In a digital age where online security is as important as ever, a reliable and secure VPN provider is often the top priority for those looking to browse and download content on a regular basis from the internet.
While some of the most well-known VPN providers such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN attract most of the attention, there are plenty of other options on the market that are just high-performing and available for a cheaper price.
Take ZenMate for example, a simple, speedy, and user-friendly service that’s perfect for non-technical users who want an easy way to protect their online privacy and access geo-restricted content.
In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at ZenMate, reviewing all of the VPN’s key features, including performance, security, streaming capabilities, and much more. In addition to this, we’ll also look to answer a number of the frequently asked questions related to the VPN provider.
Before taking a closer look at the key features of ZenMate, it’s a good idea to first consider their pricing and some of the plans they offer. There are three main subscription periods you can choose from: one month, one year, or three years.
The one-month plan is priced at $10.99 which is around average compared to other VPN providers. The same applies to ZenMate’s one-year plan which works out at $4.49 a month.
However, it’s their three-year deal which translates to $1.51 a month that’s the most impressive. It appears that ZenMate is trying to push customers towards this long-term deal, so although the commitment might seem a little daunting, it appears that the three-year plan is definitely the best option.
In terms of payment, ZenMate accepts the vast majority of payment options, including Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, American Express, PayPal, Direct Debit, UnionPay, and bank transfer. The service also offers coupons and discount codes, although they don’t accept cryptocurrency.
Moreover, it’s worth keeping in mind that ZenMate offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not wholly satisfied with the service, you can ask for a refund within the first month. While this is common practice for most VPN providers, it’s still a nice feature to give you peace of mind.
When it comes to the performance speeds of ZenMate, you’ll enjoy fast and consistent speeds on both nearby and long-distance servers.
What’s more, the provider also offers unlimited bandwidth which is incredibly useful as it means that your speeds won’t be affected when downloading large files.
Listed below are some of the speeds (download, upload, and ping) as tested by vpnMentor.
- Download speed: 35.20 Mbps
- Upload speed: 4.84 Mbps
- Ping: 128 ms
- Average connection time: 5 seconds
- Download speed: 34.35 Mbps
- Upload speed: 5.09 Mbps
- Ping: 58 ms
- Average connection time: 4 seconds
- Download speed: 37.93 Mbps
- Upload speed: 4.60 Mbps
- Ping: 43 ms
- Average connection time: 4 seconds
- Download speed: 36.44 Mbps
- Upload speed: 4.71 Mbps
- Ping: 46 ms
- Average connection time: 4 seconds
- Download speed: 28.82 Mbps
- Upload speed: 1.29 Mbps
- Ping: 275 ms
- Average connection time: 7 seconds
To put some of these test results into context, a good quality VPN provider should offer download speeds of at least 15 Mbps, while the upload speeds should be over 1 Mbps.
In terms of the ping speed (the time it takes your device to get an answer after sending a request), the lower the speed, the better your connection will be for streaming and online gaming due to the reduced lag.
As any top-end VPN provider should, ZenMate can bypass the geo-restricted blocks of most popular streaming services. Listed below are some of the services that you’ll be able to enjoy using ZenMate.
- Amazon Prime Video
- BBC iPlayer
- Comedy Central
- Fox Sport
- HBO Max
Despite the extensive list of streaming services that ZenMate can provide, there are a few notable exceptions. For example, if you want to stream Kodi, Hulu, ITV Hub, or Amazon Fire Stick, you’ll find that ZenMate doesn’t offer specially-optimized servers for these channels.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s impossible to unblock them with ZenMate, it’s just unlikely taking into account the previous tests that have been carried out.
Compared to many of the other top-end VPN providers on the market, ZenMate’s server network isn’t the largest. However, with 4,100 servers across 80 different counties, it’s still certainly workable.
Taking into consideration the amount of servers and locations that a VPN offers is essential as it’ll give you a good indication of whether speeds might be compromised by server overload. Fortunately, ZenMate provides consistently quick loading times.
A significant downside of ZenMate however, is the fact that it doesn’t allow you to choose a specific city to connect to. In other words, you’re unable to search for the best-performing server in a particular country, meaning that you’re stuck with the option provided by ZenMate.
Most of ZenMate’s servers are located in North America and Europe, while the service also extends its coverage to South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia.
A great advantage of ZenMate is the presence of servers in some strict censorship countries like Russia, Turkey, the UAE, and Vietnam. This means that users in these countries don’t have to lose out on their connection speeds by logging into an international server.
If you’re looking for a secure VPN to use on your devices, there are few options better than ZenMate. Just be mindful that it has higher quality security options for Android, Windows, and Linux than it does for iOS and macOS.
The two protocols that ZenMate uses are IKEv2 and OpenVPN. IKEv2 usually works best when connecting to a nearby server and is available for Windows, iOS, and macOS, while OpenVPN is only available for Android, Windows, and Linux.
In terms of browser extensions, ZenMate uses AES 128-bit encryption which is considered the quickest and most efficient. On the other hand, mobile and desktop users are equipped with AES 256-bit for added security.
While ZenMate offers a good level of security, it’s important to note that there are some missing features which many of the other competitors on the market provide for their users.
For example, ZenMate doesn’t use Double VPN, an advanced security protocol that can direct your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one – encrypting the data twice.
Another security feature that ZenMate doesn’t provide is split tunneling. This is particularly disappointing because options such as these can make a significant difference when it comes to improving online security.
The headquarters of ZenMate are located in Germany which is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance – a group which aims to establish a legal framework for intelligence gathering. Therefore, if maximum privacy is a priority for you, it might be a better option to choose a VPN service outside of the 14 Eyes.
Finally, ZenMate hasn’t yet released a third-party security audit. These audits confirm what the VPN service does with all of your information, so without an audit, you just have to trust the company which isn’t ideal.
The servers of ZenMate support P2P, as well as apps like uTorrent, Deluge, and BitTorrent. Just be super careful to check the rules and regulations in your country because torrenting copyrighted material is illegal.
What’s more, in certain locations around the world, any kind of torrenting is against the law.
When tested, ZenMate’s speeds were fast enough to successfully download a range of large files. So, whether you’re looking to download a big video file or some smaller audio files, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.
To make things easier, ZenMate also shows you how congested their servers are, enabling you to choose the fastest one based on the number of active users.
At least 60 of the servers are optimized for downloading and you can find these in the ‘For downloading’ tab on the left panel of the app’s interface.
It’s worth noting here that torrenting is only truly safe when using a secure and reliable VPN service. This is because it hides your geographical location and IP address from other users in your swarm.
ZenMate’s useful kill switch feature makes torrenting even safer because if your VPN connection ever drops out, it’ll automatically disconnect your device from the internet connection to protect your IP address.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many simultaneous device connections can you use with ZenMate?
You can use an unlimited number of devices across the same ZenMate account which is a real advantage of using this provider compared to many of the others on the market.
So, if you’ve got a big family or want to share the account with some friends, you’re good to go.
Does ZenMate offer good support?
Yes, ZenMate offers a range of different support options, including 24/7 live chat, as well as the ability to email them and read through online guides.
Their customer support agents have a good reputation for being helpful, so they should be able to answer any questions or problems you have.
Will using ZenMate slow my speeds down?
While there’s every chance that ZenMate will marginally slow your speeds down, this shouldn’t be enough to affect your online activity – especially if you’re connected through a local server.