Discover the strengths and weaknesses of this Malaysia-based VPN service with our in-depth review.
Hide.me is a Malaysia-based VPN service that offers a unique combination of a generous free tier, excellent security features, and advanced configurations. Although it may not be the perfect all-rounder VPN, it has its strengths that make it worth considering. In this review, we will discuss the pros and cons of Hide.me and explore its features, speed, and ability to unblock streaming services.
- 1. Hide.me at a Glance: Pros and Cons
- 2. An Overview of Hide.me: What Sets It Apart
- 3. Supported Platforms and Devices
- 4. Pricing and Subscription Plans
- 5. User Interface and Experience
- 6. Speed and Performance Analysis
- 7. Streaming Capabilities: What Can Hide.me Unblock?
- 8. Security and Privacy: Is Hide.me Safe to Use?
- 9. Final Verdict: Should You Choose Hide.me?
1. Hide.me at a Glance: Pros and Cons
|Generous free tier||Shorter plans are expensive|
|Excellent feature set||Slower than other VPNs|
|Reassuring security profile||Didn’t unblock all streaming services|
2. An Overview of Hide.me: What Sets It Apart
Hide.me is a VPN service that provides privacy protection and location disguising by routing your internet connection through a secure remote server. The strong encryption prevents ISPs from monitoring your online activities, and by choosing a server in a different country, you can access websites and streaming services that are usually restricted in your location.
The unique selling point of Hide.me is that it offers a free tier, allowing users to sign up and enjoy secure browsing without any costs. However, the free tier has some limitations, such as only five server locations, 10GB of data transfer per month, and no video streaming or peer-to-peer downloading capabilities.
By upgrading to a paid subscription, users gain access to 2,000 servers in 47 countries, unlimited data usage, and the ability to connect up to ten devices simultaneously.
3. Supported Platforms and Devices
Hide.me offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Fire TV. Additionally, it provides extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers. Users can also configure their routers to use the VPN connection for all network traffic, and Hide.me supports L2TP and PPTP protocols for routers without native VPN support.
4. Pricing and Subscription Plans
Hide.me’s pricing is not the cheapest on the market, but occasional deals make it a reasonable value. At the time of writing, the monthly subscription costs £9.99, while a one-year plan costs £79.99 (equivalent to £6.66 per month). The best deal is the two-year subscription for £99.99, which works out to £4.16 per month.
5. User Interface and Experience
The Windows Hide.me app has a slightly confusing interface, but users will eventually get the hang of it. The Android client is more logically laid out, with the location and settings buttons on the bottom of the screen. Both desktop and mobile platforms offer extensive auto-connect options, kill-switch, split-tunneling, and the Multihop feature.
6. Speed and Performance Analysis
Hide.me’s speed performance has dropped compared to previous tests. When connected to a London server, the download speed fell from 214Mbits/sec to 153Mbits/sec. Connecting to a New York server resulted in a slightly lower download speed of 141Mbits/sec. Despite the speed drop, the bandwidth is still adequate for most purposes. However, competitors like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have shown better performance in similar configurations.
Testing the VPN on an Android device also showed a decrease in download speeds when connected to UK and US servers. The split-tunneling feature, available on both desktop and mobile platforms, allows users to maintain higher speeds for apps that do not require VPN usage.
7. Streaming Capabilities: What Can Hide.me Unblock?
Although Hide.me provides sufficient bandwidth for 4K video streaming, it falls short in unblocking a range of video services. Connecting to a US-based server allows access to American Netflix and Disney Plus libraries, but UK-based services like BBC iPlayer, BritBox, and NOW remain blocked.
The situation is similar on the Android platform, where none of the UK-based services were accessible, and Netflix continued to display the UK library even when connected to a US server. The only positive was the ability to watch US Disney Plus shows on the Android device.
8. Security and Privacy: Is Hide.me Safe to Use?
Hide.me’s headquarters is in Malaysia, far from European and US data-sharing alliances, ensuring a high level of privacy. The company does not monitor user activity or keep records of accessed websites. Although Hide.me’s no-logging policy was audited and certified in 2015, more recent audits like NordVPN’s 2020 PwC audit are considered more reliable.
The software offers various features to enhance privacy, such as the multi-hop feature for added location obfuscation and auto-connection options with a kill-switch to prevent accidental data leaks over unencrypted connections.
9. Final Verdict: Should You Choose Hide.me?
Hide.me has its strengths and weaknesses. Its subscription packages may be expensive for short-term users, and it does not unblock all streaming services or provide the fastest speeds compared to competitors.
However, Hide.me’s generous free tier and advanced features make it an attractive option for specific users. Its comprehensive and configurable nature allows for a personalized balance of security and speed. The fixed IP and IPv6 support also enable it to handle difficult servers better than most VPNs.
In conclusion, Hide.me may not be the ideal choice for beginners or streaming enthusiasts, but it is a valuable option for tech-savvy users who value control and configurability in a VPN service.