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Is Zenmate Safe To Use? Detailed Review

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Note: This wouldn’t be the regular product review; in this Zenmate VPN review I will keep everything short and useful for the basic and advanced users of VPN. At the end of the review, you will get the idea of whether it’s worthy and safe to use! Or not.

Here are the quick stats about the tests which I have performed.

IP Leak TestI have found no leakage in the connection while checking and testing IP leak and webRTC leak. Here is the test.GOOD
DNS LeakDNS requests have been exposed, your identity may reveal. Here is the test.POOR
Speed TestI have found 45% less speed with VPN connection, which is really low. Here are the test results.POOR
American NetflixA specific server is currently working for US Netflix unblocking. Here is the test.GOOD
Torrenting IP CheckMy IP was same as the VPN server which means its good but DNS leak could expose the IP. Here is the test result.GOOD
Reddit RatingI have lots of negative views on Reddit, about 85% were not happy, but keep in mind they were talking about extension, not VPN client.POOR
Author RatingI will give only a 2.5 rating out of 5.2.4/5

Let’s start…

Zenmate presence in the market is quite long now, they have started with a browser extension. That Proxy extension was ad-free and easy to install and use, and these features gave Zenmate enormous popularity and lots of users in a short period.

After sometimes they had launched “Zenmate Premium” the full version of the VPN client with major encryption protocols. In short, they only change the IP location before, but now, they are encrypting Internet traffic as well.

Zenmate VPN is using the platform of OpenVPN which is considered the most secure VPN protocol, so there is no doubt about privacy but keep in mind it only gives you 128-bit encryption, not 256-bit (which is military grade encryption).

As I have mentioned above, it’s not a talking review. Now, I am showing you how I have tested this Zenmate software and evaluated the service.

Let’s find out…

How Do I Evaluate The VPN Service:

In this process, I will show you, whether this service takes your privacy seriously or not. I have tested Zenmate in real-time, step by step from different aspects, which are:

  1. IP Leak Test + WebRTC Leak Test (checking if there are loopholes)
  2. DNS Leak Test (is that leaking your DNS while streaming or downloading?)
  3. Check Torrent IP Leak (which IP goes from the torrent Client)
  4. Speed Test Results (how much it will reduce)
  5. US Netflix working or not
  6. Is Zenmate encrypting the Internet traffic or not

Test #1: IP Leak Test With Advance Browser WebRTC Leak Test

There are many sites and tools, which are constructed by VPN providers to spread the scare and sell their product. I’m using VPNInsights tools to make sure that the results I’m gathering are legitimate and authentic.

To check properly, I opened “incognito” Tab and connected the Zenmate.

zenmate review

Now I’m opening the IP Leak Tool site. You have to disconnect your VPN to compare the results.

In the first box, I have seen that what is my current location which is correct. Now I will connect the Zenmate server and run the test to check if it’s working or not.

I’ve connected with Australian server, and that seems perfect, so first setup of relocating the IP, is completed. Now, check if your webRTC is leaking your original IP or not.

You can see that the “IP leak Tool” section on the right comes up with some IP, which is fake IP. That means Zenmate is not leaking your IP through WebRTC. You can learn more about what is WebRTC and how it works.

In conclusion, I have to say that Zenmate VPN does its job pretty well. It changes the IP address and also prevents the browser from leaking your real IP, which is impressive.

Let’s check how it deals with the DNS Leak Test.

Test #2 – DNS Leak Test Exposed

In this, I had checked the DNS leak while being connected to Zenmate. It’s a significant factor to check especially if you are looking to buy a VPN for torrenting.

Sometime VPNs fail in between torrent download process and reveal the IP address to ISP or with other torrent downloaders.

Let’s start…

I will choose once again the tool site VPNInsights to check whether Zenmate Leak the DNS request or not. Here is the DNS Leak Test TOOL.

Well, surprising results:

Zenmate fails to provide the anonymous and interrupting connection, as you can see that the connection is continuously changing another Location and IP with ISP as well, it’s not revealing my real Identity but that fluctuations might get you caught while torrenting and stop watching American Netflix.

You ISP is easy to determine if you are using VPN service.

Test #3 – Check Torrent IP With Zenmate Connection

In this test, I will show the IP, which is going through my uTorrent client when Zenmate was connected.

Let’s start with opening the tool “check torrent IP.”

So there is no IP change here, we cannot rely on Zenmate. As I see in the previous test, which was continuously recording the 100 requests, shows that Zenmate is exposing the DNS. So, it means that while you were downloading a torrent file Zenmate is changing the IP in between that time as well.

Test #4 – Zenmate Speed Test Results:

VPN providers suppose to reduce Internet speed because of tunneling and encryption. But most VPNs will slow down too much because of loaded and slow servers. In this testing segment, I will check how much Zenmate servers reduce the speed of your regular bandwidth.

I have performed this test with Ookla®, Speedtest® 4 to 5 times with different servers and found pretty low results.

Speed Test Without Zenmate:

With Zenmate VPN Speed: US Server

These servers were almost 45% down the regular internet speed, which is really slow. Best VPNs generally show a speed degradation of 10% to 12%.

Test #5 – Do Zenmate Work With American Netflix?

After Netflix’s strong action against VPN providers, VPNs have faced huge and strong blockade from Netflix. Since then, every VPN is trying to continuously update their servers to provide access to Netflix but very few of them are still working with Netflix.

Let’s try if Zenmate is working with US Netflix or not.

I have talked earlier this morning with one of the support members and she said to connect a Zenmate server called “united states media” and enjoy the access.

I have tried Netflix access my self and its working perfectly. Here is the screenshot of US Netflix unblocked.

Test #6: Testing Zemate Encryption:

In this part of testing, I would conduct a few tests and check the internet traffic, whether it’s encrypted or not. For this purpose, I would check the network encryption by using software called “Wireshark.” What this software does, is simple. It will analyze each packet which receives from and sent through your connection and displays the details.

To perform this test, I will compare results with and without VPN connection and will show you if  Zenmate is encrypting your traffic or not.

Without Zenmate VPN:

On the left-hand side you could see the “Wireshark” view, and on the right-hand side I have opened “beencrypted.com.” So I can clearly see and understand the domain inside the packets information.

With Zenmate VPN:

Let’s jump into Zenmate and refresh all, and see what happen.

I have now connected US server of Zenmate.

There are many results but I couldn’t see any readable content or domain in any result. I couldn’t find any related “text” and all information is in chipper text form which is an encrypted form of information.

So, here Zenmate Wins,

It’s encrypting the internet traffic, but as it involves DNS leak, I believe it’s not secure enough to provide continuous encrypted traffic.

What Redditors said about Zenmate?

Reddit is one of the biggest social media sites, where people share their thoughts about everything. Sometimes, there are fake comments which are commercially advertised by marketers but 98% experts are out there.

I have been investigating Zenmate user’s experiences and found a pretty huge discussion about glitches and issues that people are facing with Zenmate service. But, most of them were from 2016 to 2017 or from that era where Zenmate was only available in the shape of extension.

Here are a few of them:

ZenMate VPN Browser Extension Deanonymization & Hijacking Vulnerability (3.5 Million Affected Users) from r/netsec

Will Google Chrome Extension ZenMate VPN work for terrenting? from r/VPNTorrents

What are the opinions on Zenmate? from r/VPN

Is there a way to cancel ZenMate subscription? ( I was hacked ) from r/VPN

Is Zenmate VPN Safe To Use?

I am pretty sure that you could judge the Zenmate efficiency and safety on your own, by evaluation shown above. I can say that your usage somehow decides that is Zenmate safe for you or not. But, it would not be wrong if I recommend you to stay away from a VPN which leaks DNS.

DNS leak overshadows Zenmate privacy as a whole and in the result, you cannot trust the good results of IP leak or Torrent IP leak too. For Torrenting, it’s a straight no from my side. Yeah, it can be good for streaming purpose as it was able to unblock US Netflix.

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Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.

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