Windscribe is a Canadian VPN provider that started in 2016, and is available for Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, iOS. Amazon FireTV, Kodi, and Nvidia Shield, with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. At the same time, it offers pre-flashed routers through Flash Routers. This incredible variety of VPN coverages is notable.
Windscribe has both free and paid plans; the only difference is that the free tier has strict bandwidth and server limitations. Windscribe has a three-day money-back guarantee, but the provider highly encourages users to test out its VPN service with the free tier before paying for a subscription.
Click the logo below to visit Windscribe now!
Among the features of Windscribe that are available for all platforms are:
- Strong encryption: Windscribe uses government-standard AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key.
- Simple VPN client: The VPN client has no frills and is easy to use.
- Static IPs: To avoid nuisances (such as more captcha and the risk of being blacklisted) that come with a constantly changing IP address, you can get a static IP address at an additional cost.
- R.O.B.E.R.T.: This is a customizable domain blocking tool. You can block or allow preset categories. You can also create custom access rules for every domain.
With this feature, you can block ads, use less data, and reduce the risk of malware. The changes you make are applied instantly to all devices, with no need for a reboot.
Windscribe has these additional features for its desktop clients:
- Port forwarding
- Firewall (prevents all kinds of IP leaks and acts as a kill switch)
- Secure hotspot
- Proxy gateway
- Flexible connectivity
The VPN provider recommends that users also add the Windscribe browser extension while using the VPN client to take advantage of the following features:
- Ad blocking allows you to block ads and trackers while you browse the web.
- Cruise control automatically selects the server location for you to maximize speed and unblock geo-restricted content.
- Double hop which allows you to route your connection to two locations within the Windscribe network. You need a desktop client to achieve this; one location will be the location that your desktop client is connected to, and the second location is the one where your browser is connected to. What websites will see is the IP of the server where your browser extension is connected to. We don’t consider this setup as a real multi-hop feature.
- Timezone spoofing makes you appear to be in the country you’re connected to.
- Cookie monster deletes all cookies when the tab is closed.
- Split personality reduces the chance of basic digital fingerprinting by rotating user agent.
Note that not all of these features are available on Windscribe’s free plan. Even when you are already subscribed to a paid plan, you still have to pay an extra amount to enjoy some of these features. Please see the Pricing & Payments section for more information.
Servers & Countries
Windscribe has 450 servers in 110 cities in more than 60 countries. At the time of our testing though, only 144 of these servers were online. People using Windscribe’s free plan can access only 10 server locations, which include the US, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, France, and Germany.
Windscribe claims that all of its servers are physically located in countries, unlike other providers that spoof their server locations.
What impresses us about Windscribe’s offering of servers is that it has servers dedicated for Netflix called Windflix servers. The Windflix servers are located in the following countries:
If you want to access the Netflix library of these countries, you can connect to the respective Windflix servers.
If you’re thinking about torrenting, you can do so with Windscribe. As proof, Windscribe has setup guides for uTorrent, Deluge, qBittorrent, and Vuze. Note though that due to country restrictions, torrenting won’t be possible on some servers. These locations are highlighted on Windscribe’s Location Status page. See the image below; P2P is not allowed in Russia and South Africa.
Reliability & Speed Tests
Our speed test results are quite interesting. Most of the top VPN providers we have reviewed can bypass ISP speed throttling, but Windscribe wasn’t able to do the same. Here is our speed test result before connecting to Windscribe:
After we turned on the desktop VPN client, download speed went down, and latency went up remarkably:
This is not the best performance, and was the best we could get out of them at the time of testing.
Pricing & Payments
Windscribe is available for free. You will enjoy all the basic features, but you will only get 10 GB of data each month. If you sign up without an email address, you will only get a two-gig allocation. The VPN provider has three paid plans:
- Monthly: $9 per month, billed monthly.
- Yearly: $4.08 per month, billed yearly.
- Build a Plan: $1 per location per month.
The Build a Plan option comes at a minimum of $2 per month and capped at 12GB data allocation for every location. You can get an unlimited data allocation and the R.O.B.E.R.T. feature at an additional cost of $1 per month.
Static IP addresses are available on paid plans, at an additional cost of $2 per month for datacenter IP addresses, and $8 per month for residential IPs. Team accounts are also available for businesses at a monthly rate of $3 per seat.
Windscribe customer support comes in different forms, including the self-help which consists of setup guides, FAQs, and a knowledge base. It’s better to consult these resources first before using the following venues:
- Live Chat
- Email at email@example.com
Your best bets for technical support are the subreddit and ticket options, while the email address is only for general and sales-related inquiries. Although the live chat option is positioned as “Talk to Garry” (which will make you think that you are talking to a real person), it turned out that Garry is only an automated response system that sends you replies based on keywords.
Policies & Logging
One of the features that Windscribe boasts on its website is its no-logging policy. It does not store personally identifiable user data such as your IP address. However, Windscribe does log and store the following data to enforce the bandwidth limitation on the provider’s free tier:
- Total amount of bytes transferred in a 30-day period.
- Timestamp of your last activity
Aside from this data, Windscribe also logs your OpenVPN/IKEv2 username, the amount of data transferred, time of connection, and amount of data transferred while you are connected to a server. Windscribe claims that this data is automatically deleted once you disconnect. It further claims that even when authorities or third parties demand information, it will not be able to give them anything helpful because of its no-logging policy.
Windscribe supports this claim through its Transparency Report page which shows the number of DMCA and law enforcement requests. The page also shows that Windscribe has not complied to any request.
Windscribe’s firewall feature prevents any IP and DNS leaks. It also claims that this firewall is better than the kill switch feature of most VPN providers since the firewall prevents any traffic from going out of the encrypted tunnel. This is all good, except for the fact that the firewall feature is only available on Windscribe’s desktop clients. Because of this, Windscribe isn’t a safe option for VPN users who are always on their phones or tablets.
The claim of no-logging is also misleading as the company does log some information to enforce bandwidth limitations to free users. The important thing though is that this logged data is not personal and does not lead to the exposure of the user’s real identity.
If you are not a heavy VPN user, you can try Windscribe’s free tier. The VPN provider also has advanced features such as port forwarding and static IP addresses that are not commonly available in other VPN providers. Overall, Windscribe is a good provider that is worth the money if they have a particular feature or tool which matches your needs.
Click the image of their logo below to visit them for your VPN needs now!