ExpressVPN vs ZenMate Comparison

ExpressVPN vs ZenMate: Speed, Streaming & Torrenting Comparison in 2021

If you are looking for an ExpressVPN vs ZenMate comparison then you’ve come to the right place.

While both ExpressVPN and ZenMate are great VPNs for streaming, they perform very differently in other aspects like speeds and torrenting support.

In this article we are going to compare ZenMate with ExpressVPN in order to establish the better VPN.

We’ll compare them along the lines of their internet speeds, ability to unblock geo restricted content on platforms like Netflix, as well as working in internet restricted countries like China.

I hope that by the end of this comparison of these two VPNs, you’ll be able to decide which is the better VPN for your needs.

So let’s get started.


ExpressVPN is a VPN company located in the British Virgin Islands that provides secure and anonymous access to the internet.

Being founded in the year 2009, it is a pretty old company and has acquired more than 100 million downloads of their app on the Google Play Store.

Check out my detailed review of ExpressVPN.

ZenMate, just like ExpressVPN, is a VPN service provider that enables you to access the internet securely and at very high speeds.

It is, however, located in Germany… and we’ll discuss later on why this could actually be a disadvantage.

Here is a complete review of ZenMate.

Server Collection

How does ExpressVPN compare with ZenMate in terms of their total server collection?

If a VPN has ton of servers, it gives you more options when looking for a server to connect to. It also means that you can very easily switch servers if you are not impressed with the speeds that you find on one particular server.

ExpressVPN has a collection of 3,000 servers that are spread out into 94 different countries at the time of writing this ExpressVPN vs ZenMate comparison.

ZenMate, on the flip side, has a total of 3,600 VPN servers that are located in 74 different countries.

So as you can see, even though ExpressVPN has their servers present in more countries than ZenMate, ZenMate actually has more servers in general.

If you are looking for a VPN that covers a wider geographical region, then I recommend ExpressVPN over ZenMate.


How does ZenMate compare with ExpressVPN when it comes to their ability to unblock content on popular entertainment platforms like Netflix?

If you are a fun of streaming videos online, then you definitely want to go for a VPN that will unblock the most number of streaming platforms.

However, not all VPNs can do this job.

Most of these premium video streaming platforms restrict content to certain geographical regions.

This means that in order for you to access content that is not in your current location, you need to make it look like you are based in the particular region or country whose content you want to access.

ExpressVPN is able to unblock different libraries of Netflix using their servers.

Using this VPN, you’ll be able to unblock Netflix libraries in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, Brazil and much more.

All you need to do is connect to any of the servers that is based in any of these countries and then launch your Netflix streaming application.

In addition to Netflix, ExpressVPN is also able to unblock Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go among others.

Is is actually one of the best VPNs for streaming.

ZenMate, just like ExpressVPN, has great streaming support.

However, you’ll only be able to unblock streaming platforms that are based in the United States. That means that with ZenMate, you can only unblock Netflix in the US.

Using their US based servers, you’ll also be able to stream content on Amazon Prime and Hulu…. their UK servers also work with BBC iPlayer.

The good thing is that their streaming servers are labelled, so you just search for the platform whose content you want to stream, choose the appropriate server in your country of choice and then connect and stream.

That being said, if you want a VPN that will unblock more streaming platforms, then I recommend ExpressVPN.

In fact, since it can unblock various Netflix libraries, ExpressVPN is actually one of the best VPNs for Netflix in 2021.


When it comes to their connection speeds, I was very surprised.

First of all, you need a fast VPN if you want to have a great streaming experience.

You don’t have to put up with a slow VPN just because they say that it’s okay for a VPN to cause drops in your internet speeds.

That being said, I tested the speeds of these two VPNs by connecting to their servers based in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. I then used the website to measure the upload and download speeds before and after connecting to their servers.

And this is what I found out.

ExpressVPN had an average download speed that was 87% of my initial connection speeds.

This gives it a speed rating of 4.4/5 stars which is among the best speed ratings.

ZenMate performed even better with the speeds tests.

On average, ZenMate had download speeds that were 100% of before download speeds…. it means that ZenMate is more likely to maintain your speeds before connecting to their servers.

It is quite surprising that ZenMate would have faster servers than ExpressVPN… that’s why my speed tests revealed.

So if you are looking for a VPN that is damn fast, then ZenMate clearly beats ExpressVPN.


What about when it comes to torrenting…

Which VPN will enable you to download torrent files securely and anonymously, between ExpressVPN and ZenMate?

Don’t download torrent files with a VPN that takes your privacy online for granted.

With that I mean, when it comes to P2P files sharing don’t use a VPN that keep logs of your internet activities like DNS queries or even IP address.

This is because if the torrenting activities can be traced back to you, you can easily get on the wrong side of the law if you were downloading copyrighted material.

ExpressVPN has excellent support for torrenting activities on all their servers.

It means that if you want to download a torrent file, all you need to do is launch your torrenting client as all their servers are optimized for P2P file sharing.

And since they also don’t keep personal identifiable logs, your torrenting history is only know to you.

ZenMate also supports torrenting but only if you connect to their P2P optimized servers.

So you first need to locate the dedicated torrenting servers and connect to them before you start torrenting… or your traffic will be blocked or throttled.

However, this shouldn’t be a problem as their P2P servers are labelled.

If you are looking for a VPN that is great for torrenting then clearly, ExpressVPN is better prepared.

Privacy Policy

One of the main reasons that people purchase VPNs is to be able to keep their identity online anonymous.

A VPN will achieve this by first ensuring that your internet traffic is completely invisible to your ISP and government.

Then it is also supposed to ensure that there are no logs of your internet activities on their servers… basically, they should know as little about you as possible.

But most VPNs lie about this.

So you have to read through their privacy policies to ensure that you know what kind of logs they keep and what they don’t.

Before writing this ZenMate vs ExpressVPN comparison, I read through their privacy policies to establish if there was more than meets the eye.

And here is what I established.

ExpressVPN, first of all, is located in the BVI which is a privacy-friendly country to base a VPN company… for two reasons.

The BVI is not a founding member of the 14 countries surveillance alliance that spy on their citizens and then share their personal information.

Again, this country does not have any mandatory data retention laws that obligate VPN companies to keep activity logs of their users. In addition to that, ExpressVPN also states in their privacy policy that they do not keep logs of your IP address or DNS queries.

Even though they do keep logs of your server connection times, bandwidth usage and location, an independent audit established that this information is kept in an anonymized format.

So it cannot be used to identify you or link you to certain activities on their servers.

ZenMate, on the other hand, is based in Germany which is a founding member of the 14 eyes surveillance alliance of countries.

Even though Germany does not have mandatory data retention laws, I consider being based in a 14 eyes country a major con to privacy.

In addition to that, ZenMate is not very clear about what kind of logs they keep and what they don’t.

This even makes me more curious about the kind of logs they could be keeping.

So if you want a VPN that will deliver true privacy online, and that has been proven to do so, then I strongly recommend ExpressVPN.

Encryption and Data Protection

Data encryption ensures that your data is safe while being transmitted.

So even if a hacker hijacks your packets as they travel across your network, they won’t be able to decrypt and see the actual information.

What encryption technologies do ExpressVPN and ZenMate use?

In order to ensure that your data is 100% secure, both ExpressVPN and ZenMate use AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt your data before being transported over the network.

It is a tamper-proof military-grade encryption algorithm that is also used by militaries and government agencies to encrypt sensitive classified information.

In addition that, VPNs also need to use certain connection protocols to ensure that your VPN app securely communicates with the VPN server.

ExpressVPN supports both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols at the time of writing this comparison.

ZenMate, on the other hand, also supports OpenVPN, IKEv2 and L2TP protocols.

Both of these VPNs support secure protocols that guarantee the security of your personal information online.

Ad Blocker

An ad blocker will enable you to block ads on the websites that you visit.

This means that you can have an ad-free browsing experience as well as stop the tracking scripts that these ad networks install in your browser from tracking you around the web.

Some ad blockers also have malware blockers that protect your machine from being infected whenever you accidentally visit a known malware infected website.

That being said, unfortunately, neither ExpressVPN nor ZenMate has an ad blocker.

So if you want a VPN that can enable you to enjoy an ad-free browsing experience, then you should look elsewhere. Here is a list of the best VPNs for adblocking.

Dedicated IPs

Most VPNs will assign you a shared IP address that often changes.

But what if you want to be able to access the internet using the same IP address each time? Then you need to connect to a dedicated IP address that is only used by you and so does not change.

However, not all VPNs support dedicated IP address.

First, dedicated IPs beat the whole point of being anonymous online since they are tied to your account and can only be used by you.

This means that all activities on these servers can be traced back to you.

But there are instances when you need a dedicated IP address… like when you want to securely access your home security camera feed remotely.

Unfortunately, neither ExpressVPN nor ZenMate support dedicated IPs.

If you are looking for a VPN that can provide you with a dedicated IP address then why not check out my other article on the best VPNs for dedicated IPs?

Kill Switch

A kill switch will block internet access for your entire device whenever you disconnect from the VPN server.

This ensures that your real IP address is not leaked if an app on your device tries to access the internet even after you disconnect from the VPN server.

ExpressVPN and ZenMate both have automatic internet kill switches that will protect your IP at all times.

Once turned on, it will ensure that you only access the internet when it is secure to do so.

You particularly want to ensure that your internet kill switch is turned on when you are running a torrent client on the background.

You see…  most people get caught when you they let down their guards, even for a few seconds..

Those few seconds when your torrenting app downloads continue without your VPN connection is all it takes to expose your real IP address and get you in trouble.

Split Tunnelling

If you want to split your internet traffic into two channels then you need a split tunnel.

With a VPN split tunnel, you’ll be able to channel some of your traffic through your encrypted VPN tunnel while the other traffic goes through your ISP.

You need something like this for example if you have an app that runs routine backups on the background and you don’t want this app slowed down by the speed drops caused by your VPN connection.

ExpressVPN has a split tunnel that enables you to whitelist certain applications on your device.

Once whitelisted, these apps are exempted from having their traffic encrypted and channelled through your VPN tunnel. While it means that traffic on these whitelisted apps is not encrypted anymore, it helps you remedy any problems that you might encounter when connecting to the internet from these apps on a VPN.

ZenMate, on the other hand, does not have any split tunneling support at the time I was writing this ZenMate vs ExpressVPN comparison.

So once your VPN is turned on, all your traffic goes through your VPN tunnel… nothing else you can do about it.

If you are looking for a VPN with split tunnelling, then ExpressVPN is actually one of the best VPNs for split tunnelling that I have reviewed on this website.

Works in China?

Are you looking for a VPN that you can carry with you to China someday?

Because China is a popular travel destination, most people would like to be able to have continued access to the internet even when in China.

But why should that be a concern?

Well, it’s because in this country, internet access is tightly controlled and certain websites are blocked. Technically, the government decides what is good for you and what is not.

Unfortunately, this means that popular websites like Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube that the government does not like, are blocked.

You need a VPN that can bypass the deep packet inspection of the great firewall of China to be able to access these sites in China.

For some people, life is not possible without Google… I’m not saying I’m one of them.

ExpressVPN, fortunately, is able to make its traffic look like normal HTTPS traffic and bypass the great firewall of China. ZenMate, on the other hand, is completely blocked in China. So you can’t use it to access the internet while in China.

Clearly, ExpressVPN is the clear winner here if you are looking for a VPN that works in China.


As we near the end of this ZenMate vs ExpressVPN comparison, let’s look at their different pricing options to establish the cheaper one.

Both ExpressVPN and ZenMate will offer you better discounts if you opt for their longest plans.

ExpressVPN has their longest plan being the 1 year plan that will set you back $ 8.32/month.

ZenMate, on the other hand, has a 3 years plan that only costs $ 1.64/month, billable upfront.

As you can see, there a lot of savings to be had with ZenMate as compared to ExpressVPN. So if you are looking for a vpn that is cheap and pocket friendly to the budget buyer, then I recommend ZenMate over ExpressVPN.

Payment Options

What payment options do you have when purchasing either ExpressVPN or ZenMate?

The more payment options any of these VPNs support the better… I personal lookout for VPNs that support anonymous payment methods like Bitcoins and gift cards.

These payment methods do not require your billing address.

So they enable you to give as little information about yourself as possible… in fact, you could sign up with a disposable email address and pay with some Bitcoins.

ExpressVPN, luckily, accepts payments through credit cards, PayPal as well as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

ZenMate on the other hand, only accepts credit card payments.

This just confirms that ZenMate is not really interested in making you a ghost online… they only accept payment methods that require you to give a billing address, which is a personal identifiable information.

In Conclusion

That’s it with this ZenMate vs ExpressVPN comparison in 2021. I hope that this comparison has helped you learn a thing or two about these two vpns.

Are you now ready to make a choice of the best VPN for your needs?

If you are keen on privacy then you shouldn’t be anywhere close to ZenMate… run.

That being said, it is a great VPN if you want a cheap VPN for Netflix that is also super fast.

However, if privacy is your primary concern and are willing to spend more, then I recommend ExpressVPN as it will give you the best streaming capabilities, torrenting support as well as privacy and anonymity online.

Have you used any of these vpns before?

Please share your experience in the comments below.

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