We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Zenmate VPN vs Hotspot Shield 2024

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    Note: ZenMate has merged with CyberGhost, and will no longer operate independently. Its apps will still be available until 1 May 2023, after which its users will need to switch over to CyberGhost’s apps. The comparison below includes information about ZenMate's features and performance, so click here to see how Hotspot Shield compares to CyberGhost.

    Best alternative to Hotspot Shield

    Our Score: 9.7

    Our testing of hundreds of VPNs showed that CyberGhost stands out for its commitment to privacy and powerful VPN apps. Plus, its streaming, gaming, and torrenting-optimized servers come in really handy to reliably partake in your favorite online activities.

    Hotspot Shield and ZenMate are well-respected VPN service providers that are popular for their strong security features. Both VPNs use strong 256-bit encryption and support multiple encryption protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2. You can expect additional security measures like tracking and Wi-Fi protection with either of these providers.

    Furthermore, both VPNs offer apps that are easy to install and set up on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. They also both feature user-friendly interfaces that VPN newbies can learn quickly. Both Hotspot Shield and ZenMate also have restrictions on P2P file-sharing activities, including torrenting, on their networks.

    While Hotspot Shield provides access to over 1,800 servers in 80 countries, ZenMate maintains a smaller network of 4700 servers in around 81 countries. In addition, Hotspot Shield has a 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas ZenMate only offers a 7-day refund policy.

    NOTE: This comparison is for the paid Hotspot Shield plan, Hotspot Shield Elite.

    Our Score

    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 9.4/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.2/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.8/10
    Ease of Use 9.2/10
    Reliability & Support 9.4/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Matthew Amos
    Matthew Amos

    Senior Editor

    Our Score: 9.1/10

    ZenMate has been a popular VPN for 10+ years, especially with its free browser extensions. It offers low prices and many appealing features like streaming servers and fast speeds. But none of this matters if it can’t keep you safe, so I decided to find out if it really can. After my tests, I can say ZenMate is a safe VPN offering great value. It works great for streaming, has fast speeds at cl...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    M
    Mattew
    10.0/10
    Good experience

    No matter your location, using a VPN is important for your online security. I got ZenMate for exactly ... that and I am satisfied with it, especially when it constantly improves its service. Customer support helped me so much and I just wanted to say that I've asked for their help a few times. And every time the support was respectful and fast in their response time. Keep it up!More

    Latest negative user review
    K
    Kaleo
    4.0/10
    Buggy and Unreliable

    Good when it works, with a limited number of available servers. However, 1. Does not always connect ... to the fastest server. 2. On the Mac, it does not automatically connect to a server. 3. On iOS, it does connect automatically BUT does not do so consistently. 4. The Mac app has been buggy and not connecting at all, FOR MONTHS. They still have not fixed it.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Lawrence Wachira
    Lawrence Wachira

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.1/10

    Hotspot Shield is a VPN that’s undergone many changes recently. After dealing with several controversies, it overhauled its logging policy and is under new management. So, has it gotten better? I tested everything it offers to see if HSS is safe. I fully explored its logging policy and found out if its security features can prevent data leaks. I also tested its speeds, customer support, stre...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    G
    George
    8.0/10
    Great Interface, easy to use and smooth/zippy.

    It just feels well put together. Turns on automatically, which is no bad thing (if you don't like that... , turn the damn thing off with a click). The speed is consistently above average, and on a couple of inadvertent occasions, the Kill Switch operated as it should. I especially like the GUI, which is really simple, solid, yet has a refined/slick feel - far superior to a few I've tried but won't name here. I see no issues with it, although the security issues pointed out in the article are a bit alarming. I'm using the 'Business' version. Nice VPN, IMO.More

    Latest negative user review
    A
    Alt
    2.0/10
    Blocked by Real-Debrid on just about every us city and nearly all countries

    Easy to connect speed pretty good multiple platforms not great from streaming.. which is where you nee... d the speed. Nord vpn and Express are both cooperative providers with real-debrid meaning no connection problems. Even if you do find a server that connects frequently this is blocked during streaming.More

    Pricing

    Starting price $1.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
    Starting price $2.99/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 45 Days
    Number of devices per license 5 devices

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    ZenMate provides a better overall service, with numerous security features and user-friendly apps for all major operating systems and fast P2P downloads. Hotspot Shield isn’t far behind with fast speeds, a larger server array, a better refund policy, and a more reliable bypassing of tough geoblocks worldwide.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    While neither are the most torrenting-friendly VPNs, and both have some questionable privacy policies, you can still torrent using either ZenMate or Hotspot Shield. With neither standing out, ZenMate wins thanks to its larger server network. This gives you a better chance of finding a faster, lower latency server near you. As it’s merging with CyberGhost, users that switch over will enjoy P2P-optimized servers as well.

    Best VPN for Windows

    Hotspot Shield offers a more user-friendly app for Windows that includes features like its unique Hydra technology, split tunneling, and an automatic kill switch. ZenMate, on the other hand, also offers a dedicated app for Windows that features strong encryption, but no split tunneling.

    Best VPN for Android

    Thanks to ZenMate’s minimalist and casual user interface that’s perfect for a busy lifestyle, it edges the win for Android users. Hotspot Shield has a very robust Android app, with unique security tools.

    Best VPN for Mac

    Hotspot Shield’s macOS app is easy to set up and beautifully designed. It includes strong encryption and supports multiple VPN protocols, including IKEv2 and its proprietary Hydra protocol. ZenMate’s macOS app only offers IKEv2.

    Best VPN for iOS

    With features like malware protection, 1Password, and Identity Guard, along with value-added features like its free version and a 45-day money-back guarantee, Hotspot Shield provides a better service for iOS device users. ZenMate’s iOS app also features a user-friendly interface but doesn't have many unique options.

    Best VPN for USA

    With the more extensive server network (both in the US and globally), this round goes to ZenMate. It’s also not located in the US itself, although it is based in Germany, which is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance. Either way, both work well for accessing and buffer-free streaming of US content.

    The Bottom Line

    If you’re not concerned about its speed, bandwidth, and access limitations, Hotspot Shield’s free version might be sufficient for you. But if you go premium, we’d stick to ZenMate. Before being acquired by CyberGhost, ZenMate used to be a reliable mid-tier VPN provider with a dedicated following base. Compared to Hostpot Shield, it offered impressive torrenting capabilities and a much larger server network that caters to users all over the world. For all their desirable features, however, neither VPN competes well against a top VPN provider like CyberGhost for overall performance. So, the fact that ZenMate is ceasing operations and merging with CyberGhost is a good thing for its users. With CyberGhost, users will get access to streaming, gaming, and torrenting-optimized servers, a network of 11,683 servers in 100 countries, plus some of the most secure and customizable VPN apps around.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is Zenmate VPN better than Hotspot Shield?

    Yes, Zenmate VPN is better overall than Hotspot Shield. It has 4700 servers in 81 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $1.99 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between Zenmate VPN and Hotspot Shield?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then Zenmate VPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is Zenmate VPN faster than Hotspot Shield?

    Yes, Zenmate VPN is faster than Hotspot Shield. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do Zenmate VPN or Hotspot Shield offer any deals?

    Both Zenmate VPN and Hotspot Shield offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Kate is a Managing Editor at vpnMentor. Kate promotes the use of VPNs as a means to achieve unhindered access to the internet, as she strongly believes in online freedom for everyone.