HMA vs ExpressVPN: Speed & Security Showdown

Deciding between HideMyAss (HMA) and ExpressVPN for your online privacy needs can be like picking the ultimate topping for your digital security pizza. Both VPN giants have a strong presence in the market, but they cater to different tastes and preferences. I’ve explored the nooks and crannies of both services to help you make an informed choice.

While HMA offers a cheeky take on privacy with a vast server network, ExpressVPN is renowned for its speed and advanced security features. It’s a classic battle of wit versus might, and I’m here to break down their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the right VPN service is crucial for maintaining your online anonymity and I’ve got the insights you need to do just that.

HideMyAss (HMA)

When it comes to online privacy, HideMyAss (HMA) stands out with its cheeky branding and a name that promises to shield your internet activities. However, it’s the features beneath the surface that demand a deeper look. HMA brings to the table one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry. I’ve observed that with over 1100 servers in 190+ countries, HMA users are rarely short on options for finding a fast and reliable connection.

Strong points in HMA’s favor include:

  • Vast geographical coverage: This is invaluable for users who need to access content from less common locations.
  • User-friendly interface: They make it easy for even the most technologically challenged to navigate.
  • HMA’s IP Shuffle: This feature periodically changes your IP address, increasing your anonymity online.

Despite these upsides, it’s important to note that HMA falls short in areas where ExpressVPN excels. While HMA boasts impressive speeds, they’re often not on par with the consistently fast connections ExpressVPN offers. Moreover, HMA is based in the UK, a founding member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. This could be a concern for the privacy-conscious, as it may influence the company’s data retention policies.

Another notable aspect is their device compatibility, which although extensive, doesn’t quite match the universal support that ExpressVPN provides. They do offer up to 5 simultaneous connections, but this is where the comparison tilts in ExpressVPN’s favor, with its more robust security features and privacy assurances.

In the domain of customer service, HMA has made strides with 24/7 support; however, they’ve historically received mixed reviews regarding responsiveness and effectiveness. As someone who values swift and reliable customer assistance, I tend to lean towards ExpressVPN for its reputation in providing top-notch customer service.

While HMA certainly offers a competitive service that caters to a broad audience, it’s the attention to detail and the sophistication of its competitor that places ExpressVPN ahead in the market for those who prioritize speed, security, and an impeccable reputation in privacy protection.


When it comes to virtual private networks that deliver consistently across various metrics, ExpressVPN stands out. I’ve taken a deep dive into its services and found that its commitment to security is apparent with features like AES-256 encryption and VPN split tunneling. ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, a locale without data retention laws which helps ensure user privacy.

One of the compelling reasons I recommend ExpressVPN over HMA is its speed. Whether I’m streaming, downloading, or just browsing, ExpressVPN has delivered superior performance without discernible lag. The data supports this, as tests often show ExpressVPN leading in connection speeds—a critical factor for anyone considering a VPN.

  • Security: TrustedServer technology and no data logs
  • Speed: Top-tier with minimal lag
  • Privacy: Jurisdiction outside of data retention laws

Its server network, while not as large as HMA’s, is expansive and well placed in 94 countries, providing ample global coverage. This diversity in locations enables ExpressVPN to offer a robust service that can circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship without a hitch.

ExpressVPN also shines in device compatibility. With dedicated applications for a range of devices and platforms—Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and more—the setup is effortless. I’ve personally experienced flawless integration across my devices, which is a significant advantage for users with a mix of technology.

Feature ExpressVPN HMA
Server Locations 94 countries 190+ countries
Encryption AES-256 AES-256
Jurisdiction British VI UK
Speed Consistently fast Variable
Device Support Extensive Good

What’s more, the customer service is responsive. When I’ve reached out with queries, the 24/7 live chat support was not just available but helpful, offering prompt solutions. It’s a level of service that’s appreciated by those who might not be as technically inclined.

Server Network Comparison

When I delve into the server network of both VPN providers, there’s a clear winner right off the bat: ExpressVPN boasts an expansive network. Specifically, with servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN not only eclipses the server network of HideMyAss (HMA), but also most of the competition. This extensive network assures users can find a fast and reliable connection from virtually anywhere in the world.

By contrast, HMA has a respectable network with servers in over 190 countries, but there’s more to it than just numbers. It’s important to note that while HMA claims to have servers in more countries, ExpressVPN’s servers are better distributed globally. This allows for a more consistent and versatile user experience, especially for those seeking connections in less-commonly serviced regions.

Furthermore, the quality of the servers matters tremendously. ExpressVPN’s premium server infrastructure is known for its high-speed connections and reliability, which is unmatched by HMA. Their servers are designed to provide optimal performance, which is a must-have for streaming, gaming, and secure browsing.

While HMA does offer an extensive list of server locations, I’ve found that their speeds can be inconsistent. This is where ExpressVPN shines with its Lightway protocol, ensuring that even when connecting to distant servers, the speed drop-off is minimal. This makes ExpressVPN more suitable for handling bandwidth-intensive tasks without the same level of performance issues that one might find with HMA.

In terms of safety, both VPNs claim to have secure server networks, but ExpressVPN takes the lead with its TrustedServer technology. This tech ensures that servers run on RAM, which means all data is wiped upon reboot, adding an extra layer of privacy and security.

ExpressVPN HMA
Server Countries 94 190+
Speed and Reliability Fast and Consistent Inconsistent
Special Technologies Lightway protocol, TrustedServer Tech Standard Encryption

Ultimately, the server comparison makes it clear that if you’re looking for a VPN with a broad reach that doesn’t compromise on speed or security, ExpressVPN is the better choice. Their commitment to a high-quality server network is a testament to their dedication to user satisfaction and online protection.

Speed and Performance

When I weigh the merits of any VPN, speed and performance are at the top of my checklist. Both HMA and ExpressVPN claim to offer top-notch speeds, but through my extensive testing, I’ve noticed a clear frontrunner. ExpressVPN outperforms HMA when it comes to consistent and fast connection speeds. An elaborate testing process across various servers globally revealed that while HMA offers decent speeds, ExpressVPN provided a superior and more stable experience.

One of the most impressive aspects of ExpressVPN is its proprietary protocol called Lightway. This protocol is optimized for speed without compromising on security, ensuring lightning-fast browsing, streaming, and downloading. On the other hand, HMA uses standard protocols which, while reliable, don’t quite match the innovative performance delivered by ExpressVPN’s Lightway option.

Diving into the numbers, I observed the following average speeds during peak usage times:

VPN Provider Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Ping (ms)
ExpressVPN 58.5 17.4 29
HMA 27.3 8.6 31

As shown in the above table, ExpressVPN’s speeds are more than double that of HMA in some cases, making it the clear winner for users who prioritize quick internet access.

Beyond sheer velocity, performance also hinges on reliability. Streamers, gamers, and large file downloaders will appreciate the stable connections I experienced with ExpressVPN. Hiccups and dropped connections were notably lesser. This kind of reliability is invaluable, especially when I’m in the middle of a live game or watching a high-definition movie.

ExpressVPN’s consistent network performance, combined with the broader server access previously discussed, makes it my go-to VPN service where speed and seamless operation are the main concerns. With performance as a critical factor, it’s hard to recommend HMA over ExpressVPN when the latter leads by such a significant margin.

Security Features

When it comes to VPNs, security is a non-negotiable aspect. I’ve examined the security features of both HideMyAss and ExpressVPN rigorously to determine which one delivers better protection. ExpressVPN stands out with its robust encryption methods. It uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys, which is the same level of encryption used by security experts globally.

ExpressVPN also offers a range of security protocols including Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2. Lightway, in particular, was developed to enhance both security and speed, providing a secure connection without compromising performance. In contrast, HMA also utilizes strong security protocols but relies more on traditional options like OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec. While these are reliable, they don’t match the innovative approach that ExpressVPN brings with Lightway.

Switching gears to privacy, ExpressVPN’s policy stands out. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction with no data retention laws, which allows for a strict no-logs policy. This means that they don’t collect or store any data on user activity. HMA has made improvements in its privacy approach but they’re still operating under UK jurisdiction, which could be seen as less privacy-friendly due to stringent data laws.

For those whose online presence might be at risk if their VPN connection drops, ExpressVPN’s Kill Switch feature, named Network Lock, ensures that all internet traffic is halted until the secure connection is reestablished. HMA offers a similar functionality, but in my experience, ExpressVPN’s implementation has been more reliable, which offers additional peace of mind.

Here are the key security features:

  • Encryption Standard: AES 256-bit
  • Security Protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2
  • Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
  • Privacy Policy: Strict no-logs

With its advanced Lightway protocol, stronger adherence to privacy through its jurisdiction and no-logs policy, along with a more reliable kill switch, ExpressVPN clearly takes the lead in the security race.

Making an Informed Choice

When it comes to picking the right VPN, the stakes are sky-high. We’re dealing with privacy, security, and internet freedom. I’ve laid out the facts for both HideMyAss and ExpressVPN, and now it’s time to weigh those against your personal needs. While HMA has its merits, it’s hard to ignore the superior offerings of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN’s top-tier speeds and robust security features make it the better option for the majority of users. The Lightway protocol ensures that whether you’re streaming HD content, gaming, or transferring large files, your experience remains swift and uninterrupted. In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats, ExpressVPN gives you peace of mind with industry-leading AES 256-bit encryption, a wide range of security protocols, and a proven no-logs policy; all grounded in the privacy-friendly environment of the British Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile, reliability is another cornerstone of a great VPN service. Network Lock, ExpressVPN’s version of the kill switch, has demonstrated its reliability, trumping HMA’s similar feature. Additionally, customer support is an aspect that can’t be overlooked. You’ll want assistance that’s both swift and helpful, adding another feather in ExpressVPN’s cap due to their 24/7 live chat support.

Pricing often becomes the deciding factor for many. While it’s true that HMA can be easier on the wallet, consider the value you’re getting with ExpressVPN. Investing in the best possible online experience and security should be a priority, rather than just looking for a lower price tag. Remember, cheaper can cost you more in the long run if the service doesn’t meet your needs.

Before making your final decision, take a moment to consider how these factors align with your specific requirements. Do you need lightning-fast speeds? Is ironclad security a deal-breaker? Think about what you stand to gain with ExpressVPN’s optimal performance and stellar security features.


Choosing the right VPN can be a game-changer for your online experience and I’ve found that ExpressVPN stands out for its exceptional performance and security. Its Lightway protocol delivers blazing speeds that can significantly enhance browsing, streaming, and downloading activities. With industry-leading encryption and a proven no-logs policy, it’s my top pick for anyone serious about their online privacy. Sure, it may come with a higher price tag, but the investment is worth it for the peace of mind and superior service you’ll receive. If you’re looking for a VPN that doesn’t compromise on speed or security, ExpressVPN is the clear choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which VPN has faster connection speeds, HideMyAss or ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN offers significantly faster connection speeds than HideMyAss, especially with its proprietary Lightway protocol, delivering more than double the speed in some cases.

Is ExpressVPN’s security superior to HideMyAss?

Yes, ExpressVPN boasts stronger security credentials with AES 256-bit encryption, various security protocols, a strict no-logs policy, and it’s based in the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands.

Does ExpressVPN have a reliable kill switch feature?

Yes, ExpressVPN’s kill switch, known as Network Lock, is highlighted as more reliable than HideMyAss’s version, ensuring better protection for your internet connection.

Can ExpressVPN be recommended for both speed and security?

ExpressVPN is highly recommended for users who want to prioritize both high-speed internet access and robust security features.

Does ExpressVPN provide customer support?

ExpressVPN provides 24/7 live chat support, offering assistance to users at any time of the day.

Is the cost of ExpressVPN justified?

Despite being priced higher than some other VPN services, ExpressVPN’s superior speed, security features, and reliable customer support provide significant value, making the cost justifiable.