Windscribe VPN Review

$3.75/Month

Windscribe VPN is a great service with OpenVPN configuration, 46 locations, fast speeds and a free VPN!

Windscribe is a great VPN service that is very well-known for their free version that gives you an impressive 10GB of data to spend how you wish. However, because we have briefly looked at Windscribe’s free plan in another article, this article will focus on their paid VPN service that offers a lot more options, including unlimited data and bandwidth, as well as more locations to connect too. Windscribe offers a range of features for their premium members, including unlimited connections (for all your devices), OpenVPN security, P2P activity and even ad blocking software. This review will look into Windscribe’s software in-depth and will elaborate on many of its interesting features.

PROS:
  • An amazing free version
  • 46 locations
  • Fantastic speeds
  • Solid security
  • Unlimited connections
  • Bitcoin friendly
CONS:
  • Slightly overpriced
  • No live chat

The Free Version

Despite the fact we’ve already covered this in another article, it wouldn’t hurt to remind you that there is a free version you can try before you make a full purchase. Their free version is very similar in looks and style with a few extra limitations. They give you an incredible 10GB of data per month (one of the biggest in the industry) and give you access to 8 locations and P2P. However, they do not give you OpenVPN configurations and only allow you to connect one device to your account. The free version is great but if you want more security and flexibility, we always recommend you invest in the premium version.

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Prices and Packages

price plan of windscribe

As already stated, there is a free version you can try out and it has an impressive array of options. However, if you want some extra juice, opt in for the paid version. Windscribe is different from most VPN services because they only offer two extra plans aside from their free VPN. The cheapest service you can get with Windscribe is their yearly option which starts at $7.50/month. This is actually quite pricey considering the features of the VPN and the lack of locations when compared to other premium services like ExpressVPN or Nord.

It is good to know also that their features do not change depending on the level of commitment. Long story short, you can purchase either their annual plan or their monthly plan and still receive the exact same features. Of course, as you commit more to their service, they offer discounts. Their cheapest plan (like all VPN services) is their annual plan, with their most expensive plan being the monthly option, which costs a fair $9/month. This monthly price actually beats a lot of other VPN services I have reviewed. In most cases, the VPN service will always encourage you to purchase the biggest package by increasing the monthly price to over $10. With Windscribe, however, the monthly option is fair cheap in comparison to other competitors.

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Payment Options

A VPN is dedicated to keeping you safe and private on the internet. To facilitate this, they should always offer an assortment of ways to pay for their VPN service. The more private and secure the payment gateway, the safer you feel when purchasing from them.

Windscribe Payment Options

The payment options for Windscribe are decent and they allow you to pay using all major debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. They also allow you to make payments through PayPal – a secure third-party gateway. What I liked most about the gateways is the Bitcoin option. When you see this it usually means they are conscious about privacy because Bitcoin can be used to pay anonymously if done right. They also allow customers to pay using Payment Wall. Overall, their gateways are good enough for both the casual and privacy-cautious user. It would be nice to see some extra alternative payments like Alipay, etc.

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Setup and User-Friendliness

Setup was incredibly easy and only took a few minutes. As soon as you have found their website you simply click the big “download” button and you’re good to go. Obviously, you have to follow the Wizard and setup instructions but once you’ve downloaded the client it will ask you to log in. Log in with your premium account and you will have full access to their VPN. If you are not sure whether your Pro account has been activated, it will show a little “Pro” symbol under the minimize button.

Once you have installed and downloaded the Windscribe client you can begin to mess around with some of the options. On the initial screen, you will be able to choose your location from one of the 46 different ones available (only 8 on the free version) and you can see your IP address in real time. As with all VPN clients, the initial screen is the location that allows you to turn on/off the VPN.

 

As for connection options, Windscribe was a little slim. They allow you to select your Firewall options (which is essentially a kill switch) and lets you mess with the protocols. The protocols (UDP,

Windscribe connection settings

The protocols (UDP, TCP and Stealth) are set to automatic to make sure you have the best option but they can also be set to manual if you have specific preferences (living in China, etc.).

Windscribe general settings

They also let you set up a SOCKS proxy with the VPN but suggest you only mess with the settings if you know what you’re doing, so it isn’t beginner friendly. The Firewall can be switched on and off from the home screen and if you need to see anything related to your account there is an option in the drop-down menu where the preferences can be found.

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Servers and Speeds

A good VPN service should make sure they offer a range of locations and servers to allow individuals to unblock content and hide their IP addresses efficiently. Windscribe offers the choice between 46 different countries which is slightly lower than some of the bigger competitors on the market.  However, this is still an impressive number and is more than most other average VPN services. They also allow for P2P on their servers, including their free servers. For some reason, India and Japan do not allow P2P but this should not be an issue for many of you.

Speed Tests

As for the speeds, they came back pretty good following my tests. Everything was tested using a UK connection of 50Mbps/12Mbps. I first tried connecting to central Europe to a server in the Netherlands and achieved some impressive results. The download speeds only moved down by a few marks (35Mbps) and the same went for the upload speed (10Mbps). So far so good.

Windscribe speed test EU

I then ran the VPN through a central US server to see how it coped with the geographical distance. Windscribe was fantastic when it came to the download speeds, achieving a similar mark to the Netherlands (35Mbps). As for the upload speeds, they were still good (8Mbps) but less than what was achieved in Europe.

Windscribe speed test US

I also thought I’d try out the UK connection and see if there was any drop when using the VPN in my own country. The VPN connected to a London server and gave me very good download speeds (44Mbps) and impressive upload speeds (10Mbps) similar to the Netherlands.

windscribe UK test

As for the DNS and IPv6 leaks, none were found. This was expected since Windscribe stated themselves that there will be no leaks thanks to their client side firewall and DNS leak prevent software. However, we always recommend you try some tests for yourself.

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Compatibility

Windscribe compatibility

If you want to be protected in the digital age you’re going to want to protect all of your devices at the same time. This means VPNs are now allowing you to secure all your devices with a single account and Windscribe is no different. In fact, Windscribe offers something that not many other services do – unlimited connections. This means you can connect every device you have to your account. They allow you to connect all sorts of devices, including the standard Mac, Windows, Android, and IOS. They also allow for routers, NAS and browser extensions for Chrome users. If you like to torrent and file share you can even download the software for a torrent client.

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Customer Service

Windscribe is looking to be a very impressive VPN. The only real downside to this service is their support. They lack a lot of advanced features that many competitors are beginning to use, such as live chat. They offer a support section for both their free and paid customers. However, they only offer a ticket-based system but this is fairly fast, to say the least. The reason they do not offer live chat is that it breaks their privacy policy because of the use of third-party API.

Windscribe support

As well as a ticket-based system, there is also a range of FAQs which are very helpful and helped me understand the encryptions used and protocols without having to contact their support. They also offer helpful setup guides for all devices, making the service very beginner friendly.

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Privacy and Security

Windscribe runs a pretty tight ship and is very privacy focused. They only use OpenVPN security protocols for their VON connections. This is our personally recommended protocol anyway because of its reliability and tough encryption. The protocol is also fast and open source. The fact users are unable to change the security protocols means they do not expose themselves, leaking their IP and identity in the process. As for the encryption itself, Windscribe uses AES-256 bit (which is currently the strongest encryption available), SHA512 for authentication and RSA 4096 for handshaking. They also block IPv6 leaks using the client’s firewall and DNS leaks are also prevented.

The only downside is the VPN is based in Canada which is subject to the NSA’s retention laws. However, the VPN does not keep any traffic logs and all the IPs are shared, so a single user could not be identified. They do keep a minimal amount of connection logs but this shouldn’t be an issue.

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Free Trial and Refund Policy

As I have already mentioned before, the service offers a free VPN service and a really good one at that. As a result, they do not have a free trial for their pro version. They also do not offer a refund policy for their Pro version.

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Conclusion

Windscribe is a great VPN service and they have one of the best free services available. Their free service gives you 10GB of data a month and lets you connect up to 8 locations. With their paid version, however, you get a lot more options. Their paid version offers you OpenVPN configurations, 46 locations, and P2P activity. In addition, their servers were very quick during testing, making this a great software for streaming and unblocking content. Their client is simple and effective and they are quick to reply to messages. The only issue is that they’re based in Canada (a problem if you’re privacy conscious), they are priced a little high and that they don’t have live chat. However, I would still recommend this VPN any day of the week.

9.1 Total Score
In-depth & Unbiased Windscribe VPN Review

Windscribe is a fantastic VPN that offers a free service and a premium service if you're looking for more power. They offer 46 different locations, OpenVPN, fast speeds and allow for P2P activity.

Price & Value
9.2
Server Speed
9.0
Privacy & Anonymity
9.0
VPN Features
8.5
Network Performance
9.3
Customer Support
9.5
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