In the fast-paced world of digital privacy and security, finding a VPN that ticks all the right boxes can be quite a challenge. However, our journey led us to Hide.me VPN, a feature-packed virtual private network that promises a robust blend of speed, security, and versatility. Join us as we delve into the depths of this VPN powerhouse.
The Hide.me Story
Hide.me is the brainchild of EVenture Limited, a company based in Malaysia, making its mark in the VPN industry since 2011. With a growing reputation for excellence, Hide.me boasts a network of 2,100 servers spread across 78 locations. While this is impressive, it’s worth noting that competitors like ExpressVPN and CyberGhost offer even more extensive server options, with 3,000+ and 9,200+ servers, respectively.
The Arsenal of Features
One of Hide.me‘s standout features is its wide protocol support, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, and SSTP. It takes security seriously, offering protection against DNS, IP, and IPv6 leaks, along with port forwarding for those who need it.
The versatility of Hide.me extends to compatibility with various platforms. Whether you’re on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, consoles, or smart TVs, Hide.me has you covered. With the ability to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, you won’t have to choose which one to protect. If you ever encounter issues, their 24/7 live chat support is ready to assist.
Hide.me offers a range of subscription plans to suit different needs and budgets. Their 24-month plan, at just US$2.59 per month (total cost US$62.16), is a steal. It includes MultiHop VPN, a feature that lets you connect to one location and exit from another, enhancing your online anonymity.
Hide.me also supports P2P on most servers, which we verified by connecting to five different locations and experiencing hassle-free torrenting.
Unblocking streaming services is a forte of Hide.me. Their Unblock page lists a multitude of supported sites, including heavyweights like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and ShowTime, among others.
Recent upgrades have focused on improving server speeds, with many servers now operating at a blazing 10Gbps. This transparency in server performance sets Hide.me apart from competitors.
Pricing That Fits Your Pocket
In terms of pricing, Hide.me offers a competitive monthly plan at $9.95, slightly below the industry standard of $10-$13. The annual plan costs $5.82 per month, which, while slightly above average, still provides good value.
However, the real value comes with the two-year plan at $3.45 per month. It’s worth comparing this to other providers, such as Atlas VPN’s three-year plan at $2.08 per month. While Hide.me offers two months free for a two-year subscription, Atlas VPN provides three months free for a three-year plan at a lower overall cost.
Additionally, Hide.me offers various payment options, including cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay, depending on your location. And if you have second thoughts, don’t worry; Hide.me offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee, provided you haven’t received a refund from them before.
For those looking for a free option, Hide.me’s free plan supports eight countries and boasts P2P support, with no data limits, making it a strong contender among free VPNs.
Hide.me‘s commitment to privacy is unwavering. They maintain a strict no-logs policy, asserting that they do not store any information related to your VPN sessions, browsing habits, or connection logs.
While Hide.me does temporarily record your randomly generated username and non-public IP address for troubleshooting purposes, they emphasize the secure and regular deletion of this data.
They acknowledge their willingness to comply with court orders from recognized legal authorities, which is standard practice. However, the absence of significant data in their logs minimizes privacy concerns.
Hide.me proudly claims to be the “most anonymous VPN service in the industry,” backed by a comprehensive audit from 2015. While commendable, it’s high time for a more recent, transparent, and thorough audit to assure users of their privacy protection.
A simple privacy test using the Blacklight privacy inspector reveals no trackers or third-party cookies on Hide.me’s website. This dedication to maintaining user privacy is a positive sign in an era of data collection.
Hide.me‘s Windows app offers a straightforward interface, with a large “Enable” button for quick connections. The location list is easily accessible, and a search feature simplifies server selection. Additionally, a “Streaming” tab helps you connect to the best locations for unblocking streaming platforms in various countries.
Connection times are generally swift, although occasional hiccups in service restarts were noted. Despite this, notifications keep users informed about their protection status.
Hide.me’s “MultiHop” feature adds another layer of privacy, allowing you to connect through one server and exit from another, enhancing your online anonymity.
Hide.me offers an array of advanced settings to cater to more experienced users. With support for five protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, SSTP), including customization options like IKEv2 stealth mode, custom ports, and IPv4/IPv6 preferences, it offers in-depth control over your VPN experience.
Split tunneling enables you to define which apps use the VPN, while the kill switch goes beyond a simple on/off setting, allowing custom scripts to run when needed.
A unique search box within the app helps users quickly locate specific settings, a feature not commonly found in other VPN apps.
Mac App and Beyond
Hide.me‘s Mac app closely mirrors the Windows version, delivering fast connection times and a user-friendly experience. While it may lack some advanced features found in the Windows app, it remains a robust and user-friendly choice for Mac users.
iOS users will be pleased to find that Hide.me’s mobile offering doesn’t compromise on power. With support for multiple protocols and a respectable list of settings, it’s a standout among iOS VPN apps.
Hide.me’s Android app maintains consistency with its other platform counterparts, offering WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 support, along with split tunneling. Although it lacks some functionality, like the choice between IPv4 and IPv6, it’s a powerful and user-friendly option for Android users.
The Kill Switch Dilemma
Hide.me‘s Windows app includes a kill switch that effectively blocks internet access upon detecting a connection failure. While it generally performs well, it occasionally experiences issues when switching locations. This minor inconvenience may not concern most users, but it is a noteworthy weakness that could be improved.
Testing Hide.me’s Windows apps revealed robust security protocols, with OpenVPN using AES-256-CBC encryption and SHA256 authentication. While the WireGuard and OpenVPN files appeared outdated, this is unlikely to impact user privacy significantly.
One minor privacy concern was the storage of login credentials in plain text within OpenVPN connections. While not a major issue, it’s an area where Hide.me could enhance user security.
On the bright side, Hide.me passed privacy tests with flying colors, successfully shielding IP addresses, providing new addresses from selected countries, and preventing DNS leaks consistently. These results, confirmed by IPleak.net, DNSleak.com, and DNSleaktest.com, reaffirm Hide.me’s commitment to user privacy.
Unveiling Virtual Locations
Hide.me boasts an extensive list of server locations, but a closer look reveals some servers are located differently from what you might expect. While servers in a nearby, more reliable data center are a practical choice, transparency is crucial.
Hide.me’s server locations generally align with their advertised countries. However, there were a couple of exceptions worth noting. The Mexico location appeared to be hosted on the US east coast, and the Morocco servers seemed closer to Quebec or Ontario. While this may not pose significant problems for many users, greater transparency about virtual locations would be appreciated.
Hide.me proudly claims to help users access geo-restricted content, and it delivers on that promise. During testing, Hide.me granted us access to Netflix in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan. It also successfully unblocked Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus, earning a perfect unblocking score of 100%.
Hide.me’s prowess extends to other platforms as well. It consistently unblocked BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4 in the UK, as well as Australia’s 9Now and 10 play. This remarkable success rate suggests Hide.me’s commitment to long-term access for its users.
Please note that this high level of streaming support is only available with the paid product, as the free plan does not support unblocking streaming sites.
Hide.me shines in terms of speed. In performance tests, WireGuard reached a commendable 580Mbps, while regular OpenVPN provided an above-average 260Mbps. Leveraging OpenVPN with Hide.me’s Bolt technology yielded an astonishing 950Mbps.
It’s important to note that Bolt is exclusive to the Windows app. Users of other platforms can still expect respectable speeds, even if they don’t reach the lofty heights of Bolt. Most users would likely find 580Mbps more than sufficient for their needs.
The Final Verdict
In the world of VPNs, Hide.me stands tall as a powerful and versatile choice. With a robust combination of features, top-tier security protocols, and impressive streaming capabilities, it caters to both novice and expert users.
Hide.me’s pricing is competitive, offering excellent value, particularly with the two-year plan. However, potential users should weigh their options and consider alternatives for even better long-term deals.
The commitment to privacy and transparent no-logs policy is commendable, although an updated and thorough audit would enhance confidence in user privacy.
Hide.me’s user-friendly apps, advanced settings, and consistent performance across various platforms make it a formidable contender in the VPN market. While some minor issues exist, they are far outweighed by the overall strengths of Hide.me VPN.
So, if you’re in search of a VPN that combines speed, security, and versatility, it’s high time you gave Hide.me a try. Whether you’re a beginner or a VPN enthusiast, Hide.me has something powerful to offer you. Discover the potential of this VPN gem and unlock a safer and more private online experience.
Check out their website Here!