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Zenmate VPN vs Hotspot Shield 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    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. 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 prohibit P2P file-sharing activities, including torrenting, on their networks. While Hotspot Shield provides access to over 2,500 servers in 25+ countries, ZenMate maintains a smaller network of 300 servers in around 30 countries. In addition, Hotspot Shield has a 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas ZenMate only offers a 7-day refund policy. A more detailed analysis follows below to determine which of these providers is truly better. NOTE: This comparison is for the paid Hotspot Shield plan, Hotspot Shield Elite.


    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 8.4/10
    Ease of Use 8.2/10
    Reliability & Support 8.4/10
    Features 9.1/10
    Pricing 9.0/10
    Ease of Use 9.0/10
    Reliability & Support 8.6/10


    Review by our expert
    Author Image Magdalena Madej
    Magdalena Madej

    Cybersecurity Researcher


    ZenMate is a simple and user-friendly VPN. It will protect you at home and when using public WiFi. It has an extensive server network, with servers optimized for P2P and streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. ZenMate can lure you with its competitive prices, especially for long-term plans. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it out. There is also a business offer...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    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
    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 Kennedy Otieno
    Kennedy Otieno

    Cybersecurity Researcher


    Hotspot Shield claims its proprietary Hydra protocol makes it faster than most VPNs — but is that true? I tested HSS on my fast internet connection (it allows up to 1Gbps speeds) to discover how it does with streaming, gaming, and torrenting. Mostly, I had a seamless internet experience — watching shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video without buffering. Its 1,800 servers in 80 countries ...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    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
    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


    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

    Hotspot Shield offers faster service, a larger server array, a better refund policy, and more reliable bypassing of tough geoblocks worldwide. ZenMate also provides a decent service, however, with numerous security features and user-friendly apps for all major operating systems.

    ZenMate forbids torrenting on its entire network and would not be ideal for any P2P activity. Similarly, Hotspot Shield does not support torrenting on its servers and prohibits all forms of P2P file sharing. Therefore, this is a rare case when we really don’t have a winner for a category. Neither service would be a good choice if you’re looking for a VPN for torrenting.

    Hotspot Shield offers a very user-friendly app for Windows that includes features like its unique Catapult Hydra technology, tracking protection, and an automatic kill switch. ZenMate, on the other hand, also offers a dedicated app for Windows that features strong encryption, an ad blocker, and access to nearly 300 servers worldwide.

    With a dedicated app that includes access to a free version, along with access to over 2,500 servers with a paid subscription, Hotspot Shield has a very robust Android service. ZenMate competes well in this category, however, with a 14-day free trial and protection from tracking and malware built into its Android app.

    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 IPsec. Although ZenMate’s MacOS app offers access to a considerably smaller network, you can still expect to benefit from features like malware protection, a kill switch, and strong 256-bit encryption.

    With features like malware protection, 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch, along with value-added features like its free version and a 45-day money-back guarantee, Hotspot Shield provides a very reliable service for iOS device users. ZenMate’s iOS app also features a user-friendly interface, wi-fi protection, ad blocking, and access to all its servers right from your mobile device.

    Hotspot Shield provides a consistently reliable service for unblocking US content, including Netflix, from anywhere worldwide. It is our recommended choice especially for US streaming services, as its servers are faster on average than ZenMate’s. ZenMate also has a reliable US service for accessing geoblocked content. However, although it unblocks Netflix, many of its 70 US servers tend to be a bit slow.

    The Bottom Line

    By providing a very simple service to set up and use, Hotspot Shield wins this comparison. Its servers are also considerably faster than ZenMate’s, which makes streaming HD content far more enjoyable. Also, if you’re not concerned about its speed, bandwidth, and access limitations, Hotspot Shield’s free version might be sufficient for you. For all its desirable features, however, Hotspot Shield does not compete well against top VPN providers like NordVPN and CyberGhost for overall performance. It is a very good service that falls a little short of being great.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    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.