Windscribe VPN Review
8.1/10
Unique features and good prices

Windscribe VPN Review

8.1/10 Good
Unique features and good prices

While a relative newcomer, Windscribe has great potential to be one of the best VPNs: no-logs policy, leak protection, Netflix unblocking, ad and malware blocking, and a lot more. It only needs to fix its live chat problem.

Last update: April 7, 2020

While a relative newcomer, Windscribe has great potential to be one of the best VPNs: no-logs policy, leak protection, Netflix unblocking, ad and malware blocking, and a lot more. It only needs to fix its live chat problem.

13
Out of 215
VPN providers
Things we like:
  • No identifying logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Free version
  • Works with Netflix & P2P
  • Ad and malware blocking
Things we don't like:
  • No live chat support
Minimum Price:
$1.00 / month
Apps available:
windows macos android ios linux chrome firefox opera
Works with:
firetv kodi router
Windscribe VPN Review:
13
Out of 215
VPN providers
Things we like:
  • No identifying logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Free version
  • Works with Netflix & P2P
  • Ad and malware blocking
Things we don't like:
  • No live chat support

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

When I first saw what Windscribe VPN had to offer, I wasn’t entirely convinced. After all, most VPNs name themselves as one of the best, if not the best. As a 3-year-old upstart, Windscribe just seemed too proud, too bold, and too confident.

So, can this VPN actually walk the walk? That depends on what the answers will be to the following questions: is Windscribe VPN safe? Does it unblock Netflix? Is torrenting allowed on Windscribe servers? And is it fast enough for all your online activities?

I will try to answer all these questions and then some in this in-depth Windscribe VPN review.

Overview

location
Company location: Canada
website
Website: windscribe.com
countries
Number of locations: 60+ countries
servers
Number of servers: 480+
netflix
Netflix: Yes
torrenting
Torrenting: Yes
encryption
Encryption: AES-256
protocols
Protocols: OpenVPN and IKEv2
support
Support: Email
logs
Logs: Minimal data collection
price
Price: From $1.00/month
free_trial
Free version or trial: Yes, free version with 10 GB bandwidth

Security and privacy features

Those wondering whether Windscribe is safe can relax – this VPN has enough security and privacy features to be considered as one of the safest. The good news is that the free version has almost the same level of protection. It also makes sense to combine your client with a browser extension as those add even more helpful features.

Encryption and tunneling protocols

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:

  • Open VPN (UDP)
  • Open VPN (TCP)
  • IKEv2
  • Stealth
  • Wstunnel

OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols will be enough for most users, but those residing in countries where internet access is restricted will find Windscribe’s two stealth protocols handy. The first is named Stealth (!), and it’s basically OpenVPN via STunnel. Sadly, it doesn’t work on iOS, so iPhone and iPad users are left with Wstunnel, which is OpenVPN in a WebSocket.

Some users might miss L2TP/IPSec or even PPTP protocols that offer more speed at the cost of safety. However, we can only say that Windscribe VPN is among the best services when it comes to privacy and security.

Kill switch

The Windscribe kill switch is a special one. It’s so special that it’s even called a Firewall, though it being a part of the firewall would probably be a better way to put it. Considered to be superior to any regular kill switch by its creators, Windscribe kill switch ensures that not even a single packet leaves your device in case of a VPN malfunction.

Windscribe VPN Firewall Settings

In Preferences, you’ll have the option to allow LAN traffic with the firewall tuned on and also change its modes from Automatic (default) and Manual to Always On. The latter blocks internet connection until you connect to a Windscribe server.

To sum up, Windscribe has a kill switch that’s probably even better than those of its competitors. Should this VPN go down, your identity won’t be compromised.

No leaks

In short, Windscribe VPN has no DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks at all. And this comes not without the help from the browser extension’s privacy features, to be fair.

Windscribe VPN leak test – negative results

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.

Unfortunately, though, my Panopticlick browser fingerprinting test failed:

Windscribe Panopticlick test results

If you want to play it safe and avoid browser fingerprinting, you may want to use the Tor browser (with the Tor network disabled) with this VPN. This seems to be the best recipe for the highest possible level of online security and privacy.

Founded in Canada, a Five Eyes country

The first serious privacy blow comes after checking where Windscribe is registered. Turns out it’s in Canada – one of the Five Eyes countries where mass-surveillance can be considered a norm. It also means that Canada can share its intelligence data with any other member of a broader Fourteen Eyes alliance.

On the bright side, Windscribe VPN is yet to share any data that would allow identifying its client. In fact, there already have been dozens of requests from law enforcement, and all failed to extract any personal data. Therefore as long as Windscribe keeps its no-logs policy, users should be safe even in such surveillance-friendly conditions.

No identifying logs

Unlike other competitors, Windscribe doesn’t claim to be a “no logs policy” service. Instead, they make a promise that they also seem to keep: no identifying logs. In other words, Windscribe does collect some connection and other user data, but it’s not a big security risk.

“We do not store connection logs, IP timestamps, or sites you visit”

You can read the above statement in their Privacy Policy. Whatever data this provider collects and stores is of no use to the authorities to identify you.

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”

In my book, this means that they take the “no identifying logs” statement seriously.

For a more in-depth look at this provider’s logging practices? Read Does Windscribe Keep Logs?

Anonymous purchase

Windscribe offers anonymous payments in Paymentwall’s gift cards and bitcoin. What’s more, you can create an account without using an email, so there’s no need to bother creating a throwaway mailbox. However, if you plan to use Windscribe’s free version, adding an email will increase your monthly bandwidth limit from 2 GB to 10 GB.

Naturally, Windscribe doesn’t ask your name, address, or any other personally identifiable information. So it’s up to you to not include such data in your username and optional email fields.

Other technical features

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:

  • R.O.B.E.R.T. (Remote Omnidirectional Badware Eliminating Robotic Tool) for reducing tracking, seeing fewer ads, using less data, and reducing the risk of infection
  • Secure hotspot lets your computer act as a secure wifi router
  • Ad Crusher is not a version of Candy Crush – it’s for blocking third-party ads
  • Social fence to block social media trackers from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and others
  • Tracker Eradicator to remove ad trackers and beacons to stop cross-site tracking and building profiles based on your interest
  • Double Hop routes your traffic via two servers for an additional layer of protection
  • Time Warp for setting your browser’s time zone according to your chosen server location

And that’s only a few of them. You can easily check out the rest by installing a free Windscribe version.

Speed: is Windscribe still fast?

Windscribe used to provide some of the best speeds, even when compared to our Top 3 fastest VPN services. And while it’s still considered as fast, its positions are no longer what they used to be. Nevertheless, my test has shown that Windscribe should be fast enough for most gamers, torrenters, and streamers out there.

These were my baseline speeds in Europe at the time of testing:

  • Download: 243 Mbps
  • Upload: 284 Mbps
  • Ping: 4 ms

And this is what I got after connecting to different Windscribe servers using OpenVPN (UDP):

United Kingdom

Windscribe speed test in the UK results

  • Download: 16 Mbps (drop-off 93%)
  • Upload: 73 Mbps (drop-off 74%)
  • Ping: 41 ms

United States

  • Download: 22 Mbps (drop-off 91%)
  • Upload: 132 Mbps (drop-off 54%)
  • Ping: 115 ms

Australia

Windscribe speed test in Australia results

  • Download: 9 Mbps (drop-off 96%)
  • Upload: 65 Mbps (drop-off 77%)
  • Ping: 337 ms

Windscribe speed test results have shown that while it no longer provides lightning-fast connections, it’s still one of the fastest VPNs on the market. That probably has to do with the fact that none of their 480+ servers in 60+ countries are virtual.

Does Windscribe support my device?

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. There are also browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, which I recommend using with the app for that synergy effect.

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 best location with a single click

Both the desktop apps and browser extensions feature a minimalist design and look relatively good, although the updated extensions removed the warmer colors from their palette and went for a more strict look, similar to that of mobile apps.

Windscribe VPN desktop apps: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Windscribe for Windows looks like the macOS version. The home screen has an “On/Off” button for connecting to a Windscribe server and a smaller “On” slider below for toggling the firewall.

Windscribe VPN home menu and settings

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.

Windscribe VPN Windows app Preferences

Here you can select your connection protocol, firewall mode, DNS servers, and proxy settings.

The Linux version, still in beta, is console-based. Windscribe has 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: Android and iOS (iPhone & iPad)

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.

Windscribe iOS client main mmenu

However, the differences between the Android and iOS versions become apparent when we delve deeper into the Windscribe VPN settings. Not only there’s less of those when compared to the desktop versions – the iOS app barely has any of them!

Windscribe VPN Android and iOS app settings comparison

As you can see on the right, iOS users get Windscribe’s firewall that includes a kill switch and the option to change the protocol or port. In the meantime, Android users get the native “Always on VPN” for a kill switch instead of a firewall, but are compensated with split tunneling and packet size selector. As a bonus, Windscribe throws in the options to allow LAN traffic bypass VPN and to automatically connect the app on boot.

To sum up, Windscribe for Android and iOS are safe to use, despite them lacking some functionality that the desktop versions have, such as stealth protocols.

Windscribe for web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

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, and you can also create a Whitelist of tracking websites at the bottom of the app’s home screen.

Windscribe Chrome browser extension

The Windscribe browser extension also offers plenty of extra privacy features that the other apps don’t have, such as Ad Crusher, Malware Evader, and WebRTC Slayer, to name but a few.

Windscribe Chrome extension Privacy settings

That’s why it’s worth using it together with your desktop or mobile app for enhanced security.

Other platforms for Windscribe VPN

Windscribe also has apps for Amazon FireTV, Nvidia Shield, and Kodi (Android and Linux based). You can also configure it for routers (DD-WRT, Tomato, Asus-WRT) and NAS (Synology, QNAP).

Since Windscribe VPN provides SOCKS5 proxy, on their website, you will find the setup guides for uTorrent, Deluge, qBitttorrent, and Vuze torrent clients.

Netflix and other streaming services

For those wandering how to watch Netflix with Windscribe, the provider has dedicated servers called WindFlix US, WindFlix Canada, WindFlix Japan, and WindFlix UK for that. When you’re connected to these, your internet traffic isn’t encrypted, which gives you better speeds but less privacy.

Unfortunately, my last Windscribe test has shown that while the speeds were good enough for HD across the globe, only Netflix US library was unblocked for me.

You should be able to use Windscribe VPN for streaming Netflix US

However, if you fail to access Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, or other media centers, no need to panic. 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 could be a bit more expensive as it may require a Residential Static IP ($8/month).

All in all, while Windscribe might not be the best VPN for Netflix at the moment, it should be good enough for most of your streaming needs.

Does Windscribe support torrenting?

Windscribe VPN allows torrenting, but there are a few server locations with a crossed-out P2P icon.

windscribe vpn countries where torrenting is not allowed

As you can see, Windscribe doesn’t allow using South African, Indian, and Russian servers for torrenting.

Also, be sure to avoid the VPN servers offered to the free users. You can imagine how overcrowded and unsuitable for large file transfers those may become.

While Windscribe offers a free SOCKS5 proxy connection, most torrent trackers block them, and it’s not considered secure. Using the split tunneling feature might prove more beneficial.

With the Always-on Firewall that also acts like a kills switch, you should be safe from your ISP since it allows the traffic only to Windscribe servers.

Note: before using any VPN for torrenting, consider that copyright infringement may have severe consequences in your country. If in doubt about your choice, you can always check our dedicated Windscribe for torrenting post or our picks for the best VPN for torrenting.

Support: email, chatbot, and guides

There are six ways for you to get help through the official Windscribe VPN website:

  • Setup Guides
  • FAQs
  • Knowledge Base
  • Subreddit
  • Talk to Garry
  • Submit Ticket

“Talk to Garry” is a pseudo-live chat window:

windscribe vpn live chat support

Basically, this chatbot is capable of answering less complex queries like pricing plans or a forgotten password. While chatting with Gary, I found a red Escalate to human! link, which presented me with a screen to submit a support ticket. Nonetheless, despite all the help they try to give, there’s no real live chat support.

The setup guides for different devices and OS have screenshots and are easy to follow. The FAQ is a bit of a lackluster – i.e., it says nothing about unblocking Netflix and mentions bitcoin in an answer that’s not directly related to anonymous payments. 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.

Pricing: is Windscribe asking too much?

Windscribe VPN offers its service for relatively low prices:

  • Free: 10 servers, 10 GB/month
  • 1-month plan: $9.00/month
  • 1-year plan: $4.08/month
  • Build a plan: $1.00/month/location

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.

These are relatively low prices for the range of security and privacy features this VPN provides

All Windscribe VPN plans have the same security features, including military-grade encryption, tunneling protocols, kill switch, leak protection, and so on. They also allow an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.

Windscribe also offers a free version with a limited number of servers (10 locations) and a 10 GB bandwidth cap. You can use the free version without registering with your email address, but your bandwidth limit will shrink to 2 GB.

Also, be sure to read the refund policy carefully – your refund is only valid if you:

  • Purchase your VPN app directly from Windscribe (no third-party vendors like StackSocial)
  • Send your request within three commercial days from your subscription
  • Don’t exceed the 10 GB traffic limit

If you meet the following criteria, expect a refund within 30 days.

Should you get Windscribe VPN?

You should get Windscribe VPN, at least its free version. After all, it’s among the best free VPNs and isn’t going anywhere. As to whether you should pay for Windscribe, which has only been around for several years, well, we believe it has great potential to climb up the ladder. Our only major gripes with this service are the lack of live chat support and complicated refund policy.

All things considered, we recommend Windscribe for geo-unblockers, gamers, streamers, and travelers mostly, which are the majority of VPN users.

It’s not yet a perfect VPN. But hey, who said there’s such a thing as perfect?

Good

  • No identifying logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Free version
  • Works with Netflix & P2P
  • Ad and malware blocking

Bad

  • No live chat support
  • Complicated refund policy
 8.1 / 10
Total score
$1.00 / month
Minimum Price

18 comments
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  1. Arjay

    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.


  2. Tiso

    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.


  3. Mario

    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?


  4. Conley

    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


  5. Mia

    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.


    1. Ethan Payne Author

      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!


  6. Lila

    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.


  7. Priyanka

    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


  8. Coryweb

    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


  9. B Noone

    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.


    1. Ethan Payne

      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!


  10. Koy

    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!


  11. Joe

    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.


  12. Jay EJuarez

    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.


  13. Qian K’ung

    I wanted to try Windscribe VPN, given the low cost, starting at $1.00 and was going through a couple of reviews online. You seem to give it a very high rating of 8/10, but some of the reviews I came across online on other websites don’t give it more than 4 or 6 due to slow speeds. Restore Privacy gives it a 1.5 rating, which is way too low. I am quite confused now.


    1. Ethan Payne Author

      When it comes to VPN speeds, there are many factors at play. Your computer hardware, router, ISP, and physical location, as well as the VPN server’s load and quality, can all influence your speed. This means that different users may experience entirely different results, which may have been the case with other reviewers.

      The good news is that you can give Windscribe a risk-free test drive – they offer an (admittedly, limited) free version that will help you make up your mind.


  14. Ethan Payne Author

    Well, it’s as safe as a Canada-based VPN can be. As long as you stay away from those servers with the crossed-out P2P icons when you use Windscribe for torrenting, that is.


  15. Ali Samer

    Windscribe VPN is amazing! To me it really doesn’t matter that they are based in Canada, it’s very safe and works well with Netflix. Give it a try people! It won’t disappoint.

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13
Out of 215
VPN providers
Things we like:
  • No identifying logs policy
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds
  • Free version
  • Works with Netflix & P2P
  • Ad and malware blocking
Things we don't like:
  • No live chat support
Pricing plans:
Build A Plan
$1.00 / month
Yearly Plan
$4.08 / month
Monthly Plan
$9.00 / month
Get Windscribe VPN
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