Hide.me review: A good service with zippy servers

Hide.me is a great service with an easy-to-use app, solid speeds, but it'd be better if we knew who was behind the service.

Credit: Hide.me

Hide.me in brief:

  • P2P allowed: Yes
  • Business location: Malaysia
  • Number of servers: 150+
  • Number of country locations: 34
  • Cost: $60/$120 per year
  • VPN Protocol (default): IKEv2
  • Data encryption: AES-CBC-256
  • Data authentication: HMAC-SHA2-256
  • Handshake encryption: ECP521

Every VPN claims to be the fastest, or one of the fastest, services on the Internet, but often those claims don’t pan out. Malaysia-based Hide.Me not only claims it’s fast, but has the annual charge to prove it. How did that work out for the company? Let’s take a look.

Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

hideme 5 IDG

Hide.me with a live connection.

Features and services

When you first open up Hide.me it’s satisfyingly simple. There’s a big Enable VPN button right in the middle of the interface, in the lower-right is a Change button to switch locations, and the lower-left has your current IP address and country.

Taking a look at the list of the countries, there are 34 to choose from in a scrolling, searchable list and very easy to scroll through. Hide.me also notes on the far right of each location whether you can use it for P2P file sharing. If you see a green P2P symbol then you’re good to go, if it’s red then you’re not.

At this writing, the only red countries were Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the upper-right corner of the Hide.me app is the Settings icon. Most of the settings are pretty standard stuff such as an internet kill switch and the option to launch the app during startup.

hideme 3 IDG

Hide.me’s fallback configuration settings.

One nice option in Hide.me is the VPN protocol fallback configuration under Settings > Protocol > Fallback configuration. Here you can specify the order that the app tries to connect using the various VPN protocols. If IKEv2 fails, for example, you can specify that the app tries OpenVPN or SSTP next.

By default on Windows 10, Hide.me users IKEv2, but under Settings > Protocol > VPN protocol you can change the default to OpenVPN, SoftEtherVPN, and SSTP.

Hide.me has two pricing tiers. The first is Plus and offers one simultaneous connection and a maximum of 75GB of data transfer per month. The second tier is Premium and offers five simultaneous connections and unlimited data transfer. Plus is priced at $60 per year and Premium is $120. The Premium tier is pretty much the standard service you’d get with any VPN, making Hide.me one of the most expensive VPNs we’ve looked at.

Hide.me is available for Windows, Mac, Andrdoid, iOS, and (for all five of you out there still rocking a Lumia) Windows 10 Mobile.

Performance

Hide.me says all of its more than 150 servers have a minimum of one-gigabit-per-second uplink. The company owns all of its own servers and does not use virtualized servers.

Overall, Hide.me was quite fast, scoring nearly 49 percent of the base speed. That’s an above-average score, but doesn’t quite take down the current speed champ, HotSpot Shield.

Even if it’s not the fastest, speed is not something you have to worry about with Hide.me. At least when it comes to download speeds. Upload speeds were closer to average compared to other services.

Privacy, anonymity, and trust

hideme 2 IDG

Hide.me’s country list.

Hide.me makes all the right promises in its privacy policy. Hide.me does not record your website visits, and it doesn’t store connection logs and timestamps that could match your VPN IP address in a given session with your real IP. The only thing Hide.me does track is bandwidth usage on a monthly basis, which is used for billing and network maintenance.

When you first sign up for Hide.me, the company only requires an email address, and it says it keeps it in encrypted form on its website to protect your privacy. You can pay for Hide.me with the standard credit cards and PayPal, and a wide variety of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Ripple.

The parent company of Hide.me is eVenture Ltd., and the official registered office is Level 2, Lot 19, Lazenda Commercial Centre Phase 3, 87007 Labuan, Federal Territory of Labuan, Malaysia. Hide.me does not publish the leadership or the team behind the company on its site, but a company representative told me the founder and CEO is Sebastian Schaub who, according to his LinkedIn profile at least, is based in Malaysia. 

That’s a little surprising since most VPNs based in exotic locales are usually there in name only while the team is spread out across the globe.

Conclusion

Hide.me is a very capable service with excellent speeds and a very easy-to-understand interface. The privacy policy is also good, with the right promises, and the payment scheme allows for a good amount of anonymity. It’s a good service and one that even beginners can enjoy, with a few customization options for power users.

Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?