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Windscribe Review

A good, well-priced VPN

4 stars

Great value but a bit technical

Windscribe is a great value VPN service that also has an impressive free edition. It works effectively to mask your online identity, and while it’s a little technical to use at times, it’s still a smart choice for a VPN.

4 stars

Great value but a bit technical

Ease of Use

5 stars

Features

3 stars

Privacy

5 stars

Speed

3 stars

Help & Support

4 stars
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Pros

  • Distinctive app and add-on combo approach
  • Good free option with no nagging and no ads
  • Decent speeds
  • Unblocks Netflix

Cons

  • Technical style

Availability

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Firefox

Windscribe: The Good

Windscribe Select VPNThis is an impressive VPN, though less technically confident users may find it takes a little time to get accustomed to the settings.

Windscribe Server Selection

At first it looks like Windscribe only lets you select a country for your VPN, but press the little crosses to expand the selection and you’ll see cities, all with cool and appropriate server names.

Killswitch Function

Windscribe also has some unexpected features, including a killswitch – dubbed a Firewall – a choice of VPN protocols and the option to turn your laptop into a secure, shared WiFi hotspot.

Netflix Unlocker

The pleasant surprises don’t end there. Windscribe is one of the few VPNs we’ve tested recently to sneak past Netflix’s VPN-detection tools and stream video, and it also works with other US and UK streaming sites and services.

No Leaks

It’s leakproof enough that our leak tests couldn’t even work out our location or timezone. Not bad for a relatively cheap – or even free – VPN. Throw in the ad-blocking and malware-protection features, and it has a lot to offer.

Windscribe: The Not-So-Good

This is a strong VPN service to choose, but it has a couple of cons to be aware of.

Windscribe SettingsAverage Speeds

Performance is pretty good but not quite in the major leagues. With Windscribe enabled, you'll see a speed impact – which is true of any VPN. Overall, the speed impact is average, rather than anything concerning.

Technical Approach

Both the Windows app and the add-on can be a bit technical in their approach and language, which might intimidate some less experienced users.

Canadian Firm

The company is based in Ontario, Canada, and so there’s some risk that Canadian or US authorities might request information, though Windscibe has a clear zero-logging policy. Still, if you’re worried about state surveillance, this might be enough to put you off.

Windscribe Free vs Windscribe Premium

As mentioned above, we're big admirers of Windscribe Free. It limits you to 2GB bandwidth a month, so wouldn't be the best service to choose if you're planning on streaming a lot of Netflix. But, its features and performance are otherwise impressive.

If you were to start with the free version, you might soon be persuaded to upgrade to Premium. The good news is Windscribe has definitely got the pricing right. The Premium version costs a reasonable $9 per month, $49 per year or $89 every two years.

This makes it one of the cheapest – and best value – VPNs.

Getting Started With Windscribe VPN

You can download both the add-on and the Windows app from the website without signing anything first, but the app will ask you to sign up for the service on launch. When you do, it just involves entering a username, an email address and password, so it’s not all that onerous a process.

The app itself is a tiny thing that hovers above your taskbar, extending only when you need to change location or tinker with the settings. It’s very easy to switch from location to location and there are, oddly, two buttons to connect and disconnect, in case you found one a little hard to spot.

The Verdict

Windscribe isn’t quite user-friendly enough to be the best choice VPN for complete beginners. All the same it’s very affordable, fully-functional, fast and effective, with a Free version that’s more than good enough to tempt you to pay up for the Premium edition. Windscribe might be a bit of a VPN dark horse, but if you have a little expertise it’s well worth giving it a try.

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