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hide.me VPN Review & Test 2022 - Surprisingly Better than Others
hide.me claims to be the most secure VPN with a free plan. This sounds too good to be true, so it got me wondering — is it really a good alternative to the premium VPNs? So, I put hide.me through a series of tests to see if it’s safe, reliable, and effective.
I found it offers great security, decent speeds, and a beginner-friendly user experience. It's easy to use and brings robust privacy features with regular transparency reports, showing it’s committed to keeping your data secure.
My tests showed that hide.me unblocks many streaming platforms, too, such as HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Funimation, Netflix US, and other libraries. However, if you want the best of the best for streaming, gaming, and more, I still recommend using one of these VPNs instead.
While using hide.me, I was able to unblock all the streaming services I tested. It comes with optimized streaming servers that you can use to access your favorite content in seconds. These servers were fast, allowing me to watch shows in full HD.
Unblocks: Netflix (US, UK, Japan, Australia), HBO Max, Disney+, Funimation, BBC iPlayer, and More
I could access the US, UK, Japan, and Australian versions of Netflix without any problems. You can find the optimized servers separately. Make sure not to select the servers from the standard tab as they won’t be able to unblock anything.
My streaming test results were a pleasant surprise, as I didn’t expect hide.me to work with everything. It’s a great choice if getting around geoblocks on streaming platforms is your primary objective. The optimized servers are great, and I would highly recommend it for streaming.
I got fast speeds, even on longer distances. The speeds were good enough for HD streaming and more. Some of the servers farthest away from me had lower upload speeds and higher pings, but that is to be expected.
The measurements of speed are:
Download speed. This helps you determine how quickly you can download data, browse the internet, or stream. It is measured in Mbps (Megaits per second).
Upload speed. This determines how fast you can send or upload data, also measured in Mbps.
Ping/latency. The lower the ping, the better. This is especially true for gaming. It is the unit that helps measure latency in milliseconds (ms) and shows the fastest response time of a server.
Connecting to a server will always decrease your speeds because the VPN reroutes your data. So, expect to see some loss of speed. My baseline speeds were 38.27 Mbps download and 70.78 Mbps upload speeds with a 6 ms ping.
After connecting to a local server, my speeds dropped a bit:
34.63 Mbps (9% decrease)
31.25 Mbps (55% decrease)
This drop was expected, but it still gave me respectable speed, high enough even for 4k streaming.
While hide.me offers decent speeds for browsing and streaming, it isn’t the best for gaming. Online gaming requires you to have low ping with a fast connection. However, I was constantly averaging around 250 ms of ping, making the gameplay experience choppy and unreliable for FPS shooters or MOBA games.
Server Network — Present in 75 Locations With 2,000 Servers
hide.me offers a worldwide server network and also allows you to request additional new servers. It’s uncertain how often new servers will get added, but it’s nice to see a VPN taking instant feedback from its users.
The global server network means many servers will be close by for a better connection. For me, hide.me connected almost instantly — there was zero downtime, and it offered a stable connection.
Here is a list of the server regions that hide.me offers:
North & South America
Asia-Pacific / Other
hide.me offers streaming servers specifically designed to help you unblock streaming platforms. You get servers in the following locations — Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
You also get the option to use a static IP address. With the fixed IP, you can reserve an IP address on a specific VPN server. This gives you better access to all the platforms wherever you travel to.
Security — Adequate Protection With End-To-End Encryption
hide.me offers great security. It allows you to browse the internet with confidence, knowing that all your data is secure and protected at all times.
Encryption & Protocols
It uses AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt all incoming and outgoing data to ensure no one can snoop around your files. You also get multiple protocols — IKEv2, OpenVPN, SoftEther VPN, WireGuard, and SSTP. This might seem confusing at first but just know that all these protocols are great and offer fast speeds with great security.
Based on my server tests, hide.me protected me from all leaks. So, you can rest easy and browse without worries. These are the following leaks that you need to avoid at all costs:
IP — Your actual IP can expose your current location and make you vulnerable to threats and attacks online.
DNS — This means that your online traffic can be intercepted and used to harm you.
WebRTC — The communication process between your browser and a website can reveal your IP address.
IPv6 — This leak is a type of data that misses the VPN’s “tunnel.” So, generally, VPNs disable it.
It also protects you by masking your actual IP address. Plus, you can make sure that no one can track you using your IP. I tested this with an IP and DNS leak test. The results — hide.me masked my IP and didn’t leak any data.
hide.me has an easy-to-use kill switch feature. This helps protect your data from leaking accidentally if the VPN connection drops. In addition, you can even customize it to limit your online LAN traffic, disabling any local traffic to the VPN.
You also get access to hide.me’s stealth guard feature that helps provide an additional layer of security. You can limit or block apps from accessing the internet if your VPN isn't connected. Select the “Stealth Guard” tab and choose the apps you want to limit or block.
hide.me’s split tunneling allows you to route only certain applications through the encrypted tunnel. This will enable you to keep other applications outside the VPN tunnel and access the internet directly. For example, you might prefer to not have your banking app use the VPN so that your real IP gets detected and the app won't block you.
hide.me Bolt is a feature that avoids using UDP and routes your online traffic through TCP. Essentially, this results in faster speeds with the same security. So, you’ll be able to access web pages faster and with a secured connection. However, this feature is still in the beta testing phase, so there might still be some bugs to sort out
Multihop servers let you rotate between multiple IPs for added security. You can even specify the servers to hop to. This enhances your online security by making it more difficult to track you. However, some websites may block you because of your constantly changing IP addresses.
It won’t pass or sell your details to any third-party organizations and only uses analytics cookies for internal improvements. Overall, you can be sure that hide.me is a secure and privacy-oriented VPN that helps users stay safe on the internet.
hide.me regularly releases transparency reports and independent audits, which provide further reassurance. It’s headquarters are in Malaysia, outside major surveillance alliances — 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes. So if it gets a formal request from the government to share user data, it won’t hand over any files, keeping your information private.
Plus, it is also involved with i2Coalition — an organization fighting for internet freedom. This further boosts its commitment to ensuring your online privacy.
hide.me allows torrenting and P2P on all its servers. It offers fast speeds and great security features for safe connections and downloads. Plus, you can also take advantage of a specialized SOCKS (shadowsocks) proxy for even faster P2P connections.
hide.me also use TLS-Crypt, which adds encryption and decryption operations on OpenVPN packets by using obfuscation of your entire internet traffic. This means that all OpenVPN packets get encrypted twice, and this is especially useful for accessing services in China.
However, before you proceed to use it in China, contacting customer support prior is highly recommended. China blocks many VPNs, although there have been no reports of prosecuting tourists for using them.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Connect Up to 10
You can use a total of 10 devices at the same time with the paid version, more than most VPNs. This will help you use it on multiple platforms without needing to log out. You can have it running on your Windows laptop and switch to your iPhone instantly.
Device Compatibility — Supports a Wide Range of Devices
hide.me offers native apps for all major platforms. You can even install it on your router to work on devices that don’t support VPNs, like your smart TV.
You can install hide.me on macOS, Windows and Linux. It comes with a simple and easy-to-use interface with a big connect button that helps you connect to servers in just a single click.
hide.me is also available on multiple gaming consoles. This includes the latest PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo devices. However, to use it, you would need to install hide.me on your router and then connect it with your console.
Installing hide.me on routers is easy. I followed the instructions online and was able to set it up within 10 minutes. Here is a list of all the routers that hide.me supports:
You can also use hide.me on various streaming platforms such as Apple TV, Android TV, and Roku, but you would need to install it on your router and then use it. However, hide.me also has a native Amazon Fire TV Stick app.
It also comes with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. This is great if you just want to run it on your browser and use it in seconds. However, the browser extension requires a new subscription leaving only 5 available locations if you just use the free option.
Installing hide.me was a hassle-free process. It just took me around 5 minutes to set everything up. I just needed to create my account and download the Windows app. After installing it, I logged into my premium account and started using it.
You can also use the free option. However, this will only limit you to a 10 GB per month allowance and 5 server locations on a single connection. Plus, you can download hide.me right from the app store for iOS, macOS, and Android.
Starting at $2.49/month, the subscription plans are reasonably priced and provide a good overall value. This is especially great when you take advantage of various deals and offers. I got 75% when I first signed up.
You also get 2TB of free encrypted cloud storage for a year (regardless of your hide.me subscription length) from the privacy-focused Internxt. Internxt is a zero-knowledge cloud storage provider that encrypts all your data — only you have access to the decryption key.
It doesn’t offer any free trial but comes with a free plan, which is highly restricted. However, the advantage of using the free plan is that it doesn’t require any registration or payment details. It also doesn’t show you any ads but only offers 10 GB of data usage per month and 5 server locations. The locations are:
The US (East Coast)
The US (West Coast)
A better choice would be to try hide.me risk-free, backed by a reliable 30-day money-back policy. I tested the policy by contacting the customer support executive and asking for a refund. After 5 minutes, when I told him why I was leaving, my request was approved, and I had my money back within 5 days.
The paid subscription also offers a fixed IP address, streaming support, and dynamic port forwarding, speeding up your download speeds.
It also accepts multiple forms of payment, such as credit cards, Bitcoin, SOFORT, and PayPal. This is great as it gives you lots of options to pay for your subscription, and it’s nice to have the option of cryptocurrency as a secure payment option.
hide.me supports several different cryptocurrency payment options, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and more.
Reliability & Support
hide.me offers a 24/7 support service, and I found it super responsive. The live chat feature worked great, and all it took was some seconds to get an answer. The answers were helpful, and they even forwarded my request to its support email if I needed more help.
So, I am sure that if you run into any bugs or errors, hide.me would help you sort it out in minutes.
The Bottom Line
It also helped me unblock all the streaming platforms that I tried. The download speeds were also consistently good, but I experienced a loss in upload speeds and pings.
Yes, hide.me is safe and secure.It passed all my leak tests, meaning that all your IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 data is secure. This allows you to browse, download, and stream without worrying about your online privacy.
Yes, but not significantly.I did experience some slowdown in my speed tests, but I was still able to stream in HD without any buffering. Even servers thousands of kilometers away like Australia or the US still gave me respectable speeds good enough for a great overall experience.