Windscribe Test (2022)

Windscribe VPN

5,75 u
7.9

Speed

8.0/10

Privacy

8.1/10

Features

7.5/10

Support

6.9/10

Price

8.9/10

Positiv

  • Use Windscribe VPN service for free with browser extensions up to 10GB per month
  • Tariff for Pro Tariff beginners: 1 location for only $1 per month
  • Dedicated static IP addresses can be booked as an option.
  • Inexpensive Pro tariff to use all servers at full speed

Negativ

  • Server locations differ in the achievable speed

Windscribe VPN Review 2022: FREE and how secure is the service?

Windscribe VPN is a free VPN service from Canada that offers ad blockers and also secure email addresses/mailboxes. The services are limited in the free version, however, due to the 10GB data limit per month. The Pro tariff, on the other hand, which at $49/year also appears to be very inexpensive, offers a wide range of options. Reason enough for us to take a “critical” look at the VPN service.

There have been ongoing changes to the Windscribe VPN website over the past year, including changes to the terms and conditions. We have therefore subjected the VPN service to further VPN tests a few times and brought our test report up to date.

Of course, significant changes to the contents of the terms and conditions of VPN services are not generally good signs and it is important to take a close look. Even more so, since basic contents cannot change overnight. What do you do as an existing customer of VPN services if the expected services also change as a result?

Our opinion about Windscrbe VPN

Windscrbe VPN is a popular and often-used VPN service from Canada due to its free tariff. More than 20 million active users testify to the wide distribution that this VPN provider has already achieved. But even with the paid tariffs, the service offers many things that are rarely found with other services. The service is suitable for streaming USA/GB content. Price-wise, it is well-priced with simple and appealing applications.

Windscribe is easy to use and suitable for many users. Casual users additionally benefit from the free tariff but also demanding downloaders appreciate the service!

Information about Windscribe VPN Trust-Level

The VPN provider Windscribe VPN has refused to answer our questions about the background of the company and has not allowed us to verify the information provided by the VPN service itself. Therefore, we currently do not have a special “relationship of trust” with the provider. We attach great importance to transparency and would therefore like to state that we have compiled the information in the Windscribe test report based on our own research and published it here, even if in some cases the published information of the provider itself differs.

Product nameWindscribe VPN
Recommended areas of applicationBypass locksVPN routerAvoid warningsStreaming (Copyright)File sharing/TorrentsSecure data transmissionFirewall & Protection

Background & Company: Windscribe

Windscribe Limited is a Canadian-based company that provides the VPN service “Windscribe”. The company was only founded in 2016 and has spread quickly, especially with intensive social media campaigns and a free tariff with which one receives additional free data volume through recommendations. According to Windscribe, more than 20 million users currently use the service. However, it is not known how many of them also use a paid tariff.

Is Windscrbe reputable?

The VPN provider Windscribe VPN offers 45 different locations to choose from. As with other services, these are spread across the globe and should be sufficient for most users. However, the “free tariff” in particular lacks the better encryption method “OpenVPN” so data connections are no longer 100% secure during transmissions.

The premium tariff offers various advertising filters, additional servers that promise faster speeds and the use of all available applications and protocols.

Operating siteCanada
Clearing location
Local legislation has an impact on customer protection
Server locations61
No log files
Own DNS Server
Virtual server
Dedicated server
RAM-Disk Server
Hardware owner
IP addresses owner

How much does Windscribe cost?

Windscribe VPN free server locations
Windscribe VPN free server locations

Using Windscribe VPN free of charge

While Windscrbe could be used free of charge for a while with a limited monthly data volume, this option has now been limited to the web browser extension. It is therefore no longer possible for new users to use the service free of charge as a VPN service, even if this option remains available via the browser extensions. Use is then limited to 10 different locations and the servers you choose are shared with thousands of other VPN users using this free plan option.

Create a free Windscribe VPN account without a credit card

The free account at Windscribe VPN can be created by simply providing an email address. No payment details are required. To this e-mail address, you will usually receive a regular message informing you about the current usage of the included data volume. In our test, however, we only received one e-mail per month.

  • the United States
  • Canada
  • the United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

In addition to the Premium Tariff there are:

  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Poland
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Finland
  • Bulgaria
  • Belgium
  • Latvia
  • Moldova
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ukraine
  • India
  • Russia
  • Turkey
  • Vietnam
  • Egypt
  • Azerbaijan
  • Israel
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates

Tariff & Prices

There is now actually a 1 monthly tariff which can be used via a monthly payment of $9 or an annual payment of $69. This allows all available servers to be used on up to 6 devices at the same time. However, services such as “static IP addresses” are not included and must be purchased separately.

1 location $1 per month

A special feature is that you can also book just one VPN location for $1 per month. For users who want to use the VPN at full speed only via one location, they can use the premium server for little money.

Costs / Tariffs
Free use
Tariff (1 Month )9 USD
Tariff (12 Months )69 USD (per month 5.75 USD)
Number of simultaneous connections per account1
Test optionsFree tariff availableMoney-back guarantee

Windscribe free

Windscribe Tariff Comparison
Windscribe Tariff Comparison

Payment options

Of course, the free tariff does not require any payment methods, only an email address is required.

With the premium rates, you can pay in many different ways: PayPal, credit cards, Bitcoin, instant transfer (Paymentwall), etc. are available.

A particularly critical aspect is that, according to Canadian law, your credit card data must remain stored with the provider. This means that you have already de facto fully authenticated yourself with every purchase.


Speed – Windscribe VPN

The Windscribe servers are all rented and their IP addresses are also in the name of the hosting company, which is what many VPN services do. However, in our tests of the speed over the last three years, we have noticed noticeable speed improvements. Apparently, as revenues increase, investments are also made in the speed of the sites. However, there are clear differences when using different protocols. For example, IKEv2 as a VPN protocol is significantly faster at Windscrbe than “OpenVPN”. This fact leads to the conclusion that resource-intensive protocols quickly push the rather too-small servers to their limits.

However, this is a circumstance that does not have the same negative effect in all locations. In the free version of WindscribeVPN, this can be experienced even more clearly; at off-peak times, the surfing speed is significantly reduced. In terms of speed, the Pro version is therefore clearly superior to the free tariff.

In direct comparison with other VPN services such as OVPN or NordVPN, the provider still has clear disadvantages in our tests, even though they use the same VPN protocols.

Speed comparison

Maximum speed tested
VPN service name

Windscribe VPN

NordVPN

Surfshark VPN

OVPN

Download75090 kbps361300 kbps431444 kbps879900 kbps
Upload81290 kbps335444 kbps410980 kbps898222 kbps
Jitter2 ms2 ms1 ms0 ms
Ping40 ms13 ms14 ms25 ms
Tested with OpenVPN (UDP) on16.10.202214.11.202218.11.202226.11.2022
Connection withinGermanyGermanyGermanyGermany
Maximum speed tested
Download
0
Kbps
Jitter
0
Ms
Ping
0
Ms
Upload
0
Kbps
Germany | 10.10.2022

Online privacy with Windscribe VPN

Anonymity and online privacy of users is of course central issue for many users when they purchase a VPN provider. Windscrbe offers adequate measures to protect the data of the users and, at the same time, to protect the identity of the customers in case of a request for information.

Can Windscrbe be trusted?

This starts with the fact that the VPN service, according to its own statements, does not log any activities (log files). Whether this also means in practice that the service does not record any login and logout times are uncertain. 

Streaming and torrent users will therefore like to use the service, but in the free version the available data volume as well as the speed is not suitable for this.

Anonymous on the Internet
Changed virtual location
Protection against requests for information
Prevent general monitoring
Prevent targeted surveillance
No log files
Obfusication (masking)

Streaming with Windscribe

Foreign TV and streaming services can be used without any problems. So if you want to use Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer or other portals from the USA, Canada or Great Britain, you will have no problems.

Streaming of TV and video content
Use on home router
Use with KODI
SmartDNS
FireTV App
Avoid warnings
Supported international streaming platformsDisney+ (US)Hulu (US)Amazon Prime Video (US)Netflix (US)Apple TV (US)Watch ESPN (US)Channel 4 (US)NFL Gamepass (US)MLB.tv (US)abc (US)CBS (US)FOX (US)NBC (US)Showtime (US)FLIX (US)epix (US)HBO Now (US)Eurosport (UK)Sky News (UK)Bloomberg (UK)BT Sport (UK)Channel 4 (UK)YouTubeSpotifystarz (US)hustlerTV (US)PenthouseTV (US)PlayboyTV (US)

Download & Torrent with Windscribe VPN

On the one hand, the service offers the possibility to secure the connections with the built-in kill switch and thus prevent unintentional disclosure of one’s own IP address. In the premium tariffs, however, sufficient and faster servers are also made available, which also enable really good use of these download services on the internet. The service itself does not hold back torrent users and supports their activities.

Due to the limitation of the data volume, premium tariffs are much better suited for this. However, the service does not have to shy away from comparison with other VPN services in this area.

Download and torrent
Torrent use allowed
Own Torrent Server
Avoid warnings
Port forwarding

VPN Router with Windscribe

The service offers no real support for VPN routers and also has no load-balancing function available. There are instructions on the internet that show how to make the service run on routers, but these were not stable in our tests.

Operation on VPN client router
Use on routers
Load Balancing
Failure-free operation
Own router application
Compatible withASUSGl-iNetDD-WRTTomatoVilfo Router

A large selection of routers is possible

However, Windscrbe can be used on many home routers, including ASUS routers, Gl-iNet routers with OpenWRT, DD-WRT routers and any device that can use an OpenVPN client.

Tip: Here you can find suitable VPN client routers that can be connected directly to Windscribe in your home network: VPN Client Router.

The only router that already has Windscrbe built in and thus also offers perfect support is the VILFO router. This is not quite cheap but a really good device.

Applications & Apps from Windscribe VPN

In addition to the usual apps for Windows, macOS, Android and Apple iOS, Windscrbe VPN also offers browser extensions. This allows the service to be connected directly to the browser via a VPN tunnel. However, this only applies to the data that is sent or received via this browser. Therefore, we normally recommend using the normal VPN apps, which use OpenVPN or Wireguard as VPN protocol and can thus protect all data of the device.

How do I use Windscribe?

Simplicity in everyday life

Windscrbe applications are available for many different operating systems and browsers and all have one thing in common: they reduce themselves to the essentials and therefore offer the user the simplest handling. This is also the greatest strength of these VPN applications, which are quick and easy to use for everyone. The selection of server locations is certainly sufficient for most users, after all, if it’s just a matter of online privacy, you should use the closest VPN server location, exotic locations are of little help.

Available protocolsOpenVPN (UDP)OpenVPN (TCP)SSL/ProxyIKEv2SOCKS5SSTP
Own applications/appsChrome extensionOpenWRTASUSWRTOpenVPN UDPWindowsMac OSXApple iOSAndroidFirefox extensionLinuxTomatoDD-WRT
KillSwitch function
Applications languageEnglishGermanSpanishRussianFrenchSwedish

Online games with Windscribe VPN

For online gamers, some points are important that Windscribe could not fulfil, at least in our test. The latency and ping times are significantly higher than those of direct connections and can therefore also lead to problems. In addition, the use of gaming consoles is not provided for. Even if the VPN speeds were sufficient, this can therefore lead to significant disruptions in the gaming experience via VPN when playing online games.

Nevertheless, the compatibility with VPN routers is often an advantage here, which led some of our readers to use the service for online games and they reported good to very good results with it. However, real online gamers will also look for alternatives anyway and may prefer a VPN service with DDoS protection.

Online Gaming
Low latency
Use on game consoles
DDoS protection

Travelling with Windscrbe VPN Apps

When you are travelling, a VPN is of course a particularly useful thing. Windscribe apps are simple and structured and consume very little energy compared to other VPN apps, which saves the battery life of mobile devices. Where the service has problems, however, is when used in hotel networks or restrictive networks such as those that are part of everyday life in China, Turkey or even Saudi Arabia.

For occasional users, on the other hand, it is a good idea to have Windscribe already installed just in case and to use the free tariff, because those who do not regularly use the service will easily be able to get through their holidays with the 10 GB data volume offered.

VPN for travel and abroad
Use in restrictive networks (China, hotels)
Obfusication (masking)
Protection in insecure wifi networks
Shadowsocks or SOCKS5

Customer support of Windscribe VPN

Customer satisfaction is always made up of different experiences. Of course, free Windscribe users have fewer demands and expectations than premium customers. In addition, the provider hardly offers direct contact to the service team. Test queries were answered quite quickly, but without going into detail about our questions, which led us to the customer service area, where many instructions and explanations are available.

Customer service
Applications languageEnglishGermanSpanishRussianFrenchSwedish
Customer serviceFAQ websiteE-mail
Language in customer serviceEnglish

Windscribe VPN feature overview

Using a static IP with Windscribe

The service also offers the possibility of booking a static IP address on all devices that can be used with it. This has the advantage that these devices can then be reached directly. Even residential IP addresses (i.e. IP addresses that are assigned to private Internet access) are available. The costs are $24 per year for IP addresses registered on servers and $96 per year for IP addresses registered for internet access. In addition, the cheapest access to a single VPN server is $12 per year.

With this, you can use your static IP address for only $36 per year, and thus also access devices in your home network via it!

Windscribe also offers optional NON-Residential IP addresses

These types of IP addresses have been assigned by the IP Commission for use on servers.

Websites and platforms can also recognise that the user is using a proxy or VPN service. Some platforms such as Netflix or DAZN block VPN users to prevent the circumvention of geographical blocks.

Special functions
IPv4
IPv6 (new)
Static IP
Shared IP
Multi-hop VPN
NeuroRouting
Malware filter
Firewall
Tracking Blocker
Obfuscation (mask)
RAM disk (k.HDD)
AlwaysOn Server
Own DNS
Port forwarding
VPN-to-TOR
No log files
Autom. IP change
LoadBalancing
Virtual server
Dedicated server
Own hardware
Own IP addresses
SmartDNS
Own Torrent Server
KillSwitch

Static IP address of Windscribe

Vorteile mit einer statischen IP-Adresse

  • A fixed IP address can be used to always use the same IP to access the Internet and thus, for example, to comply with security rules when accessing databases.
  • Another possibility is to make your device directly accessible from the Internet by port forwarding. This can be advantageous if you want to access certain devices in your network while on the road and cannot use a static IP through the Internet provider or if the provider does not forward ports to your connection from outside. This affects a large number of users of different Internet providers today.
  • Mobile devices & static devices using the same IP address can be advantageous if you set the use of a single IP address as a requirement due to security rules for accessing databases or cloud storage. This increases the security threshold for users when accessing sensitive data, as they must have access to the VPN service.

Static IP addresses can be ordered directly from the Windscribe customer area!

Static IP addresses are available for a fee
Static IP addresses are available for a fee

Pricing using the example of a static IP address:

Anyone who wants to use a static IP address with it, therefore, pays 1 location $12 per year + 1x NON-Residential IP address $24 per year. In total only $36 per year.

Who is R.O.B.E.R.T?

The built-in “Malware and Proxy Filter” from Windscribe.

The premium versions include various types of filtering that are intended to help prevent unwanted content from reaching the user’s device in the first place. ROBERT is used, as a self-developed system, which routes the user’s data via a proxy service and there searches and filters it according to known dangers or content (advertising).

Filters can be used according to different rules:

  1. Malware
  2. Advertising & trackers
  3. Social networks (Facebook & Co)
  4. Erotic sites & content
  5. Games and betting sites
  6. Fake News Filter
  7. Other VPN Services
  8. Cryptocurrencies (suspected malware)

You can also manually create your own rules that are applied to all units that are already connected. However, it is not possible to activate rules for individual units only. They generally apply to all units or none.

The significant thing about this filter is that it can be specifically switched on and off and can be adapted to the needs of the user.  All in all, this results in one of the best filter services integrated by VPN services that we have seen so far.

Content filtering via the Windscribe VPN servers
Content filtering via the Windscribe VPN servers

FAQ about Windscribe VPN

Our review of Windscribe VPN

Free to use in the browser

You can still use Windscribe VPN free of charge via the browser applications. However, it must be said that this does not provide 100% protection, as only the data that is transmitted directly via the browser is sent and received via it. In addition, the data is exchanged with the internet via “proxy servers”, which also harbours dangers in that the proxy services can view, manipulate and also store all the data running over it, even if it is encrypted.

To maintain the complete integrity of one’s data, we therefore always advise against using third-party proxy servers. The free offer is therefore rather useless for users who attach importance to this. In addition, users of this service are regularly and frequently contacted with e-mails. It is therefore worth using a pure spam email address for registration.

Data integrity can be compromised, so no free pass for anything!

But if you think you are anonymous, you should consider that your IP address is also known to the servers when you use the free service. Together with the time of use and the activities, a user can therefore be identified relatively easily or his real identity can be investigated. So the free Windscribe tariff should not be understood as a free pass for everything on the internet.

Important information about identity protection

Many readers ask me whether you can also use Windscribe to use torrent or streaming services, for example.

The problem with this is that Windscribe stores your data (i.e. the real IP address) and could pass it on in the case of legally impeccable enquiries from authorities or also because of copyright matters or other legally stipulated investigations. This is provided for in Canadian law, as it is in Germany. In this respect, you should know that your own identity will not remain protected. The provider’s terms and conditions also state that copyright-related activities by users are not permitted.

A free service? Or is your data actually worth the money? – Windscribe VPN

The danger is that the users give your data to the operator, let’s say, completely voluntarily. Every page you open, every email you send and also who you send it to, etc. It is undoubtedly not recommended to gather all your data (surfing behaviour, e-mail + data control (malware protection) with one provider.

Never give all your data (emails, activities, content) to one provider. Even if it seems trustworthy or even practical, we advise against it, because then you are too dependent. In addition, Canada has not provided any special data protection for foreigners. You also can’t object or complain about the use of your data!

Windscribe is probably also a thorn in the side of many data protectionists because of its too-obvious advertising promises and the free tariff. Contradictory statements on data storage (We do not store any of your data, but we limit your access to 10GB per month – both together are technically impossible, even for the layman) and full-bodied promises on the website are intended to convince new customers of the service. Whoever uses the service, that may be the calculation behind it, no longer questions what happens to their data.

In an earlier version of the provider’s GTC, data transfer to partner companies was mentioned! Possibly due to many enquiries about this, these unclear regulations and formulations have been removed, but they have not been explicitly excluded.

The use of proxies to filter user data is therefore controversial and or excluded by many VPN services. Many, such as Perfect-Privacy VPN, argue that they could be forced to access the users’ data. This can therefore only be ruled out if this type of data filtering has not been implemented at all. The other way of filtering data could also be done without a proxy, but it would be technically much more complex, which is probably why Windscribe decided to take the simpler route via proxies.

In the end, however, the users also benefit from this, as the price of the service can be kept within a really attractive range and one can use these functions free of charge, so to speak.

Whether you trust the service in these circumstances or not is ultimately up to you. However, we generally advise against using these functions when it comes to confidential data.

Alternatives to Windscribe

OVPN

OVPN Logo Trust-Level
OVPN Logo Trust-Level

The provider from Sweden also has a very good price and even offers somewhat faster connections. OVPN can also be used with Wireguard on VPN routers.

The disadvantages compared to Surfshark are:

  • No GPS Spoofing
  • A limited number of simultaneously connected devices

Test     Details

NordVPN

NordVPN Logo Trust-Level
NordVPN Logo Trust-Level

The provider, which also has offices at the same location in Lithuania, is the best-known VPN service on the market. NordVPN also offers some extra features, but they are not included and cost extra.

The disadvantages compared to Surfshark are:

  • Higher price
  • A limited number of simultaneously connected devices
  • No GPS Spoofing

Test     Details

hide.me VPN

Hide.me VPN Logo Trust-Level
Hide.me VPN Logo Trust-Level

The provider with “German founders” also offers quite good support for streaming abroad in addition to simple applications. There are no major advantages compared to Surfshark.

The disadvantages compared to Surfshark are:

  • Higher price
  • A limited number of simultaneously connected devices
  • No GPS Spoofing

Test     Details


Erstellt am: 20. October 2022

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