hide.me VPN Review - gHacks Tech News

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hide.me VPN Review

 

Our team is always looking for things we think our readers will value. We have received compensation for publishing this article.

A VPN service should tick all the right boxes: it should offer privacy protections, fast servers in as many regions of the world as possible, clients for all major operating systems and device types, strong encryption and security features, good customer service, and extra features that add more value to the service.

The VPN service hide.me promises all of that. Reason enough to take a closer look at the service to find out if all of its promises are kept and whether it may be the right service for you.

Hide.me is an established VPN service that is operated by the Malaysian-based company eVenture Ltd.
Hide.me is available in two different plans:

  • Free – good for 2 Gigabytes of data transfer per month and limited to 1 simultaneous connection and connections to five locations in the world. The plan offers a good way to test the service without subscribing to a paid plan. It can be used without registration (you may get an upgrade popup though at times).
  • Premium – the paid plan unlocks unlimited data transfers, and raises the simultaneous connections to 10 and server locations to 57 regions in the world. Three different paid plans are available that differ only in the subscription length and price (with longer subscription periods reducing the price per month significantly).

The VPN has a strict policy to log no personal data and does not keep any log files on its VPN servers. The company states furthermore that it does not monitor or log browsing behavior, releases yearly transparency reports, and has been audited by an independent security analyst.

The service’s privacy policy reveals the following about the company’s no-logging policy:

We do NOT keep logs of your VPN sessions, browsing behavior, websites you visit or any activity related to your VPN connection. In addition, we NEVER store VPN connection logs and timestamps that match your incoming and outgoing IP address or session duration.

Hide.me operates 1400 servers in 57 different regions of the world. All of these servers are available to premium subscribers and five free server regions are available to free users.

hide.me vpn settings

The service supports major protocols like OpenVPN, SoftEther, IKEv2, SSTP, PPTP or L2TP/IPsec (with Wiregard support coming in the future), and all major desktop and mobile operating systems and device types (Windows, Mac Os X and Linux, and Android, Apple iPhone and iPad devices, Chrome and Firefox browser extensions). Users who prefer to set up the VPN manually find instructions on the company site to do so as well.

Customers may purchase pre-configured routers or use instructions to configure routers for use with the service. It needs to be noted that instructions are provided for some routers only. It should be easy enough to use the information as a guideline to apply it to other routers if these support VPN connectivity.

The hide.me VPN client

hide.me vpn connected

The installation of the (32-bit) Windows client is straightforward. It supports Windows 7 and newer versions of the operating system by default and the installer launches the client automatically after installation. It lists options to start a free trial or sign in to an existing account.

The free trial does not require any user registration before it can be used, that is refreshing for a start and while the selection of servers is limited, very user and privacy friendly.

The client is configured to pick the “best location” automatically. You may change that in the interface to a server in any of the available countries instead. Options to select different regions in a country, e.g. Milan or Rome in Italy, or Barcelona or Madrid in Spain, are available as well.

You may change the sort order to ping in the interface; useful to determine which location offers the best connectivity.

Tip: you can add any server region to the favorites for quick access.

The client displays the current IP address and the connection status in the interface. It comes with a kill switch that is enabled by default to disable the Internet connection automatically if the VPN connection drops. The kill switch worked flawlessly during tests and helps protect user privacy by making sure that no connections using the device’s “real” IP address are being made while the VPN is not functional

First time users may want to go through the Settings provided by the application before they establish a connection to a server. A click on the settings icon lists all available options in a new window.

Here is a short list of noteworthy settings:

  1. Set a Custom DNS server under Settings > Network.
  2. Configure Auto Connection functionality, e.g. to automatically connect to the VPN when on (secure|insecure) Wifi.
  3. Configure Split Tunneling to blacklist or whitelist applications when using the VPN. The default is all apps but you can block some apps from using the VPN or allow only select apps to use it.
  4. Enable Stealth Guard to limit all Internet connections if the VPN is not active or limit certain apps from using the Internet if the VPN connection is not active.
  5. Configure the Kill Switch. Ability to whitelist IP ranges to always allow connections and to use custom scripts.
  6. Select the VPN protocol that is used and configure fallback options.

The settings are extensive and provide access to several interesting and advanced options. Besides the ability to switch to any of the supported protocols, it is features such as split tunneling or the stealth guard that set it apart.

hide.me android client
screenshots of the Android client

The client hides the IP address of the local device properly when it is used. The company’s browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome block WebRTC leaks and may be configured to use Socks proxies.

There were no DNS leaks and all privacy tests were passed in regards to leaking the IP address or user location.

Performance

We used the Speedtest service to measure the performance when connected to various VPN servers that hide.me operates. The 50/10 Internet connection was maxed out at 58.97 Mpbs down, 11.73 Mbps up  and 11ms Ping when tested without VPN connection.

A connection to regions close-by, e.g. Netherlands from Germany, returned nearly the same performance (down 56.17 Mbps, up 11.10 Mbps and ping 23ms).  The performance to free account servers matched the speed of the premium servers.

The performance dropped for connections to long-distance servers but not as much as expected. The various US regions were good for about 50 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up with a ping of about 170ms. Even servers from Asia performed considerably well with 30 Mbps up and 7 Mbps down.

Connectivity and performance are very good, tests downloads completed quickly and services such as gaming worked without any issues while the test device was connected to the hide.m VPN.

Closing Words

Hide.me may not be the cheapest VPN service but its support for various clients, privacy-focus and advanced features make it a great choice when it comes to selecting a VPN provider.

The company’s focus on privacy, wide range of supported operating systems and devices, good selection of locations and server performance, and advanced options are especially noteworthy.

The free non-registration version needs to be mentioned specifically as you can run it without parting with any user information. It is ideal for users who are interested in the service as it can be used to test it without making any commitment. If it suits your requirements, you may upgrade to one of the available paid plans at any time.

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
4.5 based on 16 votes
Software Name
hide.me
Operating System
All
Software Category
Security
Landing Page
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Comments

  1. Ivan Lazarov said on November 22, 2019 at 3:55 pm
    Reply

    All of the VPNs claim to respect our privacy. How do we know they actually do it?

    1. John Fenderson said on November 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm
      Reply

      I am unaware of a solid way your can know this. Some VPNs get their service and business practices audited by third party auditors. Doing that doesn’t remove all doubt, of course, but I think that it’s the best we can get.

      Really, when it comes down to it, all we have to go by is a service’s reputation.

      1. Yolorag said on November 24, 2019 at 5:11 pm
        Reply

        I can recommend Mullvad, 5 $ per month, one of the best when it comes to security and usability.

    2. asd said on November 23, 2019 at 8:49 am
      Reply

      Let me go out on a limb and say VPN is nothing but a marketing tactic to scare people into paying for something that majority of people don’t need.
      Even if you were in a situation that you would definitely need a VPN, these VPN services that you just have to blindly trust would be no good for the purpose…

      1. Tom Hawack said on November 23, 2019 at 2:50 pm
        Reply

        @asd, I agree except for the exception, that of being “in a situation that you would definitely need a VPN”, and that means facing censorship.

        I also think that there is a major difference between hiding ourselves and wanting to not be followed, tracked. Hiding via a VPN, if counter-fingerprinting is not included in the user’s arsenal, is a source of laughs for those who spot a user accessing a site via VPN and authenticated via fingerprinting. And to defeat fingerprinting nowadays is a huge challenge.

        Personally I don’t want to hide, my IP is static and I assume. But I don’t want to be tracked from one site to another, in real-time moreover. It is from this stand that I build my privacy arsenal.

        There is also the fact VPNs totally take control of one’s connections and url/site/domain advertisement, privacy and security system-wide blacklists, even if browser dedicated extensions such as ‘uBlock Origin’ fortunately remain active.

        No VPN here, not even so-called ‘anonymous’ search engines proxies such as those of Startpage. I aim not to be an invisible man nor to intervene on blogs and forums with each time a different pseudonym, I just want to be able to hop from one place to another without a tag on my back saying all the places I’ve been to. A friend told me that this happens in real life when you go shopping and carry bags with the logos of the shops on them : true, but at least it doesn’t concern shops I’ve only visited!

        No proxies, no VPN here given the connection device is located in a free country.

      2. bungo said on November 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        How can you agree with any part of asd’s comment?

        Oh well, I guess we all can’t be rational and honest all the time.

      3. Tom Hawack said on November 25, 2019 at 10:32 am
        Reply

        @bungo, neither can we avoid stating absurdities all the time, i.e. your comment.

        Honest I remain, systematically. Being irrational can be a risk, I try to avoid it.
        Yes, I agree with the most of asd’s comment, honestly and rationally for the reasons I detailed, with the exception I emphasized on.

        VPNs as many other applications may take advantage of an ambient and justified awareness or even fear of privcy and security issues on the Web to better sell their product. Fear is a highly valued vector in business. Anonymity is also a fashion, an exciting one for many users when it is IMO a pity to conceive that Web sessions would require it to ensure privacy ad security.

        Rather than discrediting my opinion with emptiness why not bring your counter-argument for the benefit of all, myself included?

      4. bungo said on November 26, 2019 at 9:15 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        It was clear to me that asd’s words were that of an irrational extremist, and thus for you to support that does not speak well to you IMO.
        That’s why I earnestly asked you my question.
        Yet I guessed you missed that, as here you are being vitriolic, as if this or that, ha..
        “Rather than discrediting my opinion with emptiness why not bring your counter-argument for the benefit of all, myself included?”
        I’m didn’t discredit anyone’s opinion, although I can see how you may “feel” that way, ha..
        I clearly just questioned your choice in agreeing with asd’s dishonest comment the way you did.
        Furthermore, I find it silly that you say that I have a “counter-argument”, as that isn’t a very rational or honest thing to assume.

      5. Tom Hawack said on November 27, 2019 at 12:20 am
        Reply

        @bungo,

        “How can you agree with any part of asd’s comment?”
        “It was clear to me that asd’s words were that of an irrational extremist”

        Counter-argument means explaining why you wonder how I can agree with asd’s comment as well as explaining why it is clear to you that ads’s words were that of an irrational extremist.

        Be substantial, we get nowhere with straightforward accusations, you need to explain otherwise the comment is empty.

      6. bungo said on December 9, 2019 at 4:42 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        Hmm, you sound like a narrow-minded dictator.

        I don’t need to obey your dopey rules or explain what’s obvious.

        Here’s a better rule: tell the truth and don’t support lies.

        There’s no argument here and never was, silly you.

        I have now discerned that you represent what I oppose.

        I’ve achieved my goal.

      7. jan said on November 23, 2019 at 5:15 pm
        Reply

        Why dont you stay out of a limb and feel good

      8. John Fenderson said on November 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm
        Reply

        @asd:

        Many VPN providers advertise using scare tactics that are inappropriate. However, using a VPN is a great idea for most people — particularly those who use the internet from mobile devices. In the absence of using a VPN, people who use public WiFi access points (even if they’re encrypted) are uncomfortably vulnerable. You’re also vulnerable if you’re using the cell network, although to a lesser degree.

        A certain amount of blind trust is obviously required, but from a security point of view, that blind trust is unavoidable. If you aren’t using a VPN, then you’re trusting that there are no crackers nearby. If you are using a VPN, you’re trusting a single known entity rather than numerous unknown ones.

    3. Ivan Pavlov said on November 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm
      Reply

      @Ivan Lazarov

      Your question involves a fallacy..

      How do we know that your claim of “All of the VPNs claim to respect our privacy” is true?

      Have you read every VPN’s claims?

      I doubt you have, thus I think you’re trying to deceive us.

  2. Anonymous said on November 22, 2019 at 4:58 pm
    Reply

    Here it begins…

    1. Samm said on November 22, 2019 at 10:04 pm
      Reply

      I assumed it would happen but didn’t realise it’d be this soon…

    2. Anonymous said on November 23, 2019 at 12:15 am
      Reply

      Yep, sponsored content is evil, ads disguised as objective reviews. But it’s not that new here, I have always considered the Ghacks Deals articles as sponsored content. I wonder what the next degradation of this site by Softonic is going to be.

      1. alabaster said on November 23, 2019 at 2:30 pm
        Reply

        What about trolls? If a troll can’t stand it it here, why would a troll still be here? The lack of the simplest reasoning is amazing.

      2. Tom Hawack said on November 25, 2019 at 10:55 am
        Reply

        I dislike sponsored content but I consider it is evil only when not clearly mentioned as being, precisely, sponsored.

        ‘Sponsored content’ is clearly mentioned, on this very article. No one obliges me to click on the link.

        From there on, sponsored content, even when mentioned and bypassed by the user/reader, may include scripts which are active even if the user avoids clicking the link to open that sponsored content (be noted that sponsored content is sometimes included in the very home page), and with that I’ll have to disagree because it obliges he who knows how to do it, to disable such scripts and for those who aren’t aware/skilled to endure them even if they don’t read the sponsored content.

        Sponsored content, the concept : I dislike it but I don’t disapprove it given scripts are not of the lot when bypassed as mentioned above. A company has the right to promote, we all have that right, so what makes the difference? Cash. Why not? if a blogger mentions that his article is sponsored who’d be stupid enough to consider the article is the site’s very analysis : it’s sponsored, it’s written ‘Sponsored article’ : OK, let it be! If it can help a site make a few extra bucks within the respect of its users given the article is explicitly mentioned ad being SPONSORED, where’s the problem? A storm in a glass of water.

        Beware: consciousness, morality and puritanism are three different topics.

      3. John Fenderson said on November 25, 2019 at 8:24 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack: “it is evil only when not clearly mentioned as being, precisely, sponsored.”

        I agree. This doesn’t bother my in the least, as it’s clearly labelled and so not deceptive, and it doesn’t come with trackers.

    3. 99 said on November 23, 2019 at 7:52 am
      Reply

      >>> Yep, sponsored content is evil,

      No reason to complain, uBlock Origin blocks the sponsored content. Enjoy the wide open space only for the comments ;~)

      1. Anonymous said on November 23, 2019 at 11:37 am
        Reply

        @99

        True, I think that ##.tag-sponsored was added to Easylist after I updated my filters, no need to add it manually then.

      2. Heimen Stoffels said on November 23, 2019 at 6:11 pm
        Reply

        I too am using uBlock Origin and I have set up pretty strict filters, yet this sponsored content wasn’t blocked…

      3. Curious_about_sponsored_filters said on November 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm
        Reply

        The Easy List filter doesn’t work for me on this sponsored material. Any suggestions to create a custom filter that works using uBlock Origin?

      4. Tom Hawack said on November 26, 2019 at 11:59 pm
        Reply

        @Curious_about_sponsored_filters,

        uBO / Dashboard / My rules:
        http://www.ghacks.net https://www.ghacks.net/wp-content/plugins/ghacks-post-slider/ * block

        CSS (extension such as Stylus or from your userChrome.css :
        .wppsac-clearfix.wppsac-slick-slider-wrp {margin-bottom:-60px !important} // adapt to your screen)
        .post-slides {display:none !important;}

        uBO removes dedicated scripts but not the entry on homepage which is performed with css.

        There’s likely a more elegant way but I’m not a specialist. Above works for me.

      5. Tom Hawack said on November 27, 2019 at 12:04 am
        Reply

        With uBO that’s www dot ghacks dot net without the leading http://
        WordPress adds http:// …

      6. Curious_about_sponsored_filters said on November 27, 2019 at 3:13 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        Brilliant. Your suggestions worked flawlessly. Much obliged.

  3. ZzzZombi said on November 22, 2019 at 5:02 pm
    Reply

    Hi Martin. Thanks for the giveaway and the article. Unfortunately hide.me as a website (and I assume all the IPs they use) are blocked in my country. They’ve been blocking VPN services left and right for the past couple of years to prevent access to an ever growing list of websites and services.

    Is there any other way I can bypass this block with this service?

    1. Stv said on November 22, 2019 at 5:55 pm
      Reply

      You have 2 options:

      1, Latest firefox DNS over HTTPS (Cloudflare).
      2, Search their site on startpage.com and open it via “Anonymous View” option.

      I think you will not be able to use their service without changing your DNS resolver at system level.

      May i ask in which “democracy” do you live? :) If i were you i would use TOR only.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 22, 2019 at 6:24 pm
      Reply

      Hi, I cannot answer that unfortunately. You could try and download the mobile clients to see if these work if the official app stores are not blocked.

  4. tito salah said on November 22, 2019 at 5:03 pm
    Reply

    Hide.me .best VPN service … thanks ghacks

  5. Tom said on November 22, 2019 at 5:14 pm
    Reply

    The name of the OS from Apple is “macOS”, not “Mac Os X”. There *was* “Mac OS X” several years (!) ago but not in 2019 and never “Mac Os X”.

  6. Tomaž said on November 22, 2019 at 6:17 pm
    Reply

    Yippee!

  7. Downthedrain said on November 22, 2019 at 7:14 pm
    Reply

    Very sad.

  8. Yasin said on November 22, 2019 at 8:07 pm
    Reply

    I want to try this VPN as I am using Okey Freedom VPN & Not so good as i expected.

    1. Alex said on November 23, 2019 at 11:52 am
      Reply

      On this forum, giveaways to various VPNs are often arranged.

      https://www.promo2day.com/index.php

      Telegram Channel: https://t.me/softpremium1

  9. Paul(us) said on November 22, 2019 at 8:31 pm
    Reply

    A good old Ghacks.net tradition to give away items around this time of the year.

    Hopefully I will be in the opportunity to try it out.
    So thanks for the change for winning one of the possibility.

  10. X said on November 22, 2019 at 11:43 pm
    Reply

    “Our team is always looking for things we think our readers will value. We have received compensation for publishing this article.”

    Hmmm. Smells of Softonic.

    Martin, let me ask a (rhetorical) question: what’s your take in the deal?

    1. seeprime said on November 23, 2019 at 4:17 pm
      Reply

      Softonic will share your data with “trusted” third parties. They decide who to trust.

  11. Privacy Conscious said on November 23, 2019 at 12:24 am
    Reply

    A promising VPN from a company of a small non–aligned country, good.

  12. Anonymous said on November 23, 2019 at 1:52 pm
    Reply

    So.. lessee.. Did Ad Blocker Plus delete this ‘Article?’ Or Ghostery… or uBlock… Or Nano?? Has to be one of them installed here. Maybe all of them.

  13. Stuart said on November 23, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    Reply

    Been safe is all that matters like all VPN’s.

  14. Declan said on November 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    I use Hide.me on my smartphone as an on/off switchable app, mostly because it has good reviews and it has an easy interface. But I use Proton VPN on all my desktops. I also use Proton Mail when I need a higher level of security.
    I’ve tried many different VPN products over the past few years and those two do exactly I need – for now, anyway.

  15. Karen said on November 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm
    Reply

    Where’s the post? No post on the page.

  16. JB said on November 23, 2019 at 6:51 pm
    Reply

    Count me in!

  17. Trey said on November 23, 2019 at 7:01 pm
    Reply

    Please don’t use other than giveaway

  18. Robert said on November 24, 2019 at 6:07 am
    Reply

    I don’t really know what all the fuss is about but why can’t Hide.Me VPN buy an article through here to promote what may be a great VPN? Free giveaways to those who are interested is just icing on the cake.

    I would jump at the offer but I just got ExpressVPN through TWIT TV to help out Leo LaPort with his fine podcasts and am well pleased with the service. Hopefully some of you can return the same for Martin for his fine site too by trying Hide.Me VPN.

    Maybe we can get a review on the privacy and security of these different VPN services through Martin here some day without any bias from any sponsors.

    1. jolie5 said on November 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm
      Reply

      @Robert

      The “fuss” is that people lie to help further their agendas, be it for glory, entertainment, religious, political, economic, or a combination of such reasons.

      Ultimately, besides the evil advertisers, I think many if not most absurd lies we encounter (such as in social) are a manifestation of that enigmatic troll cult, who likely have dark agendas and/or are just bored idiots.

  19. trashhype said on November 24, 2019 at 3:45 pm
    Reply

    There’s no mention if this works with torrents, and you call this a review?!

    Ha!

  20. Shawn quick said on November 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm
    Reply

    Sign me up for the give away.

  21. Terry Oshiro said on November 26, 2019 at 5:34 am
    Reply

    Being the Nubie that I am, i really had to hunt this damn form down! Glad I found it.

  22. Ram said on November 26, 2019 at 10:19 am
    Reply

    I use VPN seldom

  23. Mario Rossi said on November 28, 2019 at 4:07 am
    Reply

    Thanks for the review, I’m interested in the give away.

  24. Joe Smith said on December 1, 2019 at 1:08 am
    Reply

    Not that I am a tin foil hat, neck bearded type of guy, but I find it really creepy that people are tracked online without consent. I would like a chance to see how effective a VPN is when setup and used correctly.

  25. nealis said on December 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm
    Reply

    Yah, won a year subscription. Anyone else get one?

    1. bungo said on December 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm
      Reply

      Are you sure?

      I won too, but it didn’t say what for.

      I got this email from Martin Brinkman:

      “Congratulations! We at Ghacks are excited to let you know that your name has been drawn and
      you have won a free subscription of Hide.me VPN!”

      It gave no details for how long this subscription is for.

      As I remember the giveaway was for one 1 year, and several 1 month subscriptions.

      This smells of marketing crap.

      If I got the one year subscription then great, but I likely got one of the 1 month subscriptions, which I don’t want.

      Sadly, I bet many users will sign up thinking they won a year subscription.

      Shame on you Martin Brinkman!

    2. egg head said on December 9, 2019 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      I won, but it didn’t say for how long, which is not cool.

      I think they gave away several 1 month subscriptions and just one for a year.

      Right?

      I didn’t sign up yet because I don’t care to get just 1 free month.

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