With most of our daily activities now involve the use of the Internet we now face greater threats with many nefarious elements seeking to exploit the information we provide and share when we connect to the Internet. Simple nuisances like targeted advertisements to more serious problems like stolen banking details will continue to plague the Internet unless proper preparation and vigilance are taken. Many services have risen up to address the situation, commonly referred to as Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
A VPN is a service that provides a secure ‘tunnel’ for your Internet connection, allowing you to connect to a website of your choosing without any external parties able to view or access your activities. One of these is VPN services is an organization based in Germany, called ZenMate.
A rapidly growing VPN service, ZenMate features both free and paid versions of their service to accommodate users who are on a tight budget as well as those who are willing to pay for a more secured connection. Free versions have access to IPSec IKEv2 & L2TP protocols, while the paid versions offer OpenVPN protocols, a faster and better VPN service. In terms of encryption, ZenMate uses 128-bit encryption in contrast to the 256-bit AES encryption most VPN services use.
A VPN service that has 298 servers in 38 countries, ZenMate offers a large host of servers that can accommodate efficiently to the needs of its users almost anywhere. Their priority in being able to bypass censorship is useful for users living in countries that censors Internet use. Their VPN service is also great for allowing its user to access regionally locked content like its ability to dupe the Netflix error screen which typically shows up for VPN users.
As typical with most VPN services, they allow five connections per account. Their OpenVPN capability has also opened up their services to multiple devices and web browsers, from desktops to smartphones, and to an extent, even smart televisions and gaming consoles. It is natural to lose internet speeds whenever you use VPN but ZenMate manages to handle this typical VPN problem with an average mark compared to other VPN services that makes browsing the Internet slow and atrocious.
When it comes to peer-to-peer networks (P2P) and torrenting, ZenMate’s stance has changed from hostile which was subjected to scrutiny by many users to more accommodating by allowing unlimited P2P access in its paid versions. However, per its terms of service, ZenMate is still against its use for illegal and questionable activities like pirating copyrighted material. ZenMate’s legitimacy as a VPN service is good as it gets with zero malware and virus is included in its service which may compromise your system with its use.
A strong number of features and capabilities can make ZenMate a serious contender in providing good and safe VPN service but a couple of problems exist which may still compromise your security with its use.
Some cons to consider
ZenMate faces issues in its data collection policy especially in regards to their logging of IP addresses. While they promise it will remain anonymous the fact that they still keep your IP address may become an issue in the future. ZenMate also faces issues in risks of IP leaks which even though may only be a small chance of happening, the threat still exists and can become constant source of worry to its users.
Another problem is ZenMate’s base of operations as they currently operate in countries part of the 14 Eyes Jurisdiction, an agreement between its member nations such as USA and Germany where ZenMate operates in, to share intelligence and espionage secrets between each member nation freely. This means that whatever data ZenMate may gather may also fall into the hands of fourteen nations without your consent. While these problems may hinder ZenMate’s capabilities, it is important to note that many other VPN services may also suffer from the same issues ZenMate is facing.
The positives and potential negatives discussed about ZenMate can be used to weight its effectiveness especially in the things you prioritize in seeking Internet security. With cases of Internet theft and hacking on the rise, the case that VPN is not a necessary service may no longer be relevant in the coming years and the urgency to acquire one is rapidly approaching.
ZenMate offers features that are rare to find in VPN services such as bypassing geo-content locking and allowing torrenting which allows it to be a unique and interesting VPN in its increasingly saturated market. While VPN services offer a layer of protection against potential threats in the Internet, ultimately it is up to the user’s trust in his or her VPN provider and the VPN service’s cooperation with its customers will make sure that privacy while using the Internet is maintained and practiced.