Windscribe Free VPN Review (2021 Update)
Windscribe is hugely popular in the VPN community. People can't seem to get enough of it. But is it perfect? Are there any cons you should know about? Find out in this updated review for 2021.
Windscribe is a famous VPN service as it offers both free and paid plans to netizens throughout the world. The provider is based in Canada, a country that is part of the 5 eyes alliance.
The service offers servers in over 63 Countries and 110 Cities and offers various privacy benefits such as Internet Kill Switch, Port Forwarding, ScribeForce, etc. It is compatible with different platforms like Windows, Android, Routers, and others. It also offers other streaming benefits like Netflix Unblocking and Torrenting Support too. Windscribe is also an effective free VPN for Facebook.
It may not have a good server count compared with PureVPN, but the speed is exceptional when streaming. However, there are some cons, which is why I have assigned it a 3.2 stars rating in this Windscribe VPN review. If you wish to check out other VPNs that are free, please check out our list of best free VPN services.
My Rating Criteria
I have analyzed Windscribe as per my own 9 step rating criteria mentioned as under:
- Jurisdiction – Is it situated in a 5-eyes country?
- Security – Is Windscribe Safe?
- Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & Virus tests
- Servers – Is Windscribe compatible with P2P?
- Speed – How fast is Windscribe?
- Streaming – Does Windscribe work with Netflix & Kodi?
- Compatibility – Apps and supported devices
- Pricing – How much does Windscribe cost?
- Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Ratings, Reddit Reviews, Transparency & Support
Jurisdiction – Is it situated in a 5-eye country?
The provider hails from Canada. Canada is not the best jurisdiction for a VPN as it’s part of the 5 Eyes Alliance.
During this review, I learned that Canada is a part of the 5 Eyes alliance. As you may be aware, Five Eyes are a group of countries that spy on their citizens and share their personal data. The VPN is within reach of powerful spy agencies of the UK and the US.
Hence, you will have to live with the reality that Windscribe might be forced to give away your personal information. It is a far-fetched possibility but a possibility nonetheless.
It is essential to know where your VPN provider headquarters is located. For example, If it’s located in the United States, where the government or any private sector organization can request your logs from the VPN provider, then it might be a good idea to say away from that provider. We don’t leave our readers in the US alone as well. As long as they are protecting themselves with the VPN for the US, they should be excellent.
Security – Is Windscribe Safe?
Windscribe is absolutely safe and secure to use. It offers a military-grade 256-bit cipher, including SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key to encrypt all of your internet data so no one can intercept and read it. This is the same level of encryption a premium VPN provider uses.
It also uses advanced security features such as Forward Secrecy – that generates new and unique encryption keys for your online traffic. The only difference between the free version and the paid version is that the free version has limitations.
According to this review, the provider has explained its logging policy in detail.
Note: We strongly recommend ExpressVPN considering its 100% no-log policy, enterprise-grade security, and safe jurisdiction, i.e., British Virgin Island.
We don’t keep connection logs, IP timestamps, session logs, or monitor your activity. We store when you last used Windscribe as well as the total amount of bandwidth used in a 30 day period to enforce free tier limitations and prevent abuse.
In the grander scheme of things, Windscribe has done the right thing by describing its logging policy officially. If you want to know the logging policies of VPNs other than Windscribe, read this exclusive guide.
Additional Windscribe Security Features
During this review, I explored some unknown privacy advantages that include:
- Static IP
- Internet Kill Switch
- Config Generators
- Port Forwarding
- Flexible Connectivity
- Cruise Control
- Double Hop
- Timezone Spoofing
- Cookie Monster
- Split Personality
Windscribe offers an exclusive static or dedicated IP feature that allows you to secure your online transactions. Likewise, it helps you watch geo-restricted content at better streaming speeds. A handful of VPN services provide a static IP address to their users, and this Canadian VPN service is one of them.
The said feature allows you to combat malware and annoying ads, but you will need to create your Windscribe account to activate R.O.B.E.R.T on your devices first.
Internet Kill Switch
If Windscribe VPN disconnects for any reason, its impressive kill switch feature still safeguards your online activities by disconnecting your connection from the internet right away. Hence, you cannot leak your unprotected traffic to your ISP. Moreover, you can use its double-hop feature available in its Chrome browser extension.
You can generate OpenVPN, IKEv2, and SOCKS configurations on different devices of your choice through this benefit.
Before using the port forwarding feature, you have to purchase a static IP first. At present, Windscribe offers two types of static IPs. These are residential static IP and datacenter static IP. The former works quite well compared to data center static IP; it uses a residential connection that helps block all sorts of blocks.
You can use flexible connectivity features to connect through IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, TCP, and stealth protocol on different ports.
Through cruise control, Windscribe detects the best available location for its users automatically.
You may route your traffic with the help of two (2) locations on the Windscribe network instantly.
When you connect to a server of any particular country, this facility changes your timezone accordingly.
Cookie Monster helps you in keeping track of cookies once you have enabled them on your browsers.
The split personality feature enables you to rotate your user agent to minimize the fingerprinting probability. A user agent is a technology that recognizes what type of operating system you use.
Windscribe offers another nifty feature in its browser in the shape of an ad blocker. You can conduct ad-blocking functions to block several ad trackers and beacons. You can also deactivate social media buttons in no time. You may find other VPNs like ExpressVPN that have implemented the same ad blocker benefit to its subscribers.
Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & Virus Tests
There is no denying Windscribe is a leak-free service.
IP and DNS can expose your location to and bring unwarranted attention to your connection. Basically, DNS and IP leaks occur when the security features of the VPN are not up to the mark.
But with Windscribe at your disposal, these leaks are not a concern. As my test unveils, this VPN does not leak your true identity to cybercriminals.
I tested its WebRTC leak protection through IP8.com. Luckily, it did not reveal my WebRTC data online.
Note: I connected to the Hong Kong server before performing the WebRTC test.
Similarly, I ran the Windscribe Windows setup file through VirusTotal to check if it exposed any malware or not.
Fortunately, it did not reveal any viruses, malware, or trojans.
Servers – Is Windscribe compatible with P2P?
On the server front, Windscribe VPN has done a decent job. It has servers in over 63 Countries and 110 Cities. The numbers are not big, but this VPN covers all the prime regions of the world.
This VPN offers servers in Germany, Australia, the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Egypt, Turkey, South Korea, India, Mexico, and quite interestingly Japan as well. We say that for Japan because there are stringent regulations regarding torrenting in Japan, seeing a server available for P2P is a good aspect of this service. Moreover, Windscribe is one of Egypt’s best VPNs as you can torrent safely and access blocked apps with this VPN. Owing to these features, it is also a great VPN for Romania and one of the best Hong Kong VPNs.
Is Windscribe a good VPN for torrenting?
Windscribe is an all-around VPN service that supports the P2P activities of its users in the right way. It is one of the fastest VPNs I have tested so far. You can choose its highly optimized servers to conduct your torrenting tasks securely. These servers empower the netizens to download torrents without government agencies meddling in between. Owing to these features, it is one of the few VPNs that work in Germany for P2P file sharing.
Apart from this, Windscribe works quite well with uTorrent, a famous BitTorrent client. You can explore an exclusive uTorrent setup guide from the official website. It is also a popular VPN for South Korea especially when it comes to P2P file sharing.
Likewise, Windscribe also supports another free source and cross-platform BitTorrent client, qBitTorrent, and offers a dedicated qBitTorrent setup guide. It is also one of the few VPNs that work in the UK for torrenting.
To read more about it in detail, check out our guide on using Windscribe for torrents.
Speed – How fast is Windscribe?
The speed tests blew me away because Windscribe is fast, to say the least. When I conducted my Windscribe speed test, I was quite impressed by its performance. Here’s a brief table with all the speed test results compiled for your convenience.
|Server location||Download speed||Upload speed||Pings|
|Canada||52.67 Mbps||61.47 Mbps||228 ms|
|France||67.34 Mbps||56.07 Mbps||147 ms|
|Israel||40.74 Mbps||71.6 Mbps||220 ms|
|Netherlands||25.4 Mbps||75.54 Mbps||159 ms|
|Singapore||6.6 Mbps||61.94 Mbps||375 ms|
|South Africa||14.74 Mbps||47.2 Mbps||332 ms|
|Switzerland||85.29 Mbps||80 Mbps||157 ms|
|United Kingdom||28.7 Mbps||87.15 Mbps||151 ms|
|United States||84.8 Mbps||88.27 Mbps||223 ms|
With the provided speed, you can stream high-quality videos, download Gigabyte’s worth of content, and browse seamlessly.
Streaming – Does Windscribe work with Netflix & Kodi?
Windscribe offers a US Netflix streaming feature through its Windflix servers.
Ever since Netflix launched its war against VPNs, it Netizens has become harder to get past its ridiculous geo-restrictions. The streaming service continues to discriminate on a country-to-country basis with no end in sight.
Windscribe does not unblock Netflix on its normal servers. But if you connect with Windscribe Windflix servers located primarily in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan, you can unlock a plethora of shows on the streaming services, as explained in our guide on unblocking Netflix with Windscribe.
Does Windscribe support Kodi?
Windscribe also works extraordinary with Kodi, a free, open-source media player that streams Live TV videos for free. You only need to connect Windscribe to the background and start streaming Kodi videos. You can follow this guide on using Windscribe with Kodi for setup instructions.
Compatibility – Apps and Supported Devices
One of the biggest strengths of this is its multi-platform compatibility.
It is compatible with all leading-edge platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. This Windscribe VPN pro review 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. You may install Windscribe on Firestick as well as perform manual setup on devices like Roku. It is a great free VPN for Firestick and an amazing VPN for PC.
It gets better with smart TV apps for Kodi, Amazon, and Nvidia Shield; the VPN optimizes your streaming experience. You can also configure it on the router with the help of OpenVPN. Although this process is taxing, it gives you peace of mind by securing your entire household.
If you’re having trouble with this VPN, you can find some easy fixes in this Windscribe not working guide.
Here is a little preview of how this VPN has made itself compatible with different devices.
Windows, Mac & Linux
As I have mentioned before, the VPN has developed a slick and user-friendly client for Windows. Its app for Mac OSX is not too different either. Sporting a blue design, the Windscribe for Mac arms the user against myriads of threats lurking on the internet. It also empowers them to bypass geographically-based restrictions.
As for Linux, the beta version of this VPN is out in the market. It supports four different distros: Ubunto 19.04, Debian 10, Fedora 22+, and CentOS 6+.
Android & iOS
In this Windscribe Pro VPN review, I found that it is available on popular smartphone devices like Android and iOS. On Android, you can either set up the Windscribe VPN via IKEv2 protocol or use its dedicated app. Of course, the app offers more convenience and is laced with additional security features. You can download the android app from Google Play in a matter of minutes.
The iOS app makes online privacy accessible with just a single tap. It is indistinguishable from the android app despite some little variations. Meanwhile, subscribers can also configure Windows phones’ service by following the Windscribe tutorial guide from the provider’s website.
The service takes an edge over competitors by offering a handy browser extension. Currently, Windscribe browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera browsers. When installed on your browser, it gives one-touch access to thousands of blocked sites.
Windscribe browser extension looks similar to windows client but features an Ad Blocker that protects users against unwanted third party advertisements.
VPN routers can secure multitudes of devices from malware, phishing hacks, and other online filth. Moreover, they have you protected at all times and save you the hassle of logging in repeatedly.
Keeping that in mind, Windscribe has made its VPN compatible with DD-WRT, Tomato, and ASUS routers. The step-by-step guides on the VPN’s website can help you configure it on these devices.
Pricing – How much does Windscribe cost?
Besides offering a freemium version, Windscribe delivers relatively expensive pricing plans to its users. Windscribe pricing structure is segregated into free and 3 premium plans.
If we talk about the paid plans, Windscribe offers a monthly plan for $9.00/mo and a yearly plan for $4.08/mo. Other than that, Windscribe offers a Build a Plan option which starts from $1.00 per month for a single location.
Each location comes with 10 GB monthly data and has a validity of 1-month. To opt for the Build a plan option, you must select at least 2 locations to get started.
Windscribe also offers a free trial of the full pro version so users can get a taste of what the paid subscription offers.
Currently, these are the plans offered by Windscribe:
All three paid plans are compatible with multiple devices and offer the same server destinations, bandwidth, protocols, and P2P support. On the other hand, the freemium plan or Windscribe Limited comes with some limitations discussed earlier in this Windscribe review.
Windscribe provides another pricing plan by the name of ScribeForce. This way, you can fulfill all the privacy needs of your family under one package. Furthermore, you can avail of such a pricing plan for official purposes as well.
In case you want to secure all the online activities of your team, ScribeFore is a go-to option. Users must remember that every member of the team is liable to pay $3.00 monthly.
The service delivers numerous payment options like Bitcoin, PayPal, Paymentwall, and credit cards.
In addition to offering multiple payment methods, Windscribe offers a 3 days money-back guarantee. If you cancel your Windscribe subscription within the 3 days period without exceeding the 10 GB data limit, you can get a full reimbursement within 30 days. If you think that 3 days is not enough to try out the service, you’re free to use the free version of Windscribe until you feel comfortable with the service.
Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Rating, Reddit Reviews, Transparency & Support
Windscribe has maintained an impressive presence on Trustpilot. There are 80% of users who have rated its performance excellent.
In general, users have liked the service due to numerous reasons. Some subscribers have appreciated the Windscribe Android app. On the other hand, few users have preferred Windscribe because of its freemium version.
Windscribe Stance over Transparency
The VPN has provided detailed information that includes law enforcement and DMCA data requests on its official site. Hence, Windscribe has made its intentions clear as the service takes its users’ privacy quite seriously.
Based on the below-mentioned stats, I am delighted to say that none of the data requests were abided by Windscribe. [Source]
You can explore the intentions of other VPNs towards transparency by reading our most transparent VPNs guide.
Questionable Customer Support (Using Bots)
Being relatively new in the market, the service offers five modes of customer support. These include:
- Email Ticketing
- Setup Guides
- Automated live Chat
Email Ticketing System
The email ticketing system aims to provide a solution to the most complex queries of subscribers. In this review, I found this option convenient, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Email queries are usually resolved within 1-2 days, making this system rather slow. This is how the ticketing system looks like.
The VPN facilitates its subscribers by offering a detailed FAQ section. The FAQ section is a single dedicated page that provides basic and general information about Windscribe. Also, subscribers can seek information about the cost, compatibility, protocols, and service offerings of Windscribe.
This section has step-by-step guides on how to configure the VPN on multiple platforms. It is a useful section for subscribers who wish to use the VPN on routers and Smart TV.
Automated Live Chat
The strangest thing you will learn here is that its VPN has an automated chat feature. A glorified search bar gives you relevant links in response to your queries.
As you see above, ‘Garry’ (Windscribe bot) offers automated responses to your questions. Ultimately, an automated bot is no replacement for a human customer agent.
Comparison between ExpressVPN and Windscribe
In case you wish to know about the key differences between ExpressVPN and Windscribe, you can check out the below-described table:
|Servers||3,000 in 94 Countries||Over 63 Countries and 110 Cities|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, Android, iOS & Linux|
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||Canada|
|Logging Policy||Zero Log||Keeps Minimal logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||24/7 Automated Live Chat & Ticket|
Alternatives to Windscribe
Here are the alternatives for Windscribe, if for any reason you dislike its features or try something new:
- PureVPN Review 2021
- Surfshark Review 2021
- Ivacy Review 2021
- ExpressVPN Review 2021
- CyberGhost Review 2021
- NordVPN Review 2021
- Opera VPN review
- Avast VPN Review 2021
Do I Recommend Windscribe?
No, I don’t recommend Windscribe. Although Windscribe works with Netflix and torrenting, offers strong VPN encryption, and even offers a free version, this VPN service is still not better than some of its competitors like PureVPN.
In short, Windscribe VPN is not worth it.
It offers a small server count, and no 24/7 live chat option may disappoint users considerably. In contrast, other VPNs like ExpressVPN offer way more servers and features for even cheaper.
Based on this Windscribe VPN review, the service has earned a 3.2/5.0 stars rating overall.
You can also look at other unbiased VPN reviews for more VPN services’ detailed pros and cons.
Windscribe VPN – Recent Developments
- Windscribe runs a contest for 10,000 dollars – May 2nd, 2020 – Windscribe usually runs contests from time to time to engage with their community. This time, there’s a contest going on where you can win actual money by submitting a short 15-30 second video about a randomly generated topic.
- New updates coming soon to the desktop and mobile apps – June 2nd, 2020 – Apple has authorized Windscribe to implement split tunneling on Macs. New revolutionary PP – preferred protocols feature to make its way to Android and iOS apps soon. This will allow switching between protocols based on different networks seamless and automated.