If you want to download torrent based content (legal of course), you should check out the list of torrent friendly providers maintained by TorrentFreak.
Is HideMyAss secure?
I emailed HideMyAss support asking for details about its encryption technologies and directed to this support write-up. This write-up does not answer any of my questions about what cyphers are used and how. I believe some of their protocols (like L2TP) use pre-shared keys (which is a bad thing).
Without any additional information, I have to assume the worst and say "I don't consider HideMyAss secure at this point". My starting position is to assume technology is insecure unless proven otherwise.
I could not find DNS leak protection as an option in the Windows client, but my tests showed that it did not leak DNS information.
Assuming everything above didn't scare you away, you may be wondering about performance. Anytime I perform a VPN test; it is done using a 100MB fibre connection (<10ms ping) with a cleanly installed and patched Windows 10 computer connected directly to the internet connection.
Some HideMyAss connections had excellent performance, and other's cut my throughput by more than 50%. Through trial and error, you will be able to find the servers that work best for you, but there is no automated performance cataloguing function.
One item I will add here is the ability to get US Netflix. I test this with every VPN and Netflix never works, except this time it did with one of the US servers I tested. Since it did not work consistently, I am assuming there were a couple of IP addresses Netflix hadn't catalogued as VPN yet.
I don't use VPN to hide illegal activities. I use VPN to protect my privacy when I am using untrusted networks or from my ISP [read Your ISP is tracking you]. With everything that I learned during this review, I can't recommend HideMyAss. There are so many better options (in my opinion) that you shouldn't settle for a company that doesn't go the extra mile.