ZenVPN advertises itself as a simple personal VPN service that allows just about anyone to easily protect their online privacy and security. While this makes the service beginner-friendly, it also means that advanced users can’t play around with configurations a whole lot. This can be an advantage and disadvantage, depending on which group a user belongs to. Users can overlook this fact as well – if the baseline service is good enough, there’s little need for tweaking, right? But is their claim true at all? To analyze that, let’s dive into our ZenVPN review.
Without further ado, let’s delve into crucial features of ZenVPN:
Headquarters and Ownership
ZenVPN is based in Cyprus, a country outside the jurisdiction of the 5, 9, and 14-Eyes Alliances. Moreover, Cyprus is a European Union member, and thus falls under has stringent privacy laws. Speaking of companies, ZenVPN was founded in 2013 and was owned by RubyVector Ltd, a Cypriot software development company.
Data Logging Policy
- VPN (stored for 6 months): Date and time of the connection, your IP address, duration of the connection
- Website (stored for 10 days): IP address used to visit their website, URLs of the pages you visited
- Customer Support (can be stored indefinitely): Interaction with Customer Support, ZenVPN, or third parties they hire
Number of Servers
ZenVPN has an undisclosed number of servers in 34 countries worldwide. To add salt to injury, the VPN provider doesn’t publicly distinguish between virtual and physical servers either. This leads us to believe that the former outnumber the latter.
Other reviewers found the speed horrendous, and we tend to agree. We connected to VPN servers in the following countries and observed:
- Our country (in Europe): Download speed reduced by 68%.
- Netherlands: Download speed shrunk by 95%.
- United Kingdom: Download speed dropped by 91%.
- United States: Our download was reduced by 94%.
Nearly all our inspections using VPN test sites were successful and we found no IPv4, IPv6, or DNS data leaks. There was one isolated incident when a server’s DNS IP address leaked, but we couldn’t replicate it, and it never exposed our real IP address or location.
Security Protocols and Encryption, Number of Concurrent Connections
ZenVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure your connection and utilizes VPN protocols such as OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. Luckily, ZenVPN offers an unlimited number of simultaneous connections on all plans.
Additional Features of ZenVPN
Let’s continue our review of ZenVPN with features whose existence, or lack thereof, you should know about:
Unblocking Streaming Services
We tested the provider’s claims to unblock Netflix and Hulu and were left sorely disappointed. Even after connecting to multiple servers, we couldn’t bypass Netflix VPN blocking, nor could we circumvent VPN blocks on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu.
ZenVPN doesn’t offer 24/7 Customer Service via live chat but has an e-mail service. You can contact them by sending an e-mail directly to their address or fill out the contact form on their website. In both cases, you can expect a response within 5 and 24 hours.
Torrenting Works But Isn’t Recommended
ZenVPN doesn’t oppose the use of P2P traffic. However, it lacks an abundance of locations, has slow speeds, doesn’t have a kill switch if things turn sour, and worst of all, stores logs that can easily identify you. Therefore, you should contemplate the risk carefully.
Does ZenVPN Work in China?
No, ZenVPN does not work in China. It has no servers in China that’d allow outsiders to access the country’s websites and services, nor can it bypass the Great Firewall of China to access outside services and websites from the country.
ZenVPN Installation and User Interface
ZenVPN only has a native application for Windows and Android, which are simple to use:
- Create an account with an e-mail address and password on the website
- Download the app from the website or the Google App Store.
- Install, run the app, and tap or click on the praying guy icon to connect or disconnect.
- You can click or tap on Locations or Settings to configure VPN settings.
Note. ZenVPN is also compatible with Mac, Linux, and iOS, but only via configuration files for open-source software such as OpenVPN or Tunnelblick.
Now for the meat of our ZenVPN review. The VPN provider offers 2 types of plans to users:
ZenVPN has a free trial program on Android that lets you try out all premium features (unmetered traffic, too) for 24 hours after signing up for an account. They also advertise a 250 MB daily free trial if you need more time to decide.
The VPN provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and supports paying with American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro, but no PayPal or cryptocurrency. There are 2 types of paid VPN plans:
- Standard plans: Premium features but limited to 5 GB of daily data usage. There are 3 plans:
- Weekly: $2.95/week
- Monthly: $5.95/month
- Yearly: $49.95/year
- Unlimited plans: Premium features and unlimited data usage. Their price is:
- Weekly: $5.95/week
- Monthly: $9.95/month
- Yearly: $95.50/year
- Based in Cyprus, a privacy-oriented country
- Unlimited device connections at once
- Has a free trial with 250 MB daily
- 30-day money refund guarantee
- Supports OpenVPN and AES-256-bit encryption
- No IP leaks, one isolated case of a DNS leak
- Lackluster data logging policy
- Small server network (unknown number in 34 locations)
- Extremely slow VPN speed
- No ad blocker
- Doesn’t work with any major streaming service
- Lacks kill switch and split tunneling
- Only has dedicated apps for Windows and Android
- Torrenting works, but isn’t advised
- Doesn’t function in China
- Doesn’t support payment with cryptocurrency or PayPal
- No 24/7 live chat Customer Service
- Expensive compared to offers from the competition
We conclude this ZenVPN review by saying that using this VPN isn’t simple. They only offer dedicated apps for Windows and Android, while the competition offers extensive app support. To be fair, the encryption level is the golden standard and they support OpenVPN as a security protocol. However, the rest is severely lagging. The data they log can easily identify users, the VPN service doesn’t have a large server network, and even limits data usage on their (overpriced) payment plans. Even worse, modern features such as split tunneling, kill switch, and ad-blocker are missing.
ZenVPN is a VPN based in a privacy-oriented country with rock-solid encryption and works on unlimited devices concurrently. However, it lacks app support, speed, a larger server base, and bonus features.