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TOP # 10 HIDE.me VPN
HIDE.me VPN is one of the top best VPN services available !
Hide.me VPN is a Malaysian-based VPN provider with a large German presence. Though there are some minor downsides, and their Premium (best) plan is on a more costly end of the spectrum, recent updates to their Windows app, plus a logging audit and revamped transparency policy have substantially improved their offering.
Pricing & Plans
hide.me has three different plans: Free, Premium, and Plus. If you want the best experience, then we’d recommend getting the Premium package as it allows five simultaneous connections and doesn’t have a data transfer limit. The Free plan is limited in some aspects but it useful for judging the service or if you’re low on funds. If you only use VPN from time to time and not constantly, then the Plus package could suit you as well.
These plans all come with increasing discounts the longer you sign up for. The Premium ranges from $20/month going as little as $11.67 and the Plus ranges from $10/month going as low as $5.42. These prices are in the mid-to-high end range of the VPN spectrum but for this you get a high-quality service.
To purchase your account, hide.me allows over 80 different payment types, most notable of these are: Bitcoin, PayPal, and Wire Transfer.
While the Free plan is an excellent way to test the quality of the service it is nice to see that hide.me also has a refund policy: within 14 days and less than 500MB used. While slightly restrictive, we think this criterion is more than adequate to the test the quality of the VPN service.
hide.me (parent company eVenture Ltd) is a VPN based in Malaysia with a large German presence as this was their initial market, but now they have gone global so nearly everything is available in English. Their German forum has a bit more information than the English one and you’ll need an online translator to understand it (unless you speak German of course).
They have a large number of protocols you can use, great speeds and superb security. They also have upwards of 115 servers in 23 countries worldwide – most of which allow P2P and as mentioned you can be connected with up to five devices.
Security & Privacy
Following an audit by Leon Juranic of Defense Code Ltd., hide.me are now certified completely log-free. Even free users are no longer subject to data transfer logs. What’s more, hide.me has recently begun publishing a transparency report of requests by authorities for information on users of their service; as they say on their website, their standard response to such requests is to state that, as they keep no logs, they are unable to provide any such information. As they are based in Malaysia, they are also outside both EU and US jurisdiction, and they say they will move locations if unlikely circumstances forced them to.
They have a great amount of protocols: as well as PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv1 and IKEv2, they’ve recently added SoftEther support too. This is great as it allows you to choose the best protocol for speed and security – naturally we’d recommend OpenVPN or IKEv2 (you can read more about these here). For these, they use the very secure AES 256bit encryption. They also support SOCKS proxy; you can read more about this here.
Another reason why they are amazing is that they are amongst a very few providers who offer dynamic port forwarding, which security wise is a more optimal solution than strategically exposing ports of the customer’s device, and this is exceptionally easy to set up.
The hide.me website is really well designed with fluid elements and easy navigation. The set-up guides are easy to find and follow making it easy to get connected.
hide.me’s primary support is via a contact form. As with all other providers it was easy to use. We received replies exceptionally quickly, even at the weekends and their support was very informative and helpful.
hide.me also has a community page where the Admins and developers are very active. This is great in case you have a general question which would interest all the users of the service, and also because your problem might have also been asked and solved. While it’s easy to browse, unfortunately you can’t use your normal hide.me account to sign in to the community and have to create another account – this is done for security reasons.
Due to hide.me’s high attention to security, it’s no surprise that all you need in order to register is an email address. Once you activate your account you will only be asked to enter a username and nothing more.
Even during payment your privacy is protected. During the payment process you’re assigned a unique ID which is then deleted meaning your payment can’t be tracked to a specific account. As mentioned it is also possible to pay by Bitcoin.
The Windows VPN client
While using the hide.me client was a pleasurable experience overall, we had one big issue with it: it didn’t support OpenVPN. While they do support OpenVPN and have setup guides for it, we’d prefer it if it was built into their client.
On the bright side, simple connections can be run without needing administrator privileges so more people on your computer can use it. With administrator privileges you can also benefit from a Kill Switch, IP leak protection and DNS leak protection. There’s also a ‘fallback protocol’ to automatically reconfigure your connection settings if a connection fails the first time around. Alongside this you can choose between an PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2 connection. Of these we’d recommend using the IKEv2 connection as not only is it fast and secure but it’s also resilient to network changes (e.g. if you’re on the move).
With so many protocols to choose from, we found that hide.me provides you with truthful recommendations on which protocols to use, their relative pros and cons and also how to set it up – so you can always be securely connected.
Performance (Speed, DNS and IP Test)
As you can see from the below table the speeds were all great, whether we were using OpenVPN or IKEv2. The DNS Leak test all came back clear (OpenDNS), however there were some problems with the IP checks. When connected to one of their NL servers our address appeared to be in Germany according to some databases but in NL according to others, the DNS leaks were in NL from all test. We questioned them about this and we got the following reply:
Most of our users are from Germany, so Google gets a lot of cookies from Germany over our VPN servers in Netherlands, and because of that they believe that the some of IP address of our VPN servers are from Germany. That is an error on the Google side. Unfortunately we don’t have any influence on that.
As well as their proprietary software for Windows, hide.me has an Android app on the Play store. With its clean, simple interface, we found this very easy to use. As it connects via the IKEv2 protocol it should cope very well with users on the move, and we found it to be lightning-fast establishing its AES-256 encrypted connection. They’ve also just released an iOS app based on the (slightly less secure but still good) IPSec IKEv1 standard, so users of either mobile platform are now well accommodated.
It’d be nice to see a wider variety of protocols supported – as well as perhaps options to automatically connect on open WiFi networks for example – but at present, the options are limited to language and country choice, as well as the welcome ability to view a debug log. As with our computer speed tests the reduction was slightly higher than we’d like to see but still remained more than adequate for carrying out any online activities.
Setup guides are provided for all other major platforms and for all encryption protocols, and we found them easy to follow.
As for the simultaneous connections option, the one big downside we found with this is that you have to set it up on their website first before you’re able to connect from another device – something we’ve never seen before. We questioned them about this and they claim this has been implemented in such a way in order to increase security, and in their words:
This is done so users can turn uPnP (automatic port forwarding) on/off and adjust features to accommodate customer’s security requirement for a particular device.
Other/ Free Services
Like many VPN providers hide.me also has a free proxy on their website. The proxy allows you to choose from three different location (NL, DE, US) and allows you to vary a number of settings such and scripts and cookies
Hide.me VPN Review Conclusion
Lots of protocols to choose from
IKEv2 is great for travelling
Android & iOS apps
Great features on Windows client
Up to 5 simultaneous connections
We weren’t so sure about
Overall we think that hide.me is a great provider. They get plenty of good marks for security, protocol and speeds. The few downsides to their service shouldn’t bother the average VPN user, and the recent switch to fully logless plus regular transparency reports is a real plus for anyone concerned about freedom from unwanted scrunity.
IPs : 115+
Bandwidth : Unlimited
Money Back : 14 days
Price : $ 5.42
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