Windscribe VPN review

A bountiful VPN platform with a generous free plan.

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Our Verdict

Windscribe is a VPN service that isn’t as loud and showy as some of its contenders but nevertheless deserves praise for its multitude of features, a free plan with a 10GB traffic limitation, as well as a long list of supported platforms.

Pros

  • Free plan with 10GB of data
  • Supports torrenting
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Lots of diverse subscription options

Cons

  • Doesn’t unblock BBC iPlayer
  • Minor performance issues

Registered in the Canadian province of Ontario, Windscribe is one of the top VPN providers in the market due to its quantity and quality. Quantity refers to its features and supported platforms, although it doesn’t have as wide a server coverage as some of its competitors. Specifically, it currently has servers in 60+ countries and 110 cities. Quality refers to its performance and privacy mechanisms.

Its apps are teeming with unusual features such as importing custom OpenVPN configuration files from other providers and displaying their servers next to its own. Moreover, if you’re using its extensions on Firefox, Opera, or Chrome, you can even adjust your time zone to match the Windscribe location you’re using. And that’s not all.

Windscribe unblocks Netflix with the help of its virtual locations known as WINDFLIX US, WINDFLIX CA, and WINDFLIX JP. Unfortunately, if you wanted a way to access BBC iPlayer, you’re in for a disappointment as this provider currently doesn’t have capabilities for unblocking it. Geo-restricted YouTube content, on the other hand, presents much less of a challenge.

The provider is a great choice for torrenting as well and the website even offers help for using the service with the most popular torrent apps. The list of servers that support torrenting can found in the Windscribe apps and on the provider’s website.

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Plans and pricing

Windscribe’s free plan will provide you with a generous 10GB of traffic data per month if you register with your email address. Using the service for free is possible even if you don’t want to register, although in that case, the limitation is 2GB of data. With the free plan, you can have only one connection per account and you’re limited to only 10 server locations.

The paid options include the 1-month subscription under the price of $9 and the 12-month option that is charged $4.08 each month. Upgrading to either removes the limitations on available servers and allows usage on up to five devices at the same time. The number of simultaneous connections can be increased by installing the service on select routers. A pro account also allows the creation of custom OpenVPN, IKEv, and SOCKS5 configurations on additional platforms.

You can also opt for the Build A Plan scheme that lets you customize your subscription by selecting only those locations you need for $1 per month each. Each location you add increases your monthly free bandwidth by additional 10GB. The only requirement is that you select at least two locations.

In addition, Windscribe has a team subscription option called ScribeForce that is charged $3 per month for each user and provides unlimited premium service. This plan requires at least five users.

As for payment options, you can choose between credit cards, select cryptocurrencies, PayPal, and more.

Refunds are available within three days upon payment, provided you haven’t exceeded the 10GB traffic limit.

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Privacy and logging

Besides the usual VPN privacy mechanisms seen in other services, such as the 256-bit AES encryption and IKEv2 and OpenVPN transfer protocols, Windscribe also has its own proprietary DNS-based feature called R.O.B.E.R.T. It acts as a blocker of ads, trackers, malware, and other unwanted content of your own choosing.

Windscribe has a firewall (basically what other companies call a kill switch) that prevents your sensitive data from becoming exposed if the VPN connection suddenly drops. In such an event, the firewall immediately blocks all internet traffic and restarts the VPN connection.

The company’s approach to logging is detailed in the Privacy Policy which says Windscribe will not keep any connection logs, session logs, IP timestamps, nor will it monitor and record your online activities. It does collect some information, such as the monthly bandwidth use and when you last activated Windscribe but this is purely with the goal of abuse prevention and enforcing free account limitations.

Windscribe provides additional assurances of its no-logging policy with the annual listing of the DMCA and law enforcement data requests which it couldn’t respond to due to the lack of this data, to begin with.

Performance

Connecting to the service while using the OpenVPN protocol may take a few seconds longer than with some of its contenders but once established, the connection is strong and reliable. The connection times are much better with the use of the service’s default protocol - IKEv2. Using OpenVPN instead of IKEv2 can deliver poorer results in terms of download speeds as well. This can be avoided with the use of IKEv2 recommended by the provider itself.  

Client setup

Windscribe has native apps for a wide array of platforms including Windows, iOS, Mac, and Android, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. The clients are easy to install and use, even for beginners, and the website offers good guidance if you encounter any unclarities. There you will also find installation walkthroughs for additional devices including Linux, Amazon FireTV, Windows Phone, KODI, and Nvidia Shield, for which the company has also provided configuration files - some of which are accessible if you sign up for a pro account.

Having a pro account also allows you to download configuration files and credentials necessary for installing the service on certain routers. You can also purchase a router already equipped with Windscribe.

Support

In addition to the support section and blog, at your disposal are knowledgeable customer service agents that you can contact in multiple ways - via chat, ticket system, as well as its own subreddit. That said, you might need to have patience as the company has very few employees who cannot get to everyone instantly, especially since they are available to both free and paying users.

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Final verdict

Windscribe is a feature-packed VPN provider that you can use for free with some limitations or sign up for an affordable subscription that you can customize according to your specific requirements. It offers military-grade security and solid performance, along with supporting torrenting and access to Netflix. The bottom line is that Windscribe should be enough for most VPN users.

Our score: 4/5

The Verdict

4

out of 5

Windscribe VPN

Windscribe is a VPN service that isn’t as loud and showy as some of its contenders but nevertheless deserves praise for its multitude of features, a free plan with a 10GB traffic limitation, as well as a long list of supported platforms.