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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Hide.me Review 2024: Is It Free, Trustworthy, and Safe?

Our Score: 9.0/10
Ranked 10th out of 298 VPNs
Lawrence Wachira Updated on 16th May 2024 Fact-checked by Matthew Amos Senior Writer

Offering a popular free version and cheap premium plans, hide.me claims to be one of the best value VPNs in the world. But will the free version keep you safe online, and how do its paid plans stack up to other premium VPNs?

To find out, I performed extensive tests on every feature that hide.me offers. I explored speeds, streaming capabilities, and safety with the free and paid versions. In addition, I found out everything there is to know about its privacy policies.

After my tests, I recommend hide.me if you want a safe, privacy-friendly premium VPN for a low price. The free version is nice, but it has slow speeds, a limited network, and won't let you access some essential features. However, you can try all premium features risk-free using its 30-money-back guarantee. I tested it and received a no-questions-asked refund.

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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

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hide.me VPN Features — 2024 Update

9.0
💸 Price 2.69 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 2400+
💻 Number of devices per license 10
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Malaysia
🛠 Support 24/7 Live Chat Support
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — High-Quality With Streaming-Optimized Servers

9.8

hide.me's specialty streaming servers let our global team safely watch all the local platforms they tested. Videos loaded almost instantly, and playback was consistently excellent. Standard servers also worked with some platforms, but I’d recommend sticking with the optimized ones for the best quality.

My colleagues and I could watch a handful of platforms on the free option, but slow loading times were very frustrating. This wasn't a surprise since hide.me had already informed us that its free version doesn't support streaming.

While the VPN can theoretically let you stream geo-restricted content from anywhere, vpnMentor recommends avoiding this practice due to potential copyright law violations. We only connected to servers within our respective countries while testing hide.me's streaming capabilities.

With the premium version, we could safely watch the streaming platforms in the table below:

Netflix Disney+ Max Hulu BBC iPlayer
Amazon Prime Video Peacock Paramount+ ITVX Crunchyroll
CTV ProSieben Funimation DAZN YouTube
Hotstar India All 4 Joyn Maxdome RAI
fuboTV Sky Sports ESPN/ESPN+ Crackle Sling TV
Important. The vpnMentor team and I are against copyright infringement. We recommend VPNs that offer secure, no-logging services to protect your privacy, not for illegal purposes. So, always comply with local laws and streaming platforms' rules while using hide.me or any other VPN.

Works With: Netflix

My testers in the US, the UK, Japan, and Canada could safely stream their complete Netflix libraries using optimized servers in their respective countries. They had zero playback issues while watching Netflix, even when they skipped around.

A screenshot of Netflix streaming Sixteen Candles while connected to hide.me's US serverThe video quality was superb from the outset

However, my teammate in the US reported that the non-optimized Dallas server only worked with Netflix Originals — a version that features Netflix's own movies and shows. So, I suggest sticking with the optimized ones for a broader range of options.

Works With: Max

The hide.me servers worked great with the formerly named HBO Max.

A screenshot of Max (HBO Max) streaming The Never Ever Mets while connected to hide.me's streaming-optimized US serverThe series resolved into great quality in about 7 seconds

My colleague in the US could also watch several videos with normal servers. But, I still recommend using the streaming ones to save you time in finding the right connection.

Works With: Hulu

Our US tester also managed to securely stream Hulu on his first try using the same optimized server from Texas.

A screenshot of Hulu streaming Next Level Chef while connected to hide.me's streaming-optimized US serverVideos played without buffering, and the quality was great

With the non-optimized servers, he could log in to his account and view all the titles, but clicking on any video resulted in an error.

Works With: Disney+

Disney+ streamed just as well as Max, Hulu, and Netflix with the specialty servers.

A screenshot of Disney+ streaming The Lizzie McGuire Movie while connected to hide.me's streaming-optimized US serverTesters in the UK and Italy could also safely stream the platform

Unfortunately, switching to the standard servers left my US colleague stuck at a buffering icon that never cleared whenever he tried to load the platform.

Works With: BBC iPlayer

A colleague in the UK had no issues live-streaming and watching titles on BBC iPlayer with the optimized servers.

A screenshot of BBC iPlayer streaming Race Across the World while connected to hide.me's streaming-optimized UK serverIt did take a few seconds for the picture to resolve into HD

The same connection supported secure streaming on ITVX. Unfortunately, the standard servers were ineffective with this platform.

Also Works With: ESPN and Amazon Prime Video

Once again, the streaming-optimized servers performed well with ESPN and Amazon Prime Video. Our US correspondent reported no issues while using them. However, after switching to standard servers, he couldn't find a suitable one for ESPN, and none of them worked with Amazon Prime Video.

Speed — Fast and Stable Connections Even on Distant Servers

8.8

The VPN’s premium tier gave us excellent results on almost all the servers we tested. Our dedicated UK tester only experienced a significant dip on one server 15,000 km away. This is an impressive feat, as many top VPNs cause notable slowdowns on far-off servers.

On the other hand, the free servers are too slow to offer a smooth online experience. From Kenya, I tested each free location (none was close to me) and saw speed drops between 64% and 82%. However, when I switched to the paid servers in the same locations, the decrease in speed was much smaller, ranging from 8 to 49%.

My colleague and I speed-tested many servers worldwide solely to assess hide.me's overall performance. However, we recommend only using local servers for streaming. As stated above, we don’t condone copyright infringements and ask you to please use any VPN responsibly.

There are 3 main categories we look at when recording connection speeds:

  • Download speeds. This shows how quickly you can receive information. It's important for things like streaming, torrenting, and browsing. It’s measured in Mbps (megabits per second).
  • Upload speeds. This lets you know how quickly you can send data. You’ll want this to be fast when you’re sending emails or uploading videos. It’s also measured in Mbps.
  • Ping. References how fast your data can travel. It lets you know how much latency you’ll have, so it’s crucial for gaming. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms).

All results below are from a single UK location, using the same internet connection for fair comparisons. Our tester used the WireGuard protocol because it was the fastest. The chart below displays average speeds from multiple tests per location.

A screenshot showing hide.me's speed results across servers in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and OceniaSpeeds fell 4.5% on nearby servers and 19.3% on far-off ones

We have only tested a few providers that maintain speeds this fast in both close and mid-range proximity (below 5,000 km away). Typically, the industry’s best will drop your speeds by an average of about 10-20% at this distance. Beyond 6,000 km, many services can slow you down by 65% or more, and the chart shows hide.me typically performs better than this.

However, on long distance servers, you can find VPNs that are faster. For example, ExpressVPN is about twice as fast once you get on servers over 8,000 km away.

Local Speed

Since hide.me is a widely-used VPN, our tester runs weekly tests on it. Having analyzed several months of data, the speeds shown in our chart accurately reflect its typical performance. Week after week, we consistently observed fast speeds on every nearby server tested.

A screenshot of Ookla speed tests done while connected to hide.me's Frankfurt server and with no VPN connectedThe Frankfurt server dropped our tester’s speed by only 4%

Every server tested in Europe decreased speeds by no more than 5%, and the ping rates remained impressively low (under 50ms). So, as long as you stick to servers in your general area, even with initially low base speeds, you'll likely not even notice you're using hide.me.

Long-Distance Speed

Like with all VPNs, you’ll lose more speed at long distances. In some weeks, I even noticed that servers in somewhat closer locations like Brazil and Japan — over 8,000km away — slowed our tester's speed by over 60%. Since increased distance generally leads to slower speeds, I recommend sticking to hide.me's servers within an 8,000 km radius to avoid severe slowdowns.

A screenshot of Ookla speed tests done while connected to hide.me's Sydney server and with no VPN connectedThe ping rate was also over 14 times slower on this server

It was surprising to see that servers in Asia and North America (5,500+ km away) outshone the nearby ones. This discrepancy is likely due to varying server loads, and I hope the VPN will display this information for each server in the future to make choosing a less congested server easier.

Special 10G Servers

These servers are designed to provide faster speeds than the standard 1G servers, and I did notice better speed with them. In our weekly assessments, I observed the Brazilian 10G server (8,000+ km away) reducing our tester’s speed by less than 20% on several occasions. Such performance is impressive for a distant connection.

hide.me’s apps highlight these servers so you can easily connect to the fastest available server. However, it's worth mentioning that, occasionally, the same server slowed our testers' speeds by more than 60%. This variability may have been due to high server traffic.

Bolt “Fast Proxy”

This feature is designed by hide.me specifically to improve VPN speeds on Windows. Many VPNs default to using UDP for data transfers due to its speed advantages. However, historically, Windows hasn't handled UDP as efficiently as TCP. Bolt prioritizes TCP to maximize performance. This may boost your speeds, but in my tests, I didn't see any difference.

Gaming — Too Much Lag for Competitive Play

4.6

Even with low ping rates (below 90ms), I still couldn’t use hide.me for satisfying gaming sessions. It’s best to have a ping below 80ms if you want to play games without lag. Higher latency leads to a noticeable pause between when you press a button and when your character reacts. This makes it impossible to play at your best, and it’s not much fun.

A screenshot showing playing World of Tanks (WoT) while connected to hide.me's fastest serverI struggled to move my characters, and the game froze often

My experience with World of Tanks (WoT) was similar to my attempts at playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Warframe, as I struggled to secure wins due to excessive lag. The free servers failed to support gameplay for either title. I was continually plagued by error messages such as “Connection Interrupted” and “Server Does Not Respond. Try Again Later”. You can play online games competitively with a secure VPN from this list.

Server Network — A Fairly Large Selection With Specialized Servers

9.2

You get 2,400 servers in 89 countries with hide.me, which gives you a lot of options. This is slightly more locations than the average VPN offers, but some of the very best providers do give you more servers. However, I like that hide.me’s servers are pretty well-distributed around the world.

Most of the servers are in Europe (with 30+ locations). It even has some rarer locations like Bulgaria and Croatia, which you don’t see in a ton of VPNs. There are 25+ in the Americas and 20+ in Asia (including Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines) and the rest of the world.

This is somewhat typical for VPNs, but there are some with more servers in Asia and Africa. For example, Surfshark has 25+ locations in Asia and several more African options.

8 countries come with city-level servers: France, the UK, Switzerland, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia. The US has the most locations, with 16 regions offered.

These let you pinpoint your location more accurately so you can find the fastest nearby servers. Some VPNs come with a little more, but this is a solid selection.

A screenshot showing hide.me let you sort its servers vy country, ping and distanceThis makes it easy to choose an optimal server near you

It also lets you connect to 8 different locations with its free tier. These are in Finland, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the US, Germany, the UK, and Singapore.

I never experienced any connectivity issues while testing both the free and paid servers. My connection remained stable, and only took a few seconds to establish.

It owns all of its servers, so you don’t have to worry about any middleman. Many VPNs have to rent at least some of their infrastructure due to costs. So, this is one big benefit of using hide.me. Below, you’ll find a few more cool privacy features hide.me’s network offers that help it stand out.

Best Location

This feature automatically sets you up with a fast server based on your geographical location. It helps you achieve the best possible connection speed by analyzing factors such as server load, distance, and latency.

No Virtual Locations

All of hide.me’s servers are physically located and are RAM-only. Virtual servers aren’t actually in the country where they set you up with an IP. This does come with some benefits because it lets providers connect you to countries where it’s dangerous to house servers. However, I like that with hide.me, you always know exactly how far away a server really is.

Memory-erasing servers enhance your online safety by deleting your web history with every reboot. This feature is beneficial because it minimizes the possibility of the VPN retaining any sensitive information, such as your web history, that could be linked back to you.

Fixed IP Addresses

Every subscription to hide.me comes with fixed IPs that are yours as long as you stay connected. Upon disconnection, the IP may be reassigned to someone else, especially if a server is experiencing high traffic. This is unlike a dedicated IP, which is yours alone, and I hope hide.me will offer them soon. They’re my go-to when I want to avoid annoying CAPTCHAs.

To reserve a fixed IP, go to your client area on hide.me website and choose your preferred country from the dropdown menu. You'll receive an IP to input into the 'Custom Location' section of your VPN app. Once set, you can use it each time you access that specific country or city.

Optimized Servers

hide.me offers specialized streaming servers in 20+ countries, including Argentina, Australia, the UK, the US, and Brazil. These ones are tailored to optimize the streaming of local content in their respective locations. Few VPNs offer specialty servers for streaming and other activities, so it's encouraging to see hide.me matching the offerings of industry leaders like CyberGhost.

Security — Tons of Features to Keep You Safe

9.6

Security is one category where hide.me excels as it has just about every feature the top VPNs offer. First of all, it passed my leak tests on 16+ servers I tested. I also value its compatibility with IPv6, an increasingly popular technology.

A screenshot showing hide.me passed DNS, IP leak, and WebRTC testsI checked each server at multiple times of the day as well

Its Windows installer and APK file also showed no viruses or malware when I scanned them with VirusTotal. The password generator is another valuable addition to its security suite that I appreciated — it helped me create strong passwords with just one click.

You can even set the VPN to auto-connect under several different conditions. This includes automatically connecting when you turn on your device, when you access a new WiFi network, or when you access a certain IP.

Encryption and Security Protocols

hide.me uses the nearly unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption level to keep you safe online. It’s the standard for all top-ranked VPNs, banks, and governments. It also uses Perfect Forward Secrecy, which just means it’s constantly generating new encryption keys for added security.

You get a ton of different protocols to connect to with hide.me, including the leading options. Here’s a short breakdown of each one and what they offer:

  • This protocol is considered the safest protocol because it’s open source. That means it’s constantly being checked for vulnerabilities by security enthusiasts around the world. The company also claims every connection through OpenVPN will be obfuscated.
  • A safe protocol running on newer technology. It’s also the fastest protocol as was seen in our tests.
  • This is an older protocol. But it works well for mobile devices because it’s good at switching between different networks.
  • It's not as secure as OpenVPN but is capable of concealing your VPN usage in restrictive networks like those in schools and workplaces. Unfortunately, this protocol has been causing issues, and hide.me is in the process of phasing it out. So, I suggest you opt for OpenVPN instead to sidestep any inconvenience.
  • You can also use this protocol to conceal your VPN usage in restrictive networks. However, its potential vulnerability to backdoors makes it less appealing.

The table below displays the protocols supported on each device:

Auto OpenVPN IKEv2 WireGuard SSTP SoftEther
Windows
Mac
Linux
iOS
Android

The default setting upon installing hide.me is "Automatic." However, if you prefer to change it, each protocol option comes with a straightforward explanation below it to help you decide.

Multihop

This is a double VPN feature, and hide.me lets you run your traffic through any combination of its servers. I like this because most VPNs only let you connect to set pairs of servers. That’s if they even offer double VPN at all.

Your choice of servers greatly influences the overall experience. Most of the time, routing your traffic through 2 servers substantially lowers your speeds. For example, in my tests, a pair of nearby servers (South Africa and Egypt) reduced my speed by 21.5%, while distant ones (Australia and Brazil) cut it by 67.9%.

However, this isn’t a feature I really use. That’s because hide.me offers such powerful encryption that there isn’t much reason to send your connection through a second server. But, it’s nice that it’s there for people who want to be extra cautious.

SmartGuard

This is hide.me’s ad-blocker, and it comes with tons of options. You can set it up to block ads, malware, trackers, force SafeSearch with search engines, and even let you set up parental filters.

While it won't block everything, I appreciate that you get hide.me’s ad-blocker with regular subscriptions at no extra cost. It helped me block all ads on CNN and Speedtest.net, and its parental filter prevented access to adult content sites. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support multihops that include streaming servers.

Kill Switch

This blocks your connection in case the VPN suddenly disconnects, and it’s a crucial feature that keeps you from going online unprotected.

A screenshot showing hide.me has a reliable kill switchThe kill switch is enabled by default and can be customized

The VPN’s kill switch consistently cut off my connection during server switches and power flickers. It's a vital safety feature, and I'd steer clear of any service missing it.

StealthGuard

I thought this was obfuscation at first, but StealthGuard actually gives you more auto-connect options. Many VPNs use the word stealth to describe technology they use to hide your VPN use, which is what threw me off. However, StealthGuard just makes sure you don’t go online without a VPN connection. You can also use it to make sure your selected apps don’t go online until hide.me connects first.

Split Tunneling

You can use this feature to choose what traffic goes through the VPN. For example, I like to keep my banking app out of the VPN tunnel. That way, I don’t have to worry about scaring my bank while I’m using hide.me to protect my privacy online.

Proprietary DNS servers

The VPN uses its own DNS servers to prevent your ISP or other potential snoopers from seeing which websites you visit. These servers can also help you mitigate DNS poisoning, where hackers redirect you to malicious websites. hide.me's own DNS servers prevent the risk of such redirects to sites you don't intend to visit.

Privacy — An Excellent No-Logs Policy That Has Been Proven

10.0

This is one of the most trustworthy VPNs around, and it’s headquartered in a privacy-friendly country. It’s also owned by eVenture Ltd, an IT security company that has never had any controversies. Now that it owns all of its server network, there isn’t much more hide.me could do to improve when it comes to privacy.

It’s also involved with i2Coalition — an organization fighting for internet freedom. This means that hide.me follows i2Coalition’s VPN Trust Initiative (VTI), which are a set of principles that ensure a provider is transparent and more privacy-friendly. It makes VPNs promise not to siphon data, practice false advertising, and more.

Does hide.me Keep Logs? No

Hide.me never records your IP address, browsing activities, or timestamps. The only information it retains is your monthly data usage and email, which is stored in encrypted form on completely encrypted servers. For enhanced privacy, you can register using a temporary email and pay in cryptocurrencies.

A screenshot showing sections of hide.me's policy that confirms that VPN doesn't log sensitive informationAs soon as you delete your account, all of your information is removed

The VPN even offers an option to remove your email after signing up. While this is beneficial for privacy, if you've used a one-time email for sign-up, I advise against removing it, as it could restrict functionality, such as password resets.

However, it retains your randomly generated username and the server you’ve connected to, but they get securely erased every few hours. It also collects website usage data, solely to improve its services. You’re also just as safe using the free service because it follows the same policy.

Was hide.me Audited? Yes

Its policy was audited by a reputable firm in 2015. This audit was carried out by Leon Juranic of DefenseCode LTD, a renowned cybersecurity expert. His evaluation affirmed the company's adherence to its policy. Plus, since 2012, hide.me has upheld transparency by routinely issuing reports disclosing legal requests, each showing it doesn’t have any customer data to share.

Recently, hide.me passed the independent MASA audit. This program, spearheaded by the App Defense Alliance, a coalition of Google and mobile app security vendors, looks at authentication, information handling, encryption, and more. Regularly undergoing these tests demonstrates that hide.me truly cares about your online privacy.

Based in Malaysia

Malaysia is outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, and it has no data retention laws, so it’s a great place to run a VPN. The 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance is an agreement between several governments to share data on their citizens. So, this is just one more reason hide.me is super privacy-friendly.

Does hide.me Work in China? Yes

Customer support confirmed that you can use hide.me in China, and they recommend starting with the free version to assess its effectiveness within the country.

A screenshot showing hide.me's support team confirmed the VPN works in ChinaThey suggest using the OpenVPN protocol to connect in China

There aren’t many VPNs that reliably work in China, so I’m happy that hide.me still can. Given the government's active efforts to block VPN access in the country, I recommend you download hide.me before your visit. You'll also find helpful guides on hide.me's website on how to use the service there.

Many VPNs have been banned in China, but there are no known public cases in which the government has prosecuted individuals for their use. However, my team and I strictly advise against using VPNs for any illegal activities. We recommend you read up on the laws before deciding to use a VPN in China.

Torrenting — Securely Download Files on All Premium Servers

10.0

I could download files at nearly the same speed as I do with no VPN connected. While on a nearby South African server, I downloaded a 909MB file in 11.08 minutes using the VPN. With my base connection, the same copyright-free file took just 10.18 minutes. This is great since hide.me doesn’t have a local server in Kenya, where I am.

You can even hasten downloads by enabling dynamic port forwarding (UPnP/NAT-PMP) and setting up a SOCKS proxy. The provider doesn’t offer static port forwarding due to security concerns. Instead, it provides Dynamic Port Forwarding as a more secure alternative, which you can activate through the desktop app's built-in functionality or manually.

The manual way requires adding @pf suffix to your username before initiating a VPN connection. This addition helps hide.me identify your preference and adjust the network settings accordingly. If you're using hide.me desktop apps, you can skip the hassle of adding the suffix by simply enabling this feature with a single click.

Both features improved my download speeds. UPnP increased it by 6%, and configuring the SOCKS proxy alongside UPnP resulted in a 19% faster download. hide.me encourages the responsible use of UPnP due to the potential risks involved.

It even takes it a step further by marking it as "Optional" in the torrenting guide. The VPN also recommends binding torrent clients to the VPN via SOCKS proxy for P2P activities, and I value the detailed guide provided.

Its solid privacy policy and great security features also make hide.me an excellent option for P2P. You never know who you’re connecting to on one of these networks, and it’s easy to download a mislabeled file. So, it’s a good idea to protect yourself with a VPN like hide.me.

hide.me's free tier didn't allow me to download any files. Although the support team clarified that torrenting is exclusive to premium servers, I wanted to double-check because I’ve seen other VPNs' free versions allow it despite restrictions.

While torrenting is legal in most countries, downloading copyrighted files isn’t. I recommend you only download files in the public domain to make sure you don’t break any laws.

Installation & Apps

9.2

Installation & Apps — Easy to Set Up on Most Devices

All of hide.me’s apps have a nice, modern-looking UI that lays everything out in an intuitive way. However, beginners might be confused with the amount of customization options it offers. For example, the multihop servers option isn't necessarily self-explanatory. So, I’d like to see it provide more information about its features in the future.

A screenshot showing hide.me's Mac and Windows interfaces.The tabs in both apps take you exactly where you'd expect

A few of its features are strangely named as well. For example, I had no idea what “Custom Locations” did until I looked it up. This is actually how you access static IP addresses, but you’d never know it from that title.

I appreciate how the map view makes it easy to locate servers and establish connections. This feature is currently only available in the Windows app version 4.1.0 (still in beta). I tested both the stable and beta versions, and the latter has a few additions that offer more flexibility.

Besides the map view, with the new app, you can add or remove widgets from the dashboard. I also like how easy it is to resize; I could effortlessly adjust the window by dragging the edges.

Setup & Installation

I was impressed with how easy hide.me is to install, even on Linux. Many VPNs make it easy to set up apps on the most popular operating systems, but hide.me has the easiest Linux installation process of any VPN I’ve tested. All you have to do is copy and paste one command from its guide into your terminal and everything is taken care of.

A screenshot showing hide.me's download pageI like that hide.me shows the OS versions its apps work with

It’s just as easy to install on supported smart TVs as it is for mobile devices. Setting it up on a router is a bit more complicated, but this is always the case. It takes about 10 minutes, and I’d recommend being careful if you’ve never done it before because the process can damage your router.

I appreciated that installing hide.me didn't disrupt other VPNs or apps, a contrast to my experience with Astrill VPN, which always caused ExpressVPN to malfunction. Plus, I didn't need to make any extra adjustments for it to work smoothly. While testing AirVPN, I had to adjust settings because ExpressVPN's adapter was obstructing AirVPN.

Here’s our step-by-step guide for installing hide.me:

Quick Guide: How to Install hide.me in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download the installer. First, I recommend you get a hide.me subscription, so you can use all of its servers without limits. For Windows and Linux, you can find the .exe file on hide.me’s website. On mobile and Mac, you’ll get it wherever you download apps.
  2. Follow the steps. Once you open the file, run the command, or click install on mobile. You’ll just need to wait while the installation takes place, and possibly answer a few questions.
  3. Log in and get started. Once the installation is complete, you just have to enter your credentials before you can connect.

Device Compatibility

I’m happy with the amount of native apps hide.me offers, but I wish it had smart DNS. This feature makes it easy to change locations on devices that don’t normally support VPNs, like gaming consoles and unsupported smart TVs. Overall, though, hide.me does a great job of offering a wide range of apps for the most popular devices.

If you prefer not to download hide.me's apps or browser extensions, hide.me's free online proxy is an alternative. Just input the site's URL and select from three countries: the Netherlands, Germany, or Finland. While this proxy masks your IP address, it doesn't provide the same level of data encryption as its native apps.

Desktop — Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux

The Mac and Windows apps offer largely the same security features, though Linux lacks some of these. Typically, Mac apps are usually neglected compared to Windows ones, so I appreciate this.

The main distinction is that the Windows app supports additional protocols (refer to the image above) and includes advanced configuration options like Fallback Configuration, Bolt “Fast Proxy”, and custom ports and adapter types for various protocols. Plus, there’s no way to add a custom script to run kill switch events on Mac. Honestly, these features are largely irrelevant unless you’re a tech enthusiast.

The fallback configuration features enable automatic protocol switching. It can help you maintain a stable VPN connection even if your preferred protocol encounters temporary issues. You won't find this setting on mobile apps or manual configurations.

The Linux app comes with essential features such as split tunneling, SmartGuard, leak protection, and full protocol support. I’m also impressed that you can use the Linux app with a free account since there aren’t many free Linux VPNs available.

Android and iPhone (iOS)

You’ll get almost everything that comes with the desktop apps on mobile devices. This includes features like a kill switch, which are often omitted from iOS apps, so you can expect reliable protection on your smartphone. However, you’ll miss features like StealthGuard, but this isn’t an issue if you intend to use the VPN on Android, as split tunneling is a great alternative.

A screenshot showing that the interface of hide.me's mobile apps mirrors that of its desktop counterparts.I like that the server network looks exactly the same

The settings area also largely resembles those on desktop apps, so there’s nothing new to learn when switching between them. If your device doesn't support the PlayStore, you can directly download an APK file from its website.

Browser Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge

There are free hide.me browser extensions, but I don’t recommend using them. These let you connect to proxies from Germany, the US, and Switzerland, and location selection becomes unavailable once you enable SOCKS.

But, the issue is that these are merely proxies that won’t fully encrypt your device. While you can enable SOCKS for a form of encryption, it’ll only be for your browser (not the rest of your device). There are also options to enable “Always Enable ProxySOCKS” and “disable WebRTC”.

Apps for Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, and Android TV

For its supported TVs, you’ll simply download hide.me the way you would a new channel or app. That means searching through wherever you browse for apps on your TV and adding hide.me. So, it couldn’t be easier. I just wish there was an easier way to install the app on other TVs.

It’s also one of the VPNs I have tested that offers a native app for Apple TV. For most VPNs, you need to configure them on compatible routers to cover devices that don’t support VPN apps.

Router Compatibility

While it doesn’t sell pre-installed routers, hide.me does support installation on several router models. There are guides on its site for AsusWRT-Merlin, DD-WRT, OpenWrt, and Tomato routers. hide.me also provides recommendations for compatible routers available on Amazon if you don't already own one.

Installing on your router will let you use hide.me on every device in your network (including game consoles). However, all your tech will be connected to the same servers.

ExpressVPN is one of the only services that gives you a full app for routers where you can decide which device connects to which server. I’ve never seen another VPN match them there, but if hide.me could do it, that would be amazing.

Simultaneous Device Connections

You get a generous 10 simultaneous connections with hide.me. It’s a nice feature because the standard is 5 devices with most VPNs. It works great connected to multiple devices too.

I tested it on my 2 phones, a Windows Laptop, and Android TV. There was no drop in performance, even with every device hooked up to the same servers and streaming YouTube at the same time.

There are a few VPNs, like PIA and Surfshark, that offer unlimited connections. But, most people will be covered with the amount hide.me offers. Also, be aware there is only 1 connection at a time with free accounts.

Pricing

9.6
26 Months + 2 Months FREE
$ 2.69 / month per month
12 Months
$ 4.57 / month per month
1 Month
$ 9.95 / month per month

Pricing — Great Value for Your Money and Decent Free Tier

There are only a few other VPNs available that can match the value hide.me offers. It has 3 plans, and you can get its cheapest subscription for $2.69/month. That’s with the longest term, which includes 3 free months.

Every plan gives you the same features; they only differ by length of subscription. I recommend going with the longest plan for the best value. However, its monthly plan is also one of the cheaper ones offered by a top VPN.

CyberGhost and PIA do offer long-term subscriptions for slightly less, but it’s hard to find many other VPNs of this quality for such a low monthly rate.

Its free plan is also one of the best around, and it's completely ad-free. You get unlimited data with 8 locations to connect to. You can also use it on all the devices hide.me supports, and all of its safety features are activated. So, it’s a decent way to get a feel for its 'hide me' capabilities.

Unfortunately, accessing the streaming servers, SmartGuard, port forwarding, fixed IPs, and Bolt 'Fast Proxy' requires a subscription. If you'd like to try them out, you can request a free trial via email. The company’s website states there are no trials, but it's worth a try — I did so and was granted 5 free days with the premium app.

Every subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Live agents aren’t authorized to issue refunds, so you'll need to make a request via email, which is what I did. The VPN also lets you cancel through the payment gateway, but that only stops future charges without giving you your money back. So, it's better to reach out to the VPN directly.

A screenshot showing hide.me's adherence to its advertised refund policyI liked that my refund was approved with no questions asked

You can pay with credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, SEPA, SOFORT, bank transfers, and several cryptocurrencies. For cards, it accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Diner’s Club. As far as crypto goes, it lets you pay with Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Horizon, Ripple, ZCash, and many more.

Reliability & Support

9.2

Reliability and Support — Solid Answers Are Always Available

Its 24/7 live chat makes it easy to get your questions answered at any time. However, there were a few times when the live chat wasn't available, so I'd send emails instead. When I asked about it, the support agent seemed baffled, so I’ll chalk it up as a strange glitch.

I also value the social tab in the apps, which offers direct links to social media platforms (Reddit, TikTok, Discord, and X(Twitter)) where the company has a presence. This is great as it can help you avoid visits to misleading unofficial channels.

A screenshot showing hide.me's live agent assisting with obtaining a free trialI appreciate how attentive the customer support was

I was always able to get in touch with support staff in less than a minute during my other tests, too. I love that because it’s so frustrating when a VPN advertises a 24/7 live chat, but then it takes forever to connect with an agent. There’s no phone support, but that’s something I rarely use anyway.

You can also contact it through email, and my emails were always responded to in a few hours. They know their stuff, too. For example, they clearly explained why the Bolt feature is exclusive to the Windows app. I also like that its staff is enthusiastic about the product, and they consistently linked me to guides where I could find more information.

Speaking of its guides, hide.me’s knowledge base is very thorough. It offers tons of well-organized and easy-to-read FAQs, along with an extensive blog. However, it doesn’t have any video tutorials on its page. There is a hide.me YouTube channel, but it only has 2 videos at the moment. It would be nice if it uploaded more in the future, but the excellent live chat means this isn’t a huge deal.

Compare hide.me VPN With The Top Alternative VPNs
Our Score: 9.9
Our Score: 9.7
Our Score: 9.5
Our Score: 9.4
Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, Cyberghost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Safe & Privacy-Friendly With a Nice Free Option

There’s a ton to like about hide.me. It’s one of the best value VPNs you can get, with a cheap long-term plan and a free option that’s not bad for casual browsing. The paid app gives you a network full of features, great security, a proven privacy policy, and fast speeds on a lot of servers. It’s also excellent for streaming and torrenting.

It does have a few minor drawbacks, though. I never got it to work well for gaming. I also hope it adds a smart DNS feature in the future, and some additional displays on the servers would be nice.

Overall, I recommend hide.me if you want a safe, trustworthy VPN for a low price. However, a few top competitors offer more servers and better gaming performance. Otherwise, it’s one of the best VPNs around.

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  • Great streaming capabilities
  • Excellent security features
  • Proven no-logging policy
  • Fast torrenting speeds
  • Easy to install and use
  • Compatible with all major operating system

FAQs on hide.me

Is hide.me safe?

Yes, hide.me is safe. It comes with military-grade encryption, and it passed all of my leak tests. Plus, it has a kill switch that blocks your internet connection if the VPN ever disconnects. There are a ton of advanced security features, too, like multiple protocols, double VPN, split tunneling, and more.

Is hide.me free?

Yes, you can use a limited version of hide.me for free. This app lets you connect to 8 different locations, and it comes with unlimited data. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Does hide.me have unlimited data?

You get unlimited data on both hide.me's paid plans and free tier. It used to have data limits on its free plan, but they have been phased out. This means it offers one of the best free VPN apps around since it’s difficult to find one without usage restrictions.

Will hide.me slow down my speeds?

Yes, hide.me will slow you down, but not much on most servers. In our tests, we only lost 5% of our download speed on average with close servers. That’s impressive because most VPNs drop your rates by 10-25%, even at close range. However, when a server is over 9,000 km away, you can expect much larger speed drops (about 75% and up).

How does hide.me compare to other top VPNs?

It’s one of the best, but there are a few better VPNs. It doesn't hold onto any sensitive information that could identify you. Plus, it offers a wide range of security features that few other VPNs can match. However, there are still VPNs that best it in some categories. For example, ExpressVPN is faster and better for gaming while matching all of hide.me’s security and privacy features.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 10
VPN Plans: hide.me
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
hide.me VPN User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
6.4
Based on 50 reviews in 9 languages

Write a Review on hide.me VPN

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
Anonymous Reviewer
Anonymous Reviewer
10/10
Best VPN for free

It works perfectly fine, the speeds are good, and there are a lot of different locations. I have had no problems with this VPN, and I like that it has a 10GB data limit monthly (more than most competitors). I tried every other free VPN, but all of them are slow and aren't as fast as this one. In my opinion, download this VPN and you will be happy.

Sufhix Cipher
Sufhix Cipher
8/10
Recommended VPN

Good VPN so easy to use and good for beginners its so convenient with so many servers to choose from and it now has UNLIMITED FREE the problem is it cannot bypass Netflix in a Free plan but it's still good with its AES-256 Encryption and it keeps STRICT NO-LOGGING POLICY the Jurisdiction is based in Malaysia which is good I rate this VPN 9/10

Tribal
Tribal
10/10
Smooth experience

Works pretty fast on my macOS Big Sur, previously had it on my Windows laptop, and was blazing fast tbh. I never had any problems, except one time the connection was getting way too slow on an EU server, but after quickly switching to another server, it worked very well. I do not see any reason to switch to another provider, hide.me is as good as a top provider.

About the Author

Lawrence Wachira, a Senior Writer at vpnMentor, is passionate about making the internet safer. Lawrence writes insightful product reviews, comparison pages, and blog posts to help readers protect their online privacy and choose the best VPNs.

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