A number of tests were carried out to make sure that HMA did not produce any DNS leaks. Such tests were performed before connecting to the VPN and while connected to the VPN, using the Google NameBench tool and dnsleaktest.com. All results show that there are no DNS leaks. Further manual tests were also carried out using Google’s DNS servers which are inside and outside the VPN.
A number of speed tests were carried out using HMA VPN endpoints around the world and the results were extremely varied. When compared to the ISP connection speed, testing via the ‘best and fastest’ VPN endpoints around the world, the download speeds were between 0.08-10.2% of the ISP download speed, and the upload speeds were between 1.97-42.18%. The majority of the download speeds came into the lower end of the range: out of 21 tests, only four VPN endpoints reached speeds over 100Mbps.
Further speed tests were performed from the VPN endpoint in Vienna, Austria, to other locations in Europe and America with very little difference in the speed between locations, download speeds ranged between 33.42Mbps – 54.41Mbps, with uploads between 32.65Mbps – 36.66Mbps
While performing the speed tests, it was noticed that while connected to some locations around the world, a message appeared beside your selected location that indicated you might not be connecting to the internet from the desired location, but no information was provided to inform you what country your traffic was appearing on the internet. When selecting a VPN endpoint location, this is where you expect your traffic to appear on the internet (not via another unknown location). This was disappointing.
For streaming servers such as YouTube and Netflix, both websites were accessible via the VPN. Still, testing for 8K video streaming on YouTube, the performance was very poor, with buffering taking place every few seconds, which lasted 2-3 seconds each time which provided a very poor user experience. However, 4K videos were able to be viewed without buffering.
Overall, from an end user’s experience, download speeds were quite poor and streaming Ultra HD videos would not be possible, and online gaming would certainly not have been achievable. Also, having your internet traffic appearing elsewhere on the internet other than your selected location is disappointing for a paid product.