You have probably heard you need a VPN for privacy and security on the internet, so why haven’t you installed one? Is it the cost? Here is a free VPN for macOS, Windows, iOS and Android.
Everyone wants to track you on the internet and see what you do, where you go and what you access. Mostly this is so that advertisers and marketers can target you with advertising, but there may be others that monitor you for various reasons. This tracking is unwelcome and it is an invasion of privacy. A VPN helps to stop it.
Even with a VPN, you can be tracked, such as by using browser cookies and even browser fingerprinting (Wikipedia), but a VPN goes a long way to preventing eavesdropping on your internet activities. A VPN combined with an incognito or private browsing window, which destroys cookies, is a good combination.
Most VPNs require payment and you can pay monthly or for one or more years. The longer the term the cheaper the price and VPN providers often have excellent deals for 1, 2 or 3 years. It is the cheapest way to get a paid VPN.
Paid VPNs offer great deals and provide so much more than a free one, such as high speed, unlimited data and hundreds or even thousands of servers in dozens of countries around the world. You get so much more than with a free account.
A while back, I showed how to add ProtonVPN and it was a popular article, so here is another useful free VPN for your Mac or PC, Hide.Me. This VPN service has improved a great deal lately and has added features, functions and servers at a rapid rate, probably due to the intense competition there is between VN companies these days.
A free account with any VPN provider has limitations and these are often speed and data restrictions, but Hide.me is one of the best free VPNs I have tried. Of course, you can also bypass those limitations with a small monthly fee for a paid account.
With a free Hide.me free account you get a generous 10 GB a month data transfer. It might sound a lot, but streaming Disney+ at its best resolution is 2 GB an hour (Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are similar), so this rules out streaming your favourite TV shows and movies. However, 10 GB goes much further with general web browsing it is can be enabled on those occasions you want to go private.
I have Hide.Me on a Windows PC and an Apple Mac. There are also apps for iPhone and Android phone. These screenshots are on the Apple Mac, but are almost the same on a Windows PC. (Affiliate links ahead, but all this works for free too.)
1 Go to Hide.me VPN
Go to the Hide.me VPN website and click the Get Hide.me button to begin. This enables a plan to be selected.
2 Choose a plan and sign up
On the Pricing screen were four plans when I visited and the two best ones are highlighted above. With any VPN provider, the best deals are the multi-year plans because they work out cheapest in the long term.
For this guide I will show you how the free plan works, but I recommend the Hide.me 24-month paid plan. Click Sign Up Now if you want a free account.
Remember that this has only 10 GB of data and just five VPN locations around the world – a paid account has 1,800+ servers to choose from.
Check your email inbox afterwards for the email to activate your account and click the button.
3 Log in to Hide.me VPN website
After registering, log into your new account at the Hide.me website and there is a welcome message. As you can see under Membership above, a free account expires after one month. However, you can log in on that day and activate another free month, then return a month later and get another, and another.
With a paid plan of course, the expiry date will be two years away or however long you have signed up for.
Select VPN apps in the sidebar on the left.
4 Download Hide.me VPN app
On the VPN Apps screen are all the apps for various operating systems. I will install the Mac app, but installing the Windows app is almost the same. Phone apps are in the Apple or Google app stores.
A paid plan lets you use up to 10 devices at the same time, so you and the whole family could use the one VPN account on all your computers, phones and tablets.
A free account lets you use one device at a time. You can install it on any number of devices, like your computer, phone and tablet, but only one can connect to the VPN at once. You have to disconnect one before you connect the other. If this bothers you, get a paid plan.
5 Install and run Hide.me VPN
After downloading and installing the app, run it and on the opening screen is an option to start a free trial or to sign in. Use the sign in option because you already registered and have an account.
6 How to use Hide.me VPN
- Click the Change button in the bottom right corner to manually select a server in a country of your choice or leave it at Best Location if the server doesn’t matter and you just need privacy.
- Click the Enable VPN button to enable the privacy and security that comes with a VPN service. Hide.me uses 256-bit AES encryption and no logs for example. Open a web browser and visit your favourite sites in the usual way.
- Click this to go to the VPN settings if you are an expert user and want to customize how it works.
- Check here for news, updates, information and notifications.
- Details about the current internet connection can be viewed here.
Although there is a limit on the data used, there are no restrictions on the number of connections, there are some great features in Hide.me VPN service. Check them out at the Hide.me website.