ZenMate VPN is a VPN service that may not be consistent in its performance but is suitable for the average user. It has the ability to unblock certain streaming platforms like Netflix, allows torrenting, and offers a cost-effective long-term plan. Nevertheless, there are some limitations with its choice of tunneling protocols, the speeds it provides are not particularly remarkable, and it is located in a country that belongs to the Five-Eyes surveillance alliance. If your priority is to have a fast and secure connection, there are numerous private VPN solutions available that guarantee exceptional speeds, such as NordVPN. This ZenMate review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the service, delving into its various aspects in detail. We will explore its streaming performance, features, security measures, applications, and customer support in depth.
ZenMate VPN Review
ZenMate VPN Review Key Information
|🥇 Overall rank:||#1 out of #42||#41 out of #42|
|🖥️ Servers:||5,800+ servers in 60 countries||4,500+ servers in 91 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Pricing:||From $2.99/month||from $2.22/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||NordVPN coupon 69% OFF||ZenMate coupon 80% OFF|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)||IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browser|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||6||Unlimited|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat|
ZenMate’s priority is to provide fast and secure connections for its users. By utilizing advanced encryption protocols, ZenMate ensures that your online activity remains private and protected from prying eyes. Additionally, the service is designed to offer fast connection speeds, allowing you to browse the web without any lag or interruptions. Whether you’re streaming content, downloading files, or simply browsing the web, ZenMate’s fast and secure connection ensures a seamless online experience.
ZenMate VPN Pros & Cons
ZenMate VPN Speed performance
It should be emphasized that VPNs do not possess a specific speed; it primarily depends on the extent to which a VPN reduces your original connection speed. When you connect to the internet via a VPN server, your data travels through a longer route to reach its destination and return. Additionally, the process of encryption also contributes to a slowdown in your connection. Taking this into consideration, let’s examine the true level of “speed” offered by ZenMate.
Baseline: 1 ms/300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload
The speeds offered by the IKEv2 protocol are generally good. Although there were notable decreases in speed in India and Argentina, the average download speed only decreased by 30%. The upload speeds, on the other hand, were not as impressive, with an average reduction of 85% in connection. Additionally, the ping times increased significantly, making this option less suitable for gaming purposes. Distinguishing between UDP and TCP is usually quite simple. However, ZenMate defied expectations in this case. The average TCP download speed dropped by 65%, while the upload speed dropped by 60%. The results could have been better if it weren’t for consistently slow performance in Brazil and India.
The UDP speeds were consistently slow. On average, there was a decrease of 86% for download speeds and 53% for upload speeds. The same locations that had issues before continued to have problems, resulting in high ping times. In terms of tunneling protocol options, ZenMate doesn’t provide a wide range of choices. However, their IKEv2 performs well and is recommended if you prioritize good download speeds over upload speeds.
Streaming: can I watch Netflix with ZenMate?
ZenMate offers dedicated servers specifically designed for streaming purposes. Therefore, when you need to access a blocked streaming service, these servers are the ones you should use. The server labels clearly indicate which platforms they are meant for. By utilizing these servers, we were able to bypass the restrictions on US Netflix. However, the performance was not seamless. The video took a considerable amount of time to buffer, and the streaming quality was compromised.
Nevertheless, ZenMate offers access to more than just the American Netflix library, providing users with numerous choices. We also succeeded in unblocking BBC iPlayer, but the experience mirrored that of Netflix. Although it did remove the restrictions on video content, it took some time for the videos to load and the streaming quality was subpar. If you were accustomed to using the service without a VPN, you may notice a difference. On the other hand, we encountered no issues when accessing YouTube and were able to enjoy videos without any disruptions.
|Netflix||✔️ with US Netflix|
Is ZenMate good for torrenting and P2P?
Torrenting is limited on certain servers because of local regulations, but it remains functional. If you are in need of a VPN for torrenting purposes, ZenMate is recommended as a suitable option. The connection speeds initially performed well but later experienced a slowdown at approximately 4MB/s (32mbps). It is possible that this issue is unrelated to ZenMate, considering the nature of P2P.
ZenMate VPN features
ZenMate VPN service offers robust security features such as AES-256 encryption, automatic kill switch, and no data leaks. The Windows and Android apps come with the secure OpenVPN protocol built-in, ensuring an extra layer of protection. However, the macOS and iOS apps rely on the less secure IKEv2 protocol, which may pose some security risks. It is recommended to use the OpenVPN protocol on all platforms for maximum security while browsing online. Overall, ZenMate’s strong commitment to user privacy and safety makes it a reliable choice for those seeking a trustworthy VPN service.
Smart Locations function similarly to automated split tunneling. This feature automatically activates the VPN for specific websites. Thus, if you are aware that you will exclusively use Netflix while connected through a VPN, you can enable smart locations. This significantly reduces the time required to switch servers for specific purposes. Unfortunately, this feature is only accessible through their browser add-on and Android platform.
However, there is a potential drawback to this feature as it may result in DNS leaks. This occurs due to the utilization of DNS Prefetching, which aims to enhance efficiency by storing frequently accessed IP addresses. Enabling Smart Locations could potentially expose your pre-cached DNS information. To mitigate this issue, you can either disable DNS pre-caching or solely rely on the Zenmate desktop app.
If you frequently visit the same server, there is a favorites section available. By clicking on the star icon located on the right side, you can add the server to your Favorites tab. This will make it effortless to locate and use the server at a later time. When it comes to streaming servers, this is particularly beneficial because it can occasionally be time-consuming to locate the appropriate server for unblocking a desired service. Additionally, you have the option to include multiple servers as backups in case the others are already at capacity.
Is ZenMate VPN safe?
The AES-256-CBC cipher is employed to ensure the privacy of your connection. This technique utilizes private keys to encrypt and decrypt traffic, ensuring that any data you send or receive remains incomprehensible to unauthorized individuals who lack these private keys. Additionally, when connecting to a server, authentication is carried out using the SHA-256 hash function.
The VPN utilizes tunneling protocols to coordinate the transmission of your data. The choice between speed and security is in your hands. It is important to make a deliberate decision on which tunneling protocol to use based on your specific requirements. ZenMate offers the following options for you to choose from: 1. IKEv2: This is one of the most commonly used tunneling protocols. It is compatible with a wide range of devices and has a lightweight design.
Available on Windows and macOS apps. 2. OpenVPN (TCP/UDP): This protocol is open-source and highly customizable. You have the option to use UDP for faster speeds, sacrificing some data verification checks, or TCP for slower speeds but stronger data integrity. Available for Windows, Android, and iOS apps. Unfortunately, these are the only available options provided by ZenMate. WireGuard, Shadowsocks, and obfuscation are not supported. This limited setup can be considered a security flaw in itself.
A kill switch provides an extra layer of protection in case the link between your device and the VPN server is interrupted. We conducted tests to evaluate how well it performs in real-life scenarios. The initial test involved blocking IP addresses through a router to terminate the connection. The second test entailed terminating the VPN processes on the device and observing how the app responded. During the first test, the kill switch functioned as intended. It disabled our internet connection and automatically began reconnecting in the background.
The only drawback was that it did not provide any notification indicating that the kill switch had been activated. When we disabled the OpenVPN processes, the app detected these changes and generated additional processes to reestablish the connection. However, when we terminated all background processes, ZenMate still indicated that we were connected despite losing internet access. Only a computer restart resolved this issue. Therefore, you can trust that ZenMate will continue to protect you even if your connection drops.
This means that if the EU or Germany’s stance on data retention changes, ZenMate’s no logs policy could easily be reversed. Furthermore, ZenMate openly admits to collecting a significant amount of data from website visits and even using tracking pixels in newsletters. This is definitely not something you would want to find in the terms of service of a VPN provider when it comes to protecting your privacy.
ZenMate servers and locations
ZenMate offers extensive server coverage, which has been further expanded by their collaboration with CyberGhost. Together, they now boast a server fleet of 4,500 servers across 91 countries, providing widespread coverage across the globe. As a result, users have a vast array of server locations to select from.
|Region||Number of countries|
|The Americas||9 countries|
|The Asia Pacific||16 countries|
|The Middle East and Africa||12 countries|
If you’re looking to connect to Europe or the Asia Pacific, you’ll have a wide range of countries to choose from with ZenMate. Don’t worry about missing out on locations in the Middle East and Africa either – ZenMate offers more variety than you might expect. Even countries like Saudi Arabia or Russia are included.
Plans & pricing
ZenMate offers two different pricing plans: Pro and Ultimate. The only additional features that Ultimate users receive are support for OpenVPN and P2P networks, which includes torrenting, among other things.
In terms of pricing, a single month of Ultimate comes at a cost of $10.99, while 6 months can be purchased for $32.34, and 18 months for $39.96. These amounts will be charged upon purchase, however, it is worth noting that opting for longer plans results in greater savings.
The Pro plan introduces a new pricing structure: $7.99 for a monthly subscription, $19.14 for a six-month subscription, and the longest option is a yearly plan at $23.88. Despite sacrificing some basic features such as OpenVPN support, it offers a great premium package deal.
The available payment methods consist solely of credit cards and PayPal, which may disappoint those who prioritize privacy. If you had intended to use cryptocurrencies to pay for your subscription, unfortunately, that option is not available here.
However, you will have the opportunity to try the service for free for 7 days and if you are not satisfied, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you ample time to determine if the service meets your expectations. Additionally, they offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which adds significant value to their offering.
|1-month Pro plan||$7.99|
|6-month Pro plan||$19.14 or $3.19/month|
|1-year Pro plan||$23.88 or $1.99/month|
|1-month Ultimate plan||$10.99|
|6-month Ultimate plan||$32.34 or $5.39/month|
|18 months Ultimate plan||$39.96 or $2.22/month|
Interface and ease of use
When it comes to software or application design, interface and ease of use are critical factors that can make or break user experience. A well-designed interface should be intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. It should also provide users with clear instructions and feedback on their actions. Ease of use refers to how simple and straightforward it is for users to achieve their desired tasks within the software or application. This includes things like the number of clicks required to complete a task, the clarity of instructions provided, and the availability of help resources when needed. Ultimately, a good interface and ease of use are essential for ensuring user satisfaction and maximizing engagement with your product.
Upon initial observation, it becomes apparent that the app bears a striking resemblance to CyberGhost’s app. This similarity is not unexpected, given that the two providers have formed a partnership. Additionally, we found it peculiar that the server list provides information on the number of active users currently connected to each server.
The user interface (UI) can be frustrating at times due to its lack of careful consideration. An instance of this is the inability to choose different regions within a country. Consequently, if you wish to connect to a specific area in the United States, you won’t have any means to manage it. Moreover, the customization options for the connection itself are limited. You have the ability to configure the app to start up on boot and automatically connect to a specific server. However, the only available toggles are for switching between IKEv2 and OpenVPN connections, enabling random ports, and disabling DNS and IPv6 leak protection (although we strongly discourage disabling them).
For Apple users, the ZenMate experience is more streamlined compared to Windows. The settings tab consists of only three tabs: General, Account, and Connections. The Connections tab is empty, the Account tab displays your email and the device number currently in use, while the General tab provides an option to enable running at startup.
When it comes to streaming and torrenting, you have the option to select from various servers. However, there are no other customization options or feature toggles available. It is important to choose a server that is optimized for the activity you plan on engaging in, as it can significantly impact your overall experience. Some servers may have higher speeds or better connectivity, while others may be specifically designed to bypass geographic restrictions and content blocks. Therefore, it is essential to consider your specific needs before selecting a server for streaming or torrenting.
ZenMate mobile apps
ZenMate is a popular VPN service that offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. These apps provide users with a secure and private internet connection, protecting their online activities from prying eyes. With ZenMate’s mobile apps, users can easily connect to servers in over 74 countries worldwide and enjoy lightning-fast speeds. The apps are user-friendly and offer features such as automatic connection on unsecured Wi-Fi networks and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions. ZenMate’s mobile apps are an excellent choice for anyone looking to secure their online activities while on the go.
The application appears to be quite simple and has a few issues with its user interface. A notable example is the font color, which clashes with the background, resulting in significant difficulty when reading. Additionally, it is not possible to access the server list while connected.
In general, it gives the impression of being a poorly crafted replica of the CyberGhost app. It lacks distinctiveness in terms of functionality and design decisions.
When attempting to depict ZenMate’s iOS application, envision a solitary button accompanied by a list of countries. These are the sole components that you will find within this app. Additionally, there is a settings menu available; however, it solely displays your username, plan, active connections, and app version.
The font used in the iPhone app is slightly different, resulting in less visual conflict compared to the Android version. Nevertheless, this does not adequately address the significant deficiency of features.
ZenMate stands out from other providers by offering a greater number of features on their browser extensions compared to their apps. One notable feature is the stealth connection, which automatically deletes your cookies and browsing history cache once you disconnect from the VPN.
Whitelister is a feature at the browser level that allows for split tunneling. It enables you to selectively connect directly to specific websites. Consequently, when you visit these websites, the VPN will be deactivated.
Similar to other services, ZenMate provides the necessary information through FAQs and guides on their customer support page. This page offers solutions to common problems as well as effective workarounds. For those who prefer a more interactive approach, they can submit a ticket using the support system. However, the live chat option appears to be quicker. Upon contacting ZenMate, we were promptly connected with a customer support agent. They handled all of our inquiries in a professional manner, and therefore deserve recognition for their efforts.
Is ZenMate worth getting?
ZenMate is a VPN service that has some positive aspects. It has optimized its OpenVPN TCP version, ensuring efficient performance. Additionally, its kill switch feature works reliably and it supports torrenting and P2P connections. Moreover, ZenMate offers affordable pricing, making it an attractive choice. The customer support provided is prompt and helpful in resolving any issues. These strengths indicate that with effective management, ZenMate has the potential to become a leading VPN service like Surfshark or NordVPN. However, there are certain areas where ZenMate falls short. Since it has joined forces with CyberGhost, it lacks its own unique user interface and distinctive features on its Windows app and other versions. The VPN also disappoints in terms of tunneling protocols and lacks essential features such as split tunneling in its apps. Furthermore, the slow speeds further diminish its appeal.
ZenMate’s 7-day free trial
ZenMate provides a complimentary trial period of seven days for macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS users. This allows you to avoid the initial payment required for the 30-day refund policy. To initiate the trial, simply register for a ZenMate account and adhere to the provided instructions. It is important to note that the trial does not automatically convert into a paid subscription once the seven days have elapsed.
Is ZenMate Worth It?
However, there are more dependable services available for these purposes. Casual users seeking a straightforward protection service for public WiFi may also consider ZenMate, especially since it is one of the most affordable VPNs on the market. Despite its low price and recent improvements, ZenMate must continue enhancing its service to truly deliver value for money.
ZenMate Key Data
|Logging Policy||No Logs|
|Jurisdiction||Germany (14-Eyes member)|
|Countries with Servers||81|
|Works In China||No|
|Support||Live-Chat, Email & Online Resources|
|Cheapest Price||$1.51/mo over 3 years|
|Free Trial||7 Days (No Payment Info Required)|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30-day Money-Back Guarantee|
FAQs About ZenMate VPN
Is ZenMate free VPN safe?
Is ZenMate VPN safe? ZenMate VPN uses the best available military-grade encryption technology to shield all your internet data. ZenMate also has a no-logs policy.
Can ZenMate be trusted?
ZenMate for Chrome is safe; it uses AES-128 encryption and doesn’t keep any logs. Does ZenMate Collect Data? The website collects some anonymized data, which is fairly standard. The VPN itself collects no data if you disable the feature to send anonymous usage information, and it keeps no logs of your activity.
Does ZenMate work in China?
Sorry, but ZenMate is not functional in China.