VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a technology that allows you access Internet as if you were connecting from a different point in the world. This is usually achieved by establishing an encrypted connection with a remote server, and tunneling all the traffic via that connection. Masking your IP with a virtual address holds many benefits. For example, your traffic won’t be filtered, and you can bypass the regional restrictions to access certain content or services, Netflix included. Any VPN service can achieve this, but they are way too complicated for a common web surfer, who just wishes to see a movie. All the difficult terms, setting and configuration process may scare off a lot of people who don’t want to fiddle around with the technology behind it. ZenVPN does a good job in making it straightforward to setup a VPN connection.
Best VPN Services of 2018
While some VPN services throw confusing configuration tabs, menus and charts at you, ZenVPN make the whole process automatic. You can start by signing up for a free account at their website, and then download the appropriate client for your device . After finishing the installation, you’ll be greeted by a simplistic window, whereupon the virtual location can be set. And that’s all. No messy configuration, no difficult terminology, no overly long settings. The software even activates itself during startup, although it has an annoying habit of opening the browser with the ZenVPN startup displayed on it. ZenVPN is the ideal first step for you into the VPN world, as it provides you a dependable service without complications.
ZenVPN’s VPN client is very user friendly, as it also has an auto detect feature. Choosing this option will set the fitting system client for your current device. Obviously, this is meant to aid people who are less adapted to these kinds of software. Interestingly, there is an extra category, called “Other” . It is meant to support users who are more tech-savvy, or want to run ZenVPN on a machine that is unlisted at the site. You can manage to get things done simply by downloading the OpenVPN source client from the indicated page, and then modify its settings with your personal configuration file you get from the ZenVPN site. The method is the same for smartphones.
ZenVPN offer four kinds of VPN protocols. OpenVPN, which is known to be the top choice for desktops, while PPTP and L2TP are recommended for mobile devices. L2TP is the slower, but it’s better suited for Apple and Android devices, while PPTP is the faster but less secure solution. IPsec might be old fashioned, but it’s still the best for site-to-site communication. Be aware that ZenVPN starts up with OpenVPN pre-set as your primary protocol, but you can change it by following the steps shown on the website, under the title “Your VPN Credentials”.
Anyone can create their own account with ZenVPN, and use it to browse and watch videos anonymously. However, this account limits your daily bandwidth to only 250MB per day, which might be insufficient for longer movies. Zen has a good list of possible locations for your virtual address. There are servers in 18 countries, with multiple ones located in the U.S. Other than the U.S., you can connect to including the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, France, and the Netherlands, with others such as Australia, South Africa, Israel, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Singapore, Chile and South Korea . The list could be bigger, but the fact that they also included Africa is nice addition. By checking the speed of data transfer on three different locations, we noticed a slight downgrade in the speed. Connecting to Germany, which was a closer location, didn’t show much impact, while reaching for farer servers in the U.S. and Hong Kong comes with some increase in the ping, and decrease on both the upload and download speed.
OS, Device Support
The standard array of devices is supported by ZenVPN. Among the popular choices you find Windows systems, Mac OS X, plus Android and iOS. The respective download client is available from the website, within the Quick Setup menu. You can choose the fitting system from a menu, and upon doing so, you’ll be offered a step-by-step tutorial where the necessary actions for the installation are explained. ZenVPN doesn’t have a separate app for mobiles, and that’s why it prompts user to the OpenVPN smartphone app, which is available in both the iTunes App Store and Google Play. The process is the same as with the desktop client: launch the app on your phone, and when it asks for a configuration file, use the one you downloaded from ZenVPN.
In case you took a liking for ZenVPN, but the limited bandwidth just isn’t enough, you can purchase a premium subscription and get things rolling. You even have the freedom to choose between the two applicable payment plans. First, there is the standard plan. It’s the more cost effective option, but your broad internet surfing ability is still restricted to 5GB per day, which could be more than enough if you don’t use torrents that much, or avoid watching HD movies.
For total freedom and unlimited data transfer, you may consider selecting the more advanced Unlimited Plan. ZenVPN is very flexible when it comes to pricing. You can choose between weekly, monthly and annual billings. Keep in mind that you’ll be charged automatically unless you cancel. The weekly fee for the Standard plan is $2.95 per week, while the monthly and annual plans costs $5.95 per month and $49.95 per year respectively. As for the Ultimate Plan, the weekly billing is $5.95, the fee for one month’s use is $9.95, while using ZenVPN for a whole year costs you $95.50 per year. A longer duration might be worth the consideration, as you earn a discount on the price. ZenVPN accepts a large number of payment methods, PayPal and Bitcoin included.
ZenVPN has a very elusive website, being laconic when it comes to sharing actual details. Although you can read some helpful tips about installing the client, there is no real FAQ section, or a longer description about the program. The company stays in the shadows, hiding their location too. If you want to get in touch with them, you can use the site’s email system. The troubleshooting also comes with a tutorial, with the possibility to attach screenshots of your problem. The site’s overall use is easy and uncomplicated, but there isn’t much room for inquiry. ZenVPN is present on both Facebook and Twitter, mainly posting reviews and announcements. Sadly, their channels have become muted for about a year.
Simplicity and convenience are the main virtues of ZenVPN. It caters to people who want to use a dependable and free VPN service without the need to dig knee-deep into the technical lingo, and spend hours to get it work. With ZenVPN, you can achieve this with three simple actions: register, download and launch. There are servers placed in 23 locations around the world, covering all continents. The service sets OpenVPN as the standard protocol, but you can easily change it to L2TP/IPsec or PPTP. The forceful simplicity is the greatest flaw, though. People, who are more used to VPN services or IT in overall, might find the features lack lusting. There isn’t any option to monitor or customize the use of ZenVPN in any way, and the daily 250MB bandwidth limit is unsuited for video streaming.
- Easy to use
- Perfect for beginners
- Forever free plan
- Uninformative website
- Lack of settings
- The free daily 250MB isn’t enough