11
Feb
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For the past few weeks, I've been testing Hideman - a VPN solution with a feature set I've been seeking for a very long time. I've been using both Android and Windows apps to test the service, and let me tell you - it is everything I was hoping it would be and then some.

Hideman is available for the following operating systems:

But let's start from the beginning.


What is Hideman?

Hideman is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) provider with servers located in a whopping 22 countries and counting (while I was testing, I requested a location in Spain, and it was added within a few days).

Once you establish a VPN connection with a remote server, all traffic from your device passes through a secure tunnel and sees the outside world as if it were located on the same network with the remote server.

So if you're connecting to a VPN server in the UK, you're going to get a UK IP, and sites around the web are going to think you're actually located in the UK. This will allow you to bypass Internet censorship or check out location-specific services, such as TV-streaming sites. Heck, even P2P traffic is allowed, though not in all countries (for a detailed breakdown, see here).

Additionally, anyone snooping on your local network won't be able to see anything you're doing - the connection is encrypted (using a 256-bit encryption algorithm) and secure. You can read more about VPN here if you're after the low-level details.

Screenshot_2013-02-10-19-00-27 Screenshot_2013-02-10-19-01-05 Screenshot_2013-02-10-19-01-26

Free To Try?

Free Accounts

Hideman is available completely free to try for up to 5 hours a week.

There are some limitations, which you can read about here - for example, you only get 5 countries instead of the full 22 (though, strangely, on Android you now get 8, and this number was even higher two weeks ago - I guess they tweak this number all the time), your bandwidth is capped at 512kbps, and you can only download 2GB a month.

Free accounts also get their transfer logs saved for 14 days to assist law enforcement with claims of hacking, carding, child pornography, etc.

Paid Accounts

Paid accounts, on the other hand, don't have any such restrictions, and the company says it does not log any activity of its paying users.

One more thing worth noting - you can use the same account on not 1, not 2, but 3 devices at the same time. Splendid.

When it comes to Android, it seems to be billed differently from other operating systems - the rate is much cheaper. For example, 1 month costs only $2.90 on Android, while the same month costs $9 on Windows.

Note: I was assured that if you purchased access to Hideman for desktop operating systems, which is billed at a higher rate, Android access would be included for free. The converse is, obviously, not true.

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Screenshot_2013-02-10-18-58-43 Screenshot_2013-02-10-19-02-03 Screenshot_2013-02-10-18-58-04 

Hideman's Best Feature

Here's the best part about Hideman - and this is an absolute killer for me, as I spent hours of my life hunting down free proxy servers in specific countries whenever I needed to check out something like an availability of a Nexus 4 in a foreign Play Store - you can pick which of the 22 currently supported countries your traffic is routed through.

All servers are included for paid accounts - just pick the one you want, press Connect, and voila - a few seconds later, you're suddenly in Australia. Or France. Or Japan.

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Hideman for Windows in action

Here is the current list which, as I mentioned, consists of 22 countries and growing:

  • Australia
  • Canada (currently 2 servers)
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany (currently 2 servers)
  • Hong Kong SAR China
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Moldova
  • Netherlands (currently 3 servers)
  • Panama
  • Poland
  • Russia (currently 2 servers)
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom (currently 3 servers)
  • United States (currently 6 servers)

Screenshot_2013-02-10-18-59-22 Screenshot_2013-02-10-17-45-45 Screenshot_2013-02-10-17-46-02

Left: current selection for free accounts; middle/right: paid accounts get all servers

Testing Notes

As I mentioned earlier, the primary usage scenario for me was accessing Play Stores in foreign countries to verify availability of various products, like the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. I've been testing for about two weeks, and not once in that time period have I experienced a dead VPN server. Not a single dropped connection.

Literally, I pick the country I want, press Connect, and I'm done.

The speeds were night and day compared to free proxy servers too. As mentioned in the FAQ, paid accounts don't get artificially throttled in any way. Here's a speed test to a location in UK (from my San Francisco location with Comcast cable):

UKtest

And here's Canada:

canadatest

France:

francetest

How about Australia?

australiatest

Not terribly fast on that last one, but considering my connection is routed halfway around the world and still lets me easily surf sites, it's not bad at all.

Update: I'm also adding a speed test for the U.S. VPN location to show what U.S. <-> U.S. routing is like on Hideman:

ustest

For reference, my non-VPN speed test looks like this (I blame my router - the hardwired connection actually gets 36/6.5):

comcastwifi

One caveat I do want to point out here is that some GeoIP databases have different opinions about exact locations of certain IP ranges, so I did find that a few servers were misidentified as residing in other countries. For example, while on a Spanish server, google.com thought I was in France, and while on a French one, it thought I was in Germany. Other databases sometimes identified such countries correctly and sometimes sided with Google. I reported these to the developers, and they promised to file corrections with the appropriate data providers. I am not holding my breath here though - it'd probably be faster for them to change IPs than wait for GeoIP databases to propagate, which may never even happen.

All in all, I'm extremely satisfied with this newfound superpower to teleport to almost two dozen countries all over the globe.

More Screenshots

Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-32-25 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-32-39 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-33-13 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-34-58 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-35-07

Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-35-54 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-36-10 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-36-54 Screenshot_2013-01-30-11-37-12 Screenshot_2013-02-10-19-02-59

Disclaimer

Once I installed Hideman and started using it, I quickly realized that it was exactly what I was looking for in the last few years. I contacted the developer with some feedback, and they ended up hooking me up with an account good for a few years to review the application without any restrictions. Had they not done that, I would have still said the exact same things I did in this review and purchased the service myself.

In other words, the review wasn't tainted with a promise of a freebie - something I want to be perfectly clear and upfront about. If you don't believe me, just try the free version for yourself without paying a dime.

Download

If you're looking for the Android app, hit the widget below.

For Windows, MacOS, and iOS, head here.

Linux users can grab OpenVPN configs in the Manuals tab after logging in.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • PhineasJW

    Thanks. For reference, what's your non-VPN speed test look like?

    And, how about a speed test with Hideman from a VPN still inside the U.S.? Is it the same ~1Mbps down?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'll update the post with these, thanks for the suggestion.

      • PhineasJW

        Thanks. And, time to fix that router! :)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Surprisingly, I have a what I thought was pretty good Cisco N router, E3000, but it's proving to be a piece of crap with 0 firmware updates in years. I'm very disappointed in Cisco. Every time I think about installing DD-WRT on it, I get discouraged after reading their confusing-as-fuck instructions and 30 warnings about how it'll be a brick.

          Seriously, what in the actual fuck?

          http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486 http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_E3000

          I'm just waiting to upgrade everything to 802.11ac at this point.

          • PhineasJW

            I just bought a Netgear R6300 a few weeks ago.

            802.11AC and open source so DD-WRT should run on it as well. Haven't tried the AC part, but so far so good on the N @5GHz performance.

            Got an Ouya lined up to stream 1080P via N and XBMC. If that still maxes it out, I'll buy a second R6300 and stream it over AC. :)

          • Scott Standish-Parkin

            Hey Artem,

            I share your pain man. I think you should give the Almond router a try. I have a few set up at a school I worked for and I have to say I have never touched them since instillation. They have been working great. Actually, don't know if your a fan of Kickstarter but they are having a kick start for the Almond+ which should suit your needs and has extremely better specs including AC Frequency.

            http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2037429657/almond-80211ac-touchscreen-wifi-router-smart-home?ref=live

            I never endorse anything I have not thoroughly tried and tested my self so I hope you find this little guy to be a good fit for your needs. Of course, their are always other routers to buy, but I just figured I give you another option

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Thanks, yeah, I've seen that kickstarter page, and looks like they've already achieved their goal. I'll wait for reviews, but it's definitely a router to keep on my radar. Thanks for the recommendation.

          • http://twitter.com/lookinin Kevin Ross

            Tread lightly in DD-WRT arena. That prog can make enough bricks to build a house. I just don't get the geekified level of knowledge that you have to know to configure your router - I'm not launching a rocket, you know. Sigh.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Both added.

  • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

    Nice service. What hurts my eyes though, it is seeing ukrainian flag hanging upsidedown in every screenshot ) On the web site everything is ok.

    • Owen Finn

      Ukraine in crisis?

      • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

        Pretty much, yes.

        • Sergii Pylypenko

          We're in constant crisis ever since Bohdan Khmelnitsky' died.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Ha, I didn't even notice, and I'm Ukrainian.

      Reported.

      • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

        It's a small world!

    • http://twitter.com/HidemanLtd Hideman Ltd.

      Andrew, Thanks for your attentiveness.

      • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

        While you are here ;) Is there a possibility to use PPTP on trial account? On 'Manuals' tab there are login and password, but no hosts information for pptp.

        • hanbeeg

          PPTP traffic should be considered cracked and unencrypted. If you care for an encrypted connection, you should use OpenVPN.

          • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

            I mostly care about watching yotube and other videos that are "not available in your country".

        • http://twitter.com/HidemanLtd Hideman Ltd.

          You can't add free hour without our app. But you can use PPtP connection if you have active subscribe. Just add one hour with our app and connect to PPtP

          • http://twitter.com/andrewf Andrew

            Thank you for clearing that up!

  • LiamBryant

    Has anyone tried this for MacOS yet? This is my screen. I think it's broken.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I'll send this to the dev.

    • http://twitter.com/HidemanLtd Hideman Ltd.

      Thank you too! Soon fix it ;)

  • http://profiles.google.com/andrewc513 Andrew Chandler

    I love Hideman. I bought the smallest service package(3 months) for a Christmas/New Years trip to Tokyo. I took a pocket router to broadcast my own wifi network(hotel had wired internet only). Used Hideman to get Netflix at nighttime and to download music in Spotify for offline use throughout the day. Worked flawlessly, and the bandwidth hit was negligible. I was still pulling a good 10+ Mbit down.

  • http://twitter.com/rojovasquez Javier Vasquez

    Can you use your phone a hot spot with this?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I just tried that on the Note II with native tethering, and it didn't work, surprisingly.

      With VPN connected, the laptop can't get to the Internet. As soon as I disconnect it or if I use the phone itself, things work.

      Either it's a technical issue or it's done on purpose because Android VPN costs a lot less than PC.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Don't see why not, though I haven't tested it.

  • Göran Sävström

    I know that this is probably not the right place to ask, but I'm a Linux user (Ubuntu), but I have no clue whatsoever on what to do with the openvpn config file once downloaded...
    - Would it be possible to be pointed in the right direction?

    • http://twitter.com/HidemanLtd Hideman Ltd.

      On linux you need to download openvpn ( apt-get install openvpn ) and run openvpn config from console with "openvpn config_name.ovpn"

  • Sootie

    Stop pretending to be in my country artem! the kangaroo's are all mine!!

  • Sabrina

    Good service... but i have a doubt..Can we use our phone as a hot spot with this?

    • http://twitter.com/HidemanLtd Hideman Ltd.

      no, you can't. This is a limitation of google VPN api

  • Paul

    Sadly, it only worked for about an hour here in germany. Could see apps, books, movies and music from the USA Play Store, then all switched back to the german store with no ability to access the USA store anymore at all.

  • sjperes

    I'm from India. I tried Hideman app - both Windows and Android but did not get either of them to work. I sent an email to them asking for support but no response. I contacted them on chat thrice and once I waited 30 minutes for their reply but again disappointment. Reading this review, I had high hopes but hugely disappointed.

  • jake

    those speed results are terrible... if you get 5mbps (over wifi) and then the fastest speedtest you have after connecting to a VPN is over 50% less than what you're normal speed is then there is something seriously wrong. Most VPN servers are only about a 5% overhead on bandwidth. For example, I tested this with a machine wired directly to my router and without connecting to my VPN services (Private Internet Access and Mullvad) I get around 95mbps down (I pay for the Comcast 105mbps), once I connect to their servers I get about 90mbps. If I had the service you are talking about I'd probably only get like 5mbps after all said and done. They must have some serious issues with routing if those are your real world speeds :-

    • Jake

      i meant to say I'd have about 50mbps, which is still fast, but a massive overhead nonetheless off a 100mbps line

  • united

    I would really and severly like to critecise you cos you banned me from downloading hidman just because my country...it really makes me feel disgusted