Windscribe review

Last updated on 16/09/2019 by Melvyn and co.

Snapshot

Windscribe, our number 1 recommended free VPN, offers a superb all-round setup. It’s pretty fast, keeps no data logs, comes with robust security features equal to its premium service, and users can access a range of worldwide server and city locations. With its very generous 10GB per month data allowance, it’s ahead of most of the free competition, and is perfect for everyday usage and even torrenting.

Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)
Rating

Our score:

4.6

4.6/5
Pricing

Price from:

$0.00

per month

Pros
  • 10GB per month data allowance
  • Pretty fast speeds of up to 31Mbps in testing
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • A worldwide, city level, server choice
  • Strong VPN protocols
  • No usage logs
  • Torrenting permitted on servers
  • No card or payment details required to sign up
Cons
  • Speeds not quite as fast as rivals
  • Data usage is capped so heavy users can run out
  • Free version won’t unblock Netflix & BBC iPlayer

Introduction

Windscribe’s free VPN is certainly hard to beat when compared with its rivals. A combination of solid performance, top level privacy and robust security features make it our number one free VPN recommendation. Users receive a very generous 10GB data allowance per month which also really puts it ahead of some of its rivals.

Security is delivered via military grade AES-256 encryption, equal to that found on their paid for service, so you can be fully reassured that your IP address and online activities are truly hidden even with their free offering. DNS leak protection and the must have VPN kill switch are also built in so they’ve got you well and truly covered.

When it comes to server choice, they have a wide range which users can filter by both country and city level. That may seem as standard for our experienced readers but many free VPNs do not allow city level filtering, simply due to their lack of servers, compared with the many on offer by Windscribe.

Unblocking geo-restricted content and bypassing government censorship can easily be achieved with Windscribe’s free service, and those looking to try out P2P file sharing, the good news is that’s it 100% permitted on their servers! Again, something not always offered elsewhere with free offerings.

User-friendly and well-engineered applications will suit pretty much any user ability looking to protect their online privacy. It’s the perfect free VPN for the casual user or for those wanting to test out before committing to a paid service.

Pricing

It’s totally free and doesn’t cost a thing! No catches or cons. You don’t even have to add any payment or card details on sign-up either which we’re a big fan of!

We’ve shown pricing for their paid plans below just in case you were undecided or curious about how much their paid services would cost, and for payment, Windscribe accept all major credit and debit cards (including American Express), as well as PayPal and Bitcoin.

Free plan

$ 0
00
per month
  • Billed $0.00 every month
FREE

1 month plan

$ 9
00
per month
  • Billed $9.00 every month

1 year plan

$ 4
08
per month
  • Billed $49.00 every year
SAVE 55%

Features

Windscribe’s free VPN opens up 22 city level servers located in 10 countries across the globe (including the USA, Canada UK, Europe and Asia). With 10GB of free data allowance per month included combined with the great quantity of server choice, this is an outstanding offering for a free service!

A suite of the best VPN protocols paired with unbreakable AES-256 encryption and no data logs ensures free users are just as well protected as those paying for Windscribe making it one of the best free VPN’s for privacy. They also offer some advanced features such as DNS leak blocking and the must have VPN kill switch.

Unblocking geo-restricted content and bypassing government censorship can easily be achieved with Windscribe’s free service, and those looking to try out P2P file sharing, the good news is that’s it 100% permitted on their servers! Again, something not always offered elsewhere with free offerings.

Platforms and devices

Windscribe’s free VPN allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices per account and will work on all the major platforms and operating systems. It can be downloaded on both mobile and desktop operating system including MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Roku and games consoles. You can also connect via your router if you wish to protect your entire wi-fi network, but this option will clearly eat through your data allowance far quicker!

Streaming

Windscribe is hit and miss when it comes to streaming and that’s generally the case with all free VPN services. Whilst it has no problem unblocking lots of geo-restricted content, speciality servers built for streaming known as ‘Windflix’ are rightly left reserved for premium members and thus meaning the free version wont reliably unblock the likes of US Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Disappointing we know… but you can understand why they hold some features back for paid users.

If you’re shopping for a VPN mainly for streaming, we recommend you either purchase a full plan from Windscribe where you can effortlessly stream HD content from Netflix, Hulu and other popular sites, or take a look at some of our other recommended providers and try one of those. It’s also worth visiting our best VPN for Netflix page here which lists the most popular VPNs for streaming.

Torrenting​

Windscribe’s free VPN permits P2P file sharing which is almost unheard of from a free VPN! Whilst torrenting, it’s crucial to have high levels of security protection and we are pleased that Windscribe have our users covered in this regard. The only limiting factor will be how quickly you burn through that 10GB per month data allowance so a premium VPN listed on our top 5 VPNs for torrenting page found here may be a better option for heavy torrenters.

Speed

Windscribe’s free service produced some really good speeds with up to 31Mbps achieved during our testing on local servers. It’s worth noting that this was a dramatic decrease of 60% from our daily max speed test without the VPN turned on which is a pretty dramatic decrease. Despite this, these speeds are more than acceptable to handle internet browsing, streaming HD content and even torrenting (maybe the more patient torrenters!).

Connecting further afield, speeds did reduce. For example, connecting to Hong Kong which is the other side of the world from our UK offices, we struggled to get into double figures. If you need a super fast VPN with long distance connection, a premium VPN would certainly be a much better choice.

Security

Windscribe’s free VPN reassuringly offers the exact same security and privacy features found on its premium service. Your IP address is encrypted and disguised by military grade AES-256 encryption and the same choice of VPN protocols can be chosen. These includes our favoured Open VPN (TCP/UDP) and IKEv2/IPSec. Additionally we detected no DNS leaks during our testing and pleasingly they also support TCP Port 443. The built in VPN kill switch also acts as an essential fail safe to keep your true IP address hidden in the event your VPN loses connection.

It’s worth noting that if security is your number one concern, their paid plans are exceptionally secure and well worth the money in our eyes.

Applications

The Windscribe applications can be downloaded on pretty much any device are very user-friendly and pleasing to use. They are simple for beginners and rich in features for users wishing to play around and explore more settings. Server lists are clearly displayed and filter down to city level which is a great feature for a free VPN service. Alternatively, if you’re after quick and easy protection, Windscribe have your back. You can simply click the ‘best location’ button and you will instantly be connected to your nearest and fastest server.

Customer service

Windscribe offer a number of support options including a decent online resource in their support section containing setup guidance, FAQ’s and a large knowledge base. Unfortunately there is no live chat function at present, and instead, replaced by a chat box called Garry who can supposedly answer an array of questions. Alternatively you can speak to a human via email where you will receive a prompt and helpful response.

During testing, we did receive pretty good email support answered in a timely manner, but we do feel they need to add live chat going forward as it’s such a key factor in instant customer support.

Log policy

Windscribe doesn’t log any user data or anything that could be traced back to any individual making them a decent no logs VPN provider. The only data they do log is the ‘amount of bandwidth used in a 30-day period’.

They have zero obligations to store any data and should any authority make a request, we are 100% confident that Windscribe do not have any data to share. You’re firmly under the radar with them!

Jurisdiction

Operating from Canada, it’s not the most ideal VPN location. Canada is subject to invasive privacy laws and data sharing schemes with the likes of the USA. However, given they don’t log user activity, we aren’t too concerned by this as even if a third-party law enforcement agency requested it, there isn’t any usable data to be handed over.

The verdict

The team here at CompareMyVPN HQ believe Windscribe offer the best free VPN service currently available on the market. It’s a solid performer when it comes to speed and gives one of the best offerings of server choice seen with any free provider. It’s super secure and strongly centred on user privacy which is extremely important with any VPN. Whilst it’s not perfect (it doesn’t score highly for streaming), the fact that it does most things exceptionally well and even allows torrenting… it’s a pretty good freebie!

A generous 10GB data allowance will suit the vast majority of users as long as streaming and torrenting isn’t your main driver for using a VPN. Advanced features and feature rich applications mean using Windscribe is an enjoyable and stress-free experience. Unlike some free VPNs, there aren’t any nasty catches either such as data logging or annoying 3rd party ads.

Taking everything into account, Melvyn and the team at comparemyvpn.com rate Windscribe as the number one free service currently available and we are more than happy to recommend them to our readers. As always, we would say if you can afford a couple of $’s a month, it would be worth moving to a paid product, but if you’re a casual user or testing the VPN waters, you can’t go too far wrong with the free Windscribe service.

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