ZenMate VPN Review

ZenMate VPN as a wallpaper on a smartphone.

ZenMate VPN is a popular VPN service that’s easy to use and offers a broad range of servers. Read this review to learn if it’s right for you.

ZenMate is one of the simpler VPN services currently on the market.

It’s designed with non-technical VPN users in mind, giving them an easy route to protecting their data and online identity.

This is clear from the moment you arrive on ZenMate’s website.

They’ve taken steps not to complicate things by removing any technical jargon and simply explaining the features of their VPN.

That being said, ZenMate doesn’t lack any essential features that we look for in a VPN.

Now that we’ve given a brief overview of ZenMate VPN, it’s time to take a closer look at the service to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Benefits of Using a VPN

Before we talk about ZenMate VPN, it’s important to understand the benefits of using a VPN.

There are a ton of reasons why you should use a VPN service.

They don’t just protect your data or hide your IP address, though these features alone are enough to justify the use of a VPN.

When using a VPN, you’re making your online browsing experience safer by encrypting your internet connection to protect it from anyone looking to collect information about you or your internet usage.

Your internet service provider will be unable to see what sites you’re using and won’t be able to throttle your internet speeds if you’re doing something that requires a lot of bandwidth like streaming.

With the growing understanding of how your data is used by technology companies and governments to create detailed profiles of everyone, it’s now more important than ever to use a VPN to protect yourself.

The days of safely browsing the internet without a VPN have come to an end.

Luckily, most high-quality VPN services are very reasonably priced so you can easily reap the benefits they have to offer.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of using a VPN, let’s get back to our review of ZenMate VPN.

Features

In short, ZenMate offers everything that you would expect from a standard VPN service without cluttering its product with too many features.

VPN written on a cyber background.

If you have a device that doesn’t have built-in VPN support, ZenMate premium packages allow you to use the OpenVPN protocol.

They offer a reasonably-sized VPN network with servers in over 30 countries, so you can rest assured you’ll have a wide range of servers to choose from.

Another great thing about ZenMate is that they have dedicated apps for most major platforms as well as VPN browser extensions.

Many other VPN providers only have apps for a select number of platforms, so this really sets ZenMate VPN apart.

Another unique feature of ZenMate VPN is their service credits feature.

The best way to explain this feature is with an example.

Let’s say you sign up with ZenMate VPN because you want to unblock one of your favorite streaming sites.

While usually a VPN can unblock restricted content, occasionally it doesn’t work.

If this happens and you’re using ZenMate VPN, ZenMate will give you service credits, which will extend your VPN service.

Aside from these unique characteristics, ZenMate VPN also offers some other key security features.

Autostart, a kill switch, and perfect forward secrecy are all features that are currently available with ZenMate VPN.

There is also the Identity Shield feature which carries out security checks on a monthly basis in order to check if the email addresses of ZenMate’s users have been exposed in a data breach.

The service will inform you if it finds that the email address you used to register with ZenMate has been compromised, giving you plenty of warning to change your credentials and protect yourself.

While ZenMate VPN currently offers all of these features, more features may be on their way.

ZenMate was recently purchased by Kape Technologies, the parent company of CyberGhost VPN.

The company stated that they would be bringing their technologies and extensive VPN infrastructure to ZenMate VPN in order to enhance the services offered to ZenMate’s customers.

If this statement holds true, you can expect even more features to be included with ZenMate VPN’s service in the future.

Compatibility

A VPN service can offer you all the features and server locations in the world, but if it’s not compatible with any of the devices you own then you’ve essentially wasted your money on the service.

Therefore, it’s important for a VPN service to support as many platforms as possible since most internet users have multiple devices either in their office or in their home.

Currently, ZenMate allows users to protect up to five internet-enabled devices simultaneously on a single account.

These devices can be based on macOS, iOS, Windows or Android.

Widows, Ios, Android and Linux operative systems.

Additionally, ZenMate supports VPN browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

If you have a device that doesn’t have built-in VPN support, ZenMate premium packages allow you to use the OpenVPN protocol.

This allows you to install ZenMate VPN on operating systems like Ubuntu and Raspberry Pi as well as devices like smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Android and iOS

ZenMate VPN’s Android and iOS apps are basically smaller versions of the ZenMate Windows app.

The color scheme is the same and the overall layout is very similar to the Windows app as well.

All three of these apps offer essentially the same features and security tools.

Both the iOS and Android apps have the same blue main screen with a big Connect button in the middle.

Below this button is the location of the current server. Users can click on the Settings icon in the top left corner of the screen to access the advanced settings and choose different servers.

There are separate sections for regular servers and streaming servers, so make sure you’re choosing the right one depending on what you’re planning to do on the internet.

Setup and Installation

We’ve already established that ZenMate is a feature-rich and fairly hassle-free VPN service.

It shouldn’t take you more than a total of three minutes to download and install the VPN app, though this may vary depending on your internet speeds.

You can create an account easily with the help of a valid email address and a password.

As soon as you log in to the app, you’ll find that while it looks simple, it actually offers a decent number of customization options.

You have the option of configuring your VPN settings manually to fully customize your experience.

Usability

ZenMate official website.

The layout of the app makes it reasonably easy to find and configure the various connection settings.

The official ZenMate VPN Windows app is cleanly designed and easy to use.

As we mentioned before, the design is simple enough for beginners to feel comfortable, but the number of available features will keep even advanced VPN users happy.

The layout of the app makes it reasonably easy to find and configure the various connection settings.

If you go to the My Account window, you’ll have the option to adjust your ZenMate VPN subscription settings.

This option allows you to stay in the app to renew your subscription.

Your subscription can also be cancelled from within the app.

The app makes it very simple to switch servers.

All you need to do is to perform a simple search for a server in your desired location by clicking on the button on the left-hand side.

There’s also an option to scroll through the list of servers. To connect to a server, just click the server to which you wish to connect.

Normally you’ll be connected almost immediately, but if the server is having problems, the app will alert you with an exclamation point.

You can then choose another server.

Even if you’ve never signed up for a VPN service before, the ZenMate VPN app can easily be mastered within minutes.

The app has a compact design and is ideal for those who want online protection quickly. In terms of VPN apps that allow for a one-click connection, we feel that ZenMate VPN is one of the best.

Encryption Options

All of ZenMate VPN’s web browser extensions make use of the reasonably secure AES 128-bit encryption.

If you want the best security, it’s wise to use a mobile or desktop app, which make use of the even more secure AES 256-bit encryption.

As for protocols, the latest version of ZenMate VPN allows users to use L2TP, 1Kev2 or OpenVPN.

Servers and Locations

VPN connecting all the world.

All of ZenMate VPN’s web browser extensions make use of the reasonably secure AES 128-bit encryption.

ZenMate VPN provides their users with thousands of servers in over 30 countries. The servers are all over Europe as well as the U.S., Australia, Canada and parts of Asia, South America and Africa. ZenMate VPN has a full list of the server locations on their website.

Performance

As you might’ve guessed, the longer the distance between your original location and the location of the VPN server to which you connect, the more speed reduction you will experience.

This is the case for every VPN service and ZenMate VPN is no exception.

More specifically, you can expect ZenMate VPN to:

  • Increase ping times by up to 6,000%.
  • Decrease download speeds by up to 40%.
  • Decrease upload speeds by up to 20%.

Apart from the above-average increase in ping times, we would say that ZenMate VPN is about average when compared to other VPN services.

Your performance numbers will likely differ depending on your physical location, the location of the server to which you’re connecting and your internet connection speed.

You can test your internet connection speeds with and without the VPN by using tools like SpeedTest or SpeedOf.Me.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy 

By this point, it should be clear that ZenMate VPN has a straightforward app and website that can be easily navigated even by the most amateur VPN user.

However, if one takes the time to poke around in the hidden corners of the VPN service and reads the company’s privacy policy and terms of service page, the simplicity starts to fade.

ZenMate VPN has one of the more complicated privacy policies and terms of service that we’ve come across with other VPN providers.

The privacy policy alone is about 5,000 words, which should give some indication of the complexity of the document.

ZenMate VPN uses complex legalese for both of these documents, which makes them much less accessible to the average user.

The details that are of interest to users of the VPN aren’t highlighted and aren’t written in a way that makes them easy to understand, which may give pause to many potential users.

As most other VPN providers do, we expected ZenMate VPN to clarify the kind of data logging they engage in and what they do when approached by law enforcement agencies.

ZenMate VPN privacy policies and terms

By this point, it should be clear that ZenMate VPN has a straightforward app and website that can be easily navigated even by the most amateur VPN user.

Most of the top VPN providers clearly explain these policies, but ZenMate VPN has hidden them away in their meticulously written documentation.

We sifted through these extensive documents and found that ZenMate VPN has a policy of cooperating with law enforcement agencies when they request information from the VPN provider.

All of this is to say that ZenMate VPN clearly doesn’t have a policy of being as transparent as possible to their users.

The support pages, like the privacy policy and terms of service, aren’t user-friendly, so you’ll likely be unable to find what you’re looking for there either.

That being said, ZenMate VPN does promise to use a zero-logs policy, but this is not clearly spelled out in their privacy policy and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Customer Service

While ZenMate VPN doesn’t offer a lot of customer support options, their customer service on the options they do have is impressive.

Some users have complained that ZenMate VPN’s support staff regularly make use of copy-and-paste answers to most questions, but ZenMate representatives say that they have to do that since they have over 47 million customers and many of them ask similar questions.

Users have the option of contacting ZenMate VPN either via email or traditional mail.

Some users have reported that representatives sometimes respond within 10 minutes and most have found their support agents knowledgeable and polite.

VPN Pricing and Payment Methods

ZenMate VPN offers three different plans. The first is the one-month plan which costs $9.99 per month.

Then there is the one-year plan which reduces the monthly price by 60%, bringing the final price down to $3.99 per month.

Finally, there is the two-year plan which costs $2.05 per month, a 79% discount from the one-month plan.

All of these packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

There’s also a seven-day free trial that you should take advantage of before committing to using ZenMate VPN.

In addition to these paid options, there is also a free version of ZenMate VPN, but it does come with some limitations.

First of all, the free version is only available as a browser extension.

It’s also limited to four server locations, which drastically reduces the number of available servers from the full number available with a paid plan.

Finally, the free version is limited to internet speeds of 2 MB/s, which may be fine for internet activity that is not bandwidth-intensive, but may be severely limiting for everything else.

Man using online payment methods with his laptop.

ZenMate VPN offers three different plans. The first is the one-month plan which costs $9.99 per month.

ZenMate is a fairly budget-friendly VPN service and delivers a tremendous amount of value for the price.

The service is worth paying for since it includes features like identity shield and service optimization and comes with a streaming guarantee.

The paid version also allows you to use OpenVPN, which greatly broadens the number of devices that can be used with the service.

ZenMate VPN accepts most payment methods including PayPal, Sofort Banking, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and other major payment methods.

As of the writing of this article, no cryptocurrency payment methods are available for this VPN service.

Pros 

  • Owned by Kape Technologies
  • Works with Netflix
  • P2P Support
  • Limited free browser extension option

Cons

  • Options for reaching customer support are limited
  • Poor privacy policy documentation
  • Inconsistent performance on some servers
  • List of features is not comparable to the best VPN service providers

Conclusion

ZenMate comes packed with useful VPN features and the apps look great on every platform.

The premium plans are inexpensive and offer tremendous value for the money.

This is especially true if you sign up for the two-year plan. The free plan is limited, but usable as it provides adequate online security and access to four VPN servers.

ZenMate VPN’s speeds are on par with other VPN providers.

The best speeds can be found by connecting to servers in the U.S. or the U.K. Keep in mind that your speeds will vary depending on where you’re located and the speed of your internet connection.

VPN written on a smartphone screen.

ZenMate comes packed with useful VPN features and the apps look great on every platform.

The customer support options are limited, but you can expect quick responses from the company’s staff.

Be prepared to get a generic response to some of your questions due to the volume of customers they’re working with.

Users who want a VPN service that offers decent general security, is easy to use and will provide adequate protection while browsing the web should definitely give ZenMate a try.

Since they offer a seven-day free trial, there’s no reason not to test it yourself to see if it’s right for you.

If you decide against using ZenMate VPN for any reason, we would suggest you try CyberGhost or NordVPN.

These services are of the highest quality and will undoubtedly give you a great experience.

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
Zohair

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