ZenVPN Review 2021
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.
I usually don’t like ridiculing VPN service, but when you’re reviewing a product like ZenVPN, you just can’t help it. To be honest, I feel like ZenVPN is like that homemade cake that’s baked on the outside but is still mushy and uncooked on the inside.
You know, the kind of cake you just want to skip…
Despite boldly advertising No Logs, Blazing Fast and Affordable, I found their claims to be rather farfetched at the time of writing this ZenVPN review. As someone who has reviewed VPNs like Surfshark, It’s hard for me to overlook their small server network, slow speeds, and expensive pricing plans.
So after carefully considering all the cons and also a few pros, I’ve given ZenVPN a 2.5 stars rating overall. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you’ll be better off with other VPNs.
My Rating Criteria
To thoroughly test ZenVPN for its pros and cons, I used my 9 step rating criteria:
- Jurisdiction – Where is ZenVPN based?
- Security – Does ZenVPN keep logs?
- Leaks – Does ZenVPN leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
- Servers – Is ZenVPN P2P compatible?
- Speed – How fast is ZenVPN?
- Streaming – Does ZenVPN work with Netflix?
- Compatibility – Which devices can I use ZenVPN with?
- Pricing – How much does ZenVPN cost?
- Trustworthiness – Is ZenVPN safe?
Jurisdiction – Where is ZenVPN based?
ZenVPN, which is owned by RubyVector ltd, is based in Cyprus. Now, this good since Cyprus doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of 5 eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes territories. Another thing you might not know about Cyprus is the fact that the country is a member of the European Union and protected by strict privacy laws.
Security – Does ZenVPN keep logs?
- 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
Other than their questionable logging policy, ZenVPN lacks one important feature. If you 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.
Leaks – Does ZenVPN leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
As for VPN leaks, ZenVPN is actually leak-proof. I rigorously tested this service and didn’t come across any form of IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks. Here are the screenshots of the test results:
IP Leak Test:
First, I tested for IP leaks while connected to the Netherlands server. As you can see from the screenshot below, my original IP address is not visible. So far so good.
DNS Leak Test:
Next, I 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 I’m connected to is also from the Netherlands.
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.
Now, this might seem like overkill, but I 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:
Servers – Is ZenVPN P2P compatible?
If we talk about servers, ZenVPN doesn’t actually mention the exact number on its website. The provider only states that it offers servers in 29 locations. I’m guessing this is because ZenVPN doesn’t have a lot of servers to offer in the first place. Although P2P compatible, but with so few servers, I managed to get terrible speeds while downloading torrents.
One other gripe I have with ZenVPN in regards to servers is that it doesn’t mention if it uses physical or virtual servers. I’m surprised as to why a VPN provider wouldn’t choose to cover this on its website. Overall, if servers matter to you, don’t go for this VPN.
Speed – How fast is ZenVPN?
In terms of speeds, ZenVPN is atrociously slow. I performed the speed test using my 25 Mbps Internet connection and the results really disappointed me.
While connected to the Netherlands ’ server, I found the speed to be on the low side. With my 25 Mbps connection, I only received 1.39 Mbps download speed. That’s a drop of almost 95%.
The US server offered slightly better speeds, however, still quite terrible. Even after conducting multiple tests, I only managed to get 4.32 Mbps downloading speeds.
The UK server was also quite slow. It only managed to peak at 2.88 Mbps downloading speeds. Not good at all if you ask me.
Streaming – Does ZenVPN work with Netflix?
Unfortunately, ZenVPN does not work with Netflix. In fact, even after testing multiple US servers, I still came across the dreaded proxy error. Disappointing right?
Other Streaming Services that don’t work with ZenVPN
I also tried unblocking Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon prime and ZenVPN failed miserably. I guess their servers are blacklisted or something. If streaming US Netflix is really important to you, ditch ZenVPN and check out other VPNs capable of unblocking US Netflix.
Compatibility – Which devices can I use ZenVPN with?
As far as the compatibility goes, ZenVPN claims to supports most platforms like Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux. However, good luck finding apps except for Windows and Android, which by the way are also not downloadable from their website.
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 offer dedicated apps for different devices. I guess now you know why I called this service a half baked VPN. The good thing is that ZenVPN allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
Pricing – How much does ZenVPN cost?
When a service such as ZenVPN lacks so many basic features, you’d at least expect it to be cheap right? Well, unfortunately, ZenVPN is anything but cheap. In fact, if you go through their subscription plans, you’ll see that even its most popular plan costs $5.95/mo. Here are the pricings for their standard plans.
- Weekly is available at the cost of $2.95/week
- Monthly is available at the cost of $5.95/mo
- Yearly is available at the cost of $49.95 ($4.16/mo)
Unlike other VPNs, ZenVPN only offers 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 getting in my opinion, except if unlimited bandwidth is that appealing to you. Check out the pricing plans below:
- Weekly is available at the cost of $5.95/mo
- Monthly is available at the cost of $9.95/mo
- Yearly is available at the cost of $95.50 ($7.95/mo)
As for payment methods, ZenVPN only accepts credit cards. You can only purchase it through Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Maestro. Sadly, there’s no support for Bitcoin or PayPal. The only thing I like about ZenVPN is the fact that it offers a free trial. ZenVPN free trial comes with a 250 MB daily traffic limit.
In terms of refunds, ZenVPN offers 30 days money-back guarantee. However, judging by the fact that there’s no live chat support, I can only imagine how frustrating getting a refund would be. Overall, ZenVPN is no cheap, but if you want something affordable, check out these VPN deals.
Trustworthiness – Is ZenVPN safe?
To be honest with you, ZenVPN is not safe. It’s logging policy is sketchy and I even found 3 hidden trackers in its app. If this doesn’t raise red flags for you I don’t know what will.
If we talk about customer support, ZenVPN is pretty pathetic. Despite costing so much, ZenVPN only offers a Contact Us page and a simple Help page. Both of these methods are totally unacceptable from a VPN that costs so much. The help page also doesn’t contain too many guides.
Comparison between ExpressVPN and ZenVPN
If you’re not looking to get ZenVPN, I’ve compared it to ExpressVPN as an alternative. Feel free to check out the comparison below:
|Servers||3000+ in 94 Countries||29 Locations|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux,|
Android & iOS
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||Cyprus|
|Logging Policy||Zero Logs||Keeps Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Help Center & Contact Us|
|Trust Pilot Score||4.7||N/A|
Alternatives to ZenVPN
If you’re not interested in ZenVPN, you can read reviews about other VPNs:
- Ivacy VPN review
- Windscribe review
- AVG Secure VPN review
- TrustZone VPN review
- Private Internet Access review
- Goose VPN review
- TunnelBear VPN review
- VPN Unlimited Infinity review
- WiTopia VPN review
- SurfEasy VPN review
Do I Recommend ZenVPN?
No, I don’t recommend ZenVPN. It’s a poorly built VPN app with no features at all that’s also riddled with malware. Aside from that, ZenVPN is also excruciatingly slow, doesn’t work with Netflix or torrenting and also keeps logs.
The only two things I liked about ZenVPN was its free trial and the fact that it is leak-proof. That’s about it. Overall, for being a half baked product, I’ve rated it 2.5/5.0 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 2021 guide.
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