These days, with most businesses and people being online, our possibilities are almost endless. You can establish contact with a person from the other side of the world within seconds, order pretty much anything online and have it delivered to your home address, and even get a job without ever leaving your apartment.
However, all these benefits, as well as many others on top of them, come at a price. And that price goes well beyond your internet subscription. To do everything that you can do, you often have to sacrifice your privacy and security. With all its benefits, the internet continues to be a very dangerous, and sometimes restrictive, place. Hackers, viruses, malware, and online surveillance are only a fraction of all the issues.
Our governments are also forcing censorship and geo-restrictions on content that should be free and available to everyone. As a result, demand for security and privacy tools skyrocketed and VPNs emerged. First in dozens, then hundreds, these technologies are competing with each other, all claiming to provide the best available service.
If you are interested in getting a VPN, you might find it difficult to figure out which ones to trust and use, especially if you do not know what to look for. This is why we have decided to do the research for you, and see if these services truly deliver on their promises. Today, we will take a look at Windscribe, which works as both a free and premium VPN.
- Security protocols: Windscribe uses a number of security protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, and SOCKS5.
- Encryption: It also uses 256-bit AES encryption with SHA512 auth and 4096-bit RSA key to make your online traffic safe.
- Server network: The company has servers in over 60 countries, which is more than a decent size.
- Unblocks Netflix: It also has special servers for Netflix that can unlock the US library from anywhere in the world. However, it does not work with other streaming services, and even for this, you need a premium version.
- Excellent speeds: Windscribe local speeds are excellent, barely touching your original internet speed. As with all other VPNs, if you connect to a distant server, your internet speed will decrease.
- Good for torrenting: The service supports torrenting and other forms of P2P file sharing. Although it is best you use it on local servers where you can achieve the fastest speeds.
- Good privacy features: The provider keeps zero logs, and it doesn’t even require you to provide an email when signing up. Also, you can even pay via Bitcoin, which increases your anonymity even further.
- Works in China: Windscribe is one of the VPNs that you can use to unblock foreign content in China, which is great for those who plan to travel to the country, as well as for locals.
- Works on numerous devices and systems: The brand has dedicated apps for all the most popular devices and platforms, and you can set one up manually to work with additional systems.
- Kill Switch: Windscribe has an automatic kill switch which you can enable in the settings. Doing so will allow the app to instantly cut off your internet connection if the VPN malfunctions to prevent exposure.
Apps & Interface
Windscribe provides dedicated apps for multiple devices and systems, as well as browser extensions for the most popular browsers. Among its apps, you will find one for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, as well as extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Furthermore, its software is also compatible with Blackberry, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, routers, and even Kodi.
The apps themselves are very easy to use and straightforward, with a very simple interface. Once you log into the app, it will display a server list, as well as a big On/Off button.
The app comes in different tones of blue, which is calming and relaxing, and it features multiple options in the settings. Establishing a connection is easy and fast, and the local servers barely have any impact on your speed.
Privacy & Security
When it comes to security, Windscribe offers excellent protection. It uses the strongest security protocols, including the industry’s top protocol, OpenVPN. In terms of encryption, the service also uses the strongest one available, 256-bit AES encryption.
It keeps no logs regarding your online actions, but it does keep some info regarding your connection. This includes the date and time when you used the service, as well as the amount of bandwidth that you used within 30 days. However, all of this data gets deleted after a 30-day period, which likely means that the service uses this information for better server optimization and to keep an eye on data flow and such.
However, you should note that the service is based in Canada, one of the original founders of the 5 Eyes surveillance alliance. This alliance expanded to 14 countries, and all of them can access to all the data in these jurisdictions. With that in mind, it is a good thing that Windscribe keeps no logs. And even though the service may have to surrender your data, it only reveals that you are a VPN user, nothing more.
Windscribe has a more than decent server network, with servers in over 60 countries and 110 cities around the world. Keep in mind, however, that its free version only allows you to connect to 10 servers. These include cities in the US, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and Romania.
But if you go for the premium version, you’ll have full access to all of them, including:
- Americas: Canada, the US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia
- Europe: The UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Romania, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Finland, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Moldova, Croatia, Greece, Estonia, Albania, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Ukraine, and Russia.
- Asia and the Pacific: Hong Kong, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand
- Africa: South Africa and Tunisia.
Installation & Setup
Installation and setup of Windscribe apps and extensions is a truly fast and simple process. As soon as you download and install the app, the setup guide will help you configure it in any way you wish. Moreover, it allows you to select all the details yourself, for those who want to have their VPN “just right.”
All in all, it will take just a few minutes. And if you have specific requirements, you can apply them during installation and setup.
Prices & Payment Options
As for prices, obviously, the free VPN plan comes at zero cost. However, It will limit you to only 10GB per month, and access to just 10 countries. Nonetheless, you can choose to upgrade to a premium version at any time, and the prices are pretty affordable, too. They are as follows:
- Monthly plan for $9 per month
- Yearly plan which for $49, or $4.08 per month (save 55%)
Another very interesting and unique thing about Windscribe is that it actually lets you build your own plan. This is a relatively new feature, but it will let you pick the locations you wish to have access to, and it will bill you $1 per location per month. So, if you only wish access to the US, you only pay $1 per month. Alternatively, you can access 30 countries, but that would cost you $30 per month. In that case, it is easier to purchase a regular monthly or yearly plan simply.
You can pay for any package via Bitcoin (BTC), PayPal, credit card, or Paymentwall. However, the money-back guarantee, while present, only lasts for 3 days, which is way shorter than the average 30-day guarantee.
Help & Support
Finally, there is the matter of help and customer support. The first thing to note is that the Windscribe website contains tons of useful guides, FAQs, setup tutorials, and more. If you have any questions, that should be the first place you look.
But if you don’t find a solution to your problem, you can always submit a ticket or contact the custom-built chatbot, Garry. When tested, Garry replied instantly with quite a helpful response. On the other hand, customer support tends to reply within 24 hours, but it will likely provide you with better, fresh information. In conclusion, Garry will be faster to respond, but you should always double-check with the support team, just in case.
- Excellent speeds
- Top security
- Large server network
- Keeps no logs
- Friendly and helpful customer support
- Good prices
- Custom-built plan
- Easy to install and use
- Has a free version
- Has an instantly-responding chatbot
- Rich with guides, setup tutorials, FAQs
- Apps for all major platforms
- Unblocks US Netflix
- The money-back guarantee only lasts for 3 days
- The chatbot can deliver outdated info
- 5/9/14 Eyes surveillance alliance jurisdiction
- Does not work with streaming services other than Netflix
Other VPN Providers
If you’re still not too sure about Goose VPN, the list below features some of the highest-ranked brands in the industry:
Finally, should you consider using this VPN? We believe so. The free version is limiting, yes, but the premium one offers quite decent prices. And if you have a specific goal in mind, like watching US Netflix only, you can do so for only $1 a month thanks to the customer plan.
Windscribe offers good protection, and it keeps no logs regarding your activities. It does keep some information, but that only shows your service consumption rate, and even that data is deleted after 30 days. In the worst case scenario, someone will be able to prove that you are a VPN user, but nothing more.
You can also use it for torrenting, and its customer support chatbot is fast. Although, you should always double-check the information it delivers, or go for the support team directly. The app itself is easy to install and simple to use, and you can use it on various devices, systems, and even browsers. The server network is not the biggest one out there, but it is big enough. It covers over 60 countries, including all the most popular locations on all continents, apart from Antarctica. It is a good VPN which does not receive nearly as much attention as it deserves, even though it is based in Canada.
In this review, we took a look at Windscribe VPN service, in an attempt to decide whether or not it is a good quality service. What we found is that it meets all the requirements of most VPN users, and while it has a few flaws, you should definitely give it a chance.