NordVPN vs ZenMate - Comparing Performance, Speed and Price

Last updated on March 18, 2019 Comments: 7
VPNs are becoming a must-have for users looking to browse the web safely and protect their identities, but the sheer number of available options makes it difficult to find the right one. See how NordVPN and ZenMate stack up in this heated VPN comparison!

As Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) gain popularity among users all over the world, new options are emerging faster than users can compare them. VPNs are essential to get around pesky and limiting geo-restrictions while offering a safe and anonymous way to browse the web.

Our team of tech experts has decided to find the best provider, and in this VPN service comparison, are looking at NordVPN and ZenMate. These two services are well-known and highly rated, so let’s see what our team uncovered!

In this article

How We Compare VPN Services

Finding the right provider requires an in-depth look at several different characteristics. Our experts compare VPNs across features that include performance, streaming capability, pricing, and security options to paint the clearest picture possible of each competitor.

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Customer Support


VPNs with more servers offer users a better way to protect their identity and mask their IP address from prying eyes and geo-restrictions. ZenMate has servers in more than 30 countries though they don’t disclose how many exactly. In addition, the company has apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as several browsers, and accepts 5 simultaneous connections.

NordVPN easily wins this category with over 2,600 servers around the world, and 6 simultaneous connections. The VPN company also adds service for Linux operating systems which helps it stand out from the pack.


Available Streaming Services. Streaming services on a VPN network grants customers access to geo-restricted content such as movies, TV shows, and music video clips. ZenMate offers access to some services, such as BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4, and Netflix (though they did have some trouble accessing Netflix at times). NordVPN, on the other hand, can give you access to several channels, including uninterrupted Netflix streaming, providing a better alternative for streaming-oriented users.

Mobile Apps. Both NordVPN and ZenMate provide apps for Android and iOS devices, so you can enjoy the benefits of a secure connection on every device, especially on unsecured public networks.

Protocols. The protocols a company utilizes ultimately determines the speed and security of their connections. ZenMate opts for speed over encryption with an AES-128 bit encryption, using a TLS 1.2 protocol that is optimized for security. NordVPN, on the other hand, uses IPsec and IKEv2, and offers several protocols for user customization.

Money-Back Guarantee. Sometimes a VPN service isn’t a great fit and having a risk-free way to test a provider is important. Both companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees for all their subscriptions, helping users feel more comfortable knowing they can try the services before committing to a long-term subscription.

Kill Switch. Kill switches allow users to instantly shut down their connections if the VPN fails or the connection becomes unsecured, an important feature for individuals deploying VPN’s to combat privacy concerns. We were pleased to see both companies host this feature. But it is important to note that the ZenMate kill switch is only available on their Windows Desktop Client.

Speed. Unlimited bandwidth is important for users who like to stream or download content. Moreover, being able to browse without lag is a vital attribute of a good VPN. Both companies offer unlimited bandwidth, but NordVPN takes an edge thanks to faster browsing speeds across servers, while ZenMate has been known to periodically experience speed issues.

Zero-Log Policy. ZenMate and NordVPN ensure that they will not log your activities while you browse over their secure connections.

Security and Privacy

Security is essential to a VPN, and there are several aspects to consider. Both companies offer robust encryption though ZenMate prefers a slight emphasis on speed. The companies each offer a no-logs policy, so they cannot be forced to share user data with governments. One small concern, however, is that ZenMate is based in Germany, which is subject to EU data laws, while NordVPN is based in user-friendly Panama. Nonetheless, both companies deliver great security features including a kill switch, multiple protocols, and IP masking.

Customer Service

If you ever find yourself in trouble, having an expert available to guide you is crucial. ZenMate does not feature a live support option, though they are prompt to respond to e-forms and offer an extensive FAQ. NordVPN’s staff, on the other hand, can be reached via mail, email, live chat, or an e-form, providing timely and effective support through each channel.


ZenMate offers three payment plans, including $8.99 for 1 month, a 6-month plan for $7.49 a month, or $4.99 a month if you choose a full year subscription. This company has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a 7-day free trial to test some of their features. ZenMate does offer a free version, but keep in mind that there are limitations in regards to platforms, speed, and server locations.

NordVPN costs $11.95 for a single month, and they offer a 1-year subscription at $6.99 a month, a 2-year plan at $3.99 a month. The company also includes a free 3-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sharing the Crown

Even though both brands stood out in some areas, the end result was too close to call. Users who prefer security and customizability, as well as better access to online servers will find NordVPN an excellent alternative.  Comparatively, users who place greater emphasis on speed alongside a great way to unlock video and game streaming services, as well as a slightly more affordable price, will enjoy ZenMate’s easy-to-use interface. Check out all our VPNs on our list and let us know if you want to request another VPN comparison!

Article comments

Dobro says:

A lot of people don’t trust Germany as a location, but it shouldn’t matter as long as they don’t keep user logs?

ST Editor says:

Thank you for the thoughtful question! Germany is known for its aggressive crackdowns on user privacy and its unfriendly policies in general. However, you’re correct in thinking that if a company doesn’t keep any logs of your activity, they can’t share them even if compelled to by law. It’s important to note though that even companies that have zero-log policies do collect some user information, yet this is almost exclusively for payment processing (your name and basic details). However, this information alone wouldn’t be of much use to any government officials looking for specific evidence. In short, even if the service is based in Germany, if they have a strong no logs policy, you should still have a strong level of privacy and anonymity.

Art says:

ZenMate is adequate at best from my experience. NordVPN is definitely the superior service. I used it for a while and currently have it as my backup service. Yes, I have more than one VPN provider. Not a bad idea to have a backup. Large network and connectivity to 6 devices are the main selling points IMO. Price isn’t really that big of a difference, but pay a little more and get a better product.

Hugh Riedy says:

Wouldn’t trust a VPN from Germany. Not just because of data retention, but also due to their strict copyright policies. Hardly any YouTube content is available because of music, etc. If you’re torrenting then I wouldn’t put it past them to prosecute on the spot.

April says:

I feel like even though it’s significantly more expensive, NordVPN is the clear winner here. Speed and access to Netflix are bad enough for a VPN to have issues with, but on top of that Zenmate is in a risky location. To me, this one’s a no brainer.

Catherine A. says:

Hey I’ve been reading these comparisons and I’m confused can you explain why the number of servers is important? If I want to connect to Netflix from outside the US don’t I just need a single server that is outside the US?

ST Editor says:

That’s a really great question! Having more servers is important for a few reasons. The first is that having more options means that if one server isn’t working for a service like Netflix, which happens sometimes, you can easily switch to another one that may be working. Moreover, VPNs have thousands of customers, and if they are all connecting to the internet through a few servers, these will be under immense stress and your connection speeds will start to suffer. By offering a greater range of servers, VPNs give you more options to try, as well as better overall speeds and a network that won’t crash. Finally, having more servers means that you can also find one that is geographically closer to you, which is important when you’re trying to avoid high latency if, for example, you’re playing online games or watching your favorite show. We hope this answers your question!