Every Hide.me client or application comes with useful privacy settings. Next to the possibility of starting the program with your computer, you are also given the choice of binding your internet connection to the VPN service. This means that whenever your client or application starts, it automatically connects to the server closest and fastest to you. Furthermore, this also results in the client automatically reconnecting if connection has been lost. The service lets you enable your own DNS binding so that other computers will have a lot harder time finding yours as you will be the only one visiting hosts. There is yet another “killer” feature implemented in the software being a kill switch; if for any reason your progress is disrupted, all incoming and outgoing traffic will be blocked. The best we can bring up are minor annoyances and only one bigger one: the installation of the Windows client for example automatically places the software on your main partition.
Although OpenVPN is widely supported by Hide.me, you’ll have to use their guides to set up an OpenVPN connection manually on your device. Their OpenVPN offers the same bank-grade security using TLS as seen with other providers. It’s clear that Hide.me gives preference to its IKEv2/SSTP connections, and with good reason since it uses EAP-MSCHAPv2 for username and password authentication. TLS is established in a similar way as with OpenVPN, but the precaution taken to protect your login credentials provides more security while speeds on IKEv2 are also better in addition to this.
Other safety protocols are automatically supported. Alongside OpenVPN and IKEv2, these include IKEv1, PPTP, L2TP and SSTP and lastly, SoftEther, another rare addition. OpenVPN and IKEv2 support 256-bit encryption, which is an essential and is good to have. IKEv2 in particular is very helpful is bypassing firewalls and Network Address Translation methods (NAT). SoftEther is another much more uncommon open-source protocol that excels at avoiding deep packet inspections from firewalls and similarly to IKE, at NAT traversal. The rest of the safety protocols come with their respective 128-bit protections, while SOCKS proxy is also supported.
The main asset of Hide.me’s networking functions is port forwarding. It serves the purpose of additional safety and anonymity by including port addresses in the connection conditions, essentially creating safer tunnel to go through inside the mountain of your connection, where you could be seen from a distance, climbing up and down. It is a great way to close out threats that come via FTP. Hide.me also offers free proxies on three of their servers in the Netherlands, Germany and the US, helping you gain access to blocked websites.
Our speed tests produced sparkling results in terms of download speed. Upload speed however, turned out to be somewhat standardized, although values are still favorable. During tests, we encountered some minor hold-ups: connecting took a bit of time to complete, anywhere from half a minute to a minute. Overall though, these are relatively minor complaints, we were satisfied otherwise.
Mexico Speed Test
Iceland Speed Test
Austria Speed Test
Hide.me is respectful regarding your privacy and has one of the most transparent and comprehensible privacy policies and terms of service we have come across. Since two out of the three pricing models come with limited bandwidth, the amount of data transferred is being monitored, but the nature of the data (for example which domains you visited) is not. Overall, you are not identifiable as an individual when using Hide.me.
On the other side of the coin, there are some minor quirks that help you get around. For example, you are given a personalized ID when paying for your plan that Hide.me gets rid of after your transaction is complete, making your purchase untraceable to fully protect your privacy.
OS, Device Support
Hide.me makes an effort to provide something extra in every aspect of their service. This is true in terms of device support too. Most of today’s operating systems are favored by Hide.me. Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP are all on the table, next to the dishes of Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. Further sampling of the platter reveals dessert: some Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and Android for those with cybercannibalistic orientations. However, only Android users get to enjoy a native application like Windows desktop users do, the fans of iPad and iPhone cannot.
The good news is that there are guides available not only for each device, but for each safety protocol setting, too. One of the stranger features of Hide.me is that some specific service is restricted: for example DD-WRT routers are available on PPTP by default, but on OpenVPN? In the case of purchasing the Premium package only. And lastly, the rarity that they provide is support to Mikrotik routers, although they can be hard to set up. But worry not: the website provides substantial support to installation and usage for each of these machines.
Three plans are available: Free, Premium, and Plus. Unlike other providers on the market, these three bear significant differences to one another other than just the subscription length. For example, only the Premium package offers the aforementioned five simultaneous connections, the other two rest at one only. Furthermore, Premium is the only one that offers unlimited data transfer and port forwarding. The default rate of $11.67 per month for Hide.me’s most interesting plan is quite hefty compared to what other VPN providers charge for this type of package. As a Best Reviews reader you can however get a special 35% discount on all plans, bringing the price of the Premium plan down to as low as $7.58 per month. With this discounted rate in place, Hide.me gives you top value-for-money with its Premium option.
With the Plus plan you get a maximum of 75GBs of data transfer, but no port forwarding. With a pricecut of 35% through our special offer, the Plus package is priced at an affordable $3.52 per month for those who need a VPN only occasionally on just one device.The Free package comes with 2GBs of data transfer, a “best effort” bandwidth, and only 3 locations. The Free package should be considered as a life-long free trial account for testing purposes to give you a taste of how the service works.
Among the more than 80 payment methods presented, you will find all popular options such as Visa, American Express, MasterCard, PayPal, Bitcoin, Sofort, giropay and cashU. There is a favorable refund policy available; you can get a full payback within 14 days of your purchase if you haven’t used more than 500MBs worth of data.
Hide.me’s preferred form of contact is e-mail or their contact form. Reply was very quick for an e-mail based system, although it is to be expected if it is the primary method of interaction. Information provided was sufficient, maybe even a bit too much with quite a lot of off-topic advice. There is also a community that needs a second registration,. You cannot log in to that site with your official site account, a separate registration is required, which is mainly because of Hide.me’s security and privacy concerns. The community center itself is similarly polished and simplistic, yet visually appealing with a helpful crew. Live chat support is offered through the site, as is prompt assistance through their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Hide.me is a decent VPN provider with a quality VPN network and a reasonable set of features. Significant speed, high security and attractive presentation are the trademarks to look out for, with unique features popping up surprisingly often. Some minor disturbances are similarly present, but it is nothing so mind wrecking to discourage you from a potential long-term buy. At first glance the pricing of Hide.me might put you off, but our 35% off deal means you can enjoy Premium with all of the service’s features at an affordable and reasonable $7.58 per month. Their free account with a limited amount of monthly bandwidth to consume is a nice alternative to the classical free trial accounts offered by other VPN providers that you can only use for a couple of hours or days, and is a proper way to experience the service for yourself.
- Wide selection of protocols
- Good community
- Bursting speed
- Forever-free account
- Port forwarding
- OpenVPN indirectly only