- Encryption type
- Customer support
- Extra features
HMA offers three plans, each of them identical in their available features. The only difference is the terms of the subscription. All plans are paid in advance for the entire term.
- Kick-Ass (Monthly) - $11.52/month
- Half-Ass (Semi-Annual) - $8.33/month
- Smart-Ass (Annual) - $6.55/month
Customers must select automatic or manual renewal for their membership. Automatic renewal requires customers to notify HMA in order to discontinue their account while manual renewal requires the customer to manually pay their bill at the end of each term. Manual renewals expire if no payment is made.
HMA offers choices to their customers of four encryption protocols. The VPN tunnels can be encrypted with OpenVPN-TCP, OpenVPN-UDP, PPTP, and L2TP. The Review Team recommends using either of the OpenVPN protocols whenever possible, as it is considered to be the protocol which is the more secure. iOS users currently cannot use OpenVPN, but L2TP is comparable to OpenVPN in security for those with an iOS device.
The Review Team found more variation in the raw independent speed test date for HMA than for any other company. As a general rule, the servers which performed the best with the highest download and upload rates were those which were located in the United States. Servers in other countries did not perform as well generally, and resulted in the overall average speed calculations being very low and well beneath many of the companies which have been reviewed by the Review Team. HMA's average download time was 6.19 Mbps and upload time was 1.89 Mbps, which is significantly below the average download and upload speed for non-VPN speed in the United States of 20.8 and 5.2 Mbps, respectively.
One area which HMA sets themselves apart is that when users open their application dashboard, the current speeds of different servers is displayed, so that users can select the fastest server in their desired location. This feature addresses the complexity of VPN speeds as well as makes the company more transparent.
HMA offers their customer three ways to receive support. They can browse the extensive FAQ Knowledge Base which gives them access to several how-to resources. These articles are quite comprehensive and organized well.
For those who want more assistance, customers can submit an email help ticket via web form. This method of contacting the company has been problematic for many customers, with long delays - sometimes going as much as days or weeks to receive an answer.
Live chat is available for customers and prospective customers alike. Agents are available whenever the chat bubble is displayed at the bottom of the company's pages. Some customers report that this features is only available at times, but the Review Team checked randomly during a 24-hour period and did not see many examples of the chat feature not being available. Wait times vary, but are usually short and chat requests are answered within minutes.
HMA has several additional features which allow users to have a superior experience while connected to their VPN. Of note are the tools which allow for users to see the current speeds of different servers to help them decide to which one they want to connect and the VPN kill switch (Secure IP Bind) which allows customers to terminate their connection with the VPN should the server go down.
Users can also change their servers quickly and seamlessly, with the click of the Change IP button in their dashboard. Subscribers can also set a timeframe for automatic IP changes, which can be scheduled in advance and will occur automatically. HMA alerts users when signing into a server if it is experiencing higher traffic and recommend a comparable server with a lower current load.