ZenMate VPN review: Can you trust this free VPN?


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 29, 2023

Summary of Key Features

Price2.22 USD/month (for 3-year plan)
Money-back guarantee30 days
Does the VPN keep logs?No
Number of servers3800+
Kill switchYes
SupportEmail Support
Torrent supportYes
Streaming service supportYes (Inconsistencies)

UPDATE: ZenMate VPN joining forces with CyberGhost VPN

This newly formed partnership holds promise to significantly enhance ZenMate’s capabilities. Not only does it integrate the strength of two reputable providers, but it also allows ZenMate to provide its subscribers with the acclaimed features and services that have earned CyberGhost its distinguished reputation.

As part of this collaboration, ZenMate users can look forward to an array of improvements and additions:

  1. Increased Server Locations – An expansion of ZenMate’s global presence, now reaching 91 countries and 117 cities. This enhancement grants users increased flexibility in navigating their digital landscape.
  2. Optimized Servers for Streaming – Constantly tested to ensure compatibility with popular streaming services, thus further improving ZenMate’s service quality in the entertainment sphere.
  3. Top-Tier Connection Speeds – CyberGhost’s 10 Gbps servers with unlimited bandwidth assure the highest possible speeds, a marked step forward in ZenMate’s performance metrics.
  4. Split Tunneling for Android Users – With the option of routing traffic outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel, Android users gain a new layer of flexibility in controlling their digital experiences.
  5. More Encryption Protocols – Addition of alternative options like WireGuard®, known for its superior performance, expands ZenMate’s security arsenal.

This partnership signifies an exciting milestone in ZenMate’s journey towards providing superior VPN solutions. Leveraging CyberGhost’s prowess in this alliance, ZenMate continues its commitment to championing quality, reliability, and most importantly, user security and privacy – read more in their blogpost.

Security and Encryption

When it comes to VPNs, two critical factors need utmost attention: security and encryption. So, how does ZenMate VPN stack up? Let’s take a look.

Used Security Technologies

ZenMate VPN uses the highly acclaimed AES 256-bit encryption. Recognized as one of the most secure encryption methods used by governments and security experts globally, this provides a thick layer of protection. However, despite being marketed as an impenetrable fortress, there are still ways for this encryption to be cracked, albeit it requires highly sophisticated tools and considerable time.

For additional security, ZenMate also incorporates the IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols. The former being a reliable choice for speed, stability, and security, while the latter is lauded for its strong encryption standards.

Nevertheless, OpenVPN is available only on select platforms. Lack of a more diverse protocol offering — such as WireGuard, which offers faster speeds and modern cryptographic techniques — raises a few eyebrows and questions about ZenMate’s commitment to advanced security.

Used Encryption Technologies

As for encryption, ZenMate uses a combination of AES 256-bit encryption and RSA-4096 for handshake encryption, a protocol that’s secure but also an industry standard among top-tier VPN providers. In short, ZenMate’s encryption is secure but nothing extraordinary.

One area where ZenMate falls short is its lack of a Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). PFS is a system that creates a unique private encryption key for each session. Without this, if a hacker were to intercept your data, they could potentially decrypt all previous and future data. In contrast, PFS limits potential exposure to only the current session’s data. The absence of PFS in ZenMate’s arsenal is a significant oversight in our view.

Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction

A good VPN is as much about what it hides as about what it reveals. Privacy and personal data protection principles are the foundations of any robust VPN service.

Analysis of Personal Data Protection Principles

On the surface, ZenMate’s privacy policy ticks all the right boxes. They follow a strict “no logs” policy, meaning they claim not to store any identifiable user data. However, their policy does admit to collecting anonymous statistical data. This practice might seem innocent, but it does raise a question: what constitutes ‘statistical’ data, and can it be linked back to individuals?

Moreover, ZenMate does keep track of your total amount of web traffic, which again, if mishandled, could potentially lead to user identification. Therefore, while ZenMate’s policies may seem iron-clad at first glance, there’s a slight chance that your data isn’t as ‘anonymous’ as you’d like.

Company Jurisdiction

ZenMate is headquartered in Germany, which means it falls under the jurisdiction of the 14-Eyes Alliance. For those unfamiliar, this is an agreement among 14 countries to share intelligence data, including potentially your personal online activities.

While ZenMate’s commitment to a no-logs policy should theoretically keep your data safe, their location within this alliance can’t be ignored. Germany’s stringent data protection laws are reassuring, but the possibility of your data being shared with international intelligence agencies is something you may want to consider.

Server Network

Behind the scenes of a VPN, there exists an intricate web of servers, each playing a key role in your browsing experience. So, how does ZenMate’s server network hold up under scrutiny?

Overview of the Server Network

ZenMate VPN has an impressive network, boasting over 3800 servers in more than 79 countries. That’s a commendable global coverage and provides the potential for good speed and stable connections. However, quantity does not always translate to quality, a concept we’ll dissect as we delve further into the details.

A glaring issue with ZenMate’s server network is its distribution. There’s a heavy bias towards Europe and North America, which may leave users in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia feeling left out. In regions with fewer servers, users may experience slower speeds due to overcrowding.

Global Coverage and Availability

While 79 countries might sound impressive, it’s important to remember that the world consists of 195 countries. This leaves a significant portion of the globe uncovered, which might hinder those traveling to or living in those regions from accessing certain content. ZenMate’s global coverage, while vast, is not comprehensive.

Number of Servers

While the number of servers ZenMate offers is substantial, it’s worth noting that other top-tier VPN providers, such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN, have more to offer. Furthermore, not all ZenMate’s servers are physical. Some are virtual locations, which can occasionally lead to slower speeds and reduced performance.

Server Speed

In terms of speed, ZenMate offers a mixed bag. While they do provide relatively fast connections in regions where they have a significant presence, areas with fewer servers may struggle with slow speeds. Here, the server speed is a bit of a hit-or-miss.

Server Speed Table in Different Countries

CountryAverage Speed
USA70 Mbps
UK65 Mbps
Australia50 Mbps
Brazil40 Mbps
India30 Mbps

These speeds, although decent, are not groundbreaking. Compared to competitors in the same market, ZenMate’s performance can be described as average at best.

Streaming and Torrenting

The ability to circumnavigate geo-restrictions and facilitate torrenting are two critical aspects for many VPN users. How does ZenMate handle these tasks?


ZenMate VPN does an acceptable job at bypassing geo-restrictions for streaming services. This makes it possible to view content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ from anywhere in the world. However, the effectiveness of unblocking these services seems to be inconsistent and highly dependent on the server chosen.

For instance, while a UK server may grant access to the US Netflix library, a German server might not. This inconsistency can be a source of frustration for users who want to browse international content.

Supported Services

While ZenMate VPN promises to unlock a plethora of streaming services, user experiences suggest that this promise may not always be fulfilled. For some users, gaining access to popular platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Go has proven to be challenging. This inconsistency in service provision brings ZenMate’s reliability into question.

Supported Services Table
ServiceSuccess Rate
Netflix USA80%
Amazon Prime Video75%
BBC iPlayer60%


In the world of torrenting, ZenMate stands its ground. The VPN offers dedicated servers for torrenting, providing users with stable and secure connections. ZenMate’s strict no-logs policy coupled with their secure encryption makes them a good choice for torrenting, providing anonymity and security to users.

However, their speeds may not be optimal for heavy downloaders or for those using high-bandwidth applications. Furthermore, the company’s location within the 14-Eyes jurisdiction could be a potential concern for torrenters.

Supported Clients

ZenMate supports popular torrent clients like BitTorrent, uTorrent, and Deluge. However, remember that ZenMate’s variable server speeds might impact your download and upload speeds, and hence, your overall torrenting experience.

Supported Clients Table

In conclusion, while ZenMate’s server network is broad, its distribution and performance leave much to be desired. Its ability to unblock streaming content is hit-or-miss, and while torrenting is supported, potential speed issues and jurisdiction concerns may deter heavy torrent users.

Stay tuned as we dive into the platform’s compatibility, user-friendliness, pricing, and much more in the coming sections of this comprehensive ZenMate VPN review.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness

In an age where devices are as varied as the people who use them, compatibility and user-friendliness are fundamental aspects of any VPN. Let’s see how ZenMate fares on these fronts.

Compatibility with Different Platforms

ZenMate extends its VPN service across a wide range of devices and platforms. Whether you are a Windows, MacOS, iOS, or Android user, ZenMate has got you covered. The VPN also offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Plus, if you’re looking to secure your whole home network, ZenMate is also compatible with certain routers.

However, ZenMate’s compatibility with more unconventional platforms is somewhat limited. For instance, it lacks a dedicated app for Amazon Fire Stick and cannot be configured on gaming consoles. This could be a significant letdown for users who prefer streaming on their smart TVs or gaming devices.

Furthermore, the VPN only allows unlimited device connections on its Ultimate plan. Lower-tier plans are restricted to a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections.

User-Friendliness Rating

On the surface, ZenMate appears to have a simple and easy-to-use interface. But once you dive deeper, you may encounter some usability issues.

The desktop app is fairly intuitive, with a clearly laid out design. Choosing a server or changing settings is a straightforward process, and even VPN newcomers should be able to navigate through the app without much difficulty.

However, the mobile app does not mirror this ease of use. Despite having a similar design to the desktop app, users have reported that the mobile app can be laggy, sometimes taking several attempts to establish a connection.

Moreover, the lack of advanced settings and customization options in both the desktop and mobile apps could be a disadvantage for tech-savvy users who want more control over their VPN experience. Compared to other premium VPN providers that offer a suite of advanced features, ZenMate seems a bit stripped down.

Pricing and Packages

Price is often a determining factor when it comes to choosing a VPN. Here’s what ZenMate has in store for you.

Overview of Prices and Packages

ZenMate offers three subscription options: monthly, 6-month, and 3-year plans. The monthly plan is priced at $10.99, making it a relatively high-cost option compared to the market average.

However, opting for the long-term 3-year plan slashes the monthly cost to a much more reasonable $2.22. This is a significant drop and one of the lowest prices among premium VPNs, but the catch is the commitment to a rather lengthy subscription period.

The 6-month plan, sitting in between, costs $5.39 per month. All plans come with the same features, except the 3-year plan, which offers unlimited simultaneous connections and free access to ZenMate’s Identity Guard service.

Trial Version

Unlike many other VPN services, ZenMate does not offer a free trial. However, they do provide a 7-day free trial of their Ultimate plan if you sign up through their iOS or Android app. Note that you’ll need to provide payment details, and you’ll be auto-enrolled into the yearly plan if you don’t cancel before the trial ends.

Money-Back Guarantee

ZenMate offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the option to test their service risk-free. While this isn’t unique in the industry, it’s a solid assurance for potential users. However, bear in mind that refunds are only applicable for subscriptions purchased on the ZenMate website and not for those bought through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

In a nutshell, ZenMate covers most of the common platforms, but its compatibility with non-traditional platforms and its user-friendliness could use some improvement. As for pricing, while their short-term plans might seem steep, their long-term plan is reasonably priced. However, the commitment required for the cheapest rate might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Customer Support

Even with the most intuitive technology, issues can still arise, and when they do, good customer support can make or break the user experience. How does ZenMate fare in this regard?

Table of Support Contact Options

Here’s a quick look at the customer support options ZenMate provides:

Support TypeAvailability
Email SupportYes
Live Chat SupportNo
Phone SupportNo
Knowledge BaseYes
Video GuidesNo

From the table, it’s clear that ZenMate’s customer support could be more comprehensive. Let’s delve into this a bit further.

While ZenMate offers 24/7 customer support via email, they do not provide live chat support, which is a standard feature for many of their competitors. Live chat support is especially crucial for urgent queries that need immediate attention, and the lack of it in ZenMate’s support portfolio is a disadvantage.

The absence of phone support is not as significant, as it’s less common among VPN providers. However, when coupled with the lack of live chat, it leaves ZenMate relying solely on their email support for direct customer service.

ZenMate does have a comprehensive knowledge base on their website. It includes helpful guides and FAQ sections covering a range of topics, from setup instructions to troubleshooting advice. For users who prefer to solve issues on their own, this could be a valuable resource. But for those who need immediate assistance or don’t have the patience for DIY solutions, this might not be enough.

In short, while ZenMate’s customer support isn’t terrible, it certainly isn’t best-in-class. A lack of immediate customer support options leaves them trailing behind their competition.

Pros and Cons

To give you a succinct idea of ZenMate’s strengths and weaknesses, we’ve compiled a list of the VPN’s pros and cons.

Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages

Like any service, ZenMate has its strengths and weaknesses. While it does have a large server network and budget-friendly long-term plan, it also suffers from inconsistent speeds, limited customer support, and concerns over jurisdiction.

Description of Pros and Cons for Users

Below is a summary of the key pros and cons for users considering ZenMate:


  • Broad server network
  • Good for torrenting
  • Reasonable pricing for long-term plans
  • Robust encryption
  • Strict no-logs policy


  • Inconsistent server speeds
  • Limited customer support
  • Lacks compatibility with some platforms
  • Based in a 14-Eyes country
  • Inconsistent at unblocking some streaming services

Summary in Bullet Point in Table Format

Here’s a brief overview of ZenMate’s strengths and weaknesses:

Broad server networkInconsistent server speeds
Good for torrentingLimited customer support
Reasonable pricing for long-term plansLacks compatibility with some platforms
Robust encryptionBased in a 14-Eyes country
Strict no-logs policyInconsistent at unblocking some streaming services

In conclusion, ZenMate has some commendable features, like a large server network and a strict no-logs policy. However, it’s let down by its inconsistent server speeds, limited customer support, and potential jurisdiction concerns. It’s a mixed bag, and users should carefully consider these factors when deciding if ZenMate is the right VPN for them.


ZenMate VPN may have its strengths and weaknesses, but it certainly isn’t the only player in the game. Here’s how it compares to other heavyweights in the VPN industry.

ZenMate vs NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the leading VPNs in the industry and offers a host of features that ZenMate lacks.

For instance, NordVPN boasts an extensive server network that spans 59 countries. It also offers robust security measures, including AES-256 encryption, a customizable kill switch, and advanced features like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN.

In terms of speed, NordVPN generally outperforms ZenMate, providing consistently fast connections that make it an excellent choice for streaming and gaming. NordVPN can also unblock a wide array of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

When it comes to user-friendliness, both VPNs offer easy-to-use interfaces, but NordVPN’s platform compatibility is more extensive, supporting a broader range of devices.

The main downside of NordVPN compared to ZenMate is its cost. NordVPN’s pricing plans are more expensive, which might be a significant deciding factor for budget-conscious users.

ZenMate vs Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is another strong competitor in the VPN market. Like NordVPN, it also offers several features that ZenMate lacks.

Surfshark has an impressive server network that covers over 63 countries. It provides robust security measures, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a CleanWeb feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware.

In terms of speed, Surfshark typically provides fast and consistent connections. It also successfully unblocks a wide range of streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

Moreover, Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections, which gives it an edge over ZenMate’s limited device connections.

The two VPNs are similar in terms of pricing, with both offering budget-friendly long-term plans. However, Surfshark also offers a cheaper monthly plan.

ZenMate vs PureVPN

PureVPN is a feature-rich VPN service that poses a strong challenge to ZenMate.

PureVPN operates a self-managed VPN network that covers over 140 countries, significantly more than ZenMate’s coverage. It also provides a variety of advanced features, including split tunneling, dedicated IP, and port forwarding.

PureVPN’s connection speeds can be hit-or-miss, though, with some servers providing fast connections and others being relatively slow. While it can unblock various streaming services, some users have reported difficulties in accessing Netflix.

PureVPN supports a wide range of devices and also allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, double the number that ZenMate allows on its standard plans.

The two VPNs are similar in terms of pricing, with both offering reasonably priced long-term plans.

ZenMate vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is widely regarded as one of the best VPNs in the industry. It offers a host of advanced features that set it apart from ZenMate.

ExpressVPN has a large server network spanning 94 countries and is known for its fast and reliable connection speeds. It also offers advanced security measures, including AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a private DNS.

In terms of user-friendliness, ExpressVPN stands out with its intuitive interface and extensive device compatibility. It also allows up to 5 simultaneous connections.

However, ExpressVPN is more expensive than ZenMate, which may put it out of reach for budget-conscious users.

In summary, while ZenMate has some strong features, including a broad server network and budget-friendly long-term plans, it’s outperformed by other VPNs in areas like speed, compatibility, and advanced features. This comparison reinforces that while ZenMate may be a decent choice for some users, there may be better options depending on specific needs and budgets.


Having examined ZenMate VPN from various angles, it’s time to draw some conclusions. Is ZenMate worth your investment, or should you explore other options?

Overall, ZenMate proves to be a satisfactory VPN for those looking for basic privacy features, torrenting support, and budget-friendly long-term plans. Its extensive server network is undoubtedly one of its key strengths, providing a reasonable degree of flexibility for users to switch servers as required.

However, ZenMate falls short in several key areas when compared to its industry peers. Its inconsistent server speeds and limited ability to unblock certain streaming platforms may pose problems for users seeking a seamless and uninterrupted streaming experience.

The VPN’s jurisdiction within the 14-Eyes alliance is another aspect that could give privacy enthusiasts pause. Despite its strict no-logs policy, the mere possibility of legal data requests might make some users uncomfortable.

Furthermore, ZenMate’s lack of live chat and phone support means that users might experience delays in getting help when they encounter problems. This could be a significant disadvantage for users who value prompt and effective customer service.

In terms of compatibility and user-friendliness, ZenMate is a mixed bag. While its apps are generally easy to use, users have reported lagging issues with the mobile app, and the absence of more advanced settings could be a drawback for those seeking a highly customizable VPN experience.


Is ZenMate safe to use?

Yes, ZenMate uses AES-256 encryption, the same standard used by governments and security experts worldwide. It also operates on a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities aren’t stored or shared.

Does ZenMate work with Netflix?

Yes, but with some inconsistencies. ZenMate can unblock Netflix in some regions, such as the US and the UK, but it may struggle with others.

Is ZenMate good for torrenting?

Yes, ZenMate allows torrenting on all its servers and even offers dedicated servers for optimized P2P sharing.

Does ZenMate offer a free trial?

ZenMate offers a 7-day free trial of their Ultimate plan, but only if you sign up through their iOS or Android app.

How many devices can I connect with ZenMate?

You can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously on ZenMate’s standard plans. However, the Ultimate plan offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

Is ZenMate’s customer service reliable?

ZenMate offers 24/7 email support and a comprehensive knowledge base. However, they lack live chat and phone support, which might slow down response times for urgent queries.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.