Windscribe vs NordVPN

When discussing VPN providers, Windscribe and NordVPN are not typically mentioned in the same breath. This comparison breaks away from the norm to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

NordVPN is a well-known player in the VPN industry, often topping lists of the best VPNs. It boasts numerous reviews and endorsements, including sponsorships from popular YouTubers. On the other hand, Windscribe, a Canada-based VPN, tends to fly under the radar, garnering recommendations mainly from occasional Reddit users rather than securing a top-ranking position.

Exploring how an under-the-radar VPN stacks up against a market giant is intriguing. Does fame equate to superior performance? This review aims to answer that question and help you discover a potential new favorite VPN.

This article aims to explore the nuances of Windscribe vs NordVPN through an in-depth comparative review, examining various aspects such as speed performance, streaming capabilities, security features, pricing structures, and more. By delving into the similarities and differences, we aim to assist users in making an informed decision on which VPN aligns best with their requirements.

Quick Comparison

It’s a difficult decision, but NordVPN deserves the streaming royalty crown in this one. That doesn’t mean that Windscribe is much worse – NordVPN is just a little better. To explore the distinctive features and performance aspects that position NordVPN as the preferred choice, read on for an in-depth analysis.

Features Overview

Regarding features, both NordVPN and Windscribe have something to offer. Some of these features have the same names; some have different names but do virtually the same things.
Right off the bat, it’s going to be evident that NordVPN takes the cake in this one. It has way more specialized servers than Windscribe.

At the core, every VPN aims to safeguard users’ online activities from prying eyes, whether it be governmental authorities, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), or malicious actors. While this baseline functionality is standard, the devil lies in the details of features and implementations unique to each VPN. Let’s start by dissecting the commonalities and distinctions between Windscribe and NordVPN.

Double-Hop and Data Encryption Methods

One notable feature shared by both VPNs is the use of double-hop or multi-hop encryption. This method routes data through not just one but two servers, and sometimes more, making it more challenging for potential eavesdroppers to decipher and pinpoint the user’s actual location. The ability to conceal data effectively is a crucial aspect of any VPN, and both Windscribe and NordVPN excel in implementing multiple layers of encryption.

Speed performance: Windscribe vs NordVPN

When evaluating the speed performance of VPNs like Windscribe and NordVPN, it’s crucial to consider multiple factors, including server proximity and baseline speed. Despite these variables, comparing average speeds provides a fair assessment of their performance.

Windscribe and NordVPN exhibit similar speeds, excelling with specific protocols while performing less optimally with others. Notably, they share the NordLynx and WireGuard protocols, with NordVPN’s NordLynx boasting slight speed improvements compared to WireGuard. Windscribe, on the other hand, offers the WireGuard protocol as an option on all devices, showing comparable performance to NordVPN.

Testing NordLynx, we observed a 63% retention of the original speed and a 43% retention of the upload speed. Windscribe’s WireGuard, while slightly behind NordVPN, still delivers a commendable performance. It’s worth noting that Windscribe has plans to make WireGuard its primary protocol in the future.

Examining UDP and TCP protocols within OpenVPN, both NordVPN and Windscribe utilize them. Windscribe goes further with its WStunnel and Stealth variations. NordVPN takes the lead regarding UDP download speeds, retaining 65% of the original speed. In comparison, Windscribe experiences a more significant drop at 72%.

In summary, Windscribe and NordVPN demonstrate competitive speeds, each excelling in different areas. Windscribe’s implementation of WireGuard and NordVPN’s use of NordLynx contribute to their overall performance, catering to various user preferences and needs.

Streaming Performance

We are pleased with the solid performance of both NordVPN and Windscribe in unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms. However, subtle distinctions emerge regarding server functionality and connection stability, with NordVPN demonstrating superior performance, particularly with Netflix.

Windscribe has specialized streaming servers, named Windflix, situated in the US, Canada, the UK, and Japan. Conversely, NordVPN features SmartPlay, a dedicated feature designed to enhance streaming experiences. Both services successfully unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube.

Nevertheless, NordVPN holds an edge over Windscribe in the streaming domain; it has a more significant number of locations and eliminates the need to switch servers when accessing various streaming platforms. While Windflix allows streaming only in the specified four countries, regular Windscribe servers offer sporadic success. Finding the correct server for unblocking your preferred streaming service may require multiple reconnections.

In contrast, every NordVPN server reliably unblocks all mentioned streaming services worldwide, with issues being rare and promptly resolved.


For users who engage in torrenting, both Windscribe and NordVPN offer support. Windscribe distinguishes its P2P-friendly servers with clear markings, ensuring users can easily identify servers that support Peer-to-Peer (P2P) connections.

However, The same can’t be said for speeds, though. They could have been more consistent throughout the downloading process, and it took 10 minutes to download a picture over 4 GB in size.

NordVPN, on the other hand, has specialized P2P servers with additional filtering options, ensuring optimal speed and security for torrenting activities. When P2P activities are detected on regular servers, it automatically switches you to a specialized one to offer maximum speed and security.

Specialized servers

NordVPN takes the lead in this aspect, providing a diverse range of specialized servers catering to specific use cases. These include:

  • P2P servers for torrenting
  • Dedicated IP servers for users who want a consistent IP address
  • Double VPN or Multi-hop servers for enhanced privacy, ideal for exploring the dark web

Windscribe, while offering some specialized servers, has a more limited selection. The notable ones include Windflix servers for streaming and Double Hop or Multi-hop servers for maximum privacy.

Web Filters

Web filtering protects you from cyber threats by blocking malicious ads and websites. This, in turn, reduces the risk of infecting your device with malware. The existence of negative ads and websites requires you to be always careful when browsing, but always being on your toes takes a toll on your nerves (and toes), so if a VPN takes this burden off your shoulders (toes) and is constantly on the lookout for any potential threats – kudos to it.

Both VPNs prioritize user security by implementing web filters. These filters block malicious ads and websites, reducing the risk of device infection with malware.

NordVPN introduced the Dark Web Monitoring feature, which checks leaked databases and the dark web for compromised user data, providing timely notifications.

Windscribe’s counterpart to this is ROBERT, a feature that blocks ad trackers, domains, and IPs deemed untrustworthy.


Security is The Thing with any VPN. Protecting your IP address and encrypting your traffic are the primary purposes of this service. If it performs poorly, it should go straight to the file shredder.

Luckily, Windscribe and NordVPN are both excellent at this security Thing. They use the military-grade AES-256-CBC cipher for encryption and the SHA-512 hash function for additional access data processing. However, encryption and hash functions are not the only things that secure a VPN.


RAM-only servers are becoming more and more commonplace in the VPN industry, and we’re glad to tell you that both Windscribe and NordVPN have taken action in this security area.

This means that hard drives are no more, and data cannot be logged on them. Such measures also make server breaches less likely, and the RAM-only servers wipe themselves clean after each restart.

Windscribe announced its transition to RAM-only servers on July 8th, 2021, after the incident of Ukrainian authorities seizing Windscribe’s servers without any notice or warning. They also proclaimed that creating a new in-memory system ensures temporary data storage is in process.

On the other hand, NordVPN has already moved to offer their customers colocated, or RAM-only, servers. Even though such early action is admirable, it must be noted that such decisions were set in stone only after the 2018 data center breach.


User data privacy is closely tied to a VPN’s country of legislation and its association with multinational alliances. Windscribe, based in Canada and a member of the 5 Eyes alliance, falls under scrutiny. While Windscribe claims not to log incriminating information, the possibility of sharing user data with other alliance members exists in case of legal complications.

According to Windscribe’s privacy policy, specific data is logged, including the transaction ID of user payments (retained for 30 days), the number of bytes transferred monthly, and the timestamp of the last VPN activity. Neither Windscribe nor NordVPN logs user IP addresses or online browsing activities.

Plans & Pricing

The pricing structure of VPNs often plays a crucial role in user decisions. Both Windscribe and NordVPN offer a variety of subscription plans, each with its own pricing model.


Windscribe presents a unique approach by allowing users to build their plan at $1 per location per month. While lacking a 2-year plan, Windscribe provides a 1-month subscription for $9/month, making it a viable option for short-term users. The absence of a long-term commitment allows flexibility, and users can opt for the free version or choose the 1-month subscription when needed.

Bytefora: Windscribe vs NordVPN Pricing plan


NordVPN follows the conventional approach with various subscription plans, including 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year options. The 1-month plan is priced at $4.49/month, while the 1-year plan offers a slight discount. Notably, NordVPN’s 2-year plan stands out as a cost-effective option at $2.99/month. Additionally, NordVPN provides a free trial, allowing users to explore the service before making a commitment.

Bytefora: NordVPN Pricing plan

Pricing Comparison

While Windscribe may appear more economical for short-term subscriptions, NordVPN’s 2-year plan proves more cost-effective in the long run. NordVPN’s additional features and broader server network contribute to the overall value proposition, making it a preferred choice for users seeking a comprehensive VPN solution.

Servers and Locations

Server and location count are other highly discussed features in the VPN world. Locations are essential for streaming, and server count is vital for traffic distribution.

However, NordVPN supports many other software and devices, from routers to Kindle Fire. The same can’t be said about Windscribe, as it supports only three other software.

Device Compatibility

Before all consideration, it must be noted that choosing the VPN based on user interface (UI) design comes down to personal preference.

Desktop apps

Windscribe’s desktop apps have a minimal interface compared to NordVPN’s. It may be different from the pinnacle of UI design. Still, the easy navigation and witty location names (Helsinki Sauna or Brisbane Bad Koala and Brisbane Good Koala) could make up for the tiny interface.

MacOS and Windows apps look the same without any discernible differences. Linux client, on the other hand, has no graphical interface at all, and the only embellishment is the pixelated Windscribe logo that appears on the terminal. The installation and use process could be more intuitive, requiring much updating and configuration.

NordVPN’s desktop interface is light, as big as you want it, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s straightforward to navigate, find the needed features, tweak settings, and pause connections. The location selection is available in a list and an interactive world map with cute little pine trees for decoration.

Like Windscribe, NordVPN doesn’t have a graphical Linux interface, but the commands are straightforward to remember. The installation process for every client – Windows, Linux, and MacOS – is also painless and smooth.

Mobile apps

NordVPN’s mobile apps are very similar to those of desktop. There is the map and the side menu with all the functions – although these could be arranged better. I sometimes needed help finding where some of the settings were. The Android client also has a dark mode (which depends on your device’s settings).

The only discernible difference is actually between the features. The Android version, for example, doesn’t have the favorites section but has split tunneling, pausing, auto-connect options, and a configurable kill switch. The latter is always on the iOS client, besides Dark Web monitoring, which differs from what is present on Android.

Windscribe’s mobile apps are more convenient than the desktop version. Firstly, the display is across the whole screen, and the design is simple but still pleasing to the eye. All of the functions are where you would hope to find them, and the country list is easily accessible. One drawback is that the phone vibrates when you scroll down the country list, but this may be something most people can get behind.

Customer support

The last but not most minor aspect to look at is customer support. NordVPN and Windscribe have extensive help and knowledge centers with tutorials and how-to guides. Windscribe also has a pretty active subreddit where users and support agents assist those in need.

NordVPN has a live chat available 24/7, and you can also reach support by phone. Windscribe, meanwhile, has only a chatbot, and if it’s unable to answer your questions, submitting a ticket is your only way to reach human intelligence. Nevertheless, the answers usually come in a few hours, which is okay.


It is clear by now that both NordVPN and Windscribe are excellent VPN providers. Considering everything we discovered in this NordVPN vs. Windscribe comparison, NordVPN wins.

Extensive features, numerous specialized servers, top-tier customer support, easy-to-use interface, and new generation, never-before-seen all-around security features – this is what NordVPN is like.

We Would Suggest NordVPN To:

  • Those concerned with privacy: NordVPN’s offices in Panama exclude them from multinational alliances, making them an excellent choice for those worried about having their data turned over to state agencies.
  • Users who like a vast server total: With more than ten times the number of waitpeople as Windscribe VPN, NordVPN is at the shelter of its lesson.
  • Streamers: NordVPN is an ideal option for users looking to access global versions of Netflix and learn new content.
  • We Would Advise Windscribe VPN To:
  • The better price-conscious: With lower monthly fees, a free performance to try before you buy, and customizable plans, Windscribe offers excellent pricing options.
  • Users with many machines: Windscribe VPN offers unlimited data and complete instruments. For those with multiple computers and other Internet-connected gadgets, Windscribe protects you.
  • For those who like rewards, Windscribe’s other ad blockers, virus protection, and more make the benefit a broader digital security and security program above just a standard VPN. For the price, these further services mean a lot.

Both services have much to offer, and Windscribe may be a better option for specific users, but NordVPN has the edge.


Which is better: Windscribe or NordVPN?

NordVPN is better than Windscribe. It has more features and specialized servers, its security solutions are next-level, and customer support is available daily if you run into any issues.

Can I trust Windscribe VPN?

Yes, Windscribe VPN is a perfectly trustworthy VPN. It uses the latest encryption technologies and doesn’t log any user data. One drawback may be that it is based in Canada, a 5 Eyes country, but other than that, you can trust Windscribe.

Is Windscribe better than ExpressVPN?

Additionally, Windscribe’s recent scandals are minor compared to ExpressVPN’s. You will get a more trustworthy, cheaper, and perfectly functional VPN if you choose Windscribe over ExpressVPN.

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