Hide.Me VPN Review – Good Choice but Slow Speeds (Test Results)
Established in 2012, Hide.me is a relatively new player in the VPN game. Its founders all have experience in the IT departments of high-pressure sectors like major corporations with offices in several countries and federal governments. This means that they are well-qualified for designing services that are meant to protect the privacy of its customers.
Despite this pedigree, Hide.me isn’t as good as it could be. In its favor, the company is headquartered in Malaysia, a country that is not a member of the Five Eyes or even the 14 Eyes. This is excellent news for people who want to be certain that their private data won’t be turned over to the first law enforcement or government organization that comes knocking on Hide.me’s doors.
See the totalitarian-heavy list below and then keep reading to find out what we really think about Hide.me
Decent Security and Encryption
Also in Hide.me’s favor is the VPN protocols that it uses. OpenVPN protocol is the first choice for many users as it is open source. An open source product has the advantage of being used by more people, which means that it has probably been more thoroughly examined for vulnerabilities than comparable products. Other available protocols include IKEv2, SSTP and PPTP. Those last two are largely outdated and do not provide the same level of encryption that comes with OpenVPN and IKEv2, so use those with caution.
The SoftEther protocol additionally is available through Hide.me. Most other VPNs do not have this technology available. The intention behind it is to make Internet traffic even more difficult to detect. However, many other VPNs come with features that are designed to make tracking a user’s online movements virtually impossible, so this alone is not a reason for choosing Hide.me’s VPN services.
Hide.me’s Server Locations
When compared with other competitors in the VPN field, Hide.me has relatively few servers. In total, there are just 150 of them. They are located in 34 countries in 45 varied locations. Other, more sophisticated, VPN service providers have thousands of servers in hundreds of countries, giving users far more options.
Not Enough Servers to Meet Global Demand
Having such a relatively small number of servers means that more users must get crammed onto the same server. Each person receives a quite small piece of bandwidth when they log on, and this affects performance. This may be just one of the reasons why Hide.me does not perform as well in speed tests as other VPN companies.
The diversity of server locations also may be critical to performance. Generally, data transfer rates are faster when users can log on to a VPN server that is relatively close to their actual geographic location.
Crowded servers, and a lack of many servers in diverse locations, means slow data transfer speeds and being forced to choose a server on another continent just to get connected. This can lead to repeated frustration for regular users.
As far as locations go, Hide.me does a decent job of guaranteeing diversity. It boasts six U.S. and Canadian servers, one in Mexico and one in Brazil. The majority of its servers are located in Europe and the U.K. with additional locations in Morocco and Iceland. Hide.me’s other servers are located in Melbourne and Sidney, Australia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Currently, the service has no servers in Russia, but they do have servers in the Ukraine and Turkey.
Using BitTorrent or P2P with Hide.me
Hide.me does enable usage of BitTorrent and P2P on certain servers. The servers in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K. and Australia are notable exceptions to this permission. On its website, Hide.me claims that using the SOCKS proxy on P2P torrent traffic makes the transfer rates faster. There is little evidence to support this claim. However, the SOCKS5 proxy has a kill switch that allows for more secure downloading of torrents.
Hide.me VPN Speed Test Results
Using any VPN is going to affect your data transfer rate. Essentially, when you’re using a VPN, all of your online requests have to jump through additional hoops and venture farther afield than they would otherwise be required to.
Speed tests using the Hide.me VPN service delivered less-than-impressive results. Using the server in New York, the download speed was 17.17 Mbps while the upload speed was an uninspiring 10.10 Mbps.
The numbers improved when using a server in Amsterdam. Here, the download speed was 27.60 Mbps while the upload speed was 19.92 Mbps.
Using the UK server in London yielded similar numbers. Downloading occurred at a rate of 28.69 Mbps while the uploading was 20.41 Mbps.
The server in Hong Kong’s performance was especially dismal. With a download rate of 11.71 Mbps and an upload rate of 3.19 Mbps, it is fairly clear that this is not the kind of speed that sophisticated users expect.
Keep in mind that your performance may vary. The results of any speed test mainly capture a moment in time, for better or for worse. This means that you may experience improved or degraded results on your devices.
Hide.me’s Logging Policy
Hide.me boasts a strict no logging policy. Thanks to being headquartered in Malaysia, a country that has no laws concerning mandatory data retention, this is one of the few VPN services for which this boast holds true. This is critical, especially when considering the ways that people spend time online. Read more about VPN logging here.
Although many people would quickly claim that they have “nothing to hide” online, this statement is rarely true. The reality is that no one wants someone else nosing through their emails, getting access to their banking or other financial information or “listening in” on private conversations. Accordingly, it’s critical to use a VPN for privacy and to ensure that no one is keeping track of your personal online movements
Is Hide Me Hiding Their Logging Policy?
In an effort to avoid any legal liability, Hide.me says that they do not log the personal data of any users, nor do they maintain any records on their servers. Hide.me also declares that they in no way monitor what their users do in the virtual world. They have actually taken the rather unusual step of becoming certified by an unaffiliated security analyst, who declared that Hide.me is not keeping logs on its customers.
According to the company’s publications, they do not even log the true IP address of any users, nor is there a timestamp on the connection. Since privacy is one of the biggest reasons for using a VPN, Hide.me’s no logging policy is one feature that is very much in the company’s favor.
Pricing Options for Hide.me
Another point in this VPN provider’s favor is that they do offer their service for free. However, there are some notable exceptions and limitations for users who choose the free version of Hide.me. Customers on the free plan do not have to enter their credit card information, but they have access to only three server locations. Additionally, they are restricted to using one device at a time. If you’re looking for a free vpn, here are some better choices.
Another frustrating restriction is that the free customers are limited to just two gigabytes of data each month, which is an incredibly small amount. The free version of Hide.me also is maddeningly slow despite the company’s promise to make their best efforts to keep things moving at no less than three Mbps. Free users further may not like that the available VPN protocols are limited to IPSEC, SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP. IPSEC, which includes IKEv1 and 2, is a reliable option, but the other latest and greatest protocols are reserved for paying customers.
The Plus plan is available at about $4.99 per month. The cap on data transfer is significantly raised to 75 GB, but users at this level are still restricted to just one connection at a time. Members gain access to all server locations and all VPN protocols. SOCKS proxy further is available with this package.
The Premium plan doubles the monthly prices to $9.99 per month, but users receive unlimited data transfer and may connect up to five devices at once. This program also includes everything that the Plus plan offers in addition to a fixed IP address and dynamic port forwarding.
Both the Plus and Premium plans feature a 14-day, money-back guarantee if users are not satisfied. This is a relatively short period, but should be sufficient for regular users to determine whether or not the service works for them.
Is Hide.me Recommended?
With its lack of speed and the inflated cost of its plans, it isn’t possible to recommend Hide.me at this time. Express VPN offers far better functionality at lower prices.