Windscribe VPN review

A free VPN with premium features

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Our Verdict

A generous 10GB monthly allowance makes Windscribe one of the best free VPNs around even if its speeds can be inconsistent.

Pros

  • 10GB free data allowance
  • P2P support
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Bitcoin support

Cons

  • Inconsistent connection speeds
  • No 24/7 support
  • Couldn't unblock BBC iPlayer

Windscribe is an interesting VPN with loads of features that remains quite easy to use. The company also offers one of the most generous free plans around.

Windscribe has a fairly big network with locations in 100 cities spread out over 55 countries.

The company provides apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and even Opera. Windscribe’s site also offers tutorials on how to get its VPN up and running on routers, Kodi, Amazon FireTV, Nvidia Shield and via OpenVPN.

On the security side, IKEv2 and OpenVPN support with strong AES-256 encryption keeps all of your tunnel traffic safe snoopers while the company’s stealth technology tries to obfuscate your VPN usage which could help you get online using a VPN in countries that try to detect and block VPN traffic.

Support is available via both chat and ticket and Windscribe even has its own subreddit where you can ask questions and interact with other users. This could be very valuable to new customers who want to learn what Windscribe has to offer from actual users.

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Pricing

Plans and pricing

Windscribe’s free plan offers a generous 10GB of data transfer a month if you register with your email address and 2GB for those that don’t. The free plan limits you to a single connection and just ten servers (US, Europe and Hong Kong) but that’s still quite a good deal and a great way to test out the service for yourself.

Upgrading to a commercial plan gives you unlimited data, access to all 100 locations, support for up to five simultaneous connections and the ability to generate custom OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SOCKs5 configurations.

Monthly billing is only $9 (£6.92) and users that sign up for a year up-front can bring the monthly price down to $4.08 (£3.14). The two-year plan brings the monthly price even further down to just $3.70 (£2.85).

Payment options

Windscribe also supports plenty of payment options including credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via CoinPayments.net.

Privacy

Privacy and logging

Windscribe protects its users’ privacy with industrial strength AES-256 encryption, SHA512 authentication, a 4096-bit RSA key and support for perfect forward secrecy.

The company’s apps also use multiple techniques to reduce the chance of data leaks including limiting IPv6 traffic, redirecting DNS requests through the tunnel to be handled by the VPN server and giving users an the option to use a firewall to block all Internet access if the connection drops.

Windscribe’s logging policy is covered in its clearly written Privacy Policy which explains what data the company collects and what data it doesn’t. Long-term logging is limited to the total bandwidth used during a month and a timestamp of your last activity on the service.

Features

Performance

To test VPN performance, we used an automated tool to log into a sample group of servers and check the connection time, look for latency issues and use geolocation to verify that each server is in the advertised country.

We were able to connect to all of Windscribe’s servers the first time without any connection errors. However, connection times were unusually inconsistent. Most of the time we connected to a server in around two seconds but some connections took up to eight seconds and one was as high as 16. These findings were based on logins using OpenVPN so you may not experience these issues at all using Windscribe’s default protocol (IKEv2).

When it came to speeds, the company’s UK servers closest to our location managed 40-60Mbps while US servers reached 30-35Mbps which is still perfectly acceptable for general browsing and everyday tasks.

Clients

Client setup

Windscribe automatically detected and highlighted the best client for our system, the Windows client and Chrome extension. However, the site also has download links for Mac, Android, iOS  and extensions for Firefox and iOS.

Clients extended

Windscribe goes a step beyond this by offering detailed setup guides for routers, Linux, Kodi, Amazon FireTV and more.

Overall the company’s clients worked well and were quite easy to use and setup.

Support

Support

If you have any technical issues when setting up your VPN, Windscribe’s Support site is a great place to start looking for answers.

Setup guides

The company offers a ton of resources including setup guides as well as tutorials that go into more advanced topics such as how to set up your Windows system using PowerShell. Windscribe’s knowledgebase also has articles on common problems that are easy to read and cover the basics very well.

The company can also be reached directly through a support ticket system. Windscribe does not offer live chat and explains why in a blog post, saying:

“As we’re a relatively small company (13 employees), we’re unable to provide support 24/7, and since we provide support to all users, including millions of free accounts, things can be a bit overwhelming.”

Company motto

Final verdict

Windscribe sets itself apart from the competition by offering quite a lot of features for free and the 10GB monthly data cap may even be enough for some users. There is a lot to like about this VPN despite its speeds being on the average side and no live chat support.

The Verdict

4

out of 5

Windscribe VPN

A generous 10GB monthly allowance makes Windscribe one of the best free VPNs around even if its speeds can be inconsistent.