Hide.Me Review

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By Tom Spark on

Hide.Me VPN is one of the few VPN providers to offer a free version alongside their premium VPN. However, does that mean it’s worth your consideration or time as a potential customer? In this Hide.Me review, we take a close look at what this VPN offers and what it could potentially improve to become even better. Stick around to find out our verdict!


Pricing 4/10

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Hide.Me’s pricing model is at first, fairly reasonable. When you’re looking at the pricing, you can see three plans, with a free limited plan, a premium plan for $11.67 and a plus plan starting at $5.42 a month. However, like some other VPN providers, this pricing page is a bit deceptive. Read the fine print here–that is, “starting at.”

Not only that, but the plus plan isn’t better than the premium plan, it’s just arranged on the right. I would have preferred a sequential order of improvement instead of having the most popular plan in the middle.

The plus plan has a data transfer limit which is too bad since the price is just the same as other VPNs without a cap ($10 a month for just one month at a time). It also only offers one connection although the rest of the specs are the same.

The premium plan, or the plan that we would consider your best option if you can pay for it, is a whopping $20!

This is absurdly expensive compared to other VPNs that other the same simultaneous connections as well as more locations offered than Hide.Me. TorGuard VPN, for example, is only $10 a month. Private Internet Access, only $6.95. Even the yearly commitment is pricey at $140, or $85 for six months. I’m not sure if Hide.Me is trying to compensate for free loaders or what. 

Given some high prices, Hide.Me does offer good payment options like Bitcoin and a 14-day refund policy.

Software 9/10

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Hide.Me’s software, at first glance, is fairly ordinary. It has a simple blue background, a big button, and a layout that overall just feels a bit mediocre. However, this is a VPN, not a piece of artwork.

When you get into the internals, Hide.Me is much more impressive. It’s one of the only VPN providers to provide DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and the ability to switch between numerous protocols (IKEv2, OpenVPN, SSTP, and PPTP). It’s also helpful that with each option, Hide.Me clearly explains what they do–whether in simple explanation or hover text. There aren’t any options to change your cipher–which is a shame. I wish more VPNs would give you options here so you can be sure you have the perfect blend of security and functionality.

If you want a VPN that let’s you change your cipher, click here.

Picking a server is easy enough, but we did find connection times slow at times as well as more latency than we prefer. More on that in the speed section, however.

Mobile Software 9/10

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Hide.Me has a great mobile app that makes connecting to VPN on your phone quite simple. Simply launch the app, configure settings, and you’re good to go from then on. No messing with your settings whenever you need to connect.  I love their little-animated icon when the VPN connects.

Extra Services 5.5/10

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Hide.Me has a free proxy search on their site, but they don’t go above and beyond with VPN extra services that we’ve seen before from bigger providers. Their simultaneous connections aren’t bad for the best plan.

If you want a VPN with tons of extra VPN services (accessing Netflix, VPN routers, encrypted email, Stealth VPN, proxy extensions) click here.

Website 6/10

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Hide.Me has a fairly rote VPN site. There’s tons of copy explaining how a VPN can benefit you and what it can do, but the information and specs of the VPN are intermingled enough to make them a bit tricky to find.

However, the pricing page lays things out more clearly, but I would like more information here like the cipher strength, RSA key information, and available protocols.

A lot of the information is spread out on the website, but there are good things to mention as well. For example, when you’re signing up, you can opt out of promotional emails.

Servers 6/10

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Hide.Me has servers in 29 locations and a good selection of servers, but we found that server quality can vary. Some servers were so laggy that we couldn’t load websites properly to even perform speed tests while other more remote servers further away worked fine (but still had higher latency than normal).

Privacy 8/10

One notable thing about Hide.Me is that they force IKEv2 onto the free version. We prefer OpenVPN as a protocol, but from a security standpoint, this should be ok for limited use. The rest of the specs from Hide.Me are excellent, with AES-256 encryption.

Hide.Me is very adamant about not collecting logs, but they do admit that they collect some logs in the form of connection times, duration, and bandwidth used. No data is associated with a user since IP addresses are not logged. They also make a point of noting that they are one of the only VPNs to be audited for a no-log policy. Overall, nothing special here in our opinion, but decent privacy for a VPN.

Speeds 5/10

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Hide.Me isn’t the slowest VPN for torrenting since we did download a 1GB file fairly quickly with speeds ranging from 4 Mbps to 15 Mbps. However, we did experience high latency with various tested servers so we can’t recommend it for extended browsing or media streaming.A lot of servers seem to be underperforming or just give unreliable speeds.

Support 7/10

Hide.me does support live chat on their website with a small tab at the bottom, but it never worked when we tested it. It would just be stuck on loading–whether that means there’s not enough live chat reps, or any at all, I couldn’t tell.

Support times are relatively standard for tickets seeing a reply at least once per day. The website also has decent support organization.

Verdict

Hide.Me’s outrageously high price point for premium options will not buy you extra VPN services, superior speeds, or even better support. This VPN service needs to work on each core component before it can be recommended for such a high price. However, if  you’re in the market for a free VPN, Hide.Me isn’t a bad choice.

Good

  • Great PC app with necessary security features
  • Mobile app is easy to use
  • Good encryption
  • Offers free version

Bad

  • Slow speeds
  • Most expensive VPN yet
  • Live chat doesn't work right
  • Servers don't perform well
6.6

Fair

Pricing - 4
Software - 9
Mobile Software - 9
Extra Services - 5.5
Website - 6
Servers - 6
Privacy - 8
Speeds - 5
Support - 7
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