HIDE me Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

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Features

4.4/5

Speed & Performance

4.5/5

Ease of Use

4.5/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

4.6/5

Pricing

3.7/5
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hide.me VPN Pros:

hide.me VPN Cons:

hide.me is a brand that ticks a lot of boxes! Their VPN comes with both a paid and a free version, as well as a wide range of features.

I was certainly excited to test out hide.me, which is a popular choice for U.S. streaming especially.

So, let’s take a look at my findings…

Overview

There are many different VPN providers on the market today, so companies really need to do all in their power to stand out from the crowd! 

hide.me is owned by eVenture Ltd, which is a privately held IT security firm incorporated in Malaysia’s Labuan era. It was established back in 2011 by a group of people described as “tech geeks” on the company’s website.

That’s about as far as it goes when it comes to the different information that is available about hide.me as a company. By doing a little bit of digging, though, it does appear that their workforce mainly operates out of Zagreb in Croatia. 

There is a decent number of servers available, with 1,700 to choose from across 70 different locations. Every server has between four and eight IP addresses. I would describe this as a medium-size network. It is definitely a lot bigger than the likes of AVG, but it doesn’t compare to the more comprehensive options like HideMyAss.

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Speeds

I was happy with the speed and performance offered by hide.me. The download speed for local connections was 93Mbps, which is more than sufficient. I did notice that the speed loss was greater for long distance connections. 

One thing that really impressed me with the free version of hide.me is that there were not any speed caps placed on users within the monthly data limit, which is 10GB. This means that, as a free customer, you are still going to get the same performance as a paying customer. However, speeds are limited to 3mpbs once you pass the monthly cap of 10GB. So, determining whether to go for the free or paid version does largely come down to suspected use. I’ll tell you more about the prices a bit later, though. 

One negative, though, was the latency – otherwise known as ping time. This is the delay in your Internet connection when you try to connect to another server. The ping time was twice as long as services like Surfshark and ExpressVPN. You can read my reviews on these for more information.

Security

hide.me keeps your personal data protected, your connection secure, and your IP address hidden with the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption.

They also use a number of different connection protocols, including SSTP, SoftEther, IKEv2, and OpenVPN (UDP/TCP). 

I was pleased with the number of advanced features that are included as well, such as a kill switch, custom DNS functionality, and in-built leak protection. 

Another feature I really like is the Stealth Guard, which enables you to select services and applications that will not work unless you are linked to a VPN server. This helps ensure you do not accidentally use a service or app that would cause your privacy to be compromised without the security of a VPN. 

The high-end security features do not end there! There is an in-house DNS leak test, password generator, and the option of setting up custom DNS functionality. 

Does hide.me keep logs?

Yes, the VPN provider does keep a temporary record of your connection data, but for troubleshooting purposes only. This includes internally-assigned IP addresses and a randomly generated username. Their privacy policy is very clear and easy-to-understand, though, which is reassuring. 

The following user data is logged by hide.me:

  • The amount of data used during your session on the VPN
  • Internally assigned IP address
  • Randomly generated username
  • Email address

I do think that hide.me is as close to zero-logs (without being zero-logs) as it gets, if you get what I mean! This is because the data recorded by the company is deleted every few hours, so they do not hold onto for long. Also, your browsing behavior, originating IP address, and location are not stored or monitored, which means your activity cannot be linked back to your actual identity.

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Ease of use

This VPn can be used on a number of different platforms and I found it to be easy to install across the few devices and operating systems that I tested. It can be configured to work effectively with the majority of routers, including Kodi, Blackberry, Linux, and more. 

To get started with hide.me, simply create an account, download the file, install it on your device, and then use your username and password to log-in. Connect and you’re good to go!

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Torrenting

I would certainly recommend hide.me for torrenting. It’s a good choice because of the safe privacy policy, strong security, and consistent speeds. P2P activity is even permitted on three of the five available servers on the free version. 

For a free VPN, the 10GB data limit is more than generous and there are no speed restrictions for torrenting traffic either.

I would recommend using the Stealth Guard feature I mentioned earlier if you are going to be using hide.me for torrenting purposes. This option offers added security by ensuring your VPN connection is limited to specific services and apps. 

I enjoyed using the specialized SOCKS proxy, which gave me quicker P2P connections.

If you torrent on a frequent basis, you will find hide.me easy to use. There are clear labels that state P2P compatibility so that you don’t waste your time connecting to servers that are not compatible. Some of the services that are not compatible with torrenting include South Korea, Salt Lake City in the US, Lithuania, and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. 

To torrent safely, I always start off by activating the Stealth Guard and then enabling the VPN Kill Switch. Once you have done this, use the SOCKS proxy to bind your torrenting client to the VPN. Finally, you can connect to the P2P-friendly hide.me server that is right for you.

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Unblock streaming services

If you are looking to unblock streaming services because you want to watch US shows, hide.me is a good choice. However, if you are trying to unlock streaming services in other locations, I would advise trying out a different VPN.

Hide.me works consistently with Netflix in the US, yet there are some Netflix libraries that it struggles with. This includes South Korea, Japan, France, Germany, and the UK. 

In terms of BBC iPlayer, I was able to unblock it successfully on some UK servers but not on others, so there is a bit of inconsistency there. 

It’s not only Netflix that hide.me can unblock. The service is also effective when unblocking other US servers, including PlayStation Vue, HBO Now, Disney+, Hulu, ESPN, and Amazon Prime. 

So, for unblocking streaming services in the US only, hide.me is a good choice. If you want a VPN that unblocks streaming services worldwide, I would recommend reading my review on CyberGhost for more information.

What about the free version? Well, it works with BBC iPlayer and Netflix, but it’s hit-miss! Plus, you’re not going to benefit from any optimized servers for streaming. If this is what you are interested in, I would advise going for one of the paid versions instead. I will take you through the different packages later in the post.

Does hide.me VPN work in China?

I would definitely recommend using hide.me if you want a VPN that is going to work in countries that are highly-censored, such as China

There are a lot of servers that are close to China, such as those in Japan, India, Korea, and Hong Kong, and these servers will usually provide better VPN speeds for anyone based in China. 

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Compatibility

hide.me is available as a custom app for all of the main devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire TV Stick, Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac

It can also be used on Linux, Synology, DSM< QNAP, OpenELEC Kodi, Fedora 24+, QNAP Legacy, pfSense, LibreELEC Kodi, and Blackberry. 

You can check out my “reviews by device” if you would like more information on the best VPN for a specific device.

More impressive than a lot of the other VPN providers out there, it is possible to connect up to 10 devices at the same time. Most other providers will limit you to five devices at once, so this is definitely a big plus point for hide.me.

Games consoles and streaming devices

If you are looking for a VPN for gaming purposes, you should take a look at the other VPNs that I have reviewed instead. This is because the speeds are not as consistent as you’d probably need and the server list is limited. The latency can also be an issue in terms of the gaming experience too.

In terms of streaming, though, hide.me is a good choice. There are native apps for Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV. There are some good set-up guides and manuals for Kodi, PlayStation, and Apple TV.

Browser extensions

There are simple browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. There is a free proxy as well called hide.me proxy. This enables you to simply click on the extensions you want to add without any type of registration.

Customer support

hide.me doesn’t disappoint in the customer service department either! You’ve got everything you would want in terms of customer support, i.e. online resources, tutorial videos, email support, and live chat support. 

I really like that those using the free VPN get the same support options.

I don’t believe the live chat feature is available 24/7, as one of my messages was sent as an email. However, I did get through to an agent on plenty of other occasions, and they were helpful and quick to reply too. 

Pricing

hide.me is one of the more expensive plans out there, yet it is flexible in terms of the different options to choose from. For example, you can get a one-month plan, however, it is going to set you back £12.99 per month, so it is pretty expensive.

If you decide to pay for one year upfront, the price is reduced to £8.33 per month, which is a 36 per cent saving. You will pay £99.99 for this once per year.

You can reduce the price even further, i.e. by 61 per cent, if you opt to pay for two years upfront. This is £119.99 every 24 months, which equates to £4.61. I would definitely recommend opting for this plan, as it’s only £20 more than the one-year package, yet you get another 12 months on top.

As mentioned, hide.me is one of the few companies that has a free VPN for you to use. You can always try this plan out and see if it is substantial enough for you before you pay for another service.

I’m also pleased to tell you that there is a 30-day money-back guarantee too!

Summary

In my opinion, hide.meVPN is a good all-rounder. It is a great choice for streaming and torrenting. For gamers, though, I’d probably recommend checking out ExpressVPN or NordVPN instead. 

If you are on the lookout for a free VPN, the free offering from hide.me is definitely one of the better free options on the market. You get a lot of the features that are provided on the paid version.

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