- Faster Connectivity: The application on an average only takes 2.74 seconds to establish a connection to the VPN. This is one of the fastest connection times in the case of VPN connectivity.
- Free Account: A Free version is also provided by which one can test the application before making the purchase.
- Fair Refund Policy: If you make the purchase and then realize that it doesn’t match with your requirements, then you can ask for the refund before seven days of purchase.
- Cheaper: The monthly price is only six dollars which is one of the cheapest deals.
- Mobile Only Plans: They have a separate plan for mobile devices which just costs two dollars.
- Poor Speed for Free Accounts: Speed is not that good for the free users as there are very few servers available for them. However, if you purchase the product, you can use forty plus server locations, and hence, speed would be more.
- Limited Platforms: The client is not available for MacOS, and no extension is added for any browser.
- No Server Sorting: They do not offer any server sorting option, and one needs to select the server automatically.
- Live Chat Missing: No live chat option is present, and the only way to contact them is by generating a ticket.
ZPN comes under the law of the United Arab Emirates which is not one of the Fourteen Eyes, and that’s one reason one can trust the application.
The application has a simple user interface which is having a few features. These features are explained under the “User Interface and Experience” section and are related to connectivity, protection, and client behavior. The simplistic design is a special attribute of ZPN.
The speed, availability of platforms, and customer support are also discussed, and suggestions are provided along with it during this review.
ZPN has a long way to go to reach the summit, but as of now its limitations can be neglected if you are looking for cheap VPN deals.
Have a look at different aspects by which the VPN is judged, and you will find if it is a perfect solution for you or not.
For the free version, very few servers are provided, and to use all the servers, you need to buy the premium account. After buying the premium account, you will be able to access all the servers they offer.
In total, forty plus server locations are provided which are present in thirty plus countries. Out of these forty plus server locations, only less than ten server locations are available for free users. This will directly affect the speed. As there are only a few servers for free users, the load would be high, and speed would be low.
If we first talk about the free users, the servers are located in France, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, The United States, Canada, and Italy. So, the free servers are only situated in North America and Europe. That’s why the free version of this application is not recommended for the users of continents other than North America and Europe.
However, if you purchase the application, you will be able to access servers located in other continents also. In Europe itself, one gets the option to connect to twenty plus server location, ten plus in the case of North America, and eight locations for Asia.
In South America, the server is located in Brazil. Similarly, the option to connect to the only Oceanian server located in Australia will get enabled with the paid account.
P2P optimized servers are also added, but not provided for the free users.
However, they can also add some sorting options according to load, distance, and latency. That will help the user to identify the perfect server for his requirement. An additional server list for streaming servers can also be added to the application.
Connection Time Analysis
|Trial No.||Time taken to establish a connection (Seconds)|
|Average Time In Seconds||2.74|
The connection time analysis provided us with astonishing results by connecting our system to the VPN in less than four seconds. It is one of the highest connection times until now, and that ensures that the application efficiently sets up a reliable connection.
Among all the trials, the highest connection time is 3.61 seconds, and the lowest one is 2.43 seconds. All the other trials are placed between these two trials which deliver a range of 1.18 seconds. This is the one the smallest ranges provided by any VPN provider.
Due to a small range, one can predict that the exact time in which the application will establish a connection to the VPN. In the ZPN’s case, one can be ensured that it will connect just after the user presses the connect button.
Also, it is connected to the server location situated in France. That shows that the ZPN’s connection time will always be high irrespective of the distance between the user’s location and the server.
In rare chances, it may go up to five seconds, but it is still acceptable as it is also not that high. The highest connection time of ZPN is lesser than the least connection time of most of the providers. So, when it comes to connectivity, ZPN gets a clean pass.
Like the other VPN providers, ZPN uses OpenVPN, and with this protocol, it is tough to get such a slower connection time due to the presence of additional security layers. However, there are a few VPN providers such as Astrill which uses a protocol which is “connectionless protocol,” but in with that protocol, high security can’t be ensured.
Bandwidth and Speed
Speed is not at all up to the mark. ZPN can’t be used for streaming purpose as the reduction noticed in the case of download speed is 70%. With such a reduction even if you have high-speed internet, the speed obtained after the connection can’t be marked acceptable.
The original download and upload speeds were 9.13 Mbps and 8.19 Mbps respectively. With such speeds, we were expecting that we will at least get a download speed of 5 Mbps and upload speed of 4 Mbps. Generally, the VPN applications are efficient enough to provide half of the original speed.
However, in the ZPN’s case, the disappointment was high and not the speed. They only provided 2.74 Mbps as download speed and 0.64 Mbps as upload speed. If you have a look at the upload speed, you will see that it cannot be used even for uploading high resultion images. It may also cause a problem while sending messages as you may end up seeing various communication errors.
The reduction in upload speed is 93%, and such a reduction is not seen while using any other VPN application before.
However, we connected our system with France’s server which was selected automatically. The distance between our location and France is more than seven thousand kilometers. Hence, high speed cannot be experienced. But even if the location is that far, it must have provided at least 40% in both the cases (download and upload).
There is server present in our own country but setting up a connection to it was not be possible as it requires premium version. Among all the limited servers provided for the free users, France’s server was provided by default. Hence, it can be concluded as the fastest one in all the options we have. So, free users can’t expect a higher speed. However, if you purchase the premium version, an acceptable speed may be provided.
Bandwidth limit of 10 GB per month is there for the free users.
The company has implemented AES 256-bit encryption, and OpenVPN is available along with it. No combination can deliver higher security than the combination of AES encryption and OpenVPN protocol.
In addition, there are various leak protection features added in the application.
One’s data is safeguarded from IPv6 leakage. Also, they have their own DNS servers which provide DNS leak protection.
The most necessary security requirement: the kill switch can also be found under general settings.
When it comes to data logging, they only keep our email ID in their databases. However, the bandwidth associated with that email is also calculated for free users as there is a limit of 10 GB. For the paid users there is no bandwidth tracking.
They share user’s data with partnered agencies which support ZPN. Other than these companies, the data is not being shared with any other third-party. But the law asks for the information, they may need to hand over all the data they may have which is definitely risky. If the government asks them to keep track of the user’s activity, they claim that they inform the user about this, and stop the service if necessary.
User Interface and Experience
The client has efficiently made a balance between simplicity and user control. Only a few, but most of the required features are added to the application. This means .
The features are divided into two categories: General and Connectivity.
Under the “General” settings, not only the client behavior features, but the protection features are also added.
When it comes to the client behavior, you get the option to choose when you wish to connect the application to the VPN, i.e., you can checkmark the option “automatically want it to connect to the VPN on Windows startup.” You can also select to reconnect it automatically if the VPN connection drops. That reduces the manual task of connecting the application every time whenever you start the system or whenever the VPN connection drops.
Below these features, there are leak protection features. You can checkmark IPv6 leak protection which will block the IPv6 data that is not supported by the application. That way, the unsupported data won’t get leaked.
Similarly, for safeguarding the information about the DNS requests, DNS leak protection is added.
The Kill switch is also added which blocks the internet traffic whenever the VPN connection goes down. In case if you are using the internet, and the security layer of the VPN tunnel goes OFF, all of your data can be exposed, similar to the standard internet traffic. At that time, hackers may easily obtain it. To avoid this, the kill switch is an important implementation.
Under the connection settings, you can choose the gateway: API or Google. Generally, API is recommended, but if you aren’t able to establish a consistent connection, you can use the other option. However, it is a third-party tool, and one should avoid using it whenever possible.
Other than OpenVPN protocol, they use two other protocols: AntiDPI, which is the by default protocol, and the SSL VPN. If user is concerned about security along with privacy, then OpenVPN must be used every time as it provides security as well as an acceptable speed.
With OpenVPN, if the connection isn’t consistent, then you can switch between TCP and UDP. Also, availability of port selection is a relief as it allows you to change the protocol and port combination to get a consistent connection finally.
Other than these features, nothing else is added, not even server sorting options. But they have marked file sharing servers by adding “P2P” after the location name in the server list.
For improving the user experience, they first need to enhance the speed. For the free users, the application is not worthy. If speed is high in case of premium users, then this application is perfect for the users who don’t wish to use a VPN application which has many configuration options.
Also, if they improve the customer support with the help of live chat, the application may get attention from users of various locations, but if you are planning it to use it for free, you can’t expect much.
Platforms and Devices
When it comes to the platforms that ZPN has covered, the answer would be unsatisfactory. It has not even covered all the major platforms. The free client is only available for Windows, iOS, and Android. It is not even available for MacOS.
For MacOS, you can install the configuration files available for OpenVPN and L2TP.
Configuration files are also available for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. One can install the setups with OpenVPN protocol or L2TP protocol.
Other than this, you can download ZPN box setup which you can use for configuring ZPN Box which is a hardware device.
There are five simultaneous connections possible which are enough according to the platforms which they provide. However, they should add router configuration and an extension for mainstream browsers.
Live chat is not there when someone need quicker help, and FAQs section is also not having many questions answered. The question-answers available in this section doesn’t provide much information about the queries.
The only way to get help is by generating a ticket. All you need to do is to provide them an email ID, and then send them the query. They will contact you back through email.
However, you can’t expect instant replies to the email, and thus, if you are using the ZPN, it isn’t suggested to rely on customer support.
ZPN has a simple client which is best suited for the users who just wish to encrypt the internet traffic and change their location. However, if somewhat improvement in the speed is made, the usability of the client will improve exponentially.
There can be the possibility that such a low speed was experienced because we were using the free-trial. Perhaps, if we are using the paid version, the speed would be higher. You can also try it yourself, and if you are not satisfied, they will refund the amount if requested before the seven days of purchase.
Also, one major factor that stops us from recommending ZPN is its customer support. They only have the option of ticket generation if someone wishes to contact with them. If live chat is added, direct communication will become easy.
However, with a price of six dollars per month, they bring us one of the cheapest deals. And if you don’t wish to buy it, you can also take advantage of their free-trial which has no hidden costs.