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Hidester VPN review

Has a few issues but is good for private browsing

Hidester VPN
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Hidester may look good on the outside but immediately after you download its apps, your problems begin - the apps don’t work, connecting via third-party software is met with variable levels of success, and its speeds are rather unimpressive.

For

  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer
  • Supports torrenting

Against

  • Poor apps
  • Low speeds

Claiming to be trusted by “+10000” users, Hidester is a VPN service that provides a classic anonymity platform with all the usual features - top secrecy, zero logs, multiple simultaneous connections, support for torrenting, and unblocking of popular streaming content.

Price

Hidester has three subscription options. You can get it as a monthly option charged $9.99/month, as a cheaper, 6-month subscription at $6/month (billed $36 every 6 months), or as an annual plan at $3.99/month (billed $46.8 every year). If you don’t like what you’re getting and would like to get your money back, there’s a refund policy, although it differs on the basis of the chosen plan.

Specifically, if you’ve opted for the annual subscription, you’ll get a 7-day money-back policy, but if you’ve chosen the monthly or 6-month option, this period is reduced to only 3 days after the purchase. We tested this and got a refund within an hour after sending a request.

There’s no traditional free trial. Under one account, users can run up to 5 simultaneous VPN connections. Accepted payment methods include PayPal, credit/debit cards, and even cryptocurrencies.

Hidester also has options for businesses and corporations that can be customized to fit their specific needs, be it with a dedicated solution or dedicated support team. If you’re interested in such an option, you can contact the company for customized pricing.

Hidester

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

Hidester is a far cry from today’s best VPN services that have highly advanced platforms, with tons of extras, features, and thousands of servers. The most advanced of them, ExpressVPN, may cost more but you’re getting the ultimate VPN experience where you’ll want for nothing. 

Other excellent platforms, like Surfshark VPN and NordVPN may even be cheaper than Hidester but are still a few levels above it, with capable and user-friendly apps for all the major platforms. 

Finally, Hotspot Shield VPN is another great example of a superior VPN service that boasts amazing speeds and even throws in the 1Password password manager service for good measure. 

All of the above-mentioned platforms have passed independent security audits with flying colors.

Streaming

Hidester VPN can provide access to well-known streaming channels like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, and many others, whose content is often actively blocked in certain regions, at least if you can manage to reach high enough download speeds for hassle-free streaming.

About the company

The company operating Hidester VPN is located in Hong Kong. It offers access to 45 servers in 41 locations, including in Mexico, Iceland, Romania, Russia, Israel, Thailand, South Africa, and others.

In addition to providing a VPN service, you’ll find that the vendor’s website also has a few handy tools you can use to stay safe online, including a password generator, DNS leak test, WebRTC leak test, proxy checker, proxy filter, and browser fingerprint test.

Hidester VPN

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy and encryption

To safeguard your privacy against snoopers and hackers, Hidester deploys only the best encryption - AES-256-CBC TLS 2048-bit algorithm. 

It also uses three different connection protocols: OpenVPN (the industry standard VPN protocol that is highly customizable and flexible), CamoWeb (its proprietary protocol developed specifically for web browsing), and CamoVPN (the proprietary protocol developed to anonymize and secure 100% of the Internet traffic on your device). The CamoWeb protocol also uses an integrated proxy.

This VPN is among those that openly support anonymous torrenting and P2P file sharing. 

If you manage to use them (we couldn’t, for some reason), you’ll find that Hidester’s apps reportedly have a kill switch. This means that if the VPN connection gets interrupted, your Internet access will immediately halt until the VPN connection is restored.

The vendor’s privacy policy is listed on its Legal Terms page, where we learn that it may collect information such as “your connection country, as well as dates (not times) when connected to the Service, choice of server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day.”

We are also told that it does not collect “log traffic data nor browsing activity from Users of the Service. When sending an auto-generated Error Report, neither the Member IP address nor his account information is sent to us.”

Support

Hidester has apps for Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and Linux. There’s also a free proxy service extension for Chrome. That said, we tried using its Android and Windows app, but it wouldn’t work for us for some reason. Luckily, you can download config files from the client area on the website and import them via OpenVPN GUI.

Its iOS app has a solid rating of 4 stars (out of 5), as rated by 12 users. Its App Store page shows no record of any updates. The provider’s Android app was rated by 69 users and has a score of 3.9 stars. It was so far downloaded over 10,000 times and was last updated on February 7, 2018.

Information about this VPN platform is available on the website’s blog and wiki page, where you can learn how to install/uninstall the service on various devices, how to use it for various purposes, all about its protocols and software features, as well as some troubleshooting articles.

If the website proves inadequate in helping you solve any problems you might have with the service, you can contact customer support via email or support ticket. There’s no live chat on the website.

Speed and experience

Hidester’s native apps didn’t work for us, which is why we then took the more complicated road and downloaded its config files to import them via OpenVPN GUI. We then tested the connection on a 70Mbps testing connection.

Our first “victim” was Belgium, where the speed test measured a download speed of 10.56Mbps, which is considered below-average for the distance and testing connection speed. We then wanted to see how a server in the United States would fare, but we couldn’t even get the speed test to start. We tried a different server in the US, but it wouldn’t even accept our login credentials.

Not expecting much, we then tried connecting to a server in Malaysia, but the connection simply timed out, so imagine our surprise when we finally managed to connect to a server in Australia. However, just like with the US, our speed test wouldn’t even start.

However, despite the speed tests not activating, we were still able to browse and stream some average-quality video content, without problems.

Verdict

Hidester VPN has nothing to show that would make it a good alternative to today’s most popular VPNs such as ExpressVPN. Its apps and performance are subpar, its rates too high for what it offers, and it has a very low number of servers. Its only positive sides are the content unblocking capabilities and support for torrenting.