ZenMate VPN 2021 Review
Reviews score: Very good
ZenMate is a German based VPN, that offers a lot of value for money. It’s fast, secure and private. And as it allows to you to protect unlimited devices with a single subscription, it’s a great option to share with family and family.
- Protect unlimited devices: With a single subscription, you can use ZenMate on as many devices as you like.
- Excellent security: ZenMate offers all the core security features (OpenVPN, AES-256, kill switch, Leak Blocking, Ad Blockers) to keep your data safe.
- No Logs: ZenMate has a clear zero-log policy and does not track you online.
- Servers in 74 countries: ZenMate has 3.600 servers in 74 countries around the world.
- Works with all devices: ZenMate offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux.
- Dedicated highs-speed servers for Torrents (P2P) and Netflix
- Configuration options: ZenMate is not as customizable as some of the premium VPNs, like CyberGhost. However, it offers more than enough options for 99% of all users.
- Best deal: $ 2.22 / month
- Refund Policy: 30 days
- Customer Support: 24/7 Live chat
- Devices per account: Unlimited
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android and iOS
- Works with US Netflix: Yes
- Works with Torrents: Yes
- Works in China: No
- Speed: 94 Mbps
- Servers in: 74 countries
- Server count: 3.600
- IP Addresses: Unknown
- Jurisdiction: Germany
- Data leaks: None
- Logging policy: No logs
Privacy and Security
Like many VPNs, ZenMate has a free version and a premium. The free version is rather basic and provides limited server locations and download speeds. However, the premium version is loaded with security features and military-grade encryption protocols. Not to mention other juicy features in the form of browser extensions.
ZenMate has a close-to-zero logging policy. The company doesn’t track or record browsing activities, IP addresses, and server IPs.
It only collects the most basic data required to operate it servers: Connection timestamps and bandwidth usage. Such information is meaningless to anyone trying to track your online presence, as neither can be used to analyze your browsing and downloading behavior.
ZenMate is based in Germany, which is part of what’s known as the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. The latter alliance includes a list of fourteen countries that have agreed to share gathered international intelligence. That said, due to its no-logging policy, the company has no data to share on its users, even if requested.
This VPN offers three popular protocols: IKEv2, L2TP, and OpenVPN. The configurations are pretty much handled by the app, with minimal user input.
The encryption used is AES-256, which is the most secure protocol available. But it’s worth noting that the browser extensions offered by ZenMate only use AES-128 encryption. This is likely a tradeoff between security and speed, As AES-256 is more secure, but slower to decrypt.
ZenMate hasn’t been known for any noteworthy data leaks. With the VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection features, this is one of the best VPNs in protecting your online privacy.
It also helps that the VPN comes with additional premium features not available in the free version. These include malware blocking extensions and browser add-ons for tracking protection.
Extra Security Features
ZenMate is a VPN that supports many platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, iOS, and even Amazon Fire TV. Its range of security features extends to all platforms.
One of the most important is the VPN kill switch that prevents data leaks upon severed VPN server connections.
An ad blocker is also featured in the premium version of the VPN. However, it’s only available as a browser extension and not included with the desktop client.
Due to its OpenVPN support, another thing that makes the VPN an interesting choice is its compatibility with gaming consoles. And also the ability to install it on a router.
Malware blocking and browser anti-tracking features are also available in the form of browser extensions. That said, ZenMate only works well with Chrome and Firefox, which may leave other browser users a bit disappointed.
As you’ll soon learn, ZenMate is probably not the best VPN for online gamers. The problem isn’t the speed, but rather with the latency. That said, ZenMate was designed to handle torrenting, bypass streaming platform geo-restrictions, with a particular focus on the American and European continents. It also does a decent job with some countries that have tougher censorship policies like Turkey and Pakistan.
An important takeaway is this: ZenMate, as of now, has server locations in 74 countries and around 3,600 active servers. Which gives plenty of leeway when trying to find a good server. That’s especially cool considering that it’s one of the more budget-friendly VPNs.
Local Speed Tests
We were testing Zenmate from Europe on a base of connection of 90 – 100 Mbps.
Local speed tests conducted with ZenMate show great results. ZenMate can reach speeds of up to 84-97Mbps within Europe for both downloads and uploads. The results are similar across European servers, although German servers offer the best speeds. However, there is an issue regarding high latency at times and inconsistent pinging that carried over to our global speed tests.
While ZenMate easily achieves recommended speeds for HD streaming, browsing, and even torrenting, the gaming community might not be too pleased with the high ping situation.
Global Speed Tests
By comparison, Zenmate did not perform well when connecting to the US. We had a hard time exceeding 33 Mbps on our 100 Mbps connection. Global connections also suffer from inconsistent ping.
The good news is that these speeds shouldn’t affect downloads, HD streaming, and browsing too much. But gaming will likely become impossible.
As for all VPN, the general rule holds true: The further away is the server, the higher the speed drop. For example, a server in Australia may only be good for 3Mbps download speed and 3Mbps upload speed.
ZenMate performs well for streaming purposes. Partly because of its good speed and ability to unlock some popular streaming platforms. Most notably, Netflix US.
Although it doesn’t yet support Hulu, the VPN can also successfully unblock HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. What’s also notable is that ZenMate comes with dedicated streaming profiles that choose optimized servers based on the streaming platform you want to use.
ZenMate openly allows torrenting on all servers, which is excellent news for the file-sharing community. The app’s website even has some neat guides on safe torrenting.
However, you should be careful if you’re using browser extensions because they can leak data. Instead, use the desktop app for better protection. That’s in addition to keeping in mind the app’s logging policy.
Like many other VPNs, ZenMate doesn’t support China. Two other countries with iron-fisted censorship programs are not recommended, namely Iran and Saudi Arabia. Although ZenMate assures that it’s committed to making the VPN work around censorships, it makes no promises.
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