ExpressVPN

5 Best VPNs for Zona that work in 2017

What is Zona?

Zona is a video streaming system that is also a torrent download client. The program enables you to watch a video as it downloads onto your computer. After the playback of the video finishes, the file still resides on your computer (unlike with Popcorn Time, which stores files in a temporary folder that it deletes on reboot).

The Zona interface is very slick. It has many similar features to Popcorn Time. Zona actually has more features than that rival BitTorrent streaming service, because it gives IMDb information on each video, including cast lists and links through to actors’ other entertainment offerings. Thus, you can explore Zona’s listings through a number of routes.

Zona is a great free version of Netflix, with more than a billion hours of music, 6,500 movies and 5,000 TV series in its database. However, there are a few problems that you should know about before you decide to install the app.

This streaming video service offers pirated video. As such, you’re liable to prosecution by copyright holders if you use it. Many people use peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to download entertainment without worrying about the legal ramifications of their activity. If that’s you, you should protect your identity when using Zona in order to avoid being caught. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can keep your identity private. It can also dodge any blocks that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might impose to prevent you accessing Zona.

There are also a number of worrying malware signals in the Zona code You should be aware of these before you download the player. You can read more about those later in this article. In the meantime, let’s look at how you can protect your identity and avoid prosecution. Here are the five best VPNs for Zona.

Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Zona

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. VyprVPN
  3. Buffered
  4. NordVPN
  5. VPNArea

Best VPNs for Zona: Summary

*All prices shown in US dollars

Advertiser disclosure

ExpressVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No logs
  • High speeds
  • Stealth technology
  • Excellent customer support
  • ConsCONS
  • Only three simultaneous connections allowed
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. This small territory has no data retention laws and encourages offshore banking by protecting the privacy of companies based there. ExpressVPN doesn't keep logs of customer activities, so its privacy procedures are sufficient to repel any attempt by copyright lawyers to discover your connections to Zona. ExpressVPN makes it to the top of our list as the best VPN for Zona because it has very fast transfer speeds. These are essential for streaming video. The company is great at avoiding detection and is one of the best VPNs for use in China, where the authorities try to prevent access to many international websites. The VPN client software is very easy to use and the company even has an app that self-installs on Tomato routers. You can also install the software manually on DD-WRT routers.

Visit ExpressVPN »


VyprVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Three-day free trial
  • No logs
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Cloaking technology
  • P2P allowed
  • ConsCONS
  • Basic plan has weak encryption
VyprVPN gives you a three-day trial period to test the software. It is a good idea to test the connections you get through the VPN to Zona during that period, because after those three days there is no opportunity to cancel the service and get your money back. Our VyprVPN review found that it keeps no logs and has a very clever cloaking methodology, called Chameleon. This helps you if you're in a country that tries to stop the use of VPNs as well as the use of P2P networks. If you need advice from the customer support team, you don't have to be shy about admitting that you're connecting to Zona, because the company is fine with customers using P2P networks. VyprVPN is based in Hungary, which has no data retention laws. Don't go for the Basic package with this VPN because it doesn't have very strong encryption. It is the Premium package that gets VyprVPN on this list of Zona VPNs.

Visit VyprVPN »


Buffered Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No logs policy
  • Based in Hungary
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • Can be installed on DD-WRT routers
  • ConsCONS
  • Relatively small server network
Buffered is also based in Hungary. That location allows it to implement a tough no logs policy. This company is fine about the use of P2P networks, so you don't have to worry about them reporting you to the authorities. The app is very easy to use and can get you connected with just a double click on a chosen server location. If your router uses the DD-WRT operating system, you can install the VPN on it and cover your whole house. There is no version for Tomato routers, though.

Visit Buffered »


NordVPN Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No logs policy
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Account sharing allowed
  • Good speeds
  • ConsCONS
  • Customer support can be slow to respond
Panama is another good location for a VPN service. It has no data retention laws and the government values data privacy. These policies enable NordVPN, which is based there, to delete all activity records when the user disconnects. The company allows six simultaneous connections on each account, which gives you the opportunity to share an account with friends to bring down the cost of running a VPN. The service has great speeds for streaming and the company is fine with its customers using P2P networks. The NordVPN website includes specific instructions on how to install the VPN on a long list of router types.

Visit NordVPN »


VPNArea Homepage

  • ProsPROS
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • No logs
  • P2P downloading allowed and protected
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Servers optimized for downloading, streaming, and gaming
  • ConsCONS
  • Live chat support not available 24/7
The headquarters of VPNArea are in Switzerland. This is a particularly interesting location for those who want to download copyrighted material without paying because that activity, for personal viewing, is legal in Switzerland. The operational offices of VPNArea are in Bulgaria, which has no data retention laws. As such, the two jurisdictions to which this company is subjected are very favorable for users of Zona. VPNArea keeps no logs of its users' activities. The company's server network includes computers that are specifically optimized for streaming and downloading, so you should be able to get good speeds out of this network for streaming with Zona.

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Copyright Issues with Zona

Copyright holders are becoming increasingly active in preventing access to illegal download sites. They even threaten users of those sites with prosecution. ISPs cooperate with the legal action groups of copyright holders. They pass information to them on who has been downloading material with P2P networks. This information is visible in the traffic that passes back and forth from your computer when downloading.

The underlying data structures that carry information across the internet include administration information in plain text. Programs on the ISP’s computers can read this information. In the UK and North America, ISPs are obliged to keep activity records of their customers’ connections for six months. This information is available to any prosecutor or lawyer who gets a court order. This could expose you to prosecution for watching movies and shows with Zona.

Zona VPN: Considerations

Secure connections encrypt the data they transport. The most widely used method for secure transfers is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. When you see “https://” on a web address, it means that communications with that web server are encrypted.

Government agencies, hackers, snoopers, thieves and ISPs find unencrypted data that passes between computers very useful. That information can be worth a lot of money. Getting data across the internet requires coordination between devices that aren’t under common ownership. Thus, each bit of data travels with some admin information in a header on the front of it. This admin information is written in a standard format and is not encrypted. Data packet headers include source and destination addresses.

Your ISP can block access to Zona by not passing on any packets with Zona as the destination. Additionally, copyright lawyers can trace downloads directly to your computer. This is because every message that goes out of and into your computer contains your IP address.

When you apply a VPN to Zona connections, the client software on your computer encrypts the whole packet, including the header. The VPN puts that encrypted packet in the payload of an outer packet, which it addresses to its own server.

The VPN server unbundles the packet, decrypts it and sends it to Zona. It puts its own address as the source. As every packet that leaves your computer is addressed to the VPN server, your ISP can’t report that you contacted Zona. VPN software uses the same security procedures as HTTPS, so the traffic it manages looks exactly like a regular secure connection.

The packets that arrive at the Zona computer have the VPN server’s address on. Thus anyone tracing the origin of the connection ends up at the VPN company, not your front door.

Zona Problems

If you’re prepared to run the risks involved in downloading pirated media, make sure you fully protect yourself with a VPN. However, there are other complications with the Zona system, which may give you second thoughts.

Zona is a “closed-source” application that includes Java code. Many programs that you buy to run on your computer can’t be read. Normally, when you buy software from big companies, such as Microsoft, this is not a problem. However, compiled code gives hackers an opportunity to include extra procedures in a program. That code can serve their interests, rather than the declared purpose of the program.

The malware defender programs Malwarebytes, ESET, Rising, VBA32, and Sophos all alert users that the Zona installer is a “potentially unwanted program.” They suspect that the Zona system is a front to sneak adware onto your computer.

Be aware of potential security issues when you use Zona. A program that runs on your computer can open up secret internet connections. It can do this without alerting anti-virus systems to its activities. The procedures of P2P networks require you to allow incoming connections that you don’t expect. These can disable the protection of firewalls. You’re already making yourself vulnerable to malware attacks by using P2P networks. Installing software despite the warnings of anti-malware systems just piles on the risk.

Zona VPN: Conclusion

The dubious legality of Zona means that you need to cover yourself with a VPN. Not every VPN works well enough to give you sufficient protection. A key feature of a Zona VPN has to be that the company does not keep activity logs and is located in a country with no data retention laws.

The VPNs on our list all had to show a track record of protecting privacy in order to make the grade. All of these companies are located in countries where British and American lawyers would struggle to get anything through the courts. All of these VPNs delete activity records as soon as the customer ends the connection. These VPNs will keep you safe from prosecution when you use Zona.

*All prices shown in US dollars

Advertiser disclosure


Stephen Cooper Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

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