Review: Hide My Ass VPN provider for anonymous internet surfing

Some of you may know Hide My Ass for their free cgi proxy but they also run a premium VPN for anonymous surfing, their VPN is much better than a cgi proxy because it protects every single application and connection going in and out from your computer to the wild wild web.

Hide My Ass VPN encrypts your internet traffic and hides your real computer IP from hackers and stalkers as well as repressive regimes. They have SMTP on port 25 blocked because of abuse by spammers but you can still use webmail and the sender IP will be replaced by one of Hide My Ass VPN servers, you can also request to whitelist your SMTP emailing support.

A VPN for anonymous internet surfing will also get around internet censorship filters implemented by some countries ISPs, like the one they have in China and Australia. Hide My Ass provides PPTP as well as OpenVPN for the same price, I have only used the more secure OpenVPN and this review is based on that.

Hide My Ass VPN Advantages

There is a wide range of servers all over the World, at the time of writing you have a dozen servers in the US, four servers in the UK, three servers in Canada, and single servers in Sweden, Holland, Germany(x2), Estonia and Russia. Hide My Ass VPN service has been adding new servers all the time since I signed up with them 6 months ago.

I have found some Hide My Ass US VPNs IP has been blocked by Hulu and I easily got around this by simply choosing a different US VPN location, I never found myself in a situation where every single US server was blocked. I have also used the Canadian servers to watch online TV at CTV.ca and Globaltv.com (only for Canadian residents), as well as listening to Slacker.com radio online, also limited to US and Canada residents only, I never experienced any problem watching US&Canadian TV from abroad using a Hide My Ass VPN located in North America.

The speed I usually get on Hide My Ass VPN servers is around 4MB download and my ISP provides me with 6MB ADSL downloads, occasionally you will find HMA VPN servers with 1MB speeds changing location will solve this.

I am normally able to watch free movies online at Crackle.com , Hulu.com and Cwtv.com with just 1MB of bandwidth. I find Hide My Ass speed download speeds more than acceptable for my requirements.

Assuming Hide My Ass VPN FAQ is honest, they say that their VPN logs are kept for one week, this is a sensible length of time, enough to catch abusers and not extremely privacy invasive. Those logs, according to them, do not contain what sites you visit, they only contain what user had certain IP on what date from what time to what time.

Hide My Ass VPN client
Hide My Ass VPN client

Hide My Ass VPN Disadvantages

The worst part of Hide My Ass VPN client is that when you get disconnected from the network for whatever reason you will be surfing with your real IP and the VPN client makes no attempt whatsoever to warn you, instead it tries to reconnect, there is a good chance your real IP will be exposed during that time.

If you want to use Hide My Ass VPN on a BSD or Solaris system you are out of luck because it only works on Windows, MAC and Linux and the client needs to be installed.

Hide My Ass VPN Review conclusion

Hide my Ass is great to watch US and Canadian TV online, the reliability and server speed is more than acceptable to do this, as well as the wide range of locations they offer. Support always replies to email and they are quick and helpful, forget about their forum and IRC channel, if you have a problem email Hide My Ass instead! Their forum is not to be used for support.

Hide My Ass only needs to polish their VPN client about not warning you when the VPN is disconnected, and I will then increase my satisfaction rating at %99, there is something more important than speed in a VPN, their capability of being able to cover your real IP (or your ass) and if they can’t do that, then they can’t do the basics.

Visit Hide My Ass VPN homepage

5 free VPN providers for anonymous internet browsing

There may be many reasons why you want to use a VPN, just bypass your local school internet filtering, the Great firewall of China of the blocking of Hulu and other online TV websites to non US IPs, whatever your choice, you have now available some free VPN to do that.

Some of the free VPNs, like Anchorfree, are financed through advertisement, this means you will have to view a small banner while surfing the internet, but other than this it works fine.

Other of the free VPN have time, bandwidth and data download restrictions, and most of them, if not all, will not allow you to use Bit torrent through the VPN, you will need a paid solution for this.

List of free VPN for anonymous internet surfing

No logs premium VPN 

If you need a reliable premium no logs VPN provider that will get around internet filters and provide you with secure and anonymous internet browsing, try VPN4All or Hide My Ass.

How to make visible again disappeared Windows Recycle Bin

If your Recycle Bin has disappeared, or you want to erase it for good, there are various Windows hacking tricks you can use:

Restore your Recycle Bin using Windows Vista

Right click your desktop, click Personalize, on the left pane click  Change desktop icons. Check the Recycle Bin, and click OK.

Another way to restore your Recycle Bin in Windows Vista by accessing the change desktop icons:

–>control panel
–>appearance and personalization
–>personalization
–>change desktop icons

Select the icons you want on the desktop and you will be able to restore or delete Windows Recycle Bin, as well as other icons.

Windows Recycle Bin
Windows Recycle Bin

Why does Windows Recycle Bin disappear?

It has been known to happen when using a registry cleaner. It can also happen if you are if you use software to securely erase computer data overwriting it various times, like for example a secure eraser, if you use some tweaking utility you can also delete Windows Recycle Bin by mistake.

List of free cloud data backup services

If you are trying to get around the attachment size limits in email or simply want store your files off your computer to make sure that if disaster struck there is a backup copy stored somewhere else, there are a handful of free and paid services that make it easy to host your private files.

These online space can typically be accessed via web browser or a dedicated program. Besides your backup copy, if you move between computers or travel, you will also be able to get access to your precious files from anywhere with an internet connection.

Dropbox: Dropbox will give a limited free online storage space to store your files with premium accounts increasing space.

Adrive: Adrive offers a huge 1 Terabyte of data storage to paying customers. Free accounts get a generous 50GB of storage space online.

Wuala: With Wuala you need to offer part of your hard disk to store other people’s files and in exchange you can store your files on their computer. Everything is then encrypted and the files distributed across multiple computers.

Online data backup cloud storage
Online data backup cloud storage

MediaMax iDrive: Free 6GB online storage space, encryption is used for data transfers between your computer and MediaMax servers.

SpiderOak: This free online backup gives you 2GB of space, and it works with Windows Mac OS X and Linux.

Mozy: At Mozy you get 2GB of free online backup space. Like all the other services paid for larger storage space is available.

MyOherDrive: Receive 2GB of free online backup storage. It also allows file sharing of your files through links.

SugarSync: The free 2GB of data storage online has some limitations but still good value for money 🙂

All  of these services encrypt the data transfer from your computer to their servers, but some of them will not use encryption for storage, if you need a really secure encrypted storage data backup, to which not even the company can have access, then consider SpiderOak.

Alternative to Hushmail: Encrypted webmail service Countermail

If you care about privacy you will be using encryption for your emails, you would not write on a postcard everything you says on an email right? If you are not using encryption to send emails then it is as if you wrote your message on the outside of an envelope and it can easily be read by anyone who knows how to use a packer sniffer, such as Wireshark.

Hushmail has now a competitor, and it is called Countermail. I have been using it for the last few days and their capabilities to keep email private should satisfy most users. If you send email to a person who has a public PGP/OpenPGP-key you can first import his/her key and then the email will be encrypted automatically.

Countermail is easy to use by newbies, and it is compatible with Hushmail users, which it means communications between Hushmail and Countermail will be encrypted, after setting up Hushmail following the instructions given by Countermail FAQ.

If you are sending email to a Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail address encryption will not work but your message will still be digitally signed with you public key making it impossible for someone to supplant your identity.

Countermail, anonymous encrypted webmail
Countermail, anonymous encrypted webmail

Anonymous email provider

Countermail will keep your privacy hiding your computer IP on the email headers and it uses the standard OpenPGP for encryption.

What I liked most of Countermail is that the sign up process is really simple, you do not get asked for personal information, Countermail will not store you name and address after a credit card payment is verified and finished.

There is no backdoor access to CounterMail email accounts, your encrypted email can only be decrypted with your own secret passphrase and private key, if you lose them that is it. Even the calendar at Countermail is encrypted.

I checked the headers while sending myself an email and they appear to be based in Sweden, the IP revealed that location.

Countermail diskless web server is a unique security feature, this will prevent IP-addresses leaking to a hard drive, if someone steals the web server they will find nothing, their mail server uses hard drives to store the encrypted messages, but all messages are stored encrypted.

Anonymous encrypted email service Countermail features

  • True end-to-end security
  • Anonymous email header
  • Easy installation with a certified Java applet
  • Portable and secure email from any browser
  • Windows, Linux and MacOS support
  • Time Delayed sending*
  • Encrypted file storage/sharing*
  • Use your own domain name*
  • Encrypted chat*

Conclusion Countermail review

Countermail diskless unique web servers starting from a CD-ROM are a far superior privacy guarantee than that of Hushmail and other similar services.

Countermail sign up process is very simple and they will not keep user  identifiable details. Being compatible with OpenPGP encryption is a plus, as well as hiding the sender computer IP on the headers.

The only downside of Countermail is that there is no free account option with a small inbox, such as the one Hushmail has, but if you are willing to pay for a premium anonymous encrypted email service, Countermail is well worth the money and stands out of the competition.

Visit Countermail homepage