ZenMate VPN Review
ZenMate VPN offers a free and paid service to its users. It also has fast connection speeds, tough encryption and a 14-day money back guarantee.
ZenMate VPN is a little different than other, bigger service brands because it was once a free proxy browser about 2 years back. Since then, it has had some upgrades and has moved over to the paid/free service that it is today. This service can be seen as relatable to Tunnel Bear and Windscribe because it has a free option as well as a paid option, which users can choose if they want more options and VPN power.
ZenMate has had a lot of upgrades and has some great security features and a fast connection. There are only a few countries at this point in time to choose from but the system is easy to use. This review will look into the features that ZenMate offers and will mainly focus on the premium aspect of this service.
- Has a free and paid service
- Paid service is fairly cheap
- Fast connections
- Strong encryption
- Don’t allow P2P traffic
Plans and Packages
As previously stated, ZenMate was once a free proxy service that ran on your browser, making it ineffective at protecting the rest of your applications on your device. However, they have slowly transitioned into the paid realm and now have a number of price plan available to users who want to upgrade.
ZenMate follows along with a lot of other premium services and includes a tiered package method which breaks up the price with commitment. The more you commit to their service the cheaper you get the system. This is pretty standard among VPN services. It is also nice to know that ZenMate has kept their packages consistent and you get all the features regardless of the price you choose to pay and the commitment you decide to make. Their price starts off very cheap in comparison to other more popular services, starting at a yearly price of $4.99. This is great considering that price is a huge factor when it comes to VPNs and this gives them a competitive edge over the competition.
ZenMate has three price plans to choose from, which is the same as many other premium services. They have a monthly, bi-monthly and an annual plan. The more you commit to their service the cheaper the price becomes. As already stated, their cheapest price is their annual package, coming in at $4.99. Their bi-annual package costs a pricy $7.99 and their monthly plan is priced at $8.99 which is below industry standard for this level of commitment. In all cases, you will be billed for the entire month, 6 months or year, in one instance.
Of course, if you do not need the premium version of the service, there is always the free version which you can download straight from their site.back to menu ↑
Any good VPN service will offer a range of payment gateways for its users. The main purpose of a VPN is to protect and cloak the users of its network, so having secure and varied options for paying is a must. ZenMate’s payment gateways are decent and they offer you the standard options, including debit/credit cards for Visa, American Express and Master Card, as well as PayPal – the most trusted third-party payment gateway.
There are also two alternative gateways – UnionPay and Qiwi Wallet. Unfortunately, there was no options for Bitcoin, which is disappointing because it is the best and most secure way to pay on the internet. This will be a bit of a problem for individuals who are very anxious about their online security when it comes to payments. However, for the majority of users, these payment gateways are adequate.back to menu ↑
Setup and User-Friendliness
This might have been the easiest VPN I have ever had to setup. After I had bought their software and had navigated to the download section, the service downloaded almost instantaneously without a hitch. This was all fantastic until my internet broke and the VPN wasn’t functioning properly. This scared me a little because I had no way to access the internet and the VPN wasn’t uninstalling or functioning whatsoever. I had to do a full system restart which fixed the VPN and allowed it to connect. Once it was connected I was a little relieved, but then again, my laptop is ancient and in need of an upgrade.
The software is very clean and slick, it pops up in the corner of your Windows computer and asks for your log in details. Once you type them in the VPN seemed to connect instantly, which I didn’t like that much because I wanted to see the features and security protocols before connecting.
There are hardly any options on the client itself, only the option to check your membership and a switch that lets you connect as soon as you log on. There were no options to change my protocols, which was frustrating. However, I will say that the client is easy to navigate and is beginner friendly. There is also a section that lets you check your connection time and they have a kill switch, also named “EverSecure”. It also has a malware blocking which is useful for virus protection.back to menu ↑
Servers and Speeds
The server range and speeds of a VPN network are also very important. A service needs to have a good global reach to satisfy the more remote users and the individuals who use the VPN streaming and content bypassing, and it needs to have a good speed so that connections don’t slow and so that streamers can watch movies without anything buffering. ZenMate has had an upgrade in the server department recently and now has servers in 30+ countries which is pretty good.
However, this is nothing when you compare this service against big brands like ExpressVPN or Golden Frog. In reference to their speeds, they’re very good for a free/paid service. They stayed pretty consistent with a drop when connecting to the US, which is always expected. No DNS or IPv6 leaks were found which was promising considering that many services lie about this aspects and have some servers that leak information and IP addresses. On a side note, P2P is not really talked about and it appears to be a grey area on their site and service as a whole. For all the individuals who want to torrent, we advise that you go and personally check with their support team about whether it is ok to file share.back to menu ↑
A VPN service is required to be diverse and able to connect to a range of devices with one account. ZenMate allows individuals to do this and lets users attach all their devices to one account on the premium packages. They also allow you to download software for your routers so that you can connect and protect all the devices in your home and are still able to protect devices individually because of the way the connections work.
What OS platforms do ZenMate support?
Support OSX, Windows, iOS, Android, Browser
Extensions for Opera, Firefox and Chrome
If we are living in a digital world where it is important to protect our mobile devices on the move, a VPN service is going to need to offer mobile protect if it wants to stand a chance against the big competitors. ZenMate can be downloaded onto all your major platforms, including Mac, Windows, IOS and Android. It also works on Firefox, Opera and Chrome. There are also a range of other free products that they have, including a mobile security software called Sense and a free Chrome extension called Pulse.back to menu ↑
Like most VPN services, ZenMate has round the clock customer support. Unfortunately, the service does not have a live chat option which is disappointing because that usually indicates a quicker response. They only have the options for individuals to contact them via email, but even with this method the responses are quick and full of detail. Their knowledgebase and guides are a great substitute for their lack of live chat and they have a lot of helpful information that shouldn’t confuse beginners who are having issues. They also have a social media account which lets you talk to other users to see if they can help with your issues.back to menu ↑
Security and Privacy
Privacy and security are the main components of a VPN and these need to be in tip-top conditions if you want to be sure you’re safe on the internet. All of the security features for ZenMate are fantastic and they use a RFC 5245 with a 128-AES-bit encryption which is pretty tough. It is not 256-AES encryption but it should protect you fine. They also use RSA for handshaking purposes and SHA 256 for data authentication. In terms of logs, only connection ones are kept. However, there is a lot of secrecy around the German data retention laws and there is a lot of shade on whether Germany can intercept their logs whenever they please. For the anxious individuals, you may want to look into this further.
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What protocols do ZenMate support?
For Windows client: IPSec (IKEv2) and L2TP/IPSec
For Mac client: IPSec (IKEv2)
Free Trial and Refund Policy
ZenMate has no free trial because it technically is a free service that you can use if you don’t feel like upgrading to the premium version. They do, however, offer a refund policy of 14-days, so if you are not happy with the premium service you can get your money back in 2 weeks.
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ZenMate is a great VPN service and has upgraded and progressed a lot since it’s free version. The service is reliable and fast and has a decent encrypted network that should protect you against both ISP and other malicious individuals.
They have a good amount of servers if you choose the paid version and their client is simple and effective. The only issue I have is that they are based in Germany, which has unclear laws on data retention. If you are conscious about your internet privacy then you should be vary of this service. Also, anyone looking to torrent may need to ask their team personally whether or not they can torrent on the network. However, overall, this service is great and recommended.
ZenMate is a decent VPN service that has both a free and paid VPN. They have great encryptions and offer great speeds when connecting to their servers. In addition, if you want to upgrade to their premium version it won't cost you an arm and a leg.