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ZenVPN Review – Tried and Tested 2023

ZenVPN might seem like a decent service to get, however, it still needs a lot of tweaking around. At the moment, ZenVPN is a half baked product with a lack of features and flaws.

ZenVPN is an easy-to-use and straightforward VPN service that also offers friendly and helpful customer service, but there are quite a few areas where it falls short.

Despite boldly advertising no logs, blazing fast, and affordable, we found their claims to be rather farfetched at the time of writing this ZenVPN review. As someone who has reviewed VPNs, it’s hard for us to overlook their small server network, slow speeds, and expensive pricing plans.

So after carefully considering every aspect of this VPN, we’ve given ZenVPN a 2.1 stars rating overall. What we’re trying to say is, you’ll be better off with other VPNs like ExpressVPN. Let’s have a look at why we’ve rated ZenVPN as such.


Key Findings – ZenVPN review

To thoroughly ZenVPN review for its pros and cons, we used the following rating criteria:

  1. Pricing – Offers varying pricing plans, and most of them are expensive.
  2. Server Network – Very small networks of servers.
  3. Security – Logs data. Hence, not safe.
  4. Speeds – Insufficient speeds for browsing and streaming.
  5. Streaming – Unable to unblock Netflix, and other streaming sites.
  6. Torrenting – Not good enough speeds for torrenting.
  7. Compatible – Works with most devices. Installing the setup is a bit tricky.
  8. Bypass Censorship – Unable to bypass geo-restricted sites.
  9. Customer Service – Unreliable customer support since the live chat feature doesn’t exist.
Pros
  • Latest encryption methods
  • IP/DNS leak protection
  • Weekly subscriptions available
  • Free version up for grabs
Cons
  • Lacks a kill switch
  • Small server network
  • Customer support needs improvement
  • Connection speeds are slow at times

ZenVPN Features – At a Glance

Here’s a summarised version of ZenVPN features:

Price$6.99/mo
Money-back Guarantee30 Days
Does ZenVPN keep logs?No
Number of server locations20+
Simultaneous connections6
Kill SwitchNo
Based in countryCyprus
Supports torrentingYes

Pricing – How much does ZenVPN cost?

ZenMate offers two types of packages: Standard plans and unlimited plans. Here are the prices for their standard plans.

zenvpn-pricing-plans

You may pick any of the suitable standard plans offered by ZenVPN.

Unlike other VPNs, ZenVPN only offers a 5 GB data transfer limit. This can be totally disappointing for anyone with high bandwidth usage. Aside from the standard plans, ZenVPN also offers unlimited plans; however, these plans are even more expensive and totally not worth it, except if unlimited bandwidth is that appealing to you. Check out the pricing plans below:

zenvpn-pricing-plans-unlimited

For unlimited bandwidth, you can opt for any of these three plans.

As for payment methods, ZenVPN only accepts credit cards. You can only purchase it through Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Maestro. Sadly, ZenMate doesn’t support PayPal payments. The only thing we like about ZenVPN is the fact that it offers a free trial. ZenVPN free trial comes with a 250 MB daily traffic limit.

Zen VPN Payment Methods

In terms of refunds, ZenVPN offers 30-day money-back guarantee. Overall, ZenVPN is not cheap, but if you want something affordable, check out these VPN deals.


Server Network – How Many Servers Does ZenVPN Offer?

In terms of the number of servers, ZenVPN doesn’t actually mention the exact number on its website. ZenVPN operates a global network of servers in 20 locations and growing. The countries include the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, France, Chile, and many others. However, you’d be surprised to know that it doesn’t offer any US servers.

So if you’re traveling abroad, you cannot rely on ZenVPN to help you access local websites or provide you with a US IP address.

zenvpn-server-network

ZenVPN offered only 20+ server locations all over the globe.

Although it is P2P compatible, with so few servers, we managed to get terrible speeds while downloading torrents. One other gripe we have with ZenVPN is that it doesn’t mention if it uses physical or virtual servers. It’s bewildering as to why a VPN provider wouldn’t choose to cover this factor on its website. Overall, if servers matter to you, don’t go for this VPN.


Security – Is ZenVPN safe?

To be honest with you, ZenVPN is not safe. Its logging policy is sketchy, and we even found 3 hidden trackers in its app. That’s quite a red flag if you ask us.

Other than their questionable logging policy, ZenVPN lacks one important feature. If you go through their app, you’re not going to find a built-in Kill Switch. In comparison, Surfshark, which is a lot cheaper, does come with a Kill Switch feature.

On the plus side, however, ZenVPN does support OpenVPN, which uses 256-bit military-grade encryption by default. Besides OpenVPN, the provider only offers L2TP/IPsec and PPTP protocols. ZenVPN should add other VPN protocols like IKEv1, IKEv2, SSTP, and others for more versatility.

Does ZenVPN keep logs?

Through this ZenVPN review, we learned that despite claiming that it keeps no logs, ZenVPN does keep user logs. If you actually go through the privacy policy of ZenVPN, you’ll notice that it collects and retains the following information:

  • Your IP addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Your device’s unique identifier
  • Daily bandwidth usage
  • Date and time of each of your connection
  • The span of your connection
  • Payment information
zenvpn-privacy-policy-user-logs

Despite claiming it keeps no logs, ZenVPN does store user information.

This information is enough to uniquely link your online activities back to you. Overall, they’re blatantly lying in their privacy policy.

IP Leak Test:

We tested for IP leaks while connected to the Netherlands server. As you can see from the screenshot below, our original IP address is not visible. So far, so good.

IP-Leak-ZenVPN-Test-1

ZenVPN successfully passed the IP leak test on the Netherlands IP address.

DNS Leak Test:

Next, we checked for DNS leaks, and ZenVPN passed this test too, without any issues. Check out the screenshot below, and you’ll see that the DNS server we’ve connected to is also from the Netherlands.

DNS-Leak-Test-ZenVPN

Here are the results of our DNS leak test of ZenVPN.

WebRTC Leak Test:

ZenVPN also passed the WebRTC leak test without any issues. Even after conducting multiple tests, ZenVPN showed no signs of obvious leaks.

WebRTC-Leak-ZenVPN-Test

Here are the results of our WebRTC leak test.

Virus Test:

Now, this might seem like overkill, but we tested its Windows app for hidden malware using virustotal.com. Based on the test results, ZenVPN’s Windows app contained 3 hidden trackers. Take a look at the snapshot below:

Virus-Test-ZenVPN

We found 3 hidden malware within the Windows app of ZenVPN.


Speeds – How fast is ZenVPN?

In terms of speeds in our ZenVPN free review, it is atrociously slow. We performed the speed test using our 25 Mbps Internet connection, and the results were really disappointing.

Netherlands Server:

While connected to the Netherlands ’ server, we found the speed to be terrible. With our 25 Mbps connection, we only received a 1.39 Mbps download speed and an upload speed of 4.97 Mbps. That’s a drop of almost 98%.

ZenVPN-Speed-Test-Result-on-Netherland-server

We would not recommend you use ZenVPN servers for streaming.

UK Server:

The UK server was also quite slow. It only managed to peak at 2.88 Mbps download speed and 8 Mbps upload speed which means you cannot stream in HD at all

zenvpn-speed-test-result-uk-server

ZenVPN server speeds were quite disappointing.


Streaming – Does ZenVPN work with Netflix?

Despite ZenVPN’s website boldly claiming that the VPN works with Netflix, it doesn’t. The website even goes on to say that it can access geo-restricted content globally; however, in our review of ZenVPN, we were unable to unblock Netflix as well as Hulu.

In fact, when we used ZenVPN to stream Netflix, we kept running into this error and couldn’t bypass this despite refreshing the page multiple times:

zenvpn-streaming-error

This error kept showing up once we connected to ZenVPN and tried to access Netflix.

Slow network speeds, weak unblocking capabilities, and a misleading logging policy are some of the areas where this provider needs to definitely improve. So you can check more fast and more reliable VPNs for better experiences. ZenVPN claims to be a fast and affordable VPN that will protect your online security, data, and privacy.

Even though it does uphold the promise of providing quality security and privacy, it is definitely not a reliable solution for streaming purposes.

Other Streaming Services that don’t work with ZenVPN

We also tried unblocking Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and ZenVPN failed miserably. Probably because their servers are blacklisted or something because we tried to access Vudu as well but came across an error Vudu not working as this VPN server was blocked. If streaming Netflix UK is really important to you, ditch ZenVPN and check out other VPNs capable of unblocking US Netflix.


Torrenting – Is ZenVPN good for torrenting?

ZenVPN supports torrenting; however, we would not recommend it for torrenting. There are no dedicated servers for torrenting, so you can try downloading and sharing on any of its servers. Chances are you might be successful in torrenting files at times, whereas it may not be as fruitful as you’d like.

Based on our review of ZenVPN, we were unable to download even a 1GB file as the speeds were insufficient, and it took us hours to download it successfully. Moreover, our internet connection dropped multiple times in between torrenting the file, because of which we could not browse any website either.


Bypass Censorship and Geo-blocks

Unfortunately, ZenVPN is not good at bypassing censorship. As you’ve observed in our ZenVPN review, it failed to unblock any content library of Netflix. It didn’t even unblock the most easily bypassing geo-restricted sites. So expecting ZenVPN to bypass geo-blocks in countries with restrictive laws is a bit of a stretch.

Countries like China, Russia, Oman, and Saudi Arabia have actively banned the use of VPNs. So it’s practically impossible for a VPN like ZenVPN to bypass the Great Firewall of China. In fact, it doesn’t even offer servers in China. The limited number of server locations also holds you back from unblocking other regional channels.


Installation and Apps

If you wish to install ZenVPN on devices other than Windows and Android, you’ll have to use manual configuration files. This is seriously disappointing, considering that pretty much every VPN nowadays offers dedicated apps for different devices. The good thing is that ZenVPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections.

Unless you use a third-party OpenVPN client, you’ll not be able to download the ZenVPN app. Do make sure you’re downloading the latest version because otherwise, you’ll run into some issues just like we did. ZenVPN doesn’t offer native apps either.


Compatibility – Is ZenVPN compatible with my device?

As far as compatibility goes, ZenVPN claims to support most platforms like Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and others. You can download the respective apps from ZenVPN’s official website.

zenvpn-compatibility

ZenVPN allows downloading setups of various OS on its official website.


Customer Support – Is ZenVPN customer support helpful?

ZenVPN’s customer support’s pretty unreliable. Despite costing so much, ZenVPN only offers a Contact Us page and a simple Help page. Both of these methods are totally unacceptable for a VPN that costs so much. The help page also doesn’t contain too many guides.

zenvpn-customer-support

Creating a ticket is quite an old-fashioned way of reaching out for help.

For testing purposes, we created a ticket to reach out to ZenVPN customer support. However, the waiting period for a reply was quite long. We didn’t get a prompt response because of this, our tasks got delayed, and we had to rely on another VPN to save the day.

On the other hand, when we tried to get a refund, the process was pretty frustrating as the VPN offered no live chat support. Most ZenVPN reviews fail to cover this point.

User Experience

ZenVPN doesn’t have a native client, which is quite common for small VPN providers. If you’ve always used a VPN with dedicated apps, you might find this VPN more complicated. You’ll have to download a free third-party OpenVPN bundled with a VPN configuration file through the website.

Downloading a third-party app may be a hassle for you, and the ZenVPN app isn’t user-friendly either, for it only allows connecting to a server. It doesn’t include any options for settings whatsoever.

zenvpn-app

ZenVPN app doesn’t have many features apart from connecting to a server.


Comparison between ExpressVPN and ZenVPN

If you’re not looking to get ZenVPN, we’ve compared it to ExpressVPN as an alternative. Feel free to check out the comparison below to get a condensed idea about our ZenVPN review:


Alternatives to ZenVPN

If you’re not interested in ZenVPN, you can read reviews about other VPNs:


FAQs – ZenVPN review

No, we do not think ZenVPN is safe. It lacks some critical security features that are offered by its competitors, such as tunnelling, obfuscation, first-party DNS, double VPN, and such.

Yes, ZenVPN offers a free version; however, you can only access two server locations through it. Most ZenVPN users enjoy encrypted censorship-free connections without charging a penny. However, the free version comes with a limitation of 250MB per day. 

To use ZenVPN, you’ll need a third-party OpenVPN client. Based on our testing, we were successfully able to download the ZenVPN configuration file from its website. After that, we could easily connect to a server of our liking.

ZenVPN doesn’t work well for streaming despite claiming on its website that it’s fast and affordable. We tried multiple times but were unsuccessful in unblocking Netflix. So, we’d suggest you opt for a different and more diverse VPN, such as ExpressVPN, as it works perfectly well for streaming, torrenting, and any other purposes.


Summary: ZenVPN Review

To conclude our review, we have found that ZenVPN is excruciatingly slowdoesn’t work with Netflix or torrenting, and also keeps logs. It’s a poorly built VPN app riddled with malware and has no unique or special features to offerWe don’t recommend ZenVPN. You may refer to other ZenVPN reviews and decide for yourself if this VPN is worth it.

The only two things we liked about ZenVPN were its free trial and the fact that it is leak-proof. That’s about it. Overall, for being a half-baked product, we’ve rated it 2.1/5.0 stars in this ZenVPN review.

In case you want to know about other VPNs trending in the VPN industry, refer to our comprehensive VPN reviews 2023 guide.

'Gerald Hunt

Gerald Hunt

Gerald Hunt's Biography :


Gerald is a steadfast believer in the inviolable right of every citizen to freedom of expression. Writing about online privacy and security without any regard for political correctness is his way to counter the instruments threatening our liberty. In his spare time, he loves to binge watch Netflix, anime and play video games.


Posts by Gerald Hunt

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