Windscribe VPN Review
Not well known, but very much a smart option for a savvy VPN shopper. With a reliable and trustworthy free option (not often we can say that), Windscribe offers a good premium version too. With torrenting and gaming on the list of pros, what exactly holds it back? Read on for our full Windscribe VPN review.
Leona Baker, Author
Riley Marsden, Chief Editor
Whether you want to protect your online identity from unscrupulous hackers, or you just wish to access geo-blocked content from around the world, a VPN is a must-have bit of software if you’re a regular internet user. If you’re not an expert in the field, however, it can be difficult to know where to start when deciding on the right service for you, with countless VPN products available to buy.
Windscribe VPN is one of a number of high-profile VPNs that offers both a free package and a premium package. Boasting an array of useful features, we thought we’d give it a test-run to see how it performed.
Our base internet connection reached 600mbps, but as with all VPNs we expected to see a significant drop in speed once the VPN was connected; the masking process that a VPN uses to protect your data involves re-routing your internet connection through a server in another country, which inevitably leads to slower speeds.
Windscribe’s speed performed surprisingly well in this regard, averaging around 240mbps across servers in a number of countries – easily enough to stream high-quality content or play games online without experiencing buffering or excessive lag.
Surprisingly, routing through a US server produced much lower speeds – rarely getting above 70mbps – so you may need to try a variety of servers to get a reliably quick connection.
Compared to the huge server bases of VPN giants such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN that span thousands of servers across the globe, Windscribe’s offering of 110 locations in 63 countries on its premium plan is somewhat limited.
While this figure should offer enough scope to find a reliable connection quickly and easily, it does hinder your ability to access region-specific content. Having said that, the server network does stretch to most parts of the world and has a large number of server locations in East Asia, which is not always the case with even the most high-profile VPNs.
Windscribe also has a web page that provides regular updates on server status, allowing you to more easily find a server with decent speeds.
If security is your key concern when choosing a VPN, Windscribe’s extensive list of privacy features makes it an excellent choice.
This VPN uses military-standard AES-256 encryption to protect your identity and features an all-important kill switch that will automatically disconnect you from the internet if your VPN connection drops, ensuring none of your data becomes public.
Windscribe also employs a no-logging policy that ensures none of your identifying data is stored, and offers split tunnelling – a useful function that allows you to direct certain apps to connect to the internet via VPN, while allowing other apps to connect without re-routing through the VPN.
Streaming - Does Windscribe Work With Netflix?
An increasing number of streaming services, including major players such as Netflix and Disney Plus, impose geo-restrictions on their content libraries.
This means that you can only view a country’s content library from within that country – which can be a problem if your favourite shows are screened in other regions. VPNs allow you to circumvent this process, opening up additional content libraries from around the world by making your device appear to be connecting from other countries as required.
During testing, Windscribe was able to connect to all major streaming apps and even provides dedicated ‘Windflix’ servers designed to allow you access to global content libraries from Netflix. Unfortunately, this was only possible on the premium plan – when we tried to access geo-blocked content on the free plan, we were unable to do so.
Due to the ongoing dispute over their legality, many ISPs block access P2P torrenting software applications – but they remain legal in the US provided they are not used for illegal purposes, and a VPN allows you to bypass any restrictions placed by your ISP.
Windscribe boasts a number of servers optimised for torrenting that can be viewed on their website, while file-sharing is allowed on almost all of their servers. Coupled with impressive speeds, this makes Windscribe a very effective VPN for regular users of torrents.
A VPN may be of use to you if you’re a hardcore gamer and want early access to all the best games. Some games have staggered releases, meaning they become available in some regions before others – your VPN will allow you to route your connection through the regions where the game is already out, bypassing any geo-restrictions in place.
Windscribe was able to bypass geo-blocking software during testing, while the internet speed it managed to maintain allowed for an enjoyable gaming experience, with little to no buffering or lag.
Is Windscribe a good VPN?
Windscribe is a functional if limited low-budget VPN, offering decent speeds and access to most major streaming apps – although it lacks some of the features provided by more expensive options.
Is Windscribe good for torrenting?
How do I fix the Windscribe no API connectivity error?
Some users have experienced an error that displays the message ‘no API connectivity’ – this means that Windscribe has been unable to verify your credentials, and there are a number of reasons why this may occur.
If you are on Android or iOS, it may be your network blocking the connection – connecting to another network or switching to 4G (and then quickly switching back once you’re logged in) should solve the issue. If you use Windscribe as a browser extension on desktop, logging in via the Windscribe desktop app and then switching back to the browser extension is one method of avoiding the connectivity issue.
For further details of how to resolve the no API connectivity error, visit Windscribe’s troubleshooting page.
Can I use Windscribe on Firestick?
Windscribe can be downloaded to your Firestick quickly and easily, allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions and watch your favourite shows on your television.