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Windscribe vs. NordVPN

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Windscribe and NordVPN are popular providers, renowned for streaming and secure browsing – but is one better?

Spoiler alert: Windscribe offers seamless streaming, torrenting, and port forwarding. However, NordVPN is faster and provides better value and customer service.

Want to find out which provider is better for you? Keep reading!

Windscribe vs. NordVPN (Overview Table)

  Windscribe NordVPN
Servers: 150+ in 63 countries 5702 in 60 countries
Speed: 11.7 Mbps drop 10 Mbps drop
Protocols: Wireguard, IKEv2, TCP, UDP, Stealth, WSTunnel NordLynx, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP)
Streaming: BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, France.TV, Netflix BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, France.TV, Netflix
Torrenting: Yes, on most servers, seeding Special P2P servers preferred, no seeding
Gaming: 25 ping, 0% packet loss 9 ping, 0% packet loss
Logs: No-logs policy (unverified) Verified no-logs policy
Security: Two types of obfuscation, kill switch, firewall, AES-256 encryption, Double VPN Obfuscation, kill switch, AES-256 encryption, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN
Devices: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browser extensions, Smart TV, routers Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Smart TV, game consoles,  Raspberry Pi, routers
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited 6
Customer Support: Chatbot, email, tickets Live Chat 24/7
Best Deal: Windscribe Discount NordVPN Discount
Winner
NordVPN
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Server Locations

NordVPN has 5,700+ servers in 60 countries, and Windscribe has 150+ servers in 63 countries. Thus, finding the fastest server near you is easier with NordVPN.

However, both providers have servers in major European countries like the UK and Germany, the Americas, APAC, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Windscribe has a virtual server in Antarctica – so consider that provider if you need South Pole content!

Both providers’ servers are RAM-only to ensure your data is safe from third parties.

ram-based servers on windscribe

In the case of NordVPN, that server structure was audited by PwC.

I couldn’t find any records of an audit for Windscribe.

China

Neither provider offers a perfect solution for China. Windscribe VPN support confirmed they don’t currently offer an ideal approach and advise the “try it and see if it works” strategy.

china connection with windscribe

NordVPN’s support also confirmed they couldn’t connect users from China, especially on Windows devices. They provided some instructions for iOS devices, but I couldn’t test them.

china connection with nordvpn
nordvpn alternative servers to use in china

Therefore, I can’t recommend either provider for those traveling to China for business or vacation.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Windscribe offers over 150 servers in 62 countries, while NordVPN offers over 5700 servers in 60 countries. Neither provider works well in China, but given NordVPN’s wide range of RAM-only servers, it’s the winner.

Winner
NordVPN
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Is Windscribe Faster Than NordVPN?

Windscribe is slower than NordVPN. It was slower in 5 out of 9 speed tests!

But it’s unsurprising, given NordVPN’s fast proprietary protocol, NordLynx.

For my speed tests, I tested the following protocols:

  • Wireguard for Windscribe
  • NordLynx for NordVPN
  • IKEv2 for both
  • UDP for both

For my tests performed on Windows PC and iPhone, I used three locations:

  • The UK (my location)
  • USA (Florida)
  • Finland

The only tests where Windscribe was significantly faster than NordVPN were on the UDP protocol across all three locations. Check the next section for more details!

Speed Tests

Here are the results of my speed tests for Windscribe and NordVPN:

  US Server (Miami) UK Server Finnish Server
Windscribe (WireGuard) 24.7 Mbps drop 4 Mbps drop 16 Mbps drop
NordVPN (NordLynx) 12.6 Mbps drop 3 Mbps drop 2 Mbps drop
Windscribe (IKEv2) 18 Mbps drop 12.5 Mbps drop 5 Mbps drop
NordVPN (IKEv2) 12 Mbps drop 5 Mbps drop 7 Mbps drop
Windscribe (UDP) 14.6 Mbps drop 5.7 Mbps drop 4.8 Mbps drop
NordVPN (OpenVPN UDP) 19.7 Mbps drop 18 Mbps drop 12 Mbps drop

The best results were on NordVPN’s Finnish and UK servers with NordLynx.

nordvpn speed test results on finland server

NordVPN even performed reasonably well on the US server – only a 12 Mbps speed drop on the IKEv2 protocol. Considering Miami is very far away, I’m happy with these results.

That said, Windscribe did better than NordVPN on the UDP protocol in all locations, including Finland.

windscribe speed test results on finland server
EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN’s average speed drop was 10 Mbps, whereas Windscribe’s was 11.7 Mbps. That, plus the fact NordVPN performed better in 5 out of 9 speed tests, makes NordVPN the faster VPN.

Winner
NordVPN
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Streaming

I tested Windscribe and NordVPN with streaming platforms BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and France.TV. Additionally, I tested them with various Netflix libraries (see the next section)!

Here are the streaming test results:

Streaming Service Windscribe NordVPN
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
Amazon Prime Video Yes Yes
France.TV Yes Yes

NordVPN and Windscribe worked well with all three streaming services on the first try. So, I could watch the latest BBC shows like “Crossfire” and “The Gallows Pole” with both.

streaming bbc iplayer with windscribe on uk server

Likewise with Amazon Prime – I could watch “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Citadel” with zero lags.

streaming amazon prime with nordvpn on uk server

Lastly, both VPNs worked well with the French streaming service France.TV.

streaming france.tv with windscribe on france server

However, I did experience slight buffering when using NordVPN with the service – although it didn’t detract from the overall experience.

streaming france.tv with nordvpn on france server

Netflix Tests

I tested both VPN providers with three Netflix libraries – the UK, the US, and France. These are my test results:

Unblocks: Netflix US? Netflix UK? Netflix France?
Windscribe Yes Yes Yes
NordVPN Yes Yes Yes

Both VPNs effectively unblocked Netflix. However, I had a much easier time with Windscribe. I used the Wireguard protocol to unblock all three libraries, and the very first servers I tried were successful! For example, I watched the French cartoon “Rabbids Invasion” with no issues!

streaming netflix with windscribe on france server

Likewise with US Netflix – Windscribe’s New York server worked perfectly, with no lags or buffering.

streaming netflix with windscribe on us server

Regarding NordVPN, I only had luck with Netflix when connected via the NordLynx protocol. But once I figured it out, which took about 10 minutes, I accessed the UK library with no issues. I could enjoy my favorite shows like “Traitors.”

streaming netflix with nordvpn on uk server

I had the same luck with the French and the American libraries – they worked well with NordLynx, and I could binge on French reality TV without problems!

streaming netflix with nordvpn on france server
EXPERT SUMMARY

Windscribe and NordVPN work well with BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, France.TV, and Netflix. And any slight buffering or lags with NordVPN didn’t cause many problems. So, it’s a draw between Windscribe and NordVPN regarding streaming.

Winner
Draw

Torrenting

NordVPN and Windscribe allow torrenting, and both are excellent choices for P2P.

With Windscribe, most of its server locations allow P2P file sharing (except for Russia, Lithuania, India, and South Africa).

On the other hand, NordVPN may allow torrenting on every server, but you’re likely to be redirected to a P2P-optimized server if you try torrenting on a regular one.

Windscribe also allows port forwarding and seeding, whereas NordVPN doesn’t.

However, NordVPN performed better in my torrenting tests. Let’s take a look!

P2P Tests

I tested both providers’ torrenting speed on uTorrent, using a copyright-free movie, “The House I Live In,” which is 3.27 GB. Here are my test results.

  Average Download Speed Max Download Speed Download Completion Time
Windscribe 0.4 Mb/s 2.5 Mb/s 49 minutes
NordVPN 1 Mb/s 2.8 27 minutes 2 seconds

I had some issues with NordVPN P2P download. It took about 20 minutes before the torrent started downloading, and I had to change between five P2P servers to get it going!

However, I asked my colleagues to test it, and it worked fine for them, just like it has in the past for me. Plus, NordVPN’s download speed was better than Windscribe’s.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Both VPNs performed well for P2P file sharing. Although NordVPN doesn’t have port forwarding (like Windscribe does), it has better torrenting speeds than Windscribe. So, it’s a tie.

Winner
Draw

Gaming

I tested Windscribe and NordVPN for ping and packet loss to see how they’d work with games. Here’s what I found.

  Server Protocol Ping, ms Packet Loss
Windscribe Germany WireGuard 25 0%
NordVPN Germany NordLynx 9 0%

I then tested both VPNs with “March of Empires: War of Lords” and “Hidden City.”

With both games, NordVPN worked flawlessly, and there were no lags in my user experience.

playing march of empires with nordvpn on uk server

With Windscribe, there was a minor lag on the “March of Empires” game when I switched between quests. However, it worked perfectly on the hidden objects game “Hidden City.”

playing hidden city with windscribe on frankfurt server
EXPERT SUMMARY

Windscribe and NordVPN had zero-packet loss and low latency. However, NordVPN takes the lead, as it didn’t lag in high-concept games, unlike Windscribe.

Winner
NordVPN
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Privacy

NordVPN and Windscribe stress their commitment to privacy – for example, they offer cryptocurrency payments. But NordVPN stands out.

For instance, it’s located in Panama’s privacy-friendly jurisdiction with no data retention laws, while Windscribe is in Canada – a 5-eyes country.

NordVPN also offers extra privacy features like dark web monitoring and blocking malicious websites, malware, and ads.

It’s not all bad on Windscribe’s side, though. Like NordVPN, it offers adblocking and extra privacy features like blocking porn, social media, and clickbait.

Also, Windscribe only requires a username and password to create an account, whereas NordVPN requires an email.

Let’s take a look at both providers’ logging policies!

Logging Policies

Having looked at Windscribe and NordVPN’s privacy policies, I discovered the following:

  Traffic Logs? Connection Logs? IP Address? Server Location?
Windscribe No No No No
NordVPN No No No No

Both VPNs claim to have been audited. NordVPN’s latest privacy audit conducted by Deloitte in December 2022 is publicly available.

nordvpn privacy audit report by deloitte

On top of that, NordVPN’s Linux users can examine its open-source software anytime.

Windscribe also claims it was audited and has plans for more – but without any details. When I tried to get further clarification from their agents, I didn’t get a response (even a few days later).

windscribe privacy audit statement

However, Windscribe is also open-source, with several GitHub repositories that anyone can view.

windscribe github repositories

Despite that, I would like to see the actual audit reports for Windscribe for its privacy policy.

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN and Windscribe have no-logging policies, extra privacy features, and allow cryptocurrency payments. However, NordVPN was audited in 2022 and is in a privacy-friendly country, unlike Windscribe. So, NordVPN is the winner for privacy.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Security

Regarding security, NordVPN and Windscribe have robust offerings.

They offer top-level 256-bit encryption, protection from leaks, and kill switches.

Using both providers’ UDP protocol and German servers, I tested their encryption with Wireshark software. The tests showed that encryption worked well in both cases.

windscribe wireshark encryption test results on frankfurt server

In addition, I tested Windscribe and NordVPN for DNS and other leaks, such as WebRTC and IP, on their Swedish servers. No leaks were detected in either case!

nordvpn webrtc and ip leak test results on sweden server

As for kill switches, both VPNs offer them on mobile, and NordVPN also on Desktop.

Meanwhile, Windscribe offers a Firewall option on its Desktop app instead of a kill switch – a solution that restricts all non-VPN traffic.

That option is customizable and can be “always-on” or only when your VPN is on.

In my opinion, it’s no different from a kill switch. However, NordVPN still has a slight lead, as its kill switch can be customized to filter which apps it affects.

Let’s take a look at the additional security features!

Custom Security Protocols

NordVPN and Windscribe have custom protocols to enhance users’ speed and security.

NordVPN’s Wireguard-based NordLynx protocol enables speedy and secure connections. Our speed tests show that it works very well!

Meanwhile, Windscribe doesn’t offer custom speed protocols.

But its custom Stealth and WStunnel protocols wrap your VPN connection with an SSL encryption or web sockets, obfuscating that you’re using a VPN.

Keep reading for more insights into obfuscation!

Double VPN

NordVPN and Windscribe also offer a double VPN feature.

For NordVPN, this is enabled in the app, and it routes your traffic through two of the nine Double VPN server locations.

nordvpn double vpn feature

In comparison, Windscribe allows Double VPN on all 150 servers.

However, it has to be enabled manually in two steps – first, on the Windscribe Desktop app, then through connecting to a different location in its browser extension.

Therefore, NordVPN’s Dedicated IP is better. Not only is it easier to enable, but it’s also more secure – browser extensions’ protection only extends to the browser and doesn’t encrypt your entire device.

Obfuscation

NordVPN and Windscribe are great for those who want to bypass VPN blocks, as they offer obfuscation tools.

For Windscribe, it’s offered through two custom security protocols WStunnel and Stealth, available on all 150+ servers. I recommend starting with Stealth, as SSL encryption is more secure than web socket obfuscation.

For NordVPN, obfuscation is available through its Obfuscated Servers feature. 

These servers are 16 NordVPN server locations, including the US, Poland, and UAE.

nordvpn obfuscation servers

Windscribe is better for obfuscation, as it’s offered on all servers, and there are two options to choose from. But remember that one of them is more secure than the other!

Extra Security Features

NordVPN offers an Onion Over VPN feature, which allows you to connect to the TOR network using one of the two specialized NordVPN servers in the Netherlands or Switzerland.

Windscribe also works with the TOR network but doesn’t have specially optimized servers. Thus, NordVPN is the better option if you frequently use TOR.

windscribe tor feature
EXPERT SUMMARY

Both VPN providers offer top-tier security features, such as Double VPN and Obfuscation, in addition to top-level encryption and kill switches/firewalls. However, NordVPN has the edge over Windscribe, thanks to its customizable kill switch and TOR-optimized servers, making it the winner.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Devices & Connections

Windscribe and NordVPN work with all major operating systems.

They’re available on Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux OS.

However, NordVPN also works with Raspberry Pi and Chrome OS, while Windscribe doesn’t.

Both VPNs are also compatible with routers. You can choose from pre-configured routers and a manual configuration with both Windscribe and NordVPN.

nordvpn compatible routers

Also, both providers work with Smart TVs, such as Amazon TV and Android TV, and various browsers. However, only NordVPN works with gaming systems like PS and Xbox – another reason it’s better for gaming!

Here’s the full list of compatible devices for the two VPNs:

  Windscribe NordVPN
Compatible OS? Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Chrome
Smart TVs? Amazon FireTV, KODI, NVIDIA Shield, Android TV Fire Stick, Android TV
Router Support? Yes Yes
Browser Extension? Chrome, Firefox, Edge Chrome, Firefox, Edge

NordVPN also offers a SmartDNS feature that allows you to bypass geo-blocks on TV and watch the content on devices that don’t natively support VPNs.

It’s easy to set up in your NordVPN account – I got the confirmation in only ten minutes!

That puts NordVPN ahead of Windscribe, as it doesn’t offer SmartDNS.

Regarding devices and simultaneous connections, you can install both VPNs on any number of devices. However, NordVPN can only be used on 6 devices simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Windscribe claims to offer unlimited simultaneous connections. 

However, it stipulates that the VPN must be for personal use only, and that you’ll be banned for “extreme use.”

windscribe simultaneous use policy

While it’s clear that I’m not allowed to share my Windscribe subscription, I found these terms very vague in contrast to NordVPN’s clear terms.

account sharing terms on nordvpn

Therefore, NordVPN’s offering is more straightforward, as there are fewer risks of getting banned if you exceed your usage limit!

nordvpn usage limit
EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN and Windscribe work on a wide range of devices. But NordVPN’s clearer terms on simultaneous connections, SmartDNS, and availability on gaming systems make it the winner.

Winner
NordVPN
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Split Tunneling

Both VPNs offer split tunneling. For NordVPN and Windscribe, the feature is available on Windows and Android, but only Windscribe offers it on Mac as well. 

Split tunneling is customizable in the app for both VPNs and is available on all plans. So, you can enjoy a seamless browsing experience of local content without getting blocked by your banking app with Windscribe and NordVPN!

nordvpn split tunneling feature

Port Forwarding

Only Windscribe offers port forwarding on its premium accounts – something to keep in mind if you need to seed torrents or boost the potential of your router! NordVPN doesn’t offer port forwarding.

You can choose from two types of port forwarding on Windscribe:

  • Ephemeral
  • Static

With the ephemeral option, the port configurations will be valid for 7 days.

With the static option, you can get a permanent port and a static IP at an extra cost.

port forwading cost on windscribe

Dedicated IP

Only NordVPN offers a Dedicated IP, so consider it if you need a dedicated IP for secure access on specific devices. Windscribe doesn’t offer Dedicated IP, although it does offer a Static IP.

NordVPN’s Dedicated IP is an add-on to any of its plans. There are three Dedicated IP pricing options tied to NordVPN’s 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year plans:

  • $9.39 per month for a 1-month plan
  • $7.98 per month for a 1-year plan
  • $4.12 per month for a 2-year plan.

There are 13 NordVPN server locations on which Dedicated IP is available, including the UK, the US, and Australia.

nordvpn dedicated ip feature
EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN and Windscribe offer a decent range of features, such as split tunneling. NordVPN offers Dedicated IP, and Windscribe offers Port Forwarding – both at an extra cost. So, it’s a tie between the two regarding extra features.

Winner
Draw

Customer Support

NordVPN and Windscribe offer a “chat” option. But NordVPN’s is available 24/7, whereas Windscribe requires you to send a message, and they’ll get back to you by email. In both cases, you have to go through a bot first. However, in my tests, NordVPN’s Live Chat only worked on mobile.

Still, it’s worth mentioning that my colleagues don’t have issues contacting NordVPN live chat through a browser.

Moving on, I asked both providers the same question with the chat feature: “How do I ensure my ISP doesn’t know I’m using a VPN?

With NordVPN, I immediately requested an agent, and the bot transferred me in 2 minutes. They gave a response right away, and I was pleased with it.

However, with Windscribe, I had to ask their bot the question and provide follow-up comments. The response came by email 5 hours later.

windscribe customer support

NordVPN’s response was instant, putting it ahead of Windscribe.

Also, Windscribe’s chatbox has a 150-character limit – not ideal if you have a complex query!

Both providers also have a ticketing system and a detailed library of guides and FAQs. NordVPN also has a YouTube channel with answers to common questions.

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN’s chatbot works well, and the responses are quick. Windscribe doesn’t offer a Live Chat, and its chat function limits your question to 150 characters. So, NordVPN is far ahead of Windscribe in that regard.

Winner
NordVPN
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Usability

NordVPN and Windscribe have user-friendly Desktop and mobile apps and offer a pleasant Dark Mode interface.

For Windscribe, all the small icons and labels for settings on the Desktop app are less user-friendly than NordVPN’s.

However, it’s much better in the mobile app, though switching protocols on desktop is easier. The list of servers is easy to navigate in both apps. So, Windscribe is a good option for a new user.

NordVPN’s features are easy to figure out in the desktop and mobile apps – the mobile app even has a search bar!

However, the Desktop app is more complex – but more accessible than Windscribe! For instance, it can take time to familiarize yourself with changing protocols, enabling split tunneling, etc.

nordvpn settings
EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN and Windscribe are both fairly user-friendly, though Windscribe is behind in terms of accessibility. However, it’s more suitable for beginners, thanks to its simple interface, making Windscribe a winner.

Winner
windscribe logo
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Price & Value

Finally, NordVPN and Windscribe offer various pricing options, but NordVPN is more affordable.

Here’s an example of Windscribe pricing:

windscribe plan pricing

Windscribe also offers a free version.

And here’s an example of NordVPN pricing (2 years):

Despite Windscribe’s free option, NordVPN is more affordable and has a better refund policy – a 30-day money-back guarantee. Meanwhile, Windscribe only allows 3 days for a refund!

windscribe money back guarantee

Both VPNs are pretty even on payment methods – you can pay with all major cards, PayPal, AliPay, and cryptocurrency. NordVPN also allows payments in App Store and Google Play.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Windscribe offers a free VPN, but NordVPN’s plans are more affordable than Windscribe’s paid plans, and it offers a longer money-back guarantee. So, NordVPN is the better choice for value for money.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Windscribe vs. NordVPN

  Windscribe NordVPN Winner
Servers: 150+ in 63 countries 5702 in 60 countries NordVPN
Speed: 11.7 Mbps drop 10 Mbps drop NordVPN
Protocols: Wireguard, IKEv2, TCP, UDP, Stealth, WSTunnel NordLynx, IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP) Tie
Streaming: BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, France.TV, Netflix BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, France.TV, Netflix Tie
Torrenting: Yes, on most servers, seeding Special P2P servers preferred, no seeding Tie
Gaming: 25 ping, 0% packet loss 9 ping, 0% packet loss NordVPN
Logs: No-logs policy (unverified) Verified no-logs policy NordVPN
Security: Two types of obfuscation, kill switch, firewall, AES-256 encryption, Double VPN Obfuscation, kill switch, AES-256 encryption, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN NordVPN
Devices: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, browser extensions, Smart TV, routers Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome OS, Smart TV, game consoles,  Raspberry Pi, routers NordVPN
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited 6 NordVPN
Customer Support: Chatbot, email, tickets Live Chat 24/7 NordVPN
Best Deal: Windscribe Discount NordVPN Discount  
More Comparisons:

Which VPN Is Better?

As you can see, NordVPN is the better VPN provider in almost all aspects – from privacy and security to customer support and value for money.

Plus, it offers extras like Dedicated IP and is better for gamers.

However, Windscribe performed equally well in the streaming and torrenting tests. Plus, it offers a free option.

Ready to try a VPN provider? Grab these Windscribe or NordVPN discounts today!

THE WINNER IS NORDVPN

Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.

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