VPN

ZenMate Alternatives 2023 » A Review of 22 VPN Providers

Martin Gschwentner
Author
27. Apr 2022
Last update

VPNs are among the most useful enhancements you can add to your PC or mobile device, making it possible to remain anonymous on the internet, safely surf public WiFi, bypass geo-blocking, and much more. However, when searching for the right provider, it helps to do so with a healthy dose of skepticism.

ZenMate is a German VPN service that only received a "satisfactory" rating in our comprehensive EXPERTE.com VPN review. While they offer solid performance and a decent server network at a great rate (especially in their 3-year plan), we did notice a few issues with the provider:

Disadvantages of ZenMate

  • Dubious parent company
    ZenMate, along with ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access, is owned by Kape Technologies. A conflict of interest arises as Kape Technologies not only has several VPNs in its portfolio but also a handful of VPN review platforms. Even more alarming is the company's past; under its earlier name, Crossrider, they were criticized for spreading malware. While this doesn't necessarily mean that its subsidiary, ZenMate, has security gaps, scandals like this are hard to live down. This is a rather serious red flag, particularly in the VPN sector, where safety and privacy play a major role.

  • Lacks split tunneling
    Split tunneling allows you to limit your VPN connection to certain apps or websites. This can be useful, for example, if you want to watch Netflix content from halfway around the world while downloading a large file at top speed from a physical location closer to home.

  • Only had a decent performance score
    While your connections with ZenMate should be relatively smooth, their service is far behind the top-ranking providers from our sample in terms of performance. With little to offer besides decent upload and download speeds, the German VPN came in 14th place.

  • Slow support
    ZenMate doesn't offer live chat for interacting with its support staff; the only way to reach them is through a contact form. Unfortunately, we waited four days to receive a response to our query. Other VPN providers are both faster and easier to get in touch with.

Due to these shortcomings, ZenMate could only claim 19th place in our comparison. That means we'd recommend 18 other programs before settling on their service. Here's a brief introduction to some of the best alternatives.

The Best Alternatives to ZenMate

1.

Faster Than ZenMate: NordVPN

Best Overall 2023
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(726,090 )
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee

Just because ZenMate placed 14th in our performance ranking doesn't mean that it's slow. In fact, its speeds are solid even when compared to some top-ranking VPNs, and should be more than enough for most situations. However, some VPN services are considerably faster—first and foremost, NordVPN.

The overall winner from our review series doesn't just deliver excellent speeds; it offers an especially user-friendly app packed with features, including split tunneling, double VPN, and Tor integration as well. Their customer support, including a live chat, is also top-notch.

NordVPN took first place in our EXPERTE.com VPN review.

We also have no complaints so far as NordVPN's security standards are concerned. They adhere to a no-log policy and back up their security promises by submitting to regular independent audits. We didn't identify any DNS (or other) leaks during our review.

Unfortunately, NordVPN costs slightly more than ZenMate but is still quite inexpensive compared to other services. All things considered, it's our first choice as an alternative to ZenMate.

  • User-friendly app including an interactive world map

  • Top performance

  • Numerous features

  • Average server network

  • Few protocol options

Review
9.4
excellent
Visit Website
Check Review
Performance
10 / 10
Customer Support
9.4 / 10
Installation and Features
9.4 / 10
Security and Privacy
9.4 / 10
Server Network
8.6 / 10
2.

Equally Inexpensive, but Better All Around: Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(115,058 )
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
8.8
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount

Surfshark is almost on par with NordVPN but has the added advantage of being somewhat cheaper to boot. For a minimally larger investment compared to ZenMate, you'll get a feature-packed VPN that delivers excellent performance (ranked 2nd in our speed test). Among its features are split tunneling, MultiHop, an ad adblocker, and a static IP.

Surfshark is slightly more expensive than ZenMate, but has much more to offer.

As such, Surfshark offers more bang for your buck than ZenMate, presenting an especially attractive alternative to the service.

  • Excellent performance

  • Numerous features

  • Intuitive apps

  • Server network could be larger

Review
8.8
good
Visit Website
Check Review
Performance
10 / 10
Installation and Features
9.4 / 10
Customer Support
8.6 / 10
Server Network
8.0 / 10
Security and Privacy
8.0 / 10
3.

Greater Emphasis on Privacy: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(102,027 )
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
8.7
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee

Our main concerns with ZenMate were their affiliation with Kape Technologies and their lack of audits. Concrete security lapses, such as data leaks, were not identified while testing their program. However, that's a relatively low bar, especially considering how many providers take security to the next level. Foremost among these is the Swiss service, ProtonVPN.

When it comes to other VPN providers' scheduled security audits, ProtonVPN can only shake their heads; the company's apps have been completely open-source since 2020, which means anyone can access the source code and test it for vulnerabilities.

On top of that, ProtonVPN includes some useful security features that you won't find anywhere else. For example, in addition to a regular VPN connection, their "Secure Core" feature sends your traffic over secure servers in countries with strong data protection laws on the books.

ProtonVPN is a good choice for anyone concerned about their security and privacy.

ProtonVPN also offers an impressive free plan which doesn't limit your data traffic or connection speeds. You can't use the free version to bypass geoblocking on streaming platforms, but it's suitable for anonymizing your connection and is a good way to get a feel for what the Swiss provider has to offer.

  • Open-source

  • Solid performance

  • Enhanced security features

  • Server network still growing

  • Few support options

Review
8.7
good
Visit Website
Check Review
Installation and Features
10 / 10
Security and Privacy
10 / 10
Performance
8.6 / 10
Customer Support
7.4 / 10
Server Network
7.4 / 10
4.

Other Alternatives

ExpressVPN

The second place in our VPN comparison went to ExpressVPN, which is also owned by Kape Technologies. That being said, ExpressVPN offers a better overall package and picks up points for its routine security audits. Their service, however, costs more than four times as much as ZenMate.

ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(577,350 )
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee

HideMyAss

UK-based HideMyAss has a huge server network and was among the top providers in our performance test. Users will also get access to some practical features such as automatic IP switching.

HideMyAss! VPN Test
HideMyAss! VPN
(83,906 )
1100+ servers
290 locations in 210 countries
7 days free trial
Excellent performance
Unreliable for streaming
8.6
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
1
Contract Period
12 - 36 months
HideMyAss! 36 months
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee

hide.me

Like ProtonVPN, hide.me has a rather generous free VPN plan. While surfing isn't unlimited, the 10 GB they provide per month is much higher than what their competitors offer. Hide.me's server network could be a bit larger, but overall, the service managed "good" scores in all of the categories we tested it in.

hide.me VPN Test
hide.me VPN
(24,855 )
1900+ servers
75+ locations in 47+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
8.4
good
Data Volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee

Overall Result

In our comprehensive EXPERTE.com comparison, we tested and compared 22 providers across six categories, five of which were scored. These were, "Installation and Features", "Server Network," "Performance", "Security and Privacy", and "Customer Support". As we mentioned above, ZenMate didn't finish far from the bottom, coming in 19th place and only receiving a "satisfactory" overall score.

In our opinion, many other VPNs are preferable to ZenMate. Here's our complete ranking of providers:

1.
NordVPN
9.4
Review
excellent
2.
ExpressVPN
9.4
Review
excellent
3.
Surfshark
8.8
Review
good
4.
ProtonVPN
8.7
Review
good
5.
HideMyAss!
8.6
Review
good
6.
hide.me
8.4
Review
good
7.
Private Internet Access
8.2
Review
good
8.
CyberGhost
7.8
Review
good
9.
PureVPN
7.8
Review
good
10.
Windscribe
7.8
Review
good
11.
VyprVPN
7.6
Review
good
12.
Mozilla VPN
7.6
Review
good
13.
Hotspot Shield
7.5
Review
good
14.
Atlas VPN
7.4
Review
good
15.
IPVanish
7.4
Review
good
16.
Mullvad
7.3
Review
good
17.
VPN Unlimited
7.3
Review
good
18.
Bitdefender
7.2
Review
good
19.
PrivateVPN
7.2
Review
good
20.
TorGuard
7.2
Review
good
21.
TunnelBear
7.1
Review
good
22.
ZenMate
7.0
Review
satisfactory
23.
Avast
6.8
Review
satisfactory
24.
Perfect Privacy
6.6
Review
satisfactory
25.
Avira
6.4
Review
satisfactory

Conclusion

We won't mince words: ZenMate didn't impress us during our VPN comparison. Among other concerns, we were disappointed by their lackluster performance, slow support, missing features, and questionable parent company, Kape Technologies. Luckily, there are numerous other VPNs that did better in some or all of these areas.

Our overall winner, NordVPN, delivers better performance and a stronger package overall. Surfshark offers a significantly better price-performance ratio, while ProtonVPN has higher security standards.

Our EXPERTE.com VPN comparison gives detailed insight into 22 popular services, nearly all of which (18), outperformed ZenMate.

ZenMate VPN Test
ZenMate VPN
(75,062 )
3000+ IP addresses
78 countries
30 days money-back guarantee
Concerns over privacy
7.0
satisfactory
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
6
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
ZenMate 3 years
$1.64
monthly price
Visit Website »
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translator & Editor: Lisa Torelli-Sauer
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