Hide.me VPN Review 2018

Can a small VPN provider compete with the big names? Find out!

Mark Neri
By Mark Neri Last update on October 28, 2018
Hide.me VPN Review 2018

Hide.me VPN Review

Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are services that provide internet users with many benefits. These include security, privacy, and anonymity. This is achieved by encrypting traffic between you and the service provider, obscuring your IP address before going outbound to destination servers. ISPs and government monitors cannot see your traffic’s content or destination, and you can get around censorship and geo-restricted content by using a server in a different country. This offers safe browsing, as well as a means to bypass content restrictions and censorship, ISP throttling, and other concerns.

What is Hide.me?

Hide.me (sometimes written as Hide Me) is a VPN provider based in Malaysia, founded in 2012. They are a relative newcomer compared to some of the big name providers, though offer both standard features as well as some extras, and have a plan and pricing structure that’s a bit different from many other providers. Though not independently verified, they claim to have 5 million active subscribers, so they’re definitely worth taking a look at. We’ll put the Hide.me VPN through the usual analysis we perform here at BestVPN24, to help you decide if they are a quality service provider.

Hide.me Features

The below list of features reflects the paid plays for the Hide.me VPN. While a Hide.me free plan is offered (see Hide.me Prices and Packages below), it is far more restricted, as many free plans are, and therefore not the basis for our Hide.me review of VPN features.

Specs

As a VPN, Hide.me has one of the smaller server counts around, with only about 150 in 34 countries. However, the company advises that these are all high-quality servers in high-speed data centers, and, after all, server counts are hard to quantify without detailed specs, as far as how much traffic or bandwidth they can support. In any case, they offer a client or app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux-based devices. They allow torrenting and unblocking Netflix (though the servers are often blocked by Netflix, given the small server count that Hide.me has). You can have either 1 or up to 5 devices connected, depending on the plan chosen.

Privacy & Encryption – Is Hide.me Safe?

Like most major VPN providers, Hide.me VPN uses standard AES-256 bit encryption for traffic, which is essentially unbreakable. They have a built-in kill switch, protecting you in case your connection drops suddenly. All third-party testing has shown to IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks from the VPN, meaning it is quite secure. And, Hide.me goes above and beyond some other providers, including proactive measures in their software to prevent leaks of these elements, which is a nice bonus. Perhaps most important for many privacy advocates, they have a simple and strict no-logging policy, which has been validated by several third parties and is a consequence of both company philosophy and the no data retention policies of the Malaysian jurisdiction.

Interface

The interface of Hide.me is quite simple and straightforward. The company has always overemphasized in the various marketing platforms that they designed to be a friendly platform for both tech gurus and amateurs alike. At the same time, they have a lot of neat features packed in there, working on the background to guarantee your safety and security. It’s a compact and easy-to-use client/app.

Performance

Performance is really where the rubber hits the road when reviewing a VPN, and the Hide.me VPN review is no exception. Despite claims, most testing has shown a significant hit to download speed/bandwidth when using the service. While latency is good to average, with only 40-60 ms additional ping added, download speeds can take a hit of as much as 70%. There are no claims that the mid-tier plan and the top-tier plan have different data speeds – only added features, device counts, and bandwidth caps, but it is evident that the speeds are not great on the mid-tier plan nor the free plan, with mixed results on the top-tier plan. In general, the speed/bandwidth takes a significant hit using the Hide.me VPN. Other aspects of the service work fairly well, except for Netflix unblocking. While a challenge for all VPNs, Hide.me seems to be particularly vulnerable, perhaps due to their small server base, and geo-unblocking of Netflix does not often work.

Ease of Use

The client/app is very simple to use. Just download, install, and you’re ready to go. All the information is displayed in a small interface screen, from which you can automatically or manually change your server, as well as get information on your account, including bandwidth remaining (if you have a limited plan), when your subscription expires, and so forth. There are some settings and help options also accessible. It’s really pretty simple and straightforward.

Customer Support

Hide.me also has somewhat weak customer support. They offer a community of forums/discussions that you can join to ask questions, which is hit or miss. They also offer an e-mail based ticket system, but this can take quite a while to get a response and have any kind of dialogue. There’s a live chat option, but it’s only for billing and sales-related questions, not technical issues. They do have an FAQ and setup guides for different devices, though, so some self-service help is available and should be sufficient for most users.

Hide.me Prices and Packages

Hide.me offers three packages or tiers of service – a free plan (limited with a monthly bandwidth cap and limited server options and only 1 device), a mid-tier plan (with a much more generous bandwidth cap at 75 GB/month, bigger server base, and a SOCKS proxy, though still only 1 device), and a top-tier unlimited plan (with no bandwidth limit, access to all servers, a SOCKS proxy, fixed IP address if desired, dynamic port forwarding, and up to 5 devices).

Obviously, the free plan is free, you just sign up and register, download the software, and utilize it to your advantage. The mid-tier and top-tier have different prices, both between them (with the top-tier costing more), and depending on the plan duration you choose. Both come with a 14-day money-back guarantee (though read the fine print, as there are limitations).

Mid-Tier Plus Plan

$ 9.95

This plan is available with 3 subscription durations and prices, as follows:

1 month, $9.95, $9.95/month ($119.40/year)
6 months, $39.95, $6.65/month ($79.90/year)
33% less per month than 1-month plan

12 months, $59.95, $4.99/month ($59.95/year)
50% less per month than the 1-month plan

25% less per month than the 6-month plan

Top-Tier Premium Plan

$ 19.95

This plan is available with 3 subscription durations and prices, as follows:

1 month, $19.95, $19.95/month ($239.40/year)
6 months, $79.95, $13.32/month ($159.90/year)
33% less per month than 1-month plan

12 months, $119.95, $9.99/month ($119.95/year)
50% less per month than the 1-month plan

25% less per month than the 6-month plan

Hide.me shows potential as a VPN provider, but there are some drawbacks it has going against it right now. The lack of functional Netflix unblocking in many cases, along with a limited server base, and low speeds, mean it’s not ideal for those looking for streaming, torrenting, or other high-bandwidth applications. At the same time, they do take privacy and security seriously and offer a number of nice features in their easy-to-use application.

The Hide.me VPN pricing and packages are a bit expensive compared to many other industry leaders, at nearly twice the monthly cost of many other providers. If they continue to expand and worth on their speed, they may very well be worth the price in the future. But, since they offer a free option (though speed and server options may be limited), it’s at least worth giving a try – you might get lucky, and the servers near you may be great!

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Free option to try (with limitations)
  • Decent representation of countries in the server network
  • Simple and easy-to-use client/app
  • Good technology and extras for security and features

Cons:

  • Generally, low-speed/big hit to download speeds
  • Limited number of servers
  • Netflix unblocking doesn’t work reliably
  • Expensive plans compared to competition/service level

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