ZenMate VPN Review and Test 2020: Is ZenMate Safe to Use?

3.5 rating

ZenMate VPN Review BannerZenMate VPN is easy to use, a good-looking, and pure virtual private network ideal for people who are using a VPN for the first time.

In my review, I tested all the aspects of ZenMate, including its pricing, performance, design, and other essential things. Even though it’s an excellent tool for beginners, it doesn’t have any severe shortcomings for long-term use.

Simply put, if you don’t have any special needs and are looking for the right solution that works, you won’t have to switch from ZenMate to some other VPN service. Now let’s dig a little deeper to see what is ZenMate and how it works. 

General Overview 🤗

  • Works with Netflix USA. 
  • It’s quite affordable. 
  • Based in Germany. 
  • It offers a wide range of protocols and encryptions. 
  • Has 300+ servers throughout 31 countries. 
  • Over 40 million users. 

Pros and Cons 

+ Unblocks BBC iPlayer as well as Netflix US

+ Kill Switch

+ DNS leak protection

+ Easy to use

+ Offers a 7-day free trial and 14-day money-back guarantee

– It doesn’t offer anonymous payments

Is ZenMate Still Free? ✌️

Not exactly. ZenMate free version does not exist at present. However, you will be glad to know that the ZenMate Premium offers a 7-days free trial. So, if you have doubts and qualms about using this VPN. You can go for it. 

The price is not that much hefty. Have a look at the below-mentioned table.  If you’re a regular VPN user, go for its 2-year plan as more savings are on your way.

ZenMate offers different payment plans: 

  • 1-month plan ($9.99 each month)
  • 1-year plan ($3.49 per month  / $41.88 yearly)
  • 2-year plan ($1.75 per month / $42 for two years)

Neither of these plans has bandwidth limitations, and they all offer a maximum of 5 connections at the same time. With the free browser extension, you can take a free trial for the premium plan that lasts a week.

However, getting to it can be a little tricky. The first thing you need to do is to choose ZenMate Limited, and when you subscribe to it and verify your email, you will be able to get the free trial of the premium plan.

ZenMate supports three payment options: Sofort Banking, PayPal, and Credit Card. 

Speed Test and Performance 👨‍💼

In my ZenMate review, I spent a lot of time testing its performance.

In many cases, these cheaper VPN services usually struggle in this domain. I did a thorough audit and concluded that ZenMate’s performance is quite solid – it’s far from unusual, but I can’t say that it’s terrible. 

The performance of any VPN depends on how many servers it owns. Surprisingly, ZenMate owns an impressive number of servers. As per the website, there are around

3,800 mostly torrent-friendly servers across 74 countries. I was impressed with it as it was far better than NordVPN and Windscribe.

Given the fact that I’m from the US when I connected to the US server, I had better performance. I tested it from a US location with a 600Mbps connection. Its performance was good and I noticed a significant high speed at 200-210Mbps. It was far better than most of its competitors.

I also tried out the UK server, and the download speed dropped significantly. At this server location, my speed was 50-75Mbps in one session and then hit the mark of 115-120Mbps in the next session. So, it’s a mixed bag.

With this VPN, it’s essential to find the right server close to your location, and this takes a bit of time. That’s all was about its speed. Now, let’s talk about its performance. I also tested the VPN’s unblocking abilities, and it passed the Netflix guard, as well as the iPlayer’s VPN security.

All the security tests also showed green lights without any leaks through IPv6, WebRTC, or DNS. 

Key Features 🧞

To check out the full extent of ZenMate, I suggest using the desktop version.

It performs the best and compared to the browser extension – it is a real VPN service, not proxy encryption. Here are some of the most notable features: 

Smart Locations

This feature will help you to browse the internet from a single location even if you’re reusing different server locations for a different website. Because of this feature, ZenMate can switch locations automatically. 

Tracking Protection

With ZenMate, tracking protection is impressive. This iconic feature will ensure that there is no third-part service that will hover over your head and track your location all the time. 

 Stream Live Sports

 Using this feature, one can easily view multiple live sports events even if they are not telecasting in your country.

Kill Switch

The in-built Kill Switch feature ensures your data by all means.

EverSecure

This feature automatically reconnects the app in case the internet connection is disconnected.

Mobile Support

ZenMate offers mobile app support for all the leading OS and versions. ZenMate for Android is a user-friendly and feature-rich app. It has great encryption for secure operations.

Multiple Language Support

ZenMate supports multiple languages and targets global audiences. German, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and English are the major ones. Even its customer care support is available in multiple languages. 

Is ZenMate Safe? 👯‍♀️

Started as a proxy service, ZenMate is not a fully-fledged VPN with some considerably good encryption and safety protocols.   

The AES 256 bit encryption (desktop users) and AES 128 encryption (mobile app) are pretty standard and robust.  ZenMate for MAC follows IPSec and IKEv2 protocols. ZenMate for Windows is considered to be a great VPN for Windows as it has IPSec and IKEv2 protocols along with L2TP/IPSec.

You will enjoy DNS leak protection as well.  However, ZenMate for a mobile app will fail to offer advanced security features. 

I liked its in-built kill switch that adds another protection layer. As soon as your connection will become unsecured, the session will end soon.  However, I was disappointed once I noticed that there is no split tunneling available.WebRTC protection is also absent. However, I didn’t experience any leak in our test.

Privacy & Logging Policy 👚

More than anything, making sense of the privacy and logging policy of ZenMate was the toughest part of reviewing ZenMate. There are some complex words, ambiguity, and confusion. 

As I have already mentioned, ZenMate is a Germany-based VPN and is a member of the 14 Eyes alliance. Being a member of this alliance means that it is bound to save some information for government purposes. Users’ IP addresses might get saved. 

For instance, the users of the UK or US are likely to share some sort of information with the respective government. Though there is a strict no-logging policy on the website, there are some grey areas. As far as encryption is concerned, ZenMate for Chrome uses AES 256 for desktop and 128 on mobile which is impressive.

From what I’ve read and researched, there seems to be no indication that the company keeps logging sessions or their user’s IP addresses. However, they do record payment details and emails. 

Overall, they offer the right amount of privacy on your connection.

If you don’t understand privacy laws and the VPN domain overall, chances are you won’t understand their policy. 

Does ZenMate Keep Logs? 🤾🏻‍♂️

As per the claims mentioned on the website, ZenMate will help you have a secure and anonymous online browsing experience as it adheres to the no-logs privacy policy strictly. This Germany-based VPN is a member of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. So, it is bound to follow some cyber laws that will infringe the user’s privacy at some or other levels. 

However, the 4000-word long privacy policy of ZenMate for Chrome has some dubious clauses as well. For instance, in one place, it states: “In rare cases, the processing of personal data may be necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person.”

So, the air is not that clear. To be very honest, there is hardly any VPN that has a zero-logging policy. Some data will log no matter what. The only thing that matters is the logs are not that much that it can create a headache. In this sense, ZenMate Premium is not a migraine.

Compatibility 👧🏼

ZenMate is very versatile when it comes to the number of platforms and devices it’s compatible with.

It supports operating systems such as Windows, Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, and Amazon Fire Stick. It’s also compatible with OpenVPN, meaning that you can use it for smart TVs, Linux.

It is also one of the VPNs that work for gaming.

ZenMate also supports different browsers, including: 

  • Google Chrome 
  • Opera
  • Firefox 
  • Other Chromium-based browsers 

Torrenting 🙋🏼‍♀️

ZenMate’s rise from a free version to a full-fledged VPN was an impressive one. Many aspects were improved. Sadly, its torrenting ability still lags. It didn’t help me to do P2P file sharing. I was even allowed to use torrents on its servers.

There is a tab designed explicitly for torrenting in the ZenMate dashboard, and you will get a list of servers optimized for torrenting. With its help, you may go around blocks and ISP for various torrent sites.

Does ZenMate Work with Netflix? 👩🏼‍🎨

I tested ZenMate for Netflix streaming several times because I like watching movies. I got some mixed results and couldn’t pinpoint what that was all about.

To stream on Netflix, you go to the appchoose servers designed for Netflix streaming throughout different countries. 

When I tried it the first time, it worked smoothly throughout various countries. However, the next time around, Netflix wouldn’t work for any other country except the US. Simply put, unless you want to stream Netflix US, you can’t rely on ZenMate for streaming in other countries. I would rather use ExpressVPN or NordVPN that are on the list of the best VPNs for Netflix

Customer Support 👨🏼‍🦯

My ZenMate VPN review concludes with its customer support, which is its weakest aspect, in my opinion.

First of all, the website doesn’t offer any other type of customer service channel except a ticketing system. Why is this a big deal? 

Well, it shouldn’t be, except the fact that after you’ve sent a ticket, it takes the support days to give you a reply. For many people, this is too much waiting. I would personally like to see ZenMate add at least an email where their users can contact them and get quick responses. 

However, their support page has a lot of useful information that might be able to help. 

Is ZenMate a Good VPN? 🧘🏼‍♂️

Well, that’s a tricky question. The answer to this question depends on what you expect from your VPN. If you’re a non-technical user and your needs are simple then go for it. The two-year plan is a very pocket-friendly deal.

But, if you want something that can give you 100% online protection and an ad-free experience, then ZenMate might disappoint you.  That being said, its speed, performance, and server location is far better in many VPNs. You can give it a shot for sure.

FAQs

Does ZenMate Have an Ad-blocker?

Sadly, ZenMate Premium or any other subscription doesn’t come with an in-built ad blocker. However, you can go for a separate ad blocker by ZenMate for free and club it with ZenMate for Windows to have an ad-free browsing experience.

Does ZenMate Work in China?

You can’t surpass the Great Firewall of the country with the free or the paid version of ZenMate VPN. The website clearly states that it doesn’t work in a restricted zone.

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