Windscribe as a whole is a very easy tool to use. All you need to do is to create an account, whether you want a free trial one or a paid subscription, and download the desktop client for your Windows or Mac system. For a free account you will be given up to 10GB of bandwidth; if you don’t confirm your e-mail you will only have 2GB). While in this free account you can only have one account and the “basic” 9 server locations, if you upgrade to Windscribe Pro your boundaries will no longer exist and you will have access to all 26 server locations and all IP addresses. The only thing you cannot do is share accounts since it’s prohibited.
Clever Browser Extension
“We aim to develop easy to use yet powerful tools that allow anyone to circumvent censorship”. This is the main aspect of Windscribe and, truth being told, they deliver. With the world of VPNs constantly seeking out better programs or tools to erase your footprints from the sands of the internet, Windscribe keeps it simple and brings an exclusive, yet very appealing and clever browser extension. This is basically the same tool as the desktop app but it only applies to your browser, so any other application you have on your system will use your ISP-provided IP address. This is a very useful tool especially aimed at blocking ad beacons and trackers, and also social widgets from Facebook or Twitter that track you and send your information to the respective companies. Also, it lets you generate a secure link and it has almost the same interface as the desktop app, so you won’t waste any time figuring out how to work with it.
Windscribe suggests you use both solutions; the desktop client and browser extension. With these two working together you will be even more protected and disguised for up to 90% visits of whatever content you want.
Cruise Control & Double Hop
Cruise Control and Double Hop are two features Windscribe holds up its sleeve that grabbed our attention. The first one basically connects automatically to the best server that is closest to you, in order to optimize speed quality at the same time that it switches to another location to overcome geographically blocked content. Double Hop lets you mask your traffic even further by connecting to a second VPN server, as long as you are using the desktop app. The downside of this is that it will most likely slow down your internet.
To kick things off, you need to set up a free account through which you will get access to 9 different servers spread out over 8 different countries: the U.S., UK, Canada, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. This number increases to 26 if you have a paid subscription account, including two on African territory: in Egypt and South Africa.
Overall the quality of the VPN servers is good; so is the connection speed, depending on the server’s location. We tested a few servers and found out that, despite the geographic proximity, the U.S. servers (both East and West Coast ones) seem to be the ones with less speed, compared to servers in France or Brazil for example. Despite this, you should be able to access websites fairly easily, as videos play normally and lag is almost non-existing.
Windscribe has things tightly together on the privacy front of its service. The software uses AES-256 cipher with SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key, which are solid and safe standards. The firewall has 3 modes (Automatic, Manual and Always On) and it uses IPv6 and DNS leak protection.
Paying with Bitcoin is an available option so that your payment details are automatically discarded after being confirmed. If you choose a more traditional way of paying, your transaction ID will be retained for the period of 1 month.
OS, Device Support
In terms of operating systems you can use, there is a good wide range of choices. There is decent support for the usual suspects Mac and Windows, and a number of mobile devices. Windscribe’s desktop client can be used on Windows XP (!) to 10, Mac 10.8-10.11 and Linux (Pro only). Then we have the shiny browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, with this last one requiring an extra extension. You can also access the service on your smartphone since it is available to run iOS (8+) and Android (4.0.3+), but it’s available in the Pro version only. Windscribe’s arsenal of tools currently offers a native iOS app, and the Android one is coming soon.
To help you set up Windscribe on whatever device you want, there are no step-by-step 100 page long guides. Instead, there are some quick videos for the device device you want to configure. Note that some of the setup configuration may differ from one operating system to another and for some of them, as stated above, you will need a paid subscription since they can only work with the PRO version of Windscribe.
To use Windscribe you need to create an account and, by doing that, you will be choosing a pack. To start off, you can create a free account and test the software as much as you like for an unlimited time. If you are a “light user”, the free account may suit you, though the 2-10GB of bandwidth on the free plan is gone before you realize it. In order to fully enjoy the whole experience you can choose the Pro version of the service. This pack not only eliminates any barriers; it also gives you access to almost 3 times more server locations than the free account provides. You can become a Pro member by purchasing single monthly packs by the price of $9 and start making internet your playground. More interestingly there is a special $90 yearly plan that brings down the price to $7.50 per month, which in the end would save you the equivalent of two months compared to the single month pricing.
To purchase the Pro version you have a wide range of methods you may use to pay. Windscribe offers the traditional payment methods like MasterCard, American Express, Visa, PayPal and Payment Wall, as well as Bitcoin. If for some reason you don’t like the VPN service or you want to get back to the free version, you can ask your money back during a period of 3 days after the purchase of it.
Windscribe is present both on Facebook and Twitter but you will probably only need to contact them if you have some specific and detailed questions since pretty much all information needed is displayed on the FAQs page. Although there is no 24/7 support via live chat or a call center; you can send the Windscribe staff an e-mail, and receive a reply from the same people who built the service, or post your questions on any of the social media pages. It’s best to use Twitter for requesting help through social media, since Tweets get a reply within hours while Facebook wall posts are typically left unanswered. In case you need any support upon installing the program, there are also some quick tutorial videos on the support page.
Windscribe brings a solid VPN service to the table of which you can enjoy quite a bit for free since the software never forces you to update for the paid version and it doesn’t set a time limit for your free account. The Mac, Windows desktop client combined with the browser extensions that both share the same neat interface and ease of use give you good all-round security. The Cruise Control feature is nice to have, while Double Hop is an option we wish more VPN providers would implement in their service. The very complete FAQs and guides almost seem to make us forget the not so over the top customer support and the free account will most likely please the occasional VPN user. In short, Windscribe is a good alternative for a VPN service that lets you hide in your cape as you disappear in the shadows of the internet while using the operating system you want.
- Free account for unlimited time
- Browser extension
- Double Hop and Cruise Control
- Easy to use
- Limited customer support options