ZenMate VPN: A reliable VPN service?
Any internet user who wants to keep their online identity anonymous, private and secure, should start using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). But with so many offerings in the market, finding a reliable VPN service could be hard.
Based in Berlin, Germany, ZenMate has transformed from a proxy service to a full VPN service, and is now one of the very few VPN services in the world that also caters to non-English-speaking users. Serving more than 43 million users today, is this a VPN service you can rely on?
Is My Privacy Protected with ZenMate VPN?
As mentioned, ZenMate is based in Germany, a country not known for the best identity protection or data retention policies. After the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated all prevailing data-retention laws in Europe, you never know how private your online activities and identity could be with ZenMate VPN.
However, the VPN service mentions that “no personal data is collected, processed or permanently stored”. They also add that your personal data will be collected or used only with your consent or to perform their services. They do use your email address for marketing purposes, and they do not store details pertinent to the location you choose to encrypt your IP address.
ZenMate VPN also states that they do not “transfer any personal data which we collected and stored based on your consent or statutory permission to a third party”. However, it is also mentioned that they are obligated “to provide information on inventory data” when asked by the law. One positive is that the company offers a kill switch for Windows.
Due to these facts, the level of privacy offered by ZenMate VPN might not be on par with leading VPN service providers, and if your priority is privacy, then you may not be 100% happy with what this service is capable of delivering.
How Much is ZenMate VPN? Is There a Free Trial?
Before we move on to the different pricing plans offered by ZenMate VPN, you need to know about their free service. Not many visitors of the site know about this because it isn’t mentioned directly on their website. This free service is, obviously, a limited version where you will face limits in server locations, platforms and speed. However, the level of security or protection you receive will be the same as that of the premium plans.
ZenMate VPN offers three different pricing plans, as shown above. You can choose between the monthly plan, the semi-annual plan and the yearly plan according to your requirements. The cost of the monthly plan would be $8.99, billed monthly; for the 6 months plan, you will be billed $44.99 every 6 months, at a rate of $7.49 per month; and for the yearly plan, you will be billed $59.99 every year, at a rate of $4.99 per month.
All these plans include the same set of features, some of which are:
- Zero traffic logging.
- 256-bit AES encryption.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- 99.9% uptime.
- Unlimited server switching.
- Premium customer support.
In addition, the VPN service offers a 14-days money back guarantee as well. There is a free trial offered by ZenMate VPN, but you don’t see it mentioned transparently on their website. This is because to start the free trial, you need to sign up for the service and verify your ZenMate account by clicking on the link you receive in your email inbo. This free trial is for seven days.
ZenMate VPN offers its services for businesses as well. To know about the pricing options for your business, you will have to contact the team.
ZenMate VPN Speed Test
ZenMate VPN operates 300 servers around the world, with an extensive network of more than 3000 IPs. Therefore, the company is quite confident in its speeds and describes it as “unmatched speeds” and “lightning-fast speeds”. Yes, it would be great if they are able to deliver their promise, but that is exactly where the VPN service lacks.
The upload, download, and connection speeds delivered by ZenMate VPN’s servers, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, are known to be below average. Even if you take into account the fact that speeds could be reduced due to various other factors as well, like your internet connection and more, you will still see that the VPN connection by itself is slow.
As a result, though the VPN service supports P2P traffic and streaming and you could access some online video streaming websites, you may not be able to enjoy your favorite content in your desired speed.
How is Customer Service at ZenMate VPN?
The customer service offered by ZenMate VPN is perhaps the worst we have seen so far. Even though we can forgive that they don’t offer 24/7 customer support, as there are many other providers who don’t offer the same, the fact that there is not even an email support or chat service makes things much worse.
The only way you can contact the support team is by submitting a request form, which can be accessed when you click on the Support navigation menu. Even after submitting a ticket, you may have to wait a few days to get the right solution for your issues.
The same menu takes you to the knowledge base where you can find some information on Troubleshooting, Using ZenMate, and Getting Started.
ZenMate VPN has servers located in more than 30 countries around the world. Unlike the other VPN service providers that support a wide range of VPN protocols, this VPN service only supports IPsec (IKEv2) and L2TP/IPsec. This is once again disappointing, especially considering the level of competition in the industry that the company is operating in.
The features offered by ZenMate VPN are different for the Free and Premium versions. For the free plan, you get:
- ZenMate extensions of Firefox and Chrome.
- Only four VPN locations – United States, Romania, Hong Kong, and Germany.
- No guarantee for full speed.
If you go with a premium pricing plan, you get:
- Full VPN clients for Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows, along with Opera browser extension.
- Fastest browsing speeds available.
- 29+ VPN server locations.
- Malware blocking.
- Tracking protection.
- Smart Locations feature, which allows you to customize how the service automatically switches locations to connect to your favorite websites.
There are some features that are available for both free and premium plans, and these are: NAT firewall, TLS encryption standards, and anti-TCP/IP fingerprinting.
On the whole, the features offered by ZenMate VPN are quite basic and are not well-rounded.
Is ZenMate VPN Safe?
The website of ZenMate VPN does not have any clear information on the security features offered by the company. This only leads us to believe that there are not a lot of such features that the VPN service offers. In fact, even the encryption used by the service is only AES 128, when almost all other VPN providers in the market implement what is known as the strongest encryption standard, AES 256. Therefore, the level of security you get from ZenMate VPN will certainly not protect you from being detected by third parties. Also, the VPN does not seem to offer any sort of protection against WebRTC, DNS, and other IP leaks.
ZenMate VPN is perhaps the least impressive VPN service we have reviewed so far. There are very few positives to the service, like their server locations, decent features, and average pricing. But, there is a lot more that users expect from a reliable VPN service, and this is just not a service you can rely on.