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We have awarded Hide My Ass our prestigious Gold Award in this category, having reviewed 31 VPN And Proxy Services. Read our review below to find out why...
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Hide My Ass might sound like a peculiar parlor game at an adult party, but it is, in fact, our number one choice for VPN / Proxy services. This is primarily because it offers some of the best security around, but it’s also due to the fact that it works on a wide range of systems, and can be utilized for a very low price.
Imagine the scene: you take a seat in a coffee shop and wait for your large macchiato. You have finance reports to finalise so you flip open your laptop and begin working on them. You look at your coffee receipt and notice that they’ve got free Wi-fi. That means that you can email the files to your boss before he leaves work and thereby meet your deadline. You just need to find the signal, connect to the wifi network and you’re away.
Email sent, you finish your coffee and congratulate yourself on meeting your deadline. Unfortunately, you have just revealed your company’s financial reports and email addresses to a hacker, who has all the information they need to cause some trouble and make some money off the back of your mistake.
Fast forward six months and you're sitting in the same coffee shop, desperately trying to find a job, after being dismissed from your previous employer for being dumb enough to send sensitive corporate data via email, over an insecure wifi network (like lots of people do).
Believe it or not, this kind of online threat is more common than you might expect. Whilst common sense and vigilance online are excellent skills to maintain, sometimes they just won’t do, and when something goes wrong you can find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.
That’s where VPN (short for Virtual Private Network) adds extra layers of security when you’re browsing the internet, running everything you do through a proxy, essentially hiding your location and stopping intruders from working out who you are, where you are, and what you’re up to. They also encrypt your data so that hackers cannot access it, allowing you to constantly change your IP address (which locates you) so that you’re hard to track down.
You can also choose a virtual nationality so that you can access content on websites which are maintained abroad.
Let’s look at some of HideMyAss.com's excellent security features and how they can help you to keep your data and identity safe when you’re online. Firstly, HideMyAss is a very reliable system. There are multiple servers to choose from and Hide My Ass’s systems help you to find a server which is not over populated. As such, your connection will run smoothly, and if – for whatever reason – your server fails, you can automatically connect to one of the others, without your online applications leaking information during the interim. So, even if there are problems, you’ll be covered.
HMA use high level (128 bit) encryption methods to keep your data secure, plus a range of connection options depending on the sort of work you’re doing. You can use easily-downloadable software to help secure your browser (Firefox or Chrome), and the system is intuitive: easy enough for total beginners but with a few more in depth options for more advanced users.
You can also choose a virtual nationality so that you can access content on websites which are maintained abroad (as often these are blocked to users outside of their country). Hide My Ass has a vast international network, with 744 VPN servers (more than any other provider) in more than 230 locations worldwide. They have almost 100,000 IP addresses to choose from, meaning that pinning one user down is next to impossible. What’s more, you can also opt to have your IP address change automatically at regular times, so that your online activity will seem to jump from place to place.
This service is available on a range of systems, including Windows, Apple, Android and iOS. It can also be used on devices such as televisions, phones and games consoles, to make sure that you’re never under threat. It can be used on two devices at once, if you wish to watch shows on one device whilst working on another (or whatever combo you choose).
If you’re ever unsure of how to connect or whether your devices are appropriate, you can get instant help through the online live chat support. The site also maintains a useful Community section, where users can ask and answer questions, or chat about the services more generally. Likewise, a blog with regular updates is also available for avid readers.
There are a few devices which HideMyAss.com doesn’t mention as being compatible, which is a slight drawback. The live support is also not 24 hours a day. However, these are pretty minor quips, as more generally the service is excellent. You can choose from a rolling monthly, six monthly or yearly contract, with prices as low as $4.99 per month. Free software is also available to help secure your browsers. Security and reliability are key here, and Hide My Ass ticks all those boxes. So, why not sign up for HideMyAss then sit back, relax, get browsing, and enjoy your coffee. Those finance reports will be in safe hands with a VPN protecting you.
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