Windscribe has great potential to be one of the best VPNs: great security features, leak protection, excellent speed, ad and malware blocking, and many more. It only needs to fix a few little things to climb higher.
Windscribe has great potential to be one of the best VPNs: great security features, leak protection, excellent speed, ad and malware blocking, and many more. It only needs to fix a few little things to climb higher.
Windscribe VPN is a well-known virtual private network, beloved for its generous free version. It has apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and supports routers, among other devices. But how good is this provider really?
To answer that, I’ll be looking at some other questions first, such as: is Windscribe VPN safe? Does it unblock Netflix? Can you use Windscribe for torrenting? And finally, does Windscribe keep logs?
However, if you’re looking for the ultimate VPN for any situation, consider subscribing to NordVPN. The fairly-priced service excels in terms of privacy, digital security, and connectivity.
Costless plans of freemium VPNs like Windscribe won’t cover your digital security or content-unblocking needs. Instead, go for affordable industry leaders, such as NordVPN, to get the best results in any scenario.
|Rank||#28 out of 232 providers|
|Logs||Minimal data collection|
|Free version or trial||Yes, 1-day|
Windscribe is a unique VPN provider with adequate performance and an intersting approach to its marketing strategy. But if you want excellent results, opt for the top players in the VPN industry, for example, NordVPN.
Windscribe won’t disappoint regarding connection speed because the service utilizes the modern WireGuard protocol. After all, the technology is a common feature among many of the fastest VPN services available. However, we conducted a fair number of manual tests to verify the provider’s performance.
Our tests have shown that Windscribe should be fast enough for gaming, torrenting, and streaming, assuming that your connection is decent. While the WireGuard protocol has the most impact on performance, Windscribe’s quality servers sure have played their role as well.
Windscribe speed test results have shown that the only limiting factor is your internet connection. If it’s fast enough, this VPN won’t slow you down much unless you’re connecting to a really remote server on the other side of the globe.
With Windscribe VPN, you’ll be able to stream 4K (UHD), download large files within minutes, and delve into low-ping gaming.
Having said that, the WireGuard protocol is available to premium users only.
Windscribe has 480+ servers in 69+ countries. While the global coverage seems to be good, some may doubt the server fleet size. But there’s no need to do that because all servers are physical and ready to provide maximum performance.
|Africa, the Middle East, and India||5+||15+|
The majority of Windscribe servers allow P2P, save for those in India, Russia, and South Africa.
I’ll discuss Netflix in more depth later, but just so you know – Windscribe has four specialized servers for Netflix.
If you want the best possible speeds, you should connect to the closest server.
The list of servers available to free users has only 10 countries:
Those wondering whether Windscribe is safe can relax – this VPN has enough security and privacy features to be among the most reliable providers. More good news: the free version has almost the same level of protection as the paid version. It also makes sense to combine your client with a browser extension as those add even more helpful features.
Windscribe VPN uses military-grade encryption, which is near-impossible to break. Even if your connection is intercepted by a third-party, cracking this code would take not millions but billions of years!
The protocols offered by Windscribe VPN are as follows:
WireGuard is the new state-of-the-art tunneling protocol that every provider is trying to implement right now. Apparently, Windscribe guys have done their homework, allowing you to enjoy top speeds and even greater security.
OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols are a good alternative in case WireGuard becomes unavailable for some reason.
Finally, those residing in countries where internet access is restricted will find Windscribe’s two “stealth protocols” handy. The first one, named Stealth, is essentially OpenVPN via STunnel. Sadly, it doesn’t work on iOS, so iPhone and iPad users are left with Wstunnel, which is OpenVPN via WebSocket.
Asking “is Windscribe safe?” is almost the same as asking whether it has a kill switch. If your VPN doesn’t have one, it means your personal data can easily leak. Windscribe has a kill switch, and they call it a Firewall.
Considered superior to any regular kill switch by its creators, the Windscribe kill switch ensures that not even a single packet leaves your device in the event of a VPN malfunction.
In Preferences, you’ll have the option to allow LAN traffic with the Firewall turned on and also change its modes from Automatic (default) and Manual to Always On. The latter blocks your internet connection until you connect to a Windscribe server.
To sum up, Windscribe’s kill switch is better than most of its competitors. Should this VPN go down, your identity won’t be compromised.
The great news is that Windscribe has a split tunneling feature. With it, you’re able to choose which apps and websites to protect with a VPN and which ones you’re okay with being visible to your ISP.
That’s quite handy, especially with the apps that won’t work when you’re connected to your VPN.
The bad news is that at the moment, split tunneling is available only to Android users. Hence, those who use other devices miss out. However, Windscribe is working on introducing this feature to its Windows, Mac, and Linux apps.
Hopefully, this update is implemented sooner rather than later.
In short, Windscribe VPN has no DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks at all. To check, I ran some online tests, looking for any kind of leak – my IP address showing, or signs of my computer using the ISP DNS to resolve the query.
The image above shows my test results where I connected to a Windscribe server in the UK and checked for DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. As you can see, I couldn’t find any.
Windscribe is based in Canada – one of the Five Eyes countries, where mass-surveillance is prevalent. As a member of this alliance, Canada can share its intelligence data with any other member of the broader Fourteen Eyes alliance.
Unlike other competitors, Windscribe doesn’t claim to be a “no logs policy” service. Instead, they make a different promise: no identifying logs. In other words, Windscribe does collect some connection and other user data, but it’s not a big privacy risk.
“We do not store connection logs, IP timestamps, or sites you visit”
I’ve also found some positive transparency data: there have been around 400 thousand DMCA and 34 law enforcement data requests in 2018. Here comes the good news you’ve been waiting to hear:
Windscribe claims to have complied with exactly zero requests “due to lack of relevant data.”
For a more in-depth look at this provider’s logging practices, read Does Windscribe Keep Logs?
In the summer of 2021, Ukrainian authorities seized two Windscribe servers as part of an ongoing investigation. According to the provider’s CEO, they were running on a legacy stack, deprecated back in 2018. This happened after a vulnerability was found that allows the attacker to decrypt information.
To be fair, this scenario is possible only if all other quite specific requirements are met. For instance, a user must be running a legacy DNS resolver and not use any Windscribe apps. Moreover, the attacker needs full control over the user’s network and be able to tamper with unencrypted DNS queries.
We don’t know how many more Windscribe servers were using outdated certificates, but hopefully, all servers have been updated by now.
Windscribe offers anonymous payments using Paymentwall gift cards or Bitcoin. What’s more, you can create an account without using an email, so there’s no need to bother creating a throwaway mailbox.
Naturally, Windscribe doesn’t ask for your name, address, or any other personally identifiable information. So it’s up to you not to include such data in your username and optional email fields.
Windscribe is rich with security and privacy features, especially if you use both the app and the browser extension of your choice.
Here are the most important ones:
And that’s only a few of them. You can easily check out the rest by installing the free Windscribe version.
Windscribe VPN supports your device or OS if it’s on this list: Windows, macOS, Linux (beta), iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Kodi, routers, and NAS servers.
You can also download Windscribe VPN for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera. I recommend using a browser extension with the app for that synergy effect. I love that Windscribe VPN added Opera and Edge to their set of add-ins, which is not so common in most providers.
One subscription gives you an unlimited number of simultaneous connections – a rare feat among premium VPNs.
When it comes to usability, all apps are fairly user-friendly, with privacy options that VPN enthusiasts will also appreciate.
You can connect to a recommended location with a single click
Both the desktop apps and browser extensions feature a minimalist design and look slick. However, the updated extensions removed the warmer colors from their palette and went for a more strict look, similar to that of mobile apps.
The Windows app looks like Windscribe for Mac. The home screen has an “On/Off” button for connecting to a server and a smaller “On” slider below to toggle the firewall.
Pressing the drop-down button will give you a list of all possible locations that can be ordered by geography, alphabet, or latency. Finally, the hamburger menu will lead you to the connection and security settings under Preferences.
Here you can select your connection protocol, firewall mode, DNS servers, and proxy settings.
Windscribe for Linux, still in beta, is console-based. There are clients for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS distributions. The website also gives clear instructions on how to install the app on them.
Windscribe mobile apps have a different design when compared to their desktop counterparts. They use a different palette and show the extended server list, starting with the best and the most popular ones before switching to the alphabetic order. There are also filters for your Favorites and Windflix streaming servers.
However, the differences between the Windscribe for Android and iOS versions become apparent when we delve deeper into the settings. Not only are there fewer features when compared to the desktop versions – the iOS app barely has any of them!
As you can see on the right, Windscribe iOS users get the Firewall and the option to change the protocol or port. Meanwhile, Android users get the native Always-on VPN feature for a kill switch (instead of a firewall) but are compensated with Split Tunneling and more.
The Android version of Windscribe lacks these features:
Despite lacking some features compared to the desktop versions, Windscribe for Android and iOS is safe to use.
Windscribe browser extensions have many unique features and should be used together with the app for maximum security and privacy. For example, the browser extension has a Secure.link Generator. You also get the Whitelist feature that disables the VPN on your chosen websites.
The Windscribe browser extension also offers plenty of extra privacy features that other apps don’t have, such as Ad Crusher, Malware Evader, and WebRTC Slayer, to name but a few.
With Ad Crusher, you’ll be able to block all the ads on your device. Using Malware Evader will help you block malicious domains, including malware-spreading or phishing sites. WebRTC Slayer will limit WebRTC requests to make it easier to prevent leaks.
Aside from the major platforms, Windscribe also has apps for Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Nvidia Shield, and Kodi (Android and Linux based).
There are options to manually configure this VPN for routers (DD-WRT, Tomato, Asus-WRT) and NAS (Synology, QNAP). You can even buy a pre-configured Windscribe router.
Since they provide a SOCKS5 proxy, you will find setup guides for uTorrent, Deluge, qBitttorrent, and Vuze torrent clients on the website.
Windscribe will cover your basic Netflix streaming needs. It may even offer more, should you decide on getting a static IP address. However, there’s definitely room for improvement, and I hope to see some positive changes sooner rather than later.
For those wondering how to pair Windscribe and Netflix, the provider has dedicated servers called WindFlix US, WindFlix Canada, WindFlix Japan, and WindFlix UK.
When you’re connected to these, your internet traffic isn’t encrypted, which gives you better speeds but, of course, less privacy. As a matter of fact, the speeds should be good enough to stream in HD or even Ultra HD. On the other hand, if you’re using WireGuard, even the encrypted connection should handle 4K video quality.
However, while the speeds are good enough for HD across the globe, Windscribe only managed to unblock the Netflix US library for me.
I didn’t have that much success with other streaming platforms either. For example, I had no luck accessing Disney+, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime Video. But if that’s your goal, for a little extra monthly cost, you can purchase a Static IP to avoid blocking and detection.
For BBC iPlayer, a Datacenter Static IP ($2/month) should do. But streaming Amazon Prime Video could be much more expensive as it may require a Residential Static IP ($8/month).
It’s totally possible to use Windscribe VPN for torrenting, but there are a few server locations with a crossed-out P2P icon.
As you can see, Windscribe doesn’t allow using South African, Indian, and Russian servers for torrenting. As a sidenote, be sure to avoid the VPN servers offered to free users. You can imagine how overcrowded and thus unsuitable for large file transfers those are.
Windscribe VPN offers a free SOCKS5 proxy connection, as well as a handy Split Tunneling feature. Unfortunately, the latter is Android-only. You can also get port forwarding, but only if you buy a static IP for $2/month.
With the Always-on Firewall that also acts as a kill switch, you should be safe from your ISP. At the same time, the speeds should be excellent if you use the WireGuard tunneling protocol.
So, is Windscribe good for torrenting? I’d say that it’s better than any VPN that doesn’t offer WireGuard, but clearly, there are better options for P2P.
Note: Before using any VPN for torrenting, consider that copyright infringement may have severe consequences in your country.
Windscribe premium is available at relatively low prices:
Payment options include credit cards, Paymentwall gift cards, and Bitcoin. Since Windscribe account creation doesn’t require your email, you can buy and use this service completely anonymously.
All Windscribe deals have the same security features, including military-grade encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and so on. They also allow an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
You can test Windscribe premium one day for free. Once you have an account, log in on their website and find the chatbot Garry at the bottom right corner. Ask him for a free trial, and he’ll set you up.
Before you buy, make sure to read the refund policy carefully – your refund is only valid if you:
If you meet the following criteria, you can expect a 3-day money-back guarantee.
Although there are premium plans, the free Windscribe version is also available. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best free VPNs available today.
With the free Windscribe plan, you get a powerful kill switch, anti-geo-blocking, IP address masking, and nearly everything else that a premium version has. You can also combine your desktop version with a browser extension – this way, your chances of staying private while browsing will increase even more.
However, when you opt for a free Windscribe plan, you can only connect to 10 countries. Moreover, you are limited to 10 GB/month and one device. You can use the free version without registering your email address, but your bandwidth limit will shrink to 2 GB.
Data limits and restricted connections may lead to potential privacy issues. However, just like the premium version, Windscribe free VPN doesn’t log anything that could identify you as their user.
There are six ways for you to get help from the Windscribe support:
“Talk to Garry” is an English-only chatbot:
Basically, it’s capable of answering less complex queries like displaying the pricing plans or reminding a forgotten password. While chatting with Garry, I found a red Escalate to human! link, which presented me with a ticket submission screen. Nonetheless, despite all the help they try to give, there’s no real live chat support.
Windscribe’s Android client has a live chat support button, but it turns out this is just the same poor bot Garry from the desktop version, which also has trouble fitting in our smartphone screen, making his advice hard to follow.
The setup guides for different devices and OS’ have screenshots and are easy to follow. The FAQ is a bit lackluster. For example, it says nothing about unblocking Netflix and mentions Bitcoin in an answer that’s not directly related to anonymous payments. What’s more, you won’t find a word about WireGuard, which means that this FAQ hasn’t been updated for a while.
The knowledgebase is a more informative version of the FAQ with a helpful search bar, while the active Windscribe subreddit may be your fastest way to get help from a human. At least for me, getting a reply to me took almost one day.
An alternative to reading this review is visiting our YouTube channel and checking out our Winscribe video review. It goes over everything you need to know about this provider, including features and the differences between the free and paid version.
You should get Windscribe VPN, at least its free version. After all, it’s among the best free VPNs, and it isn’t going anywhere. It’s 10 GB/month data limit is generous, and the server selection is much better than most competitors can offer.
As to whether you should pay for Windscribe, which has only been around for several years, well, I believe it has great potential to climb up the ladder. My only major gripes with this service are the lack of live chat support, the disappointing refund policy, and the somewhat lackluster streaming options.
Here’s what you can expect from the premium Windscribe plan:
All things considered, I can recommend Windscribe for those who want privacy without sacrificing speed. This VPN can be a great choice for gamers, travelers, and torrenting fans. Most importantly, its free version will let you test almost all features first without committing too early.
Windscribe works in China. With this service, your online activities will stay private, which is your main goal when using a virtual private network in this country.
You can use Windscribe VPN for dark web browsing. However, I highly recommend you to do that only if you have a paid subscription.
Not only does it have more security features, but it also allows you to connect to way more countries than a Free plan that offers only ten.
To cancel your Windscribe subscription, you’ll have to complete 3 easy steps:
You can delete your Windscribe account by following these steps:
Yes, it really is. Even more, it’s among the best free VPNs overall.
No, Windscribe is not dangerous by any means. Even though it’s located in Canada, a Five Eyes country, this VPN stays true to its no-logs policy. There were numerous data requests from law enforcement throughout the years, but Windscribe had nothing to share.
Yes, it does. Even more, Windscribe has a reliable kill switch that protects your IP in case the VPN drops. There’s also protection from IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
Windscribe doesn’t keep any identifying logs. This means that neither your connection logs nor IP address timestamps are stored. Learn more about Windscribe VPN logging policy.
I like the free plan of Windscribe but there are major drawback with their server available in their free plan…
They only offers these countries without paying: US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Romania. Actually they seems to has recently added also Turkey as the free locations. While majority of these countries are fine, these two seems pointless for foreigns: Norway and Romania! Who would visit to read websites in Romanian / Norwegian languages?!? These languages has pretty much no popularity, globally the most widely learned languages are: English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Portuguese!
I can’t see reason why Windscribe included Romania, Turkey and Norway as free locations, but at the same time, if you’re at Windscribe’s free plan, you CANNOT the Spain location (where Spanish is used), also can’t access the server locations for those much more popular countries where the language spoken and used on websites there IS English: Japan and India (many sites there has English versions along with their native Japanese / Devanagari), New Zealand and Australia! Dunno why?!?
Look out for these guys. They will charge your credit card without notifying you and then refuse to give you your money back. Buyer Beware.
This is false. It clearly says that they create a subscription when you pay (you know, like every single online service?). You can cancel your subscription rebills after you pay in the panel, no need to contact support like with Nord, for whom I just got a full page ad for while writing this message.
Are there other VPNs like Windscribe that allow you to pay less for a limited number of server locations rather than having to pay for all of them? I only use one location and love how Windscribe allows me to just pay for that instead of wasting my money on hundreds of other locations I’ll never touch.
Hello, Diller. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any other VPN providers that offer such a plan.
How can Wireguard work in China?
Hello, Alvaro. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. There’s no definitive answer. Besides, WireGuard is not the best option in China. For the best results with Windscribe, you’d better use WStunnel or Stealth protocols.
Can I use Windscribe for IOS in China? There is no stealth or wstunnel protocol in the app for IOS, so my question is if it works in the app for IOS, if it works, what do I have to do to make it work?
Hi, García Pancho. Even though Windscribe’s Stealth protocol does not work on iOS devices, you can still try its other protocol – Wstunnel, which should also perform when in China.
Hello, in IOS devices both the stealth protocol and the wstunnel protocol are not available, does it work using another protocol like wireguard?
Hi, García Pancho. Please note that WireGuard is only available for Premium users. Nevertheless, I suggest contacting Windscribe’s customer support directly for any recent updates regarding available protocols on iOS and connectivity in China.
What happens if I try to download torrents on servers that don’t allow?
Greetings, Fuzhong. You will get very slow speeds or the download won’t start at all as the P2P traffic will get blocked by the VPN.
Windscribe has port 443 in OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP and Wireguard protocols, does it work in China using those protocols with port 443?
Hey, Yandue. There’s no definitive answer when it comes to China. What works now might not work in the future. Your best option would be to contact Windscribe customer support to get an up-to-date answer on this issue.
Does Wireguard work in China?
Hello, Darío. Yes, WireGuard should work in China. But don’t hesitate to contact customer support and find out the details on how everything should be set up. The situation in China is constantly changing.
Would love to use windscribe but for some reason connecting to the server in my country is soooooo slow… drops my speed by about 80%. found complaints about this too from before so its seems to be an issue with whoever is providing the server.. using another VPN for the meantime
Hi all! Interesting to see a nice selection of comments and views. I too have been happy with Windscribe and have found it to be very useful and safe to use. I’m still a VPN newbie but think it covers everything I need. Since I’ve been using it I’ve had no issues with any of ts servers of features.
Windscribe is one of the better VPNs. You don’t need a tutorial to know how it works, no-logs, their prices are great, speed is always great, etc. A well-rounded vpn if you ask me.
I would like a lifetime feature on my vpn but I don’t think any company has it or is planning on adding such a feature. Maybe this could be unlocked after a client has been with a certain vpn for 10 or more years. Maybe as a thank you?
A+! Great VPN, prob one of the best i’ve used over the last couple of years. Some great features too, and most importantly the speeds are ace. I upgraded to the pro plan after using the free plan for a month, and was really impressed with the various upgrades I recieved. If you want to keep your private life private, or any personal information (especially of others) safe and secure, then Windscribe is a great investment
Have you checked out the latest update? Would be good to see a review or your thoughts on the new design and the overall changes. I’ve been a windscribe user for only a few months now but have found it really good and helpful to have.
Hi Mia, I’ll definitely check out the newest Windscribe version and update my review accordingly. Come back in a couple of weeks – I’ll let you know what I think!
Windscribe has worked well enough for me and I’ve been happy with the outcome. I think a lot of users aren’t using it to its full advantage which is why they can’t appreciate it as much as others do. I’d recommend reading their website as there is lots of useful information on their page.
I have been using Winscribe for a month now and I must say that it is excellent for netflix as it offers great speed and the number of servers it currently has is pretty impressive
This app has always been one of the first 5 apps I install when I get a new device, now it is the first. It had been my favourite VPN for a long time because of their fast connection and ability to offer 256 bit AES encryption and the standard openvpn tunnelling protocol. I started with the free version then upgraded to Windscribe Pro and even got more features, more locations and faster connections. I saw some negative reviews about it on Reddit some of the problems which can automatically be fixed when they switched to the pro package. For example, the speed in the pro package is better than that of the free version. You may not notice this because they are almost the same thing until you upgrade. People should stop criticizing what they have not paid a dime for
you must not have actually used Windscribe, It is blocked from bank sites and will not connect to dozens of sites. I am using Pro and have reset or disconnect many tomes an hour. Using Telus I get slow service and immediatly speed up when I turn Windscribe off.
Windscribe for IOS works in China? There is no stealth or wstunnel protocol for the IOS version, so my question is if it works, if it works what do I have to do to make it work?
Sounds like you’re having Windscribe connection issues that might not be related to the VPN itself. Here’s a troubleshooting guide if your Windscribe is not connecting. Hope it helps!
Loving Windscribe! It’s really easy to use and has a ton of great features which isn’t often included in other VPN packages. The speeds are good, the features are amazing, and the security systems in place? Top notch! Definitely one to recommend!
The prices for Windscribe are some of the best I’ve seen and their service is among the best I have tried out. Netflix US works great, haven’t tested UK. The Garry bot is annoying at first but you get used to it.
I agree with your review that their customer service support needs a lot of help, but besides that, Windscribe is my favorite VPN. They back up all of their claims of speed and security and if you sign up for a year, the $4.08 a month is a competitive price. I’ve used them for a year now and highly recommend them.