Founded and officially launched back in 2011, Hide.me is a Malaysia-based provider of VPN services. The company behind Hide.me is eVenture Limited.
Servers and locations
Hide.me has a total of over 100 servers located across 25 countries around the world. The list includes Canada, the US, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, Australia, India, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
For the complete list of countries as well as servers within a country, head here.
Supported VPN protocols
Hide.me supports a long list of VPN protocols, including IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, OpenVPN, SoftEther, and SSTP. The company says that it is the first VPN provider to offer IKEv2 VPN protocol in the VPN industry.
Hide.me offers support for most of the popular platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Support for other devices like routers and consoles is also there.
While custom apps are only available for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows, detailed setup guides are available for all platforms.
Hide.me offers three pricing plans: Free, Plus, and Premium. As the name suggests, the Free subscription doesn’t require you to shell out anything, while the other two set you back $5.42/month and $11.67/month, respectively.
“The hide.me Free plan is, and always will be, completely free,” the official website says. “There is no trial period, and the Free plan does not require you to add a credit card or other payment method. Not just that, it doesn’t even require you to signup or register.” You need to, however, manually renew the Free plan each month – it isn’t renewed automatically.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that for those that pay for 1 year in advance, Hide.me offers discounts of up to 45%.
Aside from offering a free subscription plan, Hide.me also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee for situations where the user isn’t satisfied by the service. However, as is usually the case, there’s a catch: “you will be given a 100% refund of the contract amount in case the bandwidth usage in not more than 500MB,” the website says.
As for supported payment modes, the official website lists the following options:
Limit on simultaneous connections
As clear from the pricing chart (see previous section), only those on the Premium plan are allowed to have simultaneous connections to the service – the maximum number stands at 5.
We reached out to the team behind Hide.me with a list of questions about their service. Here are their answers to some of our privacy-related queries:
Q. Do you keep ANY logs which would allow you to match an IP-address and a time-stamp to a user of your service? If so, what information and for how long?
A. We have developed our system with an eye on our customer’s privacy, so we created a distributed VPN cluster with independent public nodes that do not store any customer data or logs at all. We have also been audited by one of the finest security experts, Leon Juranic, who has certified us to be completely log free.
Q. Is BitTorrent and other file-sharing traffic allowed on all servers? If not, why?
A. There is no effective way of blocking file-sharing traffic without monitoring our customers which is against our principles and would be even illegal. Usually we only recommend our customers to avoid the US & UK locations for file-sharing but it is on a self-regulatory basis since these countries have strong anti-copyright laws in place.
Q. Which payment systems do you use and how are these linked to individual user accounts?
A. We support over 200+ international payment methods, including Bitcoin, PayPal, Credit Cards, Bank transfer and UKash. All payments are handled by external payment providers and are linked to a temporary payment ID. This temporary payment ID can not be connected to the user’s VPN account/activity. After the payment is completed, the temporary payment ID will be permanently removed from the database.
Q. What is the most secure VPN connection and encryption algorithm you would recommend to your users? Do you provide DNS leak protection and tools such as “kill switches” if a connection drops?
A. Our Windows client has the features such as kill switch, Auto Connect, Auto Reconnect etc which makes sure that the user is always encrypted and anonymous. Even though if one of our customer decides not to use the client, in our community there is a big variety of tutorials to help our customers to protect themselves against any sort of leaks.
Above all, we have put in some additional layers of security which include default protection against IP and DNS leaks. To ensure IP leak protection, As soon as the VPN connection is established, our application deletes the default gateway of the users’ Internet Connection so their local network becomes inaccessible. In such an instance you enforce the VPN usage adding another layer of security making IP leaks impossible and that’s not it. Our Windows app also blocks outgoing IPv6 connections automatically to prevent IP leaks. To guarantee DNS leak protection our Windows app helps users to set a public DNS to the main network interface so all DNS requests originating from a user’s computer are routed through Hide.me’s VPN network.
Above all, modern VPN protocols that we all support like IKEv2, OpenVPN and SSTP, are considered secure even after the NSA leaks. We follow cryptographic standards and configured our VPN servers accordingly in order to support a secure key exchange with 8192bit keys and a strong symmetric encryption (AES256) for the data transfer.