WindScribe Review 2020 - 10,000+ Words! 3,047 Views
WindScribe is a very excellent VPN service, which is especially glimpsed by its strong protection of users' anonymity. Thus, no name, email or other personal information is required when creating a user account and no logs are stored on users' activities on the network. Additionally, simple but user-friendly apps for all conceivable devices as well as a number of useful features that fine enhance user experience as well as increase usability and security.
Windscribe is a privacy-focused VPN that’s a great choice for VPN newbies. Performance is decent on local connections, with low latency and speedy uploads making it appealing to both gamers and torrenters. Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer is quick and hassle-free through dedicated streaming servers. The user-friendly, modern apps are available for the usual range of platforms and pack in lots of configurable options to satisfy even experienced users. Windscribe offers some strong privacy features including a VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection, as well as a high level of encryption. Its logging policy is minimal, collecting only a limited amount of connection metadata in order to monitor server performance. The proprietary Stealth protocol means the apps can be made to work in high-censorship countries.
In this review, we’ll explore Windscribe further, to find out what makes it a service worth considering.
Table Of Contents
- About WindScribe
- Getting Started
- Apps and Ease of Use
- Privacy and Security
- Encryption and Security
- Logging Policy
- Plans and Pricing
- Payment Methods
- Unique Selling Proposition
- Platforms and Devices
- Console and Streaming Devices
- Streaming and Torrenting
- Using the Windscribe Chrome Extension
- Protocols and Encryption
- Server Locations
- Speed and Reliability
- Customer Support
- The Windscribe VPN Website Review
- Windscribe VPN on Mobile
- Frequently Asked Questions
Getting Started with the Windscribe Serviceif you’ve never used a VPN before, downloading and installing Windscribe is incredibly easy and takes only a couple of minutes from start to finish. There are set-up guides for the majority of popular platforms on the support section of the site, including loads of helpful screenshots and video tutorials. The process is as simple as downloading the relevant software from the website and following the prompts given to you by the installation wizard. These are very straightforward to follow so you shouldn’t get too stuck, however if you do then you can always refer back to the set-up guides. After you’ve finished installing the software, all that’s left to do is enter your login details and you can start using the VPN.
Apps and Ease of UseWindscribe VPN has software for just about every platform on the market. The Windscribe client is supported on all of the following:
Computers: Windows, Mac, and Linux Ubuntu
Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
Mobile phones: iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile
Routers: DD-WRT, Tomato, and Asus
NAS: Synology and QNAP
Torrent clients: uTorrent, Deluge, qBitorrent, and VUZE
It is also worth bearing in mind that smart TVs and other types of devices can be used with the VPN via a router or computer. In the guides section, there is even setup information for Amazon FireTV and Nvidia Shield and Kodi. As such, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a device that you can’t connect to Windscribe. It is also worth noting that it is possible to buy a pre-flashed WiFi router from Windscribe that comes with the VPN installed and ready to plug and play. This is an excellent option for anybody that wants a no-fuss way of protecting all the devices in their home. Windscribe’s apps are simple and user-friendly without sacrificing too many advanced privacy features. The main screen on the desktop client is compact but packs in lots of useful information, including your chosen server location, new IP address and an on/off toggle for the Firewall (Kill Switch) feature. There’s also a big connect button that turns the whole screen blue when pressed, making it very easy to tell when you’re connected to the VPN.
More configurable options can be found behind the burger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner, buried in the Preferences sub-section. These are organized into clearly-labelled tabs, making them really easy to navigate, and we love that the more advanced features such as proxy configuration warn inexperienced users to steer clear “unless you know what you’re doing”. There are handy links to the support pages should you need further clarification, although it’s a shame this information isn’t embedded in the app.
Privacy and SecurityIn order to keep your internet traffic secure, Windscribe uses OpenVPN, a protocol known for its reliability and strength, as well as AES 256-bit encryption with SHA512 for data authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key. The fact that Windscribe offers detailed information about the encryption used, deserves to be noted, since it is something that not all VPNs do. The transparency of the provider in this and other areas shows its commitment to gain the trust of consumers. Windcsribe also supports IKEv2 protocol, which is a convenient and secure option that allows users to enjoy great speeds. SOCKS5 proxy is also available and while it is not the best option for security, it is convenient for fast streaming or browsing.
Security is also achieved through DNS leak protection and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPV6), two of the features supported by the VPN software. Kill switch is also available to ensure that your real IP address won’t be exposed, even if the VPN connection suddenly fails. In addition, the Chrome extension offers double hop, a solution that gives subscribers the chance to tunnel through two proxy servers instead of just one. While this feature has a significant impact on the speed of your connection, if you are looking for an additional way to increase your privacy and anonymity, you will find double hop very useful. Since Windscribe uses shared IPs, identifying an individual user is pretty much impossible.
Windscribe primarily uses the IKEv2 / IPSec encryption protocol in its clients, which is both very secure, but at the same time very fast as it is barely resource-intensive. OpenVPN can also be used if the device supports it and SOCKS5 setup can be used if you only need a proxy, which is faster than VPN, but does not provide the same level of security. Both OpenVPN and IKEv2 / IPSec use AES-256 encryption. In addition to encryption, client programs also have a firewall built-in that blocks all Internet traffic other than the one that takes place through the VPN connection. The purpose of this is to prevent leakage of data and Windscribe claims that it is much better than the kill switches that most other VPN services offer. All in all, Windscribe must be considered as a VPN service that controls security.
Encryption and SecurityWindscribe excels on several privacy fronts, offering a load of advanced features that you won’t get with many other providers. The desktop app operates exclusively on OpenVPN, which is our preferred protocol as it’s the most secure, and you have the option to toggle between UDP and TCP connections. Encryption is via super-secure AES-256, which is used by the US federal government and considered unbreakable. Windscribe offers its own take on the VPN kill switch with its own Firewall feature, which essentially performs the same service in that it prevents your true IP address from being exposed should the VPN connection drop for any reason. You’re also protected against DNS and IPv6 leaks, although we were disappointed by the lack of first-party DNS servers, meaning your web traffic is routed through less secure third-party servers. We love that you can gain an extra layer of encryption by combining the desktop app and browser extension to route your traffic through two VPN servers, making you incredibly hard to keep track of. The fact that TCP port 443 is supported is also very useful, as it means you appear online as normal web traffic rather than a VPN user.
VPNs still need to log data for the current session, especially on bandwidth-limited plans, because they need to record that the browsing activity on this server connection relates to the IP address or account of this user. Other VPNs either don't mention this at all, or they hide it in vague clauses about logging "some" data for "operational" reasons. Here's what Windscribe says about the issue: "For the duration of your connection we store the following data in a temporary location: OpenVPN username, VPN server connected to, time of connection, amount of data transferred during the session. This data expires and is discarded within 3 minutes of session termination." That's exceptionally clear and detailed. The policy even covers what happens if you stop using the service, mentioning that Windscribe will "periodically prune inactive accounts", and that you can ask for your details to be deleted if you like. All of this is based on what Windscribe says it does and will do, of course. There's no way for us to tell exactly what happens in practice. What we can say is the company appears to understand the privacy issue more than others, it's more transparent, and there's no attempt to hide dubious practices in the small print. And whatever Windscribe's internal procedures are like, the option to sign up without providing any personal details is a major privacy plus.
AnonymityWindscribe does not lead to permanent logs of users activities, but deletes all tracks 3 minutes after connection is disconnected. The only permanent log is a time stamp when a user was last connected to the service, which is stored to identify and remove passive accounts. It takes about 10 seconds to register a new user, just select a username and password - you are started. It is not even necessary to enter an email so no personal information is associated with the user profile. Also, visitors will not be logged on the website and payment will be made through a third party, so Windscribe has taken care not to save data that may be associated with the people behind the usernames. Windscribe also has its own DNS servers, preventing one's IP address from being leaked by DNS storage. On the whole, much attention is given to ensuring users' anonymity, which is of absolute top quality.
Logging PolicyWindscribe’s logging policy is practical and minimal, collecting only temporary logs of connection metadata in order to monitor server performance. This includes:
- Total amount of bandwidth consumed each month (this is deleted on a monthly basis)
- Timestamp of your last activity on the Windscribe network
- Username, chosen server, time of connection and amount of data transferred (this is discarded within 3 minutes of session termination)
FeaturesSigning up for Windscribe is simple. You just need to select between the free and paid services and create a username and password. Windscribe supports a wide diversity of platforms including Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, iOS, as well as Tomato, DD-WRT and Asus routers. There is also an extension for Chrome that offers useful features to secure your online browsing activities. The Windows client offers security features that we previously mentioned: kill switch (called Firewall in the client) and protection against IPv6 leaks and DNS leaks. The installation process is simple and the client’s interface is user-friendly.
There is a Stealth mode that is ideal for users in countries like China, where VPN traffic may be blocked. Windscribe also supports port forwarding options to ensure that you find the best solution to enjoy the advantages of the VPN service, no matter where you are. The browser extension offers additional protection in the form of ad and tracker blocker, which can help to keep your privacy safe. Furthermore, there is a Secure link generator that lets you check if the website you are trying to access is safe. Thanks to this combination of features, the extension allows users to protect themselves from websites that may attempt to track them.
The Cruise Control feature automatically selects the best location for you and you can also change your timezone to appear as if you were actually in the country you are connected to. At the moment, Windscribe has servers in over 50 countries including Australia, Vietnam, Netherlands, Brazil, United States, Sweden, Germany, Mexico, Czech Republic, Japan, Ireland, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, South Africa, Hong Kong and Canada. The servers that support P2P are clearly labelled and the speeds of the paid service are fantastic and will allow you to enjoy a great streaming experience. In fact, Windscribe is one of the few providers that can defeat the geo-block on Netflix. This means that you will be able to enjoy access to the US version of Netflix from any location. No DNS leaks were detected, which shows that the protection offered is effective.
Applications and / or installation instructions are available for virtually all devices between sky and earth. The applications are very simple for ease of use. In addition to basic encryption - which is a VPN primary purpose - Windscribe offers a number of useful features in the form of :
Firewall: As described below Safety blocks the firewall for Internet data outside of the VPN connection, providing an additional level of security. It can be turned on and off manually and set to boot automatically when connected to a VPN server.
Cruise control: Automatic selection of VPN server on the network, so the fastest - typically the closest - is selected.
Stealth: Modification of the encryption protocol that conceals the user using VPN. Prevents blocking or censorship of VPN connections.
Windflix UK and US: SmartDNS solution to watch British BBC and Netflix USA. SmartDNS is not encrypted and is therefore suitable for video streaming due to higher speeds.
Mine for upgrades: Interesting feature where you can earn points by letting Windscribe use one's CPU to my cryptovaluta Monero. Points can be used to gain more traffic on the free subscription or one month paid subscription. In addition, it should be emphasized that P2P (torrents) is allowed and that Windscribe also has its own DNS servers.
According to our Windscribe VPN review, the client proves to be incredibly functional and stylish. It is a perfect choice for beginners who have little or no knowledge about how VPNs work. There are not many confusing or unnecessary frills.
To establish a connection, all you have to do is click the On/Off toggle. We also love the client for its extra effort in introducing remarkable features, which include:
Ad and Tracker Blocking - One of the best things about the Windows Client is that it comes with built-in ad and tracker blocking features. When you access certain websites, they may leave tracker cookies in your browser. This means, your internet activity is not safe from the eyes of others. However, with Windscribe automatically blocking ads and trackers, you do not have to worry about compromising on privacy.
Firewall - In addition to a Kill Switch feature, Windscribe comes equipped with a handy Firewall feature. This works hand-in-hand with the kill switch. It ensures that there are no packet leaks, especially when the connection drops (as the OS itself will make requests behind the scenes). With a firewall, all connectivity outside of the VPN remains blocked. This guarantees there are no leaks at all.
IPv6 and DNS Leak Protection - Another exceptional trait of Windscribe is that it offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection. All DNS requests go through an incredibly secure tunnel, which ensures there are no leaks whatsoever. The client also overrides your ISP’s DNS. This guarantees that they cannot snoop on your activity. To activate this feature, you will have to connect via Stealth - a TCP protocol via Stunnel.
Cruise Control - This unique feature built into the Windscribe client automatically selects the best server, according to your location and network speed. This allows users from all over the world to receive nothing but the best service, as the VPN will keep rerouting you to locations that are receiving less load/traffic. However, users can still manually shift to a server of their choice, if they want to bypass geo-restricted content.
Double Hop - Windscribe enables users to leverage DoubleVPN, a new form of protocol that uses two server locations for masking your IP address and traffic even further. For instance, at one side you can connect to Canada, while simultaneously to somewhere in the UK. This may slow down your internet, but offers double the protection - hence why it goes by the name “Double Hop”.
Windscribe VPN Plans and Pricing OverviewWindscribe provides two plans: FREE and PAID (Pro Plan).
The free plan allows you to test the service, although it comes with some restrictions. You can access servers in 10 locations and use up to 10GB+ of data per month. Only one connection is supported. In spite of the restrictions, the free plan can be a good chance to try Windscribe before committing to a subscription. However, if you want to enjoy all the benefits of Windscribe you need to get the paid plan. With the Unlimited Pro plan, you can access all the servers in the network, enjoy unlimited downloading and connect as many devices as you want. This plan costs $9.00 per month, but you can reduce the monthly cost by subscribing for one year. The yearly plan costs $49 so the monthly price is just $4.08.
Windscribe FREE Plan (Limited):
- Free to use
- 10 Server Locations: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Romania
- Unlimited Device Connections
- 10GB+ Bandwidth/month
- No OpenVPN Configurations
- Access to Firewall, Ad block and P2P Optimized Servers
Windscribe Biannual Plan (Unlimited):
- $49 for one year ($4.08/month) or $9.00 monthly
- 100+ Server Locations in 55 Countries
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- OpenVPN Configurations
- Access to Firewall, Ad block, and P2P Optimized Servers
Payment MethodsOur review suggests that payment methods play a key role at the time of subscription. The service keeps subscription phase easy by accepting payments from all leading credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Also, while covering our Windscribe review, we revealed that the service accepts anonymous payments through bitcoin, keeping subscribers’ identity discreet and anonymous. In addition, PayPal and Payment-wall are also accepted by Windscribe.
Unique Selling Proposition of WindscribeThe brand has various unique selling propositions. Here’s some of the top unique selling proposition of Windscribe that you will like:
Multi Login : As a matter of fact, subscribers look for a service that offers simultaneous connections, so they can use a single VPN account on multiple devices. We have examined the service in our Windscribe review and discovered that service has broken the barriers and allowed unlimited simultaneous connections.
Access US / UK Netflix : Windscribe amongst the few VPN providers that allow you to access content from the US and UK library of Netflix. Just connect to their server and enjoy your favorite show or movie from anywhere.
Windscribe Limited : The service offers a free version named as Windscribe Limited for all those who have the desire to take a test drive of their service prior to subscription. The free version comes with limitations, with a monthly bandwidth consumption of up to 10GB only. Also, only 27 servers locations are offered to Windscribe Limited users.
Cross-Platform Availability : It is compatible on all leading-edge platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Also, in our review, it has been revealed that Windscribe facilitates premium users with well-designed in-house clients for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, it offers an exclusive extension for web browsers including Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, so that users can instantly unblock thousands of blocked sites with a single click.
Platforms and DevicesWindscribe offers a good range of custom apps for the usual platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. They have also partnered with Flash Routers so you can buy a router with the VPN software already installed, preventing you from having to set up multiple apps on all your devices. Windscribe additionally provides manual setup guides for those devices lacking native apps, such as Windows phones, which is nice to see. You can also find step-by-step instructions on how to manually configure your existing router to work with the software, for those who’d prefer to do that rather than buy a new one. We love Windscribe’s browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, and actually found them much easier to use than the desktop apps. They’re incredibly easy to download and add to your browser, with the process only taking a matter of seconds if you already have the main app installed. They feature an even bigger range of privacy features, such as an ad-blocker and tracker, and you can also choose to randomly rotate your user agent, making it far easier for you to get ‘lost in the crowd’. It’s important to remember that while these are useful bonus features, they only encrypt your browser traffic and therefore shouldn’t be used in place of the desktop client. Windscribe actually encourages using both at the same time for the highest level of security, and having done this ourselves we can highly recommend it.
Console and Streaming DevicesWindscribe can be used with a variety of games consoles and streaming devices either by connecting them to a manually configured router or sharing the VPN connection with another device also running the software, such as a laptop or smartphone. There are dedicated apps for Amazon Fire TV and Kodi but unfortunately no setup information for other devices, however as long as you have the VPN up and running on your router you shouldn’t have any issues. The great thing about Windscribe is there’s no maximum number of simultaneous connections, so you can use the software on all the devices in your home at the same time. We’d love to see some more specific setup guides for streaming devices and games consoles in the future, but for now the process is simple enough that you shouldn’t get too stuck.
Using the Windscribe Chrome Extension
Installing and activating the Windscribe Chrome extensionIf you do not yet have an account then read the previous “Getting Started with the Windscribe Service” section of our Windscribe review as this section assumes that you have already established an account. Log in to the Windscribe website from your Chrome browser and click on “Downloads” in the site menu. From this page, simply click on the “Google Chrome” button under its browser icon. This will open the Google Chrome Web Store where you can then add the Windscribe extension to your browser. Select the “Add to Chrome” button and complete the process. You will now see the Windscribe icon to the right of the address bar in your browser. Clicking on it will open the login screen so you can sign in to the Windscribe network. Enter your account credentials and then click on the “Login” button. This will complete the setup process. After logging into Windscribe, you will see the main connection window. The connection defaults to “Cruise control” and the mode is set the same. This setting will automatically switch locations to access blocked content. Clicking on the switch will disconnect the browser from the Windscibe server.
Setting up the Windscribe Chrome extensionBelow this you will see the Windscribe secure link generator. Clicking on “Copy secure link” will create a secure micro link to the website you are currently browsing and copy it to the clipboard. We will discuss this in more detail when we examine the Chrome extension menu later in our Windscribe review. Finally, there is a link where you can add or remove the site from your ad blocking whitelist. Clicking on the arrow to the right of the location will open the locations window where you can manually change your Chrome browser’s virtual location. For example, clicking on “Canada West” will return you to the main window with “Canada West” now shown as your connected location. Also note that the mode is now manual. The above illustration displays this procedure.
Click on the menu icon (three horizontal bars) at the left of the main window to open the Windscribe Chrome menu. This menu has the following items:
Recent secure links - clicking on the arrow on the right will open a window listing the secure links you have saved over time and allow you copy them to the clipboard or remove them.
Privacy options - clicking on the arrow on the right will open the options so that you can examine and change them. These will be discussed in greater detail later in this section.
Help me! - open the Windscribe website support page.
My account - opens your account overview.
Upgrade - opens the Winscribe website so you can upgrade to a paid account.
Logout - logs you out of the extension and closes your connection. Note you will have to log in the next time you open the extension.
Now let us take a closer look at the privacy settings for the Windscribe Chrome extension. You can set the following options:
Anti-social (default: off) - turning this option on will remove social buttons from websites accessed by the browser. This is in experimental beta at the moment.
Untraceable (default: on) - setting this will block known trackers and beacons on the sites that you visit.
Ad blocker (default: on) - blocks ads in your browser which can decrease page load times for some websites.
Split personality (default: off) - rotates the browser agent sent from your browser which can help you avoid tracking over time.
Manage whitelist - another way to add and remove sites from your whitelist.
Using the Windscribe Chrome extensionNow that we have examined how to setup and use the Windscribe extension, let us take a look at it in action. For this example we are going to use the free dictionary site. Notice when you visit the site without the extension, it shows a banner ad and another advertisement down the right-hand side. This causes the site to load slower. Now let us use the secure link creator to create a secure link to the site. When you create the link, a window will open containing various options for it. You can also save the link from this window. Now open the dictionary site by pasting this link in your browser. It will give the site a privacy grade and show the number of analytics, trackers, ads, and others present on the site before continuing to it. This site has a total of twelve and is rated “F”. It will then offer to continue securely to the site and will apply your current privacy settings to it. Notice the banner and right-hand side ads are no longer present. This page loads much quicker without these ads. Generating a secure link is optional and just for your own informational purposes.
As you can see, the Windscribe proxy extension is easy to install and setup. The default options will be fine for most users. You can set up your proxy manually or it will or use the default auto detect setting. Using it will provide you a virtual IP and secure your data when using your Chrome browser. It will also help protect your privacy by blocking ads, beacons, and tracking programs. This will help load websites that you visit quicker. The cruise control setting will automatically help you overcome censorship as you surf the Internet. Using it in conjunction with Windscribe’s VPN for Windows will let you activate double hops which can make it even harder for third parties to track your browser habits.
Protocols and EncryptionOur review reveals that encryption tunneling protocols are the sole components that ensure top-grade privacy and accessibility to netizens. Generally, VPN providers offer various encryption protocols, but it only offers OpenVPN with powerful AES 256-bit data encryption along with SHA 512 data authentication and strong RSA 4096 handshake. In addition, iOS users can configure IKEv2 on their iPhone and iPad to get protected with Windscribe instantly. Subscribers can freely unblock BBC iPlayer, Fox Go, Hulu and more on-demand streaming services instantly with Windscribe. Also, we tested their service in our review and found no DNS leaks, WebRTC leaks or IP leaks. But, in this review, we consider it a substantial drawback for a VPN service to not offer L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols. In addition to the current Windscribe security protocols, it also offers new features such as Secure Hotspot. With Secure Hotspot, you can turn your Windows device into a hotspot device with Windscribe VPN security. Similarly, it offers Proxy Gateway feature where you can create SOCKS5 or proxy server on your Windows or Mac machine using the VPN service.
Server LocationsWindscribe offers a mid-size server network with the majority of popular countries covered on its paid plan. A choice of 55 countries should be enough for most, however there are providers out there that do offer more should you need access to any exotic or unusual locations. We were a little disappointed by the total number of servers on offer at just over 300, however Windscribe does maintain a decent number of individual IP addresses with around 5,000 worldwide. Whilst this doesn’t really compare to the huge numbers offered by some of their rivals, such as IPVanish with more than 40,000, it’s a very good start for a provider that’s only been around for a couple of years. A choice of 36 servers spread over 27 US cities puts Windscribe up there with some of the best providers in the current market, with complete coast-to-coast coverage across loads of states. There’s city-level choice in a handful of other countries including more traditional locations such as the UK and Canada, but also those not otherwise broadly available, including Japan and India. As usual, Europe has the best coverage with 32 countries on offer, but Asia and the Middle East are also served fairly well with servers in a variety of locations including Australia, Hong Kong and Vietnam. South America’s only options are Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. African users are limited to the South African and Tunisian servers. You can find the complete list of Windscribe server locations by country and purpose on their website.
Speed and ReliabilityWindscribe’s server performance is both impressive and reliable. Our tests showed that connecting to almost any server in the US or Europe will give you speeds more than ample enough for HD video streaming, and performance on more distant servers also delivered very positive results. Quick uploads and low latency make it a fantastic choice for gamers and torrenters, with the added bonus of P2P traffic being permitted on nearly every server. A great example of a provider that offers excellent speeds without compromising on performance. Whilst download speeds on local connections don’t quite measure up to those offered by top-tier providers, they’re certainly quick enough for Ultra HD streaming and speedy multiple file downloads, peaking at almost 80Mbps in the UK and the Netherlands. Connecting out to the US from Europe you can also expect brilliant speeds approaching 40Mbps. We were equally as impressed by performance over long-distance connections considering we test from London, with Australia coming in at a very promising 28Mbps. We also found latency to be pleasingly low, coming in at an average of 3ms in the UK, making Windscribe a great choice for gamers. Connecting to your closest server will give you the lowest possible ping time, so if your main VPN use is going to be gaming we’d advise doing this. Windscribe connects fairly quickly each time, averaging around 9 seconds. This is by no means the fastest connection time we’ve seen, then again there are many providers that are a lot slower. Once you’re up and running, performance is very reliable with negligible-to-no connection drops, providing you have a stable internet connection of course. Uploads are very similar to downloads in that they’re very quick on local connections, with speeds of around 50-60Mbps on most European servers. Performance isn’t quite as quick across international connections, struggling to reach 5Mbps in Australia, however this is to be expected. Windscribe is a good option for torrenters as P2P traffic is permitted on the majority of servers. Windscribe isn’t one of the best providers if you’re looking for blisteringly fast speeds across a global network, however if you’re mainly going to be connecting locally then it’s a very good choice. Both uploads and downloads are quick and more importantly very reliable, proving you don’t need to sacrifice a level of privacy for the sake of good performance.
How to use Windscribe VPN for Torrenting?Our review indicates that Torrenting and P2P file sharing is prohibited in many countries today. The service provides Windscribe torrents feature to torrent users with exclusive Windscribe P2P servers located in the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, and Canada. All the specified countries are torrent-friendly, thus allows netizens to download torrents of favorite movies, shows, games, and software. Therefore, we consider Windscribe as a suitable torrent-unblocker in this review.
Customer SupportAccording to our Windscribe VPN review, the service has quite an active support system. You have plenty of options available for receiving assistance. As the most basic method, you have email support at your disposal. There is also a live bot chat that works really well for general questions. In addition, Windscribe has a strong presence on Social media and there are also forums where you can find valuable information. If you encounter any issue while using the VPN, you can simply give the provider an email at email@example.com. In addition to this, there is a separate Support page. Here you can receive help via three methods. First, you can opt to check out setup guides. Second, you can visit the FAQs page. Third, you can submit a ticket, which is almost as similar as sending an email. The choice is yours, but we will discuss each option below so that you gain better insight into the service’s reliability. You can find step-to-step instructions for configuring Windscribe on a multitude of platforms, browsers, devices, routers, and even software. You can learn how to setup the VPN on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, DD-WRT, Tomato, Asus, and even on Torrent clients. If you click on the FAQs option, the site will redirect you to a landing page filled with questions of various types to cater to your support needs. Windscribe smartly divides different questions into categories. For instance, basic queries will make their way into General Questions. You also have separate assistance for Desktop Applications and Browser Extensions. If you wish to resolve a technical issue that is not solvable by the FAQs, you can submit a ticket. This option gets all the professionals at the Windscribe team to answer your queries. Just enter your email, Windscribe username, subject, and message to get started. Usually, it would take around 4 to 5 hours for the provider to reply you urgently.
- Potent Privacy and Strong Security
- Supports DoubleVPN
- Built-in Ad/Tracker Blocking via the browser extension (but not built into VPN client)
- Strong encryption protocols
- Excellent and Exceptional Free plan for Unlimited Time
- 55 server locations (11 in free version)
- Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
- Accepts anonymous Bitcoin payments
- Cross-platform availability (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox offer extra privacy features
- Ideal choice for new users
- Offers OpenVPN encryption
- Users can avail unlimited bandwidth feature
- Up front Attitude Towards Privacy
- Dedicated and User-friendly Applications
- Intuitive Software
- Solid performance with speeds of up to 77Mbps on local connections
- Quick, easy access to Netflix and iPlayer through dedicated streaming servers
- Very user-friendly apps. Instant set-up on popular devices
- Decent-sized global network - connect securely to 55 countries
- Fast speeds
- Unblocks Netflix
- Allows P2P
- Works in China
- No logs
- Double Hop and Cruise Control
- Easy to use
- Great UI and tutorial features
- Free version allows 10GB/month of bandwidth, enough for some users
- Fewer customer support channels
- Customer support lacks live chat feature
- Based in privacy-unfriendly Canada
- Slow Customer Response Times
The Windscribe VPN Website ReviewOur review describes that the official website offers clear information about different aspects of the service in detail. Likewise, the subscribers can take huge benefit from Windscribe torrent benefit as it supports the P2P activities of the users. In addition, the service has an exclusive Windscribe Reddit feature that allows the users to find neutral review about the service. Moreover, the website enables the users to attain their required information instantly. What makes Windscribe VPN different from other online privacy services is the inclusion of introductory video. Yes, you have read it right. The users will not find this type of innovation much on the other VPN services’ official website.
Windscribe VPN on MobileWindscribe can be installed and used on iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile. Therefore, you can experience the performance of Windscribe on your desired mobile phone devices straightaway. Most VPNs have software for the first two platforms. Windows mobile, on the other hand, is usually only VPN compatible using OpenVPN config files and a third party OpenVPN client. This is an excellent work from the Windscribe team - who really have covered more bases than the vast majority of VPNs. The clients are all available on the downloads page for Windscribe. Windscribe mobile works and appears the same as the desktop version. With the iOS and Android versions, once you launch the App you’ll be prompted to log in. From there, you just need to tap the large On/Off button to start the VPN, and select your desired server. Encryption on iOS is IKEv2 by default, and users will need to install the third party OpenVPN connect client to connect to Windscribe via OpenVPN on iOS devices.
JurisdictionWindscribe operates under the jurisdiction of Canada, a less privacy-friendly jurisdiction than most, as it’s part of intelligence-sharing agreements with the US and EU. However this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the majority, as there are no logs of who used what IP address, therefore it’s impossible to tie user activity to a single person. Windscribe states that any request for user data, from law enforcement agencies or otherwise, would “yield nothing of value” as it only stores the bare minimum of connection information. This is great for those seeking online anonymity, as they can be sure that their personal information isn’t going to be viewed by anyone other than themselves.
ConclusionWindscribe has made it to the list of the top VPN services available thanks to a good combination of advanced features and solid performance. It has a strong commitment to privacy and transparency, offering information that helps potential customers to fin out more about the VPN. The free service is a convenient way to test the service before paying for a subscription, but if you want to get the most out of Windscribe, the best thing is to upgrade to the paid service.
Windscribe has one of the most diverse networks out there. All servers are physically in the countries that they are advertised to be in, unlike some competitors who have most of their servers in US and Europe, and simply fake the location with false IP WHO-IS data to make it appear that it’s elsewhere. You can use Windscribe VPN to unblock all websites due to internet censorship or geo-restrictions on the internet. to get the best speeds possible, you should connect to a location closest to you, geographically. The more locations Windscribe has, the better chances are of you getting good speeds while connected to one of our servers. Windscribe stops tracking and browse privately. Governments block content based on your location. Corporations track and sell your personal data. It is worthwhile to get Windscribe and take back control of your privacy.
Windscribe is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful VPN that offers some strong privacy features. If you sign up to the annual plan it works out at a very reasonable price, and the free option provides you with a generous 10GB of data to test out the service. Performance is decent on local connections, with low latency and quick uploads making it very appealing to gamers and torrenters. Streaming fans will love the quick access to popular sites such as Netflix through servers optimized for video. When it comes to privacy, Windscribe is about as close to zero-logs as you can get without sacrificing on server performance. The apps pack in lots of advanced privacy features including a VPN kill switch, and we really like that you can route your web traffic through two DNS servers for an extra layer of encryption. The software is sleek and user-friendly for the most part, although we would have liked to see some integrated support alongside the more configurable options. Windscribe’s proprietary Stealth protocol means the apps can be used to connect out from high-censorship countries. Customer support lacks a live chat feature, but if you’re willing to spend some time looking through the online support pages, you can find answers to most common queries. Overall, Windscribe is a secure and user-friendly VPN that’s great for fast and easy streaming.
Windscribe brings a solid VPN service to the table of which you can enjoy quite a bit for free since the software never forces you to update for the paid version and it doesn’t set a time limit for your free account. The Mac, Windows desktop client combined with the browser extensions that both share the same neat interface and ease of use give you good all-round security. The Cruise Control feature is nice to have, while Double Hop is an option we wish more VPN providers would implement in their service. The very complete FAQs and guides almost seem to make us forget the not so over the top customer support and the free account will most likely please the occasional VPN user. In short, Windscribe is a good alternative for a VPN service that lets you hide in your cape as you disappear in the shadows of the internet while using the operating system you want.
Want to add something to the review, feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.
WindScribe Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where are Windscribe Servers Located in?Windscribe VPN keeps spanning its huge network and improving the fast speed connections. Currently, Windscribe expands the network and scatter the ultra-fast servers in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Romania, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Moldova, Greece, Iceland, Ukraine, India, Russia, turkey, Azerbaijan, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Libya, Argentina. You can access to the servers anytime and anywhere to unblock any internet-censored or geo-blocking sites and services.
When You Use Our Service
We store total amount of bandwidth your account has consumed in 1 month period, which is reset every month on the day of your registration. This is used to enforce free tier limitations as well as prevent abuse. We do not store historical usage. We also store a timestamp of your last activity on the Windscribe network, this is done to weed out inactive accounts. We do not store connection logs, IP timestamps, or sites you visit (we are firm believer that one’s browsing history should be taken to one’s grave).
User Data Requests
Since we store the bare minimum for a customer to actually use our service, any request for user data would yield nothing of value. We do not store any logs on who used what IP address, so we cannot tie user activity to any single user.
How Strong Windscribe Encryption Level is?Windscribe VPN uses best-in-class AES-256 encryption method to encrypt all your traffic and information completely. AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key are adopted into Windscribe desktop applications. TLS 1.2, ECDHE_RSA with P-256 key exchange and AES-128-GCM cipher are added into browse extensions. 256-bit encryption is a data/file encryption technique that uses a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data or files. It is one of the most secure encryption methods and used in most modern encryption algorithms, protocols and technologies including AES and SSL. 256-bit encryption is referring to the length of the encryption key used to encrypt a data stream or file. Let’s say hypothetically all the super computers in the world (the ultimate brute force attack) decided to group up and tasked themselves to decrypt your AES-256 key so they could access your data. Assume they could look at 250 keys per second (which is approximately one quadrillion keys/second - a very generous assumption). A year is approximately 31,557,600 seconds. This means that by using the one billion super computers required to do this, they could check about 275 keys per year. A hacker or cracker will require 2256 different combinations to break a 256-bit encrypted message, which is virtually impossible to be broken by even the fastest computers.
What VPN Protocols does Windscribe Use?OpenVPN is one of the most popular VPN protocols due to its open-source nature. It’s used by many people and organizations for different purposes on many different systems and devices. OpenVPN is an open source VPN protocol. OpenVPN uses a custom security protocol that relies heavily on OpenSSL, similar to the encryption used on HTTPS websites. Because it can be configured to use any port, it can easily be disguised as normal internet traffic and is therefore very difficult to block. It supports several encryption algorithms, the most common being AES and Blow-fish. OpenVPN allows users to protect their data using essentially unbreakable AES-256-bit key encryption (amongst others), with 2048-bit RSA authentication, and a 160-bit SHA1 hash algorithm. OpenVPN is also available to almost every platform: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, and more. Even Windows Phone and Blackberry can use it!
OpenVPN over UDP is often faster than TCP due to having no error correction. While lost packets are inevitable using UDP, certain web technologies are better experienced this way, particularly VoIP and online gaming, where real-time interaction would be interrupted by old, retransmitted data.
OpenVPN over TCP is the most popular and reliable VPN connection type. It uses error correction to prevent the loss of information packets during data transfer. These lost packets would ultimately lead to failed websites and incomplete downloads if not for TCP’s automatic retransmitting of them.
IKEv2 is a protocol made available exclusively through IPSec, is used to configure the security association, or the specific approach to how the IP packets are encrypted over IPSec. While IKEv2 is only available in newer mobile devices, it is considered a more secure extension of the IPSec protocol because devices can switch between a Wi-Fi and cellular network without disrupting the VPN connection.
SOCKS5 A proxy server acts just like a VPN, but without the added encryption. A proxy server assigns you a new IP address as you connect to the server, and then routes you to wherever you’re trying to go. The SOCKS5 protocol was originally a security protocol that made firewalls and other security products easier to administer. SOCKS5 proxy feature allows you to maintain your online privacy by hiding your real IP address while passing your P2P traffic through an anonymous server. SOCKS5 proxy servers use an SSH (secure socket shell) protocol, they can only be accessed through verification.
SOCKS5 proxies implement full UDP, they enable users to connect to all the peers in a swarm, which results in better download speeds and overall performance. Using SOCKS5 is a great option if the main goal is downloading torrents and P2P. A proxy server of SOCKS5 can easily help you bypass internet blockades and firewalls as your IP address is hidden from the firewall or the internet censor. SOCKS5 proxy servers use both TCP and UDP protocols (Unlike SOCKS4 which only uses TCP). TCP is an internet protocol that forms a physical connection between a client and a server, making sure that all the packets arrive from one side to the other. It requires fitting the content into a fixed format so that it can be transferred easily.
Stealth VPN has a strong ability and performance to hide data packer header to make the VPN traffic looks like normal HTTPS traffic, and meanwhile double encrypts OpenVPN payload with SSL/TLS encryption technology. Stealth VPN protocols and servers use SSL/TLS encryption that wraps the OpenVPN payload in a second layer of encryption through port #443 (this is the port that normal HTTPS traffic uses), which looks like a normal HTTPS traffic. ‘Stealth’ VPN technology scrambles or disguises your VPN traffic, making it unidentifiable as VPN traffic, or disguising it as regular TLS encrypted web traffic. Using a VPN service with obfuscation or ‘stealth’ technology allows your VPN connection to rewrite or obscure the packet headers, so it’s unrecognizable.
What Advanced Features and Technologies Windscribe Supports?Windscribe adds many different advanced features and technologies including Firewall (also called kill switch), Secure Hotspot, Double Hop, Ad Blocking, Cruise Control to make Windscribe VPN powerful and high-performance. That’s why thousands of users choose to use Windscribe VPN.
1. Firewall Feature
Windscribe Firewall is built into the Windows and Mac applications. It blocks all connectivity outside of the tunnel to ensure there is zero chance of any kind of leak, including but not limited to DNS leaks, IPv6 leaks, WebRTC leaks, etc. Firewall (sometimes incorrectly known as a “kill switch”) blocks all Internet connectivity that happens outside the connection to Windscribe servers, so data does not leak your ISP provided IP address. This is helpful if your Wi-Fi suddenly drops or you restart your computer. With the firewall enabled, you can be sure that your true IP address doesn’t get exposed. A firewall is a superior solution to a “kill switch”. The “kill switch” is a snake oil feature and offers absolutely zero protection because it’s a reactive measure. Between your VPN disconnecting and the program detecting that it did, packets can leave your computer over the default gateway (your ISP). A firewall blocks ALL connectivity outside of the tunnel. If the VPN connection drops, there is nothing that needs to be done, and not a single packet can leave the machine, since the firewall will not allow it. In geek terms it fails closed. Windscribe VPN offers three Firewall modes and you can choose the mode that suits you best :
Automatic (Default) - Firewall will be enabled when you connect, and disabled when you disconnect from a location. It will remain on if your connection suddenly drops. You should leave it in this mode unless you know what you’re doing.
Manual - You can toggle the firewall on or off whenever you want.
Always On - Firewall is always on, and cannot be disabled unless you change this setting. You will not have any Internet access when you’re disconnected from Windscribe.
2. Secure Hotspot
Secure Hotspot is only available for Windows. It allows you to create a secure WiFi hotspot right on your computer (if you have a compatible wireless adapter). While Connected to Windscribe, you can allow others to connect to this hotspot and take advantage of your secured connection, without having them install Windscribe on their device.
3. Double Hop
Double Hop allows you to route your requests through ANY 2 locations on the Windscribe network. This is achieved by connecting to 1 location in your desktop application, and a different location in the browser extension. Websites that you visit will see the IP of the server you’re connected to in the browser extension. Proxy your connection through any 2 servers on the Windscribe network.
4. Ad Blocking
Ad blocking feature can block ads and trackers that follow you across the web. Windscribe browser extension enables you experience enjoyable and private browsing. Windscribe ad blocking feature includes three separate components:
Ad Blocking - Removes ads from all websites
Tracker Blocking - Blocks trackers that could compromise your privacy
Social Network Blocking - Blocks Facebook “Like” buttons, Twitter “Tweet” buttons, Google+ and LinkedIn widgets all of which collect your browsing history.
Ab blocking adds a layer for you to keep your online activity private and secure. No one can track and monitor what you do on the internet. The malware bundled with ads will have no opportunity to sneak into your device and damage or steal your information stored in the device.
5. Cruise Control
Cruise Control is a unique Windscribe feature that automatically connects you to the best server which is closest to you, so you have optimal speeds, while at the same time automatically switches to a necessary location that you would need in order to bypass geo-blocked content. Windscribe browser extension will automatically connect to the best location in order to maximize your speeds. If you stumble upon a geo-blocked service, it will automatically change the connected location (in the background) to the one that’s required to unblock the desired service.
6. Secure.link generator
Secure.link is a separate service operated by Windscribe. It works in a similar fashion to a URL shortening service, where you create a unique URL that points to any webpage of your choice. Secure.link generator allows you to create secure links right from your browser, as easily as right clicking on any page and selecting “Copy Secure.link” or by using the home screen of the extension. Secure.link will scan the destination page for known trackers and ad beacons, generate a screenshot of the page, and create a “report card” of the website you’re linking to. You can then send this link to anyone in order to bring awareness to how much tracking happens on your favorite (and not so favorite) websites. You can add a password or even force people to install Windscribe to get to the destination page.
Published : Sat 12 Jan 2019
Updated : Wed 01 Apr 2020
Updated : Wed 01 Apr 2020