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HideMyIP Premium VPN Review

Editor's Overall Rating: 
11 User Reviews
HideMyIP Premium VPN Review
Editor's Rating
Order to Installation
Software/GUI
Ease of Use
Features
Network & Speed
Help & Support
Scope of Protection
Overall Rating


Site: www.hide-my-ip.com
Site languages: En, GoogleTranslate

HideMyIP Premium VPN INTRODUCTION

HideMyIP is basically a proxy server service with a layer of encryption above it with a server network in 10 countries. The premium service allows you to use some but not all the servers with unlimited bandwidth (for all the servers you have to upgrade to the gold plan). On each connection, HideMyIP provides its users with a different IP. Although the service offers encryption with the premium service, after some time the connection breaks and your local IP is revealed. The premium encrypted service is not reliable on Vista and Windows 7 computers.

HideMyIP provides the OpenVPN standard with an easy to use software application at the high end of the market price range for an encrypted service. HideMyIP has a small number of servers and only one shore server (if you consider Malaysia off shore). The application has many features and is simple to set up and use. The Privacy Policy is less than ideal as certain personal data and IPs are logged and stored. This review is on HideMyIP’s Premium Service.

Review Summary

HideMyIP is really a proxy service that has an added premium service for encryption. But that service doesn’t appear to work well and reveals your IP (in Windows 7 and Vista). Privacy is less than ideal as the service monitors “certain aspects”.

HideMyIP Premium VPN PROS:
• Easy to use convenient application
• Many good features
• Fair server network
• Fast servers
• Fast support responsiveness

HideMyIP Premium VPN CONS:
• Encryption connection drops after some time and your local IP is revealed (in Windows 7 and Vista) so protection is low
• Unknown and non disclosed encryption protocol
• Unclear product pricing. Premium service is advertised as $7 per month but in fact you have to pay the onetime fee and if you want all the servers add another $25 per month. This is not clear at the site and it feels deceptive once you purchase the product.
• Servers are all in cooperative regions and provider cooperates with law enforcement.
• Support could not solve my problem with key registration. Had to figure it out myself.
• Dynamic IP with no Fixed IPs for using with PayPal & Credit Card merchants
• Only 128 bit encryption
• Does not support IPv6
• Does not provide a fastest server in the application
• States that they don’t log, but also states that they cooperate with law enforcement. This suggests that if there is a problem on a certain server with a user, law enforcement could get a lot of information about all the users on that server.

Full Review

From Order to Installation: ★★★☆☆ 
With HideMyIP your account is up and running within 1 hour if you use PayPal or credit card Checkout (in my case it took 15 minutes). I received my login credentials in a few minutes after my Checkout. What was disturbing about the checkout is that to purchase the premium VPN version of HideMyIP you are led to believe that its $7/month.

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But when you click on the premium order purchase it takes you to:

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Which now says you first have to purchase the Proxy service for $29.95:

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Ok, so at this point I guess that to get the premium VPN service I will pay another $7 or $37 per month for the premium service. Then you go to check out where they try to sell you unlock code protection (in case you lose the code) so I uncheck that and fill in the form still wondering when am I going to get to the Premium product I so much want to test. I go to the next screen:

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And to add the premium service to my order means a one year order plus $75 or $105 to test the Premium service. Well, I’m not going to pay that, so I will just pay for the basic service and hope I can get a one month add-on of the premium service. But at this point I am feeling that the checkout process is a bit deceptive and I don’t want my VPN provider who I am going to trust with all my information to practice any deceptive behavior.

In the TOS, I found that they practice recurring billing and that you have to inform them in advance to shut it off. As there is no members area you have to write to support and have them confirm the termination of the recurring billing.

Ok, my order is complete and I get the license key on the confirmation page. From this page I download the software as well which is convenient to have the key and download information on the same page and not rely on emails. But I also get a confirmation email at the same time. Then begins the setup:

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HideMyIP utilizes its own electronic download for the executable application. It runs quickly and there were no problems during the execution. HideMyIP provides you with a convenient icon on your start up menu as well as on your desktop. From the icon you can open the desktop application or exit the VPN program:

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But I paid for the full version not a 14 day demo, so I need to go find what that is about. What started out as a very good installation procedure (other than the deceptive Premium package sale) has now gotten stuck. I try to unlock and register my copy of HideMyIP but it doesn’t verify although I just got the codes:

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I start and restart my computer a couple of times but the same problem the verify button stays grey and doesn’t verify. Ok, I give up, I’ll write to support and get back to this as soon as I have a response. I hope the support is quick. I really want to test this thing!

Ah, I figured it out before support got back to me. I copied the license key in as suggested in their software activation key above but that doesn’t work. You have to actually type it in (not copy and paste) then the activation key works. HideMyIP should know this problem by now and have stated it in the FAQS and in the activation key screen above. This took a couple of hours to figure out. (And support answered that there was no problem with my key but they didn’t have an answer that must be a common problem for them)

Finally I can start the application:

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Now I can start the application. But first I read the upgrade to premium information because that’s what I really want to test. And it says above: “No Extra fees, Premium Service users pay only the cost of the Premium Service” But I did pay an extra fee, I paid the entrance fee to the standard service first before having the privilege to pay for the Premium Service. I don’t know if these guys are being deceptive or poorly communicating their product offering and costs to users.

Software/GUI: ★★★★½ 

After download and execution of the HideMyIP program, you open the desktop application and put in your credentials that HideMyIP sent you by email on receipt of payment. This took a lot of time and is explained in the section below Order to Installation. After starting the software:

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The software lets you know your new IP address and the server location and from this application you can change country servers, IP address every X minutes, launch on startup and even clear cookies when the IP changes. The list of servers available:

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In advanced settings, you can encrypt your connection but the Premium service is supposed to be encrypted to begin with:

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So it’s not clear whether you have to check this encryption setting to have an encrypted connection.

Then I tried to click on a French server to test it but:

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To have access to ALL the servers you have to pay another $25 per month! Now I was sure that with the Premium service I would have access to all the servers. See the print screen below. It does not indicate that you are not getting all the servers – you find that out AFTER you buy the service.

So the actual offer is:
Purchase the basic standard HideMyIP service – $30 onetime fee
Purchase the Premium service if you want to be encrypted – $7 per month
Purchase access to all the servers – $25 per month

To access all the servers and be encrypted makes this an extremely expensive service. There are excellent VPN services that provide equal or better services for one half the price.

And what I don’t like about HideMyIP’s tactics is that they are not clear and upfront about the offer from the get go. Their products page has bundling packages but what most users want is to bundle the standard offer with premium and gold and that is not only not offered it appears that you can purchase the Premium Service for $7 per month but it’s just an add on to the basic standard plan and then you need to add the gold plan if you want all the servers available. The products page should be much clearer about this. It should state the basic, premium and gold costs X. Instead if you try to purchase the Premium Service, only then do you see that you need to pay for the onetime fee and after that when the application is running you realize you don’t have access to all the servers without paying an additional fee for the gold service.

Updates: HideMyIP provides automated updates to their software.

Ease of Use: ★★★★☆ 

Fairly easy to use and convenient with some good features.

Features: ★★★★½ 

HideMyIP has many good features including:

Randomly change your IP every x minutes, Launch on startup, Clear cookies when IP changes, Always use the same IP address, Discard IPs so as not to use them again, turning on/off encryption, enable IP history and hide the referrer header.

Server Network: Location, Availability & Speed: ★★★½☆ 

HideMyIP has a network of servers in 10 countries with OpenVPN. HideMyIP has servers in the US, Canada, UK, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. None of the servers are in non-cooperative or off shore jurisdictions so from a security point of view this VPN does provide you with true anonymity.

Keep in mind that VPN providers that are based in cooperative jurisdictions and have servers in other cooperative jurisdictions cannot protect your data as it is transmitted across their servers. By definition a court order in cooperative regions can force HideMyIP to log, cache and submit any information to local and international authorities not withstanding HideMyIP’s current Privacy Policy to the contrary. It would be far better if HideMyIP had servers in off shore jurisdictions as well as its current server locations.

Example server Ping time: HideMyIP Amsterdam, Netherlands server to LA, USA 153 ms ping time.

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Without HideMyIP and using the same server locations the ping time was 152ms, so there was little latency on this server test at 9.30PM EST.

Presale Support to Product Help & Support: ★★★½☆ 

All presale questions are answered within 12 hours generally.

Post-sale support is done by email or through their ticket system which is the same email support (no live support). Their email response was quick, somewhat helpful but could not answer some questions to my satisfaction – encryption protocol, key certification issue, disconnect and show my local IP problem. As of this writing, HideMyIP have not provided an answer or solution to the automatic disconnect problem in which my IP is revealed.

Scope of Protection:

Protocols: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Utilizing standard VPN protocols, HideMyIP changes your IP, removes packet headers and provides you with a dynamic IP generated from any of its servers. Each time you connect, you will receive another IP address. This is good security but it has the downside that if you want to connect to PayPal or to your credit card merchant with a VPN and your IP changes every time you connect, PayPal will likely put your account on hold because they are suspicious of changing IP addresses. Its best to use a VPN that provides both shared and a fixed IP so that you are safe but can deal with your shopping online in a convenient way.

The connection in encrypted mode fails after a while and your local IP is exposed. So the level of protection is low.

Protocols: Unknown. Management states that it is not OpenVPN but that it encrypts your connection. What the protocol is could not be ascertained.

HideMyIP does not support IPv6 or port forwarding. SMTP mail is not permitted.

Encryption: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Encryption Strength Specified: 128 Bit

The effectiveness of any VPN provider is dependent on how effective is the encryption. Our independent encryption Test of HideMyIP is to be completed by August 30th and will be posted here then but in any event due to the failure of this service’s encrypted product, in our view the effectiveness is very low.

The connection in encrypted mode fails after a while and your local IP is exposed. So the level of protection is low.

If you subscribed to the Premium Service, HideMyIP provides an advanced settings to turn on encryption on the fly. I have my doubts that you can do this on the fly. Normally you would have to restart your connection to allow the line to be encrypted before you connect, but we will also test this by month’s end.

Server Security: Pending Test

To be independently tested pending permission from HideMyIP.

Privacy: ★★★½☆ 

HideMyIP Privacy Policy states that: “Although we do not keep content logs of Premium Service use or share any of your private information with any third party, we will turn over any information we do have if required to do so by law. My Privacy Tools, Inc. may monitor certain aspects of the Premium Service to manage abuse, maintain and/or improve service.” This suggests that they do log the encrypted Premium service but to what extent is impossible to verify.

HideMyIP Premium VPN Review Summary

HideMyIP is really a proxy service that has an added premium service for encryption. But that service doesn’t appear to work well and reveals your IP (in Windows 7 and Vista). Privacy is less than ideal as the service monitors “certain aspects”.

HideMyIP Premium VPN PROS:
• Easy to use convenient application
• Many good features
• Fair server network
• Fast servers
• Fast support responsiveness

HideMyIP Premium VPN CONS:
• Encryption connection drops after some time and your local IP is revealed (in Windows 7 and Vista) so protection is low
• Unknown and non disclosed encryption protocol
• Unclear product pricing. Premium service is advertised as $7 per month but in fact you have to pay the onetime fee and if you want all the servers add another $25 per month. This is not clear at the site and it feels deceptive once you purchase the product.
• Servers are all in cooperative regions and provider cooperates with law enforcement.
• Support could not solve my problem with key registration. Had to figure it out myself.
• Dynamic IP with no Fixed IPs for using with PayPal & Credit Card merchants
• Only 128 bit encryption
• Does not support IPv6
• Does not provide a fastest server in the application
• States that they don’t log, but also states that they cooperate with law enforcement. This suggests that if there is a problem on a certain server with a user, law enforcement could get a lot of information about all the users on that server.

Editor’s Rating
Order to Installation
Software/GUI
Ease of Use
Features
Network & Speed
Help & Support
Scope of Protection
Overall Rating

Features Overview

HideMyIP VPN Service Description
Price: 29.95 USD one-time set-up fee
8.95 USD per month
24.95 USD per 3 months
44.95 USD per 6 months
84.95 USD per year
Bandwidth Limitations: Unlimited
Server Locations: US, CA, AU, UK, DE, ES, NL, MY
Data Logging: ?
VPN Protocols: SSL
Encryption Strength: 128-bit
Public IP: Shared dynamically allocated, possibility to always connect to the same IP
Other security: -
Payment Methods: CC, PayPal
Test Account: ?
Moneyback Guarantee: ?
Other features: Possibility to always connect to the same IP, connect to a random IP
HideMyIP VPN TOS & Privacy Policy
p2p Allowed: Yes
Mass-mail Allowed: ?
Personal Data Collected: ?
HideMyIP VPN Company Information
Location: US
In business since 2006
Other Security Products: Firewall Fortify, Cookie Crumble, Hide My MAC Address, Don’t Spy On Me, Anti Hacker, Clear My History, Ace File Shredder

Information incomplete or incorrect? Please let me know!

11 User Reviews »

  • Bhupesh says:

    I have renewed (ordered) my Hidemyip,

    **************************************************
    Order Details
    **************************************************
    Licensed To: bhupesh.creativelipi@gmail.com
    Support E-Mail: staff@hide-my-ip.com

    Renew License: 1 unit(s)

    Your License Code(s):
    [Renewed] Hide My IP: 39UR-3ME6-MLSJ-L9WS-DS2F-VT2T

    But this is not working
    The hidemyip is working but it is not hiding my real ip.
    What you people have done with my ip address ?

    I have been using Hidemiip services since 2 years and never got this problem while i have already renewed my Hidemyip.

    I tried to contact its customer care (866) 343-6722 but this number is wrong, It is given on it’s website http://www.hidemyip.com

    Kindly resolve this or i need to cancel my services with hidemyip

    I am also using hidemyip on my other systems, I will forced to cancel hidemyip services on all my systems (6), If this couldn’t be work immediately.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): (didn’t use)

  • John D. says:

    Hide My IP doesn’t work for me. I installed it successfully under Windows 7. I click on the HMIP button and it issues a new IP,usually from a foreign country but sometimes from the US. Everything seems great. But when I check using What’s My IP, it shows my real IP address. Even Google shows my real IP.

    I can understand if HMIP won’t work right away under certain conditions. OK, maybe I’m at fault somehow. Maybe I didn’t clear cookies, or maybe I have a firewall blocking something, or maybe my anti-virus doesn’t allow HMIP to work (all of which were reasons that Support gave me). But the bottom line is HMIP said IT WAS WORKING and gave me a new IP address. If it doesn’t work, don’t say it does work. That’s why I think it’s the one at fault.

    Caveat emptor.

    Used this VPN for (how long): (didn’t use)

  • Ray says:

    “Hide My IP Address” is rubbish. Do not waste your money on this program.

    I bought it after trying the free version thinking that it would work better but it did not work at all.

    I asked for a refund and not only they refused but they suspended my account, so they kept the money and stopped my account so I could not use the software anymore.

    They are a bunch of thieves.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 month

  • cindy says:

    I can’t even get the trial to work. I installed somewhere but re-boot doesn’t show it and my ip address is the same

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): (didn’t use)

  • ALINA says:

    IVE HAD HIDE FOR ABOUT 3 OR MORE YEARS AND THE FIRST TWO WERE FINE. BUT IN THE LAST YEAR, I DONT KNOW IF THEY SOLD THE COMPANY OR WHAT, BUT TECH SUPPORT IS NON EXISTENT. THE PROBLEM I HAVE IS THIS: I HAVE TO CLICK AN AVERAGE OF 50 TIMES TO FIND THE LOCATION I WANTL ON THE HIDE SCREEEN, THERE IS A RED X (THE TECH SAID TO USE THIS TOOL) WHICH WOULD DELETE ALL THE LOCATIONS I DID NOT WANT. THIS RED X DOES NOT WORK SO THE STATES U DONT WANT KEEP COMING BACK AS A CHOICE. I HAVE WRITTEN SO MANY E MAILS ABOUT THIS. ALSO FOR THE LAST 3 DAYS I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR HOUSTON, TEXAS (1 OF THE 3 LOCATIONS I AM ONLY INTERESTED IN AND WONT COME UP. MEANWHILE, AFTER 3 E MAILS TO HIDE,,,,,, AND NO RESPONSE,, ITS NOW 1/20/2012 11 AM AN I HAVE BEEN TRYIN TO USE HIDE SINCE 8 AM.
    I WISH I KNEW OF A SIMILAR COMPANY THAT I COULD SWITCH TO. any suggestions pls write me @ shy_4uonly@hotmail.com

    Used this VPN for (how long): (didn’t use)

    • linda says:

      Yep me too, finally I called customer support at 1866-343-6722 and they admit closing all HOUSTON ip. They have only Dallas.
      This caused my my Ebay and Paypal accounts and lost of my money from my paypal. Paypal closed/limited my account no access to my paypal funds. can’t pay my bills, feed my kids or pay rent, because IP changed cities.
      This is a real nightmare, these people have no professional knowledge of the disaster they caused thousands of users, changing and closing IP willy nilly without notice.

      Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 year

  • Marco Polo says:

    they maintain considerable records. cooperate with anyone everyone…

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 6 months

  • Austric says:

    HidemyIP gave IP addresses of people from Lutzsec and Anonymous.

    Seems like an odd thing, they are keeping records of IP addresses. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of surfing anonymously.

    I wouldn’t pay for this one if they don’t protect you identity.

    Used this VPN for (how long): (didn’t use)

  • Auric says:

    Where shall I start? I originally surfed the net looking for a IP privacy tool. HMIP was an interesting option because its service also included hiding the email IP of your computer. I bought two licenses. After a short time, I discovered that my IP was NOT being hidden! This after I had sent mails and surfed the net, thinking my privacy was protected (NOT). I contacted Support (always the same guy) who asked me to do innumerable tasks to “solve the problem”, sometimes repeating the same instructions which did not work the first time The software is flawed in a perverse way, because it shows the “fake ID” when you mouse over the icon close to the clock, BUT when you check it through independent means, your IP is NOT hidden..! A worse, trickier way to misguide you, really eludes me!

    I went back and forth during 6 months (yes, six months); the software never worked properly in either of the two computers where I had installed the two licenses? Obviously, I paid for defective software, but wanted to give it another try, by installing it in two other computers, different to the original ones..Surprise! it did not work either. Finally, I was told that, “Sorry, but the problem must be at your end, and we have no control of it”

    I told the people form HMIP, I would like to have my money back, as their software simply did not work and I paid for two licenses! Their answer was that it was too late, because six months had passed?.Never mind that the software did not work during the six months, nor could they solve the problem?.! By the way, their “Support Dept” only works from 09:00 to 06:00 PST.

    This would seem to be a company created and administered by a couple of guys, with no concept of customer service (I’m being gracious). Their business model is: a) never tell clients you cannot solve the problem, and b) send them all kind of useless instructions until the time they say they would refund the money, is well passed

    I have read other reviews about HMIP and they seem to indicate that the situation I describe is a pattern with this company and its software.

    Should you not buy this software? Actually the question is more, Why would you? Considering it show great instability and there are many ethical and professional companies offering the same out there for a similar price, 100% stability, and a 24/7 Customer Service. If you still want to buy it, consider the high probability of ending up with one (or two like me) licenses, of a totally useless software.

    Ease of Use
    Features
    Network & Speed
    Help & Support
    Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 year

    • John says:

      I agree with your comments re “hide my ip”
      This program slows down my browser to less than 1990 speeds. Its impossible to access sites like email from yahoo etc.

      They give no support and after buying the product, I learnt that I would have to pay a monthly fee to get a decent service.

      This is a terrible application.

      Ease of Use
      Features
      Network & Speed Not Rated
      Help & Support Not Rated
      Used this VPN for (how long): less than 1 week

  • pligg.com says:

    hidemyip premium vpn review…

    HideMyIP is really a proxy service that has an added premium service for encryption. But that service doesn’t appear to work well and reveals your IP (in Windows 7 and Vista). Privacy is less than ideal as the service monitors “certain aspects”….

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