hide.me logo.
Image: hide.me

hide.me is a Malaysian-based VPN that offers a Free and Premium plan. The Free Plan is a lifetime-free version of the hide.me VPN service, which allows users to connect to the VPN in 8 different server locations using a single device at a time. In comparison, the Premium Plan allows subscribers to enjoy the full features of hide.me VPN, including StealthGuard, Port Forwarding, 10 simultaneous device connections, a choice of up to 89 server locations and unlimited data per month.

While both are good options for VPN users, below, I compared the two versions, looking into their features and pros and cons to help you decide which one suits your needs.

hide.me VPN Free vs. hide.me VPN Premium: Comparison

The table below provides a summary of how hide.me key features compare in both Free and Premium plans.

FeaturesFreePremium (starts at $2.69/month)
Port forwardingNoYes
Split tunnelingYesYes
Simultaneous device connections1 device at a time10 devices
Bolt “Fast Proxy”NoYes
Dedicated IPNoYes
Monthly data limitUnlimitedUnlimited
Server locations8 server locations89+ server locations

Feature comparison: hide.me VPN Free vs. hide.me VPN Premium

hide.me offers many features, some of which are available on both the Free and Premium plans.


SmartGuard is a Premium hide.me feature that provides users with a cleaner browsing experience by blocking malicious websites, ads and trackers trying to steal user information. The tool can also help users set parental controls to filter and block gambling or adult content during browsing.

Port Forwarding

This feature is exclusive to hide.me Premium users. The system allows a specific port to point directly to a user’s device using UPnP and NAT-PMP protocols. This way, ports are opened on hide.me servers instead of a user’s local router. The feature also adds an extra layer of security to a VPN connection, making it a good choice for users worried about data theft.

hide.me Port Forwarding.
Figure A: hide.me Port Forwarding. Image: hide.me


MultiHop works by tunneling VPN connections over multiple VPN server locations. hide.me offers this feature only on its Premium plan. The idea behind the technology is to make a user connection more difficult to track by ISPs, so users can bypass censorship placed in certain regions.

Multihop for hide.me.
Figure B: hide.me Multihop. Image: hide.me 

Split Tunneling

Split Tunneling is available on both the hide.me Free and Premium plans. It allows users to select apps they want to route via a secure VPN connection and the ones they don’t want to pass through the VPN at that particular time. Users can find this feature beneficial when they want to access local content but don’t want to disconnect from a VPN connection. The feature is only available on Android, Windows and MacOS apps and not on iOS.

hide.me Split Tunneling.
Figure C: hide.me Split Tunneling. Image: hide.me


Stealthguard is another unique feature available for Premium users only. The feature gives users the flexibility to select certain apps or their entire internet connection and limit them to a VPN connection only. This way, those apps won’t connect to the internet if they are not connected to hide.me VPN server, thus, reducing the possibility of data leaks when users forget to turn on their VPN before accessing the internet.

hide.me StealthGuard.
Figure D: hide.me StealthGuard. Image: hide.me

Device Connections

While hide.me Free VPN users are allowed to route their connection to one device at a time, Premium plan users can connect to 10 devices simultaneously. This number is fairly greater than what is obtainable with most VPNs, such as ExpressVPN which offers eight and NordVPN which offers six. Both hide.me plan users can enjoy unlimited data transfers monthly, plus 10 Gbps browsing speed. However, the Free version may be slower in terms of speed.

hide.me VPN Free pros and cons

hide.me Free VPN version offers some advantages and drawbacks. Consider these pros and cons when deciding to use the Free VPN service.

Pros of hide.me VPN Free

  • It is free forever.
  • Offers unlimited monthly data.
  • Can connect to 8 server locations.
  • Supports split tunneling.
  • Customer support has live chat.

Cons of hide.me VPN Free

  • Doesn’t support most features such as Port Forwarding, SmartGuard and MultiHop.
  • Can only connect a single device at a time.
  • Runs at a slower speed.

hide.me VPN Premium pros and cons

While more features are available on the premium plan, there are still some drawbacks to consider before making a buying decision.

Pros of hide.me VPN Premium

  • Offers unlimited monthly data.
  • Offers 10 simultaneous device connections.
  • Supports Port Forwarding, SmartGuard and MultiHop.
  • 10Gbps browsing speed.
  • Provides a dedicated IP.
  • Affordable pricing plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Pricing is flexible—available in one month, 12 months or 26 months.

Cons of hide.me VPN Premium

  • Split tunneling is not available on iOS.
  • 2,400 server networks is lower compared to other VPNs.


To get a clearer understanding of the hide.me functionalities on the two plans, I downloaded the VPN app on my Android. The Free version allowed me to access the available features and also test their level of functionality. During testing, I noticed that most hide.me security features like SmartGuard, MultiHop and Port Forwarding are locked from users on the Free Plan. Additionally, I wasn’t able to switch servers using the Free version. I supplemented my findings on the Premium Plan using information from the company website, user testimonials and user reviews from sites like Trustpilot.

Should your organization use hide.me VPN Free or hide.me VPN Premium?

From my findings, hide.me is an affordable VPN service for regular users looking for a VPN that offers a strong online security solution without charging a huge amount. If you have a small to medium team of at most 10 users, then hide.me Premium can serve you better as you can connect a single subscription to 10 devices simultaneously. Large organizations with hundreds of employees may not find hide.me ideal, as it won’t save costs on multiple device connections. The Free Plan is highly restricted from top features and should be okay for casual users who don’t have a higher security demand from a VPN service. Ultimately, your final decision will depend on the level of online security you need and the amount you’re willing to commit.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays