The Dangers of Web Proxies

We know that you have a large selection of VPN, and privacy enhancing services to choose from, we at ZenMate are confident that we offer one of the best choices when it comes to your privacy with unblocking a useful extra. Free online proxy services like HideMyAss are very popular but what do they actually do?


What is HideMyAss?

HideMyAss is one of the largest unblocking services currently operating. It was established in 2005 and is based in London, UK. They started with a web proxy, which functions through a URL bar on their website.

HideMyAss also has a VPN client which has no free version. HMA ProVPNs biggest selling point is the number of servers they have available. They have also added a number of other services such as anonymous email.

Why Free Proxies like HideMyAss Proxy are Risky

In general a free online proxy server is very risky, they allow users to avoid georestriction but many proxies collect user information to sell to data brokers. All of your data passes through the server and could be easily gathered by the server host. Online Proxy servers often break videos, block sites or slow down your connection.

The free HideMyAss proxy specifically doesn’t have the same encryption, selection of server locations or protection from malware or phishing threats as ZenMate. The free online proxy server requires you to access all sites through the HideMyAss webpage, meaning it requires more effort to use it regularly than a browser add on or smartphone app.

Is your Data Safe?

One of the most important things to consider when looking at proxies and VPNs, is can the provider be trusted with your data? ZenMate which is based in Germany operates under much stricter data protection laws than sites like HideMyAss. HideMyAss is based in the UK whose Government is regularly criticised for it’s poor record and implementation of policies that allow mass surveillance of internet users in the UK. When the EU data retention directive (which Germany refused to implement) was declared illegal by European Court of Justice in April the British Government attempted to rush through a replacement policies with expanded powers.

HMA may log your IP and store the details for up to 2 years, they monitor your log in and log out times, although they may not directly monitor what websites your visit. HMA may give your data to third parties in certain circumstances such as corporate takeovers or requests by law enforcement.

HideMyAss giving user information to law enforcement led to infamous incident, when information about a member of the Lulzsec hacking group who was using a HideMyAss proxy was given to American law enforcement leading to a conviction. While sites like HideMyAss are clear that they won’t facilitate illegal activity, there was a massive amount of criticism of HMA handling of the case. It has made many internet users reluctant to use the HideMyAss proxy or any of their other services.

Advantages of Zenmate compared to sites like HideMyAss

ZenMate offers a free vpn and privacy service that encrypts all your browser traffic. ZenMate uses a simple browser add on, that is quick to download, has a free version and a premium paid version. In addition we also offer unblocking with currently 5 locations but we will add more in the future depending on what locations our users want. ZenMate enables functions similar to a free anonymous web proxy such as unblocking but is simpler to use and much more secure. We are expanding our premium offerings but we will always have a free version that offer the great service that is currently available.

We operate under very strict data protection laws. All of our users are protected, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, German law makes it clear that you have all the rights and entitlements including taking legal action against us if we breach our privacy policy. We also have no obligations to give information to US authorities. Even when using a server outside the EU, your data is secure. Under German law we may only gather the information necessary to provide our service and only use for the purpose it was intended, that means no data brokers, logging or snooping. Our privacy policy is not just a promise, it’s the law in Germany.


There is a lot to consider when choosing VPNs or using a free anonymous web proxy. Sites like HideMyAss providing a free web proxy may be convenient when it comes to occasionally getting around geo restrictions for a site like youtube. But all your information will pass through the proxy servers many with poor user protection or intentionally gathering your data to sell to data brokers. They could also be targeting you for phishing, malware or other online threats.

Unblocking is a free feature that comes with the Zenmate add on. We are focused on protecting your data, offer excellent encryption standards and have free to use version with up to 500mb of mobile bandwidth every month securing your device from online threats. It’s easy to get started with ZenMate, it will enable you to get around georestrictions across a range of devices and browsers while keeping your data safe from snooping, phishing and other online threats.