I had never heard of HMA (Hide My Ass) until I read about it just now in your post. As my Astrill.com account is nearing expiration, I decided to sign up for a 30-day account with HMA for the purpose of making a comparison.
HMA is about 15% more expensive than Astill (based on annual subscription rates) but claims many more VPN connections throughout the world than is currently offered by Astrill (131 vs 70). They also claim, like Astrill, to offer unlimited data transfer speeds.
Like Astrill, HMA’s VPN software installed easily and I was up and running in no time. However, it seemed to take HMA considerably longer to make a VPN connection than it does Astrill (at least 30 to 40 seconds as opposed to 5 or 6, respectively) and the first couple of connection attempts failed due to very slow ping rates.
For my comparison test, I downloaded a 400MB file from my Usenet server account. I tried several HMA VPN servers throughout the world including servers in Turkey, Russia, the United States, and Canada. The fastest download speed that I experienced with HMA was a terribly slow and disappointing 1.7mb per second (in most cases, the transfer speed was much slower than that). With Astrill.com, I was able to download that same file at the maximum speed of my Internet connection, which is 30mb/s. The difference in transfer speed was day and night.
Based on this very unscientific speed test, I am going to cancel my HMA account and renew my annual subscription to Astrill.com. So, yes, I can still highly recommend Astrill.com
and I can definitely recommend it over HMA.
Thanks for the question and best of luck in China.