Hide.me Free: Ranked #57 out of 99 VPNs that we tested
Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi
Speed & Reliability
Incredibly fast downloads of 80Mbps
Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.
Before using Hide.me Free:
When connected to Hide.me Free:
Download speed without Hide.me Free: 91Mbps
Download speed with Hide.me Free: 81Mbps
Our download speed loss when Hide.me Free is running: 11%
Overall, we experienced an incredibly minimal drop in speeds while connected. It’s worth noting that we burnt through half of our data allowance running a few speed tests, though, which gives you an idea of how little you’ll be able to do on a monthly basis.
Only five locations to choose from
Hide.me’s free VPN service is limited to just five server locations: the Netherlands, Canada, Singapore, and the US (with a choice of both East and West Coast).
While these go some way to cover popular countries in three different continents, it won’t be enough for some, particularly if you live far from the available servers.
Offering such a limited number of server locations is fairly standard for a free service, but even Hide.me’s premium plan offers 56 server locations, which is much better but not competing with the top like HideMyAss! offering up to 190 countries.
Streaming & Torrenting
Not recommended for streaming or torrenting
We absolutely can’t recommend Hide.me’s free service for streaming.
We used to be able to access Netflix through the West Coast US server but this has been blocked for a few months now, and watching BBC iPlayer is impossible as you can’t connect to the UK.
Streaming will burn through your monthly data allowance after just a couple of hours, anyway. If it’s a priority, check out our latest VPN streaming recommendations, or take a look at these VPN services to stream Netflix and to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere.
Torrenting is permitted on three of the free server locations, but the data cap will be a massive setback once more.
For torrenting we’d suggest looking into other zero-logs providers – one of our favorites is IPVanish.
Not the most reliable option for China
Hide.me isn’t the most reliable option of China, but offers a couple of possible solutions for bypassing the Great Firewall including SoftEther connections, which use HTTPS to mask the fact you’re using a VPN. It’s worth noting that SoftEther isn’t available for Android or iOS, though.
Users are encouraged to contact tech support before attempting to use the service in the country though, as not all servers will work. The Chinese government has also now blocked Hide.me’s website, meaning you need to download the VPN before you travel.
Platforms & Devices
Available on all major platforms plus routers
Hide.me offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It also provides manual setup guides for other platforms such as Linux.
The biggest drawback for those on the free plan is that users can’t protect multiple devices at the same time. It’s possible to install the VPN at router level but the 2GB data limit will be a major hindrance.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Encryption & Security
Just as private and secure as the premium app
DNS Leak Blocking
IPV6 Leak Blocking
Supports TCP Port 443
VPN Kill Switch
Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.
Hide.me Free’s encryption is via AES-256, considered to be the ‘gold standard’, and you can choose between a range of different VPN protocols.
The free apps also offer a VPN kill switch along with first-party DNS servers and built-in DNS/IPv6 leak blocking, which our leak tests confirmed to be working.
We were also pleasantly surprised to see split tunneling included in the Windows app, a feature that allows you to choose which traffic does and doesn’t go through the VPN tunnel. Port randomization offers an extra layer of security, but you can manually select a port if you prefer.
Minimal logging based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction
Hide.me doesn’t collect any personally identifiable data, and only maintains non-persistent logs of connection data, including:
- Randomly generated username
- Internally assigned IP address
- Total amount of monthly data traffic
This data is used for troubleshooting purposes and erased every few hours. Even better, it can’t be linked back to individuals and can be deleted upon request.
Hide.me is incorporated in Malaysia where there are no data retention laws that require VPN providers to keep persistent logs of customer connections or network activities.
Hide.me states that it will comply with court orders from a recognized legal authority, but can’t be compelled to hand over information that it doesn’t have.
Ease of Use
Simple apps with hassle-free setup
How to Install & Set Up Hide.me Free
Hide.me’s apps are simple enough for VPN newbies, and the advanced features will satisfy more experienced users too. Unlike many free services, there isn’t an ad in sight, which is very refreshing.
The main screen is stripped back to the basics, and you can find the server locations by clicking the ‘Change’ button in the bottom right, with the free locations helpfully displayed at the top of the list. You can find the well-organized settings menu behind the cog symbol in the top-right.
Hide.me offers browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox free of charge. They include protection against WebRTC leaks, two extra server locations (US and Germany), and don’t come with a data cap.
These are SOCKS proxies rather than full VPN extensions, meaning that while they spoof your IP address they don’t encrypt your traffic unless used alongside the desktop app.
Good online support with 24/7 live chat
|24/7 Live chat support|
Hide.me’s live chat is available 24/7, and is great for answering any basic questions you may have, but not so effective for more technical queries. For those, you have to email the technical support team, but responses weren’t as quick as we would’ve liked.
Despite this, the support section of the website is well organized and includes a helpful FAQs page and simple setup guides accompanied by screenshots.
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