The Best ZenMate Alternative for 2023
ZenMate has several shortcomings, including that it’s based in Germany, which is a member of the Fourteen Eyes alliance. Better options exist, and in this guide, we help you find the best ZenMate alternative.
ZenMate is a VPN service that offers decent speeds and various security protocols. However, the feature set isn’t impressive, especially when compared with major VPN services like ExpressVPN. In this guide, we help you select the best ZenMate alternative.
- ZenMate has various shortcomings, including a lack of security protocol options, inability to work in countries with heavy censorship, the absence of features like split tunneling, and the fact that it’s based in Germany, a Fourteen Eyes member.
- ExpressVPN is the best ZenMate alternative. However, if you’re looking for something low cost, consider NordVPN.
- Windscribe is the best free alternative to ZenMate, and also offers flexible pricing if you want to upgrade.
The downfalls of ZenMate VPN is not just the lack of features, though. The website has some conflicting information. All pages, including the checkout page, tout a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, the refund policy states that subscribers only have a 14-day window to claim a refund.
If you’re looking for a better alternative, we have you covered. Below, we provide an overview of five of the best VPN services as potential ZenMate VPN alternatives.
ZenMate VPN has a free browser extension that allows you to use a VPN connection only for the browser. It also comes with several restrictions, like access to a maximum of four server locations for IP addresses and a top speed of 2 Mbps. However, the extension is only available on the paid version.
ZenMate is an average VPN, and better options exist. For only a few extra cents per month, you can get a ton of extra features and much better performance.
You can get the ZenMate VPN for free by using its free browser extension. The extension comes with limited functionality and offers a maximum speed of 2 Mbps and access to four server locations.
The Top Alternatives for Zenmate
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency7 ms$6.66 / month(save 48%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed93 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency3 ms$3.49 / month(save 70%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
Average speedDownload Speed96 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency170 ms$2.49 / month(save 80%)(All Plans) 30-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
Average speedDownload Speed73 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency48 ms$2.37 / month(save 81%)(All Plans) 45-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
- : 7
Average speedDownload Speed93 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency4 ms$5.75 / month(save 36%)(All Plans) 3-days money-back guarantee
- : PayPal, Credit card
- : Unlimited
What Makes the Best ZenMate Alternative?
We did some legwork to find the best ZenMate VPN alternatives, and here are the five services we found:
- ExpressVPN — Best VPN for streaming
- NordVPN — Fastest VPN
- Surfshark — Unlimited simultaneous connections
- CyberGhost — Massive server network
- Windscribe — Free ZenMate alternative
ZenMate offers OpenVPN and IKv2 combined with AES-256 encryption. That’s an excellent combination for online security, but other VPNs also offer newer protocols like WireGuard. ZenMate fails to offer more options outside of OpenVPN and IKEv2.
With ZenMate, you also don’t get split tunneling, an increasingly common feature. While the VPN will help you access major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, you might need to switch between servers to find one that works.
ZenMate’s pricing isn’t all that great given its feature set. For only a few cents more, you can get much better performance from other low-cost VPNs like Surfshark or CyberGhost. We talk in greater detail about ZenMate in our ZenMate review.
The 5 Best ZenMate Alternatives
We looked at ZenMate’s shortcomings and picked the best alternatives. We give you an overview of the top picks below.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $6.66 per month
- Provider website: expressvpn.com
- Great streaming capabilities
- Excellent security
- In-app split tunneling
ExpressVPN is hands down the best VPN service currently available in the market. It performs well across the board in terms of streaming, connection speeds, torrenting and security.
You get several security protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPsec, PPTP, L2TP and Lightway — ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that optimizes performance. With ExpressVPN, you also get split tunneling, a feature that’s not available on ZenMate. ExpressVPN also offers all the essentials like a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
If you want to view geoblocked content on your gaming console or a Chrome OS device, ExpressVPN has an app for those devices and many more, while ZenMate doesn’t. You can still view geoblocked content on those devices as a ZenMate user, but you’ll need to take the tedious route of first installing the VPN on a router.
Excellent Streaming Capabilities
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming. It gets into most streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and Hulu. In addition to easily getting past geoblocks, ExpressVPN also offers excellent download speeds. You won’t experience any buffering, even when you’re streaming in 4K.
You also get a feature called MediaStreamer that spoofs your location without additional encryption. Your VPN connection may become less secure and you won’t have an option to choose an IP that belongs to a specific country. However, you’ll enjoy faster connection speeds and better streaming performance. Learn more about ExpressVPN in our ExpressVPN review.
ExpressVPN is the best among major VPN providers and is priced as such. The one-year plan is its best value. If you don’t mind spending a little extra to get the best VPN service, ExpressVPN is the perfect choice. If you’re not entirely confident, try it out risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee, and if you don’t like it, you can claim a full refund.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.49 per month
- Provider website: nordvpn.com
- Fastest VPN service
- Specialty servers
- Massive server network
- Expensive monthly plan
NordVPN is a very popular VPN service and one of the best alternatives to ZenMate. With over 5,500 VPN servers across 59 countries, NordVPN lets you acquire IP addresses for all popular locations, so you can access other countries’ content libraries on streaming platforms.
Speaking of streaming, NordVPN gets into all major platforms. More importantly, NordVPN is the fastest VPN as per our speed tests. Fast speeds translate to a pleasant, buffer-free streaming experience.
NordVPN fills in all the gaps in ZenMate’s feature set. For example, you get split tunneling with NordVPN, and it offers three security protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2 and NordLynx (NordVPN’s proprietary protocol inspired by WireGuard). You also get to choose between two ciphers — AES-256 and ChaCha20 (when you use NordLynx).
The NordVPN app comes with a kill switch, offers DNS leak protection and has excellent security protection. More importantly, NordVPN provides several types of VPN servers to increase your online security.
NordVPN offers four types of specialty servers: double VPN, P2P, Onion over VPN and obfuscated servers. Connecting to a specialty VPN server translates to an even more secure network.
Double VPN is the most commonly used type of the four, in which your internet traffic goes through two secure servers, adding an extra layer of security. Learn more about NordVPN in our comprehensive NordVPN review.
Considering how NordVPN’s feature set and performance are similar to ExpressVPN, the two-year plan is its best value. You can still try it out before committing for the long term, using its 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it fits your needs.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.49 per month
- Provider website: surfshark.com
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Unblocks major streaming apps
- Extras security features
- Expensive monthly plan
Surfshark is a feature-rich VPN that also allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, just like ZenMate. As with most major VPN services, Surfshark has all the essentials including a kill switch, split tunneling, unlimited devices and a large network of servers of over 3,200 servers across 95 countries.
Even though Surfshark arrived to the market after most VPNs on the list, it has managed to build a strong feature set. You get an ad blocker called CleanWeb that blocks ads on the browser and other apps, and a feature called NoBorders mode that enables users to bypass restrictions in censorship-heavy countries like China.
With Surfshark, you can also access geoblocked platforms more easily than you can with ZenMate. You won’t need to switch between servers to find one that works for a particular streaming platform.
Unlike ZenMate, Surfshark offers several security features such as double VPN (called Multihop on Surfshark) and IP address rotation. You can use double VPN by selecting one of the 12 predefined pairs of server locations to make your connection more secure.
The IP address rotation feature automatically changes your IP address every few minutes. If you need even more features, you can get Surfshark’s security package — called Surfshark One — as an add-on. The app also has the Camouflage Mode, which ensures that not even your ISP can detect the VPN.
Surfshark is more affordable than ExpressVPN and NordVPN, especially when you consider you have unlimited devices. You can also try it out with its 30-day money-back guarantee. Find out more about Surfshark in our comprehensive Surfshark review.
More details about CyberGhost:
- Pricing: $2.37 per month
- Provider website: cyberghostvpn.com
- Automation features
- Massive server network
CyberGhost offers a massive server network with over 8,900 servers spread across 91 countries. You don’t get as many security protocols to choose from as with other services, but you still get one more than ZenMate. CyberGhost offers OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard with AES-256 encryption.
CyberGhost’s apps for desktop and mobile devices have a quick-connect button on the main screen and a list of servers. The app shows you the distance between your physical and server location, as well as the server load.
The information is especially helpful in CyberGhost’s case, given that speed isn’t the service’s strongest suit. The interface also makes selecting a server easier by allowing you to sort them by distance or server load.
None of the major services listed here offer anything in the way of automation. However, CyberGhost lets you automate VPN-related tasks using “smart rules.” For example, you can set a rule for connecting to a specific server location automatically whenever you launch the VPN app. Learn more about CyberGhost’s features in our CyberGhost review.
CyberGhost is the lowest priced service on the list with its three-year plan, its best value. It also offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on all annual plans. You can claim a full refund if you’re not fully satisfied.
More details about Windscribe:
- Pricing: Free; $5.75 per month
- Provider website: windscribe.com
- Generous free plan
- Flexible pricing
- Fast connection speeds
- 3-day money-back guarantee
- Cramped UI
Windscribe is a free ZenMate alternative. In most cases, we don’t recommend using free VPNs. They’re generally slow, unreliable and even insecure, unless they’re on our best free VPNs list — and Windscribe is at the top of that list.
Even on the free version, you get top-notch connection speeds and no bandwidth cap. Like ZenMate, Windscribe also offers unlimited simultaneous connections. The free plan gives you access to servers in 10 countries and 10GB of monthly data once you confirm your email.
Windscribe also offers a powerful browser extension called R.O.B.E.R.T. However, the free version only allows you to set three custom access rules. If you want to set more than three custom access rules to block domains or IPs, you’ll need the paid version. Learn more about R.O.B.E.R.T. and other Windscribe features in our thorough Windscribe review.
Access to All Streaming Platforms
Not many free VPNs can help you access Netflix U.S., but Windscribe can. It can also unblock other major platforms. Since Windscribe offers fast connection speeds, you won’t need to worry about buffering even when you’re on the free plan.
Windscribe also has a premium version with two pricing models: build-a-plan or the time-based plan. The build-a-plan option offers more flexibility because you can choose your server locations for a dollar each and get access to unlimited data for another dollar. The build-a-plan option has a minimum checkout value of $3 per month.
- Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
- Unlimited GB
Is ZenMate a Trusted VPN?
ZenMate has a no-logging policy, and for the most part, it should ensure your privacy online. However, it’s based in Germany, which is a Fourteen Eyes alliance member. If you’re looking for airtight privacy, you should consider a different service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Final Thoughts: ZenMate VPN Alternatives
ZenMate is an average VPN at best. If you’re looking for top-notch security and superior performance, there are better options.
The best VPN services offer various security protocols, can easily unblock streaming platforms and come with a bunch of extra features like browser extensions — such as ExpressVPN. You also don’t have to shell out a lot of extra money either when you pick the right alternative to ZenMate with NordVPN and other VPNs on this list.
Have you switched to any of the ZenMate VPN alternatives? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thank you for reading.