Windscribe VPN fast facts

Our rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Pricing: Starts at $5.75 (annual plan)
Key features:
  • Has a generous free version.
  • ScribeForce team accounts for organizations.
  • Unlimited device connections.

Windscribe VPN is a decent option for those looking for a virtual private network with a fully functional free version. Its free plan allows up to 10GBs of data, unlimited device connections and the same security features as the paid tier. It also has a customizable Build A Plan subscription option that gives customers more flexibility with their account.

However, it may not be the best choice for users who value independent audits or a large server network. Right now, Windscribe supports macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Mozilla and Opera.

Windscribe VPN pricing

Free version (11 locations only)Free
1 year Windscribe Pro account$5.75 per month
1 month Windscribe Pro account$9.00 per month
Build A PlanBilled $1.00 per location per month
ScribeForce$3.00 per seat, per month, minimum 5 seats

For its annual subscription, the $5.75 per month falls in the middle range in terms of pricing compared to other VPNs. Meanwhile, Windscribe’s monthly $9.00 per month plan is one of the more affordable options on the market. While most VPNs make their long-term subscriptions more affordable, I appreciate how Windscribe’s monthly plan is on the lower end of the spectrum.

Windscribe also offers a Build A Plan tier that allows customers to select servers from different locations. There is a $3 minimum purchase with each server location costing $1 per month, but the option as a whole is very customer friendly.

For teams of five or more, ScribeForce is a plan that allows for centralized billing and team management with one subscription.

Lastly, Windscribe has a free version that offers a number of features found in the paid plan.

I would recommend users interested in Windscribe to trial the free version before committing to a paid plan. If you’re set on accessing all of the Pro features, their monthly plan is the way to go given its lower than usual price.

Windscribe VPN free version

Windscribe VPN has a free version (Figure A) that comes with a lot of the same in-app functionality as their paid plans. The main difference is that the free version only provides access to servers in 11 locations.

Figure A

Windscribe VPN's free version.
Windscribe VPN’s free version. Image: Windscribe VPN
Hong KongFranceGermany

A Windscribe Pro account includes access to all server locations in 110 cities in 63 countries. These users have access to Pro servers that are less crowded and perform better. In addition, a paid subscription includes unlimited data while the free version will only allow up to 10GB monthly data. However, new users can only access 2GB of data without providing an email address.

The option to try out the service without providing personal information such as an email address is a plus. Like the paid tier, the free Windscribe version allows unlimited device connections. This is impressive considering that other VPNs don’t offer unlimited device connections — even on their paid plans.

The free version also includes an abbreviated version of Windscribe’s R.O.B.E.R.T. domain and IP blocking tool for malware, ads and tracking protection. The full R.O.B.E.R.T. feature set is included with the Pro plan.

Overall, Windscribe’s free version is a solid free VPN that gives more functionality than one would expect.

Is Windscribe VPN safe and reliable?

Windscribe VPN offers all the industry-standard security protocols expected of a VPN: OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard. It also has AES-256 encryption, split tunneling and the reliable Windscribe Firewall that acts as a VPN kill switch.

It also has a no-logs policy, which states that Windscribe doesn’t record connection logs, IP timestamps, session logs or user activity. However, Windscribe is lacking an independent audit that confirms these claims from a third-party.

While they do publish real-time Transparency Reports that outline Digital Millennium Copyright Act and law enforcement requests, the lack of an independent audit prevents them from being a top service in terms of security. The company has stated that they have multiple third-party audits planned for 2023, which is a welcome sign.

Some users may be wary of Windscribe’s Canada-based operations, due to the country’s inclusion in the Five-Eyes data and intelligence-sharing alliance. To be fair, they aren’t the only service based in these regions, but users looking for a VPN operating in a pro-privacy country might have to look elsewhere.

While Windscribe VPN’s security features does show that it can be a safe VPN option, the lack of independent testing holds it back.

Key features of Windscribe VPN

In addition to offering a free version, Windscribe VPN has notable features that set it apart from other VPNs; I’ve highlighted a few of them below.

R.O.B.E.R.T. Tool

Windscribe VPN comes with a built-in domain and IP blocking tool called R.O.B.E.R.T (Figure B). It’s a customizable server-side tool that can block ads and trackers and prevent software infections.

Figure B

Windscribe's R.O.B.E.R.T. tool.
Windscribe’s R.O.B.E.R.T. tool. Image: Windscribe VPN

The tool allows users to customize blocking settings. They can select to block items such as malware, ads and trackers, gambling content, porn, social networks, click bait and even fake news.

Users can also customize which IP addresses or domains they want blocked or allowed via R.O.B.E.R.T.’s Custom Access Rules.

Per my testing, the IP blocking worked as advertised.

ScribeForce Team Accounts

ScribeForce is another name for Windscribe Team Accounts (Figure C), which allows for centralized billing and team management with one subscription. This plan provides all Windscribe’s Pro features and can be a powerful management tool for a small business.

Figure C

ScribeForce Team Accounts.
ScribeForce Team Accounts. Image: Windscribe VPN

With ScribeForce, an owner can generate user accounts and manage them from a single page. Plus, ScribeForce accounts are cheaper to invest in compared to regular end-user accounts.

This is a meaningful value proposition for small business owners looking for a VPN that can be easily integrated into their business workflow.

Windscribe Firewall

While Windscribe doesn’t have a traditional kill switch like other VPNs, it does have Windscribe Firewall — firewall implementation that prevents the possibility of any packets leaking to your internet service provider if your VPN session is disrupted.

The “Always On” setting (Figure D) is noteworthy here as it will only allow an internet connection to your machine if it’s through Windscribe VPN’s secure connection. Even if the VPN crashes or you manually exit the app, your machine won’t be able to connect to an ISP.

Figure D

Windscribe's Firewall feature.
Windscribe’s Firewall feature. Image: Windscribe VPN

When I tested the firewall, it was able to reliably cut off the connection even if I had closed the app or disconnected from the VPN server. This is a convenient set-and-forget security feature that I can see many users benefiting from.

Speed and performance: How fast is Windscribe VPN?

Windscribe VPN’s speeds are on the good-to-average side. Overall, I was able to maintain a stable connection during my use. During my session, I was able to use Google Drive, Google Docs and have multiple Chrome tabs open to browse the internet for research and stream videos on YouTube.

I did experience an issue loading and playing a 4KB video on YouTube. This may have been an isolated issue with my connection, but it’s still worth noting for the purposes of this review. Switching servers and establishing connections also took a few more seconds than I expected.

For clarity, I was using Windscribe’s free version during my testing but Windscribe has said that there’s no difference in terms of speed between their free and paid versions.

To test Windscribe’s domain name system leak protection, I ran it through a public DNS leak tool multiple times, and I recorded zero leaks.

For download speeds, I recorded a significantly larger percentage drop with Windscribe compared to other VPNs I’ve tested. While the number itself was respectable, the difference was still larger than many of the VPN’s I’ve used so far. Upload speeds on the other hand were decent and in line with other VPN services.

Lastly, the Windscribe app performed well. I experienced zero issues using features and found it to be intuitive. I also liked the more modern approach it takes for its user interface.

Windscribe VPN Servers and locations

Windscribe offers servers spread out over 63 countries and 110 cities. While they don’t disclose the exact number of servers they have, they have said that it ranges in the hundreds. Per my research, Windscribe has around 400–500 servers.

If you’re looking for a VPN with a ton of servers to choose from, Windscribe probably won’t be the best fit. Their server fleet is among the lowest I’ve seen so far. However, the location and country spread is on the higher end compared to other services — which can be enough of a saving grace if the country you need is supported. I just wish they had more servers to offer, in general, as this would give users more options, especially for streaming, torrenting or unblocking geo-restricted content.

For security, Windscribe has Double Hop, a server feature that routes user requests through any two servers or locations on their network. While you need to use both the desktop app and Windscribe’s browser extension to use it, Double Hop still provides increased anonymity and privacy for the end user.

Windscribe VPN pros

  • Has a generous free version
  • Useful R.O.B.E.R.T. IP-blocking tool
  • ScribeForce team accounts for organizations
  • Unlimited device connections

Windscribe VPN cons

  • Lack of independent audit for no logs policy
  • Smaller server suite
  • Speed performance is inconsistent
  • Based in Canada (Five-Eyes member country)

Who is Windscribe VPN best for?

Windscribe VPN is best for prospective VPN users who want to try a fully functional, free VPN. Windscribe’s free version is one of the more generous free VPNs I’ve tried so far. With the free version you gain access to their R.O.B.E.R.T. IP-blocking tool and up to 10GBs of data without cost.

Windscribe’s ScribeForce plan also makes it a good option for small business owners looking for a VPN with management features built in. ScribeForce allows for centralized billing and convenient user management with just one VPN subscription.

However, if you’re looking for a VPN with more robust independent testing or a large server suite, Windscribe may not be the best choice.

Windscribe VPN alternatives

If you feel that Windscribe VPN doesn’t have the features you need, I’ve listed similar alternatives that may be a better fit.

The Surfshark logo.
Image: Surfshark


Surfshark is one of the more well-known VPN options today. It has zero bandwidth limitations, a seven-day free trial and unlimited device connections. It also comes with malware protection and ad blocker support.

The TunnelBear logo.
Image: TunnelBear


If you’re looking for a VPN with yearly independent audits, TunnelBear is a top choice. They regularly undergo third party security testing and have committed to yearly audits to verify their claims.


CyberGhost VPN icon.
Image: CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN

For buyers that want a large server network, CyberGhost VPN is one of the best. It offers an extensive suite of over 6,700 servers spread across 90 countries. It even segments these servers into streaming, torrenting and gaming categories.

How we evaluated Windscribe VPN

My review of Windscribe VPN involved a detailed assessment of its security features, cost and real-world performance. I had hands-on experience with Windscribe VPN’s free version and supplemented my findings with user testimonials and reputable reviews for both the free and paid plans.

For speed, I tested Windscribe through Ookla’s public Speedtest. For DNS leaks, I ran Windscribe multiple times through DNSleaktest.

Finally, I scored Windscribe on everything from its protocols to its pricing based on an internal algorithm to get a score of 3.5 out of 5 stars. This was based on Windscribe VPN alone and in relation to other VPNs available today.

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This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays