Windscribe VPN Review 2024: As Fast As the Wind?

Windscribe VPN has flexible pricing plans, fast speeds, and works with different streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. But it doesn’t have 24/7 customer support.
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Editorial Rating
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On Windscribe's website

  • Unlimited device connections
  • Has a customizable plan if you only need access to servers in specific countries

Windscribe is a fast and secure VPN with multiple subscription plans, including a free option, that works with different streaming services. We were impressed with its internet speeds and emphasis on privacy while doing our testing and research.

But our Windscribe VPN review shows that Windscribe could do with an independent audit of its no-logs policy, and it has no 24/7 customer support option.

Let’s explore the details of our Windscribe testing, as well as learn more about its features.

  • Unlimited device connections
  • Works with Netflix and other streaming services
  • Has a customizable plan if you only need access to servers in specific countries
  • Based in Canada, a Five Eyes Alliance member
  • No 24/7 live chat option
In this article
Our experience
Who is Windscribe VPN best for?
Prices and subscriptions
Main features
Test results
Customer support
Bottom line: Is Windscribe a good VPN?


Price $1.00–$9.00/mo
Free version Yes
Max # of connected devices Unlimited
# of servers Servers in 69+ countries
VPN protocol IKEv2, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, WireGuard, Stealth, WStunnel
Encryption AES-256-GCM
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Toronto, Canada
Netflix access Yes

How we test and rate VPNs

We complete standardized hands-on tests for each VPN we review so we can put their claims to the test. This includes vigorous third-party testing by comparing our internet speed while connected to different servers, checking for DNS leaks, making sure the kill switch actually works, and more. We also make sure we can comfortably access popular streaming sites, like Netflix, and still do our day-to-day work without interruption.

Once we’ve completed the testing, our editorial rating is calculated by taking into account key features you’d expect from a good product. We score each VPN in the following categories and use a weighted average to calculate the final rating out of 5 stars: price, server count, speed, security, and features.

To learn more about how we test, check out our full VPN methodology here.

Our experience

Our Windscribe VPN testing was done using the Windscribe Windows desktop app on a PC computer from a physical location in the U.S. We also used the Chrome browser to access the Windscribe website and our Windscribe account.

We found the Windows app to be straightforward and easy to use, with a minimalistic style that suits our preferences. If you don’t like big VPN windows on your desktop, you’ll probably like the small but expandable Windscribe app.

Windscribe VPN dashboard with the locations list open.

Keep in mind that your experience with Windscribe could differ depending on which app you use. For example, the iPhone app will likely be slightly different from the Linux app. Windscribe has many apps, including macOS, Linux, Apple iOS, and Android.

Overall, we found our experience with Windscribe to be above average. It’s not hard to navigate its app or connect to VPN servers. But we did have some issues with the app causing our computer’s central processing unit (CPU) to run more than it needed to, which we’ll get into below.

Who is Windscribe VPN best for?

  • Recommended for someone who wants a free or affordable VPN that works with different streaming services and provides unlimited device connections.

Windscribe is a virtual private network (VPN) based out of Toronto, Canada, that focuses on being transparent with its users. This includes owning up to any potential security or privacy issues, such as when two Windscribe servers were seized in Ukraine in 2021.[1]

We know that no technology is foolproof, so it’s nice to see a VPN service openly recognize areas of risk and work to implement solutions. This is far better than trying to brush something under the rug, such as when IPVanish leaked private user information to the U.S. government in 2016 despite claiming it had a no-logs policy.[2]

From our research and testing, we’ve found that Windscribe employs a strict no-logs policy, provides fast speeds, and works with multiple streaming services, including Netflix.

Windscribe VPN prices and subscriptions

Windscribe has three types of plans to choose from: a free plan, a Pro plan, and a Build-A-Plan option. If you want to save money on a VPN, the free plan and Build-A-Plan are your best options.

You don’t have to pay anything for the free plan and the Build-A-Plan starts at $3.00/mo, which is relatively cheap for a VPN. The Pro subscription options range from $5.75/mo (billed annually) to $9.00/mo, which is on the higher end of typical VPN prices.

Here’s how the lowest-priced Windscribe Pro subscription compares with other VPNs and their lowest-priced paid plans:

Windscribe costs more than double some of the other options on the list, but it can also be quite a bit cheaper than ExpressVPN or Hotspot Shield. If you opt for the Windscribe Build-A-Plan, you might be paying only $3.00/mo, which would be one of the cheapest VPNs on the list.

Plan Monthly Yearly
Best Value
Price per month $9.00/mo $5.75/mo (billed annually) $1.00/mo per location

Windscribe VPN payment methods include:

  • Credit card (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express)
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrency (bitcoin)
  • Paymentwall
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay

These are generally common payment methods, other than bitcoin. Although there are some VPNs that offer this option, you won’t find it with every provider out there.

Paying with crypto can help provide increased anonymity over other payment methods because you don’t typically have any personal information attached to the payment. This doesn’t mean your payment is completely anonymous, just that it’s potentially more anonymous than other options.

Windscribe offers both free and paid plans to try its service. The free version has a 10 GB bandwidth limit and provides access to servers in 11 countries. You can request a full refund on a paid Windscribe plan with a seven-day money-back guarantee.

Windscribe VPN Build-a-Plan subscription

Windscribe VPN provides a Build-A-Plan variety among its paid plans. This isn’t to be confused with Windscribe Pro plans, range from $5.75/mo (billed annually) to $9.00/mo and provide access to all servers with unlimited data.

Rather, Build-A-Plan lets you choose which locations you want to access at a rate of $1.00/mo per location. So if you choose the U.S. and Canada, you would get access to all the U.S. and Canada locations, including both the free and Pro servers, for $2.00/mo.

Not a bad deal, right? Especially if you have no need for other server locations. But how much data do you get?

For each server location you choose, Windscribe will add 10 GB of monthly data to your account. So with two locations, you get 20GB of data per month.

You also have the option of adding unlimited data to your account for another $1.00 per month. So for $3.00/mo, you could have two server locations and all the servers that come with them, as well as unlimited data.

Keep in mind that you have to pay at least $3.00/mo to choose a Build-A-Plan subscription, which is still lower than the starting $5.75/mo (billed annually) Pro plan price.

If you don’t know which plan — free, Pro, or Build-A-Plan — to go with, consider this simple chart from Windscribe:

A flow chart to determine which Windscribe VPN subscription would work best for you.

Windscribe VPN features

Windscribe offers standard VPN features like a no-logs policy, a kill switch (referred to as a firewall), and split tunneling. It also has unique functions like blocklists, unique protocol like Stealth, port forwarding, and more.

Learn more about Windscribe's features below. 

Server count and countries

  • Unlisted servers in 69+ countries and 134 cities.

Windscribe doesn’t officially publish a server count, citing reasons about its number of servers always changing. That’s likely true, but we still think it’s helpful to have some sort of idea of how many servers a VPN provides.

What we do know is that you can find Windscribe servers in 134 different cities across 69+ countries. See how this compares with other popular VPNs:

Windscribe falls short of what ExpressVPN has to offer, but it still provides a reasonable number of countries to choose from compared to these VPNs. And having used Windscribe, it seems like there are more than enough servers to satisfy the average VPN user.

Keep in mind that Windscribe has more than 56 million registered users and often hundreds of thousands of users connected at the same time. Because Windscribe offers a free plan, you might find certain servers (the ones available to free members) are busier than others. Connecting to a busy server means less bandwidth to go around for everyone and could cause a slower connection.

If you want a potentially faster connection, look for Windscribe servers with a “10 Gbps” symbol next to them. These servers are designed for 10 Gbps speeds, which are higher than the speeds of other servers. Note that you might not have access to some of these servers on a free plan.

High CPU utilization

We encountered an issue while connecting to Windscribe where a process would suddenly start using huge amounts of CPU utilization. This was brought to our attention by a pop-up box from Windscribe.

The CPU utilization on a computer spiking from “OpenJDK Platform binary” with about 74% utilization, along with a pop-up from Windscribe.

Ignoring our memory-hogging Chrome tabs, you can see the CPU utilization spiking from “OpenJDK Platform binary.” The screenshot shows that task with about 74% utilization. This is far above the norm, especially considering we’re usually sitting around 10% or lower for CPU utilization when only using Chrome.

It was a bit frustrating seeing our CPU utilization climb to 100% in some cases while using Windscribe, but the fix was to turn off the “Terminate Sockets” option in the VPN connection settings and restart our computer.

The Windscribe connection screen with a highlight around the terminate sockets option.

It wasn’t a huge deal because the fix was so easy, but a beginner VPN user might not arrive at the solution as quickly and may end up frustrated by the experience.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • Windscribe VPN logs policy: No logs
  • Windscribe VPN headquarters: Toronto, Canada

Windscribe is a Canadian VPN with a strict no-logs policy. This means that Windscribe doesn’t keep any identifying logs or logs that can identify you; so no connection logs, internet protocol (IP) time stamps, or session logs.

This type of policy protects users’ privacy and anonymity because outside organizations, such as government agencies, wouldn’t be able to access personal user data. Windscribe backs up its no-logs claims by publishing a transparency report each month showing how many requests for information it receives from law enforcement and other organizations.

Because Windscribe doesn’t keep any relevant data, it can’t comply with these requests to release user information. Simply put, you can’t release what you don’t have.

We like how Windscribe publishes transparency reports, but we’d also like to see an independent audit of its no-logs policy. It’s one thing to claim that you don’t keep logs, but having an unbiased and trusted party verify those claims is also important.

Note that Windscribe is based out of Canada, which is a Five Eyes alliance member. The countries within the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes alliances are known for their global surveillance tactics, including the monitoring of their citizens’ online activity.

This doesn’t automatically mean Windscribe is untrustworthy, especially because there shouldn’t be any user logs to track anyway.

Kill switch

A kill switch can help keep your internet traffic secure by disconnecting your device from the internet if you lose your VPN connection. 

Windscribe doesn’t have a “kill switch,” but rather a firewall feature that performs similarly. As described on the Windscribe site, the firewall “blocks all connectivity utside the VPN tunnel to eliminate all types of leaks.”

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is a common VPN feature designed to let you bypass your secure connection with specific apps. You might use split tunneling if you don’t have privacy concerns with a certain app and want a faster internet connection.

For example, you could be using your VPN to stream foreign content, but what if you want to browse the internet in your local region? You could use split tunneling to let your web browser bypass the VPN, while you continue accessing regional streaming content through your secure connection.

You can find the split tunneling feature in the connection settings of the Windscribe VPN app.

The split tunneling feature turned on in the Windscribe VPN app.


Windscribe uses AES-256-GCM encryption with its desktop applications. This type of VPN encryption is nearly impossible to crack, considering it would likely take billions of years to break.

VPN protocol

Windscribe provides a variety of protocols to help secure your VPN connection. We recommend most users select the “automatic” connection mode to let Windscribe choose the best protocol for you. But if you know your way around VPNs, you can select the “manual” connection mode and choose your settings yourself.

The Connection page on the Windscribe VPN app, highlighting the Connection mode section.

Windscribe VPN free plan

Windscribe provides a free VPN plan that offers 10 GB of data per month and access to servers in 11 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, and more.

Windscribe doesn’t throttle speeds on any of its servers, whether you’re on a free or paid account. But you might see some performance issues while using a free Windscribe plan because the servers available to free subscribers are generally more crowded.

Pro servers are reserved for Pro users and are typically less crowded, leaving more bandwidth available and reducing potential performance issues. Pro accounts also provide unlimited monthly data, access to all 111 server locations in 64 countries, Ephemeral Port Forwarding, and more custom blocklists. Ephemeral Port Forwarding lets you set up port forwarding for seven days without a static IP address.

Other Windscribe features

Windscribe Pro users will notice a variety of other, somewhat advanced features available in their app settings, including:

  • Proxy settings: Configure your LAN proxy.
  • MAC spoofing: Spoof your device's physical address.
  • Secure hotspot: Share your Windscribe connection.
  • Proxy gateway: Configure your devices that support proxy servers.
  • R.O.B.E.R.T. blocklists: Block malware, ads and trackers, social network, pornography, gambling, clickbait, other VPNs, and crypto.

Windscribe lets you play with a lot of different settings, which could be helpful for specific needs. For the average VPN user, you likely wouldn’t need to access much more than the server list.

R.O.B.E.R.T. is a domain, IP, and ad-blocking tool that you can use to block trackers, malware, and more. Pro users get access to more R.O.B.E.R.T. functionality than free users.

Windscribe VPN test results

We used speed test and leak tests to see if Windscribe provides fast speeds and high levels of security and privacy. We also checked to see whether you can use Windscribe to watch Netflix and other streaming services.

We ran these tests using the Windscribe VPN Windows app on a laptop PC running Windows 11 from a physical location in the U.S.

Windscribe mostly passed all the tests we conducted. Let’s jump into the details for each test.

Speed tests

  • Speed test results: Windscribe passed its speed tests.

We ran speed tests while using Windscribe to see whether the service significantly slowed down our internet speed. It’s common for VPNs to slightly impact your bandwidth, but we wanted to see if the impact would be enough to cause performance issues with everyday activities, such as streaming content or playing video games online.

We established a baseline speed by running a speed test before connecting to Windscribe. We then connected to different Windscribe servers worldwide and ran speed tests while connected to each of those servers.

This was our baseline speed: 93.69 Mbps download / 94.67 Mbps upload / 4 latency (ping)

Test type No VPN US to US US to CA US to EU US to AU
Download speed 93.69 Mbps 90.36 Mbps 88.93 Mbps 74.67 Mbps 32.48 Mbps
Upload speed 94.67 Mbps 90.34 Mbps 90.22 Mbps 80.61 Mbps 42.70 Mbps
Latency (ping) 4 ms 7 ms 51 ms 110 ms 191 ms
Download speed % difference N/A -3.55% -5.10% -20.30% -65.33%
Upload speed % difference N/A -4.57% -4.70% -14.85% -54.90%
Latency % difference N/A 75% 1,175% 2,650% 4,675%

Test results as of 05/23/2024.

We didn’t see much of a decrease in internet speeds while connected to Windscribe, except for when we connected to a server in Brisbane. We experienced a whopping 65% decrease in download speed and a 4,675% increase in latency, which is essentially how quickly networks communicate with each other. Higher latency means slower communication.

Speed test results for Windscribe while connected to an Australian server.

However, we expect to see some drop-off in overall performance as the physical distance increases between our location and the server’s location. This decrease in download speed and increase in latency wasn’t unexpected for a server that’s across the world from us.

The specific servers we tested were in Dallas (U.S.), London (U.K.), Montreal (Canada), and Brisbane (Australia).

Netflix tests

  • Netflix test results: Windscribe unblocked all regional libraries except Netflix Canada. 

Can you watch Netflix with Windscribe? We’re happy to report that, yes, you can (with most servers).

We tested Windscribe with Netflix by connecting to different Windscribe servers in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia. We then tested whether we could open Netflix (in a Chrome browser) while connected to these different servers. Further testing involved seeing whether the content would play without any lag or quality issues.

A Netflix stream of Friends while connected to a Windscribe U.K. server

We had no issues opening and playing regional Netflix content while connected to these servers:

  • Dallas (U.S.)
  • London (U.K.)
  • Brisbane (Australia)
US to US US to CA US to UK US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?

Test results as of 05/23/2024.

However, Netflix flagged our VPN use while connected to a server in Montreal. We tried switching shows as well as switching to other servers in Canada, but Netflix kep catching on to the VPN, unfortunately. 

A Netflix error page because Windscribe was connected to a server in Canada.

Note that we didn’t see any specific servers to use with different streaming servers. This means you should be able to connect to any Windscribe server if you want to unblock regional Netflix content.

In the past, we've also tested Windscribe with a few other streaming platforms, including Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. We had no issues connecting to Hulu using a server in the U.S.

The Hulu homepage as well a window with the Windscribe VPN.

BBC iPlayer loaded right up when we connected to a server in London. You can typically only watch BBC iPlayer content if you’re in the U.K.

The BBC iPlayer page for "Our Flag Means Death" with Windscribe VPN open in the background.

We were also able to connect to the Disney+ U.K. content library while connected to a server in London. This is notable because the U.K. library includes Star content, which isn’t available in the U.S.

The Disney+ homepage as well a window with the Windscribe VPN.

Other Windscribe VPN users have noted that the VPN works on Amazon Prime Video as well.

DNS leak tests

  • DNS leak test results: Windscribe passed its DNS leak tests.

Domain name system (DNS) leak tests are designed to show whether you have private information leaking through your internet connection. We used the DNS Leak Test tool from BrowserLeaks to test whether we had DNS leaks before and after connecting to Windscribe.

We were able to see private information when we ran the DNS leak test before connecting to Windscribe. This included our IP address, our internet service provider (ISP) and its IP address, and the general location of our ISP.

After connecting to Windscribe and running another DNS leak test, we could only see the IP address, ISP, and general location associated with the VPN server.

Windscribe VPN DNS leak test results.

WebRTC leak tests

  • WebRTC leak test results: Windscribe passed its WebRTC leak tests.

A WebRTC leak could expose your IP address when connected to the internet. We used the BrowserLeaks website to test if our IP address was leaked before and after connecting to Windscribe.

Our IP address immediately showed up on BrowserLeaks before we connected to Windscribe. Our IP address was then successfully masked after we connected to Windscribe. The only visible IP address was the one connected to the VPN server.

Masking your IP address is important if you want to browse and use the internet anonymously. This doesn’t necessarily mean doing anything illegal, and it could be as simple as stopping your ISP from seeing what websites you visit.

Windscribe VPN WebRTC leak test results.

Kill switch test

  • Kill switch test results: Windscribe passed its WebRTC leak tests.

A kill switch protects your device from unexpected leaks. If your VPN connection drops, the kill switch will stop the internet entirely to prevent hackers or other third parties from accessing your data.

We tested the Windscribe firewall by connecting to a server away from our physical location. It’s supposed to block all internet traffic if you don’t have a secure connection, so we figured our true location wouldn't leak if we connected to a different server. 

And that’s exactly how it worked. When switching servers, our real location didn't pop up, only our server locations.

Windscribe VPN kill switch test results.

Windscribe VPN compatibility

Windscribe supports a variety of devices, operating systems, mobile apps, and browser extensions:

  • Windows 10+
  • macOS 11+
  • Linux (Debian/Ubunta, Arch, Fedora/CentOS)
  • Google Chrome 
  • Mozilla Firefox 
  • Microsoft Edge
  • iOS 12+
  • Android 5.0+
  • Amazon FireTV
  • AndroidTV

You can also set up Windscribe on certain routers using tutorials or you can purchase a router that’s preconfigured with the Windscribe VPN.

Windscribe doesn’t have a built-in smart DNS option for you to use some of its VPN features on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps. For example, you can’t typically download VPN apps on many smart TVs and video game consoles.

If you want to unblock regional streaming content on one of those devices, you would need software with smart DNS, like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Or you can go with CONTROL D, another service from the creators of Windscribe that provides a feature to bypass geo-restrictions on different devices.

Windscribe VPN customer support

Windscribe doesn’t have a 24/7 live chat support option, which is unfortunate because this is often our preferred way to contact VPN providers with questions. Instead, you can contact Windscribe support through an online form and it will email a response.


You can also chat with Garry, the resident Windscribe chatbot. We’ve found that support bots tend to be hit or miss with their usefulness, but we actually received a decent response from Garry about torrenting with Windscribe.

A customer support chat about torrenting with Garry, Windscribe's chatbot.

Garry answered our question about whether you can torrent with Windscribe and even provided us with some servers we should avoid for torrenting.


We also sent our same question about torrenting to the human support team and waited for an email response. It took about 21 hours to receive a response, which is a much longer wait than using a live chat feature. But the response was helpful, and indicated that all servers work for torrenting other than a few you should avoid (India and South Africa).

An email from Windscribe customer support about which servers work for torrenting on their VPN.

Knowledge base

Windscribe has an extensive knowledge base where you can find answers to questions on a number of topics. Its articles cover accounts and billing, technical issues, setup guides, and other general questions.

Social media

Apart from using the Windscribe knowledge base for helpful guides and posts, you can also interact with the Windscribe team on its subreddit, Discord, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blog pages.

Top alternatives

Windscribe is a great option if you're looking for a free or low-cost service. But what if you're looking for a VPN that's not based in the Eyes alliances or one that can consistently unblock Netflix? Here are some alternatives to consider that may fulfill those needs:

Price $3.39–$15.99/mo $2.19–$17.95/mo $2.03–$12.99/mo
Free version
Max # of connected devices 10 Unlimited 7
# of servers 6,300+ servers in 111 countries 3,200 in 100 countries Servers in 100 countries
VPN protocol NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Encryption AES-256-GCM AES-256-GCM AES-256
No-logs policy No logs No logs No logs
Headquarters Panama The Netherlands Romania
Netflix access
Learn more Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get CyberGhost



Is Windscribe VPN trustworthy?

Windscribe places a heavy emphasis on user privacy and security with its no-logs policy and transparency over potential security concerns. Windscribe doesn’t keep any logs that can identify you, and certain data is discarded after you disconnect from its servers. 

Windscribe hasn’t had to comply with any Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or law enforcement data requests because it doesn’t store relevant data.


Is Windscribe VPN really free?

Yes, Windscribe VPN provides a free plan that anyone can use. The free subscription limits you to 10 GB of monthly data and servers in 11 countries, whereas a Pro plan provides unlimited data and access to 134 server locations. 

You can also choose the Build-A-Plan option, which allows you to choose specific server locations for at least $3.00/mo.


Which is better NordVPN or Windscribe?

We prefer NordVPN for its reliability and ease of use for the average VPN user. It also provides fast speeds, 24/7 live chat, and a lower price ($3.39/mo (billed every two years)) than the Windscribe Pro plan ($5.75/mo (billed annually)). We like Windscribe for its unlimited simultaneous connections, but it doesn’t have 24/7 live chat.

Bottom line: Is Windscribe a good VPN?

Windscribe is a fast VPN with a strict no-logs policy that works with multiple streaming platforms, including Netflix and Disney+. You don’t have to provide an email address to sign up and you can pay with cryptocurrency for added anonymity.

We like how Windscribe has both free and paid plans, including the option to build your own plan if you only need to access certain server locations. However, we don’t love how the lowest-priced Windscribe Pro plan is more expensive than lots of other VPN subscriptions.

We also feel Windscribe needs to do an independent audit of its no-logs policy to increase its trustworthiness. And having a 24/7 live chat option would greatly increase its reliability. There are other VPNs out there that cost less, have had independent audits, and provide 24/7 customer support. Learn how Windscribe compares to one of our top VPNs in our NordVPN vs. Windscribe review.

Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Windscribe's website
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Has a customizable plan if you only need access to servers in specific countries
Author Details
Ben Walker is a security, travel, and credit card writer with a passion for all things internet and technology, whether it's using VPNs while away from home or organizing his life with password managers.
Steph Trejos is an Editor at All About Cookies, leveraging her expertise in the cybersecurity field. She holds a B.A. in English: Editing, Writing, and Media, as well as Media/Communications Studies. With over five years of professional writing experience, she has garnered recognition for her work on anti-financial crime topics, such as money laundering, terrorist financing, and cyberthreats.


[1] OpenVPN Security Improvements and Changes

[2] United States of America v. Vincent Gevirtz