Hide.me Review (2019) – A Fast and User-friendly VPN
Hide.me is a relatively new VPN provider. They aim to provide a fast and secure VPN service. Hide.me is originally German and was founded in 2012 (they used to be called Hide.io). The company is situated in Malaysia because of the privacy legislation in that country. The provider is becoming better known every day and already has 10 million users worldwide.
Hide.me was made to offer a user-friendly but very safe Virtual Private Network (VPN). Lately they have also been aiming at be being the fastest VPN on the market. Hide.me is one of the few VPN providers that is certified log free. We will look into all these claims, later on in the review.
Hide.me offers good encryption and is very fast. This VPN is slightly more expensive than most other VPN providers. Luckily, you can try out Hide.me for free with their 14-days money-back guarantee. They even offer a free service but when you use that, they will limit your data.
Installing Hide.me is relatively easy and with their Premium plan, you can use one subscription for 5 devices at the same time. This way you can protect a lot of devices simultaneously to protect your anonymity.
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
- Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, IKEv1, SoftEther
- Logging policy: No logs
- Servers: 35+ servers in 30 countries
- Price: From $5,41 a month
- Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Speed – How fast is Hide.me?
Speed is an important part of people’s experiences with VPN providers. It’s annoying when your video stream needs to buffer or you experience lag while gaming. Because this is so important we tested the speed of the Hide.me servers extensively. We did this by executing some speed tests with different servers and by looking at the speeds during daily use. You can read all about our experience below.
Speed test results Hide.me
Here you can find the results of several speed tests we executed for different Hide.me servers. We tested from our location in the Netherlands. Note that the results might be very different if you are somewhere else in the world. However, this should give a general indication of their speed.
Speed without a VPN (Speedtest.net):
Above you can check out the internet speeds we enjoy without using a VPN.
Speed with a local server in The Netherlands (Speedtest.net):
This picture shows the results of our internet speeds when we connected through a Hide.me server in Haarlem (The Netherlands). As you can see, the results have remained virtually the same, which is quite extraordinary for a VPN.
Speed with a USA server (Speedtest.net):
These are the results of our test with a server in the U.S. These results can be important if you want to gain access to American content from another country. As you can see the speeds haven’t changed much. This is unexpected because most often a physical distance between you and the server will result in slower connection speeds.
Speed during daily use
The speed of the Hide.me servers is very good in everyday use. We tested this by going about our business just as we are used to, to see if we experienced any hiccups with Hide.me. We used the VPN during browsing, steaming, downloading, and gaming; these were the results:
During regular browsing we did not notice any differences in speed or loading times. With this VPN you can visit your favorite websites without any noticeable changes. Downloading files and applications wasn’t a problem either.
We also tested several streaming services with the Hide.me VPN, to see how this would affect the buffering and loading of videos and music. Again, we didn’t encounter any problems and were able to use services like YouTube and Spotify without any trouble. This makes Hide.me an ideal VPN if you want to watch geo-blocked material. Sadly, you cannot use it to watch Netflix. Later on in the review we will explain why.
Conclusion speed Hide.me
Our verdict of the speed with Hide.me is as follows:
- Hide.me offers a VPN with good speeds.
- The speed tests show little difference between down- and upload speed with or without the VPN.
- During regular use, downloading, and streaming we did not notice a change in speed.
Safety – How secure is Hide.me?
Hide.me is a VPN provider that prioritizes their security and privacy features. Security is generally seen as the most important aspect of a VPN. You do not want third parties to gain access to your personal information and a VPN will protect you against that. Below you can read about the log policy that Hide.me adheres to. Moreover, we will inform you of the information Hide.me needs from you if you want to create an account.
Hide.me has excellent security with their AES 256-bit encryption. This is generally seen as the best level of encryption available. Moreover, Hide.me supports a lot of different protocols. You can choose from the following protocols:
The Hide.me website shows a nice overview of these different protocols. In this overview they illustrate the strong and weak points of every protocols. This is very useful and can show you what protocol will work best with your operating system. We would always advise the OpenVPN protocol because it is the safest option. Below you can see the explanation for the OpenVPN protocol on the Hide.me website.
Logging and privacy
Hide.me says they follow a strict “no-logs” policy. This means they do not collect any personal data. Because Hide.me is situated in Malaysia they’re not obligated to keep logs. Malaysia has no rules that force companies to keep logs.
Hide.me does not keep any user-logs but there is one side-note; they do keep temporary connection-logs. This means that the company can see when ‘customer x’ connects to one of their VPN servers. However, Hide.me cannot see who customer X is, they only get anonymised data of users. Moreover they only store these logs for a few hours and after that they are permanently erased.
It is virtually impossible for VPN providers to keep no logs. Besides, connection logs often don’t invade the user’s privacy too much. They use these connection logs to improve their services. They can only make sure their servers won’t be overloaded if they know when their services are used. Hide.me anonymizes these connection logs completely and does not register your IP address.
What information does Hide.me need?
To create an account with Hide.me you need an email address, after registration you can delete the mailadres in your account settings. Depending on the method of payment you choose, you’ll need to provide additional information as well. Hide.me uses a third party to handle all the payments. They claim that this external company won’t see your IP address or identity. You get a payment number that cannot be linked to you. Moreover, this payment number is destroyed immediately after payment. This way, you will remain completely anonymous when you pay for your Hide.me subscription.
Conclusion safety Hide.me
After testing the security of Hide.me, we can conclude the following things:
- Hide.me is a solid and safe VPN.
- They use a strong AES 256-bit encryption.
- Hide.me doesn’t share information with third parties.
- You can choose from several protocols.
- Hide.me only keeps connection logs, that are destroyed after a few hours.
Usability – How user-friendly is Hide.me?
Hide.me is a very user-friendly provider that is accessible and easy to understand for anyone. Below you’ll be able to find information about their website, the installation process, look and feel of the apps, prices, payment methods, and finally the customer support.
The Hide.me website
The Hide.me website is clear and presents all the information you can expect from a VPN provider. On the homepage you can find information about Hide.me, why you would need a VPN, and reviews of their software. They offer their website in several languages.
Furthermore, you can find information about their server network and protocols on their website. It also has a clear tab where you can find software downloads and a tab with all the possible subscription plans. This picture shows the Hide.me website.
Sadly, we couldn’t find a search option on the website, which can make it difficult to find very specific information. When you log into your Hide.me account you get to see an overview of your account data. You can also find guides here, that will make it easy to install their software onto your device.
Installing Hide.me onto your devices is very simple. You can choose to install the app on your device or you can download software for one particular protocol and change the setting of your PC or Mac. The first option is the easiest. You can find their app in the App Store or Google Play Store. When you have installed the app you only have to fill in your account details and you’ll be ready to go.
Above you can see the Hide.me app in the Appstore. The app will automatically use the most suitable protocol for your operating system. For Windows these are IKEv2 and PPTP and for Mac it uses the IKEv2 protocol with IKEv1 as a back-up. This means you cannot use OpenVPN in the app, which is too bad, since this is the safest protocol. However, there is one exception, Android does support OpenVPN.
Once you’ve installed the app you can start surfing the web safely. You only need to fill in your account details, as you can see below.
The second option for installation is slightly more difficult. However, this method does provide you with more options in protocols. If you log into your account page on the Hide.me website, you can find a guide for installation for all the different protocols and operating systems. By following these guides you can install any protocol you like on your device.
Hide.me’s appearance and ease of use
Hide.me is a very user-friendly VPN provider, which makes them a perfect match with people that are new to VPNs. The app is simple; you have a button to connect to the Hide.me server and you can choose your server location. The software has a professional look and all the options and functions work well. The app is offered in several languages, among which is English.
The super simple app does have a few downsides. For instance, you cannot change the settings. This means you cannot change protocols while using the app. While most VPN users will leave the default settings on anyway, some users might want to change the protocols to optimize their protection during different online pursuits.
The app might lack some settings but is does have some neat functions. The Hide.me app has an “auto reconnect” function, a “killswitch”, “IP leak protection”, and “DNS leak protection”. These functions make sure you do not accidentally leak information at unprotected moments. The app will secure everything you do online.
Hide.me clearly aims to create an user-friendly app that everybody will know how to use. However, this does mean that more advanced users might feel limited at times.
Pricing and methods of payment
Hide.me is slightly more expensive than most VPN providers. They do offer several different subscription plans. First of all, they offer a free account. With this free account you are limited to 2 GB a month, you can only choose from 5 server locations, and you can only use 1 device at a time. Moreover, the paid subscriptions will likely have faster servers because they’re less crowded.
The second option is their so-called “PLUS” plan. With this subscription plan you get 75 GB a month and you can choose from all the protocols. Moreover, as opposed to the free subscription, you can choose from all the Hide.me servers. The PLUS plan is $ 4,99 a month.
Finally, Hide.me offers a Premium subscription. This plan is similar to the PLUS plan but you get unlimited data and you can use this subscription on 5 devices at the same time. This is ideal if you want to use a VPN on your smartphone, computer, tablet, or even your Smart TV. This Premium subscription costs $ 9,99 a month.
Hide.me has a 14-day money-back guarantee for all paid subscriptions. The guarantee is the responsibility of the service that handles the payment method you choose. Hide.me offers the following payment methods to their users. As you can see you can also pay with Bitcoin, which will heighten your privacy during the purchase.
Hide.me offers several ways to answer your questions. On the website you can find an extensive FAQ page. You can also ask your questions via an email. The customer services is only offered in English, which can be difficult if English isn’t your first language. You can also try your luck on the Hide.me forum, where you can direct your questions at other users. Finally, the Hide.me blogs offer information about updates and news.
To get an idea of the friendliness of the Hide.me customer service, we got in contact with them. When you send an email to Hide.me you will get a mail back with login information. If you log in with this information you get a customer support ID, which helps the people at customer support identify your problem. Sadly, this manner of communicating did not work when we tried it.
Finally, we did get an email with an answer to our question. They illustrated the explanation with screenshots and pictures, which made it easy to follow their instructions. We got a response to our email within two hours and they addressed us in a polite and friendly manner as you can see below:
The customer service works well and you get an effective answer to your question. Hide.me does offer a live chat function but we experienced some problems with that. You can only use the live chat if you have a customer support ticket. Sadly, we could not log in with the information in the email. This can be quite frustrating if you are looking for a quick fix. (Update: According to Hide.me these problems with the support tickets have been resolved).
Conclusion usability Hide.me
After using the Hide.me VPN for a while we can conclude the following things about the user-friendliness of this provider.
- The app is user-friendly and works intuitively
- The Hide.me website is clear and simple to use
- Installing Hide.me is easy for all operating systems
- The app has limited possibilities
- Hide.me offers almost all payment methods
- The software is available in many languages
- The customer service is good, but the live chat function did not work
Server network Hide.me
The Hide.me server network isn’t as big as the network of most other VPN providers. Below you’ll find out all you need to know about this network. Additionally, you can learn whether or not this provider offers a dedicated IP service.
Number of servers and locations
With over 150 servers in 34 different countries, Hide.me has relatively few possibilities compared to other providers. Hide.me mainly caters to the European and North-American market, which means most of their servers are located there. They offer 6 servers in the U.S. and 2 in the Netherlands. They have also started to expand to Asia, but the focus is still on the western world.
The reason why Hide.me doesn’t have a lot of servers is because they manage the servers themselves. They have an extensive set of rules that they set up to guarantee the security of their users. Part of this proces is that they manage their own servers. Sadly, this does mean that their network of servers is only expanding slowly. If you are looking for a VPN with a lot of server options you might want to look elsewhere. For instance, you can check out our comparative article that provides a list of the best VPN providers.
Dedicated IP address
With Hide.me it’s not possible to get a dedicated IP address. Every IP address that Hide.me provides is shared with other users. This means that it will be impossible to watch Netflix, because they block IP addresses being used by multiple people at the same time. Moreover, some websites will ask for extra identification because you access them from many different IP addresses.
Hide.me does offer a “static” IP address, which means that you connect to the same server every time you use the app. This way you won’t cause any suspicion with websites because of the many IP addresses you use. They won’t ask for extra validation, which will save you time in the end. However, you still share the IP address with other users.
If you really want your VPN provider to offer a dedicated IP, you might want to take a look at our NordVPN review.
Conclusion server network Hide.me
We came to the following conclusion about the Hide.me server network:
- Hide.me has a relatively small but fast server network
- The network exists of 150+ servers in 34 different countries
- Hide.me controls and manages their own servers for extra security
- Hide.me doesn’t provide dedicated IP addresses
- They do offer a “static IP”
Hide.me offers most regular VPN features but also provides you with some additional options. Here you can find out more about these options and read about Hide.me in combination with Netflix and torrent downloading.
Hide.me additional options
First of all, Hide.me offers a kill switch that will make sure your device is protected, even when the connection is momentarily lost. This combined with their “auto reconnect” feature, means you probably won’t notice anything but Hide.me will keep you safe.
With the Hide.me Premium account, you gain freedom with the “Dynamic Port Forwarding” function. This will guide you passed firewalls.
Finally, Hide.me also offers the SoftEther protocol, which is a faster protocol than the frequently used, OpenVPN. OpenVPN has a maximum speed of 100 MB/sec, while SoftEther can reach speeds of 900 MB/sec.
Hide.me and Netflix
As happens with more and more VPN providers, the Hide.me servers are blocked by Netflix. The streaming service actively tries to block VPN users that try to gain access to the Netflix content of another region. Sadly, there are only a few VPN providers that manage to stay ahead of Netflix and Hide.me isn’t one of them. If you do want to watch Netflix with a VPN you can check out our list of the best VPN providers to watch American Netflix.
Hide.me and torrents
Finally, we tested the downloading of torrents with Hide.me. We did not encounter any problems. A file of 1,2 GB was done in under 5 minutes. Hide.me allows the downloading of torrents through peer-to-peer networks for most of their servers. On their website they clearly indicate what servers support this type of downloading and which servers don’t. For instance, the servers in the U.S., U.K., and Australia don’t allow torrent downloading but the servers in the Netherlands do.
Conclusion options Hide.me
- Hide.me has a “kill switch”, “auto reconnect” function, and a “Dynamic Port Forwarding” function
- Hide.me supports the very fast SoftEther protocol
- Netflix is not accessible with Hide.me
- You can download torrents through P2P networks with most Hide.me servers
Conclusion – Our experience with Hide.me
|Easy to use||No dedicated IP addresses|
|Easy to install||Only a few settings in the app|
|Fast servers||No access to Netflix|
|Free option||No working Live Chat|
|Downloading torrents is possible|
|Lots of possible protocols(inc. SoftEther)|
|14-days money-back guarantee|
Hide.me is a fast and user-friendly VPN. It is especially nice for new VPN users because of their intuitive app interface. Hide.me is a super secure option because it doesn’t keep any user-logs. They offer good servers but not as many as most other providers do. Many of their servers do support downloading through peer-to-peer networks. We would definitely recommend Hide.me to people who haven’t tried a VPN service yet. If you’re looking for a simple, fast, and safe VPN, Hide.me might be the service for you!