Windscribe

Unbiased Review and Comparison of May 2018

Visit Windscribe Website
Total Score: 8.5
Rate it!(4553)
  • Poor(132)
  • Average(322)
  • Good(97)
  • Great(5445)
  • Excellent(577)

Highlights

blueOKicon Fast
blueOKicon Cool features like Killswitch and DNS leak barring
blueOKicon Robust data of 10GB with free plan

Our ratings for Windscribe VPN

  • Privacy
    9.2
  • Speed
    8.9
  • Location
    8.1
  • Usability
    8.2
  • Support
    7.8
  • Value
    8.5

Recommended for

  • Privacy
    Additional tools such as the Killswitch and the DNS leak blocking tool which are very efficient. Also comes with strong ad blockers
  • Streaming
    Works seamlessly with Netflix.
  • Access
    Comes with excellent capabilities to gain access to various blacklisted content.

Summary

Windscribe is an excellent VPN that does very well in every category but excels when it comes to privacy. It keeps zero logs of your connections or activity and is pretty speedy. We also love the fact that it has a free version which has features that some VPN services would have asked you to pay for.

Top Windscribe Plans for May 2018

  • Monthly Plan
    $9.00
    per month
    blueOKiconNo limit on bandwidth
    blueOKiconAlmost 100 server locations
    blueOKiconLimitless number of devices
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    0%
  • Yearly Plan
    $9.00
    $4.08
    per month
    blueOKiconNo limit on bandwidth
    blueOKiconAlmost 100 server locations
    blueOKiconLimitless number of devices
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    55%
  • Biannual Plan
    9.00
    $3.70
    per month
    blueOKiconNo limit on bandwidth
    blueOKiconAlmost 100 server locations
    blueOKiconLimitless number of devices
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    58%
Monthly
$9.00
per month
blueOKiconNo limit on bandwidth
blueOKiconAlmost 100 server locations
blueOKiconLimitless number of devices
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
0%
Yearly
$9.00
$4.08
per month
blueOKiconNo limit on bandwidth
blueOKiconAlmost 100 server locations
blueOKiconLimitless number of devices
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
55%
Biannual
9.00
3.70
blueOKiconHuge 10GB data cap
blueOKiconUnlimited devices
blueOKicon11 server locations
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
58%

Windscribe Overview

Windscribe is relatively new and it was released in 2016. It is pleasing to see that it is built with very powerful privacy features considering the fact that is incorporated in Canada, a country known for its otherwise aggressive approach against privacy compared to others. The privacy policy is written in very clear and easy to understand language and it outlines exactly how much metadata is collected and how it is used. Added features such as the killswitch and DNS leak blocking tools are also a plus for the software's privacy reputation.
The software was found to run smoothly and quite fast in many of the usual locations. The performance in Australia however was found to be poor. There are very minimal delays so this will do very well with gamers and with the current updates that have been pushed out, Windscribe does very well with Netflix streaming on all platforms. Windscribe has excellent coverage in US and in Europe and it is backed with strong network of servers across very important locations. Perhaps the icing on the cake in terms of connections and servers is the fact that Windscribe allows you to run multiple connections at the same time.
If you aren't too comfortable with the desktop app, you will definitely find the browser extension a joy to use. It comes equipped with very strong privacy features like the ad blocker. The only real shortcoming of this software is perhaps the customer service as you can only reach them by submitting a support ticket through the website with no estimated time of reply.
  • About Windscribe

    Parent Company: Windscribe
    Country of Incorporation: Canada
    Founded: 2016
    Maximum Connections: Unlimited
    Refund Policy: 3 days (restricted to 10GB bandwidth)
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Android
  • Pros

    blueOKiconNo logging
    blueOKiconAd-blocker
    blueOKiconExcellent with streaming
  • Cons

    blueOKiconIncorporated in Canada
    blueOKiconLive chat feature not built in

Privacy

Windscribe leads the pack when it comes to privacy. They collect the barest minimum of metadata around your connection and they dispose of everything after less than 5 minutes. The only thing logged is your username, connected server, duration and amount of data used during your session.
Bandwidth used is the only data retained longer as it is kept monthly with a timestamp of your most recent activity on the Windscribe servers. Luckily, this metadata is not stored along with your IP address.
Another excellent feature that adds to the privacy is the Firewall with the VPN Killswitch on standby to protect your IP address from exposure in case of a terminated connection. If you want even more security you can combine the desktop app with the browser extension and essentially direct your traffic across dual VPN servers. This gives you an extra layer of protection. The freedom to select ports is also very nice.
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FeatureWindscribeExpressVPN NordVPN
Open VPN (Auto)
question
Is the selection between Open VPN, UDP or TCP automatic?
blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Open VPN (UDP/TCP)
question
Can you manually choose between Open VPN, UDP or TCP?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
PPTP
question
Does this app have PPTP VPN protocol?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
SSTP
question
Does this app have SSTP VPN protocol?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
L2TP/IPSec
question
Does this app have L2TP/IPSec protocol?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
IKEv2
question
Does this app have IKEv2 protocol?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Supports TCP Port 443
question
Does the VPN support secure TCP Port 443 which is used on secure HTTPS traffic?
blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Supports Multihop
question
This technology passes your internet traffic through multiple servers to make you harder to track
blueOKicon less blueOKicon
Permits P2P
question
Is this VPN compatible with P2P and other torrenting applications?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Strongest encryption
question
What is the highest level of encryption that this VPN service have?
AES - 256AES - 256AES - 256
First party DNS servers
question
Does the VPN service pass your traffic through their own DNS servers or use third party ones?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
DNS Leak Blocking
question
Does the VPN service include tech that blocks DNS leaks?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Killswitch
question
In the event of the VPN losing its connection, does the VPN cut off all internet traffic?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Accepts cryptocurrency
question
Does this VPN accept subscription payment with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Accepts Paypal
question
Does this VPN accept PayPal payments for its subscription?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Activity logging
question
Are your online activity logs and browsing history being saved or used by the VPN?
less less less
Connection logging
question
Are your connection logs being kept and monitored by this VPN?
blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Tor over VPN server
question
Is this VPN have features that have been tailored to work with the TOR browser?
less less blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

The information here is quite technical and only very tech savvy people will be able to figure out what it all means. However, this does not mean you can't make a wise decision based on it. Every tick is good things so the more ticks you see for Windscribe the better.
This rule applies throughout the table except for the logging rows where ticks actually undermine your privacy.
Score: 9.2

Speed & Performance

Windscribe has a very fast and reliable network of servers that have delivered excellent results when subjected to various tests. They will connect to servers across Europe and the US with quality of service adequate for streaming high definition video. The servers also deliver very good results when tested on more remote server locations in Brazil and Hong Kong.
The performance on servers in Australia and Japan were also very impressive and you can expect excellent results when connecting to closer servers. There were minimal delays which means it is suitable for gamers.
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FeatureWindscribeZenmateNorton
Avg global DL speed
question
This is a rolling average of the download speed accummulated over all the server locations we have tested
78.63 (UK)85.41 (DE)65.62 (DE)
Avg global UL speed
question
This is a rolling average of the upload speed accummulated over all the server locations we have tested
86.73 (UK)87.72 (UK)86.51 (NL)
Ping time
question
This refers to the shortest latency recorded in our tests. Shorter ping times indicate higher performance
3ms13ms4ms
Unlimited bandwidth
question
This indicates if the VPN has a cap on the bandwidth usage
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Average time to connect
question
This measures how long it takes to connect with a server location.
9s2s109s

What does this table mean?

For most users, speed is the next most important factor when selecting a VPN. No matter what VPN you choose, there will be some reduction in speed so the best VPNs are those with the least impact on speed and other parameters that affect it.
Ping time has to do with how fast data is received, especially for streaming and is almost as important as direct upload/download speeds. Short ping times and high download bandwidth is the best combination for the fastest streaming experience.
The quicker the VPN connects to a server essentially directly impacts how quickly you can access the internet so shorter connection times are best.
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Server LocationDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
australiaAustralia15.745.32
GermanyGermany64.6479.23
UKUK78.8384.57
USAUSA52.5121.26
SingaporeSingapore30.6117.34
NetherlandsNetherlands74.9483.11
FranceFrance78.3282.23
CanadaCanada30.2437.85
JapanJapan14.7315.63

How we get these VPN speed data?

blueOKicon We constantly evaluate the performance of all the VPN providers we have reviewed so that our information is always up to date so that you can make the best decision always.
blueOKicon We employ our very own proprietary speed test tool which measures speeds between servers for every location while using the VPN service.
blueOKicon The purpose of these tests is to show you what is obtainable speed-wise so you can judge if your location of choice will meet your needs.
Score: 8.9

Locations

Windscribe has a lot of countries available to pick from on its paid plans. With the paid plans you can access 93 locations from 51 countries.
There is also the added advantage of access to city level servers in a few of the countries such as US and Canada. With the free plans too you get to access servers from 11 countries which is enough to get started with
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FeatureWindscribeExpressVPNNordVPN
Server locations
question
This is the total number of server locations the VPN has available
9314861
Servers
question
This is the total number of servers the VPN has available
100+2,000+3,500+
IP address
question
This the total amount of unique IP addresses the VPN has available
5000+20,000+3,500+
Dynamic server switching
question
This indicates whether or not the VPN has a feature that automatically switches you to a faster server within the same server location
less less blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

More server locations mean that it is more likely that the user density will be lower and consequently your connection will be faster. So the higher servers and server locations, the better. Your privacy is protected more if there are more IP addresses to choose from as it makes it harder for you to be tracked.
Dynamic server switching adds to that difficulty as it switches you to the best servers available automatically making you even harder to track.
Score: 8.1

Usability

  • Positives

    blueOKiconSimple and relevant user interface
    blueOKiconWell sort out preferences
    blueOKiconUseful pop-ups
  • Negatives

    blueOKiconApp sometimes hangs
    blueOKiconDisorganized free servers
It is very easy to set your preferences on the desktop app as they are very well arranged and tagged into useful tabs. Using the app is made very easy with a very simple set up and options to choose from to activate or deactivate any tool of interest.
There are more complex tabs for more advanced users to delve into such as the proxy set up, shared connections and debugging. Beginners are advised to stay away from these parts to avoid messing with things they do not understand. You can easily link up with their support pages in case you need a more detailed explanation on some of the features. Servers that do not allow P2P connections are clearly stated also.
Some of the drawback noticed was the overall performance of the desktop app. It was found to be less responsive than expected at times and this takes away from the overall experience. The servers on the free plan are also very disorganized and selecting a server of choice can be a real hassle as you have to sift through available and unavailable locations. Issues have also been reported when trying to connect to New Zeeland. Windscribe attributes this problem to the new hardware solution they are working on but it might be better to remove it from the server list altogether.
It is perhaps strange that the browser extension for Chrome offers a much better experience than the desktop app. It is much easier to use and equipped with extra privacy and security features. You can easily switch on or off any feature of interest. The ad blocker and a feature known as fingerprinting which bars websites from retrieving data about you are very cool features.
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Device/OS/BrowserWindscribeExpressVPN NordVPN
WindowsWindows blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
WindowsMac blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
LinuxLinux blueOKicon blueOKicon Manual
iOSiOS blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
AndroidAndroid blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
RouterRouter Manual blueOKicon Manual
Games consolesGames consoles Manual Manual less
Fire TV StickFire TV Stick blueOKicon blueOKicon Manual
Chrome extensionChrome extension blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Games consolesFirefox extension blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Games consolesSafari (for mac) extension less blueOKicon blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

Here are the most common devices, operating systems and browsers that people connect to the internet through. Anywhere there is a tick on the Windscribe column signifies that it can be installed.
Manual means that Windscribe will work but the process of setting it up will be more complicated. Instead of an automatic setup, you may need to use third-party/open source software and reconfigure your device.
Score: 8.2

Customer Support

It is an uphill task trying to get in touch with Windscribe customer support. The Live chat feature is not included and it gets very troublesome trying to find their contact information from the set up guides, FAQ section and Knowledge base. The only way to get in touch with their team is by submitting a support ticket on their website. The bright side of all his is that you can do this on desktop and on mobile.
Their response time was fast enough but it is a tad disappointing not to get instant support as is obtainable in other VPN providers. Not too surprisingly, the response from their agents were highly scripted and we could read the reluctance to answer our questions in full detail.
They have done a very good job with the Knowledge base presenting information in a clear and simple manner that any newbie or inexperienced person will follow easily. It also has enough content to satisfy the veterans.
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FeatureWindscribeExpressVPNNordVPN
Support quality 
question
This is a measure of the overall quality of the VPN's customer service
7.0109.2
24/7 support
question
Does this VPN offer round the clock support?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
Live chat
question
Does this VPN have representatives available for live chat?
less blueOKicon blueOKicon
Knowledge base
question
Are there detailed how-to videos and tutorial available online or within the VPN apps?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Video tutorials
question
Does this VPN have tutorial videos available to show users how to use the software?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

For most people that know enough to use a VPN, they most likely will know their way around. However, that is not a reason for a company to ignore customer care services.
They need to assume the user is a complete novice and be prepared to answer all questions no matter how rudimentary. That's the mark of a great service
Score: 7.8

Value for money

  • What we like

    blueOKiconTop notch privacy
    blueOKiconImpressive server performance
    blueOKiconExcellent browser extension
  • What we like less

    blueOKiconInadequate support
    blueOKiconMessy desktop app
    blueOKiconCould do with more countries to select from
Score: 8.5
Table of Content
Privacy Speed Locations Usability Support Value
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