Windscribe is a VPN that has started to gain a name for itself. The company that puts out the product, Windscribe Limited, is located in Ontario, Canada. In this review, we’ll talk about the benefits and go over the different aspects of the service. We’ll also see how it performs when we do our tests.
Prices and Discounts
Windscribe offers one plan, but they have two different lengths of service. If you decide to choose the monthly billing plan, you pay $9.00 a month. That means the yearly price is $108 for the year. If you decide to buy a year at a time, your price drops to $7.50 a month. That means your price is $90 for the year. You can see the savings in choosing the yearly plan over the monthly plan.
There are several different payment methods available for Windscribe. Those are Bitcoin, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Paymentwall. Each method of payment has its’ own benefits. If you want a bit more privacy than normal, you’ll want to use Bitcoin. However, you can manage your account better by using the auto-renew feature with PayPal.
3 Day Risk-Free Money Back Guarantee
Because Windscribe wants you to be happy with your service, they offer a 3-day risk-free money back guarantee. You should be able to test any VPN and make sure it is right for you. That is why they feel that three days is enough time to test the software.
Whenever you are making a decision about which VPN to use, you’ll want to look at what separates them from others. Windscribe has a streamlined client and they have a few features. Though it is a small list, there are some surprises we will talk about.
The first feature we are going to talk about is one they call Firewall. It is not actually a firewall, but it is a kill switch feature. Its purpose is to make sure you are not vulnerable if the connection drops. The kill switch is something we are glad to see because many of the smaller VPN companies don’t offer it. The next one we’ll talk about is Windscribe’s Double Hop. What that does is provide an extra layer of protection because your connection is going through two different servers. Keep in mind it will usually slow down your speed because of the two locations. This unique tool is one that we have not seen before, at least not like this. To use this feature, you need to download the browser add-on. They offer them for Opera, Chrome, and Firefox. Once it’s downloaded, connect to the main console you see at the right. Then, you go to the W icon that would usually be located in the browser add-ons section. Clicking on it will let you connect in the second part of the process. Also, because of the p2p icons, that means that some of their servers are p2p friendly. They have an ad blocker and tracker blocker to help you maintain your privacy. One more thing we like is the ability to use Windscribe on an unlimited number of devices for the same price. That’s great if you have a large family or a variety of devices to protect.
That seems to be all that Winscribe offers. Both of those options are ones we like. The servers you may torrent on are the ones without the p2p icon that is crossed through. There are more options we would like to see added, but these are a good start.
Network size is important with any VPN company because if you are traveling abroad, you want to have options. Let’s take a look at the 30+ countries that Windscribe has servers in. In the Americas, there are servers in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Servers for Europe are located in the UK, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey, and Russia. If you are interested in Asia/Africa/Oceanic servers, those are in South Africa, Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. As with many other VPN services, there are more locations in Europe than anywhere else. You can pick the region in some countries (like the US), but it won’t tell you the specific location until you connect. Again, you may not need to connect to that many different countries, but it is nice to have the option.
You may say “That is all good, but how does it perform?” That is another question you should ask yourself when choosing a provider. No one likes to have a slow connection, especially when trying to keep themselves safe. Of course, any time you encrypt traffic, you can expect a slight speed loss. Anywhere from 10%-25% is considered to be a normal level. As you can see in this image, we only experienced a loss of 18%. That is well within the acceptable ranges we would expect. The Windows client seems to use OpenVPN UDP exclusively. There is no option to change the protocol that we have found.
Security and Privacy
Normally providers offer several different protocols with their VPN service. Though there is only one option in the Windows client (OpenVPN UDP), that’s the one we usually recommend if at all possible. It provides a good mix of speed and security and is considered the go-to protocol. The same may be said for the IKEv2 mobile protocol they use. Windscribe is very focused on the users’ privacy and they require very little information to get started.
As with other small VPN providers, Windscribe offers limited support. They have setup guides, a FAQ section, and a help ticket system. It is not known what the turn around time is. There is no mention of it on the website, or the hours of support. We would like to see them add more support options.
For compatibility, Windscribe does not offer many choices. The native clients include Windows, Mac, and iOS. Additionally, the browser extensions are available for the browsers we mentioned earlier. Additionally, there are setup guides for Linux, Android, and even some routers. There are supposed to be more coming soon.
Windscribe makes signing up very easy. However, we will show you how to do it. Begin by going to the Windscribe website and clicking on Sign Up. Next, click on “Get Unlimited”. When prompted to create your account, go ahead and do so.
Next, you will be given the option to pay. You’ll see the options we spoke about earlier. They don’t use a promo code, so clicking the image will take you right to the deal. Then just download the software, and you can get started.
How to Use Windscribe for Windows
With the ease and simplicity of Windscribe, the Windows and Mac versions are virtually identical. Start by downloading the software, and click the install button. You will now see the console below. To activate the kill switch feature, make sure you slide the toggle to the on position. You can now scroll through the various servers that you would like to connect to. If you are looking for servers for torrenting, select the ones that do not have the p2p logo with a line through it.
The client is intuitive, so everything is labeled well (with the exception of the firewall) and is easy to figure out. You should not have any problems. If you decide to use the Mac version, you may expect everything to be in the same place.
How to Use Windscribe for Android
Though the iOS version is obtained through iTunes, the procedure for Android is a bit different at the time of this review. Right now, there is no native app for Windscribe. The way you get it is to go to the Google Play Store and search for the StrongSwan VPN client. Once you do that, make sure to download the credentials found on the website (you must have your account set up first). You will now get a username, server, and password. You must enter these credentials for every server you want to use. It can be a bit tedious, so it may be worth it just to wait until the Windscribe client comes out for Android. Enter the info in and push the connect button. For more information on this process, be sure to check the Windscribe website. For the iOS version, download and install it. You will be able to figure out how it operates, based on the Windows install. And that wraps up the mobile version.
Favorite Features for Windscribe:
- No activity logs kept
- P2P friendly
- Nicely priced
- Straight forward interface
- Double hop system with browsers
Thoughts to make Windscribe better:
- Add more countries
- Give more protocol options
- Add more features
- Add more P2P servers
- Develop apps for all operating systems
We were relatively impressed by the Windscribe VPN service. Though it is a smaller company, they offer good speeds at a reasonable price. We like the ability to protect an unlimited amount of devices for the same price. They offer a few good features that you would expect to find with the bigger services, and their interface is very straight forward and clean. We also found the connection to be very stable. We did not encounter any problems in the several hours we used the service. If you are looking for a reliable VPN service with some of the features of the bigger companies, you will want to take a look at this one.