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Hidden24 VPN promises to offer online safety, integrity, and anonymity, and almost delivers that.
I took the VPN for a full test to see how it performs when it comes to streaming abilities, security, speeds, privacy, and more. I was impressed with its unblocking abilities, decent security measures, and some of the speeds I got.
Hidden24 unblocked Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and a few other platforms. However, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video were out of reach.
Since the speeds on the US server were quite fast, I could watch any movie and show in HD — without buffering or interruptions.
Unblocked: Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
I had no problems accessing Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube TV with Hidden24 VPN. The connection was established in just a few seconds and I started streaming immediately.
I could watch BBC iPlayer with no buffering
I was impressed that it unblocked HBO Max, as it has super-strong geoblocks and detects most VPNs.
I could watch The Flight Attendant on HBO Max with Hidden24 VPN
Disney+ and Hulu were also unblocked and the quality was brilliant. I didn’t have to wait for the movies to load and had no errors.
Hidden24 VPN unblocked Disney+
Blocked By: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
I couldn’t unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video using the US server. I was expecting some issues with Amazon Prime Video because it has tough geoblocks. Netflix, on the other hand, is usually unblocked by most VPNs.
I couldn’t access my Amazon Prime Video account with Hidden24 VPN
Overall, I am impressed with Hidden24 VPN in terms of streaming. It unblocked most of the platforms I tested and gave me fast enough speeds to watch in HD.
However, it doesn’t have a large number of servers — this means that you’re quite limited and won’t be able to access platforms from all over the world. You can take a look at these streaming VPNs with thousands of servers if you want access to global content.
Speeds — Fast Connections, But Only On Some Servers
Hidden24 VPN impressed me with its fast speeds, but only on the US server.
I started by measuring my base speed — I recorded 37.16 Mbps download, 12.22 Mbps upload, and a ping of 4ms.
The first server I tested was the US one, which gave me similar results to my base connection — this is impressive, as most VPNs will decrease your speed by about 20%. In this case, I noticed a 0.4% increase in my download speed, while the upload dropped by 38%. The ping stood at 120ms, which can be high for gaming, but it’s still great for most online activities.
The US server I tested was particularly quick
The German server I tested connected me to France — this isn’t normal for a VPN and it makes me think that Hidden24 VPN is unreliable (I’ll talk more about that below). Besides, it decreased my download speed by 83% and raised the ping up to 209ms.
Finally, the UK location gave me the results I was expecting in the first place. The download dropped by 55%, upload decreased by 76% and ping was decent at 54ms.
Hidden24 VPN has 100 servers in 7 countries, which is a very small number compared to other services in its price range. It has locations in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Spain.
The main problem is that some of these servers didn’t work properly. I had success with its US and UK locations, but the others were a lottery. The Italian server didn’t work at all, while the French and German ones located me in different countries.
This could be an issue with the VPN’s GeoIP database. Or it could be that the VPN is wrongly labeling its servers purposefully, to claim it covers more countries than it does.
Either way, it’s frustrating to be connected to the wrong country when you’re trying to unblock streaming sites or access censored content.
There aren’t any specialized servers for streaming, gaming, or torrenting either. That’s not always a big problem for VPNs but, since Hidden24’s servers aren’t all reliable, a list of optimized servers would’ve made my search easier.
I can’t recommend Hidden24 VPN’s network. Instead, take a look at more reliable services that allow you to connect to almost any location in the world.
Security — Strong Encryption, But Not Much Else
Hidden24 VPN’s security measures are good, but not great. It secures your connection with the LT2P/IPSec protocol with AES 256 type encryption. You can also opt for the faster (but less secure) PPTP protocol with 128 bits encryption.
I’d always go for AES 256-bit encryption; it’s the highest level available and it keeps your traffic safeguarded against hackers and snoopers.
The VPN’s UK variant (which is a different subscription) also uses the IKeV2 protocol. Unfortunately, neither version has OpenVPN support.
L2TP/IPSec and IKEv2 are great protocols, providing good speeds and security. But OpenVPN is the industry standard; it’s got the best combination of speed and safety. I was disappointed not to see it as an option.
I also wouldn’t recommend using PPTP. It’s a much older protocol, with next to no security. It’s only really suitable for smart TVs, as it’s fast.
There were no IP or DNS leaks detected during my testing. I ran a couple of tests on US and UK servers, and my data was protected every time.
The VPN didn’t leak my real IP address or DNS requests
I noticed that my security settings were lacking a lot of additional features offered as standard with most other VPNs. Most disappointingly, there was no kill switch. A kill switch cuts off your traffic if your VPN connection goes down. It prevents your IP and online activity getting leaked to your ISP by accident. Not having one is risky.
Overall, I found Hidden24’s security measures fairly basic. I was satisfied with the encryption and protocols on offer but would’ve liked to have seen some more features available for additional protection. If total anonymity is important to you, I’d go for one of the more secure VPN companies instead.
I found the information on privacy seriously lacking
It also claims its HQ in Sweden is good for your privacy. The FAQ states that Sweden has “one of the strongest protection [sic] for the individual’s right to privacy in the world.”
In reality, Sweden is actually a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance — an international intelligence-sharing pact. While Sweden is generally privacy-friendly, VPNs located in Eyes Alliance member states can be forced to hand over your data if requested by the government.
Hidden24 VPN allows 1 connection per user. This is a lot less than the industry standard, and a little disappointing.
However, you can set theVPN up on your router. That means that you can protect all the devices in your house by connecting to the same VPN server.
If you’re out and about on cell or public WiFi though, you’re stuck with just 1 device.
Device Compatibility — Extensive
Hidden24 VPN is compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.
On top of that, you can also set it up on gaming consoles, smart TVs, FireSticks, Apple TV, and routers.
I found this level of compatibility impressive for a smaller VPN. It’s a shame you can’t really make the most of it since you can only connect 1 device at a time.
Ease of Use
Set-Up & Installation — Manual Configuration
Hidden24 VPN doesn’t have native apps, so you need to manually configure it on each device you want to use it on. The process is not difficult, but it’s not quick either.
I set the VPN up on my MacBook and iPhone for testing. After I created my account, I had to wait for about an hour to be able to use it — this was a letdown for me, as usually I can access VPNs instantly.
The VPN is configured via the network settings on your device. I chose to set it up with the LT2P/IPSec and IKEv2 protocols (IKEv2 is only available on the UK variant of Hidden24 VPN).
You can configure the VPN with L2TP/IPSec or PPTP
After that, you need to enter the server address and use your credentials to authenticate. In the advanced settings, you need to allow it to route all the traffic. Otherwise, you won’t be fully covered by the VPN.
You need to allow Hidden24 to route all traffic over the VPN connection
It wasn’t the most complicated setup process I’ve experienced, but it is frustrating to have to go through manual installation when so many VPNs offer easy-to-use native apps these days.
Hidden24 VPN only accepts payments through credit cards. There’s no option to pay through PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, or cryptocurrencies, which was a bit of a letdown.
I was especially disappointed that I couldn’t pay with crypto. Crypto payments would have offered a higher level of anonymity because they can’t be traced.
There are 3 payment plans: monthly, 3-month, and yearly. The price seemed fairly average in comparison to other VPNs I’ve tested; Hidden24 is not the most expensive service, but it’s not the cheapest either.
There’s also no free trial or money-back guarantee. The VPN claims it doesn’t have a refund policy because it doesn’t log any of your information when you sign up.
You can’t claim a refund, even if it turns out the VPN doesn’t suit your needs
This doesn’t make a lot of sense because there should be some sort of record when you activate the service using your email address and credit card.
Whatever it’s reasons, the lack of a money-back guarantee means you have no way of getting your money back if Hidden24 doesn’t work for you.
Hidden24 VPN offers email and ticket-based support. When I was testing, I got an answer in about 2 days, which is not great at all.
Even though the team doesn't give an average response time, if I had any problems during the setup I wouldn’t have been able to use the service I paid for. I’m used to using VPNs with 24/7 live chat support so having to wait so long for a reply was annoying.
The response I received was also a little vague. I asked if the VPN worked in China, but didn’t get a yes or no answer. I was told that Hidden24 VPN didn’t receive any complaints about it and it really depends on the server and protocol I was using — without giving me a combination that should work.
Hidden24 did unblock a handful of streaming services, but the speeds weren’t consistent on all its servers. On top of that, some servers didn’t work at all. Considering its already small server network, I’d say it doesn’t offer enough value for the money.
There’s also hardly any concrete information on the VPN’s website regarding its logging policy. A vague promise not to log your data isn’t really enough for me — especially since Hidden24 is located in Sweden (a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance).