browser traffic, making them suitable for users who want a lightweight solution for browsing privacy.

Hotspot Shield makes native VPN apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, ensuring compatibility across various devices. In addition, like Hide My Ass, Hotspot Shield offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, allowing users to secure their browser traffic without installing a full-featured VPN app.

Connection Limits

Hide My Ass allows up to 5 simultaneous connections per account, enabling users to secure multiple devices with a single subscription. This can be particularly beneficial for families or individuals who own multiple devices and want to ensure their privacy and security.

Hotspot Shield also offers up to 5 simultaneous connections, matching Hide My Ass in this category.

Free Extras

  • Split Tunneling: HMA offers split tunneling, a feature that allows users to choose which apps or websites should use the VPN connection and which should bypass it. This feature can be helpful for users who want to access local and international content simultaneously or maintain optimal speeds for specific apps. However, it’s worth noting that split tunneling is only available on HMA’s Android app.
  • Password Manager: Hotspot Shield offers a password manager for its subscription. A password manager helps users securely store and manage their login credentials for various online accounts. This added feature enhances users’ online security by encouraging strong, unique passwords and simplifying password management.
  • Spam Call-Blocking Service: Hotspot Shield also provides a spam call-blocking service that helps users avoid unwanted and annoying calls. This feature saves time and enhances privacy by limiting exposure to potentially malicious callers.

Streaming and unblocking

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Unblocks Netflix US
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks DAZN
Unblocks Disney+
Unblocks HBO Max
Unblocks Hulu
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks YouTube TV
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass works with various streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Sky Go. In addition, by connecting to servers in the appropriate countries, users can access these services outside the regions where the content is officially available. However, Hide My Ass may struggle to unblock some platforms, such as ABC and Prime Video. These streaming services have become increasingly adept at detecting and blocking VPN connections.

Hotspot Shield is also effective with popular streaming services. It can access Netflix (with multiple regional libraries), Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Like Hide My Ass, users can connect to servers in the relevant countries to access the desired content.

Like Hide My Ass, Hotspot Shield may encounter difficulties when attempting to unblock specific platforms like ABC and Sky Go due to the advanced VPN-blocking techniques employed by these services.

It’s important to note that while using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions is not illegal in most countries, it does violate the terms of service of most streaming platforms. As a result, your account could be suspended or terminated if the streaming service detects that you are using a VPN to bypass its restrictions.


HMA vs Hotspot Shield in China

Operating a VPN service in China can be challenging due to the country’s strict internet censorship laws and the Great Firewall of China, designed to block VPNs and other tools that allow users to bypass restrictions. Hide My Ass has inconsistent performance in China, making it a less reliable option for users in the country. However, Hotspot Shield works reliably in China, making it an excellent choice for VPN users.

Servers and performance

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Server countries290+80+
Total number of servers1,080+1,800
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass has a vast server network with over 1,100 servers across more than 210+ countries. This wide distribution ensures that users can find a server close to their location, which can help improve connection speeds and reduce latency.

However, many of Hide My Ass’s servers are virtual, marked with a “v” on their website. Virtual servers are software-defined servers that simulate a physical server’s presence in a specific location. While these servers can help expand the provider’s coverage, physical servers may perform better due to potential latency and congestion issues.

Regarding performance, Hide My Ass emerged as one of the fastest VPNs, with an average download speed of 238.1 Mbps during our tests. With such impressive performance, users should be able to stream 4K video content, engage in online gaming, and perform other data-intensive activities without breaking a sweat.

Hotspot Shield boasts over 1,800 servers in more than 80 countries, providing a wide range of options for users to connect to the VPN. Although it has fewer countries covered than Hide My Ass, its server count is higher, which can help distribute user traffic more efficiently and improve performance.

In our testing, Hotspot Shield has an average download speed of 124.9 Mbps. While this speed suits most online activities, including streaming HD content and online gaming, it may not be as impressive as other VPN providers’ offerings.

Hide My Ass, and Hotspot Shield have extensive server networks, but performance and server types differ. Users prioritizing performance and requiring the fastest connection speeds may find Hide My Ass the better choice.

Setup and Interface

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Automatic setup wizardWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, MacOS, Android, iOS
Main location selectionMap-based/List-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Ease of use is critical when choosing a VPN, as it can significantly impact the user experience. Hide My Ass and Hotspot Shield excel in this area, offering user-friendly apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Additionally, they come with preset configurations, eliminating the need for manual adjustments each time you want to connect to servers worldwide.

Hide My Ass

Hide My Ass’s app makes connecting to a VPN as simple as one click. The user-friendly design allows quick connections to the fastest available server and easy access to settings. The app also provides access to servers designated for streaming and torrenting, which you can favorite for seamless access later.

HMA - App - Mobile
Hide My Ass mobile app

While Hide My Ass’s vast array of settings might initially seem overwhelming, each setting is accompanied by a clear description of its function. This makes it easy for users to understand the app’s features and customize their VPN experience.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield also offers a user-friendly app featuring a design that facilitates quick connections to the fastest server and straightforward access to settings. Like Hide My Ass, Hotspot Shield provides a range of features, including the ability to change protocols, activate a kill switch, and use the Stealth VPN feature.

Hotspot Shield desktop app.

The intuitive interface ensures that even users new to VPNs can easily navigate Hotspot Shield’s app and take advantage of its robust feature set without feeling overwhelmed.


No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, L2TP, PTPPHydra, IKEv2, WireGuard
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AES256-bit AES
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096RSA-2048
Cloaking technology available? No details
App securityKill switch (all platforms)Kill switch
DNS statusPrivate DNS servers (owned by Avast).Private DNS
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass offers robust security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, considered the industry standard for secure data transmission. The VPN also supports multiple protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and Wireguard.

Additionally, Hide My Ass includes a built-in kill switch, which automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing accidental exposure of your IP address.

Hotspot Shield also provides robust security measures, employing 256-bit AES encryption to protect users’ data. In addition, the VPN uses its proprietary Hydra protocol, designed to offer fast and secure connections. Like Hide My Ass, Hotspot Shield features a built-in kill switch, ensuring your privacy remains intact even if the VPN connection is interrupted.


No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
HeadquartersLondon, United KingdomRedwood City, California, United States
Connection logsDate of connection, rounded amount of bandwidth transferredSome, but no identifiable data
Activity logs Anonymized data
User details for signupName and EmailEmail address
Anonymous payment options
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass is based in the United Kingdom, a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. This may raise privacy concerns for some users, as it could potentially expose their data to government surveillance. However, Hide My Ass has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not store any information that could be used to identify a user or their online activities.

Hotspot Shield is based in the United States, another member of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance. Similar to Hide My Ass, this may concern privacy-conscious users. However, Hotspot Shield has a no-logs policy, ensuring users’ data remains private and secure.


No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
Address allocationSharedShared
Dedicated IP address
DDoS protection
NAT firewall
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass offers a range of configuration options, such as dedicated IP addresses and shared servers. Dedicated IP addresses can benefit users who require a stable, unique IP address for specific online activities. In contrast, shared servers allow multiple users to share the same IP address, increasing anonymity.

Hotspot Shield provides fewer configuration options than Hide My Ass. While the VPN service does not offer dedicated IP addresses, it does utilize shared servers to help maintain user anonymity.

Customer Service

No valueHide My Ass VPNHotspot Shield
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Phone support
Average email response time72 hours3-4 hours
Searchable knowledge base
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$2.99
Get 75% off the 36 month plan

Hide My Ass offers various customer support options, including 24/7 email support and an extensive knowledge base on their website. In addition, the live chatbot allows users to leave a message to request prompt assistance from knowledgeable support agents. At the same time, the knowledge base covers a wide range of topics related to the VPN service, including setup guides and troubleshooting tips.

Hotspot Shield also provides a range of customer support options, such as live chat (unfortunately, a chatbot), email support, and a comprehensive help center on its website. Users can quickly get assistance through the live chat service or browse the help center for detailed guides and troubleshooting advice.

Winner: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux


Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.

After carefully comparing Hide My Ass and Hotspot Shield across various aspects, we declare Hotspot Shield as the winner in this head-to-head battle. While not as fast as HMA, Hotspot Shield’s performance is still impressive, with its lightning-fast speeds averaging 127 Mbps, making it a top choice for users who need a VPN for streaming, gaming, or other data-intensive activities.

Another significant advantage of Hotspot Shield is its ability to work in China, which can be critical for users requiring a reliable VPN.

Furthermore, Hotspot Shield’s unblocking capabilities for popular streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu give it an edge over Hide My Ass regarding streaming support.

While Hide My Ass does offer some unique features and a more significant number of server locations, Hotspot Shield’s combination of speed, reliability, and unblocking capabilities makes it the overall winner in this comparison. Users seeking a fast and secure VPN solution that bypasses geo-restrictions and maintains privacy should consider Hotspot Shield their go-to choice.

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