Windscribe VPN Review 2019 – Many Pros But Has One Major Con
Windscribe is an online privacy provider with both free and paid plans. Its free plan comes with a generous 10GB bandwidth cap.
This makes you wonder:
What’s the catch? Are the people behind Windscribe genuinely concerned about our privacy or are they setting up a trap?
I will answer this burning question in this Windscribe VPN review.
On a side not, you can refer to other +120 VPN reviews 2019 to discover which VPN is the best match for your online freedom.
Windscribe VPN is still a nascent service in the online privacy industry. Despite being in the industry since 2015, this Canadian based provider has grabbed the attention of thousands of netizens worldwide.
The service has some amazing features but it’s not short of drawbacks. To fully understand, here is a short comparison of Windscribe with another industry’s leading provider:
Windscribe VPN Quick Overview
|Jurisdiction||Canada (exists in 5 eyes countries)|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Routers, Kodi|
|Servers||450+ servers in 60+ countries|
|Customer Support||Efficient (live chat is available through robots)|
|Pricing||$6.49, $8.99, $10.99|
What I liked about Windscribe VPN?
Following are some things that go in favor of Windscribe VPN.
A Good Free VPN
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 10 GB only.
Also, only fourteen (14) server locations are offered to the users for the free service.
Not all freemium services are this benevolent with their bandwidth cap. So, is Windscribe safe? Or is it just another trap set to steal customer data?
Read on to find out.
Windscribe Stance over Transparency (Is Windscribe Safe?)
The brand has provided detailed information that includes law enforcement as well as 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]
Windscribe’s Unique Features
During this Windscribe review, I explored some unknown advantages that include:
- Config Generators
- Port Forwarding
- Flexible Connectivity
- Cruise Control
- Double Hop
- Timezone Spoofing
- Cookie Monster
- Split Personality
The said feature allows you to combat malware and annoying ads on your desired devices hassle-free.
You will need to use your Windscribe account to activate R.O.B.E.R.T on your devices.
Through this benefit, you can generate OpenVPN, IKEv2 and SOCKS configurations on different devices of your choice.
Windscribe has also started offering an exclusive pricing plan by the name of ScribeForce.
This way, users can avail maximum level of online protection and anonymity on a team level.
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 as compared to datacenter static IP, as it uses a residential connection that helps in blocking all sorts of blocks.
After obtaining a static IP, you are free to use port forwarding feature that allows you to access internal resources securely.
You can use flexible connectivity feature when it comes to connecting 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 the track of cookies once you have enabled them on your browsers.
Split personality feature enables you to rotate your user agent to minimize fingerprinting probability.
A user agent is a technology that recognizes what type of operating system you use.
One of the biggest strength of this is its multi-platform compatibility.
It is compatible on all leading-edge platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux.
The provider 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.
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 router with the help of OpenVPN. Although this process is taxing, it gives you a peace of mind by securing your entire household.
Here is a little preview of how this VPN has made itself compatible on different devices.
Personal Computer (PC)
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 in 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 that include Ubunto 18.04, Debian 9, Fedora 22+ and CentOS 6+.
The VPN is available on three popular smartphone devices that include Windows, Mobile, Android and iOS.
On Android you can either set up the VPN via IKEv2 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 the VPN on Windows phone by following the guide on 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.
Windscribe Ad Blocker
Windscribe offers another nifty feature in its browser in shape of an ad blocker.
You can conduct ad blocking functions through the help of the browser extension:
- Untraceable- It blocks several ad trackers and beacons
- Anti-Social- it helps you in deactivating social media buttons
- Ad Blocker- works as a normal ad blocker
You can also whitelist specific sites to your liking through Windscribe browser extension. Surprisingly, the ad blocker feature has upsides and downsides too.
Different VPNs like NordVPN have implement the ad blocker benefit into their VPN clients directly.
VPN routers can secure multitudes of devices from malware, phishing hacks and other online filth. Moreover, they have you protected at all time 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.
The Windows app sports a greyish design that is easy on the eyes. Combine that with the user-friendly interface and you have a slick VPN client on your hands.
With a single click on the downward arrow, you can select from your preferred servers.
You can also customize the client for options such as Auto Start through the ‘Preferences’ section.
Overall, the client that does not take too long to install, has an intuitive design and can be used without much effort.
The speed tests of Windscribe blew me away.
WINDSCRIBE IS FAST.
Yes, you did not read that wrong.
I tested VPN provider on daily basis, rarely do I come across services that blazing fast servers like Wind Scribe.
On a 30 Mbps connection, this was the recorded speed of the VPN’s US server.
The UK server was a lot slower but still workable.
Meanwhile, one of the P2P servers, Russia produced the good enough speed for downloading heavy files.
This is the part of the Windscribe VPN review where I tell you that you are unlikely to find such speed anywhere else.
With the provided speed, you can stream high-quality videos, download Gigabytes worth of content and browse seamlessly. Although gaming will be an issue due to the high Ping rate.
No IP and DNS Leaks
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 concern. As my test unveils, this VPN does not leak your true identity to cyber criminals.
Works with Netflix
Ever since Netflix launched its war against VPNs, it has become harder for Netizens 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, not on its normal servers. But if you connect with the Windflix servers located primarily in the US and the UK, you can unlock plethora of shows on the streaming services.
Torrenting Review (Does Windscribe Allow Torrenting?)
Torrents are God’s gift to mankind. They allow us to download variety of content with just a few clicks.
But this harmless activity is banned in many countries.
Windscribe torrent service features exclusive P2P servers from around the world.
These servers empower the netizens to download torrent without government agencies meddling in between.
Pricing & Plans
Windscribe pricing structure is segregated into free and premium plans.
There are three paid plans named as Monthly, Yearly and Build a Plan.
Subscribers can either choose a $4.08/month plan that is billed yearly at $49.00, while the other plan is billed monthly at $9.00.
Furthermore, build a plan is available at the cost of $1.00 per month.
Interestingly, paid plans have no discrimination among devices, server destinations, bandwidth, protocols and P2P support.
However, freemium plan or Windscribe Limited comes with some limitations that I have discussed earlier in this Windscribe review.
Through ScribeForce, you can fulfill all the privacy needs of your family under one package.
Furthermore, you can avail such pricing plan for official purposes.
In case you want to secure all the online activities of your team, ScribeForce is a go-to option.
Users must remember that every member of the team is liable to pay $3.00 on monthly basis.
Windscribe has recently added another cap in its feather by offering static IP feature.
At present, you can use two kinds of static IPs in the form of datacenter and residential IPs.
However, residential IP is much more popular than datacenter because it can bypass all sorts of blocks in no time.
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, readers of this Windscribe review will be glad to know the service also accepts anonymous payments through bitcoin, keeping subscribers’ identity discreet and anonymous.
PayPal and Paymentwall are two other payment options.
Money Back Guarantee/Refund Policy
In addition to free version, the service offers a generous 3 days money back guarantee.
The money back guarantee allows users to request a refund within three days after purchasing commercial premium of the VPN.
Windscribe encourages users to test out the free service before signing up with a paid package.
Hence, their refund window is not at all extensive and has 10 GB data limit.
What I did not like about Windscribe VPN?
Not everything is fine and dandy with this VPN.
It has few noticeable drawbacks that I have mentioned below.
Where is Windscribe Located? (Based in Canada)
Canada is the country that Windscribe calls home.
The country is also a part of the Five 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 in within the 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.
Not All of the 450+ Servers Are Active
Windscribe has 450+ servers scattered across 60+ countries.
The numbers are not big specially when compared to the top VPN providers.
But the VPN has all the prime regions of the world covered.
Currently, some of the locations covered are the US, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Egypt, Turkey, South Korea, India, Australia, Japan, Mexico and more locations.
However, I attempted to connect with the Germany server on a continual basis but to no luck.
I assume it is not the only server with such issues.
I hope that the provider will look into this matter to improve the VPN service significantly.
Questionable Support (Using Bots)
Being relatively new in the market, the service offers five modes of customer support.
These include: Email Ticketing, Setup Guides, FAQs, Knowledge base and Live Chat.
Email Ticketing System
The email ticketing system aims to provide a solution to most complex queries of subscribers. In Windscribe review, I found this option to be 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 FAQs section. The FAQs section is a single dedicated page that provides basic and general information about Windscribe.
Also, subscribers can seek information about 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
Strangest thing you will learn in this Windscribe review is that is 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.
Does not follow GDPR
Windscribe has not been able to come up with the expectations of European users.
They have not started following GDPR guidelines in the right way.
However, I expect Windscribe being a privacy conscious service would take all the necessary steps to become GDPR compliant VPN in future.
Trustpilot being a customer review site provides relevant information about various VPN services.
Windscribe has been able to attain an encouraging 7.5 TrustScore.
In general, users have liked the service due to numerous reasons. Some subscribers have appreciated their Android app.
On the other hand, few users have preferred the brand because of its freemium version.
Surprisingly, different users have voiced Windscribe as it delivers next level downloading speeds to their subscribers.
Hi all…Just signed up with Windscribe VPN and wanted to let everyone know how great it is to finally have some privacy on the net. Highly recommend..fast connection, great download speeds..A+++++
— Marie Collier (@MarieCo17411901) March 21, 2019
Likewise, users have also adored their #tweet4data offering to a new plane.
— chuckubus (@chuckubus1) March 21, 2019
Free VPN services are a touchy subject for online privacy advocates. But a quick scroll of Reddit suggests that subscribers trust this VPN.
In fact, the reliability of the VPN has gotten to the point where users are buying Windscribe lifetime subscription.
Now, I have to conclude this Windscribe VPN review here.
Free VPN remains a controversial subject.
They have been exposed many times for logging customer data and selling it to third parties for profit.
But this VPN is different. In fact, it has a squeaky-clean record of keeping absolutely no logs and prioritizing user privacy.
In case of premium pricing plans, Windscribe has not disappointed its users at all.
Considering its privacy features, Windscribe becomes a suitable choice for new VPN users.
There are some concerns about the jurisdiction and customer service. But you may ignore its customer support performance in the grander scheme of things.
I have a serious concern with its jurisdiction because it hails from a five eyes country.
They are bound to store your data as per mandatory data retention laws.
If this thing does not bother you as much, you can opt the provider.
Want to add something to the review, feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.