Windscribe VPNs Logging Policy
The best VPN protocols and encryption in the world dont mean anything if your VPN is keeping logs regarding your activities and identity. Some shady VPNs sell this info to advertising and marketing firms. Others keep it so that they can market to you. These logs also may be used by government authorities in a criminal investigation.
The good news is that Windscribe says that they do not keep any logs regarding their customers. They may track how much bandwidth you have used, particularly if you are on the free plan, which only receives a pre-defined amount of data each month. As for other records, they only store these for about three minutes.
The upshot is that you dont have to worry about logs being maintained regarding your online activities. Also, Windscribe isnt holding a bunch of your personal information on a server where it might get hacked.
What Are The Benefits/advantages Of Using A VPN
Final Verdict Great For Streaming But It Has Some Flaws
Windscribe is a decent choice, although its a little slow, and there are some issues with privacy and customer support. It offers a wide range of security features, plenty of servers to choose from, a strong free option, and consistent unblocking abilities. I was also impressed with its short-distance speeds and ability to torrent on most servers. It also works in restrictive countries such as China, which is rare.
Unfortunately, it does have its downsides. Long-distance servers provide poor speeds, and I was never able to stream games, even with nearby servers. Plus its worrying that its had servers seized in Ukraine and its customer support system is lacking.
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How Fast Is Windscribe
Until recently, Windscribe appeared to be a solid choice for VPN security with industry-standard AES-256 encyrption, well-tested protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, and most importantly no evidence of any security faults occurring in the companys past.
However, in June & July 2021 it suffered a potential security breach. The vulnerability has since been resolved, but could have allowed some users traffic to be monitored.
How We Rate Our VPNs
- User Score
To figure out which VPNs are worth your money, we looked at what each VPN offers, starting with features.
When using a VPN, your priority should be security. That’s why we chose VPNs that have military-grade encryption, a range of protocols , DNS leak protection, and a kill-switch. We also looked at the number of servers and locations, and we tested each VPN for speed.
We then tested each VPN’s ease-of-use, from downloading and installing the software to connecting to the right server. Customer support is also a crucial aspect, so we examined each VPN’s availability, what forms of contact are available, and how efficient their support team is. We compared all of that to the price to see if it was worthwhile or not. Last but not least, we analyzed our users’ reviews, both the positive and the negative.
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Device Compatibility Works On All Popular Operating Systems
Windscribe apps can be installed on every major operating system. On desktops, you can install it on devices running Windows, Mac, and Linux. The Windows and Mac apps are nearly identical, except the Mac version is missing the Always On option. It works for Linux users on Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, and more. This is a command-line only app, so youll have to do everything with text.
Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android are nearly identical, so theyre easy to switch between
For phones, its available on iOS and Android. The iOS and Android apps are almost identical to the desktop versions. Both apps have the same user interface and share a similar menu structure. In terms of security features, theres support for IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN , network whitelisting, shortcuts for voice assistants, and split tunneling. Theres even a design feature that lets you pick a custom color scheme for the entire app.
The only difference is that the mobile apps cant change languages or access the WSTunnel protocol and proxy settings. The stealth feature isnt available for iOS . In addition, secure hotspot is only on the iOS version and not available for Android.
Windscribe has another service named ControlID that has real SmartDNS functionality. Its unfortunate that you need to pay for an entirely different service to access SmartDNS since so many top VPNs include it with a normal subscription.
Does Windscribe VPN Leak Data
In short, Windscribe VPN has no DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC leaks at all. To check, I ran some online tests, looking for any kind of leak my IP address showing, or signs of my computer using the ISP DNS to resolve the query.
The image above shows my test results where I connected to a Windscribe server in the UK and checked for DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. As you can see, I couldnt find any.
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How To Set Up Windscribe Utorrent
uTorrent is a program designed by BitTorrent in 2005. It uses P2P protocol to send and receive large files, including digital HD formats for movies and TV shows. To set up uTorrent while connected to Windscribe:
Robert: Windscribes Security Suite
Windscribe provides its own ad-tracker and malware blocker called R.O.B.E.R.T., which is integrated into its custom VPN apps. R.O.B.E.R.T. includes eight different blocklists, making it easy to customize your VPN profile to your needs.
R.O.B.E.R.T. is basically a DNS-level malware and ad blocker an increasingly common offering from VPN providers. If youre a fan of these things, Windscribe was one of the first to integrate such a service with its VPN.
Windscribes fake news filter
The system isnt without problems, though: the fake news blocklist includes a few well known parody sites like The Daily Mash, despite explicitly claiming not to block satire.
Theres more than a little irony in having a VPN service mistakenly block content.
You dont have to turn-on the fake news block, of course. Generally we have found the other R.O.B.E.R.T. filters to function as expected.
At the risk of sounding flippant, though, all this isnt really what VPN services are about. The functionality doesnt hurt, but it also really isnt necessary, and becomes little more than bloatware once turned off.
We generally recommend using established open-source add-ons to protect your browser from third party trackers and malware.
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Does Windscribe Work In China
I wasnt able to find the answer to that on Windscribes website, so I contacted its Support department and asked them. The answer I got was that Windscribe should work from anywhere.
My colleague, Paul Bischoff, produced an in-depth article in which he tests over 50 VPN providers to see if they work in China. Windscribe is on the list, and most servers were up and working from China. Good stuff. If connecting from China is important for you, I recommend reading his full article.
Is Windscribe Good For Torrenting/p2p
Most VPNs ban torrenting. Windscribe doesnt. However, not all its servers support torrenting. With their tutorials on how to configure torrent clients, you can configure it. Windscribe does not throttle torrent downloads, which is good news for torrenters.
Paid as well as free subscribers can use this VPN for torrent/p2p downloads and Windscribe is one of the few VPN services that allow free subscribers to torrent files.
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Free Plan With 10 Gb Data/month
The last pro we will examine in this review is Windscribes free plan. Windscribe offers a free plan with the following restrictions:
- Only 10 GB of data allowed per month
- The ROBERT feature only includes the Malware filter list
- Limited number of servers
On a positive note, Windscribe does give you a few different ways to increase your bandwidth allowance, including through promotional tweets and inviting friends.
While I generally do not recommend free VPN services, this may not be a bad option if you dont need very much data. This is arguably the best free VPN with a free plan at 10 GB, while most others have a smaller data limit.
Windscribe Subscription Plans And Pricing
Windscribes free plan isnt on their pricing table, but its worth checking out.
You may have noticed that the free plan I gushed about when I went hands-on and reviewed Windscribe has gone AWOL from their pricing table. Heres a bit of insider information: Windscribes default account is free. To start using it, just download the Windscribe app . Youll be prompted to sign up and log in. Once you do, you can keep using your free account until you hit your monthly data cap.
That free plan is definitely worth looking into, by the way. Unlike Hotspot Shields free plan, which throttles your speed to a measly 2 Mbps, Windscribes free plan is generous with unlimited speed and 2 GB of data per month .
FYI: While Hotspot Shields free plan isnt so hot, I tested their premium plan and enjoyed blazing-fast speeds. Read more about Hotspots options in our Hotspot Shield pricing guide.
Windscribe also offers an attractive à la carte plan . This isnt something Ive ever seen before, but if you dont need a huge server selection, you might consider it. Each location you add to your à la carte plan costs a buck per month and comes with 10 GB of data.
But heres the interesting part. For a flat $1 per month more, you can get unlimited data. So, hypothetically, for $2 you could have an incredibly powerful VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections and data, and all the malware protection you can use.
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Jurisdiction Is It Situated In A 5
The provider hails from Canada. Canada is not the best jurisdiction for a VPN as its part of the 5 Eyes Alliance.
During this review, I learned that Canada is a part of the 5 Eyes alliance. As you may be aware, Five Eyes are a group of countries that spy on their citizens and share their personal data. The VPN is within reach of powerful spy agencies of the UK and the US.
Hence, you will have to live with the reality that Windscribe might be forced to give away your personal information. It is a far-fetched possibility but a possibility nonetheless.
It is essential to know where your VPN provider headquarters is located. For example, If its located in the United States, where the government or any private sector organization can request your logs from the VPN provider, then it might be a good idea to say away from that provider. We dont leave our readers in the US alone as well. As long as they are protecting themselves with the VPN for the US, they should be excellent.
Note: We strongly recommend choosing a VPN in safer Jurisdiction to avoid data retention and privacy breach. ExpressVPN becomes the best choice as it has a 100% no-log policy.
Using Windscribe With Tor
If you are worried about your communication being surveilled by a government, employer or corporation, or you are looking to overcome censorship at any level , Tor can be a very useful tool.
How your data passes through the Tor network.
It works by routing your traffic through three random servers, giving you total anonymity even from the Tor network itself.
Windscribe doesnt have explicit Tor compatibility, but a basic Tor over VPN setup where you open the Tor browser on a computer is possible.
This comes with two benefits:
- Your ISP or network manager wont be able to see youre accessing the Tor network, potentially helping you get around any government, workplace or campus bans
- Were anything to go wrong with the Tor network, it would be Windscribes IP that would be exposed, not your own
But it also has some downsides namely that using Tor with a VPN is not as totally anonymous as using it alone.
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How Good Is Windscribe For Streaming
Many users want a Netflix VPN to access geo-specific content from the streaming site. Unfortunately, when it comes to US Netflix, Windscribe failed in our testing. This is a change from our last round of testing, and very likely because of Netflix’s VPN blocking tech upgrades. We’ve seen almost every VPN affected, but the very best have found at least half-decent workarounds by now.
To put Windscribe through its paces as a streaming VPN, we also attempted to view US YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video from a range of locations in the US and UK.
BBC iPlayer is a streaming service with very capable VPN blocking tech, but, Windscribe had no issues, getting us access every time we tried.
Rounding off the testing were Disney+ and Amazon Prime, and again Windscribe has no problems accessing either of these, giving it an impressive full house when it comes to unblocking content.
Be aware, however, that these are results when using the premium service ‘WindFlix’ servers aren’t available with free plans, and there are no guarantees any other servers will do the job.
Ip Dns & Webrtc Leak Tests
Why should you just trust that its safe? You shouldnt.
Weve put Windscribe through a leak test so you can see for yourself that it doesnt leak.
Browserleaks.com found Windscribe to be totally leak-free
This was the result when we connected to a US server from our office in London, UK. The DNS, WebRTC, and IP address all show up as being in Boston, US.
There is no way that this information could be used to detect we are based in the UK, let alone our actual IP address.
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Speeds Fast Local Connections But Slow Long
Windscribe has great speeds on local servers, but it slows down at long distances. Usually, the farther you are from a server, the slower your speeds will be since the data you are requesting takes longer to reach you. However, the drops in speed are much larger than normal with Windscribe. These tests were performed with the premium app on the free version, I didnt notice any difference in speeds. Every test was recorded on a Windows 10 laptop using the IKEv2 protocol.
Short-distance server speeds are impressive. First, I tested its Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova locations. Best Location is a convenient feature that connects the VPN to the server closest to you, which was Poland in my case. These servers are all less than 300km away from my location and each one gave me similar results. All together, I got an average speed of 62.10 Mbps, which is more than enough to stream 4K content. My average download rate without a VPN is 70.80 Mbps, so the VPN only dropped my speeds by a small amount.
I could perform any online activity comfortably with these speeds
Although some of the long-distance servers had alright speeds, some were unusable
I wondered what the speed difference would be between different protocols, so I tested them using the Singapore location.
WSTunnel never worked and repeatedly prompted an error screen
Should You Trust Windscribe VPN With Your Data
As we mentioned at the outset, Windscribe operates out of Canada.
As a result, they are subject to the Five Eyes online surveillance program. A number of reports have clearly shown that the CSIS has been secretly collecting online information from its citizens.
However, ISPs in Canada have little to no power keeping the logs on their users a secret. They must comply with anti-piracy legislation resulting from Bill C â 11.
Now, a VPN is not an ISP. If the government wanted information from a VPN company, they could not currently get it unless they passed a new law.
No Logging Policy
If a Canadian-based VPN keeps logs on their clients, then the Canadian authorities could conceivably try to get that data from the service.
To be fair, countries like China and Russia arenât part of the Five Eyes Alliance and would pose a much greater threat when it comes to stealing your information.
Itâs just good to have all of the facts. You should also know that Windscribe vehemently denies this being any sort of issue for their users. They donât care how many eyes you have!
Donât forget, Canada also has some strict copyright laws. This is something to consider if you are using a VPN for torrenting.
No Sharing Policy
Windscribe Quote About Account Sharing
A fair policy.
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