Windscribe is one of the best VPN options for video streaming, and is a good all-round service for those wanting to privately browse the web through multiple devices. US connection speeds weren't so quick in our latest round of tests, and claims of no-logging have yet to be tested in court.
- Generous free tier
- Clear data security policy
- Wide range of endpoint countries
- Provides international access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Poor US connection speeds
- Review Price: £36.95
- £6.79 per month
- 10GB a month free account available
- £36.95 per year
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Chrome, Firefox, Opera...
- Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
What is Windscribe?
Windscribe is a Canadian VPN that’s gained popularity due to its free service and dedicated support for streaming TV. Unlike fellow Canadian VPN provider TunnelBear, Windscribe also allows torrenting.
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Windscribe – Features and usability
Windscribe’s privacy and logging policy clearly indicates the data it does and doesn’t keep, with only total bandwidth consumption and the time your account was last used stored in the long-term. The service supports anonymous payment via Bitcoin and gift vouchers, and you don’t have to provide an email address in order to sign up.
Its desktop client is simple to use and includes a number of extra security features. By default, Windscribe activates its integrated firewall feature, a kill switch that prevents any internet traffic from being transferred if you lose your connection to the VPN for any reason. You can also share your encrypted connection as a secure wireless hotspot, if your router supports the feature.
Windscribe has dedicated endpoints for streaming Netflix, although we had better luck viewing BBC iPlayer via a standard UK endpoint; it worked perfectly. Crunchyroll, Netflix and Shudder in the US presented no problem, but we had trouble accessing All 4 from UK endpoints.
Windscribe has a generous 10GB per month free tier. Free users get access to locations in 11 countries, excluding any of the Windflix video streaming endpoints.
If you like the service enough to pay for it, it works out at £6.79 monthly or £36.95 per year – both of which are among the cheapest prices we’ve seen for a quality VPN service.
Windscribe – Performance
We were delighted to find that Windscribe’s free service is just as fast as its paid-for version, although you get a more limited selection of endpoints, and no access to its US Windflix specialised streaming servers. iPlayer worked on both free and paid services.
Winscribe’s speeds have slipped a little compared to our last performance test, with only its Dutch endpoint being super-fast at 9.79 MB/sec (78.32Mbps) via HTTP and 9.93MB/sec (79.44Mbps) via FTP. In the UK, we achieved HTTP speeds of 7.10MB/sec (56.8Mbps) and 6.60MB/sec (52.8Mbps) over HTTP and FTP respectively.
However, US connection speeds have gone from being among the fastest in last year’s test at 5.9MB/sec (47.2Mbps) and 6.9MB/sec (55.2Mbps), to a little below average at 4.45MB/sec (35.6Mbps) for HTTP transfers and just 2.39MB/sec (19.12Mbps) over FTP. Our test results represent a snapshot of a specific day’s performance across a handful of endpoints, however, and these speeds are adequate for good-quality video streaming.
Related: What is a VPN?
Why buy Windscribe?
Windscribe has plenty of strong features, including excellent region-shifting for video via dedicated endpoints and secure wireless hotspot sharing.
It’s generally fast, provides a technically unlimited number of simultaneous connections – although we’re not sure how far users are allowed to push that in practice – and its pricing is competitive.
- Read our view on the free version of Windscribe in our Best free VPN roundup
If you’re after a free VPN then Windscribe is well worth adding to your arsenal. It’s also among the best options for streaming video fans, and a good all-round service, although not if you need quick US connection speeds.
Windscribe doesn’t keep logs, but the true extent of this has neither come up in a court case nor been independently audited. If security is a priority, ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access both have a well-established privacy record and comparable performance.
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