General Questions

What is Windscribe?

Windscribe is a set of tools that work together to block ad trackers and web beacons, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online.

What are these tools?

There are 2 components: desktop VPN application, and browser extension. You can use them on their own, but for much greater protection, you should use both. It's silly not to, since it doesn't cost extra.

How much does Windscribe cost?

If you are a light user, you can use Windscribe for free. You get up to 10GB of data per month, and you can use all of the tools we offer. If you need more data, for just $9/month you get unlimited usage. You probably spend 10x that on coffee alone!

What does the desktop application do?

The desktop application is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client. It creates an encrypted tunnel from your computer to our servers, and all your activity is sent through the tunnel. This has 2 advantages:

  1. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) IP address is masked, so any website you visit or any applications you use (Skype, Netflix, etc), will see our IP address, which is shared by thousands of people, so your activity is mixed with other users.
  2. Your Internet Service Provider cannot see what you do online. This is much more important than you think.

What does the browser extension do?

The browser extension provides a "Lite" VPN client, which does the same thing as the desktop one, but only in your browser. Any other applications you may be using on your computer will utilize your ISP provided IP address.
Additionally it blocks thousands of ad beacons and trackers that could follow you across the websites you visit, and compromise your privacy even if you are already using a VPN. It also blocks various "social widgets", such as Facebook Like buttons, Twitter badges, etc, which are embedded into millions of websites and report all your activity to their respective companies. It also rotates your user agent (which identifies your browser), which further scrambles your online activities in the eyes of whoever is watching.

Why should I use both products?

Contrary to popular belief, a VPN client alone will not keep you anonymous or significantly help your privacy online, unless you take extreme measures, at which point using the Internet becomes a burden.
Anonymous IP address alone provides some protection, however marketers, criminals and governments have stepped up their game which allows them to track you even if you already use a VPN. In order to combat this, browser level protection is also necessary to improve your chances of staying anonymous.

Will Windscribe make me 100% anonymous?

Unlikely. Achieving complete anonymity online is extremely difficult if not impossible. Anyone who claims otherwise most likely has a pair of pants that are on fire. Windscribe will get you 90% there, however the last 10% entirely depends on the user.

Can you see what I do online when I use Windscribe?

In theory, if we took extreme measures, we could, however the same could be said about any other service. We strongly believe in people's right to privacy, especially online, so our system is built from scratch, with that in mind. We do not store any permanent access logs or monitor what our users do. You can sign up without an email address, and pay with Bitcoin, so we would have no idea who you are. For more details, see our Privacy Policy.

Where is the company based?

The Great White North: Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. That's just north of Toronto.

Desktop Application FAQs

What are these locations that you can connect to?

By choosing a location, you will appear to be using the Internet as if you were physically located in that country. Your ISP provided IP address will be masked behind our IP, which is used by thousands of people, so you "get lost in the crowd", so to speak.

What is the firewall?

Firewall (sometimes known as "killswitch") blocks all Internet connectivity that happens outside the connection to our servers, so data does not leak your ISP provided IP address. This is helpful if your wifi suddenly drops or you restart your computer. With the firewall enabled, you can be sure that your true IP address doesn't get exposed.

What are the connection modes?

Connection modes allow for connecting to our servers using different protocols. This exists to make sure that if a certain port is blocked, or your network operator is performing deep packet inspector in order to track down VPN usage, you can still connect. We offer 3 connection methods:

  • Default - UDP protocol on port 443. Don't need to change this in 90% of cases.
  • Backup - TCP protocol on port 1194.
  • Stealth - TCP protocol via Stunnel on port 8443. Only use this if all other methods fail. May be handy in China.
  • What are the firewall modes?

  • Automatic (Default) - Firewall will be enabled when you connect, and disabled when you disconnect from a location. It will remain on if your connection suddenly drops. You should leave it in this mode unless you know what you're doing.
  • Manual - You can toggle the firewall on or off whenever you want.
  • Always On - Firewall is always on, and cannot be disabled unless you change this setting. You will not have any Internet access when you're disconnect from Windscribe.
  • Do you have IPv6 and DNS leak protection?

    Yes, IPv6 connectivity is firewalled at the client, and all DNS requests get made through the tunnel, resolving domains at the VPN server. This overrides your ISP DNS so you cannot be snooped on by them.

    What encryption parameters do you use?

    We use AES-256 cipher with SHA512 auth and a 4096-bit RSA key. We support perfect forward secrecy.

    What is the crossed out p2p icon that appears next to some locations?

    This means you shouldn't be using any file sharing/p2p/torrent applications while connected to this location.

    Browser Extension FAQs

    What are these locations that you can connect to?

    By choosing a location, you will appear to be using the Internet as if you were physically located in that country. Your ISP provided IP address will be masked behind our IP, which is used by thousands of people, so you "get lost in the crowd", so to speak.

    What is Cruise Control?

    Cruise Control is a unique Windscribe feature that automatically connects you to the best server which is closest to you, so you have optimal speeds, while at the same time automatically switches to a necessary location that you would need in order to bypass geo-blocked content.

    What is Double Hop?

    If you are using our desktop application (you really should) while having our extension installed you can connect to a second location in order to mask your traffic even further. This can slow down your Internet connection.

    What is a Secure.link generator?

    Secure.link generator allow you to create secure links right from your browser, as easily as right clicking on any page and selecting "Copy Secure.link" or by using the home screen of the extension. Secure.link will scan the destination page for known trackers and ad beacons, generate a screenshot of the page, and create a "report card" of the website you're linking to. You can then send this link to anyone in order to bring awareness to how much tracking happens on your favorite (and not so favorite) websites. You can add a password or even force people to install Windscribe to get to the destination page.

    What are "Privacy Options"?

    This is a unique Windscribe feature that works with our desktop client to help maintain your privacy online.

  • Ad Blocker - Blocks ads, which loads websites much faster and makes using the Internet a more pleasant experience.
  • Anti-social - Strip out all Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, G+ and many other social trackers from websites you visit, that all report your activities to their individual companies.
  • Untraceable - Remove known ad beacons and trackers from the websites you visit, that can track you across multiple websites you visit. Cross-site tracking is used to generate a profile on your unique activities, which destroys your privacy.
  • Split Personality - Rotates your browser's user agent every time you start your browser, which helps fight browser fingerprinting.
  • A website that used to work now doesn't, what's up?

    Sometimes the tracker blocking may cause certain sites to break. We do our best to eliminate these false positives, but some sites rely on trackers to function. You can whitelist sites that exhibit this behavior by clicking the "whitelist it" button at the bottom of the extension home screen.