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ZorroVPN Review & Test 2022 - Keep This in Mind Before Buying
Before plunging any deeper, I’d like to share with you an important update regarding ZorroVPN. For those planning to purchase or with an active subscription, bear in mind that ZorroVPN is closing down soon. As published under the News section on their website, they are shutting the entire project down on September 1st:
ZorroVPN is closing soon
But let’s forget that for a moment and continue with the review of this rather peculiar VPN provider — you’ll see why.
Want to stay completely off the grid?
In case you’re on the lookout for a military-grade AES-256 bit encryption VPN that you can purchase using some fairly rare online currencies (more on that in the pricing section), providing support for all major operating systems including some very obscure routers - then ZorroVPN is a great choice.
Simply put, ZorroVPN is for advanced VPN users whose main focus is staying as anonymous as possible while surfing. Even though there is no live web chat support, they do offer remote assistance using TeamViewer in case you need help with the setup process.
Speaking of setup help, you might actually need it because ZorroVPN doesn’t have a native app. Instead, you’ll need to install an OpenVPN client for the purpose of activating ZorroVPN.
However, even though they don’t have a live chat feature, their FAQ page and ‘VPN Management Page’ contain detailed info and instructions for the step-by-step installation process.
As far as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video go - don’t bother. Sorry to break it to you, but you can easily forget about unblocking these streaming sites with ZorroVPN. I tested all of them (screenshots below) and was only able to unlock Spotify, Yandex Music, ivi.ru, and Pandora. Torrenting is allowed and possible, although considerably slower than with other top-tier VPNs.
All in all, ZorroVPN offers an advanced expert-level VPN service with some hefty anonymity features like VPN+Tor, VPN chains (Double, Triple, and Quadro chain), as well as port forwarding.
ZorroVPN is under Belize jurisdiction (Network Octet Ltd. #7, New Road, Belize City Belize), and once per month, they update their ‘Warrant Canary’ in the form of a “cryptographically signed message.”
As far as their customer support is concerned, they were quite responsive over the week, not so much on the weekends though. Also, ZorroVPN doesn't offer a free trial, only a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
Great for remaining completely under the radar. ZorroVPN boasts advanced-level encryption and some hefty anonymity properties. Features like the VPN chain (MultiHop), Tor over VPN, AES-256 strong encryption and 4096-bit RSA authentication keys, and port-forwarding capabilities are probably the main selling points of this heavy-duty VPN. Plus, as indicated on their features page - ZorroVPN keeps no logs. Read more about its impressive anonymity features here.
On the expensive side. In comparison to some other top-tier VPN providers and their capabilities, ZorroVPN is a slightly expensive VPN provider. Take a look at the pricing chart.
Supports all major OS and some very rare routers - Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, Android, and even FOSS router firmware. Check out the full list here.
Fast enough for gaming. I managed to play Overwatch with a latency of maximum up to 90 and 260 MS (UK and US servers, respectively), maintaining a constant connection. Check out my gaming results here.
Not so great for torrenting and streaming. I used BitTorrent for torrenting, and the download speed was rather slow. Also, if you were hoping to unblock Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, or Netflix - look somewhere else. Find details on streaming here.
Slightly complex setup process. Because ZorroVPN does not have its own native platform, you need to download an OpenVPN client like Viscosity or OpenGUI to be able to use it, which makes the setup slightly more complicated. Also, no live chat support. However, they do offer remote assistance using TeamViewer. Take a closer look at the Set-Up & Installation process here.
If you are looking for a VPN for streaming purposes solely, you could probably do much better. Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video are all notoriously good at banning VPNs and proxies, but still, some top-tier VPNs are powerful enough to bypass the Netflix and Hulu block. Not Zorro, though.
Unblocked: Pandora, Yandex Music, ivi.ru, and Spotify
I did, however, manage to successfully unblock Pandora, ivi.ru, Yandex Music as well as Spotify using Chicago-based and New York-based servers.
If you are looking for a VPN for streaming purposes solely, you could probably do much better. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Videos are all notoriously good at banning VPNs and proxies.
Blocked By: Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video
Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Videos were all blocked from all US servers. This is what happened when I tried accessing Hulu from any of the US-based servers:
I wasn’t able to unblock Hulu with ZorroVPN
Simply put, none of the servers in the US allowed me to stream Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video. This is not a surprise as all three platforms have very strong VPN blocks, and most VPNs don’t work here and result in this anonymous proxy tool error message. Only a few VPNs are able to bypass the Hulu VPN ban, such as ExpressVPN.
Speeds — Not Great, Not Terrible
As far as speed goes, it is not great, not terrible for a VPN this size and popularity, although one might expect more in comparison to other VPNs with a similar price tag.
Hong Kong, Central District
São Paulo, BR
On their FAQ page, ZorroVPN says the speed is typically decreased by 10-20%; let’s see if this holds up. I tested the speed using speedtest.net, as suggested on their website as well.
For the purpose of this review, I tested all servers, the baseline connection from my location in Vienna being 152 Mbps.
As far as other EU servers are concerned, I tested the one in Germany (great speed), the UK (crashed), Sweden (satisfactory, but could be better), Spain (not impressed). Honestly, I expected better speed performance, at least from the servers based in Europe.
Most of ZorroVPN’s servers are fast enough to use
The London server wasn’t working for me at all. My connection crashed whenever I tried connecting to the London server; as soon as I disconnected, it was re-established.
On average, speed decreased much more than 10-20%, and even some servers in Europe were practically 80% slower than my baseline. The London-based server was not working at all for me at the time. I tried multiple times, and it crashed every time, even though this was not indicated on the real-time server network status.
Are ZorroVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough For Gaming? Yes
I successfully played an entire match of Overwatch (and even won both) while connected to two different servers using ZorroVPN and Viscosity on my Windows computer.
Manchester, UK server, latency 95 MS (acceptable for Overwatch, circa 50-70 MS is my usual latency)
New York, US server, latency was consistent circa 230 MS, which is significantly slower but still playable and not bad considering the server distance. The most important thing is I didn’t lag, and even though the ping was about four times the usual, the connection was stable throughout the game.
We even managed to defend the point even though the latency was around 250 MS (quick Play though).
Server Network — Impressed by the Number of Servers and the Amount of Info Available Real-Time On Each
ZorroVPN boasts 80 servers located in what seems like 40 countries (and counting) — as indicated on their orders page:
The list is as follows:
ZorroVPN also features the real-time network status of all of its servers, located in 40 countries listed on their orders page (‘and other’).
I also wanted to check if they used fictitious locations and tested some of their servers using ping.pe, and every single location proved to be legit. For example, while connected to the German server in Frankfurt, my location was displayed as the following:
I detected no fake locations
Security — Anonymity Explained
ZorroVPN.com offers serious security and anonymity features, living up to their motto, “Anonymity on the internet.” With their Quadro Chain VPN, this provider truly excels in this field, making sure you truly remain undetectable.
What sets ZorroVPN apart from its competition is its military-grade encryption (AES-256 strong encryption) as well as DoubleVPN, TripleVPN, and QuadroVPN.
This essentially means they use a MultiHop VPN chain to encrypt your connection across two or more servers (in Zorro’s case, up to 4 in a chain - hence Quadro) before allowing your connection to the regular internet.
Other hefty features include transparent access to .onion & .bit resources, VPN + Tor, and 4096-bit RSA authentication keys.
ZorroVPN also allows for port forwarding, owning DNS, and full access to the Internet, P2P, VoIP, and Torrent.
Needless to say, using a VPN with Tor gives you an added layer of security by encrypting your entire traffic and hiding it even from your ISP.
There are no speed or traffic limits. As far as DNS leak goes, on their VPN Management Page, they go into details on how to prevent DNS leaks for each OS separately.
Viscosity (which I used) users can simply enjoy the built-in solution:
By opting for the “Full DNS” mode on the Networking tab, you can prevent the DNS leak
Privacy — Using ZorroVPN You’re as Private As One Can Be
ZorroVPN does not keep logs, as briefly indicated on the website, although they did not go into details regarding this. Since these claims haven’t been exactly verified - we simply have to trust them on this one.
ZorroVPN is a service provided professional solutions in the area of anonymity, privacy and security.
We make all efforts to provide a best uptime for VPN servers. We guarantee a privacy of user's information and it's protection from third parties. We guarantee no logging any user's activity. We guarantee to provide a courteous, helpful and professional support.
As of 2017, the service is operated under the jurisdiction of Belize. As a rule, companies registered in Belize enjoy a favorable policy both in terms of taxation and information protection, which allows for higher levels of privacy and customer confidentiality.
Once per month, ZorroVPN publishes a ‘Warrant Canary’ in the form of a “cryptographically signed message.”
Quoting the current canary:
“Once per month ZorroVPN will publish a 'warrant canary' in the form of a cryptographically signed message containing the following: - A declaration that, up to that point, ZorroVPN has no direct or indirect knowledge of any backdoors, or potential backdoors. - Headlines from a major news source demonstrating that the update could not have been created before that date.
Torrenting — Allowed, Slow but Steady
Even though it was slow, torrenting was possible even from the US servers.
Torrenting and P2P sharing are allowed. Using BitTorrent, I managed to download some files while connected to the NY server. Download was rather slow, but considering the location of the server, I wasn’t that surprised.
Does ZorroVPN Work in China? No, Most Likely Not
Since there was no way for me to check whether ZorroVPN would work in China or not, I reached out to their customer support (and got a reply in just 2 hours), telling me that ZorroVPN most likely “would not work in China.”
ZorroVPN does not work in China
Simultaneous Device Connections — Limited to 5 Devices at a Time
Just like ExpressVPN, with a single subscription, ZorroVPN allows you to connect up to 5 devices at once regardless of platform (including virtual machines). Honestly, it worked quite well for me. I tested it using my Macbook Pro, Windows laptop, and my iPad. The connections were a little bit slower though, and I suspect if I had a slower baseline connection it might have perhaps even crashed.
Device Compatibility — All Major Operating Systems (and Much More)
It supports Windows, iOS, Linux, Android, and even FOSS router firmware, which is quite rare.
ZorroVPN does not have a native app, which means you need to download and install one of the open VPN clients (third-party apps) to be able to use it.
As far as Windows goes, you can use either OpenVPN GUI (an open-source client that is built-in to the official distribution of OpenVPN for Windows) or Viscosity.
In their detailed instructions, they also explain how to enable VPN-only access to the Net with Windows Firewall and how to activate the kill switch to prevent a DNS leak, both for OpenVPN GUI and Viscosity. For Viscosity, this was wonderfully straightforward.
I set ZorroVPN up using Viscosity
You simply need to mark ‘Full DNS mode’ on the Networking card.
As for OS X, you can choose between Tunnelblick, Viscosity as well as built-in firewall managers.
Similarly, as with Windows, network connections in OS X will be safe only when the VPN is up (kill switch). This can also be done with the PF firewall (available since OS X Lion), and once again, they also give you detailed instructions on how to prevent a DNS leak.
Regarding the GNU/Linux system, you can connect to ZorroVPN using Network Manager, the command line, and enabling VPN-only access to the net with NetBlocker.
Android users, on the other hand, can use OpenVPN for Android using OpenVPN Connect.
As for iOS users on iPad or iPhone, you can also use OpenVPN Connect, which worked quite well for me.
They also provide you with some extra information on how to prevent real IP address leakage over WebRTC.
ZorroVPN also provides a detailed installation process on how to connect using routers with Tomato firmware, routers with DD-WRT firmware, and even routers with AsusWRT firmware, which is quite rare.
I used mostly Viscosity (and highly recommend it) as it proved to be super simple to install and use, both for my Macbook Pro and Windows laptop.
Installation & Apps
Set-Up & Installation — Even Though Zorrovpn Has No Native Platform, the Setup Went Smoothly Using Viscosity
To get ZorroVPN up and running, you need to go to the ‘VPN Management Page’ — but they will also mention this in the order confirmation email.
First, you have to download the configuration file and then import it and connect using the OpenVPN client of your choice (just by clicking at the lock sign, you’ll see your connections). You can download the server files one by one or all at once.
When you click on Advanced Settings, you can also choose between different connection configuration settings, connection ports, and packet sizes, which is one of the features that sets ZorroVPN apart.
You can choose between TCP and UDP
Second, you need to download and install an OpenVPN (I used Viscosity), then import the connections manually (server configuration files) to be able to connect to the individual servers.
Even though the set-up and installation proved to be a little more complicated than with some other VPNs (mainly because ZorroVPN does not have a native platform), the whole set-up and installation process went extremely smoothly and straightforward for me using Viscosity - both for Windows and for Mac OS. You simply go to sparklabs.com, download Viscosity (30-day trial included), and follow the instructions from their website from there.
Viscosity will be visible next to your internet connection icon. By clicking on it you can see which servers you are currently connected to, import new ones as well as check the upload and download speed of your current connections.
I used Viscosity to run ZorroVPN
As a side note, make sure you check for updates for Viscosity (they reminded me to update the app so it would work better).
Also, ZorroVPN offers very detailed step-by-step installation instructions with screenshots on their website. In case you still need help to get the VPN up and running, they also offer remote TeamViewer assistance.
As for the pricing, on their ‘Order Page’ (first out of three pages in total when you land on their homepage), you can find the payment options, as well as the list of full features mentioned above.
(The thing that sometimes strikes me is when they offer you a drop-down menu with only one option available. That was the case here with their Master Plan - which actually is the only one.)
As far as the payment options go, you have a variety of options, which is not so often with other providers. Aside from the standard options using MasterCard, PayPal, Bitcoin to more rare currencies like Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Monero, Ethereum, etc.
The current, full list of payment options offered is as follows:
If you want to remain anonymous, probably the best way would be to use a cryptocurrency of your choice from a different email account.
ZorroVPN doesn’t offer a free trial. As far as a money-back guarantee goes, you can ask for a refund within 7 days of your purchase.
That does sound a little less generous, compared to other providers that offer much more in this field.
Reliability & Support
As far as Customer Support is concerned, you can contact them using email and IMs, but also through remote assistance. Even though they don’t have a live chat, they do offer assistance using TeamViewer to help you with the setup, installation, and configuration. They also have a “Problem Solving” page under their Frequently Asked Questions section.
You can also find them on Twitter, but of course, they note that requests by email have the highest priority. Language support is available in English and Russian.
I contacted their support service and got a reply the next day (it was a Sunday, though) saying that FasterPay is the only way and that the best thing would be to pay using a Cryptocurrency method.
The second time I contacted them was a business day, and I got a reply in a little more than 2 hours.
When I asked for a refund, I mentioned my reasons (as stated in their ‘Refund Policy’), and there were no issues either. I sent an email requesting a refund around 7 PM and got this reply tomorrow around 9 AM:
Even ZorroVPN has no free trial, you can ask for a refund within the first week
Depending on your needs and expectations, ZorroVPN can definitely serve its purpose. Despite the price tag, slow torrenting, and inability to unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos, ZorroVPN definitely has its perks.
Even though it lacks many typical VPN features you might expect for $15 per month, it makes up for it in other fields like QuadroVPN, VPN+Tor, 4096-bit RSA authentication keys
and virtually impenetrable AES-256 strong encryption, therefore providing ultimate anonymity.
If your main concern is raising your privacy level - ZorroVPN might actually be the perfect VPN for you (shame it’s shutting down on September 1st, though).
VPN capabilities are enhanced by Tor relays
Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS, Linux, and Router are supported