It’s worth noting that the website itself had a lot of useful information that made choosing the VPN easy. It was easy to find the download section and once there the rest was straightforward too. Windscribe is a little different from other VPN providers as it works on two levels. It describes itself as a set of tools that work together to block ad trackers, give you access to geo-blocked content and safeguard your privacy online. Winscribe comprises a desktop VPN application as well as a browser extension and it’s recommended that you use these in conjunction with one another, in order for you to gain the most secure connection.
The set up of Windscribe VPN is a fairly simple process. Just visit the download page and choose which device and which version and hit the “download” button. All you need to do then is to follow the instructions once the download is complete. The interface is clean and easy to navigate and once you’re up and running it’s easy to find the server location section where you can select the closest server to you (recommended for a faster connection). The setup is quick and painless with a good support section if you encounter any issues.
One of the most important things to take into consideration when using a VPN is that the further away the VPN, the slower the connection speed. Therefore, it’s always advisable to choose a server that is geographically close to you from the list. Windscribe doesn’t offer the same lightning speeds of some VPN providers, but you shouldn’t let that put you off, as the VPN is still fast enough to cope with most users’ needs.
Check your internet connection before you download a VPN as your connection speed is not going to improve if your own internet is moving at a snail’s pace. Windscribe VPN is quick enough for most and intuitive too. You will be able to stream content using this service and shouldn’t ever experience buffering issues or lagging – one of the most frustrating issues of streaming. It’s even fast enough to handle P2P sharing so that should give you an idea of the type of speed to expect.
There are certain tools that the VPN provider offers that speed up the service such as the domain blocking tool which blocks ads and trackers, prevents infections and enables faster browsing.
There are a number of different features that Windscribe offers that tackle the issue of privacy head-on. Firstly, they don’t use any third-party advertising trackers or software. On the contrary, they provide ad and tracker blockers to stop these tracking you whilst you’re browsing. This VPN provider uses no identifying logs which means that they do not store any logs that can identify you.
The company is pretty transparent about the information they store/do not store:
“We don’t keep connection logs, IP timestamps, session logs, or monitor your activity. We store when you last used Windscribe as well as the total amount of bandwidth used in a 30-day period to enforce free tier limitations and prevent abuse. This is a rolling counter and is not kept historically.”
Windscribe offers an impressive array of features, some of which are included in the free version, but most are additional features of the paid subscription. Unfortunately, you cannot use the free version of this VPN for unblocking streaming sites and will have to upgrade to the Pro version which incurs a monthly or yearly fee. The coverage for Netflix is a little hit or miss so you might choose to use the VPN to access alternative streaming providers.
Both the free and paid version of Windscribe comes with a firewall and ad-blocker which is useful but the free software doesn’t allow for OpenVPN configs. The free version gives you 10GB per month so is only really suitable for occasional use. Some of the best features include R.O.B.E.R.T – an ad and malware blocker that is fully customizable. Not only does this block ads and trackers, but it also prevents infections and allows you to browse up to 50% faster.
You can expect the very best encryption from this VPN too as they use the following latest technology in their desktop application: AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit key.
If you are based in one of the following countries you will be able to access the free version of this VPN service: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and Romania. Otherwise, you will have to pay for a subscription.
The free version of the VPN only gives you 10GB of data so is only suitable for very light use. There are lots of restrictions on this service too and you won’t be able to use the free version for streaming content.
If you opt for the Yearly Plan then you will be paying $49 per year which is $4.08 per month, whereas the Monthly Plan costs $9.00 a month but can be canceled after a month – a tempting choice for subscription commitment-phobes.
There are several other options too. Build a Plan is an interesting concept as you can literally build your own plan to tailor your exact needs. Students are offered an impressive 40% off a yearly subscription and there are other products too such as Static IP Addresses and Team Accounts for groups of more than one.
Winscribe has really improved its customer support and now features a variety of options where you can post your query. There is a large self-help page which contains a comprehensive Set Up Guide section with instructional videos, step-by-step written guide, and screen-shots to help visual learners.
There’s also a large FAQ section which answers your most commonly asked questions – unfortunately, there isn’t a search section here which could really be useful as you have to scroll through all the questions which is very frustrating.
The Knowledge Base section does have a search capacity, allowing you to search through articles that may be relevant to your search query. If your question still hasn’t been answered then there’s a Technical Support section with a Subreddit page, giving you the option to ask your peers for support. You can also submit a ticket and wait in line or ask Garry the in-house robot who will respond with hilarious answers as well as useful responses too!
Windscribe really stands out as a decent VPN and as a free service there is absolutely nothing to fault if you are using the service occasionally and not for streaming. If you are looking for a more comprehensive plan that has lots of additional features, allows you to stream from websites, has no data caps and is available in all countries, then you should upgrade to the paid version – the yearly subscription works out the best value for money too at around half the price of the monthly fee.
Windscribe boasts some pretty impressive features. We like that it has a large network across 60 different countries and 110 different cities and we feel safe in the knowledge that they take privacy seriously and don’t store identifying logs. Ads and trackers are blocked by Windscribe which speeds up your browsing and whilst this isn’t the fastest VPN provider on the market, it does provide absolutely adequate speeds for most users.
With strong encryption and a desktop firewall, you will get a secure connection for a reasonable fee. We felt the VPN offered competitive pricing and we liked the fact that they offered a 40% discount for students who are likely to be heavy internet users. We recommend trying the free version and upgrading if you feel you’ll get more use from the service – you’ve nothing to lose.
If you’re having trouble with the Windscribe VPN app their customer support isn’t the best, with no live support options to speak of. The website pushes you towards their FAQs and guides, while you’ll have to wait for a couple of hours for a response to your query.
Given the large number of free users it makes sense that they’re unable to provide a live chat feature, but it’s still frustrating if you’re made to wait. Regardless, their guides are informative and should be helpful for most common issues.
For a decent, free VPN you can’t go wrong with Windscribe. The unpaid version might be there to draw you in, but it’s a great advertisement for a superb premium service. (It’s also recommended if you only want a VPN for light use.)