hide.me VPN Review 2024: Can the Independent Challenger Take on the Big Players?

hide.me is affordable, fast, and secure. What’s not to like?
3.9
Learn More
On hide.me's website

hide.me
  • Reasonable pricing, plus generous free tier
  • Independently reviewed no-logs policy
  • Fewer servers and server locations than many competitors
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hide.me is a solid virtual private network (VPN) with good pricing, a decent server selection, and an excellent privacy policy. It’s got the features you’d expect from a premium VPN, like a kill switch and split tunneling, and it performed well in all our tests for speed, streaming, and more. Overall, we’re happy to recommend hide.me to users wanting one of the best VPN services at a great price.

In this article
hide.me review at a glance
Who is hide.me best for?
hide.me features
hide.me test results
hide.me compatibility
hide.me customer support
hide.me prices and subscriptions
hide.me FAQs
Bottom line: Is hide.me good?

hide.me review at a glance

Price $2.69-$9.95/mo
Free version Yes
Max # of connected devices 10
# of servers 2,100 servers in 79 locations
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2, SSTP, OpenVPN, SoftEther
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Labuan, Malaysia
Netflix access Yes
Learn more Get hide.me

Who is hide.me best for?

  • Recommended for users that want a secure and affordable VPN that’s independently owned.

hide.me is a fantastic VPN provider for users that want strong privacy and solid performance at an excellent price. The service has a lot going for it: plenty of servers to choose from, good streaming support, an easy-to-use app, an independently verified no-logs policy, and a headquarters in a privacy-friendly country (Malaysia).

hide.me pros and cons

Pros
  • Decent server selection
  • Reasonable pricing, plus generous free tier
  • Independently reviewed no-logs policy
  • Responsive customer service
Cons
  • Fewer servers and server locations than many competitors
  • The best prices require a long commitment

hide.me features

hide.me offers all the security features you’d expect from a premium VPN: a wide selection of servers and server locations, a strict no-logs policy, and tools like a kill switch, split tunneling, and multi-hop.

Server count and countries

  • 2,100 servers in 79 locations

hide.me offers a choice of 2,100 different servers in 79 locations spread across about 50 different countries. Although the total is less than some competitors, we found the spread of locations and countries to be solid, especially in the U.S.

The hide.me dashboard on the U.S. server location selection page.

Server count is important for a couple of reasons: First, the more servers there are, the less downtime a VPN is likely to experience. Second, more servers mean more flexibility in where you route your signal, potentially enhancing privacy. Finally, more servers can impact performance — the further away servers are from the destination, the slower the VPN connection.

The hide.me dashboard on the server location selection page.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • hide.me logs policy: No logs
  • hide.me headquarters: Labuan, Malaysia

hide.me has a strict no-logs policy, which means it keeps no records of your activity on its servers, at least beyond the bare minimum that’s necessary to operate the service. Additionally, the headquarters is located in Labuan, Malaysia, a location that hide.me says was deliberately chosen for its privacy laws. As such, the company is not required by the government to store any information or to provide any information to the government.

Malaysia is also not part of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes alliances, which are groups of countries that share intelligence data with each other. This means that even if Malaysia does somehow get ahold of data, it’s under no obligation to share it with any other countries.

All this adds up to a fairly robust VPN from a privacy perspective. This bears out in the independent audit conducted by Leon Juranic of DefenseCode, Ltd. Independent audits are a fantastic way for VPNs to show that they mean what they say, so hide.me gets major bonus points for having one done.

Kill switch

hide.me offers a kill switch — a useful feature that restricts your network activity if your VPN drops its connection. This is important to prevent leaking your identity online. If the VPN loses connection and you don’t realize it, continued browsing could reveal personal information such as your IP address and location.

If you’re concerned about privacy, this feature is vital. Say you’re browsing the web and you don’t want sites or companies tracking your history. A VPN will help keep that information private, but if it drops for even a moment, all your data gets released to the internet trackers.

The hide.me kill switch can be enabled in the app’s settings with a simple toggle. Once turned on, it’ll cut your connection if the VPN drops and automatically restore it when the VPN reconnects.

The hide.me dashboard on the settings page.

Split tunneling

hide.me does offer split tunneling, a feature that routes some of your traffic through the VPN and some through your “regular” connection. You can choose which devices or apps go through which tunnel.

This is a useful feature if you need only some of your traffic to be private because you can still get the benefits of being on your local network, such as faster speeds or access to local devices. For example, you might use the VPN to do your shopping but stream over a regular connection.

Encryption

hide.me supports the AES-256 encryption protocol, which is used by banks and governments, so it is very secure. We generally consider this to be the industry standard. The protocol helps ensure your data is as secure as possible.

VPN protocol

As far as VPN protocols, hide.me has the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is a modern option that offers great speed and security. WireGuard is one of the reasons our internet speeds barely dropped when connected to the network.

Along with WireGuard, hide.me also offers IKEv2, SSTP, OpenVPN, and SoftEther. Although not every VPN protocol works on all operating systems, there are offerings suitable for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Multi-hop

Multi-hop is a customizable double VPN feature that enables you to select an entry and exit server. Your connection will then pass through both servers, giving you an additional layer of protection. The company says this was developed because its connections were being blocked in certain locations. It also claims multi-hop can increase performance in some situations, such as gaming, presumably by reducing latency.

SmartGuard

SmartGuard is a feature that uses DNS filtering to block ads, website trackers, and malicious sites. It functions essentially like an ad blocker in your browser but across your entire network. It’s also highly customizable — the controls can be accessed from the settings pane in the hide.me VPN app.

hide.me test results

We use standard tests available online to ensure the VPNs are working as expected. In our speed, streaming, and leak tests, hide.me performed admirably, with no major issues.

Speed tests

  • hide.me speed test results: Speedy but somewhat inconsistent

We run basic speed tests on all the VPNs we review. Due to their nature, VPNs are going to impact speeds — typically for the worse. After all, the service is adding stops along your signal’s path to the destination. However, some VPNs impact performance more than others, and that’s what we’re looking for here.

hide.me speed test results for US to US servers.

hide.me speed test results for US to EU servers.

hide.me speed test results for US to AU servers.

Overall, hide.me performed well. However, there were a few oddities in the tests that are worth pointing out:

  • hide.me maintained our symmetrical speeds for the U.S. to U.S. connection, but upload speeds dropped dramatically when connected to servers in Europe and Australia.
  • We actually saw an increase in upload speeds when connected to a U.S. server. This is an odd result.
  • Normally, we would expect speeds to drop more on servers that are further away. This means Australia should be our worst performer by far. While this was true for latency, it was not the case for download and upload speeds — these were actually consistently faster on the Australian servers than the European servers we tried.
  • Test results seemed highly inconsistent. Without changing any settings, we saw dramatically different results from test to test, particularly in Australia.

In terms of actual performance, everything felt fine, and we feel comfortable recommending hide.me on the basis of performance. However, these odd results are worth keeping in mind.

Tests were performed on a Mac Mini running the latest version of macOS from a physical location in the U.S.

hide.me speed test results

Test type No VPN US to US US to EU US to AU
Download speed 374.06 Mbps 222.99 Mbps 222.41 Mbps 233.29 Mbps
Upload speed 184.84 Mbps 224.44 Mbps 26.07 Mbps 51.04 Mbps
Latency (ping) 26 ms 55 ms 121 ms 217 ms
Download speed % difference N/A 40.39% slower 40.54% slower 37.63% slower
Upload speed % difference N/A 21.42% faster 85.90% slower 72.39% slower
Latency % difference N/A 111.54% higher 365.38% higher 734.62% higher

Test results as of 06/14/2023.

hide.me Netflix tests

  • hide.me Netflix test results: hide.me worked well with Netflix, giving access to libraries in each region we tried.

If you’re hoping to watch Netflix with hide.me, you’re in luck. We had no issues (well, no major issues, anyway) getting the streaming service to work across any of the regions in our testing: the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. hide.me was able to unblock and load the correct regional libraries and play the content.

hide.me VPN connected to a US sever alongside the Netflix homepage.

hide.me VPN connected to a CA server alongside the Netflix homepage.

hide.me even provides servers that are optimized for streaming by country.

The hide.me dashboard on the streaming location selection page.

The only issue we ran into was that occasionally Netflix would detect that we were using a VPN and block us from accessing the service. A reload of the page would resolve the issue, though, so we don’t consider it a dealbreaker. It happened only with the U.K. and Australian libraries — we never experienced the problem with U.S. content.

hide.me VPN connected to a UK server alongside the Netflix pop-up that has detected VPN use.

hide.me Netflix test results

US to US US to UK US to Canada US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?

Test results as of 06/14/2023.

DNS and WebRTC leak tests

  • hide.me DNS leak test results: hide.me passed with no issues.
  • hide.me WebRTC leak test results: hide.me passed with no issues.

We conduct Domain Name System (DNS) and WebRTC leak tests to verify that a VPN is actually doing the thing it’s supposed to do — keep your personally identifiable information private. These tests help verify that no info is being leaked by the VPN as you browse.

hide.me passed both of the tests we performed, successfully masking our IP address, location, and internet service provider (ISP). All we were able to see was information associated with the VPN server we were connected to, which is the expected behavior. You can count on hide.me to provide both DNS and WebRTC leak protection.

hide.me WebRTC leak test results.

hide.me DNS leak test results.

hide.me compatibility

hide.me offers compatibility with a wide range of devices — all the expected options are there for operating systems and mobile devices. This helps ensure that you always have a secure connection regardless of the device you happen to be using, which is really convenient in today’s multi-device world. hide.me also allows for 10 simultaneous connections, so depending on the size of your household, a good amount of your devices will be connected.

Here’s a list of all the supported devices:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Wireless routers

hide.me customer support

hide.me offers a variety of ways to get in touch with them if you need support. There are options for live chat, opening a support ticket, or getting community support from other users. There’s also an extensive knowledge base with tons of articles that walk you through setting up and using the VPN.

We tried the live chat option, which can be found in the bottom right corner of most pages on the website. We were connected to a representative almost immediately, and it appeared to be a real person and not a chatbot. Our question pertained to features available on the free plan, and it was answered quickly and accurately.

Overall, we’re happy with the level of support offered here. It’s worth noting that there is no telephone option available, which may be an issue for some.

hide.me prices and subscriptions

hide.me offers two plans: Free and Premium. The free plan is completely free, albeit limited in features and bandwidth allowance. It’s a good option to try out the VPN, although there’s also a money-back guarantee on the Premium plan.

The Premium plan unlocks all the features of the service and can be purchased: month-to-month, yearly, and a 27-month plan. The plans are all the same feature-wise — the only differences are price and commitment length. The longer you’re willing to commit, the cheaper the monthly price, with each term increase roughly halving the cost.

Compared to competing VPNs, the prices themselves are quite good, especially if you opt for the 27-month plan. That $2.69/mo price puts it right in line with the most affordable options on the market, such as CyberGhost and Surfshark. As such, hide.me is a great choice if you’re looking to save money on a VPN. Just note that you will have to commit to longer-term subscriptions if you want to save the most.

As far as payment options, hide.me accepts the following:

  • Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • SEPA
  • SOFORT
  • Mobile payment systems (Apple Pay and Google Pay)
  • Cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, ether, etc.)
  • Wire transfer

So, hide.me offers multiple ways for you to purchase your subscription and protect your privacy while doing it.

hide.me cost

Plan 1 Month 12 Months 26 Months + 2 Free Months
Best Value
Price per month $9.95/mo $4.57/mo $2.69/mo
Price per year $119.40/yr $54.95/yr $69.95/every 26 months
Learn more Get hide.me Get hide.me Get hide.me

hide.me offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on its paid plans, so you can try them risk-free.

hide.me plan comparison

Features Free Premium
Number of device connections 1 10
Number of server locations 8 79
Unlimited data No  — 10GB/mo
No-logs policy
Kill switch
Split tunneling
Multi-hop
Fixed IP address
Streaming support
Dynamic port forwarding
Details View Plan View Plan

hide.me FAQs


+

Is hide.me safe?

Yes, hide.me is safe to use. The company is reputable, it’s headquartered in a neutral location that isn’t part of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes alliances, and it has a strict no-logs policy that’s been independently audited.


+

Does hide.me VPN sell data?

No, hide.me does not sell your data. The company makes money from paid subscribers, so there’s not much incentive for them to alienate potential upgraders with shady business practices. These types of things are more common in VPNs that don’t have any other way to monetize their services.

Additionally, hide.me has a strict no-logs policy. This means there wouldn’t really be anything to sell, even if the company wanted to.


+

Is hide.me VPN completely free?

Yes, the hide.me free plan is actually free. In fact, we’d say it’s among the best free VPNs due to the focus on privacy.

Of course, there are some limitations on it that are designed to encourage you to upgrade: the free plan has a 10GB data limit each month, is limited to only one device at a time, and lacks most of the more advanced features (like multi-hop). However, if you just need to do some occasional private browsing, it’ll work just fine.

Bottom line: Is hide.me good?

We were really impressed with hide.me. It seems to check all the boxes: price, privacy, performance, and features. The fact that it’s independently owned is an additional bonus — when it comes to privacy, we just feel better about a company that’s not owned by a mega-conglomerate.

hide.me isn’t perfect, of course. Performance is solid, but upload speeds, in particular, took a big hit when connected to servers outside the U.S. We also ran into a few small hiccups with streaming, where Netflix detected our VPN use and gave us the boot.

Overall, though, these are fairly small complaints. We feel comfortable recommending hide.me to anyone looking for a fast, affordable, and secure VPN. And if you’re curious about other affordable VPNs, you can read our guide on the best VPNs for cheap.

3.9
Learn More
On hide.me's website

hide.me
  • Reasonable pricing, plus generous free tier
  • Independently reviewed no-logs policy
  • Fewer servers and server locations than many competitors
Author Details
Dave Schafer is a freelance writer with a passion for making technical concepts easy for anyone to understand. He’s been covering the world of gadgets, tech, and the internet for nearly 10 years, and his writing has been featured in a variety of print and digital publications. When he’s not writing, Dave can be found playing guitar or camping with his family and golden retriever, Rosie.