A very strong VPN for the most part, Windscribe is a particularly good choice for those who have never used a VPN before.
Its focus on privacy combined with fast local connection speeds and availability on a variety of devices and platforms help it stand out, even if it lacks consistency in some areas.
Pricing & Deals
You have two options with Windscribe: pay for a month or pay for a year. The $9.00 cost of a single month is rather steep, but it comes all the way down to $4.08 per month on a 12-month deal.
Get 55% off Windscribe's 12-month plan
Windscribe Pricing & Deals
The three-day, 10GB data-capped money back period isn’t very long at all – instead we would recommend you try out the free service first. In fact, it’s our Best Free VPN for 2019.
Windscribe accepts the usual range of payment methods including most popular credit and debit cards, PayPal and Bitcoin, as well as several international options through its partnership with Paymentwall.
Speed & Reliability
It won’t be topping our charts anytime soon, but Windscribe is still a VPN with plenty of speed.
With local downloads peaking at just under 70Mbps in the UK where we test from it should comfortably handle anything you throw at it, even with multiple devices connected to it at once.
Downloads are quick enough for HD streaming and speedy multiple file downloads, peaking at just under 70Mbps in the UK and averaging at around 40-50Mbps throughout the rest of Europe (we test from London).
We found latency to be fairly average, coming in at 18ms on same-country connections, while uploads are similar to downloads in that they’re very quick on local connections, with speeds of up to 61Mbps on local connections. This makes Windscribe a great option for torrenters.
If you’d like to find out more about how we conduct our speed tests, take a look at our guide to How We Review VPNs.
Windscribe’s selection of 58 countries is a good solid number, and takes care of almost every region – East Asia is especially well represented, which is uncommon.
Among those 58 countries are over 110 individual locations, meaning you get city-level choice in a number of locations, including the US and UK. Disappointingly, Windscribe won’t reveal how many individual servers or IP addresses it maintains, though.
Platforms & Devices
Windscribe has one of the best app lineups on the market, with virtually every platform and OS covered. All the desktop operating systems are there, and they look great following their recent facelift.
There’s browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera as well. They’re quick to download, easy to use, and do a good job of keeping your web traffic secure and anonymous.
They also work as ad and tracker blockers, and can even randomly rotate your user agent to make you even harder to follow.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
Windscribe can be used with a variety of games consoles and streaming devices either by connecting them to a manually configured router or sharing the VPN connection with another device also running the software, like your laptop or smartphone.
There are dedicated apps for the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Kodi, too.
Streaming & Torrenting
Windscribe’s dedicated ‘Windflix’ servers mean that access to US and UK Netflix is practically a guarantee – we’ve never had any issues in all our testing.
Despite its dedicated server, watching BBC iPlayer is far less reliable and the service has been unavailable for some time now. US services work hassle-free, though, Hulu included.
Torrenting is permitted on almost all servers, so you should be able to get great downloading and seeding speeds wherever you are.
Encryption & Security
Windscribe is one of the most private, secure VPNs on the market from a technological standpoint – just about everything we look for in a VPN is there.
AES-256 encryption is as good as it gets; our favorite protocol, OpenVPN, is one of many on offer; it has the all-important kill switch (which it refers to as the ‘Firewall’), plus other less conventional extras. ‘R.O.B.E.R.T’, for example, blocks malware and ad tracking at DNS level.
Despite not using its own DNS servers we also found it to be free from any IP or DNS leaks, too.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- Ad Blocker
Despite having all the right technology and features in place, Windscribe has been rendered considerably less useful in China after the government’s recent crackdown on VPNs.
It may work there, but it’s inconsistent at best. In other high-censorship countries, like Saudi Arabia or Turkey, it works as standard.
Windscribe logs the following information:
- The amount of data transferred in a 30-day period
- The timestamp of your last activity on the Windscribe network
- The number of simultaneous connections on your account (to prevent abuse)
- Your OpenVPN or IKEv2 username (until the end of your session)
- The time you connected (until the end of your session)
- The amount of data transferred (until the end of your session)
That may look like a lot of information, but it’s all very minor stuff – and half of it is only stored until the end of your session.
It all has absolutely no traceable connection to your activity while using Windscribe and is largely collected for the sake of making sure that the service runs smoothly.
As it stands, because Windscribe collects next to no personal information the country in which it’s based is almost irrelevant. Law enforcement would leave empty handed if it seized any servers.
Ease of Use
The entirety of Windscribe’s wide range of apps and programs are as simple to use as you could hope for, without compromising on the need for specifics that serious users crave.
The home screen is simply a big on/off button and a list of servers, while the advanced options tucked away in their own menu warn users not to meddle with them “unless you know what you’re doing” – a nice touch.
That said, the desktop apps run a little laggier than we’d like, and the mobile apps lack some of the advanced settings – something to be improved on for sure.
Even if you’ve never used a VPN before, download and installing Windscribe is incredibly easy and takes only a couple of minutes from start to finish.
There are set-up guides for the majority of popular platforms on the support section of the site, including loads of helpful screenshots and video tutorials.
Live chat is something we always look for in a top VPN – ideally it will be 24-hour, too. It’s something missing from Windscribe, instead subsidized by a seriously extensive online library of guides, FAQs and even its own subreddit.
It may be a little intimidating for newbies, and it certainly isn’t quite as effective as live chat, but once you learn your way around it should still be an effective enough solution for any problem you encounter.
There’s also online support ticket submission and an automated chat agent, although we’d recommend you don’t waste your time with it as it isn’t much help at all.
The Bottom Line
- Local speeds up to 70Mbps
- Quick, easy access to Netflix
- Instant set-up on popular devices
- Connect securely to 58 countries
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
- Customer support lacks live chat
- Below average international speeds
- Desktop app can be unresponsive
Windscribe is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful VPN that offers some strong privacy features. If you sign up to the annual plan it works out at a very reasonable price, and the free option provides you with a generous 10GB of data to test out the service.
Performance is quick on local connections, with speedy uploads making it very appealing to torrenters. Streaming fans will love the quick access to popular sites such as Netflix through servers optimized for video.
Windscribe is about as close to zero-logs as you can get without sacrificing on server performance. Overall it’s a secure and user-friendly VPN that’s great for fast and easy streaming.