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HMA VPN vs. ExpressVPN in 2024


ExpressVPN and HMA VPN – previously known as HideMyAss – are veteran VPNs that have been around since the 2000s. Both promise security and anonymity on the Internet and are popular with users. So, it’s not surprising that many are stuck choosing between them.

Well, here’s a spoiler alert. After a thorough review and multiple tests, ExpressVPN emerges as the winner of the HMA vs ExpressVPN battle. ExpressVPN has a bigger server fleet, better security, richer features, faster speeds, and more effective streaming capabilities, among other things.

However, HMA VPN isn’t one to quietly back down from a fight. Instead, in its corner, it has military-grade encryption, a sprawling server network, and competitive pricing.

That’s why we’d recommend reading this HMA vs ExpressVPN comparison to get a clearer picture of where each of them shines. Let’s jump right in.

HMA vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN wins the HMA vs ExpressVPN comparison for a few reasons. ExpressVPN is more expensive but justifies its higher price tag with robust security and great features. ExpressVPN also has better speeds compared to HMA VPN.

Additionally, ExpressVPN has about three times more server options. That said, HMA VPN’s servers are more geographically-dispersed. Moreover, ExpressVPN is excellent at unblocking most streaming sites’ geo-restrictions, while HMA VPN struggles immensely. Considering everything, ExpressVPN offers better overall value.

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
⭐ Rating:
4.3
3.3
🥇 Overall rank:#4 out of #42#33 out of #42
🖥️ Servers:3,000 + servers in 105 countries1,080 + servers in 210 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Price:From $6.67/monthFrom $2.99/month
🔥 Coupons:ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF-
🔒 VPN protocols:Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2OpenVPN and IPsec
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreYoutube
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, and iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:85
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chatKnowledge base, tickets, live chat

Netflix and streaming performance

ExpressVPN dominates the ExpressVPN vs HMA VPN streaming capabilities battle. It easily bypasses geo-restrictions and unblocks a long list of streaming sites like multiple Netflix libraries, HBO Max, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. That’s quite a feat, as many VPNs have trouble accessing these sites — especially Netflix with its advanced geo-blocks.

Unfortunately, HMA VPN doesn’t work on numerous streaming sites, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. But you can still try your luck. In rare instances, it works on selected sites if you can get the right server.

However, the only sure success we saw with HMA VPN was with YouTube. It smoothly unblocks geo-restricted videos on the platform, but that’s a low bar. After all, most VPNs can do at least that.

PlatformExpressVPNHMA VPN
Netflix
HBO Max
BBC iPlayer
YouTube
Hulu
Amazon Prime Video
Disney+

Additionally, ExpressVPN has another advantage in this round of ExpressVPN vs HMA since it offers MediaStreamer – a SmartDNS service that helps to unblock geo-restricted content on devices that don’t support VPN apps natively. For instance, certain smart TVs and game consoles.

Wrapping up
ExpressVPN comes out on top when it comes to streaming against HMA VPN. It’s excellent at bypassing geo-restrictions and unblocking all the major streaming sites.

Plans and pricing

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN keep things simple for pricing. Longer subscriptions have lower prices, while short-term subscriptions bear hefty price tags. Also, simultaneous connections are capped at five devices per account for both VPNs.

PlanExpressVPNHMA VPN
Monthly$12.95$11.99
6-months plan$9.99/month$8.99/month
1-year plan$6.67/month$4.99/month
2-year plan$3.99/month
3-year plan$2.99/month
Check Latest DiscountsCheck Latest Discounts

ExpressVPN’s prices are on the higher side and you’ll get the best deal by signing up for its 1-year plan. For instance, the plan that costs $12.95 when billed monthly only costs $6.67/month when billed annually.

Meanwhile, HMA VPN is cheaper, but only if you commit long-term. Otherwise, the differences between ExpressVPN and HMA VPN’s prices aren’t that far removed. For example, the difference between ExpressVPN and HMA VPN’s monthly and 6-month plans is only a buck.

Speaking of payment, the pair is very flexible with their payment methods. Credit and debit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers are all accepted. ExpressVPN even allows Bitcoin. So, be sure to check out our ExpressVPN coupon page for special deals. And, just in case, both VPNs provide 30-day money-back guarantees.

Wrapping up
HMA VPN scores a win when we compare HMA vs ExpressVPN pricing because it’s the cheaper option. However, note that its lower prices are exclusively for long-term subscriptions.

HMA vs ExpressVPN: which is more secure?

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
EncryptionAES-256-GCM or ChaCha20/Poly1305AES-256-GCM
HashSHA-512SHA-256
RAM-only serversYesNo
Outside of the 14-Eyes Alliance YesNo
No-logs policyAuditedAudited
Kill switchYesYes
Ad blockerYesNo
DNS leak protectionYesYes

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN both rightfully place security at the forefront. However, between them, ExpressVPN is more secure.

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN default to AES-256-GCM for encryption, which is one of the most secure and widely-used ciphers. Their no-logs policies have been independently audited by security firms, too. They are also armed with nifty security features like kill switches and DNS leak protection.

However, ExpressVPN has a few significant advantages in this HMA vs ExpressVPN battle.

For starters, ExpressVPN uses RAM-only servers for added security and privacy. Besides that, ExpressVPN isn’t based in a 5-Eyes Alliance country since it’s incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

In contrast, HMA VPN is based in the UK, which is in the alliance and far from privacy-friendly. Moreover, ExpressVPN’s security features are more advanced compared to HMA VPN.

Wrapping up
Overall, ExpressVPN races ahead in the HMA vs ExpressVPN security comparison with its more comprehensive protection. That said, it’s apparent that both VPNs take security seriously.

Infrastructure

ExpressVPN was one of the first VPNs to switch to RAM-only technology back in 2019. Called TrustedServer, the feature upgrade comes with considerable advantages. To start, there’s no hard drive to store data like usage logs. Plus, the servers are wiped upon each reboot to prevent tampering and minimize the risk of a breach.

In sharp contrast, HMA VPN hasn’t made a move over to RAM-only servers.

Privacy

The two use AES-256 for encryption, which is considered the standard in the industry. However, that’s about where their similarities end and their differences come to light.

ExpressVPN is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly location free from the 5-Eyes alliance’s surveillance and intelligence-sharing. Meanwhile, HMA VPN is based in the UK and right smack in the eye of the alliance.

Their differences are even more apparent if we compare HMA vs ExpressVPN in terms of tunneling protocols. ExpressVPN offers Lightway (its proprietary protocol), OpenVPN, and IKEv2. All three protocols are known for their speed, security, and reliability.

In contrast, HMA VPN only has two options: OpenVPN or IPsec. However, OpenVPN UDP is used by default, and IPsec is only available on its macOS and iOS applications.

Logging

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN promise that your data is safe from logging and actually give substance to their no-logs claims with independent audits.

ExpressVPN has undergone multiple audits by various third-party security firms. For its no-logs policy alone, it was independently audited by Big Four accounting companies PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in July 2019 and KPMG in November 2022.

Similarly, HMA VPN’s no-logs policy was also independently audited by cyber-risk consultant firm VerSprite. The firm awarded the service provider the highest possible rating of “low-risk user privacy impact.”

Speed comparison: HMA vs ExpressVPN

For this HMA vs ExpressVPN comparison, we tested the speed of the two providers and counted the average download and upload speeds. ExpressVPN showed significantly faster download and upload speeds, while HMA VPN clearly struggled.

ExpressVPN offers multiple protocol options: Lightway, OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2. Among them, its proprietary Lightway provides the best speed results, which we used to compare against HMA VPN.

Meanwhile, HMA VPN offers only OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) and IPsec. The latter is only available on its macOS and iOS applications, and OpenVPN TCP is the slower protocol. So, we used its default OpenVPN (UDP) for this comparison.

ExpressVPN (Lightway) HMA (OpenVPN UDP)
Average download speed170.5 Mbps66 Mbps
Average upload speed108.5 Mbps82.25 Mbps

You can see, that there wasn’t much competition between the two VPNs. ExpressVPN clearly is the superior one when it comes to both download and upload speed results. HMA VPN, on the other hand, slightly improved its results with the upload speeds.

However, neither provider is the speediest we have ever seen. If you’re looking for the fastest VPN, check out NordVPN or Surfshark.

Wrapping up
In brief, ExpressVPN takes the lead with its excellent download speeds. At the same time, ExpressVPN has no trouble holding its ground against HMA VPN regarding its upload speeds, too.

Features overview

ExpressVPN featuresHMA features
Split tunneling✅ Yes✅ Yes
Kill switch✅ Yes✅ Yes
Smart DNS✅ Yes❌ No

ExpressVPN comes out on top in the HMA VPN vs ExpressVPN feature comparison. While both VPNs offer various security features, ExpressVPN is the more generous of the two. Its features are also more well-rounded, functional, and intuitive than HMA VPN’s versions.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is an incredibly helpful feature that lets you choose the internet traffic that goes through the VPN and the traffic that doesn’t. Although both VPNs provide the feature, ExpressVPN’s split tunneling outshines HMA VPN’s version easily.

With ExpressVPN, all your traffic goes through the VPN server by default. However, you can also use the split tunneling feature to either exclude specific apps from the VPN or allow only selected apps to use the VPN. Either way, you’re in control.

ExpressVPN split tunneling feature

The feature is available on Windows, Android, and even older macOS. This is a perk since very few VPNs offer split tunneling for Mac.

In contrast, HMA VPN’s split tunneling feature is restrictively only available on Android. But, on the bright side, it’s easy to use. You just need to mark the boxes of the apps that you want to use an encrypted connection.

HMA split tunneling

Kill switch

To protect your IP address and other sensitive information from leaks, a kill switch automatically shuts down your internet connection if the VPN connection is lost, interrupted, or compromised.

ExpressVPN named its kill switch Network Lock, which operates on the system level. This means that it will stop all network traffic instead of only affecting specific apps. Network Lock is enabled by default, but you can turn it off.

ExpressVPN network lock screenshot

Meanwhile, you’ll need to activate HMA VPN’s kill switch yourself. Here, you have the freedom to decide if the feature should work on the system level or the app level.

HMA kill-switch

ExpressVPN’s features

In addition to the above, ExpressVPN has many more features to offer. You can read our in-depth take on them in our ExpressVPN review.

Here are some noteworthy ones:

  • Stealth servers. A protocol that masks the fact that you’re using a VPN to help bypass censorship and VPN blocks. According to ExpressVPN, your connection automatically switches to stealth servers when the VPN detects Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
  • MediaStreamer. A SmartDNS feature that unblocks geo-restricted content on devices that don’t support VPN natively.
  • Threat Manager. Blocks all tracking and potentially-malicious activities when you’re browsing the web or using apps. Currently available on Mac, iOS, and Linux.

HMA features

HMA VPN isn’t as liberal with its features. But, even then, it has some interesting ones you can learn more about in our HMA VPN review.

That includes the likes:

  • Lightning Connect. Previously called Instant Mode, it automatically finds the fastest server for you.
  • IP Shuffle. Periodically changes your IP address to prevent tracking. You can configure the feature to shuffle at predetermined intervals or set up custom intervals.
HMA IP shuffle
Wrapping up
ExpressVPN wins this round of HMA vs ExpressVPN courtesy of its more comprehensive and flexible features that will keep you safe online.

Server locations

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
Servers3000+1080+
Countries105210
Virtual locationsYesYes
Specialty serversNoYes

When it comes to HMA VPN vs ExpressVPN for server locations, the two are on an equal footing.

ExpressVPN has an impressive fleet of 3000+ servers, which is three times more than HMA VPN’s 1080+ servers. However, ExpressVPN’s servers have a smaller global coverage and are available in 105 countries. In contrast, HMA VPN’s vast network covers 210 countries.

Wrapping up
Overall, the VPNs are equally matched in terms of server locations. ExpressVPN has more servers, while HMA VPN covers more countries.

Torrenting

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN are both great VPNs that support torrenting. ExpressVPN allows P2P connections on all of its servers. During our tests, its download speeds were initially slower but picked up after a short while – fluctuating between 6 and 15MB/s.

Contrastingly, HMA VPN only allows torrenting on servers in eight locations across six countries. Its file downloading also took a while to pick up speed. However, once it did, our tests showed that it lingered between 6 and 9MB/s.

Wrapping up
ExpressVPN and HMA VPN are solid options for torrenting. However, ExpressVPN has the upper hand since it supports torrenting on all of its servers.

Platforms, interface, and ease of use

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
Supported platformsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Other software and devicesAndroid TV, Fire devices, routers
Browser etensionsChrome, Firefox, Brave, EdgeChrome and Firefox
Simultaneous connections55

In terms of compatibility, ExpressVPN has the edge in the HMA vs ExpressVPN faceoff. That said, both providers support all the major operating systems and allow five simultaneous connections.

Where ExpressVPN gained the upper hand is that it also supports other software and devices like smart TVs, which is not an option with HMA VPN. Additionally, ExpressVPN also has a broader selection of browser extensions.

Wrapping up
ExpressVPN clinches the win with its better compatibility with various platforms, browsers, software, and devices. Moreover, ExpressVPN’s desktop and mobile apps are also more intuitive.

Desktop apps

ExpressVPN offers desktop apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Its Windows and Mac apps look very similar to each other and also have the same features. Intuitive, streamlined, and well-organized, you won’t have any trouble finding all the features.

ExpressVPN for Mac

Meanwhile, ExpressVPN’s Linux version has slightly more complex navigation. Here, you’ll use command lines for control.

Similarly, HMA VPN’s Windows and Mac apps also look alike and are easy enough to use. They share almost similar functionalities as well.

HMA windows app

Meanwhile, HMA VPN only offers a script version for Linux. After testing it, we find it to be fiddly and unintuitive. More often than not, it couldn’t even connect to a server.

Mobile apps

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN’s mobile apps are responsive and easy to navigate. However, as is typical, the Android versions have more features than the iOS versions. For instance, both VPNs’ iOS apps are missing a kill switch.

ExpressVPN android screen

Additionally, we also had some connection problems with HMA VPN’s Android app. The app would disconnect us from a server when our phone was locked, which is annoying.

HMA mobile app

Customer support

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
24/7 live chat
Email
Phone line
Ticket
Guides or articles
FAQs

ExpressVPN and HMA VPN provide various support options, including 24/7 live chat, email, and ticketing. They also have plenty of self-help resources like articles, guides, and FAQs.

However, where ExpressVPN’s agents are quick to respond and efficient, HMA VPN’s response times are often longer than ideal. And its agents are professional, but they failed to resolve our issues on multiple instances.

Wrapping up
While both providers have a great selection of support options, ExpressVPN’s team is more efficient and accessible.

HMA VPN vs ExpressVPN: which one wins?

ExpressVPNHMA VPN
Streaming
Price
Protection
Speed
Features
Server
Torrenting
Ease of use
Customer support

All things considered, ExpressVPN is the better VPN in the HMA vs ExpressVPN comparison. It has excellent streaming capabilities, abundant servers, strong security, good speeds, and robust features. Plus, it’s easy to use. Considering all of the above, they more than justify its higher price tags.

Meanwhile, HMA VPN has its strengths, like affordable pricing and geographically-diverse servers. However, it’s let down by its shortfalls, such as poor streaming capabilities, sketchy privacy protection, and sparse features.


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