When it comes to VPNs, our best advice is to never believe their marketing messages. On the outside, every VPN promises to bring top-level security, unbeatable performance, and the ability to unblock just about any website. However, in reality, things are drastically different. After having reviewed dozens of VPNs so far, there’s only a handful of those that deserve their top-rated status. And with this said, we’re going to dive into hide.me VPN in this article. This is a well-known brand in the VPN industry, having been used by an incredibly large number of individuals. Can this VPN deliver its promises? Well, let’s find out. Welcome to our hands-on review of hide.me VPN!
We won’t overburden you with information right from the start. Instead, we will introduce you to this VPN’s capability via three tables in our introductory segment. The first table, found below, lets you review some of the most important aspects of hide.me.
|Logs||No data logging, whatsoever.|
|Number of Servers||34 countries, 160+ servers.|
|Encryption Standards||AES-256; OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SoftEther.|
|Speed Reduction||45%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, FireOS, Web browsers, routers|
You are probably wondering if hide.me VPN is a good solution for media streaming. Well, we’ve tested this VPN service with a number of popular streaming services. With this said, here’s how hide.me performs in that aspect.
|Media Streaming Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
And finally, we have just one more table for you. The last table will show you our findings after we spent quite some time testing hide.me. If you don’t have the time to read this entire review, here are the most important highlights.
|The Bottom Line|
|Pros||Easy installation; Simple to use; Tough encryption; Secure VPN protocols; No data collection; Highly secure.|
|Cons||One of the smallest server networks around; Can’t unblock Netflix; High priced.|
|The Final Verdict||If you don’t care about media streaming or having the best speeds, and if you’re solely focused on protecting your privacy, hide.me seems like an interesting pick.|
That would be all for our introduction. To learn everything you need to know about hide.me, make sure to keep on reading this review.
hide.me VPN – TechNadu’s Hands-On Review
We will begin by checking the background of this VPN. Then, we’ll continue by installing it and testing various aspects of this VPN service. If you’d like to learn more about this process, you can read how we review VPN services.
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
Coming from Malaysia, hide.me claims not to collect your personal data. Due to the absence of any leaks or breaches from the past, we trust those claims. Our Score: 9/10.
If you take a closer look at the official website of hide.me, you’ll see that this company is based in Malaysia. Let’s see what this information means for any individuals deciding to use this VPN service.
Jurisdiction & Applicable Laws
First of all, you should know that Malaysia is known for its authoritarian regime. This is one of the countries with the strictest laws, in general, with heavy fines for various offenses. On the one hand, this is helping this country to fight crime and keep different types of illegal activities to their bare minimum. On the other hand, this is enabling the government of Malaysia to impose censorship-oriented measures and fight against their opposition online. And just recently, Malaysian authorities have begun their fight against online piracy. This is one of the reasons why VPNs are quite popular in this country, and this is why we have a dedicated article on the best VPNs for Malaysia.
With everything said so far, it is safe to trust hide.me to be your VPN provider? Well, even though it comes with strict laws, VPNs are legal in this country. In addition, there are no reports of data centers being raided or VPNs being asked to hand over personal data. And there’s one more reassuring fact: this country has not been associated with the 5-Eyes Alliance.
Let’s also not forget the fact that hide.me claims to keep no records of their users’ online activities. The bottom line is this – even though Malaysia perhaps isn’t the most suitable country for a VPN business, it isn’t the worst either. The situation seems to be under control for now, and we can only hope that VPNs from this country won’t be under attack in the future.
Previous Data Leaks
We’re pleased to report that hide.me has never been associated with any data breach or leak. This can mean one of the following two things. Either they have high-end security that completely and fully blocks any type of unauthorized access, or they truly don’t keep any data about their users. We like to think it’s the latter.
All in all, we can say that hide.me is a trustworthy VPN. There’s no reason not to believe their claims that your personal data is never collected. They’ve been on the market since 2012, which is plenty of time for any online service to show its weaknesses. Since this didn’t happen, hide.me is easy to recommend – at least from this aspect.
Supported Platforms & Devices
hide.me supports a wide range of platforms and devices, especially popular ones. You can also install it on a router to protect your entire household at once. Our Score: 10/10.
When picking a VPN, make sure that you can use it on all your Web-connected devices. Here are all the platforms covered by hide.me, both natively and via manual configuration.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, MacOS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Web Browsers||Chrome, Firefox.|
|Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, and AsusWRT-Merlin.|
|Other Devices||Amazon FireOS.|
The platforms mentioned in the table above represent native apps offered by hide.me VPN. This means that in terms of desktop platforms, there are apps for Windows and MacOS. You can also use this VPN on Linux, but you’ll have to configure it manually as there’s no native app available.
When it comes to mobile devices, both Android and iOS are on the list. And in terms of Web browsers, you will find extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Still, we strongly recommend you use desktop apps offered by this service, as they bring a higher level of complexity than the Web browser extensions.
In terms of other devices, there’s a native app for FireOS, which will make you happy if you have one of Amazon’s media streaming devices in your home. And to protect any other device, you can install hide.me on a compatible router.
Installation & Initial Configuration
There are no unneeded offers of any distractions here. You can install hide.me and begin using this VPN under one minute. It’s simple as that. Our Score: 10/10.
Getting started with hide.me is easy. First, you need to sign up for this VPN by choosing one of its subscription plans. When you fill out your details and pay for the subscription, you’ll receive your username and password. Interestingly enough, you don’t need these to download one of hide.me’s native apps, which are freely available on its official website.
So, download the app for your platform and then double-click to activate the installer. The application is very lightweight, and it’ll take a few seconds until it’s fully downloaded. The Installation Wizard comes with no distractions. You can choose where to install the application, and the rest will be done automatically. You should be ready to use hide.me within a few seconds. Log-in using your credentials and this is where the real fun can begin.
In case you want to install this VPN on a router, you’ll find nicely written guides for different types of routers. It’s important to be said that even first-timers will find their way around this procedure with ease.
Even though some features are missing, hide.me brings a compelling set of features. Even split-tunneling and a built-in firewall are on offer. Our Score: 8/10.
What’s interesting about this VPN is that it’s constantly upgrading its feature set. It looks like every few months a new feature comes out, adding to this VPN’s overall value. Let’s take a closer look.
|VPN Features Checklist|
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||NO|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
First, let’s talk about basic features. To safeguard your identity, hide.me comes with a DNS leak protection. However, its servers still don’t support IPv6, which is the next-generation protocol that’s designed to replace IPv4. This is a minor downside as you can simply disable IPv6 and protect your data in that way, as hide.me recommends doing.
To hide your data at all times, and even if your secure connection becomes unstable, there’s a built-in kill switch. You can use it globally or whitelist certain connections. To protect your data even further, there’s a built-in Firewall that can run even when hide.me isn’t running. And speaking of advanced features, this VPN allows you to split-tunnel your traffic. This means that you can decide which apps use a secure connection, and which don’t.
It’s clear that hide.me brings a compelling set of features. However, it still falls short in some areas, especially after we compare it to top-rated VPNs. There’s no IPv6 support, and an ad-blocker isn’t included (which could be used to stop trackers and malicious scripts). On the other hand, you’ll get to use hide.me without any limitation and this applies to server switching, bandwidth, and data.
Having only 160+ servers on offer, this VPN leaves plenty to be desired. This is one of the smallest server networks we’ve seen so far. Our Score: 3/10.
Let’s check out what kind of server network to expect. We’ll take a look at how many servers this VPN offers, can you select specific locations and more.
|Server Count Info|
|Number of Servers||160+|
|Number of Locations||55|
|Number of Countries||34|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES (for some countries)|
We can see that hide.me has one of the smallest server networks we’ve encountered so far. Knowing that VPNs such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access (and plenty more) have between 3,000 and 5,000 servers, you can see that hide.me doesn’t have a lot to offer. Still, things are not completely disappointing.
What needs to be mentioned is that all of 160 servers that hide.me offers are bare-metal servers. They are under full control of this VPN, which eliminates any involvement of outsiders. This is how you can be sure that your personal data is never collected, which is a nice benefit. In other words, you can use any of those while having a piece of mind.
Among other things, hide.me lets you connect to specific locations (cities) – but only for certain countries. This isn’t a major downside since USA-based servers offer this functionality. This means that you unblock local websites and services available in certain regions only.
All in all, we like what hide.me is offering. However, we simply can’t hide the fact that its server network is unbelievably small. With this said, we can’t give a high score to this aspect of hide.me.
Ease of Use
No matter if you’re a first-time or perhaps a highly experienced user, we’re sure that hide.me will meet all your needs. Our Score: 10/10.
The home screen of hide.me VPN comes with a simple display of the most important information. You will see a prominent button in the central portion, allowing you to secure your Web connection. In the bottom, you’ll see two buttons. On the left-hand side, you can check your details. For example, if your true information is visible on the Web. On the right-hand side, you can take a look at available servers.
When it comes to choosing a secure server, you can do this in several different ways. By default, you’ll see a list of locations in alphabetical order. However, you can also check out this same list by ping value. This means that you can see the closest servers first, which in turn should provide reliable performance. And lastly, you can select which servers are your favorites, so you can easily connect to those.
To set up hide.me as per your needs, make sure to visit this application’s setting panel. To access this panel, click on the cogwheel button in the upper-right corner of the home screen. Now, let’s go over everything that can be found here:
- Information: The first table lets you see the information about your account. You can see which plan you’re using, when it should expire, the version of the application, and more.
- Settings: When it comes to settings, you’ll find three tabs. First, under the ‘Application’ tab, you can enable the application to show on system startup, auto-connect, start the application minimized, and more. Under the ‘Network’ tab, you can enter a custom DNS server. And under ‘Protocols’, you can choose how the supported protocols behave. On Windows, you can choose between IKEv2, OpenVPN, and SoftEther.
- Split Tunnel: This feature allows you to pick applications covered by the VPN. For example, you can choose to hide your P2P traffic by including your torrent client. You can either pick applications that only use the VPN (and not your regular Web connection), or pick applications that must be excluded from the VPN connection.
- Firewall & Kill Switch: hide.me allows you to utilize its built-in firewall to safeguard your system. For example, you can set the firewall to prevent any of your applications to connect to the Web unless there’s a secure VPN connection active. When it comes to the kill switch, you can select applications that will be blocked if a secure connection is dropped.
- Protocol: To select a VPN protocol that works best for your needs, this is what you need to check out. Simply select one of the protocols on offer and hide.me will switch seamlessly.
- Log: In case of technical issues, a customer support agent might ask for your log file. Well, this is where you can find it.
- Support: You can use this tab to open an official customer support ticket. As such, it provides a convenient way to contact the company.
- Browsers: Finally, as hide.me notes – you can install a Web browser extension to enable WebRTC data protection and you can enable the VPN’s SOCKS5 proxy.
All in all, hide.me comes with a nicely designed UI. It’s simple enough for first-timers to use, with no major issues. However, advanced users can also take advantage of it – as it allows plenty of fine-tuning. So, highly recommended!
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
hide.me, sadly, can’t unblock Netflix or any other popular streaming services. It does support P2P traffic, though. Our Score: 2/10.
It’s time to check whether hide.me VPN can unblock the American version of Netflix, as well as a few other services. Check out the following table.
|Media Streaming & Torrenting Support|
|Amazon Prime Video||NO|
We have to say that hide.me is one of the least capable VPNs in terms of media streaming. We’ve tried accessing Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video – but none of those services worked. Each time, they managed to see that we were using a VPN, and we saw error messages that prevented our access.
When it comes to torrenting, the situation is better. Even though not every server is optimized for P2P traffic, many of them are. Once you install the application, you will clearly see which ones don’t have P2P-related capabilities, so you can easily avoid those.
Security & Privacy
Thanks to a combination of powerful encryption and incredibly capable VPN protocols, hide.me can protect your data in the best way possible. Our Score: 10/10.
To assess the security-related features of hide.me VPN, we will take a look at its encryption, available VPN protocols, and we’ll run a DNS leak test. So, let’s begin.
Supported Encryption Protocols
As you already know, hide.me comes with a wide range of native applications. Depending on your primary platform, you can expect AES-128 or AES-256 encryption. This is the strongest encryption protocol right now, which makes your data completely unreadable to third-parties on the Web.
In terms of VPN protocols, you can count on OpenVPN, SoftEther, IKEv2, SSTP, IKEv1, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec. Of course, not all of those are available across all of the supported platforms. However, you will always get to count on OpenVPN, considered to be highly secure as it doesn’t have any known weaknesses.
Ever since it was established, this company took pride in their ‘no logs’ policy. They promise not to collect any of your personal data, which means that you can be completely anonymous on the Web. Let’s not forget to mention that hide.me has been checked and certified by an independent security analyst (Leon Juranic, Defensecode).
As per the company’s claims, they have an advantage over other VPNs as they’re located in Malaysia. This means that according to local laws, they are not bound to store logs. And finally, let’s not forget that any data that might be collected is anonymized and cannot be traced back to your online activity.
DNS Leak Test
We have more good news. After doing an in-depth DNS leak test, we conclude that hide.me doesn’t actively leak any data. This means that third-parties online will see your virtual information, and not your true information. This includes your virtual IP, hostname, ISP, and country of origin.
Speed & Performance
hide.me won’t impress you with its performance. It’s far from being the slowest around, but we did expect much better results. Our Score: 6/10.
Just like we do in our every VPN review, we’ll check hide.me for its performance. For this purpose, we connected to both nearby and remote servers, testing the speed of our Web connection along the way. So, here are the results.
To establish some baseline data, we check the speed of our Web connection (without hide.me running in the background). As you can see from the screenshot, we got 141.62 Mbps for downloads and 8.85 Mbps for uploads.
Now, we are going to connect to a nearby server. For this purpose, we’ve allowed hide.me to find the best server based on our location. As it turned out, we connected to a server in the Netherlands. Our speed tests gave us 91.43 Mbps for downloads and 7.45 Mbps for uploads.
And finally, we also want to check the speed of a remote server, located in the USA. After having connected to a New York-based server, we got 64.25 Mbps for downloads and 4.17 Mbps for uploads.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Speed||141.62 Mbps||8.85 Mbps||0%|
|Nearby Server||91.43 Mbps||7.45 Mbps||35.4%|
|Remote Server||64.25 Mbps||4.17 Mbps||54.6%|
After taking a look at the table above, we conclude that hide.me slowed us down by 45%. This kind of result is often seen in mediocre VPNs, and especially in freshly released VPNs that need time to optimize their servers. This means that hide.me is somewhat disappointing, as we expected a much better result.
Thanks to numerous support channels available, we’re sure that hide.me can provide a timely response. Live-chat is included as well. Our Score: 10/10.
VPN can be tricky to use, especially for first-timers. That’s why the most reputable VPN services have multiple ways to get help. Let’s see in which ways can hide.me help.
- Live Chat: On the official website of this VPN, you’ll see a live-chat icon in the bottom-right corner. At any moment, you can click on it to start chatting with the company’s representatives. These are real people, not bots, and they’ll be able to assist you in the best way possible.
- Installation Guides: Installing hide.me on platforms like Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS should not give you any problems. However, you’ll need help if you want to install it on a router. Well, this is where a series of installation guides come into play.
- Knowledge Base: If you’re willing to dive into fixing your problem yourself, you can check out the knowledge base. This is a series of articles and frequently asked questions, which can be helpful in the majority of cases.
- Community: Interestingly enough, hide.me offers a dedicated forum. You can check out its English and German versions, with the latter one being more active.
- Support Tickets: And finally, you can submit a support ticket at any moment. As noted earlier, this can also be done from the application itself.
Interestingly, hide.me comes with monthly plans only. This puts it in an awkward position, as other VPN provide big savings via their long-term plans. Our Score: 5/10.
We have to say that hide.me comes with a bit different pricing structure than most VPNs. It offers two subscription plans (if we omit the free plan) that have some differences in their specs. To illustrate this situation in the best way possible, we’ve prepared two tables. First, we’ll check out the Premium plan, which we used to produce this review.
|hide.me VPN – PREMIUM PLAN|
|Data Transfer Limitations||Unlimited|
Then, we have another plan – called Plus. This one is designed for those who use VPNs in a limited way as it imposes a couple of significant restrictions. Take a look.
|hide.me VPN – PLUS PLAN|
|Data Transfer Limitations||75 GB|
It’s interesting to see that hide.me doesn’t offer long-term plans, which is the case with 99% of today’s VPNs. These usually offer quite a lot of savings, as you’re paying upfront. This isn’t the case with hide.me, which currently offers monthly-priced plans only.
If you ask for our advice, we recommend subscribing to hide.me VPN via its ‘Premium’ plan. Having to think about whether you’ll cross the data transfer limit and having this VPN on only one device won’t get you far. The Premium plan is similar to what other VPNs offer, with the capability to protect your entire household.
Finally, we can conclude that hide.me could benefit from having its price reduced. You essentially pay $9.99 per month to fully unlock all of its features. This is somewhat more affordable than what other VPNs offer. However, those VPNs come with yearly plans that often bring the price down to around $5.00 per month – which is why they sound like a better option right now.
Do We Recommend hide.me VPN?
In case you need a solution that will keep you safe online – yes, we can recommend hide.me. However, we must also say that this VPN isn’t for everyone. If you care about unblocking media streaming websites, downloading plenty of files, or taking advantage of P2P apps, you’ll find much better solutions elsewhere.
- PROS: Easy to use; Reliable customer support; Supports plenty of devices and platforms; Doesn’t keep any logs; High-end security-features.
- CONS: Incredibly small server network; Can’t unblock media streaming websites; High priced.
- OUR SCORE: 7.6 out of 10!
Interested in learning more about hide.me? Want to explore all the way this VPN can help you protect your online identity? Well, if that’s so, make sure to check out hide.me VPN on your own. You can even try it free of charge before getting a premium-priced subscription.