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Hide.me Review

Simon Migliano
Simon MiglianoUpdated
Hide.me
Our rating: 4.15
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Fast VPN with lots of privacy extras. Great choice for P2P users.

What we like
  • Fast speeds - 49Mbps global average
  • Excellent upload speeds and latency
  • P2P and torrenting permitted on many servers
  • Easy-to-use apps. Simple set-up on most devices
  • Connect securely to 28 countries

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, however streaming fans will be disappointed as access to Netflix is currently blocked. 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 killswitch, 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 a specialist protocol designed to bypass firewalls. Customer service is informative and helpful with live chat and a broad range of online resources.

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 reduced by over 50% to a reasonable $8.32 if you commit to a 12-month plan. There is also a 6-month package available but this is still fairly expensive at $11.65 per month.

Hide.me Pricing & Deals

The prices below include the coupon savings.

Best Value Deal
12 Months
US$8.32/mo
Save 51%
Billed $99.95 every 12 months
6 Months
US$11.65/mo
Save 31%
Billed $69.95 every 6 months
1 Month
US$16.95/mo
Billed $16.95 every month
Get Hide.me14-day money-back guarantee

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 3 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 this is subject to a 500MB usage cap. You 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.

Payment Options

Hide.me accepts a good range of payment options including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and 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 49Mbps 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:49.38 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:24.46 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:141 ms
  • Download Speed Average:48.32 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:95.90 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:38 ms
  • Download Speed Average:230.15 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:90.20 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:139.66 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:194.93 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:59.65 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:35.50 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:46 ms
  • Download Speed Average:287.10 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:178.61 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:65.83 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:169.50 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:5 ms
  • Download Speed Average:132.62 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:75.54 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:45.71 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:41.38 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:158.35 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:120.58 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:77.42 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:65.57 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:15 ms
  • Download Speed Average:56.66 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:5.41 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:114 ms

Hide.me offers some of the fastest speeds we’ve soon on local connections, topping 287Mbps in Paris, with other hotspots around 118Mbps. US from Europe you can expect around 36Mbps and over 64Mbps from Canada, more than enough for ultra HD streaming. Some more distant connections performed well, such as San Fran to Tokyo (51Mbps), but long-distance connections out of Australia struggled to reach 19Mbps (aside from into Singapore at 46Mbps).

We logged extremely low latency of 2ms for local connections in Frankfurt and Tokyo and 3ms in Sydney, Paris and London, 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: New York and Vancouver were very laggy at 46ms and 114ms respectively.

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 98Mbps for same-country connections. Some individual servers tested significantly higher than this, such as London reaching 195Mbps, 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 test for VPN speed performance.

Features

Server Locations

28Countries28Countries
35Cities35Cities
1,300+IP Addresses1,300+IP Addresses

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 28 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 also only operates just over 120 individual servers worldwide, which is an incredibly small number when you compare it to one of their rivals, ExpressVPN, which has over 2,000. The number of IP addresses on offer is also quite limited at 1,300, making it harder for you to get ‘lost in the crowd’ and possibly leading to server congestion as busy times.

A choice of 6 different US cities is nice to see in a network this small. The only other countries with city-level servers are the UK and Netherlands, with 2 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

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

Hide.me offers the usual range of native apps for various devices including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. On their website you will also find manual set-up guides for a range of other devices such as Linux, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

Unlike most other top tier providers, it is not possible to buy a router with Hide.me already installed, meaning the only option is to manually configure your existing router. Compatible routers are limited to those that run on DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato firmware. There are step-by-step installation guides on the website, but the process is not straightforward and could be confusing for inexperienced VPN users.

Browser extensions

Hide.me unfortunately doesn’t offer any browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox or Safari, nor do they plan to in the future. Most of their rivals offer at least a proxy extension, with ExpressVPN providing full-featured extensions for the most popular browsers. This probably won’t be too much of an issue for most, but heavy browser users seeking a more lightweight experience might want to look elsewhere.

Console & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

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 but those looking for hassle-free access to major streaming services should consider other providers.

Following a recent crackdown by Netflix, it is no longer to possible to access their service using any of Hide.me’s US or UK servers. Hide.me is calling it a ‘cat-and-mouse game’, and whilst they have made attempts to overcome the blocks these have been unsuccessful. You are able to watch BBC iPlayer but you have to create and connect to a custom server in order to do so, rather than simply being able to click and connect to a UK location.

Despite this, great download speeds mean Hide.me is still a popular choice with fans of other streaming sites such as Hulu, 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, but just be aware that P2P is not permitted on the US, UK or Australian servers.

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 killswitch 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. 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.

Protocol
  • IKEv2
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  • PPTP
  • SSTP
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • First-party DNS
  • Supports TCP Port 443
  • VPN Killswitch
Advanced features

    Bypassing Censorship

    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. 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 also makes 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.

    Privacy

    Logging Policy

    Hide.me operates a very strict zero-logs policy, maintaining only non-persistent logs of connection data for troubleshooting purposes. This is securely erased every few hours and is limited to a randomly generated username and your non-public IP address, neither of which can be used to personally identify you. In Hide.me’s privacy policy it states that monitoring or logging your browsing behaviour is made ‘impossible’ by the technical backend, which is good to know.

    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.

    Jurisdiction

    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 ‘advanced’ 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 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.

    Getting started

    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.

    • Installing software
    • How to use the app

    Customer Support

    Hide.me offers straight-talking, informative customer service through its extensive range of online resources and via live chat on the website. Support agents respond quickly and efficiently, although sometimes they can be a little blunt. However our problems were always solved very quickly so we didn’t see this as too much of an issue.

    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

    What we like
    • Reliable, fast performance with local connection speeds of up to 260Mbps
    • Quick upload speeds ideal for P2P users
    • Really easy to use. Quick set-up on major platforms
    • Connect securely to 28 countries
    • SoftEther protocol works in China to unblock censored content
    What we like less
    • Premium plan is quite pricey
    • Very limited server network
    • Unreliable access to Netflix
    • Data caps on cheaper packages

    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.

    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-friend jurisdiction, so you don’t need to worry about your browsing activity being monitored. More advanced privacy features such as the VPN killswitch 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 solves problems quickly and efficiently with snappy livechat responses and an extensive range of online resources. If you’re looking for a speedy, functional VPN with great privacy features then you should definitely consider Hide.me.