Any VPN review – or indeed, any review of technology available on the internet – is determined to a certain degree by the VPN’s website. Our Hideman VPN review is no different.
The Hideman website is among the most professional and attractive of any VPN we’ve come across recently. This immediately paints it in a good light, and we’re happy to report that this good light continues through most of our investigation into the VPN’s features.
Hideman VPN is a thoroughly secure service that safeguards its user’s personal information with some of the best encryption software, VPN protocols, and protective technology.
Partially due to this, however, Hideman is a relatively expensive VPN. The website attempts to offset this impression by offering a free version; however, this free version is not exactly up to par.
On the other hand, taking a closer look at Hideman VPN also reveals some pleasant surprises. For instance, it offers a range of browser extensions, including one for Safari. This makes it one of the only VPN services to do so.
When put to the test, though, it’s hard to say that Hideman VPN truly distinguishes itself in terms of practical elements such as server connection speeds.
Is Hideman VPN safe to use?
Right off the bat, Hideman VPN offers some of the best and most essential cybersecurity software available at the moment. It utilises an AES-256-bit encryption cipher, which is unhackable when it’s up and running.
Secondly, its protocol support is mostly impressive. It supports the industry favorite OpenVPN, as well as some of the more obsolete (but more popular) protocols PPTP and L2TP/IPsec.
With those features, plus the RSA-2048 handshake, Hideman VPN rivals the more well-known VPNs such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. It also packs a reliable kill switch, which safeguards your personal data if your connection drops.
This is particularly useful because those are the moments when hackers are able to bypass your VPN security and get a hold of your personal data.
Hideman LLC is a company registered in London, which puts it right at the heart of the 5 Eyes alliance. What this means is that it legally must comply with any data requests from the British authorities.
Of course, if you’re using a VPN to break the law, that’s your fault. The reason we’re concerned about this policy, however, is that the Five Eyes alliance and its partners (mainly Singapore and Japan), will have unbridled access to your web activity—which is the precise reason most people seek out a VPN in the first place.
The long and short of it: if you’re choosing Hideman VPN, do not be tempted by the free package.
Speed and performance
Once again, the financially tempting free package is a poor choice for those in need of a speedy connection. Download speeds are capped at 512 kb/s, which is not ideal in the slightest.
Moreover, most of the ‘big’ servers (i.e. UK or US) are disabled in the free version, which significantly incapacitates connection speeds for users in those regions. (To be more precise, the only servers you can connect to are in Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria.)
The paid-for subscriptions aren’t drastically better, either. Naturally, the closest servers provide the best connections and that’s certainly the case with Hideman VPN.
Nevertheless, while conducting tests for our review, we faced poor connections from overseas servers. Being based in the UK, we got on well with other servers in Western Europe, but US and Canadian servers were a bust.
This is certainly not ideal for accessing geo-restricted content, which is another big reason people seek out a VPN. Trying to stream US Netflix from abroad, for instance, is a non-starter.
If you want to enjoy great speeds, check out some of the VPN providers from our Fastest VPNs list.
Ease of use and support
Hideman VPN’s website is fairly lightweight overall, but it still manages to contain mostly everything a potential customer may want to know about the service before subscribing.
Further support is available through a ticket-based system. In more pressing circumstances, though, you are able to contact them via Skype during their working hours. (This appears to be 9 am–5 pm, GMT).
Likewise, the installation process is as streamlined as the overall website. It’s a simple process of downloading the client, and it pretty much connects without further ado.
As we mentioned, there is a free package available with Hideman VPN. This package is largely pointless, however; it limits your speed to 512 kb/s, your bandwidth to 2 GB/mo, and restricts your server fleet to just 3 in Eastern Europe.
The paid version comes in two guises. The first is the mobile-only package, which is $2.90/month for a single-month package, or $24.90 ($2.07/month) for a year-long subscription.
The “Ultimate” version, on the other hand, is available on desktop devices as well as mobile. It’s priced at $9.00/month for a single-month package or $69.00 ($5.75/month) for a year-long subscription.
This places Hideman in the upper region of the VPN price range. It isn’t the most expensive (some VPNs are over $8.00/mo), but there are certainly more cash-friendly options available.
The good thing, though, is that there is a range of secure payment options available, including Bitcoin which allows for an untraceable payment.
Hideman VPN for Netflix
Depending on the reason you’re interested in getting a VPN, Hideman may not be the ideal choice for you.
If you’re trying to access geo-restricted content, you’ll likely be dissatisfied with this service. As we mentioned earlier in this review, the connection quality for overseas servers is too low to stream video content properly.
In other words, accessing Netflix is the easy part – it’s the actual streaming that’s more-or-less impossible with Hideman VPN. Instead, choose on of the providers from our Best VPN for Netflix list.
Hideman VPN for torrenting
Hideman VPN openly supports torrenting, although it is wary of which servers it allows P2P connections. Servers based in territories where torrenting is illegal are marked on the dashboard.
Again, though, users who reside in locations some distance away from the P2P-friendly servers will find it difficult to properly torrent anything given the VPN’s less-than-desirable overseas connections.
Is it good for users in China?
To bypass the Great Firewall of China, a VPN must usually employ an obfuscated server, support the SSTP protocol, or support a modified version of the OpenVPN protocol (such as StealthVPN or Golden Frog’s Chameleon protocol).
Unfortunately, after peeking under the hood for our Hideman VPN review, we found little evidence to support its abilities to override content censorship in the PRC.
Indeed, the best protocol it supports is standard OpenVPN which has notoriously encountered issues with the Great Firewall in the past.
This isn’t to say that Hideman VPN wouldn’t be able to bypass firewalls in other such repressive countries as Belarus, Iran, and Iraq, but without an obfuscated server, it’s hard to say for sure.
Apps and extensions
The mobile version of Hideman VPN is only available on iOS and Android. The ultimate package is also available on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Chromebook.
One of Hideman’s standout features, however, is its wide range of browser extensions. It is available for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.
That latter point will be of particular interest for some users, as many browsers omit Safari in its browser capability. The only major VPN that does come with a custom extension for Safari is ExpressVPN, which is $3 more per month than Hideman.