Windscribe VPN Review (Updated in 2023) – Is It a Safe Free VPN?
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 Windscribe VPN review for 2023.
Windscribe is one of the widely used VPNs with free and paid plans available and loaded with multiple security features. Free users Windscribe VPN download up to 10GB of data each month for free, while premium users can download unlimited data.
However, if you are wondering, is Windscribe VPN trustworthy? Despite its country location, Windscribe is a reliable VPN service. It comes with industry-standard AES-256 encryption and trusted VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard. The service offers servers in over 60+ countries and 110 cities. Windscribe is also an effective Free VPN for Poland For American Users and free VPN for Facebook.
Windscribe VPN free may not have a good server count compared with ExpressVPN, but the speed is exceptional when streaming. However, there are some cons, which is why we have assigned it a 3.5 stars rating in this Windscribe VPN Review. If you wish to check out other VPNs that are free, do check out our list of the best free VPN services.
Ranked #14 out of 56 VPNs
We have spent thousands of hours and days testing 160+ VPN services using our carefully curated testing process to recommend you the best VPN. Here are a few statistics:
- Total Hours of Testing1000+
- Weekly Speed Tests110
- VPN Services Reviewed160+
- Streaming Platforms Tested Daily50+
- IP & DNS Leak Tests Performed100+
- How Much we have spent on testing$30,000+
- 10GB of free data
- Packed with advanced settings and features
- Unblocks US Disney Plus, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
- Plenty of subscription plans and billing options
- Canada-based VPN provider (part of 5-Eyes)
- Clunky app interface
- Only 3-day money-back-guarantee
Windscribe VPN Price – How Much Does Windscribe Cost?
In our Windscribe VPN Pro review, You can get Windscribe Pro for US$9.00/mo or US$69.00/year (US$5.75/mo) on its yearly plan. You can also opt for the ScribeForce plan, which involves bringing down the monthly cost of the 1-year plan to US$3.00/mo if you buy it with a team of at least five people.
However, Windscribe offers a free plan that offers 10GB of data transfer per month if you register for an account with your email address. If you don’t, then it’ll be just 2BG of data transfer per month. Furthermore, you’ll be able to access servers from 11 countries – North America, Europe, and Hong Kong.
Considering this Windscribe’s free VPN deal, it sounds pretty generous.
|Plan duration||Overall Cost||Data limit|
|Build a Plan||$1.00 per location per month||Unlimited|
As we explore VPN pricing options, it’s essential to note that Urban VPN offers a compelling free service with numerous servers, providing optimal performance and unrestricted content access. Users can enjoy unlimited location switches, making it a standout choice for those looking to bypass geographical restrictions. For a more in-depth understanding of Urban VPN’s features, including its free service, consider reading our detailed Urban VPN review for a comprehensive analysis.
Payment & Refund Options
Windscribe accepts payment through the most popular payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Paymentwall, and even Bitcoin. We found the different channels of payment appreciative since not many free VPNs offer the same.
Windscribe Free Trial
Apart from the Windscribe free plan, its Pro version comes with a 3-day money-back guarantee only. It is one of the best plans we’ve come across based on our personal experience. You can get a free trial before committing to its year-long subscription. Check how you can avail of this Windscribe free trial.
Servers Network – How many servers does Windscribe VPN have?
Windscribe offers 10 servers in 10 different locations on its free version. Whereas on its Pro plan, it has servers in more than 69 countries across 112 different cities globally. You have a wide selection of cities throughout several nations. There are numerous servers spread across various areas, but you can select your city from among them.
So, you have a wide selection of cities throughout several nations, including East Asia, which is quite uncommon. Windscribe offers servers in Japan, Thailand, and more East Asian countries.
Here is the list of its top 7 server locations with its best city servers:
|Australia||Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney|
|Canada||Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver|
|France||Paris and Marseilles|
|India||Chennai, Indore, New Delhi|
|Italy||Milan and Rome|
|Russia||Moscow, Saint Petersberg|
|Spain||Barcelona and Madrid|
|UK||London and Manchester|
|US Central||Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, Louisville, Salt Lake City|
|US East||Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC|
|US West||Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oregon, Phoenix, Portland, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Seattle|
|Turkey||Bursa and Istanbul|
All in all, it is quite disappointing that Windscribe doesn’t mention the exact number of servers or the number of IP addresses it offers on the website. Some of its servers are also rented instead of owned, which means certain security risks might be associated with this VPN.
Security Features — Is Windscribe safe and secure?
Yes, Windscribe is safe and secure as it offers military-grade encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and advanced security measures. It ensures your data is encrypted with a powerful algorithm that is impossible to crack despite using modern techniques. It also has strong IP/DNS leak protection to protect sensitive information.
|IKEv2/IPSec||AES 256||IP/DNS Leak Blocking||Ad Blocker|
|WireGuard||ChaCha 20||VPN Kill switch||Double VPN|
|OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||–||WebRTC leak blocking||Split tunneling|
|–||–||Supports TCP Port 443||Tracker Blocker|
Windscribe was our choice of free VPN since it offered exceptional security features. We didn’t detect any issues while using its free version. The VPN successfully passed most of our security tests with ease.
Windscribe server seizure and OpenVPN vulnerability
Last year, the Ukrainian government seized two of Windscribe’s servers with the suspicion that these servers had been monitoring user data. Apparently, these servers were unencrypted as the VPN provider didn’t consider Ukraine “a highly sensitive region.” However, no evidence exists that the VPN monitored any user traffic.
For traffic monitoring purposes, a user had to be connected to a Ukraine server while manually configuring OpenVPN along with a DNS resolver which seems highly unlikely. That’s why we’d like to see this VPN go through a third-party audit to prevent any similar issues in the future.
Windscribe’s highly encrypted connections
Windscribe’s paid and free versions use industry-standard VPN encryption and protocols. The app automatically utilizes WireGuard, AES 256-bit encryption, Wireshark, SHA512 authentication key, and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS).
Each of these features are vital in ensuring your data is kept secure even if it falls into the wrong hands. AES 256-bit encryption is impossible to crack. Wireshark tool encrypts web traffic to obfuscate incoming and outgoing packets. SHA512 authentication makes it possible to establish a secure handshake.
With PFS, your encryption keys cannot be reused between sessions even if someone else gets their hands on your private key, it’ll become useless as soon as you disconnect from your end.
Windscribe’s unique Firewall setting
While testing, we found Windscribe’s ‘Firewall‘ setting quite impressive. Although the feature works similarly to a kill switch, it is more effective. Much like a kill switch, it blocks every connection outside the VPN tunnel. Once a VPN connection drops, there are chances of small data packets leaking.
That’s why we tested Windscribe’s Firewall feature, and it worked wonders for us. The tool actually scanned for IP leaks when our internet connection dropped.
Wide range of security features to choose from
Windscribe also offers the following additional features to enhance your security:
- GPS Spoofing: Helps in bypassing geo-blocks that try to detect your location by using your device’s GPS. But the feature is only available for Windscribe’s Android app and desktop browser extensions.
- Open-sourced desktop apps: It offers open-sourced apps so that anyone can check out the software and check its security. The same feature should be available for mobile apps as well.
- Diskless VPN servers: This feature ensures that user data cannot be extracted from servers. It’d be great if Windscribe can commission an audit for verification.
- Multi-hop servers: Allow the additional layer of security to avoid VPN detection. However, these servers slow down connection and didn’t work all that well on mobile.
Windscribe doesn’t suffer from IP or DNS leaks
We also tested Windscribe to ensure it doesn’t cause any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks. After connecting our system to Windscribe’s Atlanta server, we checked our IP address. Well, what do you know? Our actual IP address didn’t show up, as you can observe in the screenshot below:
After that, we checked if we faced any DNS leaks while using Windscribe’s Atlanta server, but we didn’t! You can see the evidence right below:
Similarly, we also tested Windscribe for any webRTC leaks. However, there weren’t any issues, and our IP address remained hidden. See for yourself in the screenshot below:
R.O.B.E.R.T: Windscribe’s security suite
ROBERT serves as Windscribe’s own ad tracker and malware blocker. It is a built-in feature within Windscribe’s apps. Based on our tests, ROBERT managed to find more than 85% of ads and 100% of analytic trackers. By using this feature, we could bypass ads on most websites.
However, this feature isn’t available in the Windscribe free version. To utilize ROBERT, you’ll need to opt for Windscribe Pro. You also need to download a separate browser extension to use ROBERT; hence it is incompatible with mobile devices.
Windscribe Logging policy
“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.
Note: We strongly recommend ExpressVPN considering its 100% no-log policy, enterprise-grade security, and safe jurisdiction, i.e., British Virgin Island.
Speed and performance – How Fast is Windscribe VPN?
Windscribe is fast because it uses two key protocols: OpenVPN/IKEv2 and WireGuard. However, its WireGuard is quicker than both OpenVPN and IKEv2. The speed tests blew us away because Windscribe offers fast speeds. When we conducted our Windscribe speed test, we were 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|
Note: Windscribe performs well on local servers, but it slows down over long distances. Generally speaking, your speeds will be slower the further away you are from a server. We’ll show you the speed image results on both its local and long-distance servers:
Local server speed:
To check its local server speed, we connected to its US server speed and received 65.21 Mbps download speed and an upload speed of 34.75 Mbps, which is approximately 1600 km away from our location. We got 35% speed drop on 100 Mbps connections.
Long-distance server speed:
To check its speed in faraway locations, we connected to the France server, which is 6,837 km in distance from the location. We recorded a 39% speed drop on a 100 Mbps connection. We received a download speed of 61.91 Mbps and an upload speed of 40.67 Mbps.
Windscribe performs faster on its nearest servers, so you can stream in HD and 4K. We tried to watch Britbox outside USA as it is the Best free VPN for BritBox outside USA and we did not face any error. You can also torrent large files across small distances more easily. There was a decrease of just 6% while using same-city servers with WireGuard, which is impressive.
Is Windscribe VPN good for gaming?
No, not really. We connected this VPN to our device and played a variety of games. So, if you are planning on using Windscribe for free for gaming, then we would say it’s a bad choice because of data limitations. You will experience poor-quality graphics and constant buffering. However, Windscribe uses WireGuard protocol, which makes Windscribe the most secure free VPN for gaming.
Note: Windscribe still performed better in the Ethernet area than all the other VPNs we evaluated. We’ve experienced 0% packet data loss and an average latency (also known as ping) of 15 to 20 milliseconds while using Windscribe online with our gaming system connected to the Internet via Ethernet cable.
Streaming – Is Windscribe good for streaming?
Yes, Windscribe is an excellent VPN for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming sites; although its speed couldn’t match with the absolute fastest VPNs, it is quick enough for HD and 4K streaming.
Netflix – Is Windscribe good for Netflix?
Yes, Windscribe free version is one of the few free VPNs that work consistently well with Netflix. It unblocks US and UK Netflix along with other six other Netflix libraries while maintaining consistent download speeds.
This is remarkable, considering how difficult it would be for a free service to consistently get around Netflix’s geo-restrictions. Similarly, it supports more Netflix libraries than any other VPNs we’ve tested so far on its paid plan. Windscribe Pro is a great option for Netflix at an affordable price of just $5.75 monthly.
To test this Windscribe and Netflix combo, we connected to its free US-Atlanta server, and without any hassle, we watched Netflix shows for at least 4 hours. Because of its consistency and excellent compatibility, we have listed Windscribe among the best free VPN for Netflix, Free VPNs for NHL Live outside USA, and free VPN for UFC Fight Pass outside USA.
Windscribe’s UK servers stream BBC iPlayer
We also tested Windscribe’s UK servers to check their compatibility with BBC iPlayer. We unblocked BBC iPlayer within 30 seconds using Windscribe’s London servers. We were able to stream Frozen Planet II for hours in HD without any issues.
Windscribe works with every streaming platform
Based on our streaming tests with Windscribe, we could unblock nearly every streaming site. For your ease, here’s a list of streaming services that we were able to unblock with Windscribe. Some of these unblocked immediately for us, whereas, with a few streaming sites, it took us a couple of tries to succeed.
So take our piece of advice and keep trying until you succeed because this VPN didn’t disappoint us, at least.
- Amazon Prime Video
- BBC iPlayer
- Channel 4
- HBO Max
- YouTube TV
- Peacock TV
Torrenting – Is Windscribe good for Torrenting?
Yes, both the paid and free versions of the VPN are reliable and safe for torrenting. You can torrent on nearly every server and establish secure P2P connections thanks to AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and IP leak protection. Based on our torrenting tests, Windscribe provided an average download bitrate of 6 to 7 MiB/s.
You can also rest assured that Windscribe doesn’t log any identifiable data, unlike other free VPNs. So third parties won’t be able to track which files you’re torrenting. However, if you try to torrent in India, Russia, Lithuania, and South Africa, you won’t be able to since P2P traffic is blocked on these rented servers.
On the other hand, if you try the Pro version of Windscribe, you’ll be met with slow speeds despite using port forwarding. You can opt for other best VPNs for torrenting if you’d like faster speeds for torrenting.
One of the biggest strengths of this is its multi-platform compatibility. This Windscribe VPN pro review facilitates premium users with well-designed in-house clients for iOS and Android devices. It is compatible with all leading-edge platforms, including:
- Amazon FireTV
- Browser extensions(Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge)
Windscribe offers custom VPN apps for most platforms and operating systems. Its desktop and mobile apps are user-friendly. 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.
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, securing your entire household gives you peace of mind.
If you’re having trouble with this VPN, you can find some easy fixes in this Windscribe not working guide.
Ease of Use
Here is a little preview of how this VPN has made itself compatible with different devices.
Here is the list of all the desktops which are compatible with Windscribe VPN:
- Windows (7, 8, 10)
- macOS (above 10.12)
- iOS 10+
- Android 5.0+
- Phone APK | TV APK
Routers that are compatible with Windscribe are as follows:
- Buy Pre-configured
You can get a Windscribe extension on the following browsers:
- Chrome 39+
- Firefox 57+
- MS Edge 79+
Windscribe chrome extension looks similar to the Windows client but features an Ad Blocker that protects users against unwanted third-party advertisements.
We also tested Windscribe to check whether it can bypass censorship in countries with restrictive laws. In our Windscribe free VPN review, we found the VPN quite consistent in terms of bypassing censorship, as over the past year, it beat censorship 90% of the time. Both free and paid version work reliably in China.
Does Windscribe VPN Work in China?
Yes, Windscribe is one of the few free VPNs that work well in China. It is capable of bypassing the Great Firewall without any issues. It is easily the best free VPN in China since it works well for local residents while traveling abroad and for tourists traveling to the country.
Windscribe employs the use of obfuscation technology, making it hard for the sensors to identify VPN traffic. Its “Stealth protocol” helps in avoiding sensors altogether. The protocol uses an open-source Stunnel algorithm which can route your OpenVPN traffic using a TLS tunnel. As a result, no one can figure out you’re using a VPN.
Based on our tests while using Windscribe’s Shanghai server, we were easily able to bypass the censorship, much like a premium VPN. So overall, we had a terrific experience using Windscribe in China.
Windscribe VPN Customer Support & Reliability
In terms of customer support, Windscribe VPN needs to improve its services by a huge margin. It doesn’t offer round-the-clock live chat or a telephone number you can call to get in touch with a customer representative.
Instead, the service offers five modes of customer support:
|Automated Live Chat||✅|
|Live chat support||❌|
|Email support via an online form||❌|
Email Ticketing System
The email ticketing system aims to provide a solution to the most complex queries of subscribers. We found this option convenient in this review, 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 what the ticketing system looks like.
Since this was our free account, it already mentioned that free users have to wait a little longer to get a response.
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 TVs.
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. The best thing is, it replied to our query in time. Ultimately, an automated bot is no replacement for a human customer agent. As a result, we end up going around in circles instead of getting our issue resolved within a given time frame.
Alternatives of Windscribe
Here are our top alternatives for Windscribe if you disapprove of this VPN service. Go through their reviews and check out their service:
- ExpressVPN review
- Betternet review
- ZenVPN review
- Surfshark VPN review
- NordVPN review
- CyberGhost VPN review
- PIA VPN review
FAQs – Windscribe VPN Review
Is Windscribe VPN Safe?
Yes, Windscribe is a safe and reliable VPN service. Although the Ukrainian government seized two of Windscribe’s servers just last year for logging user data, the VPN was soon in the clear since no evidence was recovered. So yes, we believe it is one of the most reliable free VPNs out there.
Is Windscribe VPN really free?
Yes, Windscribe is available for use for free and for as long as you wish. When your email address is verified you receive a 10GB of data per month with access to more than 10 different countries.
Can Windscribe VPN be tracked?
Which country owns Windscribe VPN?
Windscribe is based in Canada, a country that is a part of the 5 Eyes Alliance. But it keeps no logs and prevents DNS and IP from leaking. It is a commercial cross-platform VPN provider.
Does Windscribe hide your IP?
Yes, Windscribe hides your IP address and is capable of unblocking geo-restricted content. You can get unrestricted and secure access to streaming sites, entertainment, news, and censored content in 70+ countries with ease.
Which is better Windscribe or NordVPN?
When connecting to a US server, both Windscribe and NordVPN give comparable download speeds – however, Windscribe has a few quirks. NordVPN consistently achieves faster upload speeds.
Do we Recommend Windscribe?
No, we don’t recommend after review Windscribe VPN. 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 ExpressVPN.
In short, you can download Windscribe VPN for a while, but it is not worth it for long-term use. 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 that are 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 cheap VPN service options that are pocket friendly with detailed pros and cons instead of going for a free VPN service.