Windscribe VPN vs. ExpressVPN Comparison Review
Windscribe and ExpressVPN are offer excellent online security and privacy and have several extras. However, there are several differences; ultimately, one is better.
Windscribe has a free version and allows unlimited simultaneous connections, but it is in Canada, which is part of the 5 Eyes alliance. It also doesn’t unblock streaming sites reliably, and speeds are slower. On the other hand, ExpressVPN is in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, has a vast server network, can unblock streaming sites reliably, and offers fast speeds and performance.
Read along for more regarding how the two stack up against each other.
|PCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming Consoles
|PCs, Mobile, Routers, TV Sticks, Gaming Consoles
|256-bit AES encryption
|256-bit AES encryption
|PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec, and Lightway
|IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, Stealth, Websocket Stealth.
|British Virgin Islands
|🤷 Logging Policy
|No Log VPN (RAM-only servers)
|🖥 Server Network
|3,000 servers in over 94 countries
|600+ servers in over 63 countries
|🧪 Leak Tests
|24/7 live chat, email, FAQ
|Chatbot, email ticketing, FAQ
|🆓 Free Version
|⌛ Free Trial
|30-day money-back guarantee
|3-day money-back guarantee
- Offers all-round protection on desktop PCs, mobile devices, routers, gaming consoles, TVs, and so on
- With Windscribe, you can connect unlimited devices making it the best bang for the buck
- There is a freemium version of the software
- It comes with plenty of unique security extras, including an Ad blocker, Time Warp, Double Hop, and Split Personality
- Offers all-round protection on computers, mobile devices (iOS and Android), routers, gaming consoles, Smart TVs, etc
- Vast server network that leverages RAM-only servers
- Versatile VPN that supports 8 protocols; PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec, and Lightway
- Excellent speeds and top-of-the-class performance
- Reliable in unblocking all the major streaming sites with geo-locked content
- Small server network with no specialized servers
- Windscribe does not offer dedicated IPs
- It is based in Canada, a country that is a member of the 5-Eyes alliance
- Though it offers all-round protection, it allows a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections
Windscribe vs. ExpressVPN Face-to-Face Comparison Review
Onto the day’s main agenda, how does Windscribe compare to ExpressVPN? As usual, we compare all the essential factors that make a good VPN. So without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Brand Trust
The VPN industry has hundreds of VPN brands, some with a good reputation, while bogus providers operate others. To get the best value for money, go for trusted brands known for reliability. In this first round of this Windscribe vs. ExpressVPN comparison review, find out which of the two brands has the best reputation. We have done thorough background checks on the company profiles and, importantly, what the experts and users say.
Windscribe is a Canadian-based VPN officially released in 2016. The company was founded by Yegor Sak, Alex Paguis, and Mark Ulicki, renowned cybersecurity experts. Gape Technologies, however, acquired it in 2022. The company has risen to become one of the best VPN brands today. It has been hailed as one of the most reliable VPNs in the industry by top cybersecurity influencers and has been featured in several top publications.
We scoured VPN forums and consumer review websites, and we are glad it has positive reviews, save for a few cases of dissatisfied users, which is not unusual. On TrustPilot, this VPN has a Trustscore of 4.8/5 after over 11,400 reviews which is quite impressive.
ExpressVPN is also a trusted VPN brand. Founded in 2009, the company has scaled the heights to become a household name in the industry. ExpressVPN is owned and operated by Kape Technologies, a conglomerate behind several other top VPN brands, including CyberGhost, Private Internet Access (PIA), and Zenmate. Today, ExpressVPN commands a large portion of the VPN market boasting over 3 million users.
The award-winning company is rated highly by top cybersecurity experts and consumers. We also checked VPN forums and user reviews; users’ feedback is impressive. On Trustpilot, ExpressVPN has a Trustscore of 4.6/5 after over 23,700 reviews.
2. Supported Devices
The next crucial aspect to consider when looking for the best VPN is the supported devices. It would be best if you go for a VPN that is compatible with all your devices for all-round protection. Besides the compatible devices, check the number of simultaneous connections allowed. Some VPNs allow for just a few simultaneous connections, while others allow unlimited connections. The latter is the best. So, which devices do Windscribe and ExpressVPN work with? How many devices can you connect simultaneously on a single account?
ExpressVPN also excels in terms of supported devices. It is also an all-rounder that offers protection for all devices you can think of. There are Windows, macOS, and Chromebook apps, alongside browser extensions for Edge, Chrome, and Firefox. ExpressVPN also works with Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as routers, Kindle Fire, Smart TVs, PlayStation, Xbox, and so on.
Unfortunately, ExpressVPN allows a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections. But this shouldn’t worry you much, as you can always add more devices via an already-connected router.
How user-friendly is the VPN you are about to commit to? Are setup and configuration user-friendly? How about the user interface? These are among the questions you need to answer when assessing the usability of the best VPNs. You definitely want a VPN that has a simple registration process, easy configuration, and an intuitive user dashboard. So, which VPN wins this round?
Windscribe is a user-friendly VPN that even newbies with minimal technical skills can get started with real quick. The first step is to create an account by clicking the Sign-Up button. Then, choose whether to confirm your email and get up to 10 GB or upgrade to a paid plan. Now that you have an account, the next step is to download the Windscribe app, launch it, enter your login details, and you are ready to rumble without worrying about your online security and privacy.
Once the app is launched, select a server and hit the Connect button. However, getting started with routers, TVs and consoles can be a little bit different, but it’s not something that will sweat you. The app’s user interface is straightforward, so you won’t have a problem finding your way around.
ExpressVPN is also user-friendly. Getting started is a buzz. Click the Get ExpressVPN button, which redirects to the plans page. Now that there is no free version of the software, you will have to choose a plan. Once you have a subscription, download the ExpressVPN app, launch it, log in and you are all set.
Select a preferred server and connect. This is the process for PC and mobile devices but for routers and other devices; the drill is a little bit different, but all the same, pretty straightforward. ExpressVPN’s interface is also intuitive, with clean navigation and menu.
4. Security (Encryption)
One of the most crucial considerations when selecting a VPN is security. Definitely, you want airtight security. Now one of the factors that determine the level of security a VPN offers is the encryption technology. For starters, encryption technology refers to how information is encrypted into a secret code that can’t be deciphered without the key. There are different encryption technologies with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit as the industry standard. So settle for nothing less than AES 256-bit encryption.
ExpressVPN is also a secure VPN that deploys the latest military-grade encryption, AES 256-bit, to be precise. Just like Windscribe, ExpressVPN’s encryption is impenetrable.
It would take millions of years to break into systems encrypted using this technology. As for the handshake option, ExpressVPN deploys an RSA-4096 key while the authentication is handled by SHA-512 hashing.
5. Security (Protocols)
Another core component of a VPN’s security is the protocols available, also known as tunneling methods. A VPN protocol is a set of rules determining how data is routed via the VPN’s servers. There are over a dozen VPN tunneling methods, some modern while others are outdated. Each protocol is highly specialized for specific applications and has merits and demerits. When selecting a VPN, choose one with the most protocols for versatility. So, what protocols do Windscribe and ExpressVPN support?
ExpressVPN is also great in terms of security protocols. This VPN works with 8 protocols: PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec, and Lightway. PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP are old-school but are still worthy additions. OpenVPN is the industry standard and is known for security as the web server built into the OpenVPN Access Server deploys HTTPS SSL encryption.
ExpressVPN also works with WireGuard, which offers fast speeds and features LightWay, ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that works in the same way as NordVPN’s NordLynx.
6. Security Extras
Security is not just about encryption technology and protocols. There are a lot of other factors to consider. These are extras that take the VPN’s security a notch higher. For the record, some are basic extras and a must-have, while others are advanced security features. So, what do Windscribe and ExpressVPN have to offer here?
First, Windscribe comes with IP and DNS Leak Protection that prevents your IP and DNS queries from leaking alongside WebRTC Slayer that disables WebRTC in your browser, so your actual IP gets an extra layer of security. Talking of IPs, Windscribe offers static IP addresses, but there are no dedicated IPs for security reasons. Another feature worth mentioning is Port Forwarding, which allows you to access your PC or home network remotely.
Split Tunnelling is also available, so you can choose the traffic that should be routed via the VPN and traffic that can connect directly to the internet resource. Other extras include ROBERT, a customizable server-side domain, an IP blocking tool, a Firewall that prevents leaks, a proxy gateway, Double Hop, Adblocker, Split Personality, and Time Warp.
ExpressVPN is equally packed in terms of security extras. It also comes with IP, WebRTC, and DNS leak protection, so your traffic is always secure; no IP or DNS query leaks. There’s also a Network Kill Switch that comes in handy when your VPN connection drops, as it immediately drops the internet connection to prevent your traffic from leaking. You can also choose the traffic you want to route via the VPN using Split Tunnelling, while Encrypted Private DNS ensures your DNS requests remain intact.
7. Privacy & Confidentiality (Jurisdiction)
The privacy and confidentiality of a VPN should also be an essential talking point when selecting the best VPN to buy. One of the fundamentals of a VPN’s privacy and confidentiality is its jurisdiction. Some countries champion online privacy, but in others, there are strict laws that VPN providers should abide by. The best VPN that guarantees privacy should be in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, not part of any global surveillance organizations.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a jurisdiction that is not part of any surveillance networks, for example, the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes.
Besides, the BVI is a privacy-first country that respects its citizens’ privacy and doesn’t have any mandatory data retention laws and regulations.
8. Privacy & Confidentiality (Log Policy)
Another critical aspect to discuss under a VPN’s privacy and confidentiality is the log policy. Does the VPN collect your data? If yes, what data is collected, and is it stored? The rule of thumb when selecting a VPN is to go for one with a credible no-log policy. Unfortunately, many VPNs promise that they don’t keep logs, but have been caught pants down logging users’ data. So, what’s the logging policy of the two VPNs?
One instance that proved this is a credible no-log policy was when one of ExpressVPN’s servers was raided. No information was found as the company has invested in TrustedServer technology which uses RAM-only servers that wipe out all data after every reboot.
9. Server Network and Distribution
At the heart of a VPN’s infrastructure is the server network. The number of servers a VPN has really matters. The more servers, the more reliable a VPN is. Besides the server network, ascertain their specialization. There are different servers, for example, ultrafast servers for speed, secure servers, P2P-friendly servers, servers for streaming, obfuscation servers for GPS spoofing, and so on. In this segment, we have compared the server networks of the two VPNs. Find out which one is the best.
Windscribe has a limited server network. The company operates around 600 RAM-only servers in 63 countries and 110 cities. Just to mention, on the free plan, you get access to servers in just 11 countries, but on the paid plan, you can access servers in all 63 countries. All the servers are physical; there are no virtual servers.
The server network boasts state-of-the-art hardware for speed, performance, and reliability. One cool feature worth mentioning is Autopilot which automatically selects the best server for you. Unfortunately, there are no specialized P2P and streaming servers, but you can download torrents and unblock streaming sites on some.
As far as server network and distribution are concerned, ExpressVPN is the clear winner, no doubt about that. The company boasts a large server network with top-of-the-range hardware that guarantees optimal performance, ultra-fast speeds, and reliability. There are over 3000 highly specialized servers in 94 countries.
They are distributed in 160 top locations across the Americas, Europe, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa. Most of the servers are physical, but there are also virtual servers. Like Windscribe, all ExpressVPN servers are based on TrustedServer technology, meaning they are all RAM-only servers, each with a private DNS. 70% of ExpressVPN servers support up to 10Gbps. Also worth mentioning is the ExpressVPN Smart Location, which automatically picks the best server for optimal performance.
10. Speeds and Performance
Whether you are into average browsing or torrenting and streaming, you should consider the speed and performance of the VPN you want to subscribe to. This is because all VPNs incur speed losses as data is transferred from one server to another. Some VPNs have minimal speed losses, while others drop speeds significantly, which can be a nuisance if you are into P2P activity, streaming, or gaming.
To give you a rough idea of how the two compare, we tested them on a 100Mbps connection so you can know how they stack up against each other. In the first test, we wanted to know how fast they could download a 1Gb file on the best servers, and in the second test, we tested the speed drops on servers in different locations. Below are the results.
11. Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming
VPNs are not just for online security and privacy. They also come in handy in the entertainment scene. First, they can be used to unblock streaming sites with geo-restricted content. Another application is P2P activity. If you want to download torrents without worrying about bandwidth throttling, you will need a VPN. VPNs are also necessary in gaming as they can unblock geo-restricted gaming content, for example, maps, heroes, and discounts. Besides, they can improve performance and protect you from DDoS attacks and other threats. But not all VPNs can unblock streaming sites and support torrenting and gaming. So, how do the two VPNs in this comparison review rank as far as streaming, torrenting, and gaming are concerned?
At no time did we experience bandwidth throttling. ExpressVPN is also a good VPN for gaming. It is secure enough to keep DDoS attacks at bay, and besides, it can help gamers to bypass geo-restrictions. With this VPN, you can access geo-locked gaming content and discounts. It also boasts fast speeds and low pings.
12. Customer Support
Whether you are an expert or an entry-level VPN user, you should consider the customer support a provider has. Here, you want a provider with 24/7 live chat support which offers immediate feedback. Telephone and email are also necessary. Lastly, check whether the brand has resources such as FAQs, guides, and tutorials. So, how does Windscribe compare to ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN wins this round as it has 24/7 live chat support with knowledgeable support agents, so you are guaranteed resourceful feedback any time, all the time.
Besides the 24/7 live chat support, the company has an email address, but feedback is not immediate. Lastly, there is a help center with tons of information regarding the usability of the VPN, plus answers to frequently asked questions.
13. Plans, Pricing, Payment Options
In the last round of this Windscribe vs. ExpressVPN comparison review, we want to determine which of the two brands offers the best value for money. We have assessed the available plans, pricing, and payment methods. Obviously, you want a VPN with flexible plans, a free trial, and a money-back guarantee in the event you are unsatisfied with the service.
|$8.32 / mo
|$5.75 / mo
|$9.99 / mo
|$12.95 / mo
|$9.00 / mo
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Windscribe VPN free?
2. What is better than Windscribe?
3. Was Windscribe hacked?
4. Is ExpressVPN free?
5. Can ExpressVPN be hacked?
There, you have it, folks, a Windscribe vs. ExpressVPN comparison review. As you have seen, both brands offer excellent online security and privacy. However, ExpressVPN is the best option as it has a strict no-log policy, a vast network of specialized servers, and can unblock streaming sites reliably. In addition, it guarantees fast speeds for streaming 4K content, torrenting, and gaming.