ZenMate Review 2021
On paper, ZenMate is just about the perfect VPN you can get in 2021. While it has 45+ million users, it has it cons as well. Find out what I think about this service in my in-depth review.
ZenMate VPN – I’m sure you’re already aware of how popular this VPN service is. Although it used to be completely free a while back and part of the reason why it now has around 45+ million users, however, nowadays it’s no longer free anymore. But has the service improved or is it worth getting over top VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
Well, after doing all testing for this ZenMate review, I found it to be actually quite good. Now it no longer keeps activity logs, offers 3,600 servers, is decently fast and works with both Netflix and torrenting. Overall, it’s actually worth giving a try in 2021.
That being said, there are still a few things you should keep in mind before getting ZenMate. For one, it doesn’t work in China. In addition, it also lacks few itty bitty features here and there like Split tunneling and Ad-blocker. Overall, after weighing in all the pros and cons of ZenMate, I’ve given it 3.2/5.0 stars in this review.
My Rating Criteria
To thoroughly test the ZenMate for its pros and cons, I used my 9 step rating criteria:
- Jurisdiction – Where is ZenMate VPN located?
- Security – Does ZenMate keep logs?
- Leaks – Does ZenMate VPN leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
- Servers – Is ZenMate P2P compatible?
- Speed – How fast is ZenMate?
- Streaming – Does ZenMate work with Netflix?
- Compatibility – Which devices can I use ZenMate with?
- Pricing – How much does ZenMate cost?
- Trustworthiness – Is ZenMate safe to use?
Jurisdiction – Where is Zenmate VPN located?
ZenMate is based in Germany, which if you don’t know is a part of the infamous 14 Eyes alliance. Therefore ZenMate is obligated to comply with the authorities in any request of user data. This means that if the authorities were to ask ZenMate to hand over its users’ data, it would have to involuntarily comply.
However, since ZenMate claims to keep no logs, I don’t think its something to worry about too much. But, if you’re not too sure and value your privacy more than anything, then you might want to go with something like ExpressVPN which is based in the BVI.
Security – Does ZenMate keep logs?
- The browser types and versions used
- The operating system used by the accessing system
- The website from which an accessing system reaches our website (so-called referrers)
- The sub-websites
- The date and time of access to the Internet site
- The internet protocol address (IP address)
- The internet service provider of the accessing system
- Any other similar data that may be used in the event of attacks on our information technology systems
Overall, judging by its no logs policy, It’s hard for me to use it and not expect it to rat me out in case I supposedly do anything illegal. Part of the reason why I recommended ExpressVPN earlier.
Encryption & Other Features
As security features, ZenMate offers strong 256-bit AES encryption along with industry-standard VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec. Although these protocols are more than enough for any user, However, I still wish they would have offered more.
Overall, in terms of encryption and protocols, ZenMate is pretty secure. But, when it comes to ZenMate security, features, it lacks a bit behind. For instance, you’re not going to find features like split tunneling or an ad-blocker. On the plus side, however, It does offer some basic features like a Kill Switch and DNS Leak protection.
Leaks – Does ZenMate VPN leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
Despite lacking a few features, ZenMate is actually leak proof. Aside from not leaking my DNS, thanks to the built-in DNS Leak protection, ZenMate also passed my IP, WebRTC and Virus test without any issues.
IP Leak Test:
First, I tested for IP leaks. To do that, I connected to an Austrian server of ZenMate and ran the test. As you can see from the screenshot below, my original IP address is not being exposed. ZenMate passed this test with no issues.
DNS Leak Test:
Next, I checked for DNS leaks. Now as I mentioned earlier, ZenMate comes with built-in DNS Leak protection, so it managed to show no sign of DNS leaks. Check out the screenshot below and you’ll see that I’m only using Austrian DNS servers. So far so good.
WebRTC Leak Test:
As for WebRTC leaks, ZenMate passed this test too without any issues whatsoever. Even after multiple tests, ZenMate showed no apparent signs of WebRTC leaks.
Last but not least, I ran its Android app link through Virustotal.com and did not find any hidden or malicious viruses at all. So if you’re wondering, can ZenMate be traced, well, I believe it is pretty anonymous overall.
Servers – Is ZenMate P2P compatible?
Yes, ZenMate is fully P2P compatible. In fact, out of 3,600 servers in 76 countries, ZenMate offers plenty of dedicated servers just for torrenting. If you go through the “For torrenting” tab in their app, you’ll see a bunch of servers that are optimized for torrenting. In terms of performance, I personally had no issues while downloading torrents and the server load indicator made it very convenient to choose the best server.
Does ZenMate work in China?
Unfortunately, ZenMate doesn’t work in China. Despite trying to unblock multiple Chinese websites, I literally had zero luck with it. This is not something too surprising, considering that it doesn’t offer a Chinese server in the first place. I’ve also heard that ZenMate doesn’t work in other heavily censored countries like Saudi Arabia, and Iran. So, if that’s something that concerns you, then you might prefer alternatives like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Speed – How fast is ZenMate?
As for speeds, ZenMate is decently fast. I tested its speeds on multiple servers and found it to deliver above-average speeds on my 35 Mbps test connection. First, here’s a screenshot of my default internet speeds without ZenMate connected:
When connected to the Canadian server of ZenMate, I managed to get around 31.15 Mbps downloading speed. So far, really impressed by ZenMate.
With the US server of ZenMate, I got slightly reduced speeds, however, I wouldn’t complain about it too much. On average, the US servers managed to deliver 28.15 Mbps download speed.
Lastly, I also checked the speeds with the UK servers and was again really impressed. On average, the UK server managed to output around 27.21 Mbps download speed.
Streaming – Does ZenMate work with Netflix?
Other than offering fast speeds, ZenMate also managed to work pretty well with Netflix as well. As for video playback quality, I tried playing “The Avengers” and didn’t encounter any streaming issues at all. However, I wouldn’t say the same for the overall quality.
Other Streaming Services that work with ZenMate
Other than Netflix, ZenMate also managed to easily unblock BBC iPlayer with the UK server. However, I did encounter a few streaming issues here and there. But overall, I was blown away by the fact that it managed to unblock both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Compatibility – Which devices can I use ZenMate with?
As far as compatibility is concerned, ZenMate is pretty good. You can either download compatible apps or configure it directly on to Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux and even gaming consoles. You can also configure ZenMate to work with Firestick TV, Apple TV, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, Smart TV, and even routers.
Best of all, I love the fact that it also comes with browser extensions for popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera and the fact that a single subscription can be used on unlimited devices simultaneously. Overall, you should have no issue using any of ZenMate app with your device.
ZenMate for Windows & Mac
As I mentioned earlier, ZenMate offers apps for both Windows and Macs. In terms of using these apps, I found them to be pretty easy to use and well designed. Finding all the options is also super easy on both the Windows and Mac apps of ZenMate. Overall, if you’re a newbie VPN user, you’re definitely going to love the simplicity of ZenMate.
ZenMate for iOS & Android
As for the iOS and Android apps of ZenMate, they are also well designed and easy to use. You’re not going to find a ton of options, however, I guess that’s what makes it super snappy to use. Overall, I’ve got nothing to complain about their iOS and Android apps. As for ratings, ZenMate has a 3.8-star rating on Google Play Store and a 4.1-star rating on the iTunes store.
Pricing – How much does ZenMate cost?
As for pricing, ZenMate is pretty affordable. Currently, you can choose between three subscription plans, 1-Month, 18-Months, and 6-Months. Here are the pricing for each of these plans:
Now as for payment methods, you can only purchase ZenMate through PayPal and Credit Cards. Most notably, you don’t get any options to purchase ZenMate anonymously through Bitcoins. But the good thing is, all ZenMate subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Another thing I forgot to mention earlier is that ZenMate also offers a 7-day free trial which I find really impressive.
Trustworthiness – Is ZenMate safe to use?
Well judging by my own personal experience and reviews online, ZenMate is pretty safe to use. If we talk about the Trustpilot score, ZenMate has an overall 4.7 out of 5-star rating. It also has pretty positive reviews as well. For instance, ZenMate has 79% Excellent reviews and only 10% Bad reviews. That’s how much people think ZenMate is safe to use.
ZenMate Reddit Reviews
On the other hand, Reddit has pretty mixed opinions about ZenMate. I came across a ton of positive and negative reviews on Reddit. For instance, here’s one positive comment about ZenMate:
Here’s another comment suggesting how awesome ZenMate is:
As I mentioned earlier, I also came across a bunch of negative comments as well. Here’s one Reddit comment stating that ZenMate is garbage:
So overall, it seems like people have a love-hate relationship with ZenMate. I personally found it to be pretty good and didn’t found too many issues with it.
In terms of support, ZenMate is pretty decent. I mean, you do get live chat support along with a few other options as well. I found their live chat support to be particularly helpful. Their support agent got back to me within minutes which I think is rather impressive.
Anyways, aside from live chat, you can also get help through the following sources:
- Getting Started
Comparison between ExpressVPN and ZenMate
So overall, I think ZenMate is pretty great. It offers a lot of features and is also quite affordable. However, If you still want something else, you might want to check out this comparison between ExpressVPN and ZenMate.
|Servers||3,000+ in 94 Countries||3,600+ in 76+ Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux,|
Android & iOS
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||Germany|
|Logging Policy||Zero Logs||Some Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Live Chat, FAQs & Email|
Alternatives to ZenMate
Some of you may not be satisfied with the features provided by this service. I cannot blame you for this. Digital privacy is a sensitive matter and therefore, everyone has their own preferences. For alternatives, you can check out this list of ZenMate alteratives:
- TunnelBear Review
- NordVPN Review
- Turbo VPN Review
- Hotspot Shield Review
- SaferVPN Review
- VPN Unlimited Review
- Avast VPN Review
- Astrill VPN Review
- Private Internet Access Review
- PureVPN Review
- Shellfire VPN Review
Do I Recommend ZenMate VPN?
Yes, I do recommend ZenMate. Obviously, there are so many reasons why. It offers a free trial, doesn’t keep activity logs, works with Netflix and torrenting and offers fast speeds as well. Overall, its a pretty awesome VPN service. However, it is not completely perfect.
For instance, while it offers security features like Kill Switch and DNS leak protection, it lacks Split tunneling and even an ad-blocker. So I guess you can see where I’m going with this. In my opinion, ZenMate still needs to work on adding a few features and improving the service.