Windscribe is a popular VPN that’s probably best known for its innovative Windflix unblocking tool, which makes it easy to unblock Netflix anywhere in the US or Europe. However, decent speeds and features like unlimited devices also make it appealing as a VPN in general.
Is it as good for P2P downloading? Not all high-quality VPNs offer turbo-charged torrenting speeds, and some don’t even let users access P2P services. So is there anything Windscribe torrenting fans need to know about? Read on to find out more.
Introducing the Windscribe torrenting setup
Firstly, we need to know whether Windscribe even allows torrenting on its network. If not, we can conclude straight away and point you towards VPNs which cater to P2P downloaders. Thankfully, there’s no problem here. Windscribe is definitely an option where torrents are concerned.
If you aren’t already familiar with the product, Windscribe is slightly different from traditional VPNs. It doesn’t just come with a desktop or smartphone client, but bundles in a browser extension as part of every package. The two are designed to be used together, adding an extra layer of privacy and protection against tracking cookies and malware.
As far as Windscribe torrenting goes, the desktop client is the key tool. When you log onto the client, you’ll see a list of available servers. But you’ll also notice a little crossed-out P2P icon alongside many of them.
Windscribe doesn’t allow torrenting on all of its servers.
They don’t outright prohibit torrenting, but they direct P2P users towards a relatively small portfolio of servers.
What does Windscribe offer for torrenting fans?
Even though Windscribe doesn’t allow P2P across their entire server list, they do still offer plenty of features that will interest torrenters. Here’s a quick list of what they bring to the table:
- The Windscribe Socks5 Proxy
Socks5 proxies are generally seen as the ideal way to ensure total security when using torrent clients like qBittorrent or uTorrent. Windscribe makes it easy to route your traffic via their Socks5 proxy for additional security (see below for more details).
- Excellent speeds
In the past, Windscribe has been criticized for underperforming on the speed front, but it has upped its game, and now ranks among the best VPNs for pure speed.
If you need an affordable, fast VPN for torrenting, you’ll find it hard to beat Windscribe, whose cheapest packages retail for around $3.70 per month.
- Anonymous payments
If you are really worried about being unmasked as a torrent downloader, you’ll appreciate the ability to pay for Windscribe subscriptions via BitCoin.
- No logging
As with most of the best paid-for VPNs, Windscribe has a clear no-logging policy.
- Solid encryption
There are no worries on the encryption side of things. Windscribe employs 256-bit AES encryption with SHA512 authentication and 4096-RSA keys – which is pretty much as secure as you can get.
- Reliable protocols
Windscribe also uses OpenVPN, IKEv2 and the Socks5 protocol for transfers. Again, that’s what you’d expect from an industry-leading VPN. These protocols can be used on a variety of ports as well, so if you need to play around with ports when torrenting there’s scope to do so.
Are there any problems for torrenters to know about?
Those are all welcome features for torrenters. However, there are some other things to note before you hand over any cash.
Firstly, Windscribe is a Canadian company. Canada isn’t the worst place for a torrenting VPN to be based, but it is in the 5 eyes alliance, so there’s a risk of intelligence sharing between nations. Perhaps this isn’t as relevant for torrenters, but it’s worth a note.
More importantly, Canada has become more hostile to P2P downloads in recent years, which might pose legal issues for Windscribe and therefore for its users.
There’s also some room for skepticism about Windscribe’s logging policies. The company keeps some logs. In particular, it stores information on when users log into their service and how much bandwidth they consume. While they say this is purely to regulate the users of their free VPN service (which we’re not discussing here), some may find it troubling. There’s no actual logging of what users do during their VPN sessions, which should somewhat ease the minds of torrenters.
What have users made of the Windscribe torrenting experience?
One good way to assess how well-suited VPNs are for torrenting is to take a cross-section of forum discussions about their services. How does Windscribe fare on sites like Reddit?
Actually, it does really well, and for one simple reason. Windscribe’s customer service team actively participates in Reddit discussions, offering in-depth responses to customer queries and helping to resolve their problems.
Reading queries, it’s hard not to be struck by how positive many users are about reliability and speed. And if you start to use Windscribe regularly, you should be able to reach their support team very easily.
How easy is it to configure a Windscribe uTorrent Socks5 setup?
While the Socks5 proxy is not necessary for security – a regular VPN connection is more than enough for safe torrenting – it does help users find a balance between speed and protection. So let’s quickly run through a typical Windscribe uTorrent Socks5 setup to work out how user-friendly the process is.
Before describing the process, it’s useful to reiterate the role of the Socks5 proxy. This allows users to enjoy automatic Windscribe uTorrent protection without needing to load up the VPN client. Taking an extra step out of the privacy process reduces the potential for human error, so it’s a neat idea. It also lets you protect only your torrent traffic if necessary.
If you want to set up uTorrent for Windscribe, including the Socks5 proxy, here’s what you do:
- First of all, load up your uTorrent client.
- Head to the Options menu in the top right-hand corner and select “Preferences.”
- Now choose the “Connection” option on the Preferences menu.
- The Connection screen should include an option entitled “Proxy Server.” Press the drop-down menu and select the Socks5 option.
- At this point, you’ll need to acquire a Socks5 profile from Windscribe (NOTE: this is only available to Pro subscribers, not to free customers). To do it, head to this page.
- Go back to the Connection menu on your uTorrent client. Paste in the proxy server address supplied by Windscribe when you acquired your Socks5 credentials.
- Add the port number supplied by Windscribe along with your username and password.
- Now, check the little box next to the word “Authentication”.
- Before you finish, be sure to mark all of the boxes underneath the proxy server fields. Without you doing so, the Socks5 proxy won’t provide a strong degree of protection.
- Press the OK button and the Socks5 proxy will be linked to your uTorrent client.
Before you start downloading any movies, music or TV shows, be sure to check that your proxy is working correctly. The best way to do so is by downloading a test torrent from CheckMyIP.
If that checks out (and there shouldn’t be any problems), your torrenting will be protected and you should be safe from ISP notices and law enforcement. So overall, configuring your Windscribe uTorrent setup is pretty simple.
What about other torrent clients?
The process for each of them is very similar to creating a Windscribe uTorrent configuration, so don’t worry. Just look out for steps that are unique to specific clients. For instance, Vuze has a lot more options on its connection page, and you’ll have to make sure that each required box is flagged. Missing out on one box can have fatal consequences for P2P privacy, so pay attention and double check before proceeding.
Conclusion: What is the Windscribe torrenting verdict?
Canada’s Windscribe is certainly a decent VPN for torrenting. Its server speeds, easy to use Socks5 proxy settings, high-quality customer support, affordable packages, solid encryption, and support for crypto-payments all count in its favor.
But overall, Windscribe is a good option for using torrent clients and other P2P software. Just follow the setup procedures carefully, avoid the free VPN, and you’ll be fine.