HideMy.name Review

Pros:


  • One has the option to select
    different protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP. For iOS, they even offer IKEv2
    protocol which is one of the latest protocols.
  • You can even change the level
    of encryption by selecting different key lengths offered. A lower key length
    must be selected only if the higher key length is using a high amount of system resources.
  • The company is located in Belize which is fortunately not
    one among the Fourteen Eyes. Also, there are no strict data retention laws in
    this country.
  • The client has very fast connectivity that establishes the VPN connection before
    ten seconds.
  • The FAQ section has well-elaborated answers to many questions, doubts, and issues. One can explore it under various
    sub-sections.
  • They have the server locations
    in nearly fifty countries, and each server location has two to sixteen IP addresses
    which are enough to render good speed.
  • If the speed is taken into consideration, this VPN provider
    is trustworthy as our speed test result provided us good speed in both the
    cases (download and upload).
  • They even provide a five-year plan which is available at just $119.
    It is one of the cheapest plans available for purchasing a VPN client.
  • One can check the prominent
    servers for connection by checking the speed test and ping through the built-in “Speed Test” tab.
  • One can also choose HTTP or
    SOCKS5 proxy under the proxy options.
  • They provide live chat support that
    usually replies within a minute and so, you don’t need to wait long for getting
    your issues solved.

Cons

  • There is no extension available even for the popular web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
  • There are no server sorting or filtering options. All you can do is to identify the efficient server for your location manually, and then put them in the favorite server list. No separate lists for P2P and streaming servers are present.
  • They do not have their DNS servers, and one needs to use third-party DNS servers and that could be risky as the data about the DNS requests is stored by an entity other than the provider.
  • They do not provide IPv6 leak protection which is a serious threat, and the data may get leaked through it.

Overview

GUI Before and After Connecting

inCloak Network Ltd. is the company that owns HideMy.name. It is headquartered in the beautiful Belize city where no surveillance program is conducted by the government.
It is nowhere related to any of the Fourteen Eyes, and hence, the user is safe from the government.

Also, the country doesn’t have any hard
data retention laws, and that’s why it’s easy for HideMy.name to maintain the
no log policy.

However, the application has a few
limitations which may affect the user severely. Even after providing a high
speed, a number of servers,
customer-oriented privacy policy, and a vast
number of features, the product might be lacking something.

One would surely know about this VPN
service if he studies the review and learns
about the different aspects by which the product is judged.

However, those limitations may not affect
you, and if that’s the case, you can buy
the product right away because of its cheap yearly plans.

Servers

Server’s Map

By using their online map, you can see the
exact location of their servers.

Right now, they provide servers in forty
plus countries. That’s a pretty huge number.

A total number of servers is nearly a hundred, and it is the universal fact that more the servers, better the
speed.

Even the quality and user-server ratio matter
for speed (that we will discuss in the speed section).

So, now the question is: for what countries, buying HideMy.name would be a good idea?

As the servers are directly related to
speed, and speed is a major factor, the countries where there are no nearby
servers should not buy HideMy.name.

However, the VPN provider has smartly
covered many locations for which it renders high speed.

Let’s put an eye on Europe first! There are
twenty plus countries in Europe where one can find the servers. Even if your
country is located in Europe and doesn’t have any server location, there is
nothing to worry!

There would be multiple server locations near
to your country to which you can connect.

There are multiple server locations in the
countries such as the Netherlands, the UK,
and Germany. They even offer server
locations for the Balkan countries.

When it comes to the United States,
expectations have no boundaries, and for
any case, a huge number of servers are required.

In HideMy.name’s case, there are only nine server locations in the whole country.

Out of these nine locations, seven are located in the north-eastern part. That’s
why, for United States users, more
servers are required.

For Asian user, it could be a good option
as in addition to the main targeted countries,
they are adding the servers to cover the complete potential user base.

So, what’s left? Oceania, Africa, and South Africa; only one server is located in each. That’s why we won’t recommend
the users of these continents to purchase hideMy.name VPN service.

But wait! If you want them to add a new
server location, you can always contact them.

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

The refund policy is highly specific, and even if you are not satisfied with the
service, you need to provide a suitable reason for the refund. Also, you need
to prove that you have made reasonable attempts to contact the support team.

However, we haven’t discussed the main
concern yet.

The major issue is the limitation on the
total traffic. You cannot claim the refund
if the total traffic exceeds five Gigabytes.

Also, even if they agree for refunding you
the paid amount, they won’t refund the commission which the payments systems
have charged. So, though the fault is not yours, some amount will be charged
for sure.

That’s the reason we would suggest that
first, one should purchase the product for the shortest plan available, and then if it’s good enough for you, you can
continue with it. That would save you from contacting them again and again for the refund.
Even if they don’t provide any refund,
there won’t be any major loss.

VPN Control Panel

VPN Control Panel Web page not working

As soon as you connect with the VPN through
the client, somehow, the website knows about the connection. We are not sure if
it collects any kind of data for that,
but according to the privacy policy, they
are not collecting any unnecessary PII.

After the connection, an extra tab will
appear on the website with the name “VPN Control.” Through this tab, you can discover some additional settings
which are not available on the client.

However, when we clicked on the tab, we
were unable to connect with the settings as it kept synchronizing, but the
settings page never opened.

One can open additional settings through FAQ page

Another way to reach the settings is
through FAQ page > Questions Regarding VPN > Before and during the use of
service. From this, you can discover settings which you would have opened via
VPN control tab.

In these settings, you can see the
Statistics about the IP address to which you are connected. It also shows the
information about the total connection time and bandwidth usage. That’s good, but then the negative part is that the company
may log the details about total connection time and bandwidth usage.

Still, these settings are highly useful in terms of functionality and security.

They offer Port Forwarding option which allows the user to access devices
remotely. That helps to connect a distant device through the VPN anytime.

Also, the options such as OpenVPN Firewall and NAT Firewall safeguard the system from
unwanted data packets which try to enter in the system without the user’s
knowledge.

Connection Time Analysis

Trial No.Time taken to establish a connection (Seconds)
Average Time In Seconds7.16
18.88
27.62
36.48
47.34
57.1
67.28
76.78
87.42
96.41
106.32

Less than ten seconds! what can one expect
more?

That’s great that even after having only a
hundred servers, it renders such a low connection time. One can connect with
the VPN within no time.

The precision is high as the connection
time range is just 2.5 seconds, and that’s how
one can predict that in what time the VPN client is going to connect.

It also proves that the VPN application is
reliable in terms of connectivity.

However, it must be noted that, for this connection
time analysis, the closest server location which was one thousand five-hundred kilometers
was selected.

The connection time could be higher if the
server is located at a closer distance. This is possible when a European user connects to the VPN for utilizing the service.

Bandwidth and Speed

Speed Test Before and After Connections

When we were going through the server
locations, we were expecting an acceptable speed, but not this high.

The original speed before connecting with
the VPN was 9.88 Mbps and 8.85 for downloading and uploading respectively.

After connection, the reduction wasn’t significant.

With a download speed of 8.55 Mbps, the reduction was just 15%.

Similar decrement was noticed in the case of upload speed. The reduction was only 19%
with a speed of 7.23 Mbps.

One needs to select the server manually.
This server location was from our own country. However, the distance was still
huge (1500 kilometers).

Security

Third Party DNS

This is where the disappointment is huge.

On one side, they provide different
encryption levels to define the security according to our own requirement. They even have a built-in kill switch, multiple protocol options, and an option to select NAT Firewall.

On another side, they don’t even own DNS servers and require third-parties which may
store DNS requests. Also, there is no IPv6 leak protection which makes the
application vulnerable.

When we look at the positive side, you have
the option of adjusting the level of security using the encryption type. In
that way, you can select AES 256-bit key encryption which is most advanced. If
you wish to select AES, but with a lower key length, then also you have the option.

Their no log
policy strictly mentions that they do not store any data through the client.

However, if you visit their website, your
IP address will be stored.

It depends on the user whether he takes it as a security threat or not.

But at last, no one can ignore the fact
that the by default DNS server address is 8.8.8.8 which is the Google DNS
server, and we obviously do not recommend connecting to it.

If they wish to make their security tougher, then the first act that they need to do is to install their DNS server which does not store any logs.

User Interface and Experience

UI Sections

The user interface looks dull to us.
However, like many other aspects, the opinion changes from user to user.

One can connect to the VPN service by just
pressing the connect button appearing on the screen.

For more settings, one needs to press the
settings thumbnail present on the bottom right corner of the application.

The general settings are the ones which are
related to the client behavior: Autoloading, Auto connection and Auto-minimize.

Above that, you can discover the options
related to connection type which lets one select the required protocol.

This is the same section under which encryption selection option is housed.

We discussed in the security section that
the by default DNS server provided is the Google DNS server, but one can change
the DNS server under this tab.

There is a Chameleon
option present on the right of the encryption options. This allows one to hide the use of VPN so that the government would
not be able to track the user. It is beneficial in the countries where the user
of VPN is banned such as China.

The
next tab provides information about the
proxy settings where the option to select
HTTP, and SOCKS5 proxy is present. All
you need to do is to select the proxy, host, and
port.

The OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/PPTP tab are
only required to alter when one needs to connect with the router. Other than
that, there is no use of these tabs. Hence, these tabs could be merged as one single tab as adding three
different tabs for this purpose lowers the user interface grade.

Option to select/add favorite servers

The only server filtering option present on
the client is “Favorite Servers.” This
allows one to filter the servers manually according to his experience that
which servers are beneficial for him. After selecting the favorites, one can
choose only to show favorite server list on the main screen, and not the
complete server list.

Built in Ping Test

For selecting the favorite servers easily,
you can go through the speed test tab, and check the ping for every server.
Make a note of the servers which have a lower
pin, and you can add those servers in the
favorite server list.

There are a few
more features which are not a part of client user interface but are present in
the VPN control provided on the website.

However, even after adding VPN control
panel, a few more additions are required to be added in the client such as
customized kill switch and split tunneling option.

These features directly affect the user
experience by rendering the control of the application to the user.

Other aspects
on which the user experience depends are speed and customer support. Both are
good enough to conclude that acceptable user
experience is provided by the application.

Platforms and Devices

There are not enough platforms, and
platforms such as gaming consoles and smart TVs, are not provided, but at least they provide the client for most
used platforms: Windows, MacOS, iOS, and
Android.

One can also configure it for routers. DD-WRT
is the most suitable one available.

There are three different configurations
available: PPTP, OpenVPN, and OpenWRT which
one can install on routers.

For Windows, OpenVPN GUI, L2TP, and PPTP
are available; similar for MacOS and Linux.

One is allowed to connect to five devices
simultaneously. We think that’s enough if it is
installed on one router. The user will still have four more devices on
which he can use the VPN service while he is not
connected to the router.

However, the provider needs to add some
extensions also, so that the user can take advantage
of the VPN client while browsing also.

Customer Support

The live chat provided
by the VPN service is consistent, and one can find it all the time. However, when
we visited the site, the live chat wasn’t
available all the time.

We asked the executive about the DNS
servers and IPv6 leak protection. The reply provided was instant. Also, the executive had added a link to a relevant
web page which provided us with more
information about the issue and how to solve it.

The FAQs section has a lot of question-answers, some are elaborated, and some are to the point. That
helps the user to identify the solution of his issue on the website and reduces
the task of contacting the support which you can either do by messaging them
through the support section or via live chat.

Conclusion

HideMy.name requires improvement, but when it comes to speed and customer
support, they are reliable.

However, there are many features which can
be added to make the user interface better with innovative style for
representing them.

Even if they improve the user interface,
there is one more aspect where efficiency should be enhanced, and that’s security.

As they use third-party DNS servers, it’s a
major threat to the security which can only be
removed after they implement own DNS servers. Also, they must add IPv6
leak protection.

If these improvements are taken into consideration, perhaps the
application will be able to deliver 100% customer satisfaction.

Kim Martin Administrator
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