Comparing services of vastly different quality can grant insights into what makes a provider better or worse. For example, you won’t know just how slow a particular virtual private network is until you try out a fast one.
Pitting NordVPN vs Hide My Ass isn’t so extreme, but it can highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each VPN. In this article, we’ll compare the two in a range of different categories, like speed, streaming, security, privacy, and more. After that, we’ll tally the results and announce a winner.
NordVPN vs HideMyAss VPN comparison highlights
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPN||N/A|
|Price starts from||$3.29/month||$2.99/month|
NordVPN is hailed as one of the fastest VPN providers thanks to its proprietary NordLynx technology. It’s based on the modern and open-source WireGuard tunneling protocol, which is necessary for wicked fast connectivity. Naturally, older options, such as OpenVPN, are also available.
On the other hand, HideMyAss VPN is still behind and doesn’t provide WireGuard. Instead, HMA customers can choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2, whichever is faster on their system.
It’s clear that NordVPN is the quicker option of the two. You can verify just how far ahead it is by checking our VPN speed test.
|All physical servers||Yes||No|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
A solid server network ensures optimal connectivity across the globe. More servers allow more users to connect simultaneously without experiencing slowdowns. Meanwhile, a more comprehensive country selection provides fast speeds no matter where you connect.
NordVPN has 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. All server locations are physical, meaning that the hardware is in the same region that you’re connecting to. Additionally, most of them are using RAM-only technology to prevent long-term data storage on hard drives.
On the other hand, HideMyAss VPN runs a network of 1100+ servers in 210+ countries. While the variety is impressive, it’s undermined because some locations are virtual. Additionally, there’s no mention of complete hardware ownership or RAM-only server technology.
|Free trial||7-days on the Google Play Store||7-days with payment details|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay, cash||Credit card, PayPal, bank transfer|
Both services follow the standard pricing structure with a fully-priced monthly offering and discounted long-term plans. Additionally, customers can try out either one for seven days. With NordVPN, this option can be claimed on the Google Play Store. Meanwhile, HMA grants this trial officially if you provide payment details.
Lastly, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you ever change your mind.
NordVPN customers can choose from three subscription plans:
- $11.99/month for the monthly subscription
- $4.99/month for the annual subscription
- $3.29/month for the two-year subscription
The lengthiest plan provides a hefty 60% discount. You can ensure the best possible deal by utilizing a NordVPN discount code. And when it comes to payment, options include conventional methods like credit cards, Google Pay, and more. Meanwhile, anonymity enthusiasts can purchase a subscription with cash at a retail store or use cryptocurrencies.
HideMyAss VPN pricing
HMA VPN has a fair number of subscription options to choose from. Customers can get cheaper plans that grant five simultaneous connections or more expensive options with ten connections.
Here are the subscription choices if you only need protection for five devices:
- $11.99/month for the monthly plan
- $8.99/month for the six-month plan
- $4.99/month for the one or two year plan
- $2.99/month for the three-year plan
And if you want ten simultaneous connections, these are your options:
The cheapest plan grants a generous 70% discount. You can also get a 7-day HideMyAss trial if you provide payment details. After that, your purchase is still protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Buyers can purchase a subscription using a credit card, PayPal, PayNearMe, or bank transfer.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2||OpenVPN (UDP, TCP), IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling||Split tunneling, IP shuffle|
Like most well-known VPNs, NordVPN and HideMyAss are equipped with AES-256 encryption to keep your web traffic uncrackable. Meanwhile, a VPN kill switch is available to prevent IP leaks in case of an unexpected connection drop. Naturally, neither service is prone to DNS leaks while the software runs.
In terms of security, NordVPN is the superior product. It has better tunneling protocols and a wider selection of features.
NordVPN security features
NordVPN is known as the best VPN overall, and for good reasons. It’s packed with an impressive arsenal of security boons for various scenarios. Below is a glance at some of them, although you can find an extensive list in our NordVPN review.
- CyberSec. This feature blocks malicious ads and web domains that distribute malware, phishing attacks, and other digital threats.
- Double VPN. Some scenarios require more security and privacy than usual to ensure air-tight protection. You can do this by rerouting your connection through multiple VPN servers.
- Obfuscated servers. Some networks restrict VPN traffic entirely. You can circumvent such blocks by using Obfuscated servers, which mask your online activities and make them appear as regular web traffic.
- Split tunneling. This feature allows you to choose which applications should go through the VPN tunnel while others can continue working as usual. Available on Windows, Android, and Android TV devices.
- Onion over VPN. You can use NordVPN to combine the anonymity benefits of the Tor Network with a virtual private network.
HideMyAss VPN security features
Besides the essentials, HideMyAss provides a few additional features to secure your online presence. You can read more about them by visiting our HideMyAss VPN review.
- Split tunneling. At the moment, split tunneling with HideMyAss is only available on Android devices.
- IP Shuffle. Your IP address is one of the most commonly-used methods to track your online activities. IP shuffle changes it intermittently to prevent excessive tracking.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
|Anonymous payment||Cryptocurrencies, cash||No|
Confidentiality is arguably the most crucial aspect of a VPN, at least for privacy enthusiasts. Besides the technical side, it involves a certain degree of trust in the service provider. However, some details show whether a product is suitable for privacy.
The first aspect is jurisdiction. It’s paramount that the VPN is located in a country where the government doesn’t force companies to store excessive user data. For example, countries in the Fourteen Eyes alliance are known to cooperate and share troves of surveillance data.
Thankfully, NordVPN is based in Panama, a privacy-respecting country with no data retention laws. Furthermore, it went through multiple third-party audits to guarantee that it doesn’t store any logs. If that wasn’t enough, users could utilize anonymous payment methods to prevent personal data sharing during the transaction.
On the other hand, HideMyAss has a few flaws in the privacy department. For starters, it’s based in the United Kingdom, a member of the Five Eyes. Furthermore, it has a history of logging user data and cooperating with authorities to catch criminals. However, it has changed and even underwent an independent no-logs policy audit. Still, their reputation is tarnished, and the service is not recommended for privacy.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick||Android TV|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||Routers|
|Simultaneous devices||6||5 or 10|
NordVPN and HideMyAss have some common ground in terms of device compatibility. Firstly, they have dedicated apps for the most widely used platforms – Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, both are compatible with Android TV and have Chrome browser extensions. Lastly, you can use either service to set up your router with a VPN.
The key difference between the two VPNs is simultaneous connections. All NordVPN plans provide a maximum of six simultaneous connections. Meanwhile, HMA users can choose from plans with five or ten connections.
Meanwhile, NordVPN is compatible with a few devices that HMA is not. For example, NordVPN customers can combine the VPN with Amazon FireOS devices, such as the Fire Stick and Fire TV. Plus, it has a bonus browser extension for Firefox.
While more simultaneous connections are better in certain cases, a service is more versatile when it has better device compatibility and ease of use.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
Changing your location with a VPN is a great way to circumvent geographical restrictions by popular streaming platforms. It enables you to access foreign libraries and get more out of your Netflix subscription. However, it’s a bit more complicated than it sounds and involves a lot of effort from the VPN.
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming and can easily access Netflix US and other libraries across the globe. Naturally, it works with other streaming services, for example, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video. And thanks to its speed, customers can stream TV shows and movies in UHD quality without any buffering issues. Lastly, the SmartPlay feature ensures that even devices without direct VPN software support can unblock geo-restricted content.
Meanwhile, HideMyAss VPN is slightly behind in this category. It can access content from the US Netflix library, but that’s about it. Luckily, other platforms, such as Disney Plus or Hulu, are also available. And since HMA isn’t the best in terms of speed, you may experience longer load times if you want to watch video content in the best possible quality.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||Select servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android, Android TV)||Yes (Android)|
One thing that clearly shows the superiority of NordVPN is the ability to perform P2P activities while connected to any server location. Meanwhile, HideMyAss restricts torrenting activities to certain locations, such as New York, London, Frankfurt, Prague, and Amsterdam.
When it comes to similarities, both providers have specialized P2P servers for improved performance. Additionally, you can enable split tunneling with either one to provide exclusive security for your torrenting client. However, neither one supports port forwarding. We recommend browsing through our list of best torrenting VPNs if that’s a feature that you’re after.
With NordVPN, you also gain the bonus of a SOCKS5 proxy. It allows you to forego the VPN connection and secure your torrenting app with a proxy. That way, you can hide your IP address and enjoy slightly faster connections by avoiding encryption.
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated Servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||No|
Getting around online censorship is tough and requires specialized features that can deal with DPI (Deep Packet Inspection). Unfortunately, HideMyAss doesn’t have anything like that and has a hard time dealing with the Great Firewall of China.
On the other hand, NordVPN has Obfuscated Servers, the go-to feature for users in China and similar regions. Besides that, users can also try using the Onion over VPN servers to facilitate a connection through the Tor Network.
The situation in China is constantly changing, so it’s good to have multiple options to approach censorship. And if you’re looking for alternative services, check out our recommended list of best VPNs for China.
|24/7 live chat||Yes||No|
Using a VPN without a technical background can prove challenging at first. That is why it’s good to pick a service that provides 24/7 customer support for assistance if something is confusing.
With NordVPN, you’ll have no issues as they provide 24/7 live chat support. Meanwhile, HMA users can get live chat assistance between 8 AM and 10 PM UK time every day. Naturally, this isn’t ideal if you’re a user on the other side of the globe and can’t receive assistance due to time zone differences.
Luckily, customers of either VPN can troubleshoot issues themselves by consulting the various online guides and tutorials. Plus, old-school communication is available via email.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||8 out of 9||1 out of 9|
NordVPN vs HideMyAss VPN – which is better?
Overall, NordVPN wiped the floor with HMA in all categories except price. It’s superior in practically every way, so it’s not surprising that the cost of the service is higher as well. Still, both providers offer a 7-day trial so feel free to try each one yourself and make your own conclusions.
Do you agree with our NordVPN vs Hide My Ass assessment? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!
Is there a better VPN than NordVPN?
No, in our opinion, NordVPN is the #1 VPN service currently available. It’s usable in various situations, has apps for a wide range of devices, and has solid security credentials. Plus, it’s easy to use and affordable.
Is HMA VPN a good VPN?
HideMyAss VPN is an okay VPN service. It’s not the best in any particular category, but it’s not bad either. However, the biggest downside is that it has a history of cooperating with authorities and exposing its customers. Therefore, you should avoid it if you’re serious about confidentiality.
Is HMA VPN free?
No, HMA VPN is not free. Instead, it has a 7-day free trial that requires payment information to become available. After that, your subscription is further secured by a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to try out the service.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.