Catering more towards the non-technical crowd, ZenMate has been around since 2013. As the zen in ZenMate suggests,
it’s fairly simple and sparse in terms of features. With so many competing options available, is it even worth
looking at ZenMate?
ZenMate offers three different subscription tiers, including one-month, six-month, and 12-month options. Pricing for
the monthly tier is on the high end, but the price drops once you get to the annual subscription. They offer a
Streaming Guarantee, providing credits if you can’t access your favorite streaming sites.
ZenMate also offers a basic free service using Chrome, Firefox, and Opera extensions. However, it’s limited to only
four locations and transfer speeds are capped at 2Mbps.
For the paid subscription you can use ZenMate on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android as well as browsers. OpenVPN support
also allows you to set up the service on routers, TVs, game consoles, and Linux devices.
Ease of Use
As you would expect of a VPN catered towards non-technical folks everything is basic. From the client setup to the
user interface, the design is simple and the UI intuitive.
All you do is click on the app in your taskbar and choose your server.
There is a settings menu to enable a couple of extra features, but overall, there’s not a lot of tabs or settings for
you to go through. If you’re looking for something easy to use, this is a perfect option.
With the subscriptions, you can connect up to five devices -- a total on par with other VPNs.
Simplicity is its main selling point, so if you’re looking for a VPN loaded with features, you probably want to look
With that said ZenMate offers the basics such as:
- P2P and torrenting support
- Auto start on computer startup
- Tracking protection
- Malware blocking
- Smart Locations
Privacy and Logging
some connection logs.
However, these are mainly for if support needs information for help with their service.
Based in Germany -- a country with strict privacy laws -- ZenMate does not store or log personal data or monitor your
activity. They also allow Bitcoin payments for additional anonymity.
In terms of security, they use the industry standard 256-bit encryption and when tested experts found no DNS or IP
With over 30 countries, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
Unfortunately, general performance did not impress reviewers. Many noticed a significant drop in speeds when
connected to the client with some noting decreases as high as 68%.
Servers in Europe, the UK, and the US had the best speeds ranging from 20-35Mbps. Asia fared the worst ranging only
If you want fast customer support, you’re better off looking elsewhere. ZenMate only offers email support.
While critics were happy with how quickly the representatives responded to their queries (around 24 hours), it still
can’t beat live chat.
Luckily, ZenMate has a useful FAQ and setup guide so you can generally find answers to your questions without ever
ZenMate is not the cheapest or most feature-filled VPN available. Nor is it the fastest. And while it offers an
intuitive interface and good privacy protection, it’s too much of a mixed bag for experts to recommend.
PC World states, “ZenMate is a fine choice if you need a VPN that works well in Europe and North America. Power
users, however, will probably want to look elsewhere…”
TechRadar states, “ZenMate’s free browser-based service might be useful, but inconsistent speeds and a distinct
lack of features make it hard to recommend the paid products.”