Today, with the world termed as a global village, it has increasingly become harder to ensure privacy, security, and freedom while surfing the web. That is where VPNs come into play. There are all sorts of VPN providers out there giving users all sorts of promises. Since your information and internet habits will be at the mercy of your VPN provider, it is quite hard to know which one to trust.
So, you may have heard about ZorroVPN and you are wondering whether to buy it or not. Perhaps you want to get some insights about what ZorroVPN has to offer in terms of security features, speeds, restrictions, and whatnot. The slogan for ZorroVPN is ‘Anonymity on the internet’. This is just a statement and for that reason, I have prepared this review in order to find out if they actually live up to what they promise, and also to give you guys a heads-up.
In this VPN review, I’ll be telling you all you need to know about ZorroVPN. From its features, pricing to performance, etc. Bear in mind that I had to sign up for ZorroVPN so as to get a complete picture of what this security solution entails. Therefore, this review will be based on my experience while using ZorroVPN. For the sake of sharing an honest opinion, along the way, I will include some basic VPN tests and results to determine whether this provider deserves it or not.
Table of Contents - Article Hierarchy
- About ZorroVPN
- How to install OpenVPN and set up ZorroVPN configuration files
- ZorroVPN Review: My Experience with the VPN and Test Results
- ZorroVPN Tests and Results
- My Verdict about ZorroVPN
ZorroVPN is based in Belize City which is in the Central American country of Belize. It is owned and operated by Network Octet Ltd. This VPN is one of the few providers that offers advanced features and customizable functionalities. It has VPN servers spread across 46 different countries and a particular country may have up to 7 servers.
Plans and Pricing
The premium package is called the master plan. For the master plan, you have five options to choose from and is categorized according to the number of months. As usual, you save more as the number of months increase. There is no feature restriction no matter which plan you choose. The duration is the only thing that differs.
- 1 month: $15
- 2 months: $25
- 3 months: $36
- 6 months: $68
- 12 months: $120
Features, Functionalities, and Privileges
ZorroVPN is packed with a lot of advanced features that you only get to see in a handful of VPN providers. More so, it gives users the chance to customize some of these features. ZorroVPN uses OpenVPN which is the most advanced and trusted VPN protocol that is in use today and has been implemented by most major VPN providers. When it comes to encryption, ZorroVPN uses 256 bit AES which is the highest encryption cipher right now. This gives you peace of mind knowing that no one can decipher your traffic in case it is intercepted.
Here are some of the features, functionalities, and privileges you get out of using ZorroVPN:
VPN plus Tor
This is one of the features that make ZorroVPN stand out. VPN plus Tor allows users to connect to a VPN server then to the Tor network. Basically, the exits node will be on the Tor network rather than a VPN server. Tor, also known as onion router is the most secure way of concealing your activities on the internet since Tor servers are managed by different groups which are unknown. When your traffic enters a particular Tor entry point, it is routed to random servers in the Tor network.
Such a feature will give you an extra layer of anonymity which you don’t get to experience from most of the top-rated VPN providers. The advantage of being connected to Tor is that you will have access to both .onion and .bit resources and sites. The disadvantage of using Tor is that this network is significantly slow. When using other VPN providers you would have to install Tor browser or a Tor client separately which can be a pain to configure. ZorroVPN gives users convenience when it comes to connecting to the Tor network.
No traffic throttling or restriction
A considerable number of VPN providers restrict some type of traffic to be tunneled through their servers. A good example of traffic that is restricted by many providers is torrent traffic. In the case where torrent traffic is allowed, chances are that you won’t experience decent speeds due to throttling. This is whereby your VPN deliberately limits your connection speeds when a particular type of traffic is detected.
In most instances, throttling is done to avoid server overload or to prevent heavy downloaders from compromising the experience of other users. ZorroVPN does not limit users speed no matter what kind of traffic is tunneled through their servers.
VPN chains is another feature that makes ZorroVPN stand out from the rest. Ordinarily, most VPN providers allow users to connect to only one VPN server. In contrast, ZorroVPN allows users to connect to multiple VPN servers at once. What this feature does is that it tunnels traffic through a series of servers before requests are sent into the internet. Furthermore, traffic is encrypted between all the servers involved. This enhances the level of security and anonymity since it is near impossible to decode and trace back the origin of the traffic.
By default, ZorroVPN is set to connect to one VPN server. Users are allowed to set VPN chains having up to 4 VPN servers. Also, users get to choose which servers location to add to the chain. Multiple server hop always has the disadvantage of reducing connectivity speed, therefore, it is a better idea to stick to one VPN server during heavy downloads and streaming. VPN chains is useful for light web surfing and activities that demand more security.
IP address switching
It is usually recommended to change your IP address after a while when you are using a VPN service. The reason is, even though you are using a VPN, you can stay on the internet long enough for your habits to sell you out. Most of the VPN servers operated by ZorroVPN have more than one exit IP address. Switching between these IP addresses is quite easy and you don’t have to download the configuration file again. Switching between IP addresses is fast and the changes take effect right away. The most convenient way to do it is via the web portal and you won’t have to interfere with your connection.
No logging policy
When a VPN provider is approached by the government and is coerced to give out information about the activities of a particular user, they will have to give it out one time or another. No logging of user’s activities ensures privacy even in such circumstances. ZorroVPN guarantees that no single activity carried out by users will be logged. This means that even the ones that own and operate the service don’t keep tabs on your recent activities other than your subscription details.
Device/ Platform support
The number of devices and platforms that can support ZorroVPN isn’t that much which is disappointing. Another major flaw is that ZorroVPN doesn’t have a dedicated app for the various devices and platforms that it can support. To use ZorroVPN, for instance on a desktop, you have to, first of all, install OpenVPN, Viscosity or Tunnelblick then import a configuration file which is downloaded from their website. Although this process is quite easy and they have provided comprehensive installation guides.
Here are the devices and platforms that can support ZorroVPN:
- Routers with tomato firmware
- Routers with DD-WRT firmware
- Routers with AsusWRT firmware
How to install OpenVPN and set up ZorroVPN configuration files
The installation process may seem daunting but is quite easy. Note that for you to connect to a particular server, one has to download and import the corresponding configuration file for that server.
- Download OpenVPN which is open-source then open to start the installation.
- Tap the “Next” button.
- Tap the “I agree” button.
- Tap the “Next” button.
- Tap the “Install” button.
- Tap the “Next” button.
- Tap the “Finish” button.
- Right-click on the shortcut and select “Run as administrator”.
- Sign in to your ZorroVPN account and download configuration file(s) for whichever server location you want.
- Expand the system tray. Right-click on OpenVPN icon and select “import file”.
- Navigate to the directory where you downloaded the configuration file. Select the file and tap the “Open” button.
- To connect, right-click the OpenVPN icon, select the imported configuration file, then tap “Connect”.
The setup procedure for Mac is pretty much the same although the compatible client software is Tunnelblick and Viscosity.
ZorroVPN Review: My Experience with the VPN and Test Results
Connectivity and speeds
Apart from the fact that you have to download a configuration file for a particular server, connecting to one is easy and fast once everything is set up. Furthermore, you don’t have to repeat this process once the configuration file is added to OpenVPN. When it comes to speed, generally there is a 10 – 40% reduction depending with the server you are connected to. Speed reduces even further when you are using Tor.
I always like to tell VPN users that if you are rooting for privacy and security, be prepared to sacrifice speed. Although ZorroVPN gives users the options to switch between TCP and UDP protocols with UDP being faster compared to TCP.
Unlike most VPN providers, ZorroVPN states clearly in their FAQs page that there is no restriction when it comes to using peer-to-peer networks as long as you don’t breach copyright laws. On top of allowing the use of torrent, the download speed seemed fine. Many VPN providers allow the use of P2P networks only to limit your bandwidth usage.
Does Tor really work?
If you want a direct answer whether it works or not, yes it does. Accessing the Tor anonymous network requires that you use the Tor browser or a Tor client. ZorroVPN has gone a step further by coupling VPN and Tor and giving users transparent access to the hidden Tor resources. These are resources/ sites that are not indexed by your regular search engines and are placed on an overlay network (Tor network in this case). Here is a screenshot of IP address lookup while I was using Tor:
Bypassing internet restrictions
A particular government can impose internet censorship to its citizens when it feels some particular information on the internet affects its jurisdiction or just wants to preserve the morals and culture of its people. You can also be restricted from accessing content depending on where you are located. Most popular streaming services like Hulu and Fox do that all the time. According to how I’ve seen it, ZorroVPN is able to unblock geographically restricted content on streaming services including Netflix.
ZorroVPN Tests and Results
In order to thoroughly assess ZorroVPN, I took some time to test it out using tools that are freely available on the web and you can carry them out yourselves. A trusted VPN service should pass all these tests if it advocates for security and privacy.
Test 1: IP address Masking
IP address masking basically means hiding your original IP address with a different one. This address is assigned to a device by the ISP and is used to identify that particular device on the internet. It is termed as the public IP address. The public IP address exposes a lot of information about a user including the location, browser information, the OS, hardware information, the ISP, etc.
Hiding your IP address is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to ensuring privacy and security on the internet but it’s the first step. So, does ZorroVPN mask users IP address? To test it out, I used a web tool called xmyip.com. I was connected to a server somewhere in South Korea and here are the results:
As you can see from the screenshot, only the information about the VPN server I was connected to was exposed. My IP address, location, and ISP were all concealed.
Test 2: Proxy/ Anonymizer/ VPN detection
The purpose of this test is to determine whether the websites I visit are able to detect if I am using a VPN or not. The reason is that a considerable number of websites treat traffic forwarded from VPN servers suspiciously. If you are accustomed to using VPNs, then you might have realized that you receive CAPTCHA challenges more often when connected to a VPN. Some websites won’t load at all when they detect that a visitor is hiding behind a VPN. Streaming services like Netflix won’t work when it detects you are trying to use a VPN and you may even end up ruining your account. For this test I used xmyip.com and I was still connected to the VPN server in South Korea. Here are the results:
If no intermediate server is detected, the “None/ Highly Anonymous” tag should appear. As you can see from the screenshot, no proxy, anonymizer or VPN was detected. In order to be sure, I decided to connect to a different server this time in the US. Here is the result:
Well, from the results, a proxy/ anonymizer was detected. It appears that some of the VPN servers can conceal the fact I was using a VPN and some don’t.
Test 3: IP leak
For this test, I still used xmyip.com. Here are the results:
As you can see from the results, it says that my browser is leaking WebRTC. Both the Local and public IP address have been returned although the public IP address belongs to the VPN server I was connected to. Note that if the public IP address does not match your original IP address assigned by the ISP, there is no cause for alarm. As for the local IP address, there is no need to worry about it as well.
The best way to go around WebRTC leaks is by manually disabling it on the browser you are using or by using Tor. WebRTC is usually not supported by the Tor browser.
Test 4: DNS leak
DNS leak is a weakness that allows your real ISP to keep tabs on DNS requests and information for the sites and resources you visit on the internet – even while using a VPN. This means that your ISP will be able to know the domain names of the sites visited. The best way to combat this is by using a different DNS server apart from the one provided by your ISP, and a good VPN does exactly that. For this test, I used a free web tool called dnsleaktest.com. Here are the results:
So, how do you know that there is a DNS leak? From the results above, the ISP (DNS server) that was detected was for the VPN server I was connected to. If a server belonging to my original ISP is listed, then there is a DNS leak taking place.
Test 5: Torrent IP leak
Another thing that can compromise visibility of your IP address is while on a peer-to-peer network. A good number of VPN subscribers sing up for a VPN service because of torrenting. These networks are a great way of sharing files and resources on the internet but a user with malicious intents may exist in the swarm and log IP addresses of other users. For this test, I used a free web tool provided by TorGuard. Here are the results:
From the results above, the torrent IP address that was detected was the one assigned by the VPN server I was connected to therefor my connection was not leaking torrent IP.
My Verdict about ZorroVPN
From the test and results, I would give ZorroVPN a rating of 8.5 (Scale of 1-10). The other 1.5 is for the fact that not all servers are able to conceal the fact that I was using a VPN. ZorroVPN has done a good job by incorporating advanced features which definitely raises the bar in terms of anonymity. The notable flaw with ZorroVPN is that it does not have a dedicated app for the various devices that are supported. Also, the price is quite substantial although the advanced features compensate for that. So, would I recommend you to buy ZorroVPN? Definite yes. You can also check out some insights about ExpressVPN and Perfect Privacy.