, meanwhile, is an advantage for anyone traveling to a country where government firewalls might prevent you from accessing the internet. This feature connects your PC to the closest “free-speech country.”
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.
That said, HMA Pro 3 is very easy to use and most users will be just fine with the desktop program. If you really don’t like the new look, the company still offers the previous version of its desktop program (18.104.22.168 for Windows 7 and up) for those who want it.
There are versions of HMA Pro Windows (reviewed here), Mac, Android, and iOS. The service costs $11.52 for a single month, with discounted rates if you pay for blocks of months in advance: $6.55 per month if you pay for a year at a time ($78.66), or $8.33 per month if you pay for six months ($49.99)
HMA Pro is a premium operated by Privax Limited, an AVG subsidiary. Starting with version 3, HMA Pro (HMA is short for Hide My Ass) gained a much simplified user interface that makes it easy to get connected and online. This was a long overdue improvement that competing services such as ExpressVPN, SaferVPN, TunnelBear, and many others already offer.
When you first boot up HMA Pro for Windows, the program is a single column app with three tabs: Instant Mode, Location Mode, and Freedom Mode. The default view is Location Mode, which allows you to connect via a specific country or even city.
At the top of the server screen there’s also a search area to make it easier to find the specific location you want. Pro Tip: HMA Pro lists American locations as USA. Searching for “United States” will not bring up options for servers that are stateside.
BrandPosts are written and edited by members of our sponsor community. BrandPosts create an opportunity for an individual sponsor to provide insight and commentary from their point-of-view directly to our audience. The editorial team does not participate in the writing or editing of BrandPosts.
I didn’t run any performance tests on HMA, as VPN speeds can vary widely based on the server location you choose, your home internet speed, and hardware performance. What I can say is that in my experience using HMA Pro on a Windows 10 PC, I often forgot that I was connected to a VPN. I had no trouble loading websites, and I was able to stream Netflix flawlessly with dozens of active browser tabs open at the same time.
Privax says it does not collect any details of the websites you visit, nor does it monitor your activity on those sites. All data is stored “between two and three months.” The exception being if the company is required for legal reasons to keep the data longer or “exceptional circumstances” arise, such as the company’s internal investigations for customer fraud and abuse.
If I had one quibble with HMA Pro, it would be that it is now perhaps a little I find it easier when VPN server lists and the “connect” button are on the same screen. Many competing VPNs do this by using a dual-pane app or a single-pane app with a drop-down list of servers.
SponsoredPosts are written and edited by members of our sponsor community. SponsoredPosts create an opportunity for an individual sponsor to provide insight and commentary from their point-of-view directly to our audience. The editorial team does not participate in the writing or editing of SponsoredPosts.