Windscribe VPN Review
Surprises from a Canadian VPN Service
WindScribe VPN Overview
WindScribe VPN is one of the many VPN services available to internet users. This WindScribe VPN review aims to find out how this service compares with the many others in the market.
WindScribe is a Canadian company that provides a good alternative for US-based customers. WindScribe offers a free VPN plan with 10 GB of bandwidth per month along with their premium plans. They offer the standard Open VPN tunneling protocol and 256-bit AES encryption. It offers a premium option that is fast and has many available tools.
WindScribe masks your IP address, lets you do away with censorship, and helps in ads and tracking blocking on the sites that you visit each day. WindScribe VPN desktop application and its VPN/proxy browser extension work together in blocking trackers, ads, allows access to government-blocked content and maintain your online privacy. WindScribe offers a free plan of 10 GB of data per month once you confirm your email address. The Pro plan has unlimited data and unlimited connections.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
Country of Incorporation: Canada
Founded date: 2015
Kill switch: Yes
Keep logs: No
Free trial: Yes
Simultaneous Connected Device: Unlimited
VPN network: 540 servers across 60 countries
Refund policy: 30 days guaranteed
WindScribe VPN Email:
WindScribe VPN Website:
WindScribe VPN Pros
WindScribe VPN, despite being relatively new in the business, provides free proxy access to more than 900,000 users. Users drive WindScribe’s excellent device compatibility, noting that their encryption and protocol options are strong. WindScribe is user-friendly and it allows torrenting, although in a quite limited capability.
The following are some of the advantages of using WindScribe VPN:
Strong Privacy and Encryption Features
The best VPN protocols include Open VPN, TCP, IDEv2, SOCKS5, and UDP protocols, all of which WindScribe VPN supports. But while OpenVPN is the industry standard, WindScribe uses IKEv2 by default. The reason behind this is to get access to best-in-class AES_256 cipher encryption for the desktop applications, and AES_128_GCM cipher for the browser extensions, technical details that are the envy of security professionals. So far, no known hacks have ever occurred at both ends of the encryption spectrum.
Another strong security feature of WindScribe VPN in the area of encryption is that unlike other VPN services, WindScribe VPN does not keep any logs. This is something that will give users real peace of mind.
WindScribe VPN’s terms are in line with the other providers in the VPN market.
Safe to Use
Tests have shown that WindScribe VPN does not have security flaws that allow DNS requests to be revealed to ISP DNS servers. Some VPN service providers that manifest DNS and WebRTC leaks without the users being aware of them.
One way of spotting leaks is to actively check the IP address your client is showing with the address that the test sees.
Support of Multiple Devices Across Most Platforms
WindScribe VPN has built-in apps for almost every platform you can imagine, which includes the basics such as Macs, Windows, iOS, and Linux. Winscribe VPN also extends to browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, including some smart TV apps for Nvidia, Amazon, Kodi, and Shield.
WindScribe VPN allows users to connect an unlimited number of devices.
WindScribe VPN Cons
WindScribe users have several complaints against WindScribe VPN, which includes complaints about WindScribe being slow, pricey, and having a useless support system.
Slows Down Internet Connection to less than 50%
This is the most glaring shortcoming of WindScribe VPN. The performance of its server placed the company towards the bottom third of the rankings (51 out of 78).
Number of Active Servers
Windscribe VPN only has less than 500 servers located in 50 countries. Normally, this would not have any negative effect on the user under certain conditions. Ideal conditions include a low number of users per server. If only a few users were accessing the VPN server, the service would still be able to deliver fast service. If the servers were spread out to those locations which need it, then the whole network would still be able to deliver quality service.
What does have a negative effect is if not all the servers are working at the same time? From the Windscribe website, they have a chart of the number of servers operating, categorized by region. If a regional location has no servers working, then the customers in that region would be routed to another location a little farther away. This results in a drop in speed and bandwidth. With only 500 servers, Windscribe VPN needs to have as many servers running at all times.
WindScribe VPN Features
Windscribe VPN has the standard VPN features offered by other companies. It does have a set of features which are exclusively theirs.
Windflix for Watching Netflix
Netflix is well known for not allowing VPN servers to stream their videos. If you are a Netflix subscriber in your country, you cannot access the product offerings in other countries. With other VPN services, it is difficult to access Netflix, you have to search for a VPN server which is not included in VPN’s blacklist. This can be a difficult exercise. Some VPN services are successful in accessing Netflix in the United States but only by using a select few of the servers.
Windscribe has Windflix which is only available in the paid plans. With Windflix, the user can access Netflix and other blocked streaming websites. This is a much better solution than testing solutions in the field.
In a VPN service, the connection can drop at any time. The VPN service would have a kill-switch which turns off the internet activities until the VPN server goes up again. When the VPN server goes down, the user would not be able to notice it immediately. This is the point when the user does not know that he is broadcasting in the clear. The kill switch was designed to prevent this from happening. When the VPN server goes down, the browsing also stops on the device to prevent sensitive or private data from being sent on Public WiFi.
The kill switch is not offered in all the VPN services available right now.
No DNS Leaks
A VPN service hides the user’s IP address. This is one of the main reasons for using a VPN service. The internet traffic is routed through the VPN, and the request uses the VPN’s IP address. If there was a snooper, or if in case traffic is being monitored, the VPN’s IP address would appear, instead of the client’s actual IP address. Unfortunately, there are instances when a leak occurs and what is being broadcast is the actual IP address. Windscribe VPN’s DNS leak protection is the backup security which ensures that the actual IP address is kept hidden.
Torrents are Allowed
Torrents are not allowed in corporate environments because they can hog network resources. That is also the reason that VPN’s do not allow torrent downloads. It is the nature of internet traffic to eat up all available bandwidth. In the case of bittorrents, the bandwidth-hogging is due to the many threads being requested and coming back with the requisite data. A single peer-to-peer download is usually configured to use around 60 different peers (or devices) at the same time.
To deliver torrent downloading to VPN clients, Windscribe VPN has dedicated servers for P2P downloads. This helps regular users to have a bigger bandwidth and faster internet speeds.
WindScribe VPN Pricing & Plans
Windscribe VPN has three pricing plans. The paid plans do not differ from one another, except for the plan renewal period and price. All of the paid plans have access to all the servers with no data caps.
The free plan is also offered but only for purposes of user testing. It can only be used with 10 server locations and 10GB of data. Also, it does not allow torrenting.
Monthly Plan - The user is billed $9.00 per month. There is no data cap, and there are dedicated streaming and torrenting servers.
Yearly Plan - The Yearly Plan costs $4.08 per month, billed at $49 annually. This is a savings of more than 55% compared to the Monthly Plan cost. The Yearly Plan is payable annually in advance.
Build a Plan - This is a unique subscription plan offered by WindScribe VPN. The user creates his plan based on the number of locations he wants to enroll. It is billed at $1.00 per location. This is billed every month.
Subscribers can pay via PayPal, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) and Paymentwall. Windscribe VPN has an auto-debit feature which automatically pays the VPN service monthly.
WindScribe VPN Speed Test
Initially, I checked the benchmark reading of my non-VPN internet connection to see how it looks like. The following is the result of my Spectrum internet connection using Hivelocity Hosting in,
Los Angeles, California:
- Ping - 14 ms
- Download - 83.86 Mbps
- Upload - 11.40 Mbps
Next, I connected to WindScribe servers in different countries to get the average reading, with the following results:
U.S. Central Server
- Ping - 140 ms
- Download - 30.75 Mbps
- Upload - 2.05 Mbps
U.S. Central Server
- Ping - 140 ms
- Download - 30.75 Mbps
- Upload - 2.05 Mbps
The different WindScribe VPN’s servers were slow across the board. Other VPN options will not give you the lows that you will experience with WindScribe VPN.
WindScribe VPN Servers
Generally, the size of the server fleet is indicative of a VPN provider great service. ExpressVPN has servers spread out in 94 countries while NordVPN has more than 5,000 servers to its name. The VPN service providers with a large fleet of servers proudly proclaim on their website their server counts.
WindScribe VPN has around 540 servers, which is why it does not announce on its homepage the server number. However, the server count is a complicated matter. While some VPN service providers speak of many servers, the number does not always tell the whole story. Some VPN service providers use virtual servers, or fake servers, while others maintain underperforming servers.
WindScribe VPN does not boast of a large server fleet but the good thing is that almost all of them are actively working. None of the WindScribe VPN’s 540 servers is a virtual or fake server. WindScribe VPN’s servers are spread in 62 locations in 56 countries.
The location of servers is one thing that WindScribe VPN can be proud of. There are VPN service providers that have a bigger server fleet than WindScribe but they are spread in a smaller number of countries. For example, IPVanish has 1200 servers spread across 48 countries while TorGuard has more than 3000 servers but they are spread only in 51 countries.
Most VPN service providers that cater to the English-language markets are usually spread across North America and Western Europe. 47% of WindScribe VPN’s servers are located in the said English-speaking regions while the majority of its servers are spread out across the rest of the world. In comparison, IPVanish has 78% of its servers in North America and Western Europe while NordVPN has 73% in the same region, leaving only a small portion of their servers in the rest of the world.
WindScribe VPN’s speed is significantly lower than those of the leading competitors, but one thing that WindScribe can be proud of is the consistency of their speed. Across the board, WindScribe has almost uniform speed except for its Tokyo servers that are much slower. Even when testing WindScribe speed at different times of the day showed almost the same results.
WindScribe VPN’s speeds are consistently average speed on a wide range of servers.
Servers and streaming
WindScribe cannot be considered exceptional when it comes to bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming sites such as Netflix. Fortunately, WindScribe can be lauded for its special servers for Netflix: WINDFLIX, which are located in the U.S., the UK, Canada, and Japan.
WindScribe can access iPlayer only with static IP address, a service which costs an extra $2 per month.
WindScribe VPN allows P2P networking on all its servers, except for the servers in Russia, South Africa, and India. This emphasizes the problem of subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the inability to torrent unless they connect to the nearest server in Tunisia, which is 6000 km away. While WindScribe servers are generally consistent, regardless of the distance between the user and the server, a 6,000-kilometer distance will have a significant drop-off in connection.
Does WindScribe VPN Work With Netflix?
While most VPN service providers boast the fact that they can unlock Netflix, WindScribe VPN does not even mention Netflix on its homepage, a rather humble attitude.
Using WindScribe VPN’s free plan, no one can get anywhere near Netflix while using the provider’s servers. The difference could be found in WindScribe VPN’s paid plan. Those with a premium subscription will have no problem streaming Netflix US without any problems. All that they need to do to access the Netflix library is connected to the Windflix location using your VPN client. This can be done in all browsers except with iOS, although WindScribe has promised to make this available soon.
WindScribe VPN unlocks geo-restricted streaming services, which includes Netflix, only in the US and the UK.
WindScribe VPN is good for streaming Netflix as long as you are a subscriber of its premium plan.
WindScribe VPN Privacy & Logs
The privacy features of WindScribe VPN begins with the AES-256 encryption, with a 4906-bit RSA key, SHA512 authentication, and support for secrecy.
WindScribe uses multiple techniques to prevent data leaks, redirects DNS requests through the tunnel handled by the server, limits IPv6 traffic, and use a firewall to prevent all internet access during connection drops.
Windscribe’s system collects some connection details during the session, such as user name, the server connected to, time connection starts, bandwidth used during a particular session, and the number of connected devices. The details are held in the server’s RAM only, which are automatically erased at the end of the session.
Other than the temporary collection of details, WindScribe VPN does not maintain a history of logging connections, IPs, and browsing history. In short, WindScribe does not store any logs on the individuals who used a particular IP address, which means WindScribe cannot tie a particular user to a single server.
WindScribe does not collect data on your activities, which means that the company has nothing to share with a third party. One thing missing with WindScribe VPN is the absence of public auditing that checks logging and privacy issues, as this will give the public more assurance that their privacy is safeguarded.
As proof that your security is protected, WindScribe VPN gives users 2GB of data for a month, without any charge. The company does not require any personal data such as an email address to avail of this.
The best way to test the performance of a VPN service provider is to log into a sample group of servers, usually with the use of an automated tool. By checking servers located in the US, the UK, and the rest of the world, it will be possible to determine the connection time, find latency issues, and check the geolocation in verifying the server advertised in a particular country.
Connecting to the various WindScribe servers was accomplished without any connection error. However, the connection times were higher than usual. Some servers were easier to connect at about 2 to 3 seconds, but the rest were able to connect at 8 seconds or more. Eight seconds is twice as long as the connection time with good VPN service providers. The figures were determined while using logging in through OpenVPN, while using the default IKEv2, the default protocol, showed a slight delay only.
Beyond the connection time, the rest of the initial tests went satisfactorily. No leniency problems were observed, with the servers appearing to be in the advertised locations.
Going to the download speed tests, the benchmark SpeedTest and Fast showed that WindScribe’s faster servers offered enough download power for the different applications. The best US servers averaged 50 to 70 Mbps download speed; UK servers managed 50 to 68 Mbps, and Australia registered up to 20 to 49 Mbps. Other locations and servers proved to be much slower, inconsistent, or both. Germany has high-speed performance except that each test showed different results. US servers were fast in the initial test but subsequent tests showed varying results, in some instances lower than 10 Mbps, which showed inconsistency. Most Asian locations registered under 5 Mbps.
While the tests conducted may not be an accurate representation of WindScribe speeds, the tests used OpenVPN although the company suggests IVEv2 for performance tests. Such is not an acceptable explanation because other VPNs also used OpenVPN in the initial tests and showed consistent speeds than what WindScribe demonstrated.
Before signing up with any service, people first ask what kind of support they can get from the service provider. A VPN service provider is no exception. When you sign up for a service, you expect that there will be full consumer and technical support provided by the company.
When a user encounters any technical troubles with the system, they will start looking for answers from WindScribe’s Support team. Support resources usually begin with setup guides for a long list of devices and platforms. The tutorials do not have the range and depth that other VPN providers give. As an example, NordVPN has its guides for the various versions of the Windows operating system. Unfortunately, WindScribe VPN’s Windows setup covers only its app, Windows 10 and IKEv2 but not the older iterations of the operating system. The Android guides allow more choices than usual, including advice on connecting via IKEv2 when using Strongswan or OpenVPN for Android.
Once your WindScribe VPN is running, there is a Knowledgebase that provides users help with their common problems, including random disconnection, slow speeds, and more. The articles are easy to read and understand.
When all else fails, your only recourse is to directly contact support. Do not expect any nice chat as you will be dealing only with chatbots. Users cannot email Support and the only remaining option is to fill up a form found on the website to raise a ticket.
Because of the absence of live chat or the ability to talk to a live support person, getting a reply from WindScribe support is anybody’s guess. The excuse given by WindScribe for the absence of the usual support system is that the company is a small one, with only 13 employees and providing support to millions of free accounts is overwhelming.
Users with questions have to wait a little longer than usual because WindScribe does all support in-house, instead of outsourcing the function to some workers on the other side of the globe who simply read off a script.
Users need a lot of patience if they expect to get an answer to their question.
WindScribe VPN Refund Policy
In any kind of service that can be availed by subscription, it is always advisable to test first the Free Service before you sign up for any commercial plan. With regards to VPN service, the difference between free service and commercial service is only concerning the available servers and the limitations on bandwidth. If you are not satisfied with the free service, there is no point paying for the commercial service as your problems with the free service will stay with the commercial one.
In case you are not satisfied with WindScribe VPN commercial service that you subscribed to, you have the right to be fully reimbursed for your payment as long as you purchased the subscription directly from WindScribe VPN and not any third party, and that your request for reimbursement is sent within 3 business days from the date of payment.
WindScribe will honor only written refund requests sent to their support desk. There is no need to give any explanation behind your request for refund. However, your request for reimbursement is considered invalid if you have violated any of the company’s Terms of Service, or if you sent your request after you have used the VPN service for more than 3 days, or if you have the VPN service for a global traffic volume over 10 GB.
WindScribe VPN will reimburse you within 30 days from receipt of the request for reimbursement.
Is WindScribe VPN Recommended?
No, WindScribe VPN is not recommended to people who want to use a VPN service.
While many things are considered good about WindScribe VPN, such as being Netflix-friendly and their logging policy, the downsides of this provider are more than the upsides.
Anyone who will try WindScribe VPN, either the free service or commercial service, will find a lot of troubling signs. For a starter, server speeds were consistently slow, which cannot be considered good when you are trying to stream Netflix. Another troubling matter is the difficulty of trusting your personal and other information to the home-based business in Toronto with only 13 employees that are supposed to handle technical support to millions of free users.
In the area of pricing, WindScribe is no better than competitors. Its price is on the high-end of the spectrum but subscribers cannot access all of their servers, which is comparatively small in comparison with other VPN service providers.
If we have to rank WindScribe VPN, it will only get a rating of 2.9/5 taking into consideration the speed, stability, and features.
People who are looking for cheap VPN service have better choices other than WindScribe VPN. Check out our most recommended VPNs.