“Is the free Windscribe subscription any good?” is one of the most common VPN-related questions in 2021. We’ll give you an answer to that below. Simultaneously, we intend to help you decide whether upgrading to the paid version of this VPN provider is worth it. One thing is clear, you need to hide your IP with a VPN if you hold your privacy and security while browsing online dear. If you wonder why that is, we already wrote about what is VPN and how a VPN works. You’ll quickly realize how much spying there is. To combat that, here comes our Windscribe VPN review.
Windscribe VPN Features
These are some of the main features of Windscribe VPN:
Windscribe has headquarters in Canada, which is far from ideal. Canada is a main member of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Alliances, an espionage/intelligence-gathering cooperations.
Number of Servers
Windscribe has an undisclosed number of servers in 63 countries and 110 cities.
Although Canada has data retention laws, Windscribe stores no logs of your connection history or IP address on their servers. As such, it has nothing to turn over to the authorities even if requested.
When connecting to a server in the same country like ours (Europe), our speed went down by nearly 30%. The situation was much better with a Windflix server, which saw a reduction in the download speed of around 20%. When connecting to a server in the United States, ping increased multiple times, but the speed didn’t take a significant hit – only between 20% to 25%. We also had good results with servers in Australia. However, connecting to those in Japan and Germany was very inconsistent, since the speed loss was between 60% and 90%.
No IPv4/IPv6/DNS Leaks
When we checked a VPN, we found no DNS or IP leaks. Windscribe has a built-in WebRTC leak protection and IPv6 leak protection.
Data Usage and Bandwidth
Except when using their free plan, the VPN provider offers unlimited bandwidth and puts no restrictions on VPN speed.
Windscribe supports a limitless number of concurrent VPN connections when other VPN services for Canada only offer between 5 and 10.
Windscribe uses an AES-256 encryption algorithm with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA512 auth to protect your Internet traffic. Furthermore, the VPN provider employs PFC (Perfect Forward Secrecy. This feature constantly generates new encryption keys, thus preventing “man in the middle” attacks.
Streaming Services Unblocking
Windscribe VPN bypasses Netflix VPN block through Windflix VPN servers, but only the US catalog. We couldn’t unblock Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or HBO Max.
The provider supports OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), IKEv2, and WireGuard security protocols.
Does Windscribe work in China?
Unlike IPVanish, Windscribe works in China. They went a step further and offer two ways to connect to a VPN from China. The first is Stealth VPN mode, which cloaks OpenVPN traffic inside a TLS tunnel, while the second is Wstunnel mode, which envelops OpenVPN traffic inside a WebSocket.
The following are some of the extra features of Windscribe VPN:
No identifying information needed
To create a Windscribe account, you only need a username and password. No e-mail address, real or fake, is required.
P2P transfer support
Unlike our review of Hotspot Shield, we found that not all servers support torrenting, but the majority do. Windscribe helps you determine that by having an icon of P2P crossed out if the server isn’t safe for P2P transfer.
Split Personality is an advanced obfuscation feature that allows the VPN to shuffle your browser’s user agent to reduce the impact of browser fingerprinting. Browser fingerprinting is a method where websites use your user agent to piece together information related to you. Then, even if you use a VPN to visit them, they can recognize you via your fingerprints. But Split Personality shuffles the user agent, thus reducing the chances of websites getting hold of detailed information.
VPN providers usually automatically switch ports to circumvent VPN blocks, While this is possible too, Windscribe also allows you to do port forwarding by yourself.
You can pay a little extra to purchase a static IP address. This helps you hide a VPN, among other things.
WebRTC Slayer is nothing but a fancy name for a feature that disables WebRTC leaks in your browser. These leaks can be used to determine your actual IP address. Hence, it is a much-needed feature in VPNs.
The final feature on the list is Location Warp which prevents browser location APIs from determining your IP address. These modern APIs simply bypass most proxies and VPNs. Hence, websites use them to determine the actual location of a connection. But Location Warp can spoof your GPS by providing fake coordinates.
Kill Switch and Split Tunneling
Both features are industry-standard and supported by all premium VPN providers. Keep in mind that the kill switch is named Firewall in Windscribe apps.
You can route your Internet traffic through 2 VPN servers at the same time, improving security at the cost of VPN speed.
R.O.B.E.R.T is the name for a feature that blocks ads, trackers, malware, and even crypto miners, thus improving browsing speed. Some people also use R.O.B.E.R.T to control their browsing habits and stay away from dangerous or addictive content online.
Windscribe offers managed team accounts for corporations and businesses that can be organized with a few clicks as they are grouped in a single place. This particular feature is known as ScribeForce.
Here are a few advantages to ScribeForce:
- Common protection across accounts – Every account associated with ScribeForce will enjoy the same benefits and security features. They can use it on any device and access features from the Windscribe Pro version.
- Centralized bills – Since all accounts are treated as one, billing and accounting get simpler.
- Efficient Management – ScribeForce allows users to manage all the associated accounts from a single place, making team management faster and much easier.
- Cost-efficient – ScribeForce accounts are, in general, three times cheaper than individual accounts.
Great Customer Support
When you ask a question, Garry the Chatbot will point you to the knowledge base, FAQ page, or blog posts. If the bot can’t help, it will pass your request over to the live chat service. You can also contact Windscribe Customer Care service via e-mail, Reddit, and Twitter.
Windscribe VPN Installation and User Interface
Is Windscribe compatible with my device, and is it beginner-friendly? Let us set your mind at ease.
Windscribe is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It also has a VPN extension for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Additionally, you can install Windscribe VPN on Amazon Fire TV, Kodi, Nvidia Shield, NAS, torrent clients, and routers (DD-WRT, Asus, Tomato). If you aren’t tech-savvy, Windscribe even sells pre-configured routers with a VPN.
Graphical User Interface
The interface is minimalistic, colorful, and modern, but also to navigate your way around. Mobile apps allow you to use a Custom Color Mode or a Dark Mode, so you can even customize the app GUI. Connecting to a VPN is as easy as pressing the power button – their Best Location feature (called Autopilot in the browser) automatically connects you to the best server with your parameters, such as country, streaming, P2P, etc.
Windscribe VPN Pricing
When you look into Windscribe VPN prices, you will encounter two tiers:
Windscribe is well-known for its 10GB free monthly plan with no strings attached. If you tweet at the company, you can get a bonus of 5GB per month. And while there’s a no-log policy, you can’t watch Netflix US with it. We were able to unblock Plex, Crackle, PlutoTV, and Tubi, however. Unfortunately, you are limited to servers in 10 countries that are usually crowded.
Windscribe offers has three paid tiers:
- Build a plan – Choose specific server locations and features you need. Starts at $1/month per location.
- 1-month plan – $9.00/month
- 1-year plan – $4.08/month
How does the price of Windscribe VPN compare to other providers?
Like most VPN providers, Windscribe allows paying through PayPal, Payment Wall, and credit cards. The VPN provider also allows paying with cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and offer special student discounts. The price is certainly in line with the high-quality VPN providers but lacks support for 2-year and 3-year plans. Those are the hidden gems – discounts bring the cost to between $2.25 and $3.73 monthly like in our NordVPN review or review of CyberGhost. Those VPN services are also superior in some areas, especially streaming.
- Strict no-logging policy
- Unlimited number of simultaneous connections
- Can be used in China
- Supports torrenting on most servers
- Modern security protocols
- Powerful ad, malware, and tracker blocker
- Apps for all major platforms and devices
- Superior free plan (10GB+5GB)
- Ability to build your own payment plan
- Affordable long-term plan
- Not great for streaming, only unblocks Netflix US
- Only a 3-day money-refund policy when others offer 30 to 45 days
There are very few reasons not to get a Windscribe subscription. The cost of paid plans is reasonable and competitive. Furthermore, the security-oriented features are up to par and continuously updated, and the rock-solid zero-log policy is here to stay. The speed is not as great as what we measured in our ExpressVPN review, but that VPN provider is also significantly more expensive. Most importantly, Windscribe’s free plan has no hidden agendas or requires commitment, allowing you to test the service thoroughly. The only obvious deal-breaker is the inability to unblock streaming services outside of Netflix US.
Windscribe VPN Review
Windscribe is an excellent VPN service with good speed, great support, and excellent security.