Is ZenMate Safe?

March 6, 2018

ZenMate is a German VPN that started out as a proxy service and gradually implemented additional security features until it became a full-blown virtual private network. Today, we’ll be exploring the security features offered by ZenMate and its ability to protect your identity and keep you safe from any malicious third-party influences. 

Is ZenMate Safe?

Logging Policy

ZenMate is based in Berlin, Germany, which is technically considered to be a pretty safe location for a VPN service (at the time, at least). However, even though German data privacy laws don’t mandate data retention, there is a data disclosure and Internet privacy war going on between the European Court of Justice and the European Union Commission. On the other hand, BND, the German surveillance agency, is quite invasive and has been known to cooperate with foreign government agencies like the NSA, for example. Not to mention that Germany is a member of the 14 Eyes surveillance treaty.

ZenMate’s privacy policy states that the company doesn’t collect or store personal data, but it also says that personal info can be collected in order to ensure that ZenMate provides its services correctly. One of the bullet points from the privacy policy states that the information is collected “when you select a certain server to use ZenMate,” which basically translates to a connection timestamp. This data paired with your IP address or your personal info can be used to mount a time correlation attack against you. 

Bottom line, even though ZenMate boasts a strict no-logging policy, the company apparently does record connection logs. Worst of all, the privacy policy is rather vague when it comes to the recorded data, which means we can only guess what type of information the company actually logs. 

Encryption

ZenMate uses OpenVPN, which is the most secure and reliable connection protocol at the moment. It encrypts your traffic via AES-256 CGM cipher paired with RSA-4096 handshake and HMAC SHA-384 data authentication. It features ECDHE-2048 Perfect Forward Secrecy as well.

This is an unbreakable security configuration, which means nobody will be able to get a hold of your online traffic and use it against you. 

P2P

ZenMate allows unlimited P2P filesharing, which is not exactly recommended due to the company’s strict policy against downloading copyrighted content. ZenGuard doesn’t regularly monitor your activity, but it definitely can, as we already mentioned. If it catches you downloading illegal content, your account will most likely be suspended or even deleted. 

DNS Leaks

ZenMate provides its users with excellent protection against DNS leaks and even features a network of proprietary DNS servers. The software also offers protection against tracking and malware attacks.