Hide.me VPN Review

Tons of extra features make Hide.me a powerful alternative to the big hitters

Hide.me VPN review on a laptop screen
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Hide.me has a huge range of customizable features alongside stellar connection speeds and good streaming support – all alongside one of the best free plans on the market. However, I found a couple of minor technical issues, and its powerful interface may put off those who are used to simpler, more user-friendly services.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent OpenVPN and WireGuard speeds

  • +

    Free version is powerful

  • +

    Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, Amazon Prime

  • +

    Tons of expert-level tweaks available

Cons

  • -

    In-depth apps could be intimidating

  • -

    Takes a little while to connect

  • -

    Some kill switch issues

  • -

    No independent security audit

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Hide.me is a subsidiary of eVenture Limited - a Malaysia-based company that has been in the VPN business since 2011.

Hide.me has a solid network comprised of more than 2000 servers in over 75 locations. Many of the fleet are rated at 10Gbps. That’s a good offering but some providers, such as ExpressVPN, offer quite a few more servers, and some claim speeds of up to 40Gbps.

Most interesting is Hide.me's wide range of configurable options. Ranging from plenty of protocols (including WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther and SSTP) to more niche features like port forwarding, and protection from DNS, IP and IPv6 leaks, there's a lot here to get stuck into if you know what you're doing.

Hide.me also supports plenty of platforms including Android, iOS, Linux, routers and Smart TVs, all alongside Windows and MacOS, naturally.

A neat introduction to Hide.me's abilities is its excellent free VPN, which offers much of the premium product's features while limiting users to 10GB of data a month and a small selection of five servers.

In my full Hide.me review, I'll be running down exactly what the provider does right, what it could improve upon, and whether it's worth considering for you. Let's get started...

Hide.me on paper

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Number of servers2000+Row 0 - Cell 2
Server countries75+Row 1 - Cell 2
Supported platformsWindows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, iPhone, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Routers, Amazon Fire TV Stick, BlackberryRow 2 - Cell 2
Simultaneous connections10Row 3 - Cell 2
Split tunnelingYesRow 4 - Cell 2
Kill switchYesRow 5 - Cell 2
Protocols supportedOpenVPN UDP & TCP, WireGuard, IKEv2, SoftEther, SSTPRow 6 - Cell 2
Country of registrationMalaysiaRow 7 - Cell 2
Support24/7 live chat, ticket, email, knowledgebase, communityRow 8 - Cell 2

Hide.me 1-minute review

Hide.me unblocks almost everything, is super fast, and offers advanced configuration options you won’t find anywhere else, for well under $4 a month. You even get a year of 2TB secure storage thrown in, which only adds to this VPN's appeal.

If you're looking for a way to unblock major streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ when travelling abroad – as well as localised services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV and 9Now – Hide.me is worthy of a place on your shortlist. 

On the downside, if I compare Hide.me with market leading VPNs such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, it's not as well engineered. In my tests, I found that the kill switch may not protect users when they change location, which kind of defeats the purpose. 

Hide.me is great for unblocking streaming services, but the product itself isn't as polished as it should be.

When all is said and done, Hide.me doesn’t doesn't feel as carefully crafted as rivals such as NordVPN or as easy to use as ExpressVPN. And while I found the company's support offering to be wide-ranging, it's not nearly as helpful as I'd like it to be.

Overall, Hide.me is a mixed bag. The product isn't quite as polished as it should be and other VPNs offer more servers, more locations and faster speeds.

However, there's no doubt that Hide.me makes an excellent streaming VPN and experienced users who wants to rifle through its (many) settings to achieve a custom VPN experience.

If that's you, then I can recommend Hide.me. If not, there are better VPNs out there.

Latest updates

  • All 2000+ Hide.me servers now offer a bandwidth limit of 10Gbps
  • All new and existing customers get 2TB of Cloud Storage by Internxt
  • Indian servers phased out due to the country's new VPN data logging law
  • Member of the i2coaliton and expanded VPN Trust Initiative
  • Introduction of two-factor authentication

Hide.me VPN review

(Image credit: Hide.me)
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Hide.me price and payment

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Plan lengthOverall costMonthly cost
1 month$9.95$9.95
6 months$39.95$6.65
12 months$49.00 (including 5 months free)$2.88 (including 5 months free)

Hide.me has good pricing for the monthly VPN plan, which is priced at $9.95. Some providers are cheaper than this on occasion, but most are a bit pricier than $9.95.

Moving on to the six month plan, the price drops to a much more affordable $6.65 per month (billed as $39.95), which is roughly in line with what most providers charge.

Finally, there’s the one-year plan which offers the best value at $2.88 per month (billed as $49). At the time of writing, that figure includes an extra five months free, meaning you get 17 months for a total of $49. This may change as promotions are adjusted, but it's usually available for around this price.

 If you're prepared to commit, Hide.me is one of the most affordable VPNs in the business, although it’s not the cheapest I've spotted. Surfshark and Private Internet Access, for example, both have plans priced at less than $2.50 per month. 

It's worth noting that Hide.me subscribers – new and old – now get access to 2TB of free encrypted Internxt Cloud Storage for one year. That certainly sweetens the deal.

You can pay through PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin and a number of other options, and you'll also be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee should you not enjoy the software.

Overall, Hide.me offers decent value for money. It has an ace up its sleeve, too – its potent free plan. More on that next...

Does Hide.me have a free trial?

Yes. And not only does it offer all the features of the paid app, you can use Hide.me free forever.

The only restrictions are a 10GB per month data limit (not huge in the grand scheme), and a limited selection of servers in the US, Canada, The Netherlands, and Germany. Some users might lament the lack of a UK location, but only paying customers can route through a British server.

hide.me VPN review - no logging policy

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How private is Hide.me?

Hide.me says that, in 2015 it became one of the first VPNs to be independently audited. As part of that, it claims a strict ‘no logging’ policy, meaning that it won't log any personal data, thus ensuring your privacy when online. 

I found its Privacy Policy (opens in new tab) to be very detailed and very convincing. It says that Hide.me doesn't collect session logs, browsing data, or anything that can be used to identify the user. The policy also states that it never stores 'VPN connection logs and timestamps that match your incoming and outgoing IP address or session duration.’ 

Hide.me claims a strict ‘no logging’ policy, meaning that it won't collect any personal data, ensuring that users remain anonymous.

To facilitate the free version, Hide.me does keep a log of bandwidth usage, but without any other information this isn't really of any concern. You'll also have to hand over your email on sign up, but almost every VPN provider requires this.

On the downside, although Hide.me claims to have undergone a 'comprehensive audit' in 2015, I could not find a copy of the audit available to read. It's impressive that Hide.me was clued into the importance of audits this early, but to be relevant, I'd like to see a nice fresh one, accompanied by a proper report.

Lastly, it's worth noting that I found zero trackers on the Hide.me website or in the Android VPN app. A high number of trackers isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a low number does suggest that Hide.me takes privacy seriously.

How fast is Hide.me?

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Lightway 880Mbps
OpenVPN880Mbps

One of the most important features – for some, the most important – is a VPN's performance and speed. As such, I tested Hide.me and the results were excellent. 

OpenVPN performance was nothing short of spectacular, with peak speeds of around 880Mbps. That’s vastly superior than many competitors and makes Hide.me one of the fastest VPNs I've tested in recent times. 

This is partly down to Hide.me's proprietary Bolt technology, which speeds up OpenVPN connections very effectively. It's a real bonus – particularly for Windows VPN users.

Hide.me is one of the fastest VPNs I've tested in recent times, reaching peak speeds of 880Mbps.

WireGuard performance was similarly good, reaching speeds of 880Mbps in my tests. Again, this outpaces most VPNs, and is a huge improvement on previous tests which clocked Hide.me's WireGuard performance at 580Mbps.

That said, there are a few VPNs with similar or better performance. Surfshark, Norton and TorGuard outpaced Hide.me in my tests, reaching peak speeds of 950Mpbs (and more, in some cases).

If you want the fastest provider, try Surfshark. However, if it's speed you're after, Hide.me should be on your list – it has more than enough zip for any application.

How good is Hide.me for streaming?

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NetflixWorking
PrimeWorking
YouTubeWorking
iPlayerWorking
Disney PlusWorking
10PlayWorking
9NowWorking
HuluWorking
ITV PlayerWorking
All4Working

Like most VPNs, Hide.me can help users access geo-blocked websites when travelling abroad, and thus help avoid censorship. In previous years Hide.me hasn't performed perfectly for streaming, but this time around it scored flawless results. With Hide.me, I was able to access both US and UK Netflix in all of my tests.

In addition, popular streaming services Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Disney+ were all unblocked, as well as YouTube. In other words, Hide.me unblocked and gave me access to everything I tried. 

It's worth noting that when accessing these sites I did have some loading hangs where I was left waiting for a page to load for a up to a minute. However, this wasn't a regular occurrence, and once pages loaded, I could stream in HD like normal. 

So, while that small issue makes it tricky to recommend Hide.me as the very best Netflix VPN, it has proven to be consistently good at unblocking localised streaming services and has the edge over most of its competition right now.

Hide.me review

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How good are Hide.me's desktop apps?

Hide.me's desktop apps are pretty straightforward and simple to use. The first thing you’ll see is a large Connect button that will connect you to the nearest server. Another click and you’ll get the full location list, with countries and, in some cases, individual cities. Also, your current IP address and location are always visible for you to see.

Speaking of location, in the Locations menu you’ll see a bunch of information regarding the servers, like ping, and for some locations, a drop-down menu will be available if you wish to check individual cities.

A streaming tab within the Locations menu delivers what you'd expect – the best servers for streaming on certain services, although they're sorted by location and not streaming service.

Multihop is another neat feature. By using this, you can route through two servers, meaning that if one is compromised, you'll still be protected by the other. In practice, this is actually more effective than, say, NordVPN's implementation of the tech, due to the fact you'll be able to connect to any two servers, not pick from a predetermined list.

Hide.me's desktop apps are pretty simple to use, but dig a little deeper and you'll find tons of custom settings.

Open up the Settings menu and things start to get really interesting, though.

Autoconnect is present, which makes sure Hide.me activates as soon as you boot up your machine, and you can choose to connect to either your last used location, or the 'best'. 

The range of protocols is impressive (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, SSTP), and there's tons of configuration available within these, like IKEv2's stealth mode, whether you tunnel using IPv4 or IPv6, and even more.

That 'best' location I just mentioned – that's normally just dictated by the VPN, but Hide.me allows to define what's best for you, whether that's closest in terms of distance, lowest load, or lowest ping. 

Split tunneling support is present, of course, which allows certain apps to use the VPN and other to ignore it. You'll also get a customisable kill switch to protect you if your connection drops, although I found that it may not offer complete protection when changing locations.

All in all, there's a ton here for experts to get stuck into, but while these menus might be intimidating to newbies, even if you just connect to the recommended server and shut the app every time, there's a lot to like.

How good are Hide.me's mobile apps?

The mobile apps are lacking when compared to their desktop counterparts, but they’re still far from basic or bad. In the iPhone VPN app, there’s a connect button, and an option to sort the server by name or ping, which is already more functionality than most. Apart from that, there’s a Favorite option, as well as a search box.

Support for IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP and WireGuard is present. In addition, there is an autoconnect option as well as the kill switch – a feature that has become a staple of pretty much every good VPN. Lastly, you can choose a custom DNS if you wish.

All in all, it's seriously powerful for an iOS offering, and much better than many out there.

The mobile apps are lacking when compared to their desktop counterparts, but they're far from bad.

Hide.me's Android VPN is even better, with all the aforementioned features, and is very similar in appearance – great if you use both. 

You'll also get split tunneling, and the ability to allow your device to access other devices that are connected to your network. 'IKEv2 Alternative Configurator' is also included, to help connections should the regular IKEv2 protocol fail.

While all this might be overkill for the general user, that doesn't really matter. Just like the desktop versions, it's all tucked away in a Settings menu that you never have to touch, but having the possibility is something I really like. 

Hide.me VPN review - mobile apps

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Should you buy Hide.me?

All things considered, Hide.me is a highly configurable service with fast performance, in addition to having quite a few unusual but welcome features. Newbies or less experienced users might have some issues, as having access to all of these features might be overwhelming. If that’s the case, providers like ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) or Surfshark (opens in new tab) might be a better choice.

That said, with awesome speeds, great unblocking capabilities, and excellent functionality, Hide.me is a great choice, especially for more advanced users who want a reasonably-priced option.

Still on the fence? Hide.me offers a decent free version, so if you want to test this provider for yourself, go ahead and see how good it is.

Sign up to Hide.me if:

  • You want one the fastest providers on the market right now
  • You want access to streaming services worldwide
  • You want configurable desktop/iOS/Android apps
  • You want 2TB of cloud storage included in the price

Avoid Hide.me if:

  • You want a simple VPN aimed at newbies
  • You want the cheapest provider on the market
  • You want a highly private, independently audited VPN

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.

With contributions from