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Windscribe vs. NordVPN: Which One to Choose in 2019?

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A few years back, driven by the need for better online privacy, I started my somewhat frustrating journey to find a VPN provider that satisfied all my needs.

I am not very picky but I was looking for something that was a good value for the money.

Most of the VPNs I came across were either great and very expensive or cheap but poor in features. Therefore, I know how challenging this process can be, and I want to help you find the best provider.

Eventually, after trying out different VPN service providers, I managed to narrow down my list to some of the best VPN solutions on the market.

My final choice came down to Windscribe vs. NordVPN.

They are both very affordable and rich in features.

In this honest comparison, I will disclose all the pros and cons of both VPNs to help you pick the best one for you in 2019.

Let’s begin!

WindscribeNordVPN
Rating4.1 of 5
4.1/5
4.8 of 5
4.8/5
PriceView Best PriceView Best Price
JurisdictionCanadaPanama
Logging PolicyKeeps Some LogsNo Logging Policy
Servers & CountriesServers in 60+ countries5110+ Servers in 58+ Countries
Torrenting / P2P
YesYes
EncryptionAES-256-bitAES-256-bit
Customer Support24/7 Live Chat + Email24/7 Live Chat + Email
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimitedSix Devices
Supported Platforms Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox
Free Trial
YesNo
Visit:Go with WindscribeGo with NordVPN

Why I Chose NordVPN and Windscribe?

Before making a purchase, think of all the things you want your VPN service provider to have.

My initial concern was to find an inexpensive VPN, as I was on a tight budget, but I also wanted the provider to be rich in privacy and security features.

I looked at the free VPN alternatives on the market as a possible solution.

After trying out some of them myself, I realized that most free VPNs are very limited in features.

Some of them also fail to deliver proper security and privacy features.

There are a few good exceptions, but free VPN providers fall behind paid ones in terms of overall quality.

A much better option is to find a cheaper provider or one that offers a free plan.

Keep in mind that even free plans from respected VPN service providers will be limited in some ways, but they are a decent temporary solution.

You’ll see in the comparison below that both NordVPN and Windscribe have premium features.

They are a good value for the money and can be a friendly solution for your wallet.

Windscribe also offers a limited free plan if that’s what you are searching for.

The following comparison is made based on the main criteria I value in VPNs:

  • Privacy and security;
  • Speed and server count;
  • Performance;
  • Price.

NordVPN and Windscribe are excellent for people who want premium features for affordable prices. They are, however, very different and target different types of VPN users.

Let’s see which one might be the right solution for you.

Features and Things To Consider

Jurisdiction and Privacy ​

CriteriaWindscribeNordVPN
JurisdictionCanadaPanama
LoggingSome LogsNo-Logging Policy

If you are a privacy-freak like me, you’d appreciate a VPN that respects your privacy.

In other words the VPN:

  • Won’t store logs or any kind of information that might be used to identify you;
  • Will be based in a country that respects privacy;
  • Will offer private means of payment, such as Bitcoin.

Windscribe is based in Canada.

Unfortunately, the country is a part of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance.

That is an immense disadvantage for users whose principal concern in online privacy.

When you look inside Windscribe’s privacy policy, you will notice that they store some logs.

They store bandwidth data for 30 days and timestamps from your last activity.

While you are using their servers, Windscribe will keep data on how many simultaneous connections you are using, the Open VPN/IKEv2 username, and the time of your connection, as well as how much data you transferred per session.

They do not store the websites you visited through their VPN server, the historical records of your VPN sessions, not the source IP address.

Windscribe TOS
When you are actively connected to a server

NordVPN, on the other hand, is much more considerable with its privacy.

The company has a strict zero-logging policy, which means it won’t store any information on you.

A helpful circumstance is that NordVPN is based in Panama. The country doesn’t have strict data retention laws or government surveillance that might compel the company to collect your logs.

NordVPN's privacy policy

Both Windscribe and NordVPN offer the option to pay privately, with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. However, if we consider all the facts, NordVPN is better when it comes to privacy.

Winner: NordVPN

Popularity on the Market

NordVPN is a very popular provider, and it’s one of the leaders in the industry.

Its popularity is focused around its affordable prices, great features, and unblocking capabilities.

Windscribe, on the other hand, is widely popular for its free plan.

Compared to one another, NordVPN is the more attractive solution, although Windscribe doesn’t fall much behind. The provider managed to top NordVPN for a brief moment back in 2017, but couldn’t keep up with its growth.

Winner: NordVPN

Cost Comparison

OptionsWindscribeNordVPN
Price Plans
  • $9 per month, billed every month;
  • $49 per 12 months;
  • Custom price plan, billed $1 per location, per month.
  • $11.95 per month, billed every month;
  • $83.88 per 12 months;
  • $119.76 per 24 months;
  • $125.64 per 36 months;
Free Trial
NoNo
Free Plan
YesNo
Return Policy3 Days, up to 10GB of usage30 Days

NordVPN and Windscribe are considerably different when it comes to prices.

NordVPN has a more basic approach to pricing. The provider is quite affordable, and its prices start at $11.95 per month as the most expensive option and decrease with the length of the subscription.

You can often find discounts, but even without them, NordVPN’s longest subscription of 36 months is reasonably priced. It costs a total of $125.64, or only $3.49 per month.

NordVPN, unfortunately, does not offer a free plan or a free trial, but it does have a 30-days refund policy and offers some decent discounts.

On the other hand, one of the most praised things about Windscribe is its low price, as well as the provider’s free plan.

Although limited, Windscribe implements a free subscription for its users, which is something you won’t see very often in premium providers. The plan allows up to 10GB of bandwidth per month, decent server speeds, and 10 servers.

The premium plan, however, extends the features and offers better speeds, but more on that later.

Windscribe’s monthly subscription is billed $9.00 every month, while their yearly subscription costs a total of $49 charged every 12 months or only $4.08 monthly, moreover, you can also get a voucher.

That is much cheaper than NordVPN.

Additionally, Windscribe has another price plan that you can tailor according to your needs.

The subscription price depends on how many servers you want, and it’s billed just $1 per every server monthly.

Due to its excellent price plan, Windscribe does not have a long money-back guarantee, but the company still offers a 3-day return policy that should not exceed 10GB of bandwidth.

Winner: Windscribe

Server Coverage

Depending on your needs, the server coverage of a VPN might be the determining point of whether you will choose a provider or skip it.

After all, there are a lot of benefits that come with more servers, including:

  • Faster speeds;
  • Accessing much broader content on the internet;
  • Unblocking geo-restrictions and bypassing censorship;
  • Accessing blocked gaming servers;
  • Streaming your favorite movies and shows.
NordVPN servers map

Both NordVPN and Windscribe have extensive server coverage, but NordVPN is in the lead with over 5,000 servers in 58 countries.

The provider’s unique feature when it comes to servers lies in its Stealth mode or the ability to mask OpenVPN traffic to look like regular HTTPS traffic.

That can be done through NordVPN’s obfuscated servers, which should be used if you want to bypass stronger bans and restrictions online. They even allow users to bypass the Great Firewall of China and browse freely, an advantage only a few providers can successfully pull off.

Windscribe, on the other hand, has fewer servers than NordVPN but covers a total of 60 countries, and 110 cities. Their free plan, as I mentioned earlier, is limited to 10 server locations.

Winner: NordVPN

Server Speed

The speed is essential for the overall performance of the VPN.

Even with the most advantageous features or prices, if a VPN does not have decent speeds, it can be very frustrating to use.

NordVPN and Windscribe show satisfactory speeds, as you can see in the charts below.

When I connected on NordVPN’s “Quick Connect”, I was immediately transferred to a nearby server, and the speed didn’t show any vital difference. I was able to browse privately, yet with the same speeds.

The U.K. and U.S. speeds did not decline too much either, which is an excellent sign for passionate streamers or gamers who value the performance above everything else.

PingDownload
Speed before using NordVPN17 ms47.33 Mbps
Connected to a nearby server
21 ms47.55 Mbps (+0.46%)
Connected to a UK server
58 ms41.26 Mbps (-12.82%)
Connected to a US server
127 ms43.97 Mbps (-7.10%)
NordVPN's download & upload to a UK server
NordVPN's download & upload to a US server

Windscribe, on the other hand, was slower than NordVPN, particularly when I used the free plan.

Their premium servers are faster, so keep that in mind when you are making a decision.

I noticed a significant difference in the server speeds, although I was surprised to see that the US connection did not have such a notable decline in speed, as the UK server.

PingDownload
Speed before using Windscribe19 ms49.36 Mbps
Connected on ‘Best Location’47 ms37.58 Mbps (-23.87%)
Connected to a UK server
60 ms11.44 Mbps (-76.80%)
Connected to a US server
152 ms38.77 Mbps (-21.45%)
Windscribe's download & upload to a UK server
Windscribe's download & upload to a US server

Winner: NordVPN

Streaming and Torrenting​

Streaming Services:WindscribeNordVPN
NetflixNoYes
HBO Go
NoYes
HuluNoYes
SpotifyYesYes
Amazon PrimeYesYes
BBC iPlayerNoYes

Both NordVPN and Windscribe allow streaming and torrenting on their servers.

However, when it comes to actually unblocking the content, Windscribe falls behind NordVPN’s excellent performance and unblocking capabilities.

NordVPN can unblock pretty much everything, even Netflix, but you have to pick the right servers that are optimized for this. Also, the provider has P2P servers for torrenting, which you can easily find on their server list.

Specialty servers

Unfortunately, it was much more difficult to access the more popular streaming platforms with Windscribe.

If you want to use their free plan, forget about accessing geo-blocked streaming services.

It won’t be possible.

Their premium servers were more efficient, still failed to show positive results.

I wasn’t able to access Netflix, Hulu, nor BBC iPlayer.

The VPN, however, works with lesser restrictions such as the one on Spotify.

Overall, Windscribe can bypass more basic geo-restrictions, but it’s a struggle finding a server that can circumvent strong blocks.

One positive aspect of Windscribe is that it allows torrenting on its servers.

Winner: NordVPN

Security Features

FeatureWindscribeNordVPN
Security Protocols
  • IKEv2
  • OpenVPN
  • SOCKS5
  • OpenVPN UDP
  • OpenVPN TCP
  • IKEv2/IPsec
EncryptionAES-256-bitAES-256-bit
Kill SwitchYesYes
Leak Test
SecureSecure

Both NordVPN and Windscribe have excellent security features. They have strong AES-256-bit encryption and support several security protocols, including OpenVPN.

Windscribe also enables IKEv2 as its default protocol, as well as SOCKS 5 protocol.

The company supports many ports through its OpenVPN, and you can choose which one to use.
In terms of other security features, it’s good to know that Windscribe has a kill switch, although you’ll find it under a different name on their website (Firewall).

The provider allows split tunneling and port-forwarding, and has other remarkable features unique to its service, such as R.O.B.E.R.T., their WebRTC Slayer, and Split Personality.

NordVPN also excels in security and enables double encryption, a kill switch, CyberSec, DNS leak protection, etc.

Winner: TIE

Customer Support

Once you enter Windscribe’s website, it’s easy to get a hold of their support.

You can either use their ‘self-help’ section with a lot of helpful guides, FAQ, and a knowledge base or choose their personalized customer support.

Windscribe does not have a live chat but instead uses a chatbot that can be helpful for only the more basic things. If you need additional help where their bot Harry cannot help you, you can submit a ticket or visit Windscribe’s subreddit.

Help center of Windscribe

NordVPN has convenient 24/7 customer support.

You can reach them through a live chat and email, and it won’t take long before someone responds to you. I’ve had different experiences with their customer support, from excellent to modest, but never bad.

If you want to find a quick solution to your problem, you can check NordVPN’s support page or helpful tutorials.

For me, personally, having a conversation with a real person that can help you is better than relying on a chatbot, which is why I prefer NordVPN’s customer support.

Winner: NordVPN

Device Compatibility and Connections

Features:WindscribeNordVPN
Simultaneous ConnectionsUnlimitedSix Devices
Supported Platforms
Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, FirefoxWindows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox
Leak ProtectionYesYes

NordVPN is compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux.

The provider also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox and allows six simultaneous connections, which is above the market’s average of up to five connections.

However, compared to Windscribe’s unlimited connections on both the free and the premium price plan, NordVPN falls behind.

Windscribe is compatible with the same devices and browsers or Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome and Firefox. Depending on which one you use, the features might differ.

Winner: Windscribe

User Experience

Finally, after considering everything, I need to address the importance of a friendly interface.

Even if you are an experienced user, it’s nice to have a simple interface, with everything only a click away from you.

Both NordVPN and Windscribe are incredibly easy to use. Once you download their software and install it on your device, you will see that it won’t take you longer than a few minutes to get used to the apps.

They both come with nicely arranged servers and a menu where you can adjust the settings.

To use the software and connect to a server, you only need to click on the ‘connect’ button, or in Windscribe’s case the “ON/OFF” button.

Windscribe is off
Windscribe is connected and ON
Interface

NordVPN’s interface has a map of the world, where they show their servers.

Instead of searching for them on the server menu, you can find your location on the map.

It’s easy and very straightforward.

User friendly NordVPN's app interface

Winner: TIE

Conclusion

To say one is better than the other is difficult because these two providers are very different.

They have unique selling propositions and are suitable for different users.

If you are more concerned about privacy and want to efficiently unblock content on the internet, my suggestion is to use NordVPN (click here & get a massive discount).

If your principal concern is the money, then Windscribe can be a great substitute for free providers.

My advice to you would be to make a well-calculated decision based on your unique preferences, but only after carefully reviewing the comparison.

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