Windscribe VPN review

TOP rank 8.2
March 26, 2020

In many respects, the Canada-based Windscribe VPN is a spectacular VPN app. You can get it for free but with a 2 GB data transfer limit, in which case you will enjoy some of the fastest server speeds in the industry coupled with state-of-the art privacy and security credentials.

The app also features a customer service system that, although managed by bots, is to a large extent effective at solving some of the basic concerns associated with the VPN service.
That said, Windscribe VPN isn’t exactly ideal for streaming on Netflix as you are likely to experience a “proxy detected error”. If this happens, you might need to clear your cookies or change to a server location that is ideal for streaming.

Should you buy Windscribe VPN? Yes, it may have its downsides, but it is hands down the fastest VPN we have tested thus far.

1 location per month: $1/month

In many respects, the Canada-based Windscribe VPN is a spectacular VPN app. You can get it for free but with a 2 GB data transfer limit, in which case you will enjoy some of the fastest server speeds in the industry coupled with state-of-the art privacy and security credentials.

The app also features a customer service system that, although managed by bots, is to a large extent effective at solving some of the basic concerns associated with the VPN service.
That said, Windscribe VPN isn’t exactly ideal for streaming on Netflix as you are likely to experience a “proxy detected error”. If this happens, you might need to clear your cookies or change to a server location that is ideal for streaming.

Should you buy Windscribe VPN? Yes, it may have its downsides, but it is hands down the fastest VPN we have tested thus far.

8.1
Speed
7.8
Security
8.0
Compatibility
9.5
Price
9.9
Support
Pros
Fast speeds
Compatibility across multiple platforms
Strong privacy and security credentials
Servers in over 60 countries and 110 cities
Varied security features
Free 2GB trial
Cons
Streaming error on Netflix
Customer care system uses bots
3-day money back guarantee is on the lower side
Service from Canada which is a member of the five eyes

Summary

Speed drop speedtest We check the speed with and without VPN, then calculate the average in percentage. The smaller the speed drop, the faster the VPN.
-2%
Logging
Strict no-log policy
IP, DNS Leaks
No
Jurisdiction The 5 Eyes (FVEY), 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances impose laws that force VPN companies to hand over logs to the government upon request. Privacy Havens - These are countries where companies don't have to share their logs to the government and VPN users are completely protected.
Canada (5 eyes)
Servers
400+
Countries
60+
Netflix Unblock
No
Torrenting speed drop
-40%Good
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
Works in China
No special features
Support
Live chat, email
Kill switch
Yes
Encryption AES-256 is the most secure type of encryption today. Other standards like DES-CBC, AES-128 provide lower levels of security.
AES-256
Protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec are the most popular protocols which provide optimal balance between speed and security.
IKEv2, OpenVPN
Platforms
Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
Applications
Amazon FireStick, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Routers

Windscribe VPN Speed Tests

Ordinary connection
Download: 2.1 Mbps
Ping: 699 Ms
Upload: 0.10 Mbps

Why do we evaluate speed first when testing VPN apps? Because a slow internet connection will kill your productivity in many ways. Did you know that according to research, you are more likely to think of looking at social media posts if the site that you are trying to load takes more time than expected?

VPN apps can, of course, considerably slow the speed of your internet connection, and we would like you to have enough information on the many apps in the market to help you make an informed choice.

So, here some of our observations on how Windscribe VPN is likely to affect the speed of your connection:

Checking VPN servers

A 1.9% change in download speeds is hardly noticeable, and given that you are going to be under the cover of a VPN, we think it is very ideal. But as you shall see, some servers even out perform this.

France
Download: 2.12 Mbps
Ping: 155 Ms
Upload: 0.14 Mbps
HKSAR
Download: 2.09 Mbps
Ping: 411 Ms
Upload: 0.17 Mbps
USA
Download: 2.11 Mbps
Ping: 250 Ms
Upload: 0.14 Mbps
United Kingdom
Download: 2.03 Mbps
Ping: 278 Ms
Upload: 0.11 Mbps

Average speed drop: -2%Excellent

Windscribe VPN Servers

400+ servers
60+ countries

Windscribe has an extensive network of servers in multiple countries. In all, the company has some 400+ servers in 60 locations and across 110 cities.
Most of the servers are located in US, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe. There are also servers in most of the cities in the US.

 

Security features

As noted earlier, Windscribe VPN is one of those apps that score very highly when it comes to security and privacy. Here are a few of the security features that make the app worth it.

Military Grade AES-256 Encryption

Windscribe VPN uses the AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA keys to encrypt the communications passing over their servers. It is the world’s premier technology for setting up safe and secure communication channels. Other security features include:

OpenVPN Protocol

Windscribe VPN relies on OpenVPN to set up connections over its servers. OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol because of its reputation for safety and reliability. It is also open source meaning that it is continually under development. The other protocol in use by Windscribe VPN is IKEv2. It too has a reputation for safety and speed.

Location Warp

Location Warp is a secure feature that prevents the browser location API from determining the actual location of a user. This feature is an excellent addition because modern browsers usually bypass the proxy or VPN and return the physical location of the user based on GPS or Wi-Fi SSID. Some web services, hackers, and even government agencies can use this information to determine the physical location of your ID. Location Warp tricks those services by creating fake GPS locations that are associated with your assigned IP address.

Time Warp

Time Warp works the same way as the Location Warp. The only difference is that rather than change your GPS coordinates, Time Warp changes your time zone so that it appears to be similar to that of your assigned IP address.

Split Personality

Split Personality is another security feature that works by randomly rotating your user agent such that it reduces the chances of basic finger printing.

Check all Windscribe VPN features

Double Hop

Double Hop is a technology similar to Double VPN. It allows users to proxy their connection through any two servers on the Windscribe Network.

Secure Hotspot

The secure hotspot feature allows you to turn your computer into a secure Wi-Fi router. That way, it can secure more devices with one connection.

Firewall

Firewall is a security feature that works the same way as a kill switch. It disables all internet activities, if you are not connected to their services.

IP and DNS Leaks

The sole purpose of a VPN app is to provide an anonymous connection, and the way to tell whether one has been created is by performing IP and DNS leak protection tests.

We performed a few of such tests on Windscribe VPN, and we are pleased to say that the app passed the test with flying colors.

While the screenshot above reveals an IP address, it is not one that is assigned to us by the ISP. Rather, this one comes from the server, meaning that our connection truly is anonymous.

The same is true for the DNS. It belongs to the server assigned by Windscribe VPN.

IP leak results:
Failure
DNS leak results:
Failure

Logs policy

What is a VPN’s logs policy and why does it matter? To begin, a logs policy determines what a VPN service provider does with the data that they collect from you. Some of the data that they collect includes:

  • The IP address assigned to you
  • The DNS servers that you were using
  • The sites that you visited and how long you stayed on those sites
  • As you can probably deduce, the VPN service provider may know a lot about you just by virtue of the IP addresses that they assign to you. That is why it is important to consider the logs policy of a VPN app before signing up for one

As you can probably deduce, the VPN service provider may know a lot about you just by virtue of the IP addresses that they assign to you. That is why it is important to consider the logs policy of a VPN app before signing up for one.

Here is a quote from their site on the matter:

“When you use Windscribe, we keep the following data associated with your account:

  • Total amount of bytes transferred in a 30-day period. Bandwidth reset date is in your “My Account” section.
  • Timestamp of your last activity on the Windscribe network.

This data is used to enforce free tier limitations, prevent abuse and weed out inactive accounts.
The following data is NOT stored:

  • Historical record of VPN sessions
  • Source IP
  • Sites you visited

We are firm believer that one’s browsing history should be taken to one’s grave.”

In all, we can say that Windscribe VPN has a strict no logs policy because they do not store any data that can be used to identify you. And because they do not store data, there is nothing to pass to the authorities.

Jurisdiction

Apart from the logs policy, you also need to consider the jurisdiction of the app provider. Windscribe VPN for instance is based in Canada, a member of the five eyes of spying nations.

Windscribe For Netflix

Netflix unblocking refers to the ability to stream content without restriction on the world’s favorite streaming service no matter where you are. But it is not just Netflix.

You can also stream on Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, and so on. All you need is a VPN app to assign you an IP address that is from one of those favored regions such as the US and Canada.

We tried streaming content with Windscribe VPN on Netflix and we got the following information: “Whoops, something went wrong…”

This is not exactly what we were expecting, but you should not be too quick to rule out Windscribe VPN just yet. We are certain that if you just opened a new Netflix account with the VPN connection already established, Windscribe VPN would serve your goals just fine, especially with their static IP addresses.

Netflix
Netflix unblock status:
Failure

Torrenting

So, you want to download some files on The Pirate Bay and be as discreet about it as possible?

If that’s the case, what you need is a VPN app, one that is not only safe and secure but which is also fast. We already established that Windscribe VPN is one of the fastest VPN apps in the industry, but how well does it perform when it comes to torrenting?

Percentage Change in download speeds: 40%

Torrenting without VPN:
238 kb/sec
Torrenting with VPN:
142 kb/sec
Speed deduction: -40%
Good

40% might seem like a huge number, but with a fast internet connection, you should have nothing to worry about.

Tor Check

Most privacy conscious internet users rely on the Tor browser to mask their online activities, and while the Tor browser and a VPN work towards the same goal i.e. digital privacy, they are different technologies.

Sometimes, they are not even compatible. We tested to see if we could visit some of the popular onion sites with a Windscribe VPN connection and the following is what we got. In other words, perfectly compatible.

Tor
Compatibility status:
Success

Platforms

Android
iOS
Linux
macOS
Windows
Amazon FireStick
Chrome
Firefox
Opera
Routers
Simultaneous connections:
Unlimited devices

Windscribe VPN is available to users of the following platforms: Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and macOS. There are also browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

With a single subscription, you can connect as many devices as you want. There is a restriction, however, to this otherwise sweet deal. You can only connect the devices of family members.

We wish Windscribe VPN good luck in enforcing that policy. For this review, we downloaded the app on a Windows desktop computer and on an Android device. Here is how the app looks on the desktop computer:

As you can see, the Windows app interface is too clumped. It takes very little space and we don’t see why that should be the case. Usually, VPN apps have variable height and width parameters. Windscribe VPN does not seem to have any of that. Device appearance on an Android device:

 

Customer Support

Windscribe VPN

There is a lot to be said about the customer support of Windscribe VPN.

They, for one, rely on bots on the live chat. While this is futuristic and perhaps cost-effective, there are some drawbacks. Bots don’t have the right answers to all questions.

Plus, they are not exactly fluent in their understanding of how human conversations work. Thus, they can a bit ineffective this way.

If the bot is unable to answer your questions, it will transfer you to a human operator. The following screenshot shows a conversation leading to such a transfer. Unlike the chatbot, the human operators will take their time before responding to you, sometimes a few hours.

Support channels:
Email
Live chat
Help center
Phone line

Pricing

You can get Windscribe VPN for free (limited to 2GB data transfer) or purchase the app for $9 a month, $ 4.08 a month for 12 months, or at $1.00 per location per month. If you would like to test the app first before committing to buying it (like we did), you will get at least 10 VPN locations and a 2 GB data transfer limit. Each of the plans comes with a 3-day money back guarantee.

1 month
$ 9
per month
 
$9 billed every month
1 year
$ 4.08
per year
Save 54%
$49 billed every 12 months
1 location per month
$ 1
per month
 
$1 billed every month for 1 location

As for the payment process, they have all the latest in payment options, including crypto currencies which is great.