Hide.me VPN Review: Will It Hide You?


Hide.me logo

Hide.me is a VPN service that’s been around for a while and which goes heavy on the marketing, claiming many firsts and positioning itself as the best in many fields. I took a hard look at Hide.me and its claims to see how it stands up to scrutiny.

The short version is that Hide.me has a lot to offer. It’s fast, gets through to streaming services, and does all this at a reasonable price. However, I feel a bit iffy about its privacy, and I don’t like how it fiddles with the truth in some of its marketing material. The result is a service that makes it into our roundup of the best VPNs, but only at the lower rungs.

Here’s What We Like

  • Great price
  • Gets through to Netflix
  • Anonymous free plan

And What We Don’t

  • Privacy policy is hard to find
  • Some false marketing claims
  • Interface is a bit awkward

How-To Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews.

Hide.me at First Glance

Hide.me offers clients for a huge number of operating systems, on par with ExpressVPN. There are apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android, and even Blackberry. Linux users can also install Hide.me, though all they get is a command-line interface. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, plus installations for routers and NAS devices.

Once you’ve settled on your app of choice and installed it, you’ll be greeted by a screen that I can only describe as drab. While it gets the job done, it’s a far cry from the colorful displays I’ve gotten used to reviewing all these VPNs. No map like with NordVPN, no tight design like with Mozilla VPN, just a deeply meh color scheme.

Hide.me main interface

That said, it’s not the most important thing, and at least Hide.me’s designers didn’t go overboard with the bells and whistles like Proton VPN’s did. I have to say, it all works really well: just click on the “enable VPN” button and you’ll connect, and at lightning speed, too.

However, there’s an annoyance. For some reason, the designers decided that the server selection screen should be in another tab, accessed via the bottom of the app. This means that to select a server, you need to go to another menu, select it, then go back to the main screen and connect from there. It’s a little irritating, and it seems unnecessary.

Thankfully, this is a singular issue, as all other menus and screens follow more conventional wisdom. For example, the settings are clearly laid out on a single screen, with tabs for subsections on the left. The settings are also very flexible. A good example is the split tunneling feature, which lets you choose whether to run the VPN for all programs, or instead include or exclude a set selection.

Hide.me's settings screen

I like it when you can choose between different ways to implement options, and it speaks well to Hide.me that it lets you mess around like this. Another good example is its multi-hop feature, which lets you connect any server to any server. Though I have my doubts about the utility of these double VPN-type connections, it’s nice that you’re not locked in.

Hide.me double VPN selectionYou

Hide.me and Netflix

Like other VPNs, Hide.me boasts that it can help you get through to streaming platforms like Netflix. It has servers set up especially for this purpose, which are accessed through a separate menu also at the bottom of the app.

Hide.me's streaming servers

I’m happy to say that I tested all of these servers and all of them worked—I got through to Netflix every time. I’m guessing that Hide.me is using residential IPs or some other kind of networking wizardry to make it work. Whatever the case, it’s impressive. Even better, there’s barely any drop in speed, so there are no endless buffering screens for Hide.me users.


Hide.me is well priced, costing around $45 for 15 months of service, or $3 per month (depending on if you can catch a promotional deal). The duration seems a bit odd, but I have the feeling that its origins lie in some marketing ploy by the company (“sign up for a year and get three months free!”), which then turned into a fixture.

Note: Shortly after writing this review, Hide.me adjusted its standard pricing to include a 24-month plan (plus 2 free months) for $3.84/month. The VPN provider will likely run different promos throughout the year, but the pricing should be within a few cents.

Hide.me prices

The main thing is that the service will cost this much in perpetuity. There don’t seem to be any nasty surprises when you renew your subscription, like with Surfshark or NordVPN to name but two.

Besides the 15-month plan, you can also go month-to-month—which is a bad idea in terms of cost—or pay $35 for six months, which also doesn’t seem worth it. If you like Hide.me, I would just pay the full price as it beats every other quality VPN out there, with the exception of Private Internet Access, which is $80 for three years. That said, I like that you’re not signing on for three years, so that may give Hide.me an edge.

Hide.me’s Free Plan

For some, the biggest draw to Hide.me is its free plan, which offers 10GB of bandwidth at no cost. It’s pretty spiffy, though I like it less than Windscribe’s free plan. For one, Windscribe offers more servers—10 as opposed to 8—and also better speeds.

Hide.me's free servers

Still, you can’t argue with a free lunch, and I like how Hide.me doesn’t ask you for your email address. Simply download the app, and off you go. That said, if you do create an account using your email address before downloading the app, you get a five-day free trial of the full plan.

If you’re only using the free plan as a way to check out if Hide.me is the right pick for you, you may want to consider this route, instead. Alternatively, Hide.me comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Hide.me’s speeds are impressive. As usual, I tested its speeds by first testing my own in Cyprus, which came in just north of 100Mbps, then testing four locations around the world—foregoing my usual Israel for Greece as Hide.me doesn’t have servers in the land of milk and honey. The results speak for themselves.

Location Ping (ms) Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps)
Cyprus (unprotected) 5 103 41
Greece 78 97 39
United Kingdom 83 95 40
New York City 132 93 39
Japan 295 91 38

These results are excellent, on par with the fastest VPNs out there—only Mullvad beats it. Even connecting to the other side of the world to places like New York and Japan, Hide.me only loses a fraction of its speed. The streaming servers are just as good, too, the only letdown is the ping, but that’s uniformly awful when using a VPN.

These results almost—almost—make you want to believe the untrue marketing Hide.me has put in its FAQ page, where it claims VPNs only influence connection speeds in certain cases. This is patently false, VPNs do slow you down, it’s just a matter of how much. It’s misleading to claim otherwise, and I’m disappointed that Hide.me resorts to this kind of thing. Usually, it’s only untrustworthy VPNs that share messaging like this.

Hide.me FAQ screengrab

Still, you can’t argue with these excellent results, though be aware that they don’t extend to the free servers, which underperform pretty badly. For example, the free German server gave me a speed of just 10Mbps. Then again, that’s to be expected since free servers will experience a heavier load, which is the biggest factor in VPN slowdown.

Security and Privacy

Finally, let’s take a look at something I’m not too impressed with. For some reason, Hide.me makes it kind of hard to find its privacy policy. I found some anchor text left in older blog posts, but the actual legal document and any links to it were gone. I ended up having to go to support for it, who, to their credit, answered me in less than 15 minutes.

The privacy policy is similar to most others of its kind in that it promises that Hide.me keeps no logs of any kind, nor does it keep any personal information on you besides your email address—something you can avoid with a free account. Of course, it will cooperate with law enforcement when forced to do so, but since there’s no data, there’s nothing to share.

As with all VPNs, you’re taking these assurances at face value. However, there are no records of there having been any scandals involving the service, so it all seems above board. That said, I’m still left a little uneasy: while I like the plain language of the privacy policy, it’s buried under mountains of self-congratulatory marketing material.

For example, Hide.me prides itself on being the first VPN to ever undergo an external audit in 2015—a claim that I can’t verify—but then does not link to the audit itself, there’s only a press release. Also, there’s no word whether or not an audit has been performed since, only links to Hide.me’s transparency reports.

These transparency reports, which detail how often Hide.me received information requests, are a good thing to have. I much prefer them over warrant canaries or just bland assurances. Together with the privacy policy, they should assuage my feelings of unease, but the marketing cant is laid on so thick at times it’s hard to shake.

Is Hide.me’s Free VPN Safe?

Thankfully, Hide.me’s security is a lot more clear-cut: it’s solid. While running my speed tests, I also made sure to check for leaks and found none. While Hide.me offers a smorgasbord of the best VPN protocols to choose from, it defaults to WireGuard, making it both fast and safe to use.

Hide.me's VPN protocols

Also, in a breath of fresh air, Hide.me has its kill switch on by default, something which should be standard but isn’t. The result of all this is a VPN that’s safe to use when it comes to external threats, though internal ones are, for now, a little more intangible.

Should You Subscribe to Hide.me VPN?

The best way to describe my feelings about Hide.me is “ambiguous.” On the one hand, it’s fast and good for streaming, offering a decent interface and good pricing. On the other, though, the way the VPN provider sometimes hides details about how it works or just outright midleads about what it can do gives me pause.

As a result, I think Hide.me is a great choice for people that need a VPN mainly to unblock Netflix and occasionally spoof their location for convenience’s sake. For more serious purposes, I would recommend Mullvad or IVPN, instead.


Starting At $3.84/Month

Here’s What We Like

  • Great price
  • Gets through to Netflix
  • Anonymous free plan

And What We Don’t

  • Privacy policy is hard to find
  • Some false marketing claims
  • Interface is a bit awkward

Original Article