Is Zenmate Safe | The Most Asked Questions

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What is Zenmate?

Zenmate is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that is based in Berlin, Germany, having both free and paid service.  The Zenmate VPN was developed by the company, ZenGuard which is German based. This VPN provides multilingual options including customized text options in German, Turkish, English, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

The Zenmate VPN is present as an extension for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. However, they have lately introduced the VPN client which is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and iOS.

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Yet, it is to remember that the extension could not encrypt the traffic of other programs on your device. The desktop VPN client provides you the complete device security but you have to get a paid version for that and only a 7-day trial period is there for it.

Is that really Free?

The Zenmate extensions are free but for the desktop client, you have to buy the premium version of Zenmate VPN. Yet, for the free versions, there are many confusions and dissatisfaction regarding the safety. There are claims that the free version could sell your data to the third parties in order to gain the benefit.

Also, just their VPN extension is free and the desktop clients or other device clients are only accessible when you pay for it. Also, remember that the extension is just as a proxy and doesn’t provide encryption. Yet, there are so many restrictions on the free version of Zenmate extension.

  • Out of total 30 servers worldwide, you could only access 4 server options in the free
  • You can just get Firefox and Chrome extensions which don’t protect your entire traffic except for that browser.
  • Kill Switch and DNS leak protection features are just for the Windows desktop client.

Is Zenmate Safe?

Zenmate is a Germany based VPN provider and with this location, they claim to be secure. Among all the European countries, Germany is one of the few nations who doesn’t have strict internet laws. However, there is a dispute going on between the European Union Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Also, it is believed that BND, the surveillance agency of Germany is in touch with other governmental agencies such as NSA and also they tend to access user data.

On the other hand, the Zenmate privacy policy is a bit concerning. Like all other VPN services, they also claim to have strict no log policy but there is also a clause which mentions that the personal data is collected when it is necessary to ensure that the Zenmate service is working well or not. This clause is present in the section “When you select a certain server to use Zenmate”.

I would not trust ZenMate in any case anymore. from VPN

This is concerning because what Zenmate is saying about is the connection timestamp. The data which is stored along with the IP and the user’s name could be used to claim e2e attack against the user. Therefore, the Zenmate privacy policy doesn’t contain a true no-log policy.

In terms of security, Zenmate offers the features like DNS leak protection, malware blocking, and tracking protection. However, the encrypting features of Zenmate are not too good.

The Zenmate VPN provides latest TLS 1.2 protocol via OpenVPN. The encryption algorithm used by them is an AES-256 bit, however, the AES encryption is not the part of their extension (which is a kind of proxy rather than VPN).

Is Zenmate Good?

Zenmate is a good VPN for those who are new to the VPN technology and don’t want complications. Because it is an easy-to-use VPN any person could simply get used to for the process. But is it secure and worthy?

Zenmate was previously just the extension and there wasn’t a separate client. Also, they just offer their extension free of cost which has really limited features as compared to their paid desktop client. The paid version of Zenmate VPN is 8.99 USD per month and in this amount, you can easily get a reputable VPN service. Yet, some of the complete VPN software with wide range of security and features could be subscribed in less than $5.00 such as Private Internet Access.

The customer support channel is below average in my opinion and as seen in the reviews from other Zenmate users. They don’t have the live chat support and even the request submitting process is not fast and easily accessible.  You have to go through several clicks in order to get the request page.  However, once the request is submitted, Zenmate support team takes annoyingly long to answer the query.

Zenmate Alternatives 

Because of the extremely limited features of Zenmate VPN, most of the people are moving towards Zenmate alternatives. Also, the removal of some of the virtual locations from free to premium plan has impacted more on the user percentage of Zenmate VPN.

Therefore, I have tested some of the free VPN extensions which were best performing Zenmate alternatives and have comparatively more features. Despite being relatively better than Zenmate, these VPNs have some lacking and privacy confusions too, as they keep a way to get the benefit. Most free VPNs keep such service which could drag the users to their premium version.

So, it is better to get paid VPNs which are reputable as well as extremely affordable cheap VPN services (as low as $3/M).

Zenmate VS Hola VPN

Zenmate and Hola both are popular VPN providers but when it comes to the features there are a quite few differences among them. The price variation between both of them is not so much, with Zenmate starting from $8.99/M and Hola at a price of $5.00/M.

In terms of security, both the services are below the VPN security levels. Yet, the Zenmate VPN has determined the usage of TLS 1.2 protocol and the protocol for Hola VPN isn’t specified till now. Also, the encryption for Hola VPN is unknown as compared to the Zenmate’s AES 256-bit encryption in the paid client software.

As discussed above, the Zenmate VPN’s no-log policy is a bit vague but they claim to do so. But, the Hola VPN states to retain connection and usage logs of a user.

A benefit that you get with Hola VPN is that it is a kind of P2P VPN service which allows torrenting. On the other hand, with Zenmate you cannot enjoy P2P file sharing and torrenting. Unlike Hola VPN, there is the feature of kill switch in Zenmate VPN but SmartDNS is not present in their service.

Looking at the other features, there is an edge to the Hola VPN. For instance, there is an unlimited simultaneous connection space with Hola VPN and their servers are present in 190 countries. However, the Zenmate VPN has limited server connections of 5 devices and also they are restricted only to 30 countries.

Conclusion

Users having lighter need of VPN could use Zenmate VPN but if the need is really mild with less security. Zenmate VPN is considered a newbie friendly service as it has user-friendly interface and easy setup process. However, the features such as website support and customer service of Zenmate VPN are really frustrating.

Free VPN is not worthy and the paid version has not so many distinctive features. Also, the fact is that on the Zenmate’s premium price you can get really efficient and reputable VPN services along with many distinctive features.

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Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.

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