- Jurisdiction: Canada
- Advanced Privacy Features: R.O.B.E.R.T. (Blocks IPs and domains (ads)), Firewall on desktop client, Secure Hotspot, Proxy Gateway, Double Hop (Double VPN)
- Number of Servers and Countries: Servers in over 63 countries and 110 cities
- Streaming and P2P: Yes
Internet security is important, and everything we do online is tracked, logged, and monitored. VPNs exist to help provide an extra layer of privacy by disguising your IP address and ensuring that no one figures out your identity.
We’re looking at a well-respected VPN, Windscribe. In our WIndscribe VPN review, we’re breaking down all the most important details regarding privacy, security, speed, and functionality.
When you head over to Windscribes about us page on their website, in big letters at the top, you’ll see – “we aim to develop easy to use yet powerful tools that allow anyone to circumvent censorship.”
Sounds nice, right?
The goal of Windscribe is to enable users to bypass restrictions that limit your ability to surf the web freely and privately without having to worry about someone watching over you or collecting your information.
Windscribe offers both a free and premium VPN, but many recommend that you go with the Windscribe Pro version. The free plan offers 10GB of data, and we think it’s one of the most generous VPN packages available right now.
These versions offer reliable speeds, diverse server locations, plenty of applications for each OS, and unlimited data if you go for the premium version.
Windscribe Pro is great for helping you bypass geo-restrictions that limit your use of Netflix and Hulu, and it also helps with torrenting. Windscribe also contains many advanced features, some of which we’ve never seen before (or even heard of).
Windscribe is in Canada, and they’ve even kept their Toronto office location private. You can only find a PO box but not a physical address.
Under the Copyright Modernization Act, internet service providers in the country are required to log user data for six months. While ISPs must do this, it’s unclear if VPN providers must follow the same rules. Even if someone demands them to do it, there’s no guarantee that they would anyway.
Transparency is huge when it comes to choosing a VPN provider. You want a company that will let you know when something is happening because it’s your right to know. You’re trusting your privacy and sometimes even personal information to a VPN service without knowing what you’ll get in return.
It’s nice to see that Windscribe actually has a whole transparency page dedicated to this cause.
Here you can find information regarding DMCA requests and law enforcement requests. On average, it looks like Windscribe receives between 25,000-50,000 requests per month, which is astronomical compared to some other VPNs we reviewed. They also don’t provide any additional information other than the number.
Usually, if a VPN has many data requests, it means that its users are conducting activities that are “less than desirable.” It could also have something to do with the Canadian jurisdiction.
But, Windscribe goes on to say that “exactly zero requests were complied with due to lack of relevant data.” So, this means that the requests are invalid, and it seems like Windscribe does a nice job of protecting its users.
Now let’s take a look at some of the specific features that make Windscribe stand out from the crowd. Some of these features are standard, while some are unique to this provider. We’re breaking down everything you could want to know.
R.O.B.E.R.T is an exciting tool that works alongside your VPN to block certain things you don’t want to see on the internet. You can simply check and uncheck different categories of websites so you won’t see them anymore. You can even do this if you’re not currently rerouting your IP address.
So, why would you want to block certain websites?
For one, you can block sites that have a chance of containing malware or any form of malicious software. This will help prevent infections because you will no longer be able to access those domains.
If you have children browsing on your computer, you might want to block pornographic websites or anything deemed similar to that. You can do that using R.O.B.E.R.T and make the internet a safer place for your kids.
You can even block ads and trackers that retarget you and try to push marketing information on you as you browse the internet. There are many things that this tool can do, and you can configure it how you like.
Windscribe provides this to you for free with a subscription. The free R.O.B.E.R.T only works on malware and ads, but you can upgrade to get the whole suite of services.
Encryption is one of the most important aspects of using a VPN because it protects your information from being visible to prying eyes. Instead of seeing you enter credit card information on a website, the spying eye only sees random letters, numbers, and symbols, so they have no idea what you’re doing.
Windscribe uses AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key. This encryption is a top-notch privacy protection feature and highly recommended for those of you inputting private data online. This factor is especially important for those involved in business and high-volume transactions.
Customization and configuration are important with VPN services because each computer and user may require something different. We love the fact that Windscribe allows you to generate configuration files for all their protocols. It gives you the ability to manually change settings to make it work best for your device.
With Windscribe, you can configure the following protocols:
They also offer more protocols than most other VPNs we’ve reviewed. So far, we’re pretty impressed.
Another interesting feature we’ve never heard of before is Windscribes, “ScribeForce.” According to them, it’s a fancy name for a managed team account. With this, you can create and manage VPN accounts for your company in one place.
So, if data protection is an important part of your business and you’re thinking of using a VPN, you may want to give ScribeForce a try.
It allows you to manage all your VPN users on one account, keep everything on one bill, manage everything from one page, and it’s cheaper than going and adding them to an account one-by-one.
Some IP addresses should stay the same, and that’s what Windscribe is trying to do. They’re no different from regular IPs, but instead of connecting to a new one each time you sign on, you’ll connect to the same external IP each time.
These are available in 13 locations and have two variations:
Datacenter – this is a standard IP address
Residential – Appears as a home IP address provided through an ISP
It’s important to understand why static IPs are important. First, you have less of a chance of getting blacklisting. When an IP address is shared across the entire platform, you increase someone’s chances of doing something they shouldn’t on that IP. Then what happens?
You show up on that IP, and it gets blacklisted, and you run the risk of being blamed for the illegal activity on that IP. This feature is incredibly important and powerful, and we’re surprised we don’t see more VPN providers offering it.
Not to mention the fact that it’s less annoying than having to sign onto a new IP each time. Now you don’t have to worry about CAPTCHAS and two-factor authentication every time you want to sign on.
Port forwarding is another powerful feature that allows you to remotely access your home network while still staying connected to Windscribe. You can access things like your home security camera, plex server, or web server.
This benefit ensures that you don’t expose your external IP, your connection stays protected, and you get protection from DDoS.
Split tunneling is a nice feature that we think is pretty common across the VPN providers. It allows you to split what applications you use the VPN for and which you don’t. For example, you might not be able to access personal banking information from a VPN. Instead of having to shut it off, access the site, close the site, and turn it back on, you can simply bypass the system and allow that site through the funnel.
The downside is that split tunneling only works on Windscribe’s Android app right now, so Windows and Apple users are out of luck.
Desktop App Features
In this Windscribe VPN review, we looked at some of the specific desktop apps to see what features they hold. Let’s dive in!
DNS leaks are a big issue with VPN providers, and it’s one of the first things we look for when recommending one. Windscribe has a built-in firewall that blocks all connectivity outside of the tunnel to make sure there aren’t any leaks.
Windscribe goes on to bash the “kill switch” feature that we commonly see with most VPNs. They say that a firewall is far superior to a kill switch because the kill switch simply reacts to a bad situation where the firewall prevents it from ever happening.
Firewalls prevent all outside activity from entering the funnel. When you use a kill switch, it kills your connection to the internet in the event that you lose your VPN.
Windscribe even offers a secure hotspot for Windows that allows you to create your own Wifi hotspot on your computer. When you’re connected to Windscribe, you can take advantage of having a secure connection for yourself and others without them even needing to install Windscribe.
For example, let’s say you’re doing work at a remote location where you might not have access to the internet. You can turn on your hotspot, and even if the other people working with you don’t have the VPN, they‘ll get the same level of privacy because they’re connected to your encrypted hotspot.
The next feature we’re looking at is called a Proxy Gateway. This one allows you to create HTTP and SOCKS5 servers on your Windows or Mac. Now, other devices that don’t support the VPN protocols can connect to the computer and use the connection from Windscribe.
This feature is so powerful because it allows you to set up your TV, gaming consoles, and any other device you can think of to your secure VPN connection. We’ll get into more details about Windscribes compatibility with different devices later on, but this is a nice feature.
Flexibility is everything with VPN services because not everything will work for everyone depending on your location. If you live in a certain country, you might not have spectacular results using a certain protocol. Windscribe predicted that, and that’s why they allow you to connect using an assortment of ports and protocols. The VPN provider supports the following:
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
- Websocket Stealth
Windscribe also supports the following ports:
This type of flexibility gives you the best chance of connecting, having the highest speed, and getting what you want from the VPN. If one doesn’t work, you can try another and another until you find the right one for you.
Browser Extension Features
We also looked at the many browser extensions offered in our Windscribe review. Let’s take a look!
This feature is pretty simple. WebRTC stands for “web real-time communication.” This application is what allows you to communicate directly with websites without needing to install additional plugins.
For privacy purposes, it’s a hazard because they can locate your IP and use it to identify you. So, Windscribe provides you with an extension that eliminates WebRTC, so you don’t have to worry about it. Simple as that!
This feature helps with restricting codes on websites that limit your use based on your location. For example, if you tried to use a gambling website in a state that doesn’t allow it. The location API in your browser will use GPS to determine your location and then block you from accessing that site.
This technology bypasses VPNs and proxies, so a standard VPN will not protect you from this. Location Warp will. It makes the API believe you’re in a different location by providing fake GPS coordinates based on the server you’re connected to.
Remember, if third-parties are trying to track you, every little bit of information helps. Split Personality helps reduce the likelihood of basic fingerprinting. Your browser has a user agent which will provide your operating system and browser version to each website you visit.
People trying to track you can use that information with other bits of data to piece together your identity. This feature is merely one piece of the puzzle that can help you remain as private as possible online.
This feature is so important and necessary because people can track you and start to line up your habits with the websites you visit most frequently.
We’re seriously impressed by the features that Winscribe offers. This is another one we’ve never seen before, and it’s something you should really consider.
So, your computer has a configured timezone based on your GPS location and whatever settings you use. If you’re using a server in Italy but your computer timezone is Eastern Standard Time, that might raise some red flags if someone is trying to identify you.
Windscribe takes privacy to the next level by ensuring that your computer time zone matches that of the server you’re located in.
Everywhere you go online, and everything you do is heavily tracked. All your habits are documented and used for marketing purposes. Windscribe helps by offering an ad blocker extension which has a lot of benefits.
It makes browsing more enjoyable because websites will load faster, and you don’t have to worry about intrusive ads.
Plus, it also blocks tracking codes that companies use to retarget you for further marketing. All your browsing history is yours to keep, and no one can get into it.
The final feature we’re breaking down is called Double Hop. This one allows you to have two locations from the Windscribe network. You’ll have one IP on your desktop and one IP on your browser extension. Each website you visit will see the IP of the browser extension. This feature just creates an extra layer of protection.
Windscribe Simultaneous Connections
The simultaneous connection is a feature we look for in the best VPNs because it allows you to connect more than one device at the same time to your VPN. This feature is important if you use your VPN for business, but it’s also useful in the home as well.
We’re amazed to see that Windscribe actually offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means that you can have this VPN running on as many devices as you want in your home or office. This factor makes Windscribe an excellent choice for business and professional use.
This VPN continues to impress when we talk about the many devices you can use it with. They have a custom app for everything, and Windscribe supports the following:
- Windscribe for Android
They also provide an app that allows you to connect to game consoles and streaming devices such as Windscribe for Firestick, Playstation, Roku, and more.
As previously discussed, Windscribe for Chrome is great because they offer a ton of extensions. They offer some features we’ve never seen before, and they’re all highly useful, important, and relevant to the cause of privacy and internet security.
Servers and Locations
Windscribe offers an impressive network of servers across 110 cities in 63 different countries. This would mean that they have servers in every corner of the world. What we don’t commonly see is a lot of servers in Eastern Asia, but Windscribe has quite a few in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and more.
With 110 different locations, you get to choose what city you’d like to locate in, and most big cities have multiple locations within the city. Here are some examples of the locations you can choose:
- Canada East
- Canada West
- Czech Republic
- Fake Antarctica
We almost want to test the server in Antarctica just to see what it’s all about! We only made it to the letter F, so you can see that Windscribe offers a ton of servers, and most of those countries have two or three different locations.
We do wish that they would release the number of individual VPN servers or IP addresses because what happens a lot of the time is, VPN providers rent servers rather than own them, so they’re not the only ones responsible for your privacy. When they’re renting servers, we never know exactly who could be on the other end, and it would be nice to know that.
Another interesting factor we see a lot is that servers aren’t located where they claim. Take the Fake Antarctica server, for example. We know they don’t have a server there, that’s clear, but where is the server, and what is it displaying?
Some VPNs will claim to have servers all over the world when in reality, they’re all in the US and Canada, and they’re lying to you.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing this information for sure; you have to trust the VPN service and hope they’re leading you in the right direction.
As previously mentioned, Windscribe VPN also offers static IP addresses, and they have these in 23 different countries. This feature is great because it allows you to get consistent access to whatever it is you’re trying to do. You’ll be able to connect to that same IP each time, so if you like it, you don’t have to play around each time you want to sign on.
Streaming and torrenting are what brings a lot of people to VPN services. It’s useful for both geo-restrictions but also for privacy. One of the most significant benefits of WIndscribe is that it does a great job of offering multiple levels of protection, which keeps your IP address well hidden and out of the hands of prying eyes.
So, what does this mean for you? In our Windscribe reviews, we did a ton of research on whether or not you could stream with this VPN.
Windscribe Netflix, or “Windflix,” as they call it, means that you might finally be able to watch Netflix if you’re unable to in your location. Windscribe even offers dedicated servers that focus entirely on making this happen.
Best of all, you can access this on Windscribes free platform, which makes it the only free VPN that allows Netflix. Windscribe continues to check out boxes and impress us more and more.
All of their free servers work, and they unblock Netflix, Youtube, and iPlayer reliably. They have four Windflix countries in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.
During our research, we wanted to find tests of these WIndflix servers. It’s one thing to listen to what the company website is telling you, but it’s another thing to find real trials. The VPN provider can promise you Netflix and other streaming services, but that only matters if the speeds are fast enough for you to even be able to watch it.
We found that the speed tests we’re a little disappointing, and you’ll most likely have to stream in standard definition if you don’t want to sit through constant buffering. You also can’t get Disney+ with Windscribe, but so far, we’ll take what we’ve got here.
In addition to streaming, torrenting is made possible with Windscribe as well. They have P2P servers scattered throughout, and while they’re not all optimized, you’ll easily be able to find the ones that are.
Their server speeds are consistent, too, which is important if you’re torrenting. The best feature of torrenting with Windscribe is the fact that they have servers all over the world.
When you can spread it out thin like that, you increase your chances of finding something that works. In turn, you’ll get better upload and download speeds so you can spend less time waiting.
We recommend touching up on some of the VPNs guides on using SOCKS5 proxy with uTorrent and others. They’re useful, and you’ll want to use the desktop VPN with your torrent client to maximize your protection.
Also, be careful with the Canadian jurisdiction. You can face up to $5,000 in fines for copyright, so it’s good to steer clear of all that. The best way to protect yourself would be to avoid servers in Canada, the US, and the UK, if possible.
Sometimes the best way to determine if something is right for you is to compare it to something else. In this Windscribe VPN review, we wanted to stack it up against a few others and see how it compares.
Let’s take a look at some of the major factors we consider when choosing a VPN—first, speed.
While neither TunnelBear nor Windscribe are winning any awards from upload and download speed, during our research, we saw that TunnelBear was consistently faster in both categories than Windscribe.
As for streaming, you do have the free server access for Netflix and the paid Windflix servers that will always connect you easily. When comparing this to TunnelBear, it simply can’t stand up. TunnelBear makes no guarantees when it comes to streaming or torrenting, so Windscribe offers a better VPN if your main reason for looking is streaming.
Security is one of the most important factors, and it’s the reason why most people get a VPN, to begin with. TunnelBear only offers OpenVPN except for iOS users. Windscribe offers a ton of protocols with AES-256 encryption and doesn’t collect anything else other than timestamps, which are destroyed when you disconnect.
We find that WIndscribe offers more protection and better security than TunnelBear.
Last but not least, server locations. TunnelBear offers 22 different locations, with most of them in Europe. Windscribe has 110 cities in 59 countries with a wide assortment of options varying from Australia, to South Africa, to the Philippines.
I think there’s a clear cut winner in this comparison. We would suggest going with WIndscribe over TunnelBear is almost every area.
Now let’s compare to ProtonVPN using the same criteria starting with speed. With a ProtonVPN free plan and across multiple speed tests, we noticed that their download speeds are incredibly slow even in the US and Canada. We know that Windscribe VPN is a little slow but not as slow as ProtonVPN Free. But that’s a “price” you pay for free unlimited data with ProtonVPN free plan. Paid plans for the ProtonVPN have comparable speeds with Windscribe, and they are fast enough in general.
This VPN also offers P2P servers, which are good for streaming and torrenting. Their no-logging policy is also beneficial for privacy if that’s something you’re concerned about.
As for security, we find ProtonVPN to be one of the best VPNs for privacy, and their whole marketing stance runs on that. They use AES-256 encryption with a 4096-bit RSA key exchange, which is about the best you can get. Proton supports OpenVPN and IKEv2/IP sec connections, which is nothing compared to all the protocols available with Windscribe.
Best of all, ProtonVPN has a feature called Secure Core, which automatically moves your traffic through the servers in most private countries like Switzerland and Sweden. In terms of privacy and security, I think ProtonVPN has WIndscribe beat.
While Proton offers great security, they don’t have as many “bells and whistles” as Windscribe, so it’s a pretty close tie. You’ll want to check both of these out and make the determination for yourself.
The main issue that stands out with Hotspot Shield right away is their logging policy, they do keep some logs of your browsing history, and when you compare that to Windscribes strict policy against logging, I think you know where we’re leaning.
On the flip side, they do offer much faster speeds compared to any of the VPNs we’ve looked at so far. They have faster upload and download speeds than Windscribe, which could be because of their expansive server network all over the world.
Both of these VPN providers do a nice job of unblocking geo-restricted content and allowing P2P access for torrents, and both offer affordable pricing options, but WIndscribe does offer a pretty impressive free package that HotSpot Shield cannot match.
Windscribe vs. NordVPN
|3rd party audit
|Yes, by PwC
Onion over VPN
|5400 servers in
|Streaming and P2P
in the mobile app
|4.2 / 5.0
|4.8 / 5.0
NordVPN is a popular name, so we wanted to make one last comparison to see if Windscribe can stack up against the big guy. First, let’s talk about speeds.
One thing we know about NordVPN is that it’s incredibly inconsistent across servers. One minute you’re experiencing 140mbps download speed, and the next, you’ve got 20mbps when you reroute to a different server. That can be frustrating because you don’t know which servers to choose.
While the fastest speeds for Nord are better than Windscribe, we like the consistency across the board.
As for streaming and torrenting, both VPNs allow it, they have dedicated servers for it, and Windscribe is the only one offering free streaming. But, we have noticed some inconsistencies with their free servers. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.
Overall, we can’t get past the slower speed of Windscribe, which impacts your ability to be able to enjoy your streamed content.
Both of these VPNs are loaded with features. They both offer chrome extensions, ad blockers, and security features. With Windscribe, you get R.O.B.E.R.T, and with Nord, we get CyberSec. Trying to pick a winner here is impossible, so we’ll let you determine that for yourself!
When you need more information about a VPN, turn to VPN Reddit. Here we found a whole /r focused on Windscribe features, privacy, speeds, and pros and cons. Let’s take a look at what some people had to say.
Q: “Is it possible to connect directly from a router to Windscribe? Is this feature supported by more than one router brand/model? I would like to compare the options.
My idea is that the wifi and anything that connects to it would already appear to be in another location instead of having to connect each device automatically.”
It can be done with routers that support open VPN clients.
The best I’ve used for this purpose are Asus and Linksys:
-Asus GT-AX11000 -Asus RT-AC86U -Linksys WRT 3200 ACM
These are solid options depending on your price range, although I personally prefer ASUS as I find the firmware to be more convenient, especially on the models you can load Merlin variation.
Just note that this set up is ideal if you use mostly one server if you hop over multiple servers/locations, a router level set up might not be ideal as changing servers is not as straightforward as it is on the Windscribe clients.”
Q: “Is Windscribe supported on raspberry Pi on raspbian/Ubuntu”?
A: “The easiest is just to download a docker image with it all setup. If you google for Windscribe docker, you will find a bunch of different ones.”
Now let’s talk about the topic that is most likely on your mind, price. If you go with a one-year deal, it’s cheaper than most of the more popular VPN services, and you’re still getting top-notch services.
You can choose to go with the month-to-month or the yearly package.
The monthly plan costs $9.00 per month, which is a little high, but if you sign up for a yearly plan, that cost drops to $4.08 per month, which is much more affordable.
The thing we like most about Windscribe is its “Build-a-Plan,” which allows you to purchase individual server locations for one dollar per server. Plus, you still get all the benefits of the paid plan, including unlimited data and R.O.B.E.R.T.
We like the fact that they don’t over complicate their packages with a million different options. You basically have three choices here. You have your free option, which limits the servers and data you can use. The pro option gives you access to everything, and the build your own allows you to figure it out for yourself.
You could even play the field and try out some of the servers on a paid plan and then downgrade to the build your own with the servers you like the most.
As for payments, Windscribe accepts all payment methods, including PayPal, as well as a few international options. Once you’ve signed up, you get a three day refund period, and you can only use it if you didn’t use more than 10GB of data, which isn’t much but still, keep that in mind.
We also read that it takes them as long as 30 days to refund your money. This is one of the worst return policies we’ve ever seen, so make sure you try out the free plan as much as you can before committing to a paid option.
Windscribe Free vs. Windscribe Paid
Speaking of free, Windscribe offers the best free plan on the VPN market. There’s no negotiating that, it’s the best. They provide you with plenty of options to test the waters before determining if Windscribe is the right choice for you.
The free option comes with servers in ten countries and a 10GB data cap per month. You can connect to servers in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
Best of all, it’s an ad-free VPN, so you don’t have to worry about ads popping up all over the place and slowing down your connection. That would be a problem because the speeds on the free plan are pretty deplorable.
Even if you’re using the same server on the paid plan, you get improved speeds, and we’re not impressed with Windscribe’s performance, to begin with, so this makes it worse.
The good news is, you get access to a free version of R.O.B.E.R.T that has a malware block list, and you can try streaming on the free servers to see if you have any luck.
We covered it all in this Windscribe VPN review. We talked about security, privacy, speed, performance, logging, servers, streaming, torrenting, and more. By now, you should know everything and more about whether or not Windscribe is the right VPN for you.
We’re seriously impressed by Windscribe. Both their free and Windscribe pro plans are amazing. They’re loaded with great features, extensions, and privacy tools to help make browsing safer and more enjoyable.
We scoured the internet for some of the most frequently asked questions about Windscribe. Let’s see if we can answer them!