For numerous reasons, privacy is a must-have when you access the internet. Hackers can potentially worm their way into insecure connections to hijack valuable data, and even your IP address provider can collect information on you. When it comes to travel or even just specific content, you may find that your connection point of origin can prevent you from accessing parts of the web.
If you have a virtual private network, however, you can subvert these issues. A VPN will make it appear as if you are connecting to the internet from a different IP address, plus help keep your activity protected to prevent bandwidth throttling. By using a VPN to connect to a foreign IP address, you can then see otherwise region-locked sites and videos.
Hide.me is one of these VPN service providers, which provides both free and paid services to help protect your web browsing from various devices. But with so many other VPNs out there, does this one stand up to the competition. Our full hide.me review is here to find out.
What Does Hide.me Do?
Hide.me provides a virtual private network service that, as all VPNs do, reroutes your connections to appear to be coming from a different IP address and giving encryption to protect your data. With this VPN service, there are multiple plans available at different price points that give you various benefits.
The free plan will allow you to use 2 GB of data per month, the Plus tier will upgrade your available protocols and give you use of 75 GB per month, and the Premium tier allows you unlimited bandwidth and a higher number of simultaneous device connections per license.
Logging And Privacy
If a VPN provider logs user activity, it limits the amount of anonymity that you can have. In general, it's not worth it to use any virtual private network that keeps logs. Thankfully, hide.me does not log or track user activity in any way, which prevents the chances of someone being able to monitor your browsing, which is what you want to see.
The more devices that a VPN is compatible with, the better range of use you can get out of it. Hide.me's VPN client works on numerous devices, including both Windows and Mac operating systems and both Android and iOS phones and tablets. This compatibility covers most places where you'll want to use a VPN, and the client is similar across all available options.
Since you're likely investing in a VPN for privacy reasons, it's nice to know that hide.me accepts cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a form of payment for your subscription. This option means that not even your payment information is traceable, plus it allows you to make use of your cryptocurrency since not everywhere accepts this form of payment.
Naturally, even if you don't use cryptocurrency, you'll still be able to pay for hide.me by using your credit card or connecting to your PayPal account. For users interested in the free version, you won't need to provide any payment information at all to use it.
Ease Of Use
Merely speaking from an aesthetic perspective, the application client for hide.me looks appealing. It has a sleek look that falls into the minimalistic aesthetic. This design means that it's not an eyesore on your desktop, plus it's almost the epitome of straightforward to start up the VPN client: you click the button in the center of the app, and you're ready to go.
However, hide.me's design has its flaws in that anything other than starting or stopping the VPN connection isn't readily available from the main application menu. Instead, to do simple activities like switching to a new server, you have to navigate a few screens, which prevents the experience from being intuitive. Sure, you can take advantage of advanced features, but all actions require a bit too much work.
Simultaneous Use Of Devices
Flaws in an application layout are unfortunate, but they're something you can grow used to over time. The number of devices able to use the app at once isn't something you can change unless you pay for a higher tier. Both the Plus and Free plans provide connectivity to only one device at a time, even with the paid plus license, which is a huge setback.
If you want to use more of your devices at once, you'll need to pay for the Premium plan, which allows for five simultaneous device connections. While this upgrade is nice because it makes hide.me meet the industry standard, it's unfortunate that this capability is stuck behind a paywall when many other VPNs match that number of connections for a lower price.
Servers And Locations
In comparison to many other VPN providers, hide.me only has a total of 150 servers across forty-five different locations. Those areas fall across thirty-four separate countries. Hide.me gains points for providing connections in South America, India, Africa, Turkey, and China, but that doesn't change the fact that it easily has fewer servers than other VPNs with similar price points.
With VPNs, having more servers and locations is better for a few reasons. First up, the more servers a provider has, the better it can handle high amounts of user traffic. The more locations these servers are in, the better it can provide connections around the globe—as well as provide access to more regions for viewing blocked content. Help.me is passable in this category, but not extraordinary.
Aside from the servers that permit torrenting, hide.me doesn't have any specialized servers, such as ones that provide additional encryption, so you'll have to work with the basics on this front.
With how technology has improved over the years, we expect our internet connections to be fast. One of the unfortunate aspects of using a VPN is that it will impact how rapidly you can access content, but some services will handle this challenge better than others. As with other VPNs, the farther away a help.me server is from your location, the longer it will take to load webpages.
The place where you can see the most impact on your downloading times is when you attempt to stream any content; no matter what you do, expect lags. What helps out with this issue is that the hide.me app will help you find the best available server. This feature is excellent for avoiding servers that are already fielding multiple users.
If you were considering using hide.me as your VPN of choice for accessing Netflix content, the news that streaming is slow might have given you second thoughts. To help make the decision clear for you, we'll let you know that none of hide.me's servers provides access to Netflix content whatsoever.
Considering that Netflix is well aware of people using VPNs to access region-locked content, the company has put up many efforts to prevent VPN clients from accessing their video content. With that in mind, hide.me's inability to access the streaming service isn't much of a surprise, though it is a bit of a letdown for those who travel abroad and want to access content from their home region.
Torrenting is another highly desirable aspect of virtual private networks, as a VPN client can prevent your IP provider from throttling your connection due to high levels of data moving to your device. Hide.me does allow for torrenting use, though, like with connecting five devices simultaneously on one license, you will need to upgrade to the Premium version of the VPN to do so.
To torrent successfully, you'll need to connect to one of hide.me's torrent enabled servers, which is a common practice among VPNs. Hide.me makes it clear which servers these are, so you won't have to hunt to find the desired connection. You won't have a full breakdown of stats like ping time or overall load, but the option to torrent is available to you.
Automatic Kill Switch
Even with a VPN, there's still a chance that someone can probe your connection. Thankfully, automatic kill switches can detect when such threats are happening, allowing for the switch to cut off the link before your computer is at risk.
This feature is an excellent one to have on your side, though hide.me's does have some limitations; namely, the kill switch is only a feature on the Windows and Mac clients, and it doesn't apply to any other mobile devices.
When it comes to customer support, there are mixed reports regarding hide.me. First off, the free client doesn't have any service, which is somewhat expectable given that you're not paying for the service. For either of the paid options, however, you have access to twenty-four-hour live chat support, problem tickets, and also the information databases.
Live chat support is a bonus, but the knowledge of the customer service representatives can vary, having an impact on how quickly they can resolve your issues. More in-depth responses are possible through the ticket system, but they can be slow. For those who don't mind troubleshooting on their own, the available library of resources is substantial enough to help solve most issues.
Pros and Cons At A Glance
How It Compares
Hide.me is rather well rounded as a VPN service. In particular, it supports various platforms and protocols, making it compatible with multiple devices, even though you need to be on paid tiers to access all their security protocols. You also have torrent allowances and handy features that help you find the best available server whenever you're online.
This ability to see what server is the best at any given moment is excellent to have, especially since the total number of servers pales in comparison to the bigger competitors like SurfEasy and Nord VPN, which have over one-thousand available IP addresses. The lack of Netflix connectivity is also unfortunate, as it excludes people who wish to watch shows outside of their home regions.
All things considered, hide.me stands strong as a VPN provider with the features it provides on a surface level, but the limitations do make it fall short of being a contender in the top tiers of VPN services. In particular, it's the pricing that makes it somewhat questionable as to whether or not the service has any real value amongst the competition.
The free tier is easily one of the most appealing things about this VPN provider right out of the gate. Not many services give you this option, so you can get a rough idea of what using hide.me will be like before you buy. You don't even need to input your payment information to start this tier, though you'll see some limitations in how much data you can use per month and which security protocols are available.
For those who want a much larger data cap, you can upgrade to hide.me Plus. This plan costs $4.99 per month, which is lower than many other services out there. However, even with the 75GB data cap, you can still only access the VPN client through one device at a time, which falls far below the industry standard.
If you want to use multiple devices, you'll need hide.me's Premium tier, which costs $9.99 per month. This cost isn't an outlandish price for a virtual private network, but with what you get from the service, it can seem a bit much. You'll have no data cap and be able to utilize the client through five devices at a time, but other VPNs with only slightly higher prices can provide more in many of the above areas.
Though there are some drawbacks to using hide.me's virtual private network service, customers that do use the VPN tend to leave positive hide.me review. Users greatly enjoy the reliability of service, seem to find the value of the product worth the somewhat higher costs and the complete absence of logging of user activity.
One area that receives high praise from customers is customer support. No matter what level of quality a VPN has, not having timely and helpful customer service representatives can ruin the experience. When it comes to hide.me, users report that whenever issues do show up, customer support is knowledgeable enough to assist. The live chat is also helpful, according to reviews.
When looking at the larger picture of VPNs, there are other services like ExpressVPN and Cyber Ghost that gain higher average customer ratings, but what hide.me receives is perfectly respectable.
What We Think
With all these factors in mind, it's time to come to the end of our hide.me review. This VPN service certainly does have a lot going for it. Local connections are reliable, you can pay anonymously via cryptocurrencies, there's no logging, and individual servers allow torrenting with no hiccups—all things you want to see when you pick out a VPN.
The drawbacks come in the form of no Netflix streaming capability, the limited server capability, and the high cost that it takes to be able to access the unlimited bandwidth. Though the baseline cost isn't too out of the ballpark for a VPN, the limited servers end up restricting the potential use you can get out of hide.me. Depending on how you want to use it, a better VPN service may be available for you.
All those factors don't mean that we completely dismiss hide.me as a VPN, though. So long as you don't plan to access Netflix through it and you have a nearby server you can access, the connections are reliable, even though that speed decreases the further away your chosen server is. Though we mentioned it earlier, the torrenting allowance is also high, even if you need the Unlimited plan not to reach a data cap.
As it stands, we recommend hide.me to VPN users who don't have a very high amount of data traffic or large numbers of devices to connect. However, you will see the limitations to the VPN, no matter what tier you select. If you want more thorough options or higher numbers of servers, you'll want a different VPN, but, otherwise, torrenters can get much use out of hide.me's service.
If you like what you've seen enough to consider selecting hide.me as your VPN solution, we recommend testing out the free version first. Even though there is a tight data cap on this option, you can easily see if you like the layout of the VPN before committing to a paid version of the plan. When it comes down to it, hide.me will get the job done, even if it doesn't do so as efficiently as other services.