Windscribe vs NordVPN in 2021

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: October 18, 2021
NordVPN vs Windscribe comparison

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It’s hard not to fall into marketers’ traps when choosing a VPN. All of them claim to offer ultimate online security, speed, and unblocking ability, but this isn’t always the case. Hence, the main goal of this comparison between Windscribe and NordVPN is to find out which of these two services does more to deserve your money.

It is true that NordVPN is widely considered to be a better service, but Windscribe is certainly no slouch either. To find out the real winner, I’ll be judging each contestant’s security, privacy, speed, P2P, streaming, and price, among other factors.

In short, NordVPN sits at the top in every category, except pricing. However, the difference between these two is not always that significant. So let’s be thorough and go over each category.

Highlights

NordVPNWindscribe
Our rating9.6⭐7.8⭐
“Best for” nomineeBest overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPNFastest VPN, Best free VPN, Best for Mac
Price starts from$3.30/month$1.00/month
ReviewNordVPN reviewWindscribe review
Websitenordvpn.comwindscribe.com

Speed and servers

While having a large server fleet is usually an advantage, that doesn’t automatically translate to blazing-fast speeds. In fact, some VPNs with a few hundreds of servers are successfully competing with the “big boys” that manage a list ten times the size. To put it short, quality always wins over quantity.

The same can be said about tunneling protocols. Some providers offer a bunch of options, some of which are even no longer considered safe. In the meantime, having the next-gen WireGuard protocol usually decides the winner of the speed race.

NordVPN vs Windscribe VPN: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
NordVPN Windscribe VPN
USA server
Download Speed 1,619 Mbps 745 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,571 Mbps 374 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 1,389 Mbps 635 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,207 Mbps 225 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 511 Mbps 604 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,152 Mbps 291 Mbps

As our speed test has shown, both services offer great performance, thanks to WireGuard. However, NordVPN still manages to leave Windscribe and everyone else behind, sometimes by a considerable margin. My guess here would be that the latter has managed to squeeze more out of WireGuard by creating its in-house version, named NordLynx.

Servers

NordVPNWindscribe
Servers5100+480+
Countries60+60+
Physical servers
AllAll
Owns all servers
SomeNo
RAM-only servers
SomeNo
P2P serversNot allNot all

NordVPN has one of the biggest networks around the world. Meanwhile, Windscribe has a relatively-modest fleet, but as we’ve seen from the speed test results, that doesn’t stop it from offering top-notch performance.

NordVPN app interface with server list and map

We liked that NordVPN already owns some of its servers, and all standard ones are RAM-only. As for Windscribe, at least they don’t use virtual servers and allow P2P on them all.

NordVPN
NordVPN
VPNpro rating: 9.6 / 10

Pricing comparison

NordVPNWindscribe
Free version
NoYes
Free trial
NoYes
One month
$11.95/month$9.00/month
One year
$4.92/month$4.08/month
Two years
$3.30/monthN/A
Money-back guarantee
30 days30 days

Windscribe is cheaper overall. It’s one of the few VPNs that have a flexible ‘Build a plan’ option. With it, you can add additional locations to your free version for $1/month per location. It’s great for people who don’t need access to all the servers.

NordVPN scores some points with its 2-year option, which results in a significant discount. But overall, NordVPN pricing doesn’t have much to throw at its competitor in this section.

Furthermore, Windscribe has a great free version that gives 10+ locations, allows P2P, and unblocks Netflix. In the meantime, NordVPN is hesitant about a free trial, giving 7-days to Android users only. At least it has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a variety of online deals.

Security

NordVPNWindscribe
EncryptionMilitary-gradeMilitary-grade
ProtocolsNordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Kill switch
App-level and connection-levelYes
IP and DNS leaksNoNo
Security featuresDouble VPN, Onion Over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, Split tunneling,Ad & malware blocker, split tunneling, Stealth VPN, SOCKS5 proxy, Shadowsocks, HNS, port forwarding, Double Hop

NordVPN and Windscribe have excellent security. Both boast military-grade encryption, no leaks, and the latest tunneling protocols. However, the former has a more sophisticated kill switch, which can work either on the app or connection level.

Each contestant has quite a few security tricks up their sleeve. NordVPN comes with Tor over VPN, and Windscribe shows off its Shadowsocks and port forwarding. Both also have their malware blockers, split tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, obfuscated servers, and multi-hop.

Privacy features

NordVPNWindscribe
JurisdictionPanamaCanada
LoggingIndependently-audited no-logs policyNo identifying logs
Anonymous payment
CryptocurrenciesCryptocurrencies, gift cards

NordVPN is based in Panama, a small country with no data retention laws. Windscribe operates from Canada, a Five Eyes surveillance alliance member.

But what about logs? This is where it gets tricky. NordVPN guarantees a “strict no-logs policy” for its users. They even went as far as to order an independent audit by the notorious accounting firm PwC to demonstrate the veracity of their statements.

Windscribe, on the other hand, does not claim to have a “no logs policy.” This, of course, does not necessarily mean Windscribe can’t be trusted. Consider, for instance, that in 2018, they received approximately 400,000 DMCA and 34 law enforcement data requests but chose to comply with zero of them.

Apps and ease of use

NordVPNWindscribe
Major apps
Windows, Android, macOS, iOSWindows, Android, macOS, iOS
Other apps
Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, KodiAmazon Fire TV, Kodi
Browser extensions
Chrome, FirefoxChrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
Manual setup
Routers, firewalls, NASRouters, NAS
Simultaneous devices
6Unlimited

Both providers have dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, which should take care of the basics for most users. Additionally, both Windscribe and NordVPN can be installed on Kodi. Furthermore, either VPN can easily be installed on Amazon Fire TV, which includes Fire Stick as well. Sadly, Windscribe lacks Android TV support.

windscribe app interface with server list

Moving on to browser extensions, we find that Windscribe has add-ons for Opera and Edge, a rare feat among VPNs. Finally, its biggest advantage is unlimited simultaneous connections. The only way for NordVPN users to beat this is to connect as many devices as possible behind a router. It has tutorials for manual configuration for a bunch of brands, including the likes MikroTik or Sabai.

Both providers have easy to use apps. While some might like NordVPN’s full-windowed map with server locations, others might prefer Windscribe’s A-Z list.

Netflix and other streaming platforms

NordVPNWindscribe
Netflix US
YesYes
Other Netflix libraries
YesYes
Other platforms
YesYes/No
Smart DNS
YesNo

NordVPN and Windscribe are both great for streaming. They unblock Netflix US but do so in different ways. NordVPN lets you use any server for streaming and additionally offers the SmartPlay DNS service.

Windscribe, on the other hand, only lets you pick one of their dedicated streaming servers like WindFlix US or WindFlix UK. They do not encrypt your traffic to allow better speeds and essentially work as Smart DNS.

netflix us unblocked with nordvpn

With NordVPN, I’ve encountered no issues when watching Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, or streaming with Kodi. It also has access to more Netflix libraries, which might be vital to you if you’re chasing a specific TV series or film, which is not available on the US Netflix library. In the meantime, Windscribe cannot consistently unblock other platforms than Netflix.

Both services have apps for Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, while NordVPN also has a client for Android TV. In turn, Windscribe offers a dedicated Kodi app.

Torrenting and P2P

NordVPNWindscribe
Allowed on
Select serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
YesYes
Split tunneling
Yes (Windows, Android)Yes (Android)
Port forwarding
NoYes

P2P traffic is allowed with both services, and download speeds should be either fast or very fast.

NordVPN and Windscribe offer a free SOCKS5 proxy. This is slightly less secure than a VPN because it doesn’t encrypt your data. However, it provides a certain layer of protection with a smaller drop to your download speeds.

When it comes to split tunneling, NordVPN has it on Windows and Android. Unfortunately, Windscribe doesn’t offer this feature for desktop users, which is a drawback, given that not many people download torrents on their phones.

While it may seem that Windscribe wins the battle of port forwarding, the truth is that it costs extra. You get this feature only after buying a static IP.

China and other restricted countries

NordVPNWindscribe
Works in China
YesYes
Stealth VPN
YesYes
Tor over VPN
YesNo

This round is going to be easy for NordVPN, which is the best VPN for China. However, both VPNs can be used to circumvent The Great Firewall.

NordVPN uses Obfuscated Servers to scramble your data so the government won’t be able to block you using Deep Packet Inspection. Windscribe has StealthVPN, instead. It makes the traffic look indistinguishable from other user browsing patterns that don’t trigger VPN blocks.

With NordVPN, it’s also possible to turn the privacy knob to 11 with the Onion over VPN feature. This will mix the Tor node network with VPN servers to create the most secure connection possible.

Customer support

NordVPNWindscribe
24/7
YesYes
Live chat
YesNo
Email
YesYes

When it comes to customer support, NordVPN’s opponent quickly loses its edge. Windscribe doesn’t have a live chat, so you’re left with tickets, emails, and chatbot Garry.

windscribe vpn live chat support screenshot
Windscribe chatbot

NordVPN, on the other hand, has both a chatbot and live chat, so you’ll be able to contact a real person for your queries and without long queues.

Each contestant has extensive knowledgebase with FAQs, setup guides, and more. However, NordVPN has it better structured and easier to navigate.

Winners by category

NordVPN🥇Windscribe🥈
Speed and servers
Wins✔️Loses❌
Prices
Loses❌Wins✔️
SecurityTieTie
PrivacyWins✔️Loses❌
Apps and ease of use
Wins✔️Loses❌
Streaming
Wins✔️Loses❌
TorrentingWins✔️Loses❌
China
Wins✔️Loses❌
Customer support
Wins✔️Loses❌
Total wins
7 out of 91 out of 9

Windscribe vs NordVPN video review

NordVPN review 2021: Best VPN or... 2nd best? 💥 Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW
2021-01-13
Windscribe VPN review: should you pay for it?
2020-02-20

Bottom line: NordVPN or Windscribe?

NordVPN easily wins against Windscribe, yet that doesn’t mean the latter is bad. Windscribe is certainly a capable and versatile VPN with some unique features, but NordVPN is simply the market leader.

Both providers will give you excellent performance and security. However, NordVPN is better for privacy because of its jurisdiction and independently-audited no-logs policy. It’s also a better choice for China, thanks to its Onion over VPN feature.

Each is a great option for torrenting, but NordVPN excels at streaming. If Windscribe manages to reliably unblock not only Netflix but other streaming platforms as well, this might well be a tie next time we make this comparison.

The only battle that Windscribe wins is that of pricing. It has a great free version and allows you to create custom plans, starting from $1/month. NordVPN’s two-year option is the only thing that keeps them from capitulation.


You may also like to read:
Windscribe vs PIA
Windscribe vs Tunnelbear
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN
NordVPN vs CyberGhost

FAQ

Is Windscribe a good VPN?

Yes, Windscribe is a good VPN. It has a good variety of security features and tunneling protocols, plenty of servers to choose from, and works great at getting around geographical restrictions. Additionally, it comes with a

Is NordVPN really the best?

According to our research, NordVPN is definitely the best VPN. It is secure and private, audited by a third party, has plenty of servers, works well against geo-blocks, and is compatible with a wide variety of devices. And all of that at an affordable price.

Does Windscribe have a free option?

Yes, Windscribe has a free option. The main limitation of it is the 2GB/month data cap. Additionally, it lacks the WireGuard tunneling protocol and a good chunk of server locations.

Is NordVPN Safe?

Yes, NordVPN is safe. Its jurisdiction is in Panama, which makes it a great choice for privacy. Furthermore, it has a great selection of security features and was audited by a third party.

Can you be tracked while using NordVPN?

No, you can’t be tracked while using NordVPN. It uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, which makes your internet traffic unreadable to anyone, including the NordVPN team. Plus, your real location is hidden since your traffic is routed through a remote server.

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

3 comments
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  1. youthfulness

    Okay, I may be a little skeptical but I don’t use something that I have not heard off before and Windscribe is one of them. Although it sounds good, I’d stick to ExpressVPN for now. But I’ll keep an eye on this


  2. ArthurTheAardvark

    Okay, so, I really, really like Windscribe a lot, mostly because it’s accessible. They have a really great free service that gives you 10 gigs of data. However, the fact that they’re connected to Canada really skeeves me out. I’m probably going to ditch WIndscribe for NordVPN or ExpressVPN eventually, just because I’m getting to where 10 gigs is not enough, but Windscribe served me really well when I first started using VPNs.


  3. Nawel K

    NordVPN is the absolute best to me ! I’ve tried many VPNs for the past two years and there’s no better VPN on the market ! It runs perfectly and your data are safe !

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