- 53 Locations in 34 countries
- 7 Connection Protocols
- No logs policy
- Satisfactory speed
- 5 simultaneous device connections
- Not Unlimited data transfer on cheaper plans
- Simultaneous connections too depend on plans
Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.- John Barlow; well yes the govt. is the biggest invader of our privacy and that’s a pain this Hide.me review aims to ease to an extent.
It’s pretty hard being able to choose one “best” VPN from the hundreds and probably thousands of VPNs available in the industry, considering how everyone markets themselves as the best anyway.
So we spend our time, money and energy trying and testing out various VPN services and bringing the features and services they offer to you folks before you actually put your money in their pockets, this Hide.me Review too is scribbled down with similar goals.
The primary features that I’ve taken into account to gauge the potential of the VPN in this Hide.me review are:
- Logs Policy
- Country Support
- Connection Protocols
- And Pricing.
That encompasses nearly everything that’s important when it comes to a VPN so let’s get down with this Hide.me review already!
Do you Really need Hide.me VPN?
Who would need a VPN? Is it only used by hackers and terrorists as shown in movies? Or does using a VPN make you one of them? Well nope, not even remotely.
A VPN can be used by anyone who respects his/her privacy and is aware of the massive surveillance organizations around the globe who monitor every click of yours, every website you visit, time you spend on the site and basically everything else.
For starters, if you wish to change your IP Address so that your activities can’t be linked back to you and wish to mask your real location, you need a VPN.
Secondly, if you wish to protect yourselves from hackers and third-parties who may intercept your internet connection and hack into your system on vulnerable connections such as Public Wi-Fi, you need a VPN.
Although a more mainstream need of a VPN would be to unblock restricted content and websites blocked by governments and organizations, and well if you’re a Dark web stroller in that case you probably already know why you can’t take one more breath without a proper VPN, don’t you?
Note that I at no point throughout this Hide.me review aim to glorify or present Hide.me VPN as the best, rather I’ll simply show you everything it offers transparently and let you decide what it’s worth.
If you’re short on time, this overview should get you an eagle’s-eye view of what the VPN offers. Hide.me is a company founded in 2012, which makes it “not a new player” in the game which further establishes some level of trust in the company pertaining to its operational time.
- 53 Locations in 34 countries.
- 7 Connection Protocols.
- No logs policy.
- Satisfactory speed.
- Great User interface.
- 5 simultaneous device connections.
- Not Unlimited data transfer on cheaper plans.
- Simultaneous connections too depend on plans.
Hide.me VPN Setup Process
This isn’t a section I include in my other reviews, but I’d have to for this Hide.me review simply because it doesn’t exist with other VPNs but does with Hide.me.
Once you login to your Hide.me account on their site, they actually guide you through the whole setup process, with a text based, step-by-step tutorial as well as a video-guide!
Also there’s an equally detailed guide on how to setup the various connection protocols and this is something that regardless of how basic and simple it is, is still a requirement most other VPNs miss.
Anyway, installing the VPN takes less than 2 minutes at max and is a one-click process! The crux of this section is, no matter if you’ve never even heard of a VPN you’d be able to setup Hide.me in seconds without having to punch your computers!
Hide.me User Interface
Personally it’s one of the cleanest-looking interfaces I’ve seen till date, there’s the big, square “Enable VPN” button at the centre which facilitates one-click connection to the VPN. So you install it and simply click on “Enable VPN” that’s all that’s required to wrap your identity in a privacy mask.
Secondly the IP address being used is displayed with neat looking fonts at the bottom-left corner helping users verify the change of the IP in real-time. The settings icon is at the top-right corner, while the country-selection is provided at the bottom-right.
Basically they’ve used up the corner spaces without cluttering the centre space making it look cleaner and easier to navigate.
34 Countries, 53 Locations
The primary use of the VPN is to provide you with a country-list which you can connect to and use the IP addresses of those countries, isn’t it? Hence obviously the more number of countries a VPN supports, the better it’s considered to be.
Hide.me offers as many as 35 countries in total which I’d say isn’t impressive but is at par with what the other VPNs in the industry at this price-range are offering, although what does makes it impressive is the fact that it actually provides 52 locations in those 35 countries to connect to.
Some of the available countries include:
- Brazil etc.
Now some of those countries have more than one cities you can connect to, hence you get to use more than 1 IP address for that same country, USA alone has as many as 8 locations to choose from!
Another nice little addition the tool has is its automatic country selection feature, you can simply select “automatic” from the country-list and it would connect you to the best available location for you.
Connection Protocols are how the VPN encrypts your internet connection and prevents it from being intercepted by third-parties such as govt. agencies or individual hackers.
Hide.me offers 7 primary connection protocols which does make it one of the most protocol-rich VPNs we’ve ever crossed paths with, namely:
- SoftEther VPN
- And SSTP
- And L2TP/IPSec
Most of you reading this may not be aware of the differences such as speed, level of security, reliability etc. that each of these protocols offers so let me elaborate that so you know what exactly is being offered.
OpenVPN is an open-source protocol which also arguably is the best to use whenever available starting with the fact that it offers two encryption protocols namely 126-bit and 256-bit; 256-bit encryption as is known globally is the most advanced and secure encryption protocol available to the common-man, also termed as the “military grade encryption protocol”.
It also is readily supported on most device, is extremely stable and with one of the best speeds available with any connection Protocol.
The next best connection protocol after OpenVPN available with Hide.me VPN is SoftEther, it too encrypts using 256-bit encryption keys hence providing the same level of security as OpenVPN.
Although it’s slightly faster than OpenVPN and provides great support as well for operating systems both on desktops and mobile devices making it only the next best VPN protocol after OpenVPN.
Then there’s IKEv2; its greatest superpower is the ability to jump between connections without dropping the VPN connection. Meaning you can switch between a third-party Wi-Fi and your mobile data, or to a different hotspot or basically to anything else without having to worry about reconnecting the VPN.
It too uses 256-bit encryption and hence doesn’t compromise on the security front, it’s wrapped along with IPSec which provides it the security and stability that it boasts of. The speed too is commendable although the only downside with the protocol is that it’s not that well supported by as many platforms as OpenVPN.
SSTP stands for Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol, it’s a protocol that was introduced by Microsoft and isn’t independently audited hence it doesn’t exactly scream “trust” but keeping personal opinions aside, it uses SSLv3 alike OpenVPN which provides it the superpower of bypassing firewalls in heavily censored countries.
It supports Linux and other platforms in theory as well, but the performance isn’t as good on other systems as it is on Windows. It’s not as fast as OpenVPN but still provides for an option when other protocols aren’t available for whatever reasons.
PPTP stands for Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol and offers 128-bit encryption, it’s quite fast pertaining to the not so heavy an encryption. Supports nearly every device with and is quite stable; best for users who prefer speed over security.
L2TP/IPSec is one of the most secure connection protocols available, it uses 256-bit encryption although what makes it really stable is the fact that it double encapsulates the data, the superior level of encryption does take its toll on the speed; also the high encryption demands more CPU resources than other encryptions.
Quite stable, best for users who need Fort-Knox like security and where speed isn’t the priority.
Finally the IKEv1 is an earlier version of IKEv2 which didn’t gain as much reputation as its next counterpart pertaining to compatibility issues, lack of mobile support, and inability to bypass as many firewalls. It’s still an option for times when everything else fails.
To sum up the connection protocols section of this Hide.me review all I’d say is it has plenty of options, some fast others slower but more secure and vice-versa, some more compatible than others and so on. Bottomline, you’re bound to find something for your exact needs with the VPN.
One of the most important aspects of the Internet is speed, and VPNs quite often slow them down due to all the encryption the traffic goes through, Hide.me does too but how much is what separates one VPN from the other.
For the purposes of this Hide.VPN review I did a speed test with and without the VPN and here are the results which should speak for themselves:
As is evident, when I connected to Vienna, Austria the speed was obviously reduced as is expected with any VPN but still the reduction wasn’t significant and I could still browse the internet, and even stream videos on Youtube establishing the fact that the speed with Hide.me VPN is more than acceptable.
Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection Available
Kill Switch is an advanced feature which makes sure if your VPN connection drops for some reasons, your Internet connection too is completely dropped making sure you aren’t left exposed on the Internet. Hide.me does provide the feature and it can be enabled from Settings>Kill Switch.
It also provides the DNS Leak protection, which is important as in some scenarios operating systems ignore the VPN connection and connect to the destination independently.
The DNS Leak protection makes sure that doesn’t happen and hence no DNS information is leaked whatsoever.
5 Simultaneous Connections Available
The maximum number of devices you can connect to one Hide.me VPN account is 5. Although note that it’s not for everyone and rather depends on which VPN plan you’ve purchased.
The Free and Plus plans are limited at 1 connections/account, while the premium plan provides for 5 connections.
Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Bandwidth and Data Transfer too aren’t universally unlimited. The free plan has 2GB data transfer limit/month and “best effort” bandwidth which is a minimum of 3Mbit/s.
The plus plan has unlimited bandwidth, but the data transfer is limited at 75GB/month. It’s only in the Premium plan that both the bandwidth and the data transfer are unlimited.
No Logs Policy
Hide.me VPN has a strict no logs policy, so much so that their systems were created without the ability to log data hence even if someone wanted to, it was impossible to log your activities, IP selection or anything else.
Because there’s no log to begin with, it can never be sold, shared with a third-party or hacked into. This is in my personal opinion he most important aspect of this Hide.me review.
Which devices/OS does Hide.me support? Well just about everything that exists on the planet including Windows, macOS, Linux, Fedora, iOS, Android, Blackberry etc.
It even provides support for routers both custom as well as native including Asus Merlin, Asus Stock, DD-WRT, Tomato etc.
For most of you reading this, I believe it’s feature:price ratio is an important decision-making factor while choosing a product isn’t it? Well Hide.me offers three plans to choose from:
- Free- 1 Device, 3 locations.
- Plus – $4.99/month-1 Device, All locations.
- Premium –USD $9.99/month- 5 Devices all locations.
Many other features differ among the plans which you can checkout at the pricing page.
Final Words on Hide.me review
So that’s a wrap as far as this Hide.me review goes folks. I’ve discussed everything that the VPN offers, and I’ve been honest as well as transparent while doing so.
My two cents on the program are, it’s perfect for single-users, or even for multi-users if you go with the Premium plan however the limitations on the free plan were expected considering how they aren’t charging anything on the plan anyway.
I’d like to know what you think of the VPN, as well as of this Hide.me review. Use the comments section down there to drop your opinions.