Windscribe review, a Canadian VPN provider, maybe a good choice for US-based VPN providers or someone who wishes to use their free VPN plan, which includes 10GB of session bandwidth per month.
Despite being a relatively new VPN service, its Chrome extension, which provides free proxy access to users, has already been used by more than 900,000 people.
Here’s everything we liked, didn’t like and hated.
|OVERALL RANK:||#3 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Easy to use|
|LOG FILES:||No Logging Policy|
|LOCATIONS:||58 countries, 480+ servers|
|SUPPORT:||Service Bots with often unhelpful answers|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-bit AES, OpenVPN and more|
|COST:||$9.00/mo or $4.08/mo (yearly)|
And their specific Netflix servers performed brilliantly.
Windscribe has excellent device compatibility. Its encryption and protocol options are robust. The application was very easy to use. Torrents are allowed (although a bit limited).
This is what we loved about their service.
Strong Privacy & Encryption Features
Windscribe supports the simplest VPN protocols known to men (and women), including OpenVPN, IKEv2, TCP, UDP, and SOCKS5 protocols.
Interestingly, the IKEv2 protocol is used by default, even though OpenVPN is the industry standard. (So you might want to call attention to mod again ASAP once you start using it.)
The rationale is that you will get access to best-in-class AES-256 encryption (with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key) for your desktop applications, and AES_128_GCM encryption for your browser extensions. These technical details will leave security professionals salivating.
If you’re not a security professional, just keep in mind that these basically mean “really fucking safe.”
There have been no known hacks at either end of this encryption spectrum.
But let’s not stop there.
Because even the best encryption won’t keep you safe from the same VPN service you’re using. Many of the suspects keep track of their information. Alternatively, they deliver it to the highest advertising bidder.
That is not acceptable here.
So to verify, we looked into the postponement-worthy details and found that Windscribe doesn’t keep any logs.
They collect a couple of details.
This includes a few months of bandwidth to keep users free in moderation. Otherwise, they will also keep your OpenVPN username, server, connection time, and amount of knowledge transferred for about three minutes.
Otherwise, their terms are pretty standard and in line with the rest of the VPN market. No secrets or fine print that can haunt you in the end.
No Leaks, No Viruses = Safe to Use
Users are lulled into a false sense of security by DNS and WebRTC leaks.
You don’t actually know that they exist. you have no way of knowing once they occur.
The only thank you for spotting them is actively checking the IP address your client displays, which you actually see each test with.
The two-match better.
Because if not, it means that everyone else watching this connection can also see where you really are.
Windscribe’s leak tests appear in the Pros column for an honest reason:
No leaks were detected in five tests.
WebRTC leak test result:
IP leak test result:
DNS leak test result:
Leak test result 5:
We also ran your installation files via VirusTotal.com to double-check that you weren’t exposing your devices to any other secret malicious software.
These tests also came out clean. Three cheers for Windscribe.
Bypass Netflix Restrictions with a Windflix Feature
Normal Windscribe servers will not work with Netflix (we got zero out of three during testing).
That is not uncommon when you are working with a VPN service. Netflix is the favorite enemy of the VPN world. It was not always like this. In the beginning, unblocking Netflix content was one of the main benefits of using a VPN. The streaming giant geographically blocks its content, country by country. Someone in Japan would have a wildly different Netflix library than someone in Canada, for example.
Initially, this was not a problem. Someone in Canada would just connect to their VPN, select a server in Japan, and WHAMMO, they are mixing Japanese content from Netflix.
Finally, someone at Netflix found out about this and was not happy. the company fought back against VPNs, implementing one of the most intuitive VPN detection services in the world. Now when VPN users try to access their favorite shows from around the world, they run into Netflix’s black screen of doom.
When you can find a VPN that unblocks Netflix, it’s a joyous day indeed. That’s why we dedicate an entire page of our site to VPNs that work with Netflix. Fortunately, Windscribe is on the list, despite our initial failure.
This is due to the fact that Windscribe has a number of dedicated “Windflix” servers. Some of them make it to Netflix, but not all of them.
There are currently four Windflix servers. They are located in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan. We tested all four and got some encouraging results.
Three Windflix servers that we tested worked perfectly.
- WINDFLIX-US (New York – Radiohall)
- WINDFLIX-UK (London – The Tube)
- WINDFLIX-JP (Tokyo – Kaiju)
Unfortunately, the Canadian Windflix server did not work with Netflix once we last tested it in August 2019.
The bottom line is that you will stream Netflix with Windscribe. To be successful, you must use the appropriate Netflix-compatible Windflix server. (Just not the Canadian).
Torrenting is Allowed
A VPN can help protect torrent sessions, creating that impenetrable tunnel around your internet connection to keep you safe.
But a VPN is useless if it doesn’t work and allows unrestricted use.
Some are starting to discourage or ban torrents to make sure they don’t get into any trouble with DMCA complaints. Others will offer torrent servers, but only a couple of them at best.
Where does Windscribe fall?
Technically, they allow it. Here’s a press release from their torrent FAQ page:
They even have tutorials on how to set up the following torrent clients:
However, torrenting is not supported on all of their servers.
This comes down to individual countries and their stance on digital copyright.
So yes, it will use Windscribe to block torrent sessions. But first, take a look at your servers to make sure you find some P2P-friendly ones that are relatively on the edge of you.
Supports a Variety of Devices on a Variety of Platforms
This could be one of the best aspects of Windscribe.
They have applications for almost every platform you can think of.
This encompasses basic operating systems such as Windows, Mac, iOS, and Linux. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera are among the browsers affected. They will also provide Amazon, Nvidia Shield, and Kodi with a couple of smart TV apps.
Oh, and you will also connect unlimited devices.
Pretty impressive, right?
They are also compatible with routers, however, this may involve a couple of manual steps to travel through the OpenVPN quality option as a solution.
You can also connect game consoles through these routers. Otherwise, there are no predefined point-click-install options.
Finally, Windscribe supports TOR, but only through the standalone app rather than the VPN’s browser extensions.
We download the Windscribe applications on both Windows and Android devices.
When you download the application for the first time on a personal computer, you will be directed to a download page that presents the multitude of platform options available to Windscribe users.
For the needs of this review, we selected the Windows desktop app. Before the download can begin, you will be asked which installation you would like.
Quick installation is suggested. It allows you to install the VPN client without having to control all the small decisions, relying on Windscribe’s default settings.
This is ideal for someone who is new to using VPN and just wants a quick and easy installation. By selecting a custom installation, you will be aware of all the ins and outs of the installation process. If you are a seasoned professional and are very particular about your computer and the way the programs are installed, take the extra time to customize your installation.
I chose the express installation, & calculated the method and it logged 9.2 seconds from the moment I clicked to the moment the VPN opened on my screen.
I made my account after installing the VPN. This was also quite simple. You’re ready to go if you’ve chosen a username and password. If you’re concerned about privacy, you don’t even have to enter an email address.
The account dashboard is your next stop. Here, you will review your account information, update your service, and access some additional features such as R.O.B.E.R.T., malware and ad-blocking service, or port forwarding.
The VPN client is simple and small. As you’ll see in the image below, there aren’t tons of overly complicated items to peruse.
On the right side, there may be a large circular button. this is often the button you click to attach with the Windscribe service. They made it big and centralized so you can’t miss it.
At the bottom is its firewall function. It will turn it off and on via a button at the bottom right. The firewall acts as a kill switch function, terminating your session if it is threatened by leaks. once you connect to the service, the firewall is instantly activated. You won’t be ready to access the web for the few seconds it takes to attach.
On the left side, you’ll make a list of servers. When you click it, you’ll be taken to a menu where you can select from any of the 66 countries where Windscribe servers are available. will extend each country so that it can be submitted to the server of your choice, or you can click on the country to have Windscribe choose one for you.
When you disconnect from the Windscribe service, the entire application is grayed out. Once it connects successfully, you will see it turn blue, as in the image below.
Connecting was very easy, it only took a couple of seconds. Once he was in, he was ready to freely use the web and alter servers at will.
Next, we installed the 12.30MB Google Play file on Android and got it up and running in no time.
Our most up-to-date desktop app test showed an experience in line with what we saw the last time we checked. However, when it comes to the mobile app, they’ve clearly done a ton of work.
Here’s a picture of what the mobile app looked like once we first reviewed Windscribe.
Here it is in August 2019.
That is a reasonably large difference. But the changes are quite aesthetic.
When we first tested this service, the mobile app was only ready to access 56 Windscribe servers. Now, you have full access to all or any of the 155 service areas in total, 66 countries.
As with the desktop client, the Windscribe mobile app turns blue when connected.
Another cool feature is that the flag inside the header image changes depending on the country you are connected to. See what happens once you connect to a Canadian server.
Overall usability was smooth and there have been no major issues, lags, or glitches with any of the apps.
Windscribe is slow.
And they are a bit expensive.
Especially once you don’t have access to all or any of the servers that you supposedly have access to.
Confused about that last part? Do not be.
I will explain it everywhere in the following sections.
Canadian Jurisdiction Inside Five Eyes
Windscribe is located in Toronto, Canada.
Canada may be a founding member of the 5 Eyes jurisdiction dating back to WWII. It’s not cool on its own. But what’s worse once you consider that this alliance means that both the US and the UK can have your personal data in their dirty hands.
And Windscribe would have no choice but to comply if forced.
The chances are slim, no doubt.
But there is an opportunity.
So that’s a risk you’d like to be comfortable living with.
Reduces the speed of your Internet connection by more than 50%
Windscribe’s server performance placed them in the bottom third of our ranking at 51 (out of 78).
This ranking was the direct result of a combined score from the server.
First, we take our baseline reading to determine what an unobstructed internet connection looks like. Here was ours:
Second, we started connecting to Windscribe servers across the globe to drive a mean read. This is what we found.
U.S. Central Server
- Ping: 140 ms
- Download speed: 29.74 Mbps (70% slower)
- Upload speed: 2.07 Mbps (96% slower)
- Ping: 46 ms
- Download speed: 17.25 Mbps (82% slower)
- Upload speed: 4.86 Mbps (91% slower)
- Ping: 92 ms
- Download speed: 42.97 Mbps (56% slower)
- Upload speed: 5.12 Mbps (90% slower)
Windscribe’s servers were consistently slow across the board. Loading speeds were especially atrocious, dropping speeds in excess of 90% in each case. We even use a “Premium” account for these speeds!
You shouldn’t need to sacrifice performance by up to 90%. And you don’t need to do that either when full options like ExpressVPN and Astrill are available.
Not Every one of the 480+ servers is up and running.
It’s fine. This is where server discrepancy comes into play again.
According to official records, Windscribe has access to more than 480 servers in more than 50 countries.
It’s nothing compared to ExpressVPN’s over 2,000 servers, Private Internet Access over 3,200 servers, or perhaps NordVPN’s over 5,200 servers.
But a full-service network that counts around ~ 500 is respectable. It means that you must have many options to find fast servers at any time.
That is if they are all available.
Which, for some strange reason, is not the case on Windscribe’s servers.
Check it out:
That image is on their website.
Shows New Zealand as the server location. However, zero out of zero servers are available.
In reality, you only get access to a fraction of the servers that are being promoted.
This, in addition to the already limited number available for mobile devices (compared to desktops), makes Windscribe’s server numbers seem unreliable at best, or an outright lie at worst.
Questionable Support (Using Bots)
Some VPN companies still sleep in the Stone Age of customer support.
They only offer FAQs, forums, or ticket-based systems that will take days to request a response.
Windscribe, by comparison, features a chatbot.
Finally, a quick and simple thank you for easy answers to questions.
We were very excited to ask “Garry” that odd zero server number in New Zealand.
This was his response:
He didn’t really answer our question.
And sadly, “Garry” never did. He kept repeating irrelevant answers that didn’t exactly line up with the question we were asking.
From there, we had to travel back in time using a support ticket.
Ten hours later, we received this response:
GARRY! ARE YOU?!
Another automated and irrelevant answer. this point of Arthur, King of the British.
Yes, I buy the reference. No, it doesn’t make me feel better. Also, Windscribe can be a Canadian company. hence the damn reference doesn’t even make sense.
Since we are complete masochists, we sent one more follow-up question. It took him 20 hours to receive a reply.
Do not do it. Even. Bother.
Windscribe VPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods
Windscribe has three paid plans.
The monthly falls to half of what you would expect at $ 9 a month. While the annual plan offers a great discount of more than 55%.
The annual plan costs $ 4.08 / month and last but not least the “Build a plan” option costs $ 1.00 per location used.
Payment options include PayPal, MasterCard, and Bitcoin.
If you are not satisfied for any reason, you will request a refund.
BUT, and this is often huge but:
- Within three days of buying a plan, you may obtain a refund.
- During that time, you can’t use more than 10GB of bandwidth.
This is a reasonably terrible refund policy, to be honest.
Please do not register if you have any questions. Instead, take a moment to consider your free choice before making a decision. Because your money is effectively gone once you’ve paid.
Just keep in mind that the free option only allows access to 14 server locations and 10 BG of knowledge per month.
Also, don’t be naive.
“Free VPNs” come with their own risks. many of them.
So buyer beware.
Do We Recommend Windscribe?
No. I do not recommend buying it.
Windscribe can be a pretty good pick if being compatible with Netflix is at the top of your list.
Its protocols, encryption, and logging policy are also legitimate. and that we loved the compatibility of the platform.
But there are many other worrying signs that we are experiencing.
Server speeds were consistently slow, to begin with. And that’s a nasty sign if you’re trying to stream Netflix movies. Netflix and Chill would be more like Netflix and now I’m going home.
Then there have been more pressing concerns.
A home base in Toronto also doesn’t bode well for keeping your private information private.
And the customer support was completely useless. (Come to me, Garry.)
Windscribe’s price doesn’t do you any favors, either. They are at the higher end of the spectrum, despite not having access to “all” of their servers.
To top it all, the refund policy is simply the one listed in the name. No way will you get a refund unless you walk an incredibly fine line for 72 hours.
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