Rather than stay straight-laced and carefully curate an untarnished public image, Windscribe has made a name for itself in the industry as a fun-loving, privacy-centric brand whose regular newsletters and come littered with strong opinions, puns and memes – but don’t think for a second that they provide a joke product.
With tons of advanced features, many of which are really rather innovative, Windscribe offers one of the best VPN services that delivers the goods. Plus, for those looking for a free VPN, Windscribe’s is also up there with the cream of the crop.
However, in our testing we found a few areas in which Windscribe doesn’t quite lead the pack, so keep on reading for our in-depth Windscribe review – it should give you all the info you need to decide whether or not it’s the best choice for you.
Windscribe 1-minute review
For a kick-off, you might be tempted to test out Windscribe’s free service. With 11 server locations and 2GB of data (boost that up to 10GB if you hand over your email), it’s really remarkable powerful compared to the competition. Upgrade, and you’ll pay a $9 monthly for a rolling plan, dropping to a reasonable $4.08 a month when you commit for a year.
Windscribe’s brand new Windscribe 2.0 apps and systems look great and are secure, and do a fine job of blocking any DNS leaks, too. The kill switch works well, encryption is what we expect, and while there is minimal logging, Windscribe is upfront about this. We’d like to see an audit, but this is all a good start.
Connection speeds are just OK. Using OpenVPN we got 180-240Mbps on a 1Gbps line in the UK, and a less impressive 20-120Mbps on a similar line in the US. Unfortunately Windscribe released WireGuard to the masses just after we undertook our testing, but if we look at the competition, we can expect it to boost speeds significantly. make sure to check back for more when we get a chance to test WireGuard.
The paid version of Windscribe is excellent for streaming, unblocking pretty much every service we tried. However, the big surprise is that Windscribe proves to be an effective free Netflix VPN, successfully unblocking US Netflix and BBC iPlayer on servers available to non-paying users.
Apps on both desktop and mobile are fairly rudimentary, but there’s plenty going on and they work very well. You’ll get favorites, a selection of protocols, and even WireGuard support.
Customer support is probably Windscribe’s weakest area – while the ticket system ensures you get a response from someone knowledgeable on the core dev team, it does mean you can’t get quick, easy help when you need it, which is made worse due to the fact the written articles and guides aren’t exactly perfect.
Windscribe on paper
Number of servers: Undisclosed
Number of countries: 62
Platforms supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Kodi, DD-WRT, Tomato (router)
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Split tunneling: Yes
Kill switch: Yes
Supported protocols: OpenVPN UDP & TCP, IKEv2
Country of registration: Canada
Support: Articles, ticket system, 24/7 bot support
Windscribe price: how much is it, and is there a Windscribe free trial?
As we mentioned in the introduction, Windscribe has a very comprehensive free plan. It includes access to servers in a wide spread of 11 countries, up to 10GB of data (although this drops to 2GB if you don’t sign up with a valid email address), and unlimited connections.
But, imagine how amazing everything would be if you gave Windscribe money for Pro! (Windscribe’s words, not ours…)
To get the most from the service and access all the available features, you’ll need to opt for a paid plan. With this in place, you can access all of Windscribe’s 110 server locations, and create personalized IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard configurations. You’ll also enjoy an unlimited data allowance and full access to Windscribe’s unique malware-blocking tool, R.O.B.E.R.T.
Windscribe’s monthly prices are pretty reasonable, just $9 per month. If you decide to opt for an annual plan, the price drops to just $4.08 per month when paid yearly. Compared to other leading providers, this is fairly good value – it’s not as cheap as Surfshark, but is more affordable than our #1-rated service ExpressVPN.
However, you’ve still got more options here. With Windscribe’s ‘Build a Plan’, you can select which servers you need for $1 a month each. Each server selected will give you 10GB of data to play with, and you must select at least two.
So, if you picked two servers (let’s say UK and US), you’ll start off with your 10GB for handing over your email address, and 10GB for each server chosen. For $2 a month, that’s 30GB of data, and if you don’t need any other servers, that’s excellent value. Add on another $1 a month for unlimited data and it looks pretty tempting – especially thanks to the fact that the Build a Plan is billed monthly, and there’s no commitment involved.
Another option is ScribeForce. If you’ve got a group of five or more, you can gang up and pay just $3 a month for the full service, again billed monthly.
Finally, you can purchase a static IP – $8 a month for a residential IP, $2 a month for a data center IP. While this doesn’t offer the same privacy as a regular VPN IP, it does make sure your browsing isn’t tainted by someone else’s dodgy actions, and should provide much better streaming capabilities as it’s unlikely to be flagged as a non-domestic connection by Netflix and the like.
With payment options including PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, gift cards and more, Windscribe is extraordinarily flexible when it comes to taking your money – and if you configure it right, you could save a packet without being tied into a long plan.
How private is Windscribe, and does it keep logs?
Windscribe boasts some substantial security features: It uses military-grade AES-256 encryption complete with SHA512 authentication, and in terms of private keys, Windscribe uses 4096-bit RSA and commits to a one-time use of each key.
Furthermore, Windscribe is also committed to securing your data against leaks and uses a range of techniques to do so. These include a firewall, better known as a kill switch, to block internet access during a connection blackout, a limit on IPv6 traffic, and the redirection of DNS traffic through the VPN.
We tested Windscribe’s performance claims on a Windows 10 machine and discovered no DNS leaks – or any others, for that matter.
To test the VPN’s kill switch (called Firewall in Windscribe-speak), we closed down the connection manually during a browsing session. The switch worked well and our internet connection dropped instantly. While we weren’t notified of the connection dropping, we were when we reconnected – and there were no leaks in the interim.
Another safety measure deployed by the platform is R.O.B.E.R.T. This advanced domain- and IP-blocking tool protects you from malware and trackers and enables you to browse faster.