This is part of Scaz’s ongoing quest to find and rank the best VPN software available. In this Windscribe VPN review, I’ll go over the software’s most interesting and useful features, as well as its performance and benefits.
Then we’ll discuss the findings of the security and data leak tests I conducted. Finally, we’ll go over all of the other features of Windscribe to see if it’s the right fit for you.
What is Windscribe VPN?
Windscribe is a user-friendly VPN client that is ideal for beginners. By default, all settings are automated, so all you have to do is choose a server from the menu and enjoy a secure connection. On their website, you’ll find a simple download link for Windscribe VPN.
The software was first released in April of 2016 in Toronto, Canada, and features a user-friendly interface as well as a free version. This alone can provide complete VPN newbies with a more secure internet experience without having to pay a dime.
Windscribe, like any other VPN service, has its advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading to learn more.
Windscribe VPN Essentials – Speed, Security, Privacy
Every virtual network aims to provide two things: encryption that keeps you safe without sacrificing speed too much. Another feature that the majority of users value is complete anonymity. Let’s take a look at how Windscribe performs in these areas.
This VPN pleasantly surprised me while performing the speed tests.
Before trying out the software for myself, I read some Windscribe VPN user reviews, and one of the most common complaints was slow speed.
My test results, as shown below, painted a different picture. I tested four different servers from the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia, as usual, and it doesn’t appear to be too bad.
Without using a VPN, here is the result of my speed test:
This is the result I had from one of the US servers:
As you can see, the download speed dropped by about 10%, which is fantastic. Windscribe Pro outperforms the free version by providing more servers to choose from and achieving faster speeds. Regardless, there is a significant decrease in upload speed.
Everything was almost perfect in Europe. There was a small reduction in download speed and an increase of about 10% in upload speed. As suggested by the app, I tested a Switzerland server and the best server by default (a Romanian node in my case).
The UK server didn’t impress me with its speed, however:
As you can see, the upload speed is abysmal.
And here is the Hong Kong server I tested in Asia:
Although the losses are too great for my liking, I compare Windscribe VPN to other top VPNs in this Windscribe VPN review. Overall, the slower servers of other providers reduced my speed to 20-30% of what it was before.
In other words, Windscribe is indistinguishable from the competition in terms of server speed in Asia.
In terms of speed, Windscribe is a top performer.
There were no DNS or IP leaks in the tests I ran.
The program provides a number of encryption options. It uses IKEv2 by default, which is usually the fastest protocol but can be easily blocked.
UDP mode, which uses the standard OpenVPN protocol, TCP, Stealth, and WStunnel are all options. The last two are advertised as “possibly useful in China.”
One of the most frequently mentioned drawbacks of Windscribe, according to other reviews, is the lack of a kill switch. This information is clearly incorrect and out of date.
Windscribe has a built-in firewall that acts as a kill switch (like some other VPN services). To ensure that there is no chance of a leak, the firewall blocks all connectivity outside of the tunnel. You can choose between automatic, manual, or always-on behavior.
Conclusion: With a wide range of protocols and a powerful kill switch, Windscribe provides solid security.
You can rest assured that the company does not log your activities while using the service if you run the software and type in your Windscribe login information. It doesn’t keep track of your VPN sessions or your IP address, nor does it keep track of the websites you visit.
It does, however, save some information about your account.
Naturally, the VPN saves any information you voluntarily provide, such as your username, email address, and so on.
The Windscribe’s jurisdiction is a little unsettling. The company is based in Canada, which is one of the Eyes surveillance alliance’s founding members. I mentioned the 14 Eyes in other reviews, but we’re talking about the original 5 Eyes in Canada.
This Windscribe review is my first look at a service from the Eyes-alliance.
The 5, 9, and 14 Eyes are international surveillance collaborations for those who aren’t familiar with them. Globally, various countries collaborate to collect and share mass surveillance data.
The five eyes are as follows:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
These five have enormous power to compel companies to hand over personal information.
Nonetheless, Windscribe’s no-logging policy provides protection, as the company cannot disclose data it does not have.
Windscribe VPN Pros
Windscribe is quick and secure, but that’s not all it can do.
Generous Windscribe free version
You can use the software for free for as long as you want after you download it. You’ll have access to 11 different locations (each with its own set of servers) and 10GB of monthly data. Every 30 days, the bandwidth is reset. These are the only drawbacks to the free version, which is still quite useful. Except for Netflix, you can try out all of the software’s features before paying for it. If you buy the Windscribe premium package, you’ll get unlimited data, access to over 110 locations, and servers that aren’t shared with free users.
Quickly establishes connections
Windscribe connects to its servers extremely quickly, unlike some of the VPNs I’ve reviewed (see VyprVPN). I tried several different locations and was able to establish a secure connection in less than 5 seconds each time.
The user interface for Windscribe is simple and attractive. It is also very welcoming for first-timers, as it has been perfectly optimized.
You won’t get lost while configuring protocols or looking for servers. Everything is simple and convenient to reach.
Good for streaming and torrenting
You won’t be able to watch Netflix simply by connecting to a server in the United Kingdom or the United States. Netflix can be accessed via the “Windflix” servers, thanks to Windscribe’s optimized servers. In the servers menu, they appear as locations. Windscribe successfully circumvents popular streaming services’ geo-restrictions. Except for the Japan, India, and Windflix servers, the program is also good for torrenting (for more information, see the FAQ section below).
Supports multiple devices
This is one of Windscribe’s best features. They have apps for almost every platform and allow you to connect as many devices as you want. You have apps for all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, at your disposal. You can also get Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browser extensions. You have the option of using the Windscribe Android app or the Windscribe iOS app on your mobile device. Windscribe is also compatible with your television and router.
Yes, there is no limit. Pay once and have everything connected, including your toaster!
Browser add-on with unique features
A browser extension with some useful features is also available on the program’s website. It should be noted that it is not included in the software and must be downloaded separately.
The extension includes an adblocker, automatic location selection, time zone switching based on your connection, and a few other unique features.
You can do a double hop, also known as a double VPN, with the Windscribe browser extension, which routes your connection through two locations instead of one. When compared to Perfect Privacy VPN, which allows up to four hops, this isn’t very impressive.
However, it is still preferable to most VPNs that lack this feature.
Bypass DNS requests
You can also change your API (application programming interface) solution from automatic to manual configuration, bypassing DNS, by manually configuring an IP address to access the API. If you get a Windscribe no API connectivity error, contact customer service for an IP address (which can take a while, see below).
Mine for upgrades
Windscribe subscribers can contribute some of their computing power to the development of Monero, a popular alt-coin. It’s a unique feature that allows you to fund your Windscribe account directly with cryptocurrency while using the VPN service.
Despite how good everything sounds, there are two major drawbacks.
Based in Canada
I explained why this could be a problem earlier. Despite the fact that the company claims it does not keep logs, a gag order from any agency or the government will compel them to keep track of your activities and hand them over to the authorities in secret. So keep that in mind before you download Windscribe.
There is no live chat available (with a human)
Garry is available for a live chat on the website. Who’d be a nice guy… If he wasn’t a bot, that is.
He’s also useless unless you skip the FAQ section or are bored out of your mind and want to chat with a bot for whatever reason.
If you want to speak with a real person who can answer your questions, you’ll need to fill out a ticket and be prepared to wait. Your response will take longer than 24 hours to arrive.
While writing this Windscribe VPN review, I was extremely dissatisfied with the customer service. Aside from their slow responses (sometimes more than 3 days), their responses usually consisted of one sentence with a link to the Windscribe website that was related to the issue.
If the company wants to move up in the VPN industry, the customer service needs to improve.
Windscribe offers three paid plans: a monthly plan for $9, a yearly plan for $19, and the incredible option to create your own plan based on your specific needs.
You will be charged $1 per month for each location and its servers. For instance, if you only want to watch Netflix and have unlimited data, Windscribe is only $2 per month.
As previously stated, you can download and use the Windscribe VPN free version for as long as you want. The only restrictions are a monthly bandwidth allowance of 10GB and the number of servers (including Windflix) from which to choose.
There is a refund policy, but you can only get a refund if you contact them within the first three days of your purchase or if you haven’t used all of your 10GB of traffic.
Even without considering any possible discounts or Windscribe promo codes, it can be a truly affordable VPN service.
If you still want to buy the software, you can pay with PayPal, Bitcoin, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Paymentwall.
Is Windscribe something I would recommend?
Windscribe has a lot to offer, including a free version, good speed, security, and the ability to successfully bypass geo-restrictions.
Nonetheless, I couldn’t get over the fact that Windscribe VPN was based in Canada while writing my review. After all, the point of using a VPN is to remain anonymous, and the risk of being spied on is obvious.
There’s also Garry, who can be a pain to deal with and is essentially useless if you have a software problem. All of his responses are predetermined, and they aren’t always related to the question.
When you consider the potential compromise of your privacy, the paid version isn’t cheap either.
Finally, I must state that I do not recommend Windscribe VPN.
Despite the lack of live chat support, I would strongly recommend this software if the company operated outside of the Eyes network.