ZenMate VPN Review

ZenMate VPN Review

Features

  • Protects up to 5 devices at one time
  • No-logging policy
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Servers in more than 30 countries
  • Connect up to 5 devices
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Supports Netflix, Youtube, iPlayer and more
  • Available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Opera and Firefox
  • AES 128-bit encryption on desktop devices
  • AES 256-bit encryption on mobile devices

Privacy

Privacy is always the first category we cover, and it’s a mixed result for ZenMate. They have great data collection policies stating that they do not collect data from their users. They also have a strict no-logs policy which further solidifies their standing as a secure VPN provider. On top of this, they boast an identity shield option that prevents your online actions from being traced back to you.

As well as these features, ZenMate also has a kill-switch feature that protects your privacy when torrenting. Everything seems rosy.

However, as with all VPN’s, there are some cons to their service which may make them less suitable for you, depending on your reason for using a VPN. ZenMate is a German company with a registered address in Germany. Germany is a country in Europe with strict laws ensuring companies work with law enforcement if necessary. 

As is always the case with VPN providers, trust is a factor here. If they don’t log any data on their users, then the location they’re registered isn’t a problem. However, we only have their word to go off when it comes to not collecting any data, and any data they do collect is easily accessed by law enforcement if they need it. 

ZenMate also offers Firewall, SafeSearch and IdentityShield

Even though there’s no reason for us to believe that ZenMate does collect any data on its users, the fact that they’re in German jurisdiction doesn’t help their cause.  

All of that being said, if you’re not doing anything extremely dodgy and illegal online, their registered location isn’t an issue. They won’t come after you for viewing Netflix in a different country 😉 

Even though ZenMate is registered in Germany, they still boast fantastic policies when it comes to their user’s privacy and regardless of whether or not they’re registered in Germany, this VPN’s privacy is more than adequate for your average user.

 Compatibility

As with most modern-day VPN’s, ZenMate is compatible with all major devices and browsers. 

It’s available on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Opera, Linux, and Firefox, and is extremely easy to set up and use. 

The ease by which ZenMate can be used and the wide range of devices and browsers it supports make it the perfect VPN for your average Joe. With a click of a button, your actions online are encrypted and your location is altered. 

Support

When it comes to support, ZenMate is pretty good compared to most of the other VPN’s on our site. They offer personal support to buyers, and this support is provided in various different ways.

One of their most important means of support is their huge database of resources and how-tos on their services. You can search their database for anything, and it almost always gives multiple answers for you to choose from. 

These answers are usually paired with screenshots, images, and ample explanation. 

Along with the extensive documentation on their site, they also offer support by means of chat and email. This ensures you have the possibility to ask them any questions that you can’t find the answer to on their website. 

All-in-all, they offer plenty of support options and have done their best to make it as easy for you to get help as they could. 

Installation and app usage

Ease of use is one of the things that ZenMate truly excels at. Their service can be used by any “non-techy” and is perfect for everyday use by everyday people. The auto-connect picks the best server for you if you don`t have a specific country preference.

You can also open the full server list and the great thing about ZenMate is that it also shows you the distance to that server as well as Load percentage. This helps you evaluate what server to pick.

The Distance and Load columns help you pick the best server

The annoying thing about ZenMate is that you can`t pick a specific location in a Country. It`s not a big deal if you are connecting to Finland for example (because it’s a small country) but if you want to pick either New York or Los Angeles you just can`t. The only way you can access specific locations within a country is if you see them in the dedicated “For Torrenting” or “For Streaming” menus.

ZenMate has dedicated servers optimized for streaming and for torrenting

Along with this, you can use it on any normal device, making it even more accessible to new VPN users. 

Security and Speed

Even though the jurisdiction they are in isn’t ideal for privacy purposes, when it comes to security you can be sure that no one from the outside is looking in.

When you first look on their site, you get the feeling they are catering towards your average Joe. There’s no complex terminology used and thought had clearly gone into the way the company is portrayed. This did mean there was no bragging about the encryption they used, which is a little disappointing for a geeky tech-oriented company like ours. 

Luckily, their support features we talked about earlier in this article helped us find an answer. And boy, was it a good one! 

After a quick search, we found the following quote (https://zenguard.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201259141-What-kind-of-encryption-is-ZenMate-using-is-it-secure-)

from one of their employees: “We use TLS 1.2 (RFC 5246) protocol and support different cipher suites with PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy). Our browser extensions use AES 128-bit encryption, and our desktop & mobile clients use AES 256-bit.” 

The extra encryption provided on mobile devices is perfect for the new change of landscape on the internet. This doesn’t mean that 128-bit encryption isn’t sufficient though. 

People often forget that 128-bit encryption takes billions of years to decrypt with modern-day tech. Luckily, you have us to remind you of this!  

Along with this it also supports open VPN which is another big plus when it comes to security. DNS leak prevention features have also been added into the VPN for even more security. 

Even though ZenMate might not quite square up to some of the security-obsessive companies in the VPN space, it holds up very well. 

Netflix and Torrenting

ZenMate supports most video sharing platforms and allows you to navigate geo-block by means of multiple servers in over 30 countries. You can pick the servers based on whether you want to access Netflix or Youtube or want to maximize your torrenting speeds. This is quite a lot less than a VPN service like ExpressVPN, but given the countries ZenMate does support, it’s suitable to most VPN users.

 The slightly limited country selection may be something to look out for if you do decide to go with ZenMate.

This makes it possible for you to check out your favorite TV shows on platforms like BBC i-player, but also makes it possible to browse Netflix with the same selection as back home.

 ZenMate also supports torrenting and has many thorough guides and how-to’s in order to make the process as smooth as possible. It also boasts the ability to remove geo-blocks and even allows you to access social media sites and other websites blocked in your country.

 Speed Test

The Speed test showed average results. The auto-connect chose the Swedish server (We would have expected it to be Finnish, as it is the closest outside the testing country) and that performed pretty well. Compared to the baseline test we only saw an average of 13% drop in downloads and 12% in uploads.

ZenMate automatically chose the server in Sweden

The Finnish server as the closest location we test in performed well and with 83.80Mbps (7.8% decrease from baseline) it was a very satisfying result. We have seen better results from NordVPN (2.2% drop in speed) and ProtonVPN (4.1% drop in speeds) but we have also seen worse results from TorGuard for example (57% drop)

Finnish server speed test

Our second staple in the speed test procedure is Denmark server. ZenMate performed well and with a 17.9% drop in downloads and 48.9% drop in uploads it again places in the middle of the pack. ExpressVPN blows it out of the water with a tiny drop of 4.8% in downloads and TunnelBear with its 6.9 impressed us also. Private Internet Access, for example, peaked at 24% drop.

Denmark server speed test

As mentioned before, ZenMate does not allow you to pick a specific city within a country from the main server list. Therefore you are left guessing where will you connect to. In our case, we connected to New York (based on Mylocation.org ) Downloads dropped from 90Mbps to 31.54Mbps – an average result.

USA server speed test

Hong Kong as the slowest server in our list of locations to test did not impress us.

Hong Kong server speed test

The torrenting test went well and although they are far less conclusive than the controlled speed test the dedicated torrenting server in Finland performed well.

Pricing

ZenMate is bang-on when it comes to pricing in our opinion. Since they target your average Joe, the price needs to reflect that. With a free plan that still provides some features and protection, you’re always able to test out the service.

 Once you’re comfortable with their service, a fee of $9,99 per month will give you full access to all of their features and functionality. This may be a little expensive but is worth the money given the quality that this VPN provides. 

Alternatively, you can go with the one-year or two-year plans, which are $3.99 and $2.05 respectively. This gives you much better value for money and makes the service extremely affordable. 

If their paid plan isn’t quite what you thought it was, you can enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee which makes the barrier-to-entry even lower.

Pros
  • Compatible with all major devices and browsers
  • Dedicated servers for torrenting, Netflix, Hulu etc.
  • Ensured strict no-logs policy
  • Great for normal and non-techy users
Cons
  • No city breakdown in the server list
  • Germany jurisdiction
  • Average speeds

Verdict

Zenmate VPN is, in general, a good safe choice. It has a lot going on for it and also offers additional products for extra security but the speed test results place it behind some of the faster competition. Although the app is easy to use and looks good there are shortcomings for more demanding users. You are not able to pick a location in a specific country for example even though ZenMate has plenty of servers in the USA or any other larger country. The 7-day free trial and the tested 30-day money-back guarantee are nice safety nets so you can install the VPN and see if suits your needs. But if you need lightning-fast speeds, look at ExpressVPN, NordVPN or others that have landed at the top of our list.

Privacy features
Security
Speed
Ease of Use
Price
Average

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