Learning how to use Windscribe VPN is no rocket science. This service has all the characteristics to make it one of the nicest and simplest VPNs on the market.
While it’s based in Canada, a 5 Eyes country, Windscribe has a wide variety of security and privacy features to provide enough anonymity for general needs or more.
For example, many services claim to have no logs, including connection and usage logs. However, most of them do log some information in the end. Windscribe goes clean on this and only states “no identifying logs,” which makes sense (read more about Windscribe’s Logging Policy).
Moreover, this VPN solution has 480+ servers in 60+ countries, which is a good global coverage. You can also use the dedicated Windflix servers to access Netflix libraries in the US, the UK, Canada, and Japan.
We’ll get into the details on how to use Windscribe VPN, but let’s firstly look at some of its benefits and the essential differences between different plans.
What is Windscribe good for
In general, we can say that Windscribe is good for any common need that calls for a VPN. These include:
- IP address spoofing
- Staying anonymous online
- Geo-unblocking and accessing censored web content
- Online gaming
- P2P file-sharing (torrenting) excluding three marked servers (India, Russia, and South Africa)
- Public wifi protection
- Video streaming (Netflix and more)
Since Windscribe VPN has pretty good speeds, it’s possible to stream videos both in HD and 4K. Of course, this also depends on the capabilities of your device. Downloading or uploading large files should also be relatively quick.
Thanks to its Stealth VPN features (obfuscation), you can also use Windscribe in VPN-unfriendly internet-censoring countries like China, Iran, or Russia.
So, all in all, we believe that this is a reasonably secure and private VPN for most online activities.
Free vs Premium
There are two Windscribe versions: Free and Pro, and each offers different options to the users.
Windscribe Free VPN
When opting for a Free plan, you’re not allowed to use all of the server locations. You’re limited to the following ten:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
There’s also the 10 GB monthly traffic cap. This is more than the majority of VPNs have to offer. To compare, the free version of TunnelBear provides you with 500 MB. Of course, if you’re a hardcore torrenter, you may find 10 GB wholly unsatisfying.
What is more, you can’t use the Windscribe Free VPN for Netflix since the dedicated WINDFLIX servers aren’t available.
It’s also likely that the free version is somewhat slower since millions of users can easily overcrowd servers in those 10 locations.
Windscribe Pro VPN
The Pro version offers unlimited data traffic, 480+ servers in 60+ countries, Netflix in the US, the UK, Canada, and Japan, along with faster speeds.
We have found Windscribe to be a reliable service with a “no identifying logs” policy and a couple of useful features. The pricing of the Pro version is quite reasonable considering its level of privacy and versatility.
For $4.08/month for the annual plan or $9.00 for the monthly plan – that’s not bad at all.
How to download and install Windscribe
Downloading Windscribe is fast and easy:
- Click on either the Get Started or the Download Windscribe button.
- Select your platform.
- Start downloading.
- After launching the software, click Next if you are okay with the recommended Express Install option.
- Click Finish.
How to create Windscribe VPN account
Once the installation is over, you’ll get this notification:
If you don’t have a Windscribe account, click No. You’ll be taken to a dedicated webpage, where you can either log in or create a free account.
If you want to use Windscribe VPN for free, enter a username, and choose an account password. Then, press the Create Free Account button, and you’re good to go.
Entering your email address is optional. However, if you don’t, your monthly data limit will drop to 2 GB. If you don’t mind giving away a temporary email address, you can have your 10 GB per month.
Windscribe will remind you of this, of course:
So, now you have either a Free or a Pro account, and you’re logged in as well:
By default, the Windscribe VPN client offers the most optimal location, which is usually the closest and fastest VPN server:
So, to connect to the default server, all you need to do is click the Power button on the right. Once it’s turned on, you’ll be connected within a few seconds.
After you open the location list, you can also select your preferred location or one of the dedicated servers:
As you can see, the signal bars on the left clearly show the load of each server.
To create a list of favorite locations, click the heart icon to the right of the location name. If you want to connect to a different location, click the country or city server, and the app will automatically connect.
Windscribe VPN kill switch
If you want leak protection, switch on the Firewall feature (on by default). This Firewall functions as a kill switch, which is vital for a reliable privacy tool.
Windscribe’s mobile apps and browser extensions look and function similarly to desktop apps. However, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera VPN extensions have some extra features. This makes them a useful addition to the other platforms.
Windscribe VPN apps
The main difference between the apps is in the settings and features they offer. So, let’s see what these are and what kind of customizations Windscribe VPN allows you.
How to use Windscrib VPN on mobile apps
The Windscribe iOS app offers the least amount of settings and customization options. If you tap the 3-Bar icon in the top-left corner and select Connection, you’ll find:
All you can do here is switch between IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols, choose a preferred port, turn the firewall (kill switch) on or off, and whitelist the networks for which you won’t use the VPN.
In contrast, Windscribe for Android has a bit more to offer:
Here we have split tunneling, Android’s native “Always-on VPN” that acts as a kill switch, packet size selection, and the option to allow LAN traffic. There’s also a generic setting to connect automatically after launching the app.
As we can see, neither iOS nor Android app offers plenty of features or customization options. But if you’re using a free Windscribe account, it should be just enough for your general spoofed-IP web browsing activities.
Windscribe VPN browser extensions
The browser extensions offer a long list of unique settings, making them a great addition to the desktop features. The browser extension settings menu is called Privacy Options. You can display this screen if you click the 3-Bar icon and select Privacy Options.
Here’s the list of useful features the Chrome, Firefox, and Opera Windscribe apps have for you:
How to use Windscribe on desktop apps
The Windscribe desktop apps are the best-equipped. They’re also likely to be the most popular. If you click the 3-Bar icon in the top-left corner and choose Preferences, you will open the Windscribe Preferences window.
This window has five tabs: General, Connection, Proxy, Share, and Debug. The General tab is the default tab when you display the Preferences window. It contains options related to the general behavior of the Windscribe VPN app.
The Connection tab has more technical settings:
For more experienced VPN users, this tab is close to paradise. Here’s what you can optimize, tweak, and customize on this screen:
- Firewall Mode: Automatic (default), Manual, and Always On
- Connection Mode: Automatic (default) or Manual. If you choose Manual, you can select your desired protocol (IKEv2, UPD, TCP, Stealth, or WStunnel) as well as the Port assigned to it.
- API Resolution: Automatic (default) or Manual IP. Some networks (e.g., China) can block or alter your DNS requests, and this could cause an error for Windscribe. This setting lets you manually configure an IP address to access the Windscribe API (Application Programming Interface). The next parameter is also related to this error.
- DNS while disconnected: choose which DNS servers to use when not using Windscribe
- Ignore SSL Errors: check this box to ignore SSL errors and log in again.
- Force close all TCP sockets after connection
On the Proxy tab, you can configure a LAN proxy as follows:
The Share tab is a great feature that again lets you share your protected VPN connection as a hotspot so that other users or other devices can take advantage of it.
All you need to do is click the Enabled radio button in the Secure Hotspot section and enter a network name and password. If another device connects to this hotspot, all the web activities will be proxied through Windscribe servers.
Yet another superb security feature is the Proxy Gateway. This allows you to configure an HTTP or SOCKS5 proxy server on your Windows or Mac computer. This way, you can set up your Smart TV, your PlayStation, or Xbox to use the secure VPN connection.
Finally, we have the Debug tab, where you can send and view logs, disable IPv6, and so on.
Windscribe core features
Windscribe VPN has more cool features worth mentioning before we say goodbye.
This feature requires a Static IP that you have to purchase first. There are two types of Static IPs available: Datacenter ($2/m) and Residential ($8/m). The apparent difference between the two is that the Residential Static IP is more effective against all kinds of blocks as it uses a residential connection.
Once you have your Static IP, you can enable this feature through your Windscribe account and configure it as described in the instructions available on the website.
This is a great feature to block malware and advertisements. Now, it’s available for all your devices. Again, you need to log in to your Windscribe account to turn on this feature.
There are four configurations to choose from:
- Disabled: no DNS will be filtered.
- Malware/Phishing/Botnets: this is the default option. It blocks all known malware, phishing, and botnet domains.
- Malware/Phishing/Botnets/Ads/Trackers: in addition to option 2, this option also blocks known ad distributing and tracking domains.
- Malware/Phishing/Botnets/Ads/Trackers/Social Networks: in addition to option 3, this option also blocks known social networks due to their tracking practices.
To protect your entire team, you can now build a team account with Windscribe. ScribeForce is available at $3 monthly per team member. You can set this feature up on the website and enjoy the convenience of centralized billing.
In summary, Windscribe is a versatile VPN service that can provide you with decent online security and privacy for all your general needs. If you stay on the lawful side of things, you should be fine using either the Free or Pro version.
Windscribe offers support for most common platforms. Using the desktop VPN software along with the browser extension will also give you a higher level of online security. All in all, this is an excellent service with a lot of tweaking opportunities. We hope we made it clear how to use Windscribe VPN. For more information, read our Windscribe VPN review.