HideIPVPN Review (2023)
What we like
- Intuitive client for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux
- 24-hour free trial
- Kill switch, DNS leak protection
- Solid encryption, OpenVPN
- Broad selection of protocols
What we don't like
- Not the broadest network of servers
- 30-day money-back is too limited
- Unresponsive customer service
HideIPVPN is a small but capable VPN provider with Moldovan roots. It provides consistently good speeds and unblocks a wealth of streaming websites. It supports most flavors of Windows, including Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile, as well as macOS, iPhone/iPad, Android, Chromebook, and Linux Ubuntu. You can also manually set up its VPN on modems and DD-WRT routers.
I went ahead with the 24-hour free trial (the trial is now three days). It requires no payment details, but you need to submit a valid email (no masked/disposable emails are allowed). I received two emails immediately upon registration – one containing user credentials for the website dashboard and another with credentials for the VPN. Simple. Fast. Kudos for that. Once I logged into my user dashboard, I was able to find the installer and setup instructions in a jiffy – the user area is compartmentalized and intuitive.
The Windows client is sleek and dead simple in usage yet complete with a few welcome toggles. Overall, it worked like a well-oiled machine and threw no glitches or performance issues. It also comes complete with a Support tab, where you can generate a log file and send it to support for debugging with a click of a button. It’s also jam-packed with useful links to your client area, setup guides, downloads, and legal pages.HideIPVPN’s Android OpenVPN-based app is equally easy-to-use and efficient. I was able to connect and get streaming in a matter of seconds.
As for the customer service, things got a bit wacky for me. The provider offers 24/7 live chat support, and the agent even greeted me (it could have been automated, though). But once I asked where the company was registered, the live chat window went mute and reloaded itself after about an hour of being idle, erasing my question. No kudos for that, especially since finding the company information wasn’t easy.
HideIPVPN allows five simultaneous connections per license and P2P-torrenting in these locations – Dutch, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Singapore. Its native VPN client comes complete with toggles to switch VPN protocols or use SmartDNS instead. This is a neat feature because most SmartDNS providers never bother to go beyond the hideous manual DNS setup. For OpenVPN, you can switch between TCP and UDP and protocols 443, 5005, 3389, 2460, and 992. No protocol switching is available for SSTP, though.
You can also enable the App Killer, which basically functions as a kill switch that closes listed applications when the VPN connection drops. You can also set the app to reconnect automatically and enable DNS leak protection.
The list of servers is sorted by country, and you can star each server separately. Smart Location will pick the most efficient connection for you. HideIPVPN has servers in the U.S., UK, Canada, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Singapore. I see the appeal of the small coverage for many users who would rather prefer several speedy servers in 2-3 select locations to a gazillion of servers they won’t use.
HideIPVPN offers a three-day free trial on its VPN + SmartDNS subscriptions and a 7-day free trial of its SmartDNS-only plan. It comes as no surprise then that the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee comes with draconian limitations. Namely, you only qualify for a refund if you can not connect to any of their VPN servers using all VPN connections available in your package, which is an unlikely scenario. You can’t ask for a refund if the speeds are unsatisfying, if you can’t unblock some streaming or gaming service, or can’t set up HideIPVPN on your modem or router.
Also, only Mac, Win, and Linux users are eligible for a refund, and not iOS or Android folks, since app store purchases are subject to the iTunes/Google Play refund policies. The provider positions itself comfortably in the middle of the VPN pricing line. It’s not too expensive, but it’s nowhere near cheap either.xf
Their monthly subscriptions kick in at 24 months for $2.99/month, 12 months for $4.99/month, and $6.99 month-to-month.
Their all-inclusive Ninja Power package includes all 27 premium VPN servers, SmartDNS, and Proxy. P2P is allowed on German and Dutch servers, and you can have five simultaneous connections per license. OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, SoftEther, IKEv2, and PPTP are supported. Priced at $9.99 per month, $22.98 per three months, and $69.96 per year, it’s certainly more attractive in the long-term subscription.HideIPVPN accepts credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin payments.
HideIPVPN passed my security tests with flying colors, revealing no DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks:
It also showed an acceptable speed drop during my synthetic speed tests. Just so that you can compare, here is my native speed without the VPN:
And here is my speed when I connected to the U.S. server:
the UK server:
and the Dutch server:
The best news of the day is HideIPVPN successfully bypassed the geo-blocks of Netflix:
Privacy and security
On the security front, HideIPVPN delivers a formidable selection of protocols, including SSTP, SoftEther, and the most secure of them, OpenVPN, complete with AES 256-bit and RSA 4096-bit encryption. These are rock-solid tech specs. At the same time, the provider is unreasonably secretive about its jurisdiction. The website contains no clues as to where it might be registered, so I had to run a WhoIs lookup. The VPN company was registered by Adrian Crismaru of Server Management LLC based in Delaware, US. This jurisdiction means gag orders and data retention laws apply to your log files and user account data.
Although the provider keeps no activity logs, it might block you or send you a warning if you torrent using any servers other than the ones allowed for torrenting. This means there is some sort of monitoring of what your account is up to on the network. The provider doesn’t keep your IP address but may store personally identifiable information you provide at checkout. Most troubling, however, is that the company will disclose your information to law enforcement without giving you a heads-up. If you should subscribe from a “high-risk” country or your order looks suspicious in any way, the company may request proof of your identity. If you should refuse, your account will be terminated without any refunds.
It saddens me how HideIPVPN comes in as a confident VPN with good speeds, excellent security specs, plenty of unblocked streaming sites.