VPN Review

Many streaming video services block the use of VPNs because you can use them to spoof your location and access content licensed for specific regions. BBC’s free streaming iPlayer, for instance, is intended only for UK citizens. But if you hop onto a VPN server in London, you may as well be a local resident. In particular, Netflix blocks VPNs very aggressively, as mentioned above.

hide.me VPN Reviews

When we say we do not keep logs and are the fastest VPN, you don’t have to take our word for it, just check out what security experts and industry analysts think about hide.me VPN.


4.9 out of 5

hide.me VPN Reviews

What users say about us

I have used Hide.me for a number of years and have been very pleased with its performance and the technical support service. They have never failed me with their fast and excellent support. It’s always been accurate and on point. They rescue me quickly with outstanding knowledge on my Mac. I highly recommended it for its speed, security and its timely customer support to everyone who asks for the best VPN.

Hide.me VPN is one of the fastest VPN services I’ve ever used! They have a multi hop VPN protocol. That is two VPN locations at once. Extra protection! A great website, lots of tips and tricks�� you can get the paid version for $5 a month. Great for streaming

Have been using this VPN for many months now. Very reliable. Did run into a technical issue throughout my ownership of the service but that wasn’t Hide.me’s fault. Something else on my PC caused Hide.me to stop working as intended. I reached out to support and they responded very swiftly with step-by-step instructions to fix the issue. Highly recommend. Very fast and secure.


hide.me VPN Reviews By Industry Experts

Before buying the tickets to a newly released movie, you would prefer to go to IMDB to see the ratings that if the movie is worth watching or not. Similarly, in the VPN industry, Tech Experts review the VPN services to provide a detailed insight of the VPN provider’s offering. Trusted by millions across the seven continents, hide.me has received loads of praise and love not only from our customers but from Industry experts as well.


“Hide.me är en pålitlig VPN-tjänst som inte bara erbjuder hög säkerhet utan också en förstklassig användarupplevelse och ett imponerande serverutbud.”

“Hide.me VPN is a security focused VPN that adheres to 256-bit AES encryption and a strict no-logs policy. It supports protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2, allowing you to enjoy streaming fro. “

Hide.me VPN Review

Since my start in 2008, I’ve covered a wide variety of topics from space missions to fax service reviews. At PCMag, much of my work has been focused on security and privacy services, as well as a video game or two. I also write the occasional security columns, focused on making information security practical for normal people. I helped organize the Ziff Davis Creators Guild union and currently serve as its Unit Chair.

Updated October 24, 2019

Hide.me VPN

The Bottom Line

VPN service Hide.me offers surprisingly advanced features in a simple client, but at a high price.

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  • Advanced features.
  • Ten simultaneous connections.
  • Good server distribution.
  • Strong speed test scores.
  • BitTorrent friendly.
  • Supports anonymous payments.


  • Expensive.
  • Unusual location selection behavior.
  • No specialized servers.

When testing a virtual private network, or VPN, we always consider the service’s price, privacy, and technology. Hide.me does well in all of most of those areas, and is especially notable for its advanced features like Split Tunneling. It is, however, expensive compared to the competition, and, if you don’t need those advanced features, the price is hard to justify.

What Is a VPN?

When you switch on a VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and a server operated by the VPN company. All of your web traffic is routed through this tunnel, using encryption to keep your activities hidden from the prying eyes of the world. From the VPN server, your traffic then exits onto the internet as normal. When you use a VPN, anyone watching your traffic will see the VPN server’s IP address instead of your own. That’s handy, since an IP address will probably be fairly close to your actual location.

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Criminals aren’t the only ones keeping tabs on you. Your ISP has permission from Congress to sell anonymized user data, but it can’t peer inside a VPN tunnel. A VPN can also curb (but probably not entirely stop) efforts by advertisers to track you across the web. Since the NSA’s spooks already have the ability to spy on the activities of just about anyone on the internet, using a VPN is a great way to keep their noses out of your business.

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How a VPN Works

Pricing and Features

Unlike most other VPN services, Hide.me has a full-fledged free tier. For the low, low price of nothing (not even your credit card information!), you can access five Hide.me VPN server locations on one device at a time. You are, however, limited to 2GB of data per month.

There are other free VPNs available if you don’t like the offer Hide.me makes. TunnelBear’s free version offers less data per month, at just 500MB. ProtonVPN ($4.99 Per Month (57% Off 2-Year Plan) at ProtonVPN) doesn’t limit your data usage, but limits the devices and servers available to free users.

Hide.me’s paid tier is called Premium, which costs $14.95 per month and is what I have tested here. That’s significantly more than the current industry average of $10.80 per month. Notably, all of PCMag’s highest-rated VPNs are less expensive than Hide.me. Norton Secure VPN, for instance, is only $7.99 per month, and ProtonVPN’s multi-tier system means you can get an excellent, full-featured VPN for as little as $5.00 per month. Note that Hide.me, like most other VPN companies, frequently offers discounts on its subscriptions. You may see a lower price when you visit the site, but $14.95 is the base listed price.

The Premium tier removes the data cap from the free tier, grants access to all 57 VPN locations Hide.me offers, and raises the device limit to 10. That’s twice the industry average for simultaneous connections. Avira Phantom VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN place no limit on the number of devices you can use.

As with most VPN companies, Hide.me offers longer subscriptions at a discount. A one-year plan with Hide.me will run you $59.95, and a two-year plan costs $99.95. NordVPN costs a mere $83.88 per year, ProtonVPN’s Plus tier costs $96.00 per year, and TunnelBear’s ($120 for Three-Year Plan at TunnelBear) excellent service costs slightly less at $59.88 per year. In general, I advise customers to purchase short-term plans first, then try out the VPN service for a while before committing to a long-term plan. That way, you can be sure the VPN will work for all the services you use most frequently.

You can purchase an account from the Hide.me website using major credit cards, PayPal, and several anonymous cryptocoin options like BitCoin and Ethereum. That’s particularly handy if you want a fully anonymous experience when purchasing a VPN. Some VPN companies, such as TorGuard VPN, let you purchase an account using prepaid gift cards from major retailers, like Subway sandwiches. I did, however, notice that the Privacy Badger tracker blocker made the Hide.me purchase page unusable. This is the first time I have encountered this issue in more than two dozen VPN reviews.

Avid BitTorrent users should note that Hide.me does allow file sharing on its network, but only on certain servers. That’s true for nearly every VPN I’ve reviewed thus far. That said, simply allowing it doesn’t mean it’s the best VPN for BitTorrent. TorGuard, for example, offers a slew of specialty offerings designed to protect and support the use of BitTorrent.

One thing Hide.me doesn’t offer is specialized servers. Many VPN companies have servers marked for specific situations, like trying to watch Netflix in the US. NordVPN has many specialized servers, including one that provides double encryption and another that routes your traffic through the Tor anonymization network via VPN.

VPN Protocols

VPNs have been around for a long time, so people have figured out several different ways to create an encrypted tunnel. My preferred method is by using the OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN has the advantage of being newer technology, and it’s open-source. That means its code has been thoroughly examined by many users for potential vulnerabilities.

The Hide.me Windows app that I tested for this review uses OpenVPN, which is a point in its favor. It also supports the IKEv2 protocol, which is new and secure. The service also provides legacy support for L2TP/IPSec, as well as the older SSTP and PPTP protocols. I would advise against using these last two, but they can be handy for legacy support.

Additionally, Hide.me includes support for the SoftEther VPN protocol. It’s the first service I’m aware of that uses this particular technology, which the company says is designed to be hard to detect and block. Other VPNs offer similar features that seek to disguise VPN traffic in order to circumvent VPN blocking. TunnelBear, for instance, calls this feature GhostBear. WireGuard is the heir-apparent to OpenVPN, promising unrivaled speeds and the latest security. It’s still a protocol under development and Hide.me doesn’t currently provide support for WireGuard in its Windows app.

Servers and Server Locations

The number of servers and the location of a VPN company’s servers can have a noticeable impact on performance. Companies with only a handful of servers must funnel more customers into crowded servers, reducing the sliver of the bandwidth pie available to each person. Similarly, if a company only has a few locations for its servers, it can mean connecting to an entirely different continent just to get online. For that reason, we pay careful attention to how many servers are offered, and whether there’s a good degree of geographic diversity in those servers’ placement.

Hide.me has a reasonably sized pool of servers, with 1,400 servers in 56 different locations across 35 countries. For comparison, NordVPN has over 5,200 servers and CyberGhost offers in excess of 5,600 servers. Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN, and TorGuard all have over 3,000 servers, respectively. Keep in mind that companies will purchase as many servers as necessary to meet demand, so it’s not a strict measurement of quality.

As for the geographic diversity of Hide.me’s servers, the company has done a fairly good job covering the Earth. Many VPN companies ignore South America, India, and all of Africa, but Hide.me has a few locations in these regions. It also has servers in China and Turkey, regions known to censor the web. Hide.me does not offer any servers in Russia, but NordVPN and others do. ExpressVPN and CyberGhost lead the pack, offering servers in more than 90 countries.

Potential customers may have concerns about VPNs using virtual servers. That’s when a single, physical server plays host to multiple virtual machines. Those virtual servers can, in turn, be configured to appear as if they are in a different country than the machine hosting them. If you’re very concerned about precisely where your data is headed, that can be an issue. On the other hand, companies use virtual servers to compensate for sudden demand, and can also protect your data by using a physical server in a safe location to offer service to a less-safe location nearby.

A representative of Hide.me told me that the company only uses dedicated servers located in the designated country. That’s excellent from a data transparency perspective.

Your Privacy With Hide.me

A big reason to use a VPN is to protect your privacy online, which is why it’s important to know if the VPN itself is violating your privacy. While I cannot peer within the hearts of company employees or their servers, I can ask questions of company representatives and read through a VPN company’s privacy policy.

Hide.me’s privacy policy is very thorough and very long, especially compared with TorGuard’s impressively brief policy. It does, however, lay out what data the company gathers, how it goes about gathering it, and what that data is used for. The effort is laudable, but I would like to see a bit more plain English.

The gist of the policy is that Hide.me collects as little information as possible. In fact, the only information it seems to store for any length of time is user email addresses. The policy reads, “We do not request or store your name, IP address or physical addresses or any other personal information.”

The company does not monitor what sites you access, log your true IP address, or even timestamp your connection. The company does track the amount of traffic for users, since two of Hide.me’s plans have data caps. It also keeps some troubleshooting information, including “customer’s randomly generated username and internally assigned (non-public) IP address,” but it deletes that information every few hours. Hide.me could stand to improve in this area, as other VPN services now strive to gather as little information as possible and keep it for as short a time as possible.

Part of why you don’t want a VPN storing a lot of information about you and your activities is that the company could be compelled to hand over that information to law enforcement. Hide.me explains the company’s stance this way: “If a court order is received from a recognized legal authority with jurisdiction over hide.me then the company shall comply with that order. However, the company cannot be compelled to hand over information which it does not have.”

If you’re particularly concerned about receiving a DMCA notice for, say, downloading copyrighted content, Hide.me has a ready response: “Since we store no connection logs, we cannot associate the notice with a customer identity even if legally compelled to do so.”

In addition to understanding a company’s privacy policy, it’s also good to know where that company is located and under what legal jurisdiction it operates. Hide.me is clear on this point: the company is based in Malaysia and operates under local law. Hide.me even includes its mailing address, if you’re curious.

Hide.me has been audited by DefenseCode, a step several VPN companies have taken to demonstrate their privacy and security bona fides to customers. TunnelBear notably has undergone multiple audits and has pledged to be audited annually. Hide.me does issue an annual transparency report, a step I appreciate. The company has not participated in the CDT’s VPN questionnaire.

Hands On With Hide.me

I had no trouble installing the Hide.me app on my Lenovo ThinkPad T460s laptop running Windows 10. You can opt to forgo the app entirely and manually configure a Windows 10 computer to connect via VPN, but it’s a bit of a pain.

The Hide.me app is very simple, offering just a blue window with a big button to connect the VPN. I appreciate apps that cut to the chase like this. It’s much more straightforward than PureVPN, which has some useful scenario-based connection presets, but lacks a fast and easy way to get online.

The Hide.me app is simple, but it’s not exactly friendly. I much prefer NordVPN’s app, which uses maps and large buttons to make even complex tools approachable. TunnelBear does something similar with brightly colored bears.

One quirk I did notice in testing was that when the “Best Location” option was selected, the Hide.me app sometimes connected me to a VPN server in the Netherlands. Now, I have nothing against the Netherlands, but most VPNs will connect you to the nearest server to your actual location by default. That’s because the closer you are to the VPN server, the better performance you’re likely to see. Also disappointing is how the client tried and failed several times to connect me with a US-based VPN server. I’m surprised that after all the work Hide.me has done to improve its client, this behavior persists.

While Hide.me does make it obvious which servers allow BitTorrent, it doesn’t include server stats like overall load or ping time. It does, however, let you drill down to see specific servers in the app’s location list. That’s handy, because you might find that one server works better for you than another. You can then add that useful server to your Favorites, for easy access later on.

The Settings panel does provide some surprisingly advanced features, however. Hide.me even lets you trigger custom scripts for when the VPN fails, which I have never seen before. An Advanced tab lets you mess around with ports and such, if that’s your thing. The client also includes a rare feature called Split Tunneling, which lets you designate which apps send traffic through the VPN and which do not. This is handy for negotiating tricky scenarios, like streaming to local media devices or accessing specific services that block VPN traffic.

You can select the VPN protocol you want Hide.me to use, and OpenVPN is an option. By default, Hide.me uses IKEv2, so changing this might be worthwhile. You can also set up a Fallback configuration. If the VPN can’t connect with your first choice of protocols, it will try again with the protocols you select.

When you use a VPN, it should secure all your data and not leak anything that could identify you—such as your DNS request information, or your real IP address. Using the DNSLeakTest.com tool, I confirmed that my DNS requests were being protected and that my IP address was changed successfully when using Hide.me.

Hide.me and Netflix

Many streaming video services block the use of VPNs because you can use them to spoof your location and access content licensed for specific regions. BBC’s free streaming iPlayer, for instance, is intended only for UK citizens. But if you hop onto a VPN server in London, you may as well be a local resident. In particular, Netflix blocks VPNs very aggressively, as mentioned above.

During my testing, I wasn’t able to access Netflix when connected to a domestic Hide.me server. Your mileage may vary, but keep in mind that a VPN service that works with Netflix today might not tomorrow.

Beyond VPN

With an ever-increasing crowd of competitors, many VPN companies have begun adding features outside of network protection. These can range from simple ad-blocking to TunnelBear’s standalone password manager called Remembear. A representative from Hide.me tells me that the company doesn’t currently offer additional security features, and made the case that ad- and malware-blocking actually further diminishes speeds.

TorGuard, on the other hand, has a lengthy menu of optional extras. In addition to its slider for adding devices to your account, you can also purchase dedicated IP addresses in 50 different countries, or level up to a 10Gbit network connection. Hide.me also offers dedicated IP addresses, but only for those at the highest subscription tier. These are included in the price of the Premium account, but are not enabled by default.

Speed and Performance

A major concern among PCMag’s readers is the impact using a VPN will have on their internet speeds. That’s a valid concern, because using a VPN forces your web traffic to jump through more hoops and travel farther than usual. To get a sense of the impact from each service, I use the Ookla internet speed test tool to compare test results with and without the VPN. (Note that Ookla and Encrypt.me are owned by Ziff Davis, which also owns PCMag.)

In my most recent testing, I found that Hide.me had no appreciable effect on latency. That’s excellent. It did, however, reduce upload test results by 68.4 percent and download test results by 75.8 percent. That’s a significant drop, but also one of the top five best speed test results I recorded.

You can see how Hide.me compares in the chart below with the top 10 performers from among the more than 30 services we tested.

In fairness, this testing is more of a snapshot in time than an overall evaluation of a VPN’s speed performance. There are many variables that can affect the outcomes, from the configuration of the VPN servers to physical damage of network infrastructure. Moreover, I don’t believe that speed should be the single criteria anyone uses to choose a VPN. All that being said, I currently view Encrypt.me as the fastest VPN yet tested.

Hide.me on Other Platforms

Hide,me offers apps for Android, iPhone, macOS, and Windows devices. It also provides apps for Amazon Fire devices, which is surprisingly rare. Additionally, you can opt to install Hide.me’s proxy plug-ins for Chrome and Firefox. These change the IP address and apparent location of your browser traffic, and only your browser traffic, but do not use the same means to encrypt your traffic as the normal VPN app.

Alternatively, you can follow Hide.me’s instructions on how to run a VPN from your router, or purchase a Vilfo router configured to run with Hide.me. While an interesting setup, I don’t think that using a VPN through a router is a viable use case.

The Last Mile

Hide.me has some enviable strengths. Its privacy policy is remarkably thorough and transparent, if long. It supports the best VPN technology, provices 10 simultaneous connections, and has a good distribution of servers across the globe. Hide.me also offers a fairly generous free option, which is something of a rarity. Most importantly, it packs in several advanced features often ignored by the competition, but packages them in a simple app most people will understand how to use. Hide.me’s main drawback is that it charges well above the industry average per month—enough to significantly reduce the value of this otherwise impressive service. While Hide.me is especially useful to seasoned security wonks and those looking for a free alternative to other VPNs, our Editors’ Choice winners NordVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN, and TunnelBear are excellent.