There are many reasons to start using a VPN extension: you can hide your IP address, load blocked sites, and generally stay safer online.
sh.We think ZenMate might just be the best the VPN extension in the Chrome Web Store. The interface is simple and straightforward, just like you would expect from an extension with the word ZEN in it. Even with the free version you can change the location you appear to come from.
- Installation is easy and fast.
- Change the location you appear to surf from with one click.
- Design is beautiful.
- Based in the European Union.
- Speed is capped in the free version.
- No logs.
There are many VPN providers out there, and not all of them inspire trust the way ZenMate does. It’s clear from their website that this isn’t a one-man operation. It’s also clear that their mission is to make it easy and safe for everyone (and their Mother) to surf online. This is commendable, even though it might just be a matter of marketing. Since they also offer clear pricing plans, and an affiliate program (which we didn’t apply for) it looks like they’ve got their act together. This wouldn’t be sustainable without offering a great product that millions of people around the world rely upon.
As always: once you decide to use a VPN, you hand over your data from your provider to a third party. They better protect your data with their life! How can you be sure that they do just that? This is a matter of faith, unfortunately.
Other drawbacks are the gentle reminders to upgrade to their paid plan, while on Free. It’s usually not more than a single click, but it gets annoying.
- Basic: free to use. Four locations, no logs, speed cap of 2MB/s
- Unlimited: starting from $2,05 per month (2 year contract).
You can find more information on their pricing page.
Alternatives to ZenMate
If you’re looking for an alternative to ZenMate, there are many options. None of them are as versatile and powerful, but they’re still worth your attention. This is the list we’ve tried ourselves:
- TouchVPN (this appears to be the most widely used VPN extension, but the reference site doesn’t lead to an active site. It doesn’t inspire trust at all).
- Hotspot Shield VPN (this is the free version of their VPN. It offers much the same functionality of ZenMate, but more cluttered).
- ExpressVPN (more expensive than ZenMate, but marketed aggressively, based in the BVI).
You’ll find more options with reviews on this site: TechRadar.
When looking for an extension to shield your traffic destinations, you can’t go wrong with ZenMate. We consider the user experience, the business model transparency, and the team behind the product trustworthy. And even when you’re not interested in all the perks of the Ultimate subscription, this VPN will do the trick when download the odd torrent file now and then. Power Users better for fork over some money, but even this amount doesn’t seem unreasonable.