Zenmate VPN (review) offers its users a free and paid subscription.
Only the premium version comes with OpenVPN tunneling protocol, while the free version has IPSec IKEv2 and L2TP protocols.
While several VPNs have 256-bit AES encryption, Zenmate only provides 128-bit encryption.
They claim to have up to 43 million users, substantiated loudly and proudly in three simple words: Fast. Sure. Easy.
But does ZenMate deliver on its promise?
Find out during this review …
Zenmate VPN Overview
|LOG FILES:||Grey Area|
|LOCATIONS:||31 countries, 298 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Contact Form Only|
|NETFLIX:||Unblocks Netflix USA|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||128 and 256-bit encryption AES; OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, L2TP|
Safe Encryption, Strong Protocols
Your VPN protocol is responsible for transmitting the signal across the globe. You get from point A to point B in this manner.
Many VPN tunneling protocols are in use today, some far better than others.
For Mac users, ZenMate uses the IPSec and IKEv2 protocols. This is often a stable and secure protocol that works well. It’s one of the fastest protocols out there and it’s so easy to line up, amazing.
However, it has limited platform support and should be susceptible to firewalls.
Windows users also have access to IPSec and IKEv2, with the additional option of L2TP / IPSec.
ZenMate Ultimate, your premium plan, is compatible with OpenVPN software. Through this technique, users can “upgrade” the ZenMate service to the infinitely preferable OpenVPN tunneling protocol. The open-source OpenVPN system is maintained by the entire cybersecurity community and is widely considered the industry security standard.
For encryption, the ZenMate protocols are compatible with AES, which is used by Fortune 500 companies and therefore federal companies alike. It is powerful and safe.
Both AES 128 and 256 can be used for these protocols. Despite the fact that 256 is more efficient, ZenMate claims that 128 is simpler.
They claim that the 256-bit AES employed by government agencies is excessive on an individual level and not worth the additional cost. (It also makes it a touch faster.)
Still strong enough to land under the Pros.
Speed Loss is Within Acceptable Levels
There are VPNs that slow the internet speed to a sudden stop, and there are some that cause a barely noticeable change.
But make no mistake:
Virtual private networks (VPNs) all slow you down, at least a bit.
So where does ZenMate fall between the excruciatingly slow and thus the moderately diminished?
Somewhere in the middle
The EU test saw robust download speeds, with the upload falling more within the typical range than we generally wish to see.
EU Speed Test
- Ping: 39 ms
- Download: 63.44 Mbps (34.5% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 12.81 Mbps (75.8% slower than the 53 Mbps benchmark)
The US server we tested was roughly equivalent, except that upload speeds plummeted to unacceptable levels.
US Speed Test
- Ping: 204 ms
- Download: 57.03 Mbps (41.2% slower than 97 Mbps Benchmark)
- Upload: 2.98 Mbps (94.3% slower than the 53 Mbps benchmark)
So while we consider these speeds to be in the professional column, it had been an in-depth decision.
Out of the 78 VPNs we’ve tested, we rank ZenMate 23rd in terms of speed.
Works With Netflix
Have you ever cursed on this screen?
That error code is the nightmare of a VPN user’s existence.
It is a Netflix error that blocks access to its service by using a VPN. Why do they do this? Because Netflix doesn’t want you to cheat on their system.
Netflix content is geo-blocked, so different areas have different TV shows and movies to choose from.
We tested five of the ZenMate servers and two of them managed to work with Netflix. It’s worth noting that both servers are located within the US.
Because of this, ZenMate made our list of VPNs that work with Netflix.
Sizable Server Park and Kill Switch
According to most of the pages on their website, they need 298 servers located in 31 different countries. That’s pretty impressive, considering they were barely 40 a year ago.
They like to avoid censorship, which is particularly useful if you are using their service in a country that restricts internet use.
They allow five connections per account, which is pretty much like most VPNs we’ve reviewed.
The built-in kill switch is one of my favorite ZenMate features. If your signal is not stable, this is also another layer of security that can stop your session unexpectedly. Most of the simpler VPNs we tested provide this as a basic feature.
Unlimited P2P Torrenting
ZenMate tends to get a lot of warmth for not allowing torrenting on their servers.
But they have apparently gotten better in recent years, offering unlimited P2P traffic in their premium and supreme packages.
However, it should be noted that in their terms of service, ZenMate talks about prohibited activities and includes something that sounds a lot like torrents.
Torrenting uses peer-to-peer communication to download small chunks of huge files from multiple people. There is a danger related to this, of course. You are allowing strangers to enter your system.
This is why most torrent users want to use a VPN as an additional layer of armor between your private information and cybercriminals who want to loot and loot your system.
Many companies have decided to ban the use of P2P torrenting on their servers, but I am pleased to hear that ZenMate et al. continuing to support this valuable service.
We always check our VPNs for viruses, scanning the program for 66 different viruses that could be betraying system security.
ZenMate received a certificate of good health.
Supports Many Devices
Thanks to the recent edition of the OpenVPN software, ZenMate has become a much more versatile VPN alternative.
ZenMate is compatible with web servers, personal computers, and handheld devices. Smart TVs aren’t formally supported, but they’ll work with OpenVPN tech.
You can use ZenMate officially with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and in Chrome, Firefox, Opera browsers, and even for your routers through their downloadable VPN service.
This impressive lineup, including the recent addition of OpenVPN software, makes ZenMate a VPN that you can simply use on a good kind of device anywhere in the house.
While there is a lot to like about this service, there is still quite a bit to be nervous about.
Unclear logging policies and a jurisdiction that puts it right in the crosshairs of a multinational surveillance alliance make me uneasy.
On top of that, their customer support leaves a lot to be desired, consisting of a contact form with less than stellar responses.
Let’s dive into the opposite side.
Logs Your Original IP Address
ZenMate states that they do not log or save any of your activities or data.
Digging a little deeper, I found more information:
The collection of information about my browser and operating system is not a violation of my privacy. It’s not identifying information, so I’m fine with this.
Are you recording my original IP address?
They make sure it is anonymous and it is mentioned that none of them are registered. However, it is still collected, which still raises a red flag.
It is important to note that the company emphasizes that information is not stored once the VPN is enabled. But if you are identified as someone using a VPN, it is not a truly anonymous service, although your activity remains safe.
Located in Germany (Within 14 Eyes Jurisdiction)
ZenMate’s German location falls under the purview of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance, the infamous spy alliance.
How safe is “safe” when 14 different governments can get their hands on your information?
IP Leaks Detected
DNS and WebRTC leaks can completely unravel a VPN’s ability to protect your information.
Whether it’s a DNS server ignoring your VPN tunnel or WebRTC APIs undoing your security, the superior result is equivalent.
Your original IP is available for the planet to determine.
Out of six tests, ZenMate only failed once, but even one failure is enough to cast doubt on the security of a VPN.
- https://ipleak.net/ – Failed
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip – Approved
- https://ipx.ac/run – Approved
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc – Approved
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ – Approved
- https://dnsleak.com – Failed
That is a serious problem.
Buggy, Crashing, and Wouldn’t Start
I tried using ZenMate for Windows.
Note the word “attempt”.
When I first clicked the download link on your website, I was amazed at how quickly it loaded onto my laptop. it had downloaded and opened in 10 seconds.
Then my astonishment quickly turned to frustration.
That blank screen was all I got. If I hovered over where the login fields should be, I got a cursor, so clearly, this was just a problem with the program.
I minimized the window and opened it copy.
The blank white screen became a blank black screen.
I stopped banging my head on my desk, grabbed ibuprofen, and approached their customer service department, receiving the following email the next day:
This was infuriating because it was apparent that the answer was copied and pasted. My original appeal for assistance was hardly read since I had already given them the two screenshots with my ticket application.
If I was a consumer and not a reviewer, I could have uninstalled your program right away and get on with my life.
Instead, since I really like my work, I answered their questions and sent them the screenshots a second time.
Still no answer.
Timely, But Vague Support Response
ZenMate uses a contact form for its customer support tickets. I used to be very impressed by how much your system has changed since I first tried using it in early summer 2018.
To begin, go to the top of the page and click on the help link.
Once you have received the support page, you will see a small “Help” button in the lower right corner.
Once you have clicked on it, the customer support contact form will appear.
I asked about their torrent services and whether or not the TOR service works on their network. My request was submitted around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2018.
I was dismayed to learn that I did not receive an automated email confirming that my question was received. It is usually an honest service because it gives the consumer the peace of mind of knowing that someone has received their inquiry and can be in touch.
Instead, I used to be left scratching my head and wondering when or if I might get any answers.
I got an answer, but 24 hours later, although it didn’t thrill me in the least.
This was a prompt response, but it doesn’t really address my concerns. I checked as to whether your service supports TOR and torrents. They answered torrenting-related questions, but never explicitly addressed my original query.
I know they allow P2P services with their paid plan based on my own testing. That seems to be what Adam is trying to tell me, but he doesn’t say anything.
Instead, they pushed their premium service on me without even acknowledging the initial question.
While they have definitely stepped up their customer support game over the years, ZenMate still presents a long distance to travel during this period.
ZenMate VPN Costs, Plans, & Payment Options
There are three levels for ZenMate in addition to the free option.
Like most free services, the free option is somewhat limited. It has TLS encryption, its firewall services, browser extensions, and servers located in Germany, Hong Kong, the US, and Romania.
But since the free service is restricted to browser extensions only, it is a proxy and not a full VPN. It encrypts the information that passes through the browser, but not through other services on your computer.
Otherwise, you have to pay.
The Premium package comes with the full desktop VPN client for Windows or Mac, the fastest speeds, the utilization of almost 300 servers in 31 countries, malware blocking, and tracking protection.
It is priced at $ 11.99 per month to month, which is on par with what most VPNs charge without obligation. For a 1 year plan, you are saving 67% and paying $ 3.99 per month. If you want to use it for 2 years a year, the value drops to $ 2.05 per month.
Anything in the Premium bundle is included in the Ultimate package, plus a download guarantee.
All paid plans are accompanied by a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is great. I really like knowing which companies endorse the performance of their products.
As for the payment options, you have a couple of options.
You can use PayPal, MasterCard, Union Pay, or Qiwi Wallet. Unfortunately, there are no cryptocurrencies.
Do We Recommend ZenMate?
The encryption and protocols are satisfactory. I used to be overjoyed to see that you embraced OpenVPN, essentially taking the service to a broader spectrum of channels. This is unquestionably a jump in the right direction!
The fact that I am registering my original IP address and is within the jurisdiction of a surveillance alliance makes me nervous.
The leaks we found were concerning. If I am using a device for safety, I want to understand that it is bulletproof.
My practical test was a total disaster, and I couldn’t get the show to notice. That solidified my recommendation.
If the customer service team had really walked me through the difficulty I used to have, I could be more forgiving. But they clearly just examined my questions and offered the most basic non-personalized answers they could muster.
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