ZenMate VPN Review 2023

Even better, you can set up and use the service on as many devices as you need – ZenMate doesn’t have any annoying connection limits.

ZenMate Reviews

I purchased a 3 year service from these vendors,paid good money.
After about 1 year it became impossible to sign in.
I sent an email to service and received a response 2 months later stating that “due to many tickets there could be a delay”.

When they requested payment, there was NO delay.

Then I tried to “recover account “, new password and even received confirmation email that accout was re-activated, so I happily tried to sign in to my reactivated account and.


If you need a reliable VPN , I suggest you try elsewhere.

Date of experience : June 14, 2023


Our 2022 Transparency Report has landed

May 31, 2023

Pure scam.

I get a 1 year subscription, it is not letting me change my password, it is not letting me login the app. They did not even send me an invoice. I tried to contact their customer service, they always ask the invoice number, which they do not send. Pure scam.

They joined with cyberghost vpn. It got even more worse, I can login to their service but it is not even usable. I bought the thing to connect servers from different countries, but it only allows you to connect 4 countries if you have the browser extension. And I definitely will not install their shady 10 year old app to my computer.

Stay away from ZenMate and Cyber Ghost VPN. It is cheap but not working at all.

Date of experience : March 15, 2023

May 12, 2023

Zenmate has closed . They have scammed their customers

That’s an interesting story.
Pls read all this message.
Zenmate has closed . They have moved all their customers to Cyberghost. theory. On my case, I bought last year a 3 years subscription and I still have more than 2 years. I am not able to login on the new platform of Cyberghost. I have asked Zenmate help but I just got promises. I have contacted Cyberghost and they just say that isn’t their businesses. I should contact Zenmate . But Zenmate has stopped to reply. The most interesting that I have discovered both brands belong to the same company,named Kape technology.They own Express VPN,Zenmate, Cyberghost,Private Internet Access (PIA).Kape technologies is a recent name.This company name before was Crossrider.
But Crossrider was accused a few years ago to inject customers devices with adware and malware while collecting personal data from customers. They just changed name and since 2018 they are Kape technologies. My investigation has helped me to discover that just 5 large companies have the control of dozen of VPN providers. Can we trust these people? Not at all.

Date of experience : May 01, 2023

Aug 10, 2022


Although Zenmate.com provide an effective VPN. The service relies on:
1 Turning on hosted networks
2 Using a proxy service
3 Using Wi-Fi Direct
These three Net work permissions combine to provide a breach of User Privacy and overall network security.
I have applied for a refund
I am happy to be removed from from thi Service

Date of experience : August 10, 2022

Jul 3, 2022

Excellent service..

Excellent service. there were problems with performance in my country, which I found out about after buying a subscription. The technical support team very quickly helped to solve the problem and returned the money spent. For which they have a special respect. As soon as the problems with working capacity in my country are solved, I will definitely use this service again.

Date of experience : July 03, 2022

16 reviews
Oct 21, 2020

Incredible value but no BBCi Player.

Very low price (€20.28 Euros) per year. All good except BBC iPlayer is geo-blocked. Rapid reply received to my e mail. Developers have been informed and the issue will be resolved. Unfortunately, unable to give me any timescale.

Date of experience : October 21, 2020

Reply from ZenMate

Hey there! Thank you for your positive feedback. We’re happy to hear you enjoy our product. We will do our very best to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Nov 2, 2020

I am also another happy paid customer…

I am also another happy paid customer of Zenmate. I have been using other VPNs and all are paid premium versions.
Other VPNs keep changing the IPs over time even if there is no problem with my internet connection. For my use, I need to keep the IP to be same for as longer as possible and Zenmate and Cyxxxxxxxt met my needs. Another good thing of Zenmate is the time to connect to the server being very short. It connects to the servers very quickly comparing to NordVPN and Windscribe. Zenmate is just super quick to get connected.

When it is connected to the destination server, it shows visual effect around the CONNECT button (looks like continuous wave). This requires a bit of processing power. Is there any option to switch off the visual effect? If anyone knows, please let me know. Thanks.

Date of experience : November 02, 2020

Reply from ZenMate

Hey there! Thank you for your positive feedback. We’re happy to hear you enjoy our product.

ZenMate VPN Review 2023

ZenMate VPN Review

Update March 2023: ZenMate VPN has announced that it is joining forces with CyberGhost VPN, another top VPN provider under the same parent company, Kape Technologies. From March 16, 2023, onwards, users can use their existing ZenMate VPN subscription to access the CyberGhost VPN service. The ZenMate apps will be discontinued after May 1, 2023. ZenMate users will keep all their benefits after the merger.

ZenMate VPN is a Berlin-based company founded in 2013 that claims to provide ultimate online privacy and security through its platform. However, it operates within 14-Eyes Alliance jurisdiction, which is a group of countries that share citizens’ information among members. This raises legitimate questions about its ability to keep user data truly private.

While ZenMate offers basic security features such as strong encryption and a no-logs policy, its app carelessly lacks split-tunneling and ad-blocking. Its speeds and unblocking capabilities are unreliable for both streaming and gaming. It does have P2P-friendly servers for downloading large torrent files, but slow speeds can be an issue.

Data leaks are considered serious and can be a deal-breaker for many users—and yes, Zenmate has a history of data leaks, although there haven’t been any major incidents.

If you are considering ZenMate VPN, it is important to evaluate its features and privacy policies carefully to ensure that it meets your needs. So let’s kick off this ZenMate review by taking a brief look at the most important aspects of the service.

During the installation process, ZenMate will prompt you to select a location to save the files. The installation will proceed automatically, and in less than a minute, you will be ready to use the VPN. Just log in with your credentials, and you’re good to go.

You can also find a link to the installation guide on the same Web page you downloaded the installer from, in case you need more help.

Prominent Features

Compared to the most advanced VPNs on the market, ZenMate is not as strong in terms of security, although it does not compromise on the basics. Our Score: 6/10

We have tested many VPNs, and we know what features make them strong and reliable. ZenMate does cover the basic necessities when it comes to security and privacy features, but we wish it had more advanced options.

That said, here is an overview of the features ZenMate offers:

  • DNS and IPv6 Leak Protection – ZenMate protects your DNS requests from leaking to your ISP or other third parties. This prevents them from seeing what websites you visit or the content you access. ZenMate also protects your IPv6 traffic, which is a newer version of the Internet protocol that allows more devices to connect online.
  • AES-256 Encryption – ZenMate uses the same level of AES-256 encryption for all its apps (excluding its browser extension, which uses 128-bit). This is the strongest encryption cipher available today, and it’s used by governments and militaries around the world. Your data is encrypted with a 256-bit key that is virtually impossible to crack.
  • Kill Switch – ZenMate VPN’s kill switch is a vital feature that helps to keep your online privacy intact even if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. The kill switch automatically cuts off your Internet if the VPN connection fails. This way, you won’t leak any sensitive information.
  • VPN Protocols – ZenMate VPN supports three VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2) that let you customize your online security and speed according to your preferences. These protocols are different methods of establishing a secure connection between your device and the VPN server. You can choose the protocol that works best for you depending on what you want to do online.
  • Unlimited Server Switches and Bandwidth – ZenMate VPN gives you unlimited access to its network of over 4,600 servers in 81 countries. You can switch between servers as many times as you want without any restrictions or extra fees. ZenMate VPN also offers unlimited bandwidth for all its users. This means that you can download, stream, browse, and game online without any speed throttling or limits on your data usage.

ZenMate definitely lacks some of the more advanced features that other VPNs offer. For example, it doesn’t have split tunneling, which lets you choose the apps that use the VPN and assign the rest to your normal Internet connection. It also doesn’t block ads within the VPN itself. Instead, it has a separate browser extension called ZenMate Web Firewall for that purpose.
ZenMate provides a decent level of security. However, it could improve by adding features like a malware blocker, Double VPN, or obfuscation tools. Without them, ZenMate remains a basic service compared to the other providers on the market.

Server Count & Infrastructure

ZenMate has a large server network with more than 4,600 servers in 81 countries, which is above average. However, you can’t choose servers in specific cities. Our Score: 9/10

Ideally, you’ll want your VPN to have a lot of servers in different countries around the world. The more servers in more locations, the more geo-restricted content you can access, among many other benefits. So, let’s see what kind of server network ZenMate offers.

  • Home Screen (Expanded) – When fully expanded, the UI bears a resemblance to CyberGhost. On the left side of the expanded UI, you’ll find servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, and regular use. To connect to a server, simply double-click on any country’s name.

  • My Account – The My Account menu provides an overview of your membership and allows you to manage your account. Here you can view details such as your registered email and username. You can check your current subscription status and see when it is due to expire. You can also log out from this menu.

For more options, select Settings from the bottom-left of the expanded interface (or click on the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner of ZenMate’s smaller interface). The Settings menu is broadly divided into two sections:

  • General – The General tab within ZenMate’s Settings pane allows you to adjust basic options such as running ZenMate on system startup and automatically checking for updates. You can also reset VPN settings or change language preferences. The Kill Switch toggle is present but cannot be deactivated. Additionally, there is an option to opt out of submitting anonymous data.

  • Connection – The Connection tab provides tools related to ZenMate’s connectivity. You can manually change protocols or let the app decide the best one for you. There are also toggle buttons for enabling DNS leak protection and random port selection, as well as disabling IPv6 connections. Additionally, there is a “Repair Virtual Network Card” button that resolves conflicts between ZenMate and other software on your device.

ZenMate VPN offers a well-designed and easy-to-use interface. However, its simplicity comes at the cost of expanded features. While this straightforward approach may appeal to beginners, advanced users may find themselves wanting more.

Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support

ZenMate VPN can intermittently unblock streaming platforms and supports P2P file sharing, but it has poor gaming performance and no DNS support. Our Score: 5/10

We put ZenMate’s ability to stream, torrent, and game to the test. With ZenMate VPN running in the background, we attempted to access popular streaming platforms, download torrents, and even kill opponents on Counter-Strike. The performance was mixed.


No, ZenMate does not leak your data. We also conducted a thorough test to determine if ZenMate VPN would leak any sensitive information, such as IP addresses or DNS requests. After seeing the results, we can confidently say that it is a safe option to use and did not leak any data.

We have included a screenshot above that clearly shows the lack of DNS leaks. Throughout our testing, our IP address remained hidden and only presented the information that ZenMate provided to third parties.

Speed & Performance

ZenMate is not the fastest VPN on the market. During our testing, we found that our Web connection speed was reduced by an average of 70.9%, which is pretty terrible. Our Score: 4/10

To test ZenMate’s performance, we began by checking our Web connection speed without using the VPN. We established a baseline download speed of 104.04 Mbps and an upload speed of 114.12 Mbps. Then we connected to servers located nearby and far away to see if any throttling occurred.

Since VPNs utilize encryption and security protocols, we expected that activating the service would result in a reduction in both download and upload speeds.

And now, for the moment of truth, the results of our server tests:

ZenMate speed test results

  • Italy Server – During testing, the Milan server of ZenMate VPN resulted in a significant speed drop of 71.2% compared to the baseline speed. The download speed was only 29.80 Mbps, which is very low compared to the best VPNs available in the market. The slowdown in speed will likely affect the quality of streaming, gaming, and browsing activities on this server.
  • UK Server – The performance of the London server was well below average during testing, with a download speed of 16.34 Mbps and an upload speed of 4.31 Mbps, resulting in an unacceptable drop in speed of around 84.3%. Unfortunately, this wasn’t even the worst server.
  • US Server – The New York server performed comparatively well during testing, achieving download speeds of 42.67 Mbps. The drop in speed was around 59%, which isn’t very good, but during the test, it was one of the best speeds we could get.
  • Canada Server – The performance of the Vancouver server was notably slow too, with a speed drop of 57.6% compared to the baseline speed. However, at 44.12 Mbps, it is one of the fastest servers among the tested locations.
  • India Server – During testing, the Mumbai server resulted in a significant speed drop of 96.9%, making it the worst-performing server of the bunch. The slow performance could be due to various factors like network congestion, server location, or the specific protocol employed.
  • Australia Server – The Sydney server achieved the best results of all the servers tested, with a download speed of 45.22 Mbps and an upload speed of 4.25 Mbps. The drop in speed was around 56.5%.

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Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline 104.04 Mbps 114.12 Mbps 0%
Italy (Milan) 29.80 Mbps 3.16 Mbps 71.2%
UK (London) 16.34 Mbps 4.31 Mbps 84.3%
US (New York) 42.67 Mbps 3.20 Mbps 59%
Canada (Vancouver) 44.12 Mbps 2.61 Mbps 57.6%
India (Mumbai) 3.25 Mbps 3.95 Mbps 96.9%
Australia (Sydney) 45.22 Mbps 4.25 Mbps 56.5%

In our review, we found that ZenMate VPN’s performance was subpar. Its speed was merely passable at best, making it unsuitable for streaming or gaming. Even if you have a fast Internet connection, you may still experience buffering and image quality loss when streaming content from overseas.

Overall, we were disappointed by ZenMate’s speeds, which were below average on both short- and long-distance connections.

Customer Support

ZenMate offers 24/7 live chat support and online resources, but the website lacks detail. For complex issues, email support is the only option. Our Score: 5/10

Being a complex piece of software, VPNs can face certain issues from time to time. That’s why you’ll want to know what kind of customer support you’ll have access to in the event of any troubles.

Here’s what you can expect from ZenMate’s support:

  • Live Chat – ZenMate’s 24/7 live chat support system is staffed by friendly agents who are polite and responsive. Although response times occasionally lag, it’s nothing unreasonable. However, we found that the agents’ answers lacked technical expertise and seemed to be mostly canned responses. In addition, our experience was that the agents are incentivized for ending the conversations as quickly as possible.
  • Online Resources – The service provides a helpful set of installation guides that cover virtually every version of ZenMate. While they’re not the most detailed guides we’ve come across, they’re sufficient for getting you up and running with ZenMate. Furthermore, ZenMate’s website has dozens of FAQs that address specific questions ranging from troubleshooting to payment issues. Unfortunately, these FAQs are scattered throughout the site and not well-organized.
  • Email Support – If you need additional help, especially with more technical issues, ZenMate offers an official inquiry form that you can fill out in the support section of their website. Expect to receive a response within 48 hours.

When it comes to customer support, ZenMate has a decent setup, including a website live chat that operates around the clock and multiple online resources.

However, compared to other major VPN services, ZenMate’s customer support falls short by a yard. While it can provide basic assistance and help with troubleshooting, it may not be able to resolve complex technical issues.


While ZenMate offers competitive long-term plans with significant discounts, the monthly plan is quite expensive in comparison. Our Score: 5/10

ZenMate VPN, like many other VPN services, offers a number of subscription plans, all of which have the same set of features. The only difference is their duration and cost.

How Much Is ZenMate VPN?

ZenMate VPN has multiple options to fit various budgets, and they’re all protected by a 30-day refund policy. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

  • 1-Month Plan – This plan costs $10.99 per month and is a great option if you want to try out the service before committing to a longer-term plan. ZenMate VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the service without any risk.
  • 1-Year Plan – If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the yearly plan costs $53.88, which works out to just $4.49 per month. This plan offers the same features as the monthly plan but at a significantly lower price. With this plan, you could save up to 59% compared to the monthly plan.
  • 3-Year Plan – While the 3-year plan is the most affordable at $59, it may not be the best option for most users. It would take at least two years of using the service before it starts saving you money. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that ZenMate VPN will continue to be the best service for you in the future.

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Total Price Per Month Savings
1 Month $10.99 $10.99 0%
1 Year $53.88 $4.49 59%
3 Years $59 $1.51 86%

ZenMate VPN follows a clear approach of luring customers with its discounted long-term plans that stand out compared to its monthly plan. However, even with these discounts, ZenMate VPN may not provide the best value for money as it lacks some advanced features that other top-rated VPNs have. While ZenMate is affordable, there are other VPN services with similar prices that offer better features.

Moreover, the monthly subscription costs significantly more than the industry average. Another issue is that ZenMate only accepts PayPal and credit cards as payment methods, which may not be ideal for users who prioritize anonymity.

On the bright side, ZenMate VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving users an opportunity to try the service and decide if it suits their needs.

Is ZenMate VPN Free?

Yes, ZenMate VPN does offer a free version of the app with certain limitations. While you can use the ZenMate VPN service for free, the free version comes with speed, platform, and location restrictions.

Additionally, the service offers a seven-day free trial across all major platforms, which means you can test the full version of the service without having to pay upfront or use the 30-day money-back guarantee.

To activate the trial, simply create a ZenMate account and follow the provided instructions. Luckily, the trial won’t automatically upgrade you to a paid subscription after the seven days expire.

Final Thoughts

ZenMate is designed for users who are new to the world of VPNs. It provides a decent level of security, occasionally unblocks streaming platforms, and allows P2P file-sharing. However, there are many downsides to this service.

First, ZenMate’s speed can be quite slow, which might not be ideal for streaming or downloading. Second, its policies are unclear on many privacy-related issues, and its customer support could use an upgrade, too.

Another downside to ZenMate is that it doesn’t treat all platforms the same. It performs well on Windows, but other platforms, like Android, are intentionally ignored. It also lacks advanced options that other VPNs in its price range offer, like split tunneling.

Despite these drawbacks, ZenMate offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to subscribe to the service and try it without risk. This can be a redeeming factor for the provider, but it may not be enough to outweigh the poor overall quality.


  • Decent protection
  • Reasonable pricing options
  • Unblocks popular streaming platforms
  • Prevents WebRTC/IP/DNS leaks
  • Free proxy browser extension
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 4,600 servers across 81 countries


  • Vague privacy policy
  • Slow performance across servers
  • Unreliable streaming servers
  • Lacks a Smart DNS feature
  • Limited customization for advanced users
  • IKEv2 for Mac/iOS only


What Is ZenMate VPN?

Zenmate VPN is a VPN service designed to keep your online activities private and secure. However, the service falls short in terms of speed, and its cost is a bit too expensive for what it offers.

Does ZenMate Work with Netflix?

ZenMate claims to work with Netflix, but our experience suggests otherwise. While the service can sometimes access Netflix content, it’s not reliable at all. Additionally, ZenMate’s slow speeds can result in buffering and poor-quality streaming.

How Many Servers Does ZenMate Have?

ZenMate VPN has a network of over 4,600+ servers in 81 countries, but the actual number of servers available can vary by location. While this seems impressive on paper, the service’s poor reliability and slow speed outweigh the benefits of its large server network.

Review Summary

ZenMate VPN is a decent option for casual browsing, but not much else. It has basic security features, and it can sometimes unblock streaming platforms. It also supports P2P file sharing. However, slow speeds may impact streaming and torrenting quality, and its privacy policy could be more transparent. We cannot recommend it to advanced users.

ZenMate VPN review

ZenMate Review

It’s short on features and configurability, but solid speeds, reliable Netflix-unblocking and very low three-year price mean ZenMate is still a very attractive proposition. If simplicity and value are your top priorities, then give the company a try.

ZenMate deals

Zenmate Monthly


  • + 7-day free trial
  • + No limit on simultaneous connections
  • + Cheap three-year plan
  • + Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer


  • – Short on features
  • – Below-par support site
  • – Apps aren’t updated often
  • – Poor privacy policy and no security audit

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ZenMate is a simple VPN aimed at non-technical users who want an easier way to protect their online privacy.

This more newbie-oriented approach starts with the website. There’s no jargon, no complicated feature lists, just a quick explanation of VPN technology and some example benefits. The service is mostly about the core basics.

There are plenty of locations on offer, with 3,000+ mostly torrent-friendly servers across 78+ countries, up from 74 at our last review. That’s now more countries than NordVPN (59), Windscribe (63) and Surfshark (65), although it’s still lagging behind ExpressVPN’s 94.

  • Want to try ZenMate? Check out the website here
    ZenMate subscription options:
  • 1 month plan – $10.99 per month ($10.99 total cost)

Platform coverage is good, with apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Edge.

ZenMate is owned by Kape Technologies, the company behind CyberGhost, and most of its apps are based around CyberGhost technology. (The Windows client is essentially CyberGhost 7 with a ZenMate frontend, for instance.) They’re not exactly crammed with features, but you do get built-in DNS leak protection and kill switches to help shield your activities from snoopers.

Even better, you can set up and use the service on as many devices as you need – ZenMate doesn’t have any annoying connection limits.

ZenMate hasn’t exactly been piling on the new features recently. As we write, the iOS app hasn’t been updated since 2019, for instance. But there is some good news in the arrival of WireGuard on Android.

ZenMate review: Plans and pricing

ZenMate pricing starts at $10.99 billed monthly, within the typical $10-$13 range we see with most providers.

Annual prices are fractionally below average at $4.49. But if you’re thinking that’s a little more than you’d like to pay, no problem: ZenMate’s three-year plan is considerably cheaper at a tiny $1.64 a month.

There’s no six-month ZenMate VPN Ultimate plan any more, and annual prices are now an effective $4.49 a month, up from $3.33 during our last review.

If you’re thinking that’s a little more than you’d like to pay, no problem: ZenMate’s three-year plan is considerably cheaper at a tiny $1.64 a month.

This is a slightly strange pricing structure, especially if you look at the plan totals. Sign up for one year and ZenMate charges $53.88 up-front; sign up for three years and it charges $59. Clearly, the company is doing its best to direct you towards the long-term plan, but it seems unfair to complain about that when the price is so low. A handful of companies are even cheaper – Ivacy’s five-year deal is currently $1.16 a month – but ZenMate does better than most.

A second ZenMate Pro for Browsers plan, as you might guess, gives you the browser extensions only, but with access to the full ZenMate network, and streaming support. This won’t allow you to protect other app traffic, but if you’re only interested in unblocking websites, or you do pretty much everything in your browser, anyway, it might be good enough.

ZenMate Pro for Browsers is certainly cheap, at just $5.99 billed monthly, $3.19 on the six-month plan, or $1.99 if you pay for a year up-front.

Whatever you choose, the company gives you a seven-day free trial to test the service before you get billed, which is very unusual these days. And even after you’ve handed over your cash, you’re further protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Privacy and logging

ZenMate’s main website is straightforward, but poking around in the darker corners – in particular, the privacy policy and terms of service pages – revealed some of the most brain-numbingly over-complicated legalese we’ve ever seen.

Just about every element takes longer to describe than it should, and seems written for lawyers rather than regular users. For instance, we’re told that “by registering for a nongratuitous ZenMate Service and having completely entered the payment information into the system, you submit a binding offer on the conclusion of a contract regarding the use of the respective ZenMate Service.”

The documents also make little effort to highlight details that might interest VPN users, such as clarifying what sort of logging takes place, or ZenMate’s response to legal actions. The privacy policy is more than 4,000 words long, but the closest it gets to anything useful is a throwaway comment: ‘. activity done by the user inside the ZenMate VPN tunnel, which is NOT recorded, logged or stored at all.’

Instead, the document spends most of its time on examples and situations that aren’t the tiniest bit relevant to the average user. Would you like to know when the company might process your personal data, for instance? Here’s how it’s explained:

‘In rare cases, the processing of personal data may be necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person. This would be the case, for example, if a visitor were injured in our company and his name, age, health insurance data or other vital information would have to be passed on to a doctor, hospital or other third party. Then the processing would be based on Art. 6(1) lit. d GDPR.’

Dig into the support pages and you’ll find a few very general descriptions of ZenMate’s no-logging promises. Here’s an example:

“We do not store or log your personal data which can be used to identify you or what you’re doing online. We do not monitor your online sessions. In fact – we can’t! Strict German privacy laws regulate our company’s use of your information. As we don’t store the data in the first place, this also means that we can’t be forced into giving away personal data to any government or sell it to any 3rd parties.”

Well, that’s good to hear, but we would much prefer ZenMate to formally spell this out in a privacy policy which the average customer might actually be able to read. Or better still, follow providers such as TunnelBear and have its systems publicly audited to confirm that the company is doing what it promises.


We checked out ZenMate’s performance using various benchmarking services, including SpeedTest’s site and app, Netflix’ Fast.com, TestMy.net and more.

After connecting to our nearest server from a UK data center with a 1Gbps connection, we repeated each test at least five times. We ran the same tests with both OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, and ran the full test set in morning and evening sessions.

UK OpenVPN speeds were above average at 290-300Mbs. A few services managed fractionally better OpenVPN results – TunnelBear reached 290-370Mbps, TorGuard hit 350-375Mbps – but ZenMate beat most of the competition.

UK IKEv2 speeds were even higher at 400-500Mbps, similar to the WireGuard speeds we’ve seen from some VPNs.

These are good results, and when WireGuard arrives on the Windows client (which could be imminent, as it’s just appeared on the Android app), we might see even more.

Netflix and streaming

Connecting to a VPN can not only get you a virtual identity in another country, but may also give you access to content you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise, such as YouTube clips which are only available in specific locations.

Some sites attempt to detect and block access via VPNs, so to check this, we test whether a service allows access to BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+. As streaming platforms sometimes might block one server but not another, we run each test three times with three different IP addresses.

ZenMate’s Windows client includes a Streaming section with locations optimized for specific services. That’s better than you’ll see with many VPNs, who might offer multiple cities in a country, but leave you to try them one by one until you find something that works.

The system got off to a great start with BBC iPlayer, getting us in with all three of our test locations. (That’s especially good news, as it failed during our last review.)

ZenMate successfully unblocked US Netflix for us, too, again with each of our test connections. Netflix works hard to block VPNs and there’s no guarantee this will last, but ZenMate has unblocked Netflix for three reviews in a row, suggesting the VPN is making real efforts to support the service.

It’s not just about Netflix, though: the service also unblocked Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ with each of our three trial connections, giving it a perfect 100% record in the unblocking tests.

Windows client

Signing up with ZenMate is quick and easy. Newcomers to the service get a 7-day free trial, and you’re still protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work out.

As we mentioned earlier, ZenMate’s Windows client is essentially CyberGhost 7 with some of the extras removed (there’s no ad or tracker blocking, for instance), and ZenMate branding.

That’s mostly good news, as it’s a capable client with a familiar and easy-to-use interface.

Launch it and you’re presented with a default location, a list with more countries, and a big Connect button. Even total VPN newbies will quickly figure out what to do.

The location list is smarter than most. You can filter it by location type (all, torrenting, streaming), sort it by distance or server load, and save commonly used locations as favorites for speedy recall later.

Double-click a location, and the client displays a desktop notification when it connects: simple.

Connection times were a little slower than some at up to 12 seconds for OpenVPN, 4-6 for IKEv2. The best performers average around 2 seconds for IKEv2 to reach the nearest location, 6-8 seconds for OpenVPN.

A Settings panel includes a choice of protocol. In common with many other VPNs, ZenMate has dropped support for older protocols, so there’s no L2TP anymore; you only get IKEv2 and OpenVPN TCP or UDP. (As we mentioned above, WireGuard is now available on Android, so should appear on Windows soon.)

Other options include the ability to connect via a random port to bypass some VPN blocking schemes, along with options to block DNS and IPv6 leaks. You’re able to have ZenMate automatically connect when your system starts, and optionally choose your preferred server (you could have the client automatically connect to the US Netflix location as soon as it launches, for instance.)

The client also has a kill switch, which aims to protect you by blocking internet traffic if the VPN connection is lost. We forcibly closed the VPN connection when using each protocol, and the client immediately blocked our traffic and reconnected, every time, without ever leaking any data.

We noticed a small problem: the client didn’t display a notification to warn of us the lost connection, and so if the VPN dropped in a real-world situation, all you would see is that your internet is down, with no clear reason why. ZenMate scored where it mattered by protecting our privacy, though, and as normally it reconnects within seconds, you may not even notice anything had happened.

Put it all together, and although the client isn’t outstanding, it’s easy to use and handles the VPN basics well.

Mobile apps

ZenMate’s Android VPN app has a very similar stripped-back design to its desktop cousin: the current location (‘Auto select’ by default), a big On/Off button, and a tiny menu icon.

This keeps it very simple to operate. If you just need to encrypt your current connection, there’s no need to do anything beyond hit Connect when you start, and Disconnect when you’ve finished.

The location list is slightly simplified from the desktop, with no server latency or distance details, but the same option to view ZenMate’s specialist streaming locations and a Favorites system to save your most commonly used servers.

The app now supports OpenVPN and WireGuard, and has a handful of connection tweaks: an option to connect using a random port, another to use TCP instead of UDP, and a Domain Fronting feature which may help bypass some VPN blocking.

Overall, ZenMate’s Android app gets the basic VPN job done, but although it’s good to see the arrival of WireGuard, the app is very short on features. It scores for ease of use, but if you’re looking for power or configurability, prepare to be disappointed.

It’s much the same story with the iOS VPN app: it looks and feels almost identical to the Android edition (except there’s no WireGuard), but there’s nothing beyond the most basic features. Its version history shows very little change over the past year, too (as we write, the last update was approaching two years ago), suggesting this isn’t going to change any time soon.

Browser extensions

ZenMate’s free Chrome, Firefox and Opera extensions provide a simple way to enable or disable the service, and choose new locations, from within the browser interface.

As with all browser proxies, these have their limits – in particular, they only protect your browser traffic, everything else uses your regular connection – but that may be enough for simple website unblocking tasks.

You can use the extensions for free, although you’re limited to four locations (Germany, Romania, Singapore, United States), there’s no support for unblocking streaming sites, and you’ll see regular ads prompting you to buy the full service.

The Chrome VPN extension (and its identical Firefox cousin) opens with a simple console where you can choose a location and connect in a couple of clicks. The location picker looks much the same as the desktop version – it has a list of locations, simple Favorites system, text filter, but no server load or ping time details – and if you’ve ever used another VPN, you’ll figure it all out within seconds.

Bonus privacy features available to free and paid versions include blocking of malicious websites and trackers, and protection from WebRTC leaks. These are disabled by default, but you can turn them on with a click.

Paid users get some worthwhile extras. Stealth Connection automatically removes your cookies, browsing history and cache whenever you disconnect the VPN; Smart Location automatically switches you to a new location whenever you access to a particular site (you could connect to the US whenever you accessed Netflix, say); and a simple Whitelist enables defining websites you’ll access through your regular connection, rather than the VPN.

It’s a capable feature list, considerably more than you’ll get with the average VPN browser extension. And unlike most of the competition, you can try it out entirely for free, courtesy of ZenMate’s 7-day trial.


ZenMate’s support site opens with a conventional web knowledgebase. Articles are sorted into three categories (‘Getting Started’, ‘Using ZenMate’, ‘Troubleshooting’), there are links to some of the most common options, and a Recent Activity list covers recently added documents.

This looks promising, until you begin to explore, and problems begin to appear.

We expect a good VPN support site to clearly point users towards detailed setup guides, for instance, but ZenMate left us guessing where its installation advice was. We opted for the ‘Getting Started’ section, but this only included a single Windows tutorial, an article so basic it could be accurately summed up as ‘download the client and log in.’

The ‘Platforms That Are Compatible With ZenMate VPN’ article looked promising, and sure enough, it included links to setup articles for Android, iOS, desktops and OpenVPN. But the mobile and desktop links opened a new tab at the support site, then automatically redirected to the zenmate.com front page, presumably because the original article no longer exists. And although the OpenVPN page pointed to tutorials for Windows, Ubuntu, Chromebook, Raspberry Pi, macOS and ‘More Devices’, those links also redirected to the regular ZenMate.com home page.

To be fair, if you keep going and check out the ‘Using ZenMate’ section, you’ll find setup and ‘how to use’ guides for all platforms. But we expect some users would give up on the site when they found the first links didn’t work. And even when you locate the working setup articles, they’re still very short on detail. (The Windows ‘how to use’ guide tells you how to connect, covers the basics of choosing a location, and that’s about it.)

We kept looking, though, and did find some useful help. Entering OpenVPN in the search box returned articles on setting up a DD-WRT Router to use ZenMate, for instance. The search engine isn’t good at ordering articles by relevance, though, so you might have to scroll through a few articles to find whatever you need.

When we did find substantial content, it could include potentially risky or sometimes unhelpful advice. If you can’t get the Windows client to work, for instance, the relevant article suggests you might play around in Device Manager, recreate your network adapters, turn off your firewall or antivirus, or create a new user account and install ZenMate there.

If you’re as unsure about this advice as we are, you’re able to contact the support team directly. There’s no live chat, and the company warns emails could take 48 hours to get a reply, although we had a helpful response in under an hour. That’s good news, but we’re unsure how typical it might be, and we’d still like a decent web support site to check out first.

ZenMate review: Final verdict

ZenMate isn’t perfect by far, but its great unblocking results, high speeds and low long-term prices have a lot of appeal. If you’re happy with its relatively basic feature set then take the seven-day trial for a spin, see how it performs for you.

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