You Should Get a VPN. I use Hide.me

Surfing at Macdonalds

Right off the top I imagine some of you are asking “What the heck is a VPN?” Well, a VPN is a Virtual Private Network…that protects and secures your data. Try to imagine it as a tunnel between your computer and the destination connection that wraps a wall around all your data making it impossible for an outsider to access your data.

VPN Tunnel

This is especially valuable if you are using public WiFi facilities such as a cafe, airport or train. In this situation all someone needs is a simple piece of software to steal your data right out of the air. So this feature alone is enough to justify getting a VPN. But it is not the only benefit to a VPN.

Surfing at Macdonalds

It can also be used to anonymize your surfing so you cannot be tracked back to your IP Address. Many, but not all VPN Providers do not keep logs. No logging makes it impossible for Government, bad guys even the provider for example to identify you.

A VPN can also give you a virtual location in another country..for example if you are in a jurisdiction that blocks internet content a VPN allows you to move your virtual location to somewhere else. A more common situation; How often have you clicked on a video to get a message that it is not available where you live..a VPN can move your virtual location to somewhere that video is available.

Video not available

Now if you think a VPN is for you a quick Google search will reveal hundreds if not thousands of providers all promising to be the best. So how do you pick one…first look for the features you want..for example if being anonymous is important to you look for providers with that feature. You also want lots of bandwidth so surfing doesn’t drag and emails don’t take forever to download. The best way to determine this is to look for providers that offer free trials.

Probably the best way is to get recommendations from someone you trust. Me, for example. I have tested dozens of free and premium VPN services and most have quickly left me wanting especially when it comes to bandwidth. However, I have been using Hide.me for over a month now and I have been really impressed.

Hide.me is a Malaysian based company that has been in business since 2012. Currently the company operates 28 servers in 23 countries. The servers do not permanently store IP addresses, nor do they store logs. All offer low ping times which is good for gamers.

Hide.me Servers

As I said, I have been using Hide.me for over a month and tested about a dozen servers but settled one in Quebec and one in the Eastern US for everyday use. At any time of day ping times have been consistently decent and download speeds have remained high even at traditionally busy times. Throughout I have not had a single dropped connection.

Server compare

Setup is a breeze..For Windows, Android and iOS , Hide.me offers an app that takes care of the heavy lifting. An app is coming soon for OS X . On my Mac I had to use the built in client but Hide.me offers a step by step guide and I was ready to go in a couple of minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.30.42 PM

Customer service is also an important part of the equation when deciding on a VPN. I tested Hide.me customer service using both the chat system and the ticket system. I conducted my test on a Sunday which I guessed would be a worst case scenario. On both systems response was prompt and knowledgeable. The chat service provided quick answers to general question but had to refer me to the ticket system for a technical issue. I received a response to my ticket within two hours. Very satisfactory.

Overall, Hide.me is the most consistent VPN I have used, no dropped connections and upload/download speeds from North American servers have always tested at the level provided by my ISP. Download speeds from Eastern European servers dropped to 30Mbps but ping and upload speed remained the same.

Hide Me has three pricing levels starting with limited access for free.

Hide.me Prices

I signed up for Premium but since my download needs are modest I could easily use the lower priced Plus level.

Hide.me is a reliable fast VPN solution that offers all the features you could want plus excellent support at reasonable prices. I recommend it.