ZenMate VPN Review

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Our private data seems to flow around as freely as the air we breathe nowadays, so the need for online privacy has never been greater. ZenMate VPN presents itself as a solution to this, promising to protect your online activities from prying eyes. However, as with all things, the devil is in the details, and ZenMate falls short in a few key areas.

In this review, I shall delve deep into the heart of ZenMate VPN, examining its strengths and weaknesses, and determining whether it truly lives up to its lofty promises. For in this age of surveillance and intrusion, the right to privacy is nothing less than a fundamental human right – one that you cannot afford to take lightly.

Let’s delve in. ZenMate is a familiar, if slightly forgotten, VPN service – it’s now owned by the same company that owns several other leading VPNs. But despite new ownership, they’ve kept the unique quirks – good and bad – for the most part.

Overview of ZenMate VPN:

✅ Good server coverage❌ Doesn’t work in China
🛡️ Reliable kill switch🔍 Limited selection of tunneling protocols
💰 Affordable pricing💳 No crypto payments
🔒 DNS leak protection📱 Lack of mobile apps
🔌 Unlimited simultaneous connections👁️ Based in a 14 Eyes country
📂 P2P, streaming is reasonable
🔙 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Good server coverage: ZenMate’s large network of servers in over 80 countries has a wide range of options for locations and IP addresses.
  • Reliable kill switch: The service has a kill switch feature that can protect your internet traffic in case the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
  • 24/7 live chat: ZenMate VPN has 24/7 customer support via live chat, which can be helpful for users who need immediate assistance.
  • P2P support: Full support for P2P file sharing and has so-called specialized servers optimized for torrenting.
  • Streaming servers: ZenMate VPN can unblock some streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube, making it a good option for users who want to access geo-restricted content.
  • 30-day guarantee: ZenMate VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try out the service risk-free.
  • Affordable price: ZenMate VPN offers a range of pricing plans, including a cheap “Pro” plan, which can be attractive for the budget-conscious.
  • DNS leak protection: The service uses DNS leak protection to prevent users’ DNS requests from being leaked to their internet service provider.
  • Unlimited connections: ZenMate VPN allows users to connect multiple devices to their account simultaneously, which can be useful for households or small businesses.


  • Doesn’t work in China: ZenMate VPN is unable to bypass the Great Firewall of China ๐Ÿ™
  • Lacking mobile apps: ZenMate VPN’s mobile apps have fewer features compared to its desktop apps, which can be a disadvantage for users who primarily use mobile devices.
  • Based in a 14 Eyes country: They’re based in Germany, which is part of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance, raising privacy concerns for some users.
  • Scarce tunnelling protocols: The service has a limited selection of tunneling protocols, which affect its security and reliability.
  • Limited/unsafe payments: They only offers two payment options, one of which is PayPal, so may not be suitable for users who prefer to use secure payment methods (no Bitcoin).

Speeds – How Fast Is ZenMate?

As I tell my readers often, it’s essential to keep in mind that VPNs don’t have an actual “speed” of their own – rather, the speed of any VPN is going to be determined by how much slower it makes your baseline connection.

This is because, when you connect to the internet using a VPN, the path that your data takes to reach its destination and back again becomes significantly more lengthy. In addition to this, encryption can sometimes cause your connection to move at a pretty snail-like pace at times. Even if you opt for a really fast VPN.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at the speed performance offered by ZenMate.  I conducted this test across multiple different days, and using different locations.

Location⬇️ Download Speed (Mbps)🌎 ZenMate👻 CyberGhost🛡️ NordVPN🚀 ExpressVPN
US (NY)250250279292301
US (FL)275275281290305
US (LA)222222236253268

This table, by the way, shows only the most common locations that people use, but other tests were done in loads of other countries, such as Argentina, India, Brazil. The picture was pretty much the same though: ZenMate is fast, but not quite as fast as any of the “Big Three” VPNs.

Streaming: Does it work with Netflix?


ZenMate does offer specific servers for streaming that are geared towards sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. Other services like Disney+ and Hulu are harder to access though.

I was able to access Netflix, but I can’t emphasize this enough: make sure you’re connecting to the correct server. It’s worth noting that sadly there was a large amount of video buffering, and the streaming quality was significantly reduced compared to my regular superfast ISP connection.

But you have take the good with the bad, right? While it’s a bit lower quality, on the other hand, ZenMate grants access to additional Netflix libraries, so that users have a wide variety of content from a load of different countries. It’s a small price to pay.

And again, although I was successful in unblocking BBC iPlayer, the streaming experience was comparable to that of Netflix in that the movie took a while to load and the streaming quality was, well, subpar. If you are accustomed to accessing BBC iPlayer without a VPN, you may find that using ZenMate has a substantial negative influence on the quality of the service.

Strangely, when I accessed YouTube through its dedicated or specialzied server, I didn’t experience any difficulties at all, and was able to watch videos without any interruptions, all in the highest quality i.e. 1440p. Strange!

Here’s a comparison of streaming services:

VPNStreaming ServicesStatus
🌎 ZenMateNetflix✔️ US and other libraries
BBC iPlayer〰️ Can unblock, but performance variable
🛡️ NordVPNNetflix✔️ US and other libraries
BBC iPlayer✔️ Can unblock with UK servers
Disney+✔️ US and other libraries
🚀 ExpressVPNNetflix✔️ US and other libraries
BBC iPlayer✔️ Can unblock with UK servers

Smart Locations explained

The Smart Locations function is one you only get with ZenMate, so it’s worth clarifying what it is (and isn’t).

In essence, it functions as an automated split tunnelling system that activates the VPN on the user’s device whenever they access certain websites.

In essence, it functions as an automated split tunnelling system that activates the VPN on the user’s device whenever they access certain websites.

If you just wish to use a VPN for specific websites or activities then you’ll benefit from the time savings available from Smart Locations. For instance, if you just want to use a VPN for streaming movies on Netflix or accessing your online bank account, you would normally configure Smart Places to switch on the VPN automatically whenever you visit those specific websites.

Because Smart Locations will divert some of your traffic around the VPN server network, interestingly you may notice an increase in the speed of your connection. Why? Well, this is one of the advantages of using Smart Locations albeit an unintended one perhaps: you can avoid the slowness that frequently occurs when using a VPN (in general) for all of your online activities by activating the VPN only for the websites that you need it for.

Yet, there are a few drawbacks to Smart Locations. To begin, it can only be accessed through the browser add-on that is provided by ZenMate. If you’re planning to use it on any other devices or operating systems, you’re out of luck!

As part of my evaluation into the Smart Locations function, I configured it to activate the VPN whenever I access Netflix or the website of my bank. I discovered that it did, in fact, improve the speed of streaming as well as the quality of the video content on Netflix; however, it also activated the VPN connection for other websites that I did not wish to use (seems to be  a bug).

Overall, it works, but it’s not 100% working, and in the world of VPNs any glitches or bugs can leave one feeling a bit paranoid – “what if my information is accidentally being leaked?”

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When it comes to protocols and tunneling (which I’ll cover later), these are two areas where ZenMate really does lack features.

Now,, the IKEv2 protocol offered by ZenMate VPN will actually give you satisfactory download speeds – in my testing these gave a loss of ~20% on average. That isn’t too bad. But be aware the ping times are pretty bad, which means that ZenMate isn’t suitable for online gaming in my opinion.

Overall, I recommend you use that protocol.

Why IKEv2, you ask? Because if you’re the sort of person who puts a premium on download speeds, then it really is the best one on offer. Though do be aware that IKEv2 has slower upload speeds and ping times respectively, which might not be acceptable to all users.

OpenVPN (UDP) gave very slow results, which I found sorely disappointing.

OpenVPN (UDP) gave very slow results, which I found sorely disappointing.

With the option of using UDP or TCP, the OpenVPN protocol being open source is also customizable. In general if you’re not sure which one to choose: TCP usually has slower speeds but higher data integrity, and UDP can provide faster speeds by avoiding additional data verification tests so it’s a bit less secure.  Now, what about WireGuard?

No WireGuard ๐Ÿ™

There is no WireGuard here at all with ZenMate. That’s a shame, and enough for us here at VPN Hound to almost recommend not using them!

With WireGuard missing you simply will not have as much choice in selecting the protocol most appropriate for your needs, which – if you’re paranoid – could go as far as being called a potential security vulnerability. It’ll make fingerprinting ZenMate users a lot easier, that’s for sure. We reached out to ZenMate to find out if they’re planning to support WireGuard… so far, no response.

In summary, those who need access to a greater variety of tunnelling protocols may want to check out other VPN companies, given that ZenMate is rather limited.


When it comes to encrypting and decrypting traffic, ZenMate VPN makes use of the AES-256-CBC cypher, which (for readers who aren’t aware) is a kind of encryption that is both reliable and widely utilized.

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Because of this, your online behavior is shielded from prying eyes and kept secret, as it is “incomprehensible” to anyone else without access to your private keys. In addition, the SHA-256 hash algorithm is used throughout the processing of the authentication procedure.

Although ZenMate seems to be technically secure, I have some worries about its privacy policy and its location. There is a real risk that user data could be shared with other nations that are members of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance because being in Germany, ZenMate is a member of the Fourteen Eyes alliance – and they are known to share data between each other; that’s the whole point of the “alliance”.

No-Logs Policy

Those seeking the highest levels of privacy and anonymity should really be at least slightly concerned by ZenMate’s location and its privacy policies.

Being headquartered in Germany, a member of the EU, and a member of the 14 Eyes alliance, comes with several warning flags. Although ZenMate claims to have a no-logs policy, their privacy policy contradicts this claim by saying that personal data would be maintained for as long as is required to fulfil the storage objective or as long as the European legislature permits. This implies that their no-logs policy may be rapidly reversed if data retention rules change.

In addition, ZenMate gathers a substantial quantity of user information via website visits. IMO, this is not something that people concerned about their privacy would expect from a VPN service.

Either of these flaws can be deal breakers for those who are searching for a VPN service that offers a sufficient level of trust. There are much more secure and trustworthy VPN options around, frankly.

Also, it’s interesting to note that ZenMate connects to several of the same servers as CyberGhost, even using the same ports, but CyberGhost is based in Romania. This is of course owing to the fact that Kape Technologies owns both VPN companies – but I’m not sure what ramifications it has for privacy.

Now this doesn’t necessarily compromise the security of ZenMate, it may imply instead that the services are more comparable to one another than they may appear to be at first glance.And with the recent news that CyberGhost and ZenMate are going to merge into one, this isn’t surprising.

With that in mind, here’s a comparison side-by-side of the two:

Number of servers3,700+ in 74 countries7,600+ in 91 countries
Streaming servicesNetflix, YouTubeNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
TorrentingAllowed on specialized serversAllowed on all servers
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
No-logs policyLogs some connection dataStrict no-logs policy
Price (monthly)Starting at $2.22Starting at $2.25
Simultaneous connectionsUnlimited7

Overall then, it’s obvious that CyberGhost might be the better choice if you don’t mind paying a little more. If you’re budget conscious, and don’t want to run the gauntlet of using a free VPN, then you’ll be pleased to know there are better AND cheaper VPNs than ZenMate out there – for example, TunnelBear or NordVPN when using a coupon.

I’m struggling to suggest many reasons to use ZenMate for specific tasks – it does some things well, but most are better done by other VPNs. There’s no real USP or unique selling point to ZenMate that sets it apart enough. It exists, it’s acceptable, but there’s little reason to use it.

I suppose you could argue that the Smart Locations feature is pretty impressive, but even that isn’t unique as other VPNs provide similar services.

Number of servers

On to one of the positives: ZenMate has a load of servers and also a variety of geographical locations i.e. where their servers are located.

In fact, it actually has one of the largest number of server countries out of all VPN providers.

Which is great news for those who want to circumvent geo-restrictions and/or censorship. For instance, if you’re going on vacation to a nation where specific websites or services are restricted, having access to a VPN server in a different country (your home country, for example) would allow you to overcome these limitations.

Here’s a comparison table showing this compared to NordVPN and VyprVPN:

VPNNumber of ServersNumber of Countries
ZenMate🖥️ 4000🌍 80
NordVPN🖥️ 5500+🌍 59
VyprVPN🖥️ 700+🌍 70+

Which countries are supported?

Here’s the full list:

  • 🇺🇸 United States
  • 🇨🇦 Canada
  • 🇲🇽 Mexico
  • 🇧🇷 Brazil
  • 🇦🇷 Argentina
  • 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland
  • 🇳🇱 Netherlands
  • 🇩🇪 Germany
  • 🇪🇸 Spain
  • 🇵🇹 Portugal
  • 🇫🇷 France
  • 🇮🇹 Italy
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden
  • 🇩🇰 Denmark
  • 🇳🇴 Norway
  • 🇫🇮 Finland
  • 🇷🇺 Russia
  • 🇹🇷 Turkey
  • 🇺🇦 Ukraine
  • 🇿🇦 South Africa
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium
  • 🇨🇿 Czech Republic
  • 🇵🇱 Poland
  • 🇭🇺 Hungary
  • 🇬🇷 Greece
  • 🇷🇴 Romania
  • 🇸🇰 Slovakia
  • 🇭🇷 Croatia
  • 🇱🇹 Lithuania
  • 🇱🇻 Latvia
  • 🇪🇪 Estonia
  • 🇧🇬 Bulgaria
  • 🇸🇻 El Salvador
  • 🇭🇳 Honduras
  • 🇳🇮 Nicaragua
  • 🇮🇱 Israel
  • 🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates
  • 🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia
  • 🇮🇳 India
  • 🇯🇵 Japan
  • 🇸🇬 Singapore
  • 🇦🇺 Australia
  • 🇳🇿 New Zealand
  • 🇮🇩 Indonesia
  • 🇵🇭 Philippines
  • 🇲🇾 Malaysia
  • 🇹🇭 Thailand
  • 🇻🇳 Vietnam
  • 🇭🇰 Hong Kong
  • 🇨🇳 China
  • 🇹🇼 Taiwan
  • 🇰🇷 South Korea
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland
  • 🇦🇹 Austria
  • 🇸🇮 Slovenia
  • 🇷🇸 Serbia
  • 🇲🇰 North Macedonia
  • 🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 🇦🇱 Albania
  • 🇲🇪 Montenegro
  • 🇰🇿 Kazakhstan
  • 🇺🇿 Uzbekistan
  • 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
  • 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
  • 🇨🇱 Chile
  • 🇨🇴 Colombia
  • 🇨🇷 Costa Rica
  • 🇪🇨 Ecuador
  • 🇵🇦 Panama
  • 🇵🇪 Peru
  • 🇺🇾 Uruguay
  • 🇻🇪 Venezuela

ZenMate Price: Is it cheap?

It is cheap? Yes, the pricing is certianly a little more competitive than some of the more premium VPNs like ExpressVPN or Surfshark.

Here’s a look at the pricing, there are 2 plans the Pro or the Ultimate.

Pro Monthly$7.99
Pro 6 Months$19.14
Pro Yearly$23.88
Ultimate Monthly$10.99
Ultimate 6 Months$32.34
Ultimate 18 Months$39.96

What are the differences?

The Pro and Ultimate plans differ slightly in terms of the features they offer. Mainly, the Pro plan has many of the features you’d expect, being their cheaper plan: unlimited bandwidth, and advanced security features, but does not include support for OpenVPN nor torrenting/P2P.

The Ultimate plan includes all the features of the Pro plan and adds support for OpenVPN and P2P/torrenting and other types of file-sharing.

Payment: No Bitcoin?

ZenMate VPN only takes credit cards and PayPal as payment methods, which might be a disadvantage for privacy-conscious users who want to pay using cryptocurrencies or alternative payment methods. PayPal are widely regarded to be one of the lease privacy conscious companies around and often work with the feds.

What’s more there’s no support for cash or Bitcoin or any anonymized payment system. A shame.

Nonetheless, you’ll get a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, regardless of how you pay. This should give you sufficient time to determine if thi sparticular VPN fulfils your expectations.


Frequently Asked Questions for ZenMate

ZenMate VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to connect as many devices as you like with a single subscription. This functionality is a huge benefit for users with many devices who want to safeguard their internet connections and is the same for both plans.

Yes, ZenMate VPN does work with Netflix. They have a feature called Smart Locations, which automatically connects you to a server optimized for streaming.

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