How does NordVPN compare with ZenMate?
While ZenMate beats NordVPN hands down when it comes to their connection speeds, NordVPN takes an early lead when it comes to a hard to beat no logs policy.
But how else do these two VPNs compare when it comes to other aspects that are key to a great VPN?
In this NordVPN vs ZenMate comparison in 2020, we are going to compare these two VPNs along different lines in order to establish a better VPN between the two.
We’ll compare them along the lines of internet speeds, streaming capabilities and torrening support among others.
I hope that by the end of this comparison of ZenMate with NordVPN you’ll be able to make a choice between either of the two VPNs.
So let’s get to it.
NordVPN is a VPN service provider with their bases in Panama that enables you to access the internet securely, including in restricted countries like China.
It was founded in 2012 and has since acquired a user base of more than 12 million subscribers.
Here is a detailed NordVPN review.
ZenMate, on the other hand, is a Germany based VPN company with millions of subscribers… I couldn’t get my hands on the actual subscriber count.
It started with a free plan that attracted a ton of subscribers but has since transitioned into a paid only plan.
Here is a complete review of ZenMate.
How many servers do both ZenMate and NordVPN?
The more servers a VPN has the better the services it is able to provide… presumably.
NordVPN has a total of 5,811 VPN servers that are spread out in 59 different countries, at the time of writing this ZenMate vs NordVPN comparison.
ZenMate, on the other hand, competes fairly with a total of 3,600 servers that are located in 74 different countries.
While NordVPN has more servers in general as compared to ZenMate, ZenMate has their servers spread out to cover a wider geographical region compared to NordVPN.
So if you are looking for a VPN with servers in a large number of countries, then ZenMate is a clear winner here.
How does ZenMate vs NordVPN compare in terms of their streaming capabilities?
In order to make the most of your Netflix subscription, you need to be able to access all the Netflix libraries available.
But since Netflix restricts the content you can watch based on your physical location, you have no option but to turn to a VPN in order to spoof your IP address to make you appear like you are based in the location whose content you want to stream.
NordVPN has an amazing ability to unblock various Netflix libraries based in different countries.
Currently, it is able to unblock Netflix in the UK, US, Japan and Brazil.
All you need to do is connect to any server that is based in these countries and start streaming.
In addition to Netflix, NordVPN is also able to stream content on other streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.
How about ZenMate?
ZenMate, just like NordVPN, is able to unblock a myriad of streaming platforms.
It makes it even easier as all their streaming servers are labelled, based on the service that they unblock.
So if you want to stream content on any platform, head over the streaming tab in the app menu and type the name of the streaming platform that you’d like to unblock. This will bring a list of servers, labelled with the streaming services that they unblock as well as the country they are based in.
ZenMate has dedicated servers for unblocking Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer, among others.
As you can see when it comes to streaming, again NordVPN and ZenMate take on each other neck to neck…
It’s a tie.
How do NordVPN vs ZenMate speeds compare?
If you want to have a great streaming experience, your internet connection better be fast.
While some VPNs will slow you down, some can in fact increase your internet access speeds… in case your ISP is throttling your speeds on certain sites.
I tested the speeds of both NordVPN and ZenMate in order to establish the faster.
I connected to three of their servers that are located in the UK, US and Hong Kong and then used speedtest.net to measure the download and upload speeds before and after connecting to their servers.
Here is what I found out.
NordVPN servers gave me an average download speed that was 83% of my initial download speeds. With a star rating of 4.1/5, NordVPN is a pretty fast VPN.
Think that’s cool?
Wait till you see what I have with ZenMate.
ZenMate, on the flip side, gave me an average download speed that was 100% of my original speeds.
What does this mean?
It means that out of all the ZenMate servers that I connected to, I either maintained my original speeds or actually exceeded my initial speeds before connecting to their servers.
It therefore means that ZenMate is a much faster VPN compared to NordVPN.
So if your sole selection criterion is based on speed, then ZenMate is clear winner here.
Which one will give you private, secure and anonymous torrent downloads between NordVPN and ZenMate?
If you want to stay safe, ensure that you only download torrent files through a VPN that has been audited and proven not to keep logs of your internet activities.
This way, it will be impossible to track any torrenting back to you.
NordVPN supports torrenting on their special dedicated P2P servers.
Once you select and connect to a suitable torrenting server, you can enjoy a pretty much private and anonymous torrenting experience as NordVPN does not keep logs.
ZenMate also has special P2P servers that are dedicated for downloading torrent files.
And because they are the faster VPN here you might be tempted to think that they are better for torrenting than NordVPN.
Not so fast.
ZenMate does not have a clear no logs policy… so there is a possibility that they do keep logs. So I’d stay away from them if I want to down any torrent file from the internet.
NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting in this case.
I already hinted about the privacy policies of these two VPNs…
Let’s now look at them in more details to establish the one that will deliver actual privacy online. As a rule of thumb, the less information that a VPN keeps about you the better.
I don’t care whether they keep it in an anonymized format or not, I don’t want them keeping any damn records of my internet activities.
NordVPN, to begin with, is located in Panama which is a privacy friendly location for a VPN. This is because Panama is not part of the 14 eyes surveillance alliance of countries that surveille their citizens and share their personal information.
It means there are no records on their servers that can be used to identify you.
ZenMate, on the other hand, is based in Germany which is obviously a founding member of the 14 eyes countries. I don’t think that they are based in a great location for a privacy-conscious VPN company.
In addition to that, ZenMate privacy policies is one of the most vague policies I have ever… which means that no one knows what logs they keep and what they don’t.
If a company appears like they are hiding something, they most probably are.
If you are looking for a VPN that is great for privacy then in this case I only recommend NordVPN instead of ZenMate.
Encryption and Data Protection
Let’s now compare ZenMate vs NordVPN in terms of their data protection and encryption technologies.
By the use of tamper-proof encryption algorithms, VPNs are able to protect your personal information from the prying eyes of a malicious hacker.
This is achieved by making the data unreadable to any unintended device.
NordVPN and ZenMate both use AES 256-bit encryption technology to ensure that your information is secure. It is a secure encryption algorithm that is impossible to crack.
In addition to that, NordVPN also uses OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols to ensure that a secure communication channel is established between your VPN app and the server.
ZenMate, on the other hand, also supports a couple of protocols that include OpenVPN, L2TP and IKEv2.
These are some of the most secure protocols out there, so both ZenMate and NordVPN are secure VPNs to use at any time of the day.
Are you looking for an ad blocker?
Are you sick of ad networks tracking you around the internet and bothering with the very same ad that you’ve ignored 1,845 times?
Either way, an ad blocker can come to your rescue.
By using an ad blocker, you can block ads on all the sites that you visit, as well as stop the tracking scripts that these websites install on your browser from tracking you.
Do NordVPN and ZenMate have an ad blocker?
NordVPN has an ad blocker that goes by the name CyberSec.
CyberSec is a very capable ad blocker that enables you to block ads on the sites that you visit, as well as stop their tracking scripts. In addition to that, you can also block malware from infecting your device once you turn on CyberSec.
ZenMate, unfortunately, does not have any ad blockers.
So while using the ZenMate VPN, you won’t be able to block ads or malware from infecting your devices.
This makes NordVPN the clear winner as its adblocker performance puts it in the list of the best VPN ad blockers in 2020.
Do you want a dedicated IP address that you can use to securely access your work network remotely?
You can’t do this with a shared IP address because these IPs are bound to change at any time without notice.
But a security-conscious network will require you to provide an IP that you can whitelist on the network before you can use it. So only makes sense to go for an IP address that does not change.
NordVPN has both static IPs and dedicated IP addresses.
The static IPs are available on any plan of NordVPN and can be accessed from the dedicated IP tab in the apps. With these IPs, you can choose a server to use to connect to the internet and always use the same IP address.
But they are still shared by other users.
A dedicated IP, on the flip, side is only available to you and cannot be shared by anyone else. For this you need to purchase as a separate premium addon.
ZenMate, unfortunately, does not have neither a dedicated IP nor a static IP address.
It, therefore, means that if you are looking for a dedicated IP address then your only option is NordVPN. Or you could check other options in my other review of the best VPNs for dedicated IPs.
If you want to never reveal what your real IP address is to the internet, then you need to ensure that all your internet access is through a secure VPN tunnel.
And the only way to ensure that this is always the case is to use a VPN kill switch.
With a VPN kill switch, internet access for your entire device will be disabled anytime that your VPN disconnects from the servers.
This is done to ensure that no app continues to access the internet, thereby exposing your IP during this time. So there is no chance of your IP getting leaked out.
So do NordVPN and ZenMate have automatic kill switches?
NordVPN has a kill switch that once you turn on will ensure that your device does not go to the internet unless it is through an encrypted VPN tunnel.
It has an additional feature that also enables to only specify certain apps whose internet should be cut off in case of a VPN disconnection… this is where you can list your more security-sensitive apps.
ZenMate also has an automatic kill switch that you can use for this purpose. However, it is system wide and therefore once it’s turned on, it will block internet access for all apps.
Overall, both NordVPN and ZenMate have kills switches that will protect your internet access.
Let’s say you have an app that runs backups in the background.
This app could be slowed down if your VPN causes major drops in speed whenever you are connected to their servers. In this case, you might want to be able to exempt your backup app from the VPN tunnel completely.
This is what we call split tunneling.
Where you are able to whitelist certain applications and make their traffic flow through your ISP as usual while the other apps have their traffic encrypted and channelled through the VPN tunnel.
How does ZenMate vs NordVPN compare in terms of their split tunneling capabilities?
NordVPN and ZenMate, unfortunately do not support split tunneling at the time of writing this NordVPN vs ZenMate comparison in 2020.
Even though it is a very good feature to have, it is very disappointing that these two popular VPNs haven’t seen the need to incorporate this into their applications.
That being said, it is important to note that the traffic that is exempted from the VPN tunnel is not encrypted. So your ISP can see the websites that you visit on these whitelisted apps.
Works in China?
Okay, so how about he ability to bypass the great firewall of China?
China’s firewall has deep packet inspection technology that is able to detect and block any kind of VPN traffic that flows through it.
And since all internet access in China is directed through this firewall, it is something that you have to beat if you want to successfully be able to use your VPN to access censored content in China.
NordVPN, luckily, has an obfuscated server mode that enables you to access internet in China.
Once you turn on the obfuscated server mode, you’ll get a list of servers that are able to bypass the great firewall of China and access internet. So, yes, NordVPN will work in China.
ZenMate, however, does not work in China as their servers are completely blocked.
In case you have a ZenMate subscription and are planning to go to China, you should forget about being able to use it while in that country.
You should switch to an able big brother… NordVPN.
As we near the end of this NordVPN vs ZenMate review, let’s look that their various pricing options to establish the cheaper VPN.
In order to get the best discount for a VPN, you need to opt for their longest plan. Almost all VPNs offer the best discounts for their longest subscription plans to draw you in.
NordVPN has their longest plan being the 3 years plan, which is also the cheapest as it will only cost you $ 3.59/month, billed for 36 months in advance.
ZenMate, on the flip side, is much cheaper as a similar 3 years plan will only set you back $ 1.64/month, billable upfront.
So apart from being much faster than NordVPN, ZenMate is actually much cheaper.
If you are looking for a VPN that will save you a ton of bucks on subscription fees then ZenMate is what I recommended here.
Let’s finish this ZenMate vs NordVPN comparison by looking at the payment methods that each one supports.
If you want to give as little information about you as possible, you should opt for payment methods that collect as little information about you as possible.
And for these you are talking about Bitcoins and gift cards.
NordVPN supports payments through credit cards and Bitcoin… PayPal is not accepted.
ZenMate on the other hand, only supports credit card payments and PayPal… Bitcoins in not accepted.
It is evident that if you’re looking for a VPN that supports anonymous cryptocurrency payments then NordVPN is your only option here. In fact, it is one of the best VPNs for Bitcoin payments that I reviewed on this website.
That’s it with the comparison of ZenMate with NordVPN.
I hope this NordVPN vs ZenMate comparison has helped you learn of the pros and cons of these two amazing VPNs services.
Are you now ready to make a choice of the best VPN for your case?
If you are looking for a fast VPN with a strict zero-logs policy, has a dedicated IP and accepts Bitcoin payments then I recommend NordVPN.
However, if you are looking for a dirty cheap VPN with great streaming support and excellent speeds but is dodgy about their activity logs policy the go for ZenMate.
Have you used either ZenMate or NordVPN before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.