What We Liked
- Quick connections through app
- Decent speeds in the US and South Korea
- Great support options
- Full tray control
What We Didn’t
- App UI on Windows is slightly dated/sluggish
- Speeds in smaller regions could be better
- Premium plan too expensive for most
Summary: Hide.me is a privacy-focused VPN based outside the jurisdiction of any surveillance nations, but we had some trouble getting reliable speeds on some server locations.
Verdict: Hide.me is a great VPN for privacy-conscious buyers, but may be a bit too pricey for a limited feature set.
Ease of Use Review
Installation and Setup
Getting Hide.me setup was a quick and relatively painless process, marred only by a brief problem getting the proper TAP adapter installed to correspond with the protocol we wanted to use.
To be frank, when I first looked at the Hide.me app running on Windows 10, the overall design style wasn’t something that screamed $19.95 per month. Connections can be selected and activated from both within the app as well as directly from the tray, and users can keep an eye on
One small (emphasis on small) issue we noticed came as a result of the monitor we were testing on, which supports a refresh rate of 200Hz. While most modern applications are built to scale with the refresh rate, others may lock themselves to 60Hz or even 30Hz (in the case of Hide.me) to prevent from crashing. Hide.me’s 30Hz refresh was definitely noticeable when the app was open, but like I mentioned earlier this is a small complaint against an otherwise well-designed desktop application.
Hide.me can be installed on devices running Windows XP and above, OSX, iOS 9.3+, Android 4.4+, Linux (Ubuntu and Fedora), as well as Windows Phone, Blackberries, and any routers running DD-WRT, Tomato, or other custom firmware options.
Speed and Performance Review
Though I was slightly putoff by the slower performance of the Windows 10 app, the pace at which it switched between servers and got connected was pretty much second to none.
Of all the VPNs I’ve tested over the years I’d say that Hide.me easily ranks in the top 3 when it comes to the amount of time it takes to get connected to a server, however we did notice some instances where the app would hang on a connection until we stepped in to disable it.
Throughout testing we’d say these hangs (which were notated by a yellow icon in the taskbar) only happened about five or six times, and none of them caused failures that would have prevented us from simply re-initiating the connection one more time to get through.
On the few servers we were actually able to test for Hide.me, the service hit an overall mid-point in our testing roster with a maximum download speed of 243Mbps in Singapore, and a minimum of just 29.6Mbps in London
Security and Privacy Review
Based out of Malaysia, Hide.me goes to extra lengths (and fills up extra web pages) to ensure that its user’s data will never be logged or subject to subpoena from any of the members of the Five or Fourteen Eyes Collectives.
Hide.me only collects data on three points: the email address you signed up with, the amount of traffic being used, and a user ID log which holds onto the randomly generated aliases attached to each connection (which is wiped clean every few hours).
Hide.me supports a huge number of protocols on the Windows 10 application, including PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and SoftEtherVPN.
Hide.me divvies up its P2P/torrenting permissions based on the server’s region you’re trying to connect to. For example no servers in the US, UK, or Australia will allow P2P transfers, but every other location on the map will let them through unattended.
Hide.me offers three support options on their website: support tickets, 24/7 live chat, and a community forum where users can post to have their questions answered by other members.
We opened up the Live Chat option around 1PM on a Tuesday and got an almost immediate response from an agent. The agent was helpful and knowledgable about our request, and was able to get us a solution to the problem in about three minutes, definitely a great score all around no matter who you’re comparing against.
Hide.me has multiple options when it comes to which type of subscription you can sign up for, including a free plan, a mid-tier, and a premium option.
The free plan includes the option to connect to up to three server locations (Canada, Netherlands, and Singapore), with a maximum of 2GB of data transferred over a 3Mbit/s limited line over a select number of available protocols. After that is the standard plan, which starts at $9.95/mo if you go month-to-month ($59.95 a year) and includes unlimited bandwidth, the option to connect to all 30+ server locations, and 75GB of data transfer every 30 days with 1 simultaneous connection.
Finally there’s the premium plan, which starts for a staggering $19.95 per month (one of the most expensive plans we’ve seen to date) and includes everything that you get with the standard plan sans the 75GB data cap (unlimited data), the addition of port forwarding, and the option to have up to 5 simultaneous connections at once .
All paid plans come with a14-day 100% money-back guarantee, which isn’t as close to the standard 30-days we like to see but still isn’t too bad nonetheless.
Hide.me supports payments from Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover, as well as Bitcoin, PayPal, and PayNearMe.
Hide.me: By the Numbers
- 12 Mo Price
- 14 Eyes Jurisdiction
- 1 Mo Price
- 3 Mo Price
- 6 Mo Price
- Access to Website - China
- Ad Track Blocker
- Alexa Website Rank
- Android Devices
- Oreo - 8Nougat - 7Marshmallow - 6Lollipop - 5KitKat - 4.4
- App Screenshots
- Automatic Multihop or Double Encryption
- Browser Extensions
- Business VPN
- Claims "100% No Logs"
- Claims to Work - China
- Claims to Work - Netflix
- DNS Leak Protection
- Easy to Find Owners?
- Enemy of the Internet Jurisdiction
- Facebook Likes
- Founding Year
- Free Trial
- Free Trial - Days
- Free Version
- Gaming Devices
- Headquarters Location - Country
- iOS Devices
- iOS 11iOS 10
- IPv6 Leak Protection
- Kill Switch
- Linux Devices
- Mac Devices
- macOS High Sierra - 10.13macOS Sierra - 10.12OS X El Capitan - 10.11OS X Yosemite - 10.10
- Max # of Connections
- No of Total Locations
- # of Countries
- # of Languages
- # of Platforms Supported
- # of Protocols Offered
- # of Servers
- # of Setup Documents on Website
- # of Troubleshooting Documents on Website
- Other Devices
- Payment Methods
- PaypalCashuVisaAmerican ExpressMastercard
- Payment Methods - Cryptocurrency
- Private DNS
- Promo Codes
- IKEv2L2TP/IPsecOpenVPNOpenVPN TCPOpenVPN UDPPPTPP2P TorrentsSSTPSoft Ether
- Quick Links
- Refund Period Days
- Router Devices
- SMTP Allowed
- Support Offered
- 24/7EmailLive Chat
- TrustPilot Rating
- 7 / 10
- TV Devices
- Twitter Followers
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Upgrades Available
- Additional DevicesOther Upgrades
- Visit Home Page
- VPN Locations
- VPN Service
- WebRTC Leak Protection
- Website QualSys SSL Rating
- Website Screenshots
- Windows Devices
- Windows 10Windows 8.1Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XPWindows Phone