ZenMate Review 2015

  • 5/10
    Features - 5/10
  • 5/10
    Speed & Reliability - 5/10
  • 3/10
    Security & Privacy - 3/10
  • 6/10
    Usability & Compatibility - 6/10
  • 6/10
    Support & Documentation - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Value for Money - 5/10


ZenMate VPN has a lot of great features for a free VPN service. We are still waiting to see the final format when the full paid product is launched. It's very important that they fix their security issues and improve the infrastructure if they want to keep up with the VPN market.

ZenMate is a security & privacy service based off Germany, providing secure tunneling for browsers and mobile devices. The company operating ZenMate is ZenGuard GmbH,a Berlin-based startup.

Review Update, March 10, 2017: ZenMate Review 2017

ZenGuard, the start-up of year 2014 in Germany (according to the deutsche-startups.de online publication) managed to attract investments worth almost 1 million euro during the last year and it is planning to expand the business even further.

According to its founders, behind the 7 letters of its name lies a simple browser plug-in aimed to protect users privacy over the internet. At the moment, the company provides servers in 5 different countries on 3 continents: Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Hong Kong & USA.

The service is also available for mobile devices using an easy to use app that can establish a secure VPN tunnel using IPsec protocol.

The ZenMate team is coming from 8 different countries. In the about page 24 staff members are presented, being also mentioned their international approach, with 12 languages spoken.


ZenMate is currently available for three different browsers, for free: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera as well as on other desktop browsers that are based on the Chromium Open Source Browser Project, namely SRWare Iron, Chromium and Comodo Dragon.

Be aware that ZenMate is not a full-featured VPN service, but a proxy addon for the browser that will also encrypt the browsing traffic. Other traffic on the PC will not be secured by the addon.

Also, an iOS and Android App is available, and this one provides a classic VPN connection using IPsec.

On the technical side, for encryption, ZenMate use the latest TLS 1.2 (RFC 5246) protocol and support different cipher suites with PFS (Default for Chrome/33 is TLSECDHERSAWITHAES128GCMSHA256) and up to TLSECDHERSAWITHAES256GCMSHA384.


After adding the browser add-on, the user will be automatically redirrected to a page where he will be asked for his email address. Providing this information will also mean an agreement regarding Terms of service and Privacy policy.

The step being completed, the add-on will be ready for use, the user only being notified with a shield icon in the upper right of his browser.

An automated password is created and browser traffic is always encrypted and secured as long as the connection is ON. Also, the add-on selects a server location automatically based on user’s location, but the user can change it anytime to one of the 5 locations currently available.



In terms of pricing, ZenMate is currently free but on their website there are also 3 different pricing packages, as Premium upgrade:

  • Monthly plan, costing 8,99 euros per month, is the first option.
  • The 6 Months plan, allowing the user to save 20%, it’s gonna cost the user 7,99 euros per month.
  • Yearly plan will save 30% of the user’s money, being available at 6,99 euros monthly.


For the moment, the Premium package is not available to purchase. The browser widget is announcing the user that he has “unlimited free data during our launch phase”.

When it comes to payment methods, ZenMate is accepting 75 different types of payments, including credit cards and PayPal.

The mobile VPN app is available for free but there is a monthly traffic limit of 500 MBs. In order to unlock the “unlimited” feature, an in-app purchase is available on a recurring monthly or yearly basis. The monthly price comes around $2 and the yearly is $20.

Logging and Privacy

According to the Privacy policy, “no personal data is collected, processed or permanently stored.” However, there are 5 different situations when the above rule does not apply:

  • When selecting a certain server to use ZenMate;
  • When the customer support is contacted;
  • When a user is subscribing to newsletters;
  • When ZenMate is providing further information upon user request;
  • When users are generating postings in forums, communities and through comment functions.

For sign-up they require only the email address. However, in the Privacy Policy they admit to store the IP address of user “temporarily” to “prevent attacks against ZenMate” – whatever that means, as no time-frame is defined.


Speed and Reliability

We aren’t publishing the speedtest results like we normally do because when using speedtest.net with ZenMate, the connection is made directly – completely bypassing the ZenMate proxy service. But we some other tests we made, when the connection wasn’t by-passed, we got consistent results between 20 Mbps and 70 Mbps. Video streaming using popular services like Netflix and Hulu was smooth, in HD quality.


ZenMate provides support via email and we found that they reply within a reasonable time frame, in less than 24 hours.


The Good

  • Easy to install and use.
  • Decent speed.
  • Free (for now).

The Bad

  • Limited number of server locations.
  • While still a startup which looks solid, we’d like to see more features to address the needs of many users, like support for OpenVPN.
  • Being a browser add-on, ZenMate does not “cover” the user while he is using the internet outside the browser (P2P, email clients etc.).
  • IP leaks are all over the place, so you definitely need to use additional plugins to stop some of the leaking (over WebRTC, Flash etc.). This is a problem for users who are very serious about their online privacy.

Final Notes

As long as ZenMate can’t be called yet a complete VPN service, the service is quite good for its capabilities as a browser add-on and a simple VPN app for mobile devices. From a privacy perspective, the browsers are doomed to fail as there are many ways to leak the real IPs of users (via DNS leaks, WebRTC, Flash, Java to name just a few.)

Considering the fact that ZenMate is free to use at this moment, we recommend it to people who don’t have high requirements for security and privacy, but only need an encrypted proxy for moderately-secure browsing and to by-pass geo-blocked content like Netflix and such.

24 thoughts on “ZenMate Review 2015”

  1. This is real comment this is one of the disgusting VPN Service provider ever i have seen I my live. They really sucks. Also im not a competitor or i dont Run any VPN company or service the thing is this company is only disgusting lower the internate connection also they do not encrypt the data it just pass throw… That’s all if you want to You can search me on Google just Type Niraj Nimbalkar and Yes the first one is Me. Thank you vpnreviewer

  2. Zenmate now has an installable app that encrypts all network traffic is you buy the premium service. I’m using it now, it’s only been a day but no issues so far.

  3. this is a terrible service. I am a Premium user since abt six months.
    ZenMate is not able to cope with it’s traffic.
    Streaming rarely works – frequently it is endless waiting/loading.
    Do not repeat my mistake and sign up for this loosy service.
    Refund/cancellation are words ZenMate in Berlin does not know.
    A loud and clear hands off!!!

  4. “Zenmate is free and it always will be” They said when I installed..BIG lie !!!
    A few days ago some kind of java script comming from zenmate just canceled
    my account.. now I am havig toubles with my relgular mail servers and my bank account.
    They wont take my username and password anymore.
    Zenmate sucks GREAT!!! I hope they commit virtual suicide…

  5. They’ll try to scam you.

    The speed is incredibly slow and laggy. The amount of available locations is low compared to other VPN services.

    And what’s worse, I subscribed to their service for $15 (6 months) and they activated a Paypal recurrent payment. They silently changed the 6 months-subscription fee from $15 to $250. If I hadn’t noticed it they would have auto-charged me that amount of money at the end of the current period. Their service is definitely not worth $250 for 6 months. There are better alternatives out there. I can’t believe they tried to pull that scam on me.

    Avoid at all costs.

    • I had the same issue …… they charged double from what I paid a year ago and appearently there is an auto renew set on my account

  6. Yes, they hook you in on a cheap offer for year one, then link your Paypal account to automatically renew.
    Then you have no idea what they are going to charge you.
    They then take take an auto payment without prior notification to you for year two.
    Price on website now shown as 59.99$ for twelve months yet they took 59,99€. (more)
    I cancelled immediately the same day but Zenmate will not refund and be warned Paypal do not want to know, they say no case to answer.
    I have now stopped the Paypal auto yearly update (which I had not realised Zenmate had activated)
    Shall not get ripped off again.

  7. Never use their “service.” They will charge a full year subscription and refuse to cancel. You will need to call your credit card company to make sure _future_ charges will be disputed. I won’t even get into how low quality of service they provide. Stay clear.

  8. Nie wieder! Support ist einfach ein Bot. Die Performance ist scheisse. Verliert die Verbindung andauernd und muss wieder neugestartet werden.

  9. They are thieves. After it stopped working as it was supposed to I cancelled and turned off the automatic renewal. When the year came due they charged me anyway and some how the automatic renewal was turned back on. I’m trying to get PayPal to force a refund.
    Please don’t have anything to do with this company.

    • Mike – I am gathering people together to launch legal action against this company, due to payment fraud. Would be interested to hear more.

  10. Currently going through legal channels to get a refund as Zenmate refuse, despite their terms of business declaring they do so after 14 days.

    • I got charged for year #2 without a prior warning and did not want to renew it and they do not want to refund me..!! Please let me know if someone finds a way.. (because laws are not the same everywhere, I am in Canada)

  11. Zenmate is a criminal organization that hides behind a user policy of not refunding auto-renewals of subscriptions. They send out ZERO warning emails to inform you of a forthcoming renewal, yet have a strict policy of NO REFUNDS. The service itself is complete garbage and has zero value compared to others. I will be reporting them regarding best practices and assume they wont be around much longer at all. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE – horrible staff of people stealing money from its “valued customers”. They are simply desperate to stay alive after most services have died since netflix figured out how to block VPN’s. ZENMATE are thieves!!

  12. I’m also charged for year #2 for 59,99€ without a prior warning, and i didn’t want to renew it, and they do not want to refund me. They are scammers. I’m disgusted, they only want to take money from the users, hoping for forgetfulness of the users about the automatic renew. Do not subscribe a premium account!!!

  13. Seems to be one of the worst VPN services. Using their desktop app for Windows – while it runs, it’s all fine and dandy. But when it stops working all of a sudden – good luck reconnecting back. It simply won’t let you do that because who knows why. Overall, would not recommend. Pretty damn bad experience.

  14. I just installed it, and they have a download for your pc and one for your web browser. The speed is amazing. I have not gotten this speed on any other vpn! Though it makes me wonder why I am getting such speeds. I have not paid for anything yet, and if I do decide, I think I will get a prepaid card. I am going to research it some more, but I am happy so far, with the ad blocking and the fast speeds, up to 88 Mbps, when I normally get about 110 to 120, so my speed is still really great. Like I said I need to check it out more, since I see so many of your complaints.

  15. This company doesn’t even replies to question regarding their service – in my case I wanted to know how many parallel connections are allowed – when you are not a premium customer. If you are, it’s already too late in this case. This says all about this company.

  16. Beware. Paid account got hacked, can’t recover or cancel. Zero response.

    Somebody successfully hacked my paid account. I know because an automatically generated email from Zenmate informed me. Their recovery link was a dead end. I tried to contact the support link multiple times but their customer service is non-existent. I can’t login to cancel (because somebody took the account over) and don’t know if the credit card info is safe.

  17. I had this VPN for some time … worked well … until i decided to cancel …
    first of all – they just went on and collected the payment for the next month …

    allright …i got it back … but here comes the main part…

    I had to go through that monkey brain AI they have as automated response …
    basically – you have to exchange 3-5 emails with them till you get a “human” response … that may take few weeks ..

    best part … is the first email:

    please reply “NO YOU DONT GET IT” …
    that probably ment to redirect email to human …but no …you’ll get another one with some email with more crap…

    My last request to them … about crashing desktop application – went unanswered … that AI gave me advice to check my cable …

    I would not advise to use it as a long term … … but there are no other options … than a subscription …. after canceling – please check your account …they may still collect the payment…

    dudes set it up as automated system …money in …and screw the customers…


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