This Hide.me VPN review looks at this small VPN company that bases itself in Malaysia. While not a popular location, it is outside any jurisdiction. The company offers a paid-for and free version that comes with a 2 GB per month bandwidth cap.
There is a host of features packed into this relatively new VPN but is it enough to tempt new users to move in their direction.
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What is Hide.me VPN?
This Hide.me review will look at everything users need to know from this small company based in Malaysia. It may not have the largest global network of servers, but they do come with many features, which would make some of the larger companies blush.
By the end, we will soon see if this is a VPN to watch out for, and is the world’s fastest VPN, or it is just marketing at its best.
- Users who want good security
- Users who need many simultaneous connections
- Users who require split tunneling features
Plans and Pricing
Hide.me offers a free plan and a paid-for option. The free version allows connection through 5 worldwide locations and with one user connection.
Although not the most significant amount, it does give a 2 GB data transfer allowance each month.
When doing this, Hide.me VPN review, it was surprising how expensive this VPN service works out.
|2-Years||$5.41||Billed as $129.95 every 2 years|
|1-Year||$9.99||Billed as $119.95 every 12 months|
|1 Month||$14.95||Billed Monthly|
With this, users have unlimited data transfer, unlimited server switching, full access to the entire network.
Payment methods are credit cards and PayPal. Users who wish to keep their anonymity and don’t want to use their credit card have the chance to pay with Bitcoin or a couple of other cryptocurrencies.
Users have one month to make up their minds because there is a no-argument 30-day money-back guarantee. It seems a month is becoming the new stand refund window for VPN services.
Hide me has restructured its pricing plans considerably, and now things are more straightforward.
There was one strange thing on the website. By clicking on the page to select a plan, the following payments page automatically added a discount code and cut the 1-year and 2-year prices by almost 50%. The month plan stays the same.
This can be confusing, and many potential customers may think the first price is the going price, and there is no discount, only to find, they could have paid much less.
In the fight to retain user privacy, hide-me uses some of the best industry tech protocols available.
Support includes PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SoftEther. The service also uses bank security grade 256-bit AES encryption. The service comes with an automatic kill switch, IP, and DNS leak protection.
The company offers a lot, and its privacy features rank among some of its best features.
They claim they are dead serious regarding logging. “We do not store logs of your online activity. Logs can easily link actions back…” this is how they start their zero-logging speech.
This is one of the company’s top-selling points. There is no browsing activity, connection info, IP addresses, or any personal information retained during a session.
While there are some logs, yet these are for data use on the free version and maintenance purposes.
These are minimal, and external security analysts to make sure they keep to their word on keeping no logs audit them often.
Ease of use
There are apps for quite a few devices so that users won’t be left out. These can surpass offerings by some other VPN’s in the market.
Support covers mac OS, Windows, Linux for the desktop. Mobile support includes Android and iOS (iPhone or iPad). Amazon Fire OS and routers are some of the other devices covered.
This may differ if you are signing up for the free or paid-for subscription. Clicking on the button takes you to the next page, which presents you with the free version, and automatically displays the 2-year option rather than the annual plan.
Clicking on “register” for the free version asks for an email address. The “Buy Now” button takes you to the payments page.
This asks you for your email address and then takes you to the relevant payment processor for the option you select.
After completing payment, you receive your confirmation email, where it gives you your login details for the apps.
This can be easier than some other providers can, as you don’t need to sign up for one of their plans before downloading the app on your device.
How Do I Use Hide.me VPN? – Setup
Setting up the client app is simple, and after inputting the account, details, you are presented with
a large connect button like many other VPN providers uses these days.
This connects to the closest server, yet it only takes one click to see the full list of available servers in the network.
There is a search box at the top of the screen if you need to find a specific server. The client also comes with a favorite system where you can group your selection of favorite servers; this makes it easier to locate the next time.
The first tab shows connection settings. The features here include the DNS protection, reconnect automatically, and launch on startup, among other useful features.
Advanced users can spend the month going through all the features on offer. This allows customization of the DNS servers, tweaks for MTU, options for OpenVPN, and a selection of TCP/UDP.
The application allows the split tunneling feature to be turned on as well as port forwarding. You can also set what happens when a connection drops rather than the kill switch just kicking in and stopping everything.
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There are a few unique features on offer. These include Stealth Guard. This is a built-in firewall where internet connectivity is limited when the VPN isn’t running.
You can activate this for every connection, or you can connect it for specific applications.
Split Tunneling allows you to decide which apps are to be routed via the VPN connection, and which are to go through the regular route and automatically pass by your ISP.
Hide-me has two browser extensions. One is for Google Chrome and the other for Mozilla Firefox.
The thing with these is they are not just a part of the plans you sign up for, and they are free for any users who want an unblocking proxy.
This allows any user to bypass censorship and access the web just as if you were in a particular country.
With the extensions, there is no installation; still, no logging of online activities, and they disable QUIC and WebRTC to help prevent IP leaks when using either of these browsers.
Both can spoof your location, yet there are only three locations you can choose from and an automatic option.
We guess this is using one of these three locations. The company also claims your ISP won’t be able to trace anything back to you when you are using the VPN browser extension.
Because these are just a proxy, if you are worried about the connection speed, you can use this. It can also be useful if you are on public Wi-Fi, and you want to hide your device IP addresses.
There is one thing we found when doing this review, and that is, you can’t take anything away from the company concerning their heart. Unless they are very good at marketing, all that they say feels like they mean it.
Their claim of “making a VPN you couldn’t feel” is bold by anyone, never mind a small company, which isn’t well known by many people. Making sure their traffic download speeds are not slow is a bit extreme.
Using gigabit speeds should help to keep the bandwidth moving, and couple this with leading hardware and software, and they may be onto something.
The results of the speed test were surprising. From speedy connections, which did see a minimal drop off in all the areas where they have numerous servers. This being Europe and the USA.
Far off in the direction of Asia saw a 50% drop off, yet this is still fast compared to other better-known VPN’s. The achieved speeds are still fast enough to stream 4K video. The network comprises of 1,400 servers, which spans over 57 locations.
The thing here is they don’t mention 57 different countries and can be far less because they have numerous servers in some countries. Compare this to NordVPN, and you can see how small the network they provide is.
The least serviced area in the Asia Pacific as there are just eight servers. This is thin on the ground, yet South America has one to cover one country. Something to note is that minimal server locations will cause an issue in tests of VPNs.
Customer support for this VPN is 24/7 and does include live chat. There is the contact form you can access from every page on the website and the client app and the extensions. This means you don’t have to load up another page to make contact.
The support page is well laid out on the site, with a Support ticket being the first option. This goes directly to the technical support staff.
Answers receive more than adequate information to resolve issues before heading into a backward and forward stream of messages to answer support questions. User reviews praise the support system, and they deliver on their promises.
The Knowledgebase splits everything into sections. Here you can find about the company, accounts, connection help, apps, devices, and other issues.
Either you can scroll down the page to find what you want, or there is a hand menu under the search bar that takes you to the appropriate section.
The section, which follows, is the community section where you can join. The forums are full of users who are asking or giving information on various topics.
The next section covers the install guides for all the devices they support, and all you need to do to access these is click on the icon for your device.
The next page breaks all the devices into sections and shows devices that meet each criterion; these are simple to read and follow.
If this wasn’t enough, there are another “Popular Support Topics,” which includes the FAQ. Many of these are general queries and not limited to the VPN service.
You can say the customer support is decent and better than many other VPN providers are.
The top test for any VPN is to bypass geo-restrictions in various regions, and access blocked content. One of the key selling features of this feature-packed VPN is to access websites in other countries securely.
Netflix is the most stringent test by far. This VPN has a long list of streaming services they can access. BBC iPlayer, YouTube Amazon Prime, Sling, and many others.
Unfortunately, Netflix isn’t on the list. This is a massive disappointment from a company that is offering so much in other areas and will knock their ratings.
While it can be easy to lay blame, it isn’t the fault of the VPN provider because Netflix is taking a harsh stance, and many more VPN’s are finding they have a server IP address blocked from being used.
One thing worth noting is this VPN “does not enable or facilitate to bypass copyright circumvention” that is in their words, and a more detailed explanation is available in Terms of Service.
Does Hide.Me Work in China?
The company states in their knowledge base they are not able to 100% guarantee their service will work in China. Although, they say they have some customers who successfully have gotten the service to work.
To do this, they needed to change some of the settings. Here is a quick rundown of how they managed it. Update the client to the latest version. Some ISP’s in China block VPNs at the DNS level.
Change DNS on the device to aid in bypassing the restrictions of the Great Firewall of China. It also requires disabling the Fallback Protocol in the application settings.
If this doesn’t work, it is then trying to connect using SoftEther, OpenVPN, or IKEv2 if the SSTP protocol was unsuccessful.
On the website, the company runs through the manual setup of the VPN if the above steps don’t have any success. It is safe to say that you have a fifty-fifty chance of it working.
Is Hide.me Good for Torrenting?
If streaming isn’t your thing, then you may have more luck with downloading torrents. The company offers a specialized proxy, which delivers speedy file-sharing connections.
Yet, it will need using with the VPN for encryption, or your ISP and copyright trolls will still see your IP in a torrent swarm.
There is also unlimited data, and with the use of the port forwarding and the split tunneling, you can divide what data goes where.
This may keep the speed up of your connection while just the torrenting side slows a little.
The unlimited data you get with the premium plan is ideal for this, as long as you can live with a slightly reduced speed.
The good thing with the firm’s zero logs is that if anyone plans to ask for user data to be handed over. There will be nothing of any use. To know which servers offer P2P file sharing, this is highlighted by the server of choice and grayed out if it isn’t available.
Wrap Up (Conclusion)
There are many VPN providers that it is easy to pick faults with. However, in this review, it was more difficult.
The VPN provider does so much right, yet it just fails to deliver in some key areas. Nearly everything is done right, yet with such a small network, and no USA Netflix access, and then this can be the breaking point for many users.
If there were one gripe, it would be the default rates you see on the purchase plan page change when you click on it.
This can be a pleasant surprise if you do consider purchasing, yet you can quickly skim straight past it because it is possible to find better options for the money or cheaper.
With some minor changes to a few areas, this may be one of the better second-tier VPN’s that meets many regular individuals’ requirements.
To be top dog, or in the top couple, it still has a long way to go. For that, we will wait for the next hide me VPN review.
A robust, secure VPN service that can be ideal for anyone looking for privacy and casual streaming or torrenting. (Get Hide.me VPN and SAVE 64% with this Special Deal)