Hide.me is a well-rounded VPN offering top-notch privacy, high speeds, and bullet-proof security features. It exceeded my expectations in most areas, and offers a user-friendly interface on all its apps.
I lined up a series of tests for the VPN to see how it fares on speeds, security, privacy, streaming, and more. There’s a free Hide.me plan available, but with limited features. I’ll be testing the full premium version.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
- Unblocks streaming platforms. Hide.me unblocked every streaming platform it promised to with its optimized servers, and more.
- Impressive speeds. I didn’t experience any significant slowdowns in my tests, and could even stream in HD on distant servers.
- Reliable security features. No IP, DNS, WebRTC, or IPv6 leaks were found during my tests, and AES 256-bit encryption and numerous protocols keep you safe.
- Extensive server network. Hide.me has over 1,900 well-placed servers around the world. The free version only lets you choose from 5 servers.
- Torrenting is allowed. Hide.me allows P2P on all of its servers, and speeds are high enough for fast and secure downloads.
- Good enough for gaming. Hide.me has speeds and ping good enough for most gaming. On more distant servers, however, the ping rose to above 200ms.
- Free plan. There’s a free version of Hide.me, but you are limited to 10GB per month, 1 connection, and 5 servers.
- 30-day money-back policy. You can try all of Hide.me’s features risk-free as it’s backed by this guarantee.
Hide.me Features — Updated in July 2021
|Money Back Guarantee||30|
|Does VPN keep logs?||No|
|Number of servers||1900|
|Number of devices per license||10|
|Based in country||Malaysia|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat Support|
Provided you select the streaming optimized servers, you’ll be able to unblock just about everything. Every platform it promised to unblock worked very easily, with a few extra ones too.
Unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, HBO Now, Disney+, ESPN, DAZN, RAI, BBC iPlayer, ITV, and more
Hide.me lists its optimized servers separately and they all bypassed geoblocks on the stated platforms. Make sure you select the servers from the optimized list or you won’t be able to unblock anything. I was able to access the US, UK, Italian, French, Turkish, and German versions of Netflix without any problems. It displayed the “most popular in” reel along with the country I had chosen, indicating a success.
It had no issues unblocking all the US sites I tried, even notoriously tricky platforms like HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video. ITV Hub worked when I used the UK server optimized for BBC iPlayer. In addition, I could access other Turkish streaming sites, such as BeinConnect, BluTV, Puhu TV, and Sport Plus.
Blocked By: 10Play
I really struggled to find platforms that Hide.me couldn’t unblock, but you might find a few minor ones not on the optimized list. Using an Australian server, I wasn’t able to access 10Play as it failed to bypass the blocks. You may find a few lesser-known streaming sites that currently don’t work.
I was hugely impressed with the breadth of platforms Hide.me was able to unblock. You do need to ensure you have the right servers selected — I tried the regular servers out of curiosity and unsurprisingly they didn’t unblock any streaming platforms. The optimized servers are fantastic and I’d certainly recommend Hide.me for streaming.
I got consistent speeds without any major drop-off, even at longer distances. Despite small reductions when connecting to faraway servers in Australia and Japan, the speeds were still good enough for HD streaming and more.
The measurements of speed are:
- Download speed. This determines the quality you can stream in and how quickly you can download data, measured in Mbps.
- Upload speed. How fast you can send data online, also measured in Mbps.
- Ping/Latency. The lower the ping the better, especially for gaming. Ping is the unit in which we measure latency, in ms, and shows the server response time.
I captured my base speed first without the VPN, so I had something to compare against. The nearest server to me was in London, England, so I connected to that one and ran my speed test. Usually, there’s a slight slowdown as a VPN encrypts your traffic, and the results were pretty much in line with what I expected.
|VPN Disconnected (UK)||VPN Connected
|Speed Percentage Change|
|Download||45.91 Mbps||32.22 Mbps||30% decrease|
|Upload||6.51 Mbps||6.74||3.5% increase|
The 30% decrease still gave me a respectable speed, high enough even for 4k streaming. Upload speed actually went up slightly, and ping remained reasonably low.
Long Distance Speeds
Speeds remained consistently high until I connected to the farther servers. Even these gave usable speeds though, with Japan, Singapore, and Australia averaging above 10Mbps. This is still more than enough for streaming in HD and fast browsing. European servers like France and Germany actually gave me faster connections than my base speed, which was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes VPNs evade any ISP throttling that might slow you down, and it looks like this happened here.
Some of the more distant servers had lower upload speeds. The US server in Las Vegas produced no upload speed at all, and Australia was extremely low although this isn’t unexpected. Ping went up depending on the distance too, but this isn’t too surprising either.
In conclusion, Hide.me exceeded my expectations on speed. Most of the time I averaged above the minimum for HD streaming and fast downloads. However, I’d like to see higher upload speeds on the US servers, especially where it was non-existent.
Provided you connect to nearby servers, Hide.me’s speeds are high enough for gaming. For super competitive players, ping is a very important factor. It’s all relative, so if another player has a ping 50ms lower than you, they’ll have an advantage. On the more distant Hide.me servers ping time rose above 200ms — which elite players may find unacceptable. There are some top premium VPNs for gaming that you might want to consider for lag-free gaming.
For the casual player though, Hide.me will be more than capable for gaming, especially on those closer servers.
Hide.me has 1,900 servers in 75 countries, providing useful worldwide coverage. As with other VPNs, server networks are always subject to expansion or reduction. It seems to go one step further for customers and allows you to request additional servers as part of a feedback process. It’s uncertain how likely they are to add server locations depending on demand, but I thought this feature adds value to the service.
I found all the servers to be dependable, connecting within about 20 seconds. It’s nice to see there are servers in the Africa region (Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, UAE), South America (only Brazil), and also some notable locations like India and Turkey. There aren’t any servers in Malaysia, despite the VPN being based there, and none in Russia or China.
You’ve got watertight protection with a variety of protocols and security features. I can commend Hide.me for its long list of measures to keep you safe online.
Encryption and Protocols
Hide.me employs many protocols and you can manually switch between them.
- OpenVPN. This is a classic VPN protocol providing AES 256-bit military-grade encryption.
- WireGuard. A newer protocol that provides strong encryption over UDP and aims to be faster than OpenVPN.
- IKEv2/IPSec. This is an older type of protocol but still works well. Hide.me recommends this option, but I’d go with WireGuard.
- SoftEtherVPN. Combines multiple protocols, and is recommended for bypassing firewalls.
- SSTP. Another older protocol, with less security than its newer counterparts.
There’s an automatic option if you’re loathed to make a choice, but personally, I’d go with WireGuard for most situations.
There’s a nice extra feature here called “Fallback Configuration” — should your chosen protocol fail, it will automatically use your backup choices.
Hide.me enables split tunneling, to add an extra layer of encryption. This works rather like shredding a document and splitting what’s left between 2 trash cans — it would be near impossible to put it back together again. Your data is sent through 2 VPN tunnels, making it incredibly difficult to intercept or track.
On each server I tested, the VPN protected me from any privacy leaks. I would recommend Hide.me to keep you safe from online threats.
You want to avoid the following leaks:
- IP — your real IP can expose your location and make you vulnerable to online threats.
- DNS — your private internet traffic can be intercepted.
- WebRTC — peer-to-peer communication between your browser and the webpages you visit that can mistakenly reveal your IP.
- IPv6 — a type of data that sometimes misses the VPN “tunnel”. Most VPNs disable it entirely.
I was very happy with the results, as even the most distant servers successfully stopped any leaks. My IP address changed to the expected location every time, and my DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 were secure.
Hide.me has a kill switch feature that was enabled by default. This prevents your data from leaking accidentally should the VPN connection fail. It didn’t cause me any problems having it enabled, and you have the option of automatic reconnection. In addition, you can set it so it limits all your online traffic to the VPN, disabling any local traffic. You might need to turn this off for certain applications like banking.
Multihop lets you automatically rotate between different IPs for added security. You can specify which servers to hop to in the app, defining a preferred entry and exit server. This does enhance your online privacy by making you harder to track, but bear in mind it could wreak havoc with some websites if your IP address is constantly changing.
VirusTotal didn’t find any suspicious content in the Hide.me installation file. In a world of malicious threats online, it’s good to always check a file no matter how much you trust the provider. The last thing you want is to inadvertently compromise your security even more by installing malware, tracking software, or viruses.
The VPN is based in Malaysia, outside of surveillance agreements. The 5, 9, and 14 Eyes jurisdiction means that in some locations your data can be handed over under some legal obligations. Hide.me is outside of this, and so defines its own privacy terms.
Hide.me Doesn’t Keep Logs
There are also regular transparency reports which provide further reassurance of Hide.me’s practices. These detail legal requests for illegal activities like scams and DDoS attacks, DMCA copyright violations, and any law enforcement requests. As always, I don’t condone using any VPN for illegal practices or downloading copyright files, and you shouldn’t attempt to use Hide.me unlawfully.
Hide.me has involvement with the i2Coalition — an organization focused on fighting for internet freedom. This further bolsters its commitment to keeping you safe online.
Does Hide.me Work in China? — Yes
I contacted customer support and was informed that Hide.me will work In China. The agent was honest in telling me that some servers and security protocols may not be available, so you should still exercise caution. Hide.me also recommended contacting customer support prior to traveling to China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — 10
You can connect up to 10 devices at the same time. This will allow you to use the VPN on multiple different platforms without needing to log out. For instance, you could have it on your Windows laptop, and then seamlessly switch to your Android smartphone if you’re on the move.
You could always share your VPN connection from your Windows or Mac computer if you wanted to increase your connections, and Hide.me encourages this.
Device Compatibility — Supports a Wide Range of Devices
Hide.me has native apps for popular platforms, including Windows, macOS/iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Linux.
To use the VPN on any WiFi-enabled device, you can set it up on your router. There are detailed instructions on the webpage to do this, though you should select a router with a kill switch for added security. Currently, there’s no smart DNS tool, so you’ll need to use the router option for your Playstation, Xbox, and other games consoles. This also applies to Apple TV and Roku.
You can download browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. I was disappointed with the extension because there didn’t appear to be a way of logging in. This meant I could only choose between 3 servers, and the “upgrade now” option just takes you to the subscription page. In the settings menu, you can disable WebRTC, enable SOCKS, and an “always enable proxy” option.
You’ll find some more additional manual setup guides for the following devices and router types:
- Fedora 24+
- AsusWRT – stock
- DD-WRT Legacy
- LibreELEC “Kodi”
- OpenELEC “Kodi”
- OpenWRT Legacy
- QNAP QTS
- QNAP Legacy (QTS 4.3)
- Synology DSM 6.0+
You’re covered for just about any platform with OpenVPN, and you have the option for manual setup via OpenVPN and IKEv2 where available.