We’ve heard a lot of positive talks about Windscribe. People chatter about its nearly magic ability to overcome Netflix restrictions, make you 100% anonymous, block unwanted guests in the face of Trojans and different viruses, provide superior services in the free version and more.
So, we were determined to make our own investigation to find out how much of these talks are true and whether Windscribe is as awesome as people describe it. And if it is so perfect why other VPNs still exist and flourish (our guess is that it has some downsides which stop the rest of users from sticking to it).
Are you interested in what we have discovered? Then keep on reading.
Our main insight was that Windscribe is a really strong VPN provider which offers many benefits to clients who utilize free and paid versions. Basically, its advantages and downsides can be limited to the lists below.
- Excellent free service
- Cheap paid plans
- Possibility to pay with bitcoins
- Secure and safe to use
- Opportunity to connect as many devices as you wish at the same time
- Access to geo-restricted stuff, including Netflix
- Strong antivirus & ad blocker
- Firewall protection
- No logs
- Problems with connection
- Slower speeds if compared to other providers
- No 24/7 client support
Windscribe boasts moderate prices and the lavish free plan for mild users. With the latter one, you receive 10GB of bandwidth and can use everything the VPN has. But if you realize this is not enough, pay attention to their premium packages:
- Monthly plan – $9
- Yearly plan – $49 (this is $4.08 per month which provides a 55% saving to your wallet)
Besides, the company invites clients to build their own plan which will cost $1/month per location.
If you stick to the paid option but don’t like what you get, you have 30 days to claim your money back. It takes up to one month to actually receive the money, though. Which this is not bad, of course. But it could be more reasonable to test the service on the free version first.
Windscribe accepts payments made with credit cards, through PayPal and Paymentwall or in bitcoins. The latter option gives you a 100% anonymity.
Privacy and Security
The next essential aspect we’d like to cover in our Windscribe review is whether the service can ensure a decent level of privacy and security to its users. Hiding their identity and activities they overtake on the Internet is one of the major reasons for people to use virtual private networks, and therefore a VPN’s location, as well as encryption and protocols, are essential in this regard.
Windscribe is headquartered in Canada, and the legislation in these part of the world is not as strict as in the neighboring jurisdiction, which is obviously a plus.
A minor disadvantage is that you cannot customize its most important protocol and encoding settings. However, we should note the encryption is top-notch. The company uses AES-256 cipher. Together with IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, it effectively hides all tunnel traffic from the sight of curious individuals. Plus, you can utilize the service even in the locations where the governments make efforts to block VPNs.
Windscribe uses a tricky method to hide the traffic. You are not simply connected through one server but can kick your traffic from one place to another and then get out of your destination. It makes it very tough to trace your way in this labyrinth.
Windscribe VPN Extras
Windcribe offers pleasant extras which many competitors don’t. It provides top-notch features to protect their subscribers from online threats and also to keep them invisible.
This month the company has introduced their malware and ad blocker tool R.O.B.E.R.T. It works perfectly well with the desktop and mobile apps. You can customize R.O.B.E.R.T. the way you like picking one of the four modes:
- Without blocking. Choosing this mode, you will simply turn R.O.B.E.R.T. off.
- Malware, phishing, and botnets. The new default mode which will make your online experience much safer.
- Ads & trackers. In addition to the previous mode, this one will help you be safe while browsing the Internet. Plus, it will maintain a high speed of your device.
- Social Networks. This mode will function together with the three described ones above, plus it will block social networks which glue to you while you view various websites.
Note that the two latter modes go with the paid plans only.
Windcribe has a powerful Firewall which is supposed to replace a traditional kill switch according to the provider. Some other great features are iPv6 and DNS leak protection, Cookie Monster, Split Personality, Secure.link and others. It also provides different connection modes which permit connecting to all gateways through various ports and protocols.
Windscribe Logging Policy
As you’ve already learned from our Windscribe Review, a number of security features along with the fact they accept bitcoins turn the VPN service into a reliable tool for remaining totally anonymous on the world wide web. In the world where governments don’t see anything bad in interfering into people’s lives for the good of safeness, this is exactly what many users seek for. However, all the above-mentioned advantages wouldn’t matter with a non-privacy friendly Logging Policy.
Some VPNs have tricky regulations in terms of what data they keep. We were happy to discover that this is not the case for Windscribe. It has a very clear logging policy that openly states which data it collects.
So, it does collect your username, the server you are connected to, the moment when you got online, the bandwidth you used in one session, the number of devices which utilize the VPN simultaneously. However, once the session is over, this data is erased.
The provider claims it does not keep any logs, so they have no information to share. As an example: the Transparency Report shows how many times they got requests from copyright and state agencies. The team says they failed to comply with every single request because they did not possess the appropriate data.
Let us also remind you that Windscribe has a free plan which does not even require your email address to start using it.
Servers and Performance
When using a VPN, you are not willing to experience any inconveniences. Its performance means a lot. This is a question of the quantity and capacity of gateways the network has.
Windscribe has servers in 50+ countries. It provides about 500 gateways in different locations, including Russia. This makes it a great service for those who travel across the globe. Take notice that the whereabouts are true. In fact, the provider’s team says that other companies with a greater number of servers simply fake their locations.
But be aware that Windscribe’s free service allows sticking to gateways in 11 states only.
We were curious about the VPN performance and thus wanted to test several servers in various corners of the planet Earth. The goal was to check the speed and find latency problems if any. Here is what we have discovered.
Connecting to all the servers was not the easiest task. In fact, we had to try several times with several gateways. The average connection time was 4 seconds. Once we were connected, we did not experience any latency issues.
However, speed checks brought slightly disappointing results: European servers showed 35Mbps on average, the US ones displayed 30Mbps, the Japanese server gave us about 10 Mbps, and the Australian one offered 20 Mbps. Such a speed will still allow you to browse the web and access geo-restricted content with no hurdles, but it is worth noting that some other VPNs show much better results.
Note that we used OpenVPN in our tests despite the company’s recommendations to go with IKEv2. We did so since the majority of other VPNs utilize OpenVPN, and we wanted to compare them. Still, if using a less secure IKEv2 protocol is not an issue for you, you will probably not notice any speed issues at all, and the connection time will become truly speedy.
Any virtual private network has real people behind it. But probably the only people whom regular users communicate with is a customer support team. Well, Windscribe doesn’t provide 24/7 support.
However, it provides a comprehensive Self Help Center where you can retrieve Setup Guides and Knowledge Base for nearly any problem you may face. Plus, there is a comprehensive FAQs section. Also, you are welcome to get technical assistance chatting with their app named Garry, going to Reddit, or submitting a ticket.
Windscribe for Windows
The provider has a powerful VPN client for PCs running on Windows. It’s foolproof and does not require any special knowledge to install or use it.
The technology encrypts all the data which goes through your device protecting your personal information. Also, it has a powerful Firewall which knocks of all Internet connections beyond the VPN tunnel and thus, provides strong protection against leaking if you appear disconnected.
With this VPN you can enjoy the restricted content without being agitated about potential problems.
Windscribe for Mac
Windscribe’s VPN guarantees security to every Mac user. It encodes all the data which goes from and to your machine and guarantees none of it gets intercepted. One of the coolest things about this product is the possibility to try how it operates on Mac without spending a dime.
Be aware that the installation process will take several minutes. But once you are done, you should not do anything else. All you’ll see is just one button which should be used as a switch to enable the app or turn it off completely. The application is tiny and can be moved to the toolbar or hidden behind the browser window which is very convenient.
Windscribe for Android
The Windscribe app for Android is an easy way to protect all the traffic which goes in and out of your portable device.
It reminds of the Windows client. The app is simple: it has a countries list and the button to turn it on and off to preserve battery power. However, unlike the desktop client, it doesn’t display the list of all available gateways in each state. The app will make a choice itself. Also, it does not let you flag a country as Favorite which otherwise would be very convenient on the devices with a tiny screen area.
Windscribe for iOS
Windscribe for iOS provides a high degree of security and privacy whenever you connect to Wi-Fi and stay online. With this app you will never have to deal with confusing settings again – it is light and simple. Once you turn the app on, you can forget about it.
You get 10GB of bandwidth per month with the free app and may overcome any filters of online content in specific countries. If you want more, choose one of the paid packages.
If compared with the Android app, the one for iOS allows having a look at all the gateways available in each country.
Windscribe for Torrenting
Windscribe is called to be one of the coolest VPNs for torrenting. Even the free version has great opportunities for P2P sharing (although limited to 10GB and 11 states).
However, the provider advises not to use any file sharing or torrent applications when connected to the places where these types of activities are prohibited. To get an idea of what those are, check the p2p icons – some of them are crossed out next to certain locations, so these ones do not allow torrenting.
Note that you may experience slow speed with some servers which can be upsetting when you attempt to download large files.
Windscribe for Netflix
Netflix would not allow their subscribers to hide behind a VPN. They are willing to be sure that your location is real and that you are actually allowed to watch certain content. There are only a few VPN providers able to overcome this ban. But Windscribe feels confident about that.
It has special WINDFLIX servers which allow watching content on US or UK Netflix. You don’t even have to check different gateways by yourself. You can relish the staff on any platform, including browser extensions. The only negative aspect is that this option goes with premium plans. The free version does not support it.
The Bottom Line
Windscribe is a comprehensive set of tools which provide a strong defense against the majority of modern online threats. The company is constantly working on its features to satisfy the needs of its customers. The recently introduced R.O.B.E.R.T. tool is a good proof of that.
The provider can offer nearly everything a regular VPN user may be searching for – security, anonymity, and pleasant extras. The possibility to access Netflix content is among Windscribe’s strongest competitive advantages.
Both desktop application and extensions for browsers are elementary and don’t require any ingenious skills or knowledge to operate them. The packages are cheap; the free offer is more than generous.
Perhaps, the only real downside is their speeds. But this is still nothing compared to other VPNs (however, we must admit some competitors are doing much better on that).
If you still have no clue whether to go for Windscribe, testing their free version for some time won’t hurt. Feel free to refuse the service anytime without any conditions.
- Start with the free option. It provides almost the same tools as the premium packages and thus, you may get the feeling of whether this is your thing or not. Besides, if you are a moderate user, you will probably not even need to spend money on anything stronger.
- Purchase their yearly plan to save 55% on the services if you need some more advanced tools that come with paid plans only.
- Pay with bitcoins if you are really obsessed with the idea that no VPN can guarantee a 100% anonymity. No one will ever find out who you are if you use this method of payment.