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Hide.me Review

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
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Hide.me screenshot

Hide.me: Ranked #23 out of 99 VPNs that we tested

Do you want to subscribe to “the world’s fastest VPN”? That’s a no-brainer right? Almost everyone shopping for a new VPN does.

That’s also the extremely bold claim that Hide.me makes, clear as day, right on its homepage. Can it actually be the world’s fastest VPN, though? Or is that just marketing bluster?

We were just as keen to know as you are, so we bought a subscription to Hide.me to investigate it fully. We didn’t just look at its VPN connection speeds, though. We also asked:

  • Is Hide.me VPN safe?
  • How do you set up VPN on Hide.me?
  • Is Hide.me good for Android?
  • Does Hide.me have a Chrome extension?

Take a look at the most important pros and cons below, followed by our full Hide.me VPN review for all the details.

 

  1. Fast speeds
  2. Currently works with Netflix
  3. P2P and torrenting works on many servers
  4. Easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
  5. Connect securely to 56 locations in 35 countries
  1. Premium plan is quite pricey
  2. Doesn't work reliably in China
  3. Live chat agents lack technical knowledge

Works with

Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux

Price from

$5.41/mo

Take note that this is just our review for the paid version of Hide.me – you can read our Hide.me Free review here.

If you’re in the right place, then let’s get started by taking a look at how fast Hide.me really is.

Speed & Reliability

Reliable and fast VPN

Speed results from our physical location in London (100Mbps fibre optic connection) to a London test server.

Before using Hide.me:

  1. DownloadMbps

    80

  2. UploadMbps

    98

  3. Pingms

    2

When connected to Hide.me:

  1. DownloadMbps

    72

  2. UploadMbps

    58

  3. Pingms

    14

Download speed without HideMe: 80Mbps

Download speed with HideMe: 72Mbps

Our download speed loss when HideMe is running 10%

Hide.me is a very fast VPN. When it comes to speeds over short distances, Hide.me is one of the best providers out there. 

It averages very fast and reliable speeds when connecting out to further abroad, too. 

Gamers and torrenters may also want to pay attention to Hide.me for its extremely low latency, even if longer distance connections suffer from a touch more lag. 

As long as you have a stable internet connection, Hide.me is a VPN with few if any connection drops – it’s very reliable.

It’s not quite the fastest VPN overall, but Hide.me won’t disappoint.

We put all of the VPNs on the site through a rigorous scientific speed testing process, determining the average speeds from multiple locations across the globe. These are the average speeds you can expect to pick up from these locations:

  • USA: 33Mpbs (download) & 17Mbps (upload)
  • Germany: 71Mbps (download) & 79Mbps (upload)
  • Australia: 35Mbps (download) & 12Mbps (upload)

Server Locations

Limited amount of servers, but popular locations are covered

Globe with a blue flag36Countries
Image of a city landscape57Cities
Image of a pink marker1,500+IP Addresses

Hide.me is limited when it comes to VPN server locations. 

There are 1,400 VPN servers, which sounds a lot, but they are located in only 35 countries worldwide, which is way below the average amount we would expect. You will need to consider another VPN service if you need more options.

For example, there is only one city to connect to in the whole of South America – Sao Paulo in Brazil. It is the same for Africa too, with Marrakesh in Morocco the only choice.

European coverage is good as we’d expect, with some city-level choices in countries such as UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, but go further afield and you’re out of luck.

We’d like to see more city-level server choices, though.

Still, Hide.me’s 1,500 IP addresses should help to reduce congestion at busy times. The reason for the small amount of servers may also be due to the fact the Hide.me own and control its own VPN server network, which is good news for the privacy credentials of the servers.

Screenshot of Hide.me Server Locations Map

Streaming & Torrenting

Great VPN for torrenting

Hide.me is no longer reliable when it comes to Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Hide.me offers no dedicated servers for streaming and it isn’t able to unblock BBC iPlayer on any of the two UK servers.

We also had no success in attempting to unblock Netflix on any of the US servers.

As a result, it’s unlikely that Hide.me will work with other streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Sky TV and more.

We continually fail to unblock the major streaming services during our tests of Hide.me. Many people want a VPN to watch unfiltered content, so we’ll keep testing and will let you know if we encounter any success in the future.

Other providers like SaferVPN offer dedicated streaming servers and much more consistent access.  It’s also worth viewing our entire lists of the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, Netflix or all-round streaming.

Torrenting

Hide.me is a good VPN for Kodi and torrenting due to consistently strong download and upload speeds. 

However, not all Hide.me VPN servers are compatible with torrenting. Don’t worry, the vast majority are, though, and the app includes helpful indicators of those which are not.

The addition of a kill switch is appreciated here, for it prevents your true IP address from being exposed should your VPN connection drop for whatever reason. Not to mention, it’s reassuring to have a logging policy that is strictly no-logs.

Bypassing Censorship

Unreliable in China

Hide.me used to work well in China, but it’s become less reliable since the government began to crack down on VPNs. There’s still a chance that SoftEther connections may bypass the Great Firewall, though. 

Hide.me encourages its users to contact its tech support before using its VPN service in China. The Chinese government has blocked Hide.me’s website, iOS App Store and Google Play Store listings, so the only way to download the software is from outside the country, or using another VPN provider that works in the country. 

Hide.me should still function in high censorship countries that aren’t as effective in blocking as China, such as Turkey. Hide.me uses self-managed DNS that encrypts your data and prevents malicious outsiders from accessing your DNS requests. 

There’s still the problem that even with success in bypassing censorship, Hide.me’s limited server list may mean that the nearest free-speech country will be far away, leaving you with a poor connection, particularly when it comes to the Middle East.

If you need a VPN for China, it’s best to take a look at our list of the best VPNs for China.

 

Platforms & Devices

Manual set-ups for routers and gaming consoles

Apps

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

Hide.me offers the usual range of native apps for various popular devices. There are manual step-by-step installation guides on the website, including for configuring compatible routers and manual setup guides for devices such as Apple TV, Sony PlayStation, and Kodi.

However, these are Hide.me SOCKS proxy extensions rather than true VPN connections, meaning that they won’t encrypt traffic – they just spoof your IP address. We recommend using them alongside the full-featured desktop apps to encrypt all of your device’s internet traffic.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

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

Hide.me has native apps for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Roku. There are also loads of easy-to-follow manual set-up guides for devices such as Apple TV, PlayStation 3 and 4, and Kodi.

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 isn’t too difficult, though, and it means you can protect multiple devices at once.

Browser Extensions

Chrome LogoChrome
Firefox LogoFirefox

Hide.me has a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox which can be quickly installed to your browser for a lightweight VPN experience alongside the inclusion of protection against WebRTC leaks.

 

Encryption & Security

Excellent choice for complete privacy

Protocol

IKEv2/IPSec

L2TP/IPSec

OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)

PPTP

SSTP

Encryption

AES-256

Security

DNS Leak Blocking

First-party DNS

IPV6 Leak Blocking

Supports TCP Port 443

VPN Kill Switch

Advanced features

SOCKS

Split Tunneling

Please see our VPN Glossary if these terms confuse you and would like to learn more.

Hide.me is an excellent choice if complete privacy is your priority. It has OpenVPN, which is the most secure protocol, and encryption is via the ‘unbreakable’ AES-256 cipher.

There are also numerous advanced privacy features – a VPN kill switch that prevents true IP addresses from being exposed, zero-log DNS servers that avoid third-party servers, and built-in DNS leak protection to keep your activity hidden from your ISP.

Hide.me also has port randomization and a split tunneling feature, which allows you to choose which apps are and aren’t routed through the VPN connection.

Combine these features with strong privacy policy and Hide.me is a real contender for the most private VPN service on the market today.

Logging Policy

No logs makes it impossible to identify you

Hide.me No-Logs Graphic From the Hide.me WebsiteHide.me operates a very strict zero-logs policy, maintaining only non-persistent logs of connection data for troubleshooting purposes that are erased every few hours and cannot be used to identify you.

Hide.me’s privacy policy states that monitoring or logging your browsing behavior is made ‘impossible’ by the technical backend, which is very reassuring.

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 its customers on data-capped plans. However this data is not linked to you in any way and can be deleted on request.

Hide.me also provide transparency reports on its website to further earn your trust.

Screenshot of Hide.me Privacy Policy

Excerpt of Hide.me privacy policy

Jurisdiction

Hide.me is a small VPN company founded in 2012.

It wasn’t super easy to get any details on the corporate structure and ownership of Hide.me, which is strange from a provider service that prides itself on transparency, but it appears to exist outside large corporate ownership.

At the bottom of the privacy policy, it states Hide.me is owned by eVenture Limited who seem to exist solely to operate Hide.me.

eVenture Limited and Hide.me is incorporated and based 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 has reassured its users that if this ever changes they will move jurisdictions or close the service.

Even with a valid court order from a legal authority, Hide.me cannot supply a customer identity as there is no stored information to hand over. If you choose to use Hide.me we don’t think you have anything to worry about.

Ease of Use

Will satisfy the VPN newbie and experienced user alike

How to Install & Set Up Hide.me

Hide.me offers a well-designed, functional set of easy-to-use apps and with lots of extra features including a VPN kill switch.

The main screen is a simple on/off button, with your chosen location and new IP address. We also like the handy ‘change location’ option.

The settings are numerous and well-organized, separated into tabs like ‘protocol’ and ‘kill switch’ which makes it easy to navigate.

Customer Support

Support could do with improvement

Live chat Support
Online Resources

Hide.me offers decent customer service through a range of online services and a live chat on the website.

Response from support is usually quick, although it frustratingly tends to simply link you to a support page, lacking knowledge concerning technical issues and simply advising you to email support and wait, instead.

The support section offers helpful answers to FAQs which addresses more complex issues with screenshots and videos.

Screenshot of Hide.me Support Page on the Hide.me Website

Pricing & Deals

Quite expensive, especially on a monthly basis

Hide.me Coupon

Hide.me

Get 15% off Hide.me's 12-month plan

  • Tested

Hide.me Pricing Plan

Hide.me offers a Premium and a Free plan. You can read our review of Hide.me Free here.

Like most VPN services, the longer the subscription you opt for, the less you pay on a monthly basis. A single month is the most expensive option at $14.95 but is much cheaper at $5.41 per month on the two-year plan.

That’s still definitely more expensive than a lot of our highest-scoring VPNs, such as CyberGhost, NordVPN, and PrivateVPN, but we’d still say it’s affordable.

Hide.me is available through your usual payment options, including debit/credit card and PayPal. But it also offers over a massive 80 anonymous payment options. Some of these include:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • NEO (NEO)
  • Peercoin (PPC)
  • PIVX (PIVX)
  • Verge (XVG)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • ZenCash (ZEN)

That’s a lot of choice for people looking for the most privacy-friendly ways of subscribing to Hide.me.

Hide.me also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, 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”.

We asked Hide.me about the specifics of this and were told: “We do hold the right to evaluate edge cases where we see that user has consumed an incredibly massive amount of data (several hundreds of gigabytes) in short period of time.” Not super specific – how many gigabytes exactly? And what is considered “a short period of time”? Hide.me couldn’t answer.

They did reassure us, however, that this has only happened once in a year. Still, this isn’t the same as “no questions asked” that we see in other top VPN providers like ExpressVPN.

Hide.me also offers a free plan, no payment details required, so that you can test out the software before buying. However, you are limited to four countries.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio

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  1.  100% 

    Extremely reliable VPN at a reasonable cost.

    Verified Customer

    I've been with Hide.me VPN for over 2 years now. I've never had a major problem, always connects faultlessly on all devices and is extremely reliable. When I've had minor technical issues they have responded promptly and efficiently and have resolved them quickly. I always get a renewal reminder and I feel their charges are very reasonable for the level of service provided.