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HideIPVPN was founded in 2008. The company offers VPN service and Smart DNS protection to their customers. The company was founded by Adrian Crismaru of Chisinau, Moldova and another unnamed person. There is ample confusion and speculation about the company’s actual headquarters, with some sources stating that they are based in the United States, while others state that they are headquartered in Moldova. They offer a 24-hour trial for customers to try their service, and their pricing is fairly competitive. The company also offers free VPN for bloggers, provided that they write a review or blog about the product and meet several other criteria.
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HideIPVPN offers each new customer a free 24 hour trial period for their VPN service. Smart DNS offers a 7-day trial. During this time, all features of the service are available except for the customer portal, which is where customers manage their account and receive online technical support.
Customers signing up for the free trial are not required to enter a credit card number or other billing information. There is no limit to speed or traffic and P2P and BitTorrent activity is available on the servers located in Germany and the Netherlands only. All other servers are available during the trial period (United States, Germany, Poland, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Users can only register for a single trial account.
HideIPVPN offers several plans from which to choose - VPN (US and UK), P2P/BitTorrent VPN, VPN & Smart DNS, Smart DNS. These each can be paid monthly, every three months or annually.
HideIPVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all new customers. This refund policy is filled with restrictions though, and the company states that they will not issue a refund for any issue which should have been discovered during the free 24-hour trial. This includes customer issues with speed, the ability to access websites including the The catch is, anything they feel customers should have noticed during the free trial will not be accepted as grounds for a refund. This includes issues with speed, accessing specific websites, or difficulty setting up VPN on one's router/modem.
Customers are offered the following encryption protocols with their subscription to any of HideIPVPN's VPN plans - PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and SoftEther. HideIPVPN has confusing information online being that they state that OpenVPN is offered as premium service only, but then states that this protocol is available in all plans. The Review Team was unable to receive clarifications from the company about this issue, despite repeated requests.
HideIPVPN's native app includes an automatic kill switch, which shuts down the internet-run applications should the connection to the server be disconnected. Users must enable and instruct the software which applications should be shut down with the kill switch; it is not automatic.
In order to fairly compare the speeds of the different companies and their VPN services, the Review Team attempted to standardize the process as much as possible, with the understanding that speed was a highly variable issue and could be affected by several factors. Whenever possible, the Review Team used data from a neutral speed testing site with data that was average over at least the last 250 tests of a VPN's speed for uploads and downloads. When there is not enough data available about a VPN, the Review Team collected data from other speed testing sites and averaged the data for downloads as well as uploads.
HideIPVPN was not listed in the results available for many independent speed testing companies. Unlike other companies which the Review Team averaged, the ranges for HideIPVPN fluctuated greatly, making the average meaningless. Download rates ranged from 3 - 25 Mbps and 1 - 4 Mbps for uploads.
HideIPVPN loses credibility from their lack of transparency. The company has conflicting information on their website, and contacting an agent is very difficult. As such, even when perusing the company's terms and conditions and privacy documents, there are significant clues that the company is run by those in another country, specifically with grammatical and spelling errors in these documents.
The only way prospective customers can receive information from a representative is to contact them via Facebook via private message. Upon sending a private message, an automatic reply is sent, with several spelling and grammatical errors. Inside this message, there is a request for customers to be patient, especially considering the "time difference" and that the company will respond to all messages. Prospective customers have reported waiting several days for a response, and upon receiving contact from the company, that all of the requested information is not present in the response, meaning that they must respond and wait again for the company to answer. This is extremely frustrating for all.
While most of these issues are minor in isolation, they combine to leave one feeling confused and frustrated about HideIPVPN and doubt if they are worthy of one's business. Certainly spelling or grammar issues, as well as not being based in the United States are not reasons to refuse service, but these coupled with conflicting or absent material by the company about itself are significant concerns.
As families have multiple devices, most VPN companies offer multiple licenses per subscription, with the industry norm being at least five devices which can connect to the VPN with the same subscription. HideIPVPN only allows three connections per paid subscription. It is important to note that if users have a DD-WRT enabled router that they may bypass this limitation, with proper adjustments to the router settings.
Existing customers can request technical help via HideIPVPN's online customer portal. The company has a limited FAQ and how-to on their website, which may answer common questions which arise during installation and use of the VPN tunnel. As stated above, the only way for those without an account to receive assistance from HideIPVPN is via social media. The company does not publish a phone number or offer online chat from their site.
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