Windscribe is a newcomer in the VPN industry but today its name is familiar to many people. The provider is known for its free services but it has a premium version as well. There is one thing that we, users, desire to know – is Windscribe safe and secure to use? Without further ado, let’s learn what this service has to offer and how it can protect your virtual life.
Jurisdiction and Logging Policy
As a VPN service, Windscribe launched in 2016 in Canada. While the country respects the privacy of its citizens on paper (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as Privacy Act are responsible for that), it is a member of the intelligence alliance the 5 Eyes. Such institutions are kind of above the law so they can spy on people regardless of the adopted legislation.
Moreover, the country’s partners (mainly the USA and UK) can also stick their noses into Canadians’ business. This fact alone doesn’t make Canada-based VPNs dangerous but it depends on the amount of data they accumulate about their subscribers.
To find out whether Windscribe is safe you need to carefully examine at its logging policy. If there is any data that can help identify a service’s client, then such a VPN is a no-go. Let’s look at Windscribe’s logging strategy.
The service records some data on user connections. In particular, it keeps track of servers clients hooked up, connection time, and data used during a session. This information is destroyed 3 minutes after a client terminated a connection, though.
There are some more permanent statistics, however. Windscribe registers an amount of data utilized within the previous 30 days. It comes as no surprise that the service saves this data. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be able to set bandwidth limits for free users. But don’t worry, Windscribe doesn’t keep this info for longer than a month. Also, to weed out abandoned accounts, the provider writes down a day when the last connection was established.
There are no other timestamps or traffic logs kept and this fact says that Windsribe is a safe service in the face of government snoopers, spies, and law enforcement agencies.
As any respectable service, Windscribe supplies OpenVPN protocol. It comes complete with the AES-256 cipher (it is available for desktop apps, browser extensions get a 128-bit encryption), SHA512 authentication and a 4096-bit key handshake. The Perfect forward secrecy feature that allows generating a new key for each connection, is also in place. Besides OpenVPN, you can make use of IKEv2 (it is used by default), UPD, TCP, Stealth or anonymous SOCKS5 proxy that has no traffic encryption.
Windscribe’s clients can also benefit from DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection as well as the firewall function that acts as a kill switch. It blocks any traffic outside a VPN tunnel so not a bit of your traffic will remain unprotected.
The provider offers an ad and tracker blocker to protect you from invasive advertisement and services monitoring your activity.
You can stay anonymous when you purchase a subscription thanks to Bitcoin transactions (although traditional payment methods are also available).
If you feel that this provider may be a good fit for your needs, here is a clear-cut review on Windscribe with a full description of its features.
Is Windscribe Safe: Conclusion
Although Windscribe doesn’t have the most favorable jurisdiction, it did its utmost to provide a secure service. It doesn’t collect any sensitive data or sell user information to advertisers. The golden standard of encryption OpenVPN enhanced with a strong cipher and perfect forward secrecy is at your disposal. The service prevents IP and DNS leaks and offers a firewall as a more reliable solution to safeguard your identity in case of disconnections. All in all, Windscribe is a safe and secure VPN service.