Windscribe VPN Review 2019 – Is it a Trap? (Results are In)
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 here in this review.
I refer to our guide VPN reviews 2019 to discover which VPN is the best match for your online freedom.
Let’s read on.
Pros and Cons
- A good free VPN
- Easy to use apps
- Windflix servers
- No IP or DNS leaks
- OpenVPN with military grade encryption
- Torrent friendly
- Great speeds
- Cross-platform availability (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
- Zero logs (Windscribe is safe)
- Based in a Five-Eyes country
- Customer support is slow (Automated live chat)
- Some servers do not work
Right of the bat, one problematic thing about this VPN is that it is located in Canada, a country that is part of Five Eyes (as opposed to, say PureVPN, which operates from Hong Kong).
That aside, Windscribe is a relatively new service in the VPN industry. It is one of the top free VPN services of 2019.
The provider launched its full-fledged service in mid of 2016 and is serving millions of privacy-geeks around the world.
An Internet kill switch, ad-blocker, chrome extension and free version are some of the impressive offerings from the provider.
It gets even better.
Windscribe boasts an OpenVPN protocol along 256-bit military grade encryption. This is the best combination of online privacy available in the market.
But this VPN is not without its faults.
As you read on this Windscribe review, you will learn the strengths and drawbacks of this VPN. You will also learn if this VPN is trustworthy and falls among the Best VPN services.
Following are some things that go in favor of this VPN.
1. 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 10GB only. Also, only eight servers 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.
2. Easy to Use Apps
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.
All in all, the client that doesn’t take too long to install, has an intuitive design and can be used without much effort.
3. Windflix Servers
Ever since Netflix launched its war against VPNs, it has become harder for Netizens to get past its ridonculous 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.
4. No IP or 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.
5. OpenVPN with Military Grade Encryption
Encryption and tunneling protocols are the sole components that ensure top-grade privacy and accessibility to netizens.
The provider offers OpenVPN with powerful AES 256-bit data encryption along with SHA 512 data authentication and strong RSA 4096 handshake.
Meanwhile, iOS users can configure IKEv2 on their iPhone and iPad to get protected with Windscribe instantly.
The VPN does not arm itself with L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols but this is not a big issue. These protocols are no match for the level of security that OpenVPN provides.
And this is not it.
Secure Hotspot feature takes your online privacy to new heights. With this tool, you can turn your Windows device into a hotspot device with the Windscribe service instantly. Similarly, Proxy Gateway feature allows you to create SOCKS5 Proxy on your Windows and Mac devices.
6. Torrent Friendly
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.
7. Great Speed
Now, this side 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 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.
8. Cross Platform Compatibility
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.
9. Zero Logs (Windscribe is Safe)
Free VPNs often sell customer information to third-parties. Many such VPNs have been exposed in the recent past.
But Windscribe is different. It doesn’t store any connection logs, IP timestamps or browsing information of users.
In addition, the provider does not impose any third party cookie tracker, ensuring reliable online protection to netizens at all times.
Only information that it keeps is the number of bandwidth users consume each month.
Not everything is fine and dandy with this VPN. It has few noticeable drawbacks that I have mentioned below.
1. Based in a Five Eyes Country
Canada is the country that Windscribe calls home. It is also a country that is 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.
2. Customer Support is Slow- Automated Live Chat
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.
It is basically a glorified search bar that 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.
3. Some Servers Do Not Work
Windscribe has 300 servers scattered across 55 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 made several attempts to connect with the Germany server but to no luck. I assume it is not the only server with such issues.
Hopefully, the provider will look into this matter to further improve the VPN service.
Pricing Plans and Packages
Windscribe pricing structure is segregated into free and premium plans. There are three paid plans named as Monthly, Yearly and Biannual. 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, the biannual plan is available at the cost of $3.70 per month. It means you will have to pay $89 in two years. 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 we have discussed earlier in this Windscribe review.
Have a look at the vendor’s offerings below:
Note: Biennial plan comes with a password manager by Dashlane. This tool keeps track of your passwords and have them ready whenever you need them.
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.
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.
Windscribe for Different Platforms
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. Interestingly, 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 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.
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.
Final Verdict: Not a Trap
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.
There are some concerns about the jurisdiction and customer service. But they are ignorable in the grander scheme of things.
I conclude this review on Windscribe VPN by vouching for this and recommending it to privacy seekers.
Want to add something to the review, feel free to share your feedback in the comments section below.