Hide.me is a zero-logs VPN that delivers lots of robust privacy features as well as excellent speeds on local connections. Consistently quick upload speeds and very low latency make it a great choice for torrenters, gamers and P2P users. Streaming fans will be happy to read that it’s currently possible to access Netflix, however this hasn’t been consistent. Well-designed custom apps are available for most major platforms and are very easy to set up and use.
Hide.me is a real contender for one of the most secure VPNs in the current market. It offers loads of privacy positives such as a VPN kill switch, first-party DNS servers and port randomization. Its strict zero-logs policy also gives you peace of mind that your personal information is safe from prying eyes. It also works well in high-censorship countries such as China due to specialist protocols designed to bypass firewalls. Customer service is a mixed bag- it offers a broad range of online resources, but live chat support agents often lack technical knowledge.
Pricing & Deals
Hide.me offers a range of pricing plans to make choosing your ideal option simple. Like most other providers the longer the subscription you opt for, the less you pay on a monthly basis.
Hide.me offers both a Premium and a Plus plan, but the features of Plus are very limited compared to full accessibility if you choose Premium. A single month is the most expensive options at $16.95 but is by 15% to $8.32 if you commit to a 12-month plan. There is also a 6-month package available at $11.65 per month.
Get 15% off Hide.me's 12-month plan
Hide.me Pricing & Deals
Hide.me is unlike most other VPN providers in that it offers a free trial with no time limit, meaning you can renew as many times as you’d like. You also don’t have to provide any payment details which is a bonus. However this isn’t really a great way to test out the service as not only are you limited to three countries, you are also subject to a 2GB data transfer limit and reduced bandwidth.
Additionally hide.me does offer a 14-day refund policy, but the terms of service state that you can only get your money back if you have ‘not consumed a significant amount of your transfer data’. When we asked support what exactly this means they couldn’t give us a fixed data limit, but said that they ‘reserve the right to deny refunds in cases when customers wilfully try to abuse [the] refund policy’. You also have to send an email explaining why you’re not satisfied before your refund will be processed, and even then it can take up to 10 days for you to get your money back. This doesn’t come close to the 30-day “no questions asked” guarantees offered by top-tier providers such as ExpressVPN.
Hide.me accepts a good range of payment options including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal, and loads of different cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Monero and more. It also accepts a few international options such as Sofort, GiroPay and CashU.
Speed & Reliability
Hide.me is one of the best providers out there in terms of great download speeds on same-country connections. Globally it is still very reliable, averaging 80Mbps download speeds, but some more long-distance connections (particularly out of Australia) do not perform at anywhere near this level. Consistently strong upload speeds combined with very low latency make it a fantastic choice for gamers and users of P2P software.
Hide.me Performance Data
- Download Speed Average:79.76 MbpsUpload Speed Average:28.61 MbpsPing Time Average:139 ms
- Download Speed Average:216.11 MbpsUpload Speed Average:138.31 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:263.66 MbpsUpload Speed Average:60.01 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:243.78 MbpsUpload Speed Average:120.47 MbpsPing Time Average:12 ms
- Download Speed Average:264.36 MbpsUpload Speed Average:138.72 MbpsPing Time Average:18 ms
- Download Speed Average:364.64 MbpsUpload Speed Average:197.86 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:264.07 MbpsUpload Speed Average:136.89 MbpsPing Time Average:5 ms
- Download Speed Average:271.98 MbpsUpload Speed Average:176.70 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:211.27 MbpsUpload Speed Average:147.18 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:162.88 MbpsUpload Speed Average:56.44 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:139.63 MbpsUpload Speed Average:78.37 MbpsPing Time Average:15 ms
- Download Speed Average:34.61 MbpsUpload Speed Average:6.95 MbpsPing Time Average:127 ms
Hide.me offers some of the fastest speeds we’ve soon on local connections, topping 365Mbps in Paris, with other hotspots around 222Mbps. US from Europe you can expect around 103Mbps and over 213Mbps from Canada, more than enough for ultra HD streaming. Some more distant connections performed well, such as San Fran to Tokyo (82Mbps), but long-distance connections out of Australia struggled to reach 20Mbps (aside from into Singapore at 48Mbps).
We logged extremely low latency of 2ms for local connections in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Singapore, making it a really good choice for gamers and torrenters. Most other popular locations had local ping times well under 5ms. There were some exceptions: Vancouver was very laggy at 127ms.
Hide.me connects incredibly quickly at around 3 seconds on average, one of the best results we’ve recorded in our tests. We found the connection to be incredibly reliable with little-to-no connection drops, so you shouldn’t have any issues as long as you’ve got a stable internet connection.
Hide.me also offers very strong upload speeds on local connections, with a current average of 114Mbps for same-country connections. Some individual servers tested significantly higher than this, such as Paris reaching 198Mbps, making it a fantastic choice for P2P users.
The only major downside to Hide.me’s performance is the inconsistency when it comes to more distant connections such as Australia. If you’re mainly going to be connecting locally then it’s a brilliant choice for speed, but there are other providers out there offering more consistent speeds on a global scale.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
Hide.me has a fairly limited choice of server locations compared to the majority of its competitors. Most of the more popular locations are covered, but a choice of only 34 countries might not be enough for some people. New servers are added regularly but should you need more variety then you might be better off with another provider.
Hide.me operates just over 150 individual servers worldwide, which is a pretty small number when you compare it some rivals, however the number of IP addresses on offer goes some way to make up for this with more than 1500, which will help reduce congestion at busy times.
A choice of five different US cities is nice to see in a network this small, however if you need more options you may want to look into other providers such as IPVanish, which boasts almost 20 US cities in total. The only other countries with city-level servers are the Australia, UK and Netherlands, with two cities each. Hide.me have informed us that it is working on adding more servers, which hopefully will mean more city-level choice soon.
Europe has the best choice of locations with most of the usual countries covered. The Asia Pacific region is also served fairly well with a servers in Australia, Singapore, Japan and a few others. Coverage in Central and South America is limited to Brazil and Mexico, with Morocco being the only choice in Africa.
You can find the complete list of Hide.me server locations by country and city on their website below.
Platforms & Devices
Hide.me offers the usual range of native apps for various devices including Microsoft Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. There is also an app for Windows Phone and you can find manual setup guides for a range of other devices such as Linux and Blackberry on their website.
Hide.me also offers step-by-step installation guides on their website for manually configuring various compatible routers, including those that run on DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato firmware. The process is not straightforward and could be confusing for inexperienced VPN users. But, if you aren’t comfortable with an element of manual configuration, you could instead buy a router with Hide.me already installed via their partnership with Vilfo.
Hide.me has recently launched browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, which are quick and easy to download and add to your browser. This is great news for heavy browser users looking for a more lightweight experience, and the extensions even include integrated protection against WebRTC leaks, ensuring your true IP address remains private.
However it’s worth noting that these are proxy extensions rather than true VPN connections, meaning that your traffic won’t be encrypted. If you’re just looking to hide your IP address, the extensions are a great tool, but for those seeking a more secure browsing experience, we’d recommend using them alongside the desktop app.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Hide.me doesn’t have any native apps for consoles or streaming devices, but on their website there are loads of manual set-up guides for devices such as AppleTV, PlayStation 3 and 4 and Kodi. These are very easy to follow with lots of helpful screenshots to keep you on the right track should you get stuck.
In order to use games consoles or any other streaming devices you’ll have to connect wirelessly via a configured router, or use a crossover cable to a PC or Mac with the VPN software installed. This is not too difficult and means you can protect multiple devices at once.
Streaming & Torrenting
Hide.me is a solid choice for Kodi users and torrenters, and has recently regained access to Netflix. Despite a customer support agent on live chat telling us that the popular streaming service was completely blocked, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it actually did work on a couple of the US servers. Great speeds meant that we experienced very little buffering and HD visuals.
Hide.me works to unblock BBC iPlayer sometimes but it changes from day to day. Other providers like SaferVPN offer dedicated streaming servers and much more consistent access.
Great download speeds mean Hide.me is also a popular choice with fans of other streaming sites such as HBO, Sky and PlayStation Vue. It’s also a good option for users of P2P software due to consistently strong local upload and download speeds. However, just be aware that P2P is not permitted on all servers, but these are clearly marked within the client server list.
Encryption & Security
Hide.me is an excellent choice if complete privacy is your priority. The full range of VPN protocols is available on the desktop app, but we recommend using OpenVPN wherever possible as it is the most secure option. Encryption is via AES-256 which is considered unbreakable.
The advanced privacy features offered by Hide.me are numerous. A VPN kill switch shuts down your internet connection should the VPN connection drop, preventing your true IP address from being exposed. They also operate their own zero-log DNS servers to ensure your web traffic is never routed through third-party servers and is therefore always protected. Built-in DNS leak protection means that your online activity is always hidden from your ISP, giving you added peace of mind.
We love that there is an option on the desktop app for port randomization, which provides you with an extra layer of security, although you can manually select a port if you prefer. Hide.me has also recently added a split tunnel feature, which allows you to choose which apps are and aren’t routed through the VPN connection. This may increase performance and also means that you won’t lose access to local network devices, such as printers or smart TVs. Combine these features with Hide.me’s strong privacy policies and you have a real contender for the most private VPN in the current market.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling
Hide.me is one of very few services that can still be used from within China to access restricted content. However this is becoming more difficult as the Chinese government has now blocked Hide.me’s website, the App Store and Google Play Store, meaning the only way to download the software is from outside the country or using another VPN provider.
Hide.me has been popular with users in China for a number of years as it supports SoftEther connections, which are multi-protocol solutions designed to bypass firewalls by using HTTPS to mask your VPN connection. Hide.me has also recently added the IKEv2 Stealth Mode protocol, which is said to work in China, however it’s worth bearing in mind that Hide.me encourages anyone thinking of using its service in China to contact tech support before they do so, as not all servers or protocols will work. On the whole, it is one of the more reliable providers to use.
Hide.me’s SoftEtherVPN and IKEv2 Stealth Mode also make it a great choice for people living in other high-censorship countries, as it is specifically designed to overcome firewalls and enable you to unblock censored content.
It should be noted that Hide.me does log the amount of monthly data traffic to maintain a high quality of service and also to properly bill their customers on data-capped plans. However this data is not linked to you in any way and can be deleted on request.
Hide.me is incorporated in Malaysia, putting it beyond the reach of US authorities and EU data retention regulations. Malaysian law does not require VPN providers to keep persistent logs of customer connections or network activity, and furthermore Hide.me have reassured their users that if this ever changes they will move jurisdictions or close the service.
If Hide.me receives a valid court order from a recognized legal authority it is obliged to issue a response. However since no connection logs are stored it is impossible to associate a request with a customer identity, meaning there would be no information to hand over.
Ease of Use
Hide.me offers a compact, well-designed set of apps that are incredibly easy to use and boast lots of extra features you won’t see from other providers. The main screen keeps it simple with an on/off button, your chosen location and new IP address. It’s really easy to tell when you’re connected, and we like the handy ‘change location’ option.
Advanced options can be found in the settings menu, which some might find difficult to locate as it’s hidden behind a small cog icon in the top right-hand corner. The settings themselves are numerous and incredibly well-organised, separated into tabs such as ‘protocol’ and ‘kill switch’ to make them easy to navigate.
We love the broad range of privacy features on offer and the handy tooltips explaining less obvious things, such as the option to add a ‘fallback protocol’ in case your initial connection fails. The mobile apps are a little more stripped back- the Android app doesn’t even include the all-important kill switch- but still provide more advanced options than most. Overall, Hide.me’s apps are streamlined, functional and will satisfy both VPN newbies and more experienced users.
Downloading and installing Hide.me is an incredibly quick and simple process, even if you’ve never used a VPN before. There are detailed set-up guides for most major platforms on the website which are full of helpful screenshots and video tutorials.
The process is as easy as downloading the appropriate software from the site and following the prompts given to you by the installation wizard. If you get stuck, you can always refer back to the installation guides which should get you back on the right track. Once you’ve done this, all that’s left to do is log in, connect and start using the service.
Hide.me offers decent customer service through its extensive range of online resources and via live chat on the website. Support agents usually respond quickly, although they tend to just link you to a support page on the website and often lack knowledge about more technical issues. On numerous occasions, we were asked to email support and wait for an answer, which didn’t come as quickly as we would have liked and left us pretty frustrated.
Despite this, the support section on the site is very well laid-out and offers helpful answers to FAQs as well as addressing more complex subjects with the help of screenshots and videos. It’s really easy to find set-up tutorials for your specific devices too. Our only real complaint is the lack of search feature, meaning you have to manually check through certain articles to see if they have what you’re looking for. However this is the case with a lot of providers, and the quality of content more than makes up of it.
The Bottom Line
- Reliable, fast performance with local connection speeds of up to 365Mbps
- Access to Netflix currently possible
- Really easy to use. Quick set-up on major platforms
- Connect securely to 34 countries
- SoftEther & Stealth protocols work in China
- Premium plan is quite pricey
- Limited server network
- Data caps on cheaper packages
- Live chat agents lack technical knowledge
Hide.me is one of our top picks for a provider that really delivers on privacy without sacrificing speed. It isn’t one of the cheaper options out there but the range of premium features means it’s worth paying that little bit extra. It’s seriously fast on same-country connections and consistently quick upload speeds make it a great choice for Kodi fans and torrenters. You can currently stream Netflix, but access has been very unreliable recently.
In terms of privacy Hide.me is one of the best in the current market. It’s a true zero-logs VPN based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, so you don’t need to worry about your browsing activity being monitored. More advanced privacy features such as the VPN kill switch and first-party DNS servers aren’t things you find with every provider, and the fact that it works reliably in high-censorship countries is another bonus.
The Hide.me apps are very streamlined and user-friendly whilst also including enough advanced features to please experienced VPN users. Customer support is decent, with an extensive range of online resources and snappy responses to live chat support, but agents are often unable to answer more technical questions. If you’re looking for a speedy, functional VPN with great privacy features then you should definitely consider Hide.me.