Windscribe vs. ExpressVPN, which is the best VPN provider? If you are unsure which VPN is best, you are at the right place. We have compared all their features to help you make the right decision.
Windscribe and ExpressVPN are two of the most popular VPN providers on the market. They 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.
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 7,400 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 4.7/5 after over 12,700 reviews.
Windscribe is a robust VPN that offers all-round protection. There are apps for PCs, Windows, macOS, and Linux, alongside browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. This VPN also works with mobile devices, both Android and iOS.
Other devices you can protect using Windscribe include Android TVs, Smart TVs, routers, PlayStation, you name it. One of the best features is the support for unlimited simultaneous connections. You can connect as many devices as you want.
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.
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.
Windscribe is a robust VPN that deploys military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, the industry standard complemented by SHA512 for authentication and 4096-bit RSA as the key.
This encryption is so secure that it would take the fastest computers millions of years to perform a brute-force attack successfully. For the record, browser extensions deploy a different encryption technology.
They use AES 128-bit GCM cipher, TLS 1.2 ECDHE RSA for authentication, and P-256 as the key exchange.
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.
Windscribe is exceptional here as it supports 5 protocols. First is IKEv2, the default protocol. It is fast but vulnerable to detection.
Windscribe also supports OpenVPN on UDP and TCP. UDP is fast but easy to block, while TCP is fast but hard to block.
Another protocol is WireGuard which guarantees the fastest speeds. There’s also Stealth and Websocket Stealth which are both slow but offer excellent security.
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.
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.
Windscribe is based in Canada. Unfortunately, Canada is part of the 5-Eyes alliance. This means the government can collaborate with other member states by sharing your information where necessary.
To make matters worse, ISPs in Canada are required to store customers’ data for 6 months. That said, you should think twice if you’re keen on your online privacy and confidentiality.
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.
Even though Windscribe is marketed as a 100% no-log VPN, it does keep some logs. But the company claims that the information it logs is not personally identifiable information.
This includes when you last used the VPN and the total bandwidth. PII, such as connection logs, actual and assigned IPs, session logs, and browsing activity, are not logged.
It’s worth mentioning that Windscribe recently upgraded to RAM-only servers, which delete all data with every reboot.
Regarding the log policy, ExpressVPN is the winner as it has a credible 100% no-log policy.
The company doesn’t keep any personally identifiable information such as actual and assigned IP address, traffic destination, browsing history, connection logs, session durations, bandwidth, connection timestamps, or DNS queries, so you can be sure that all your activity is private.
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.
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.
Windscribe may be a good VPN for online security and privacy, but it is unreliable when it comes to streaming. We tried unblocking several Netflix libraries with no success.
Immediately a site got unblocked, we were blocked. And it’s not just Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Crunchyroll, and Apple TV. We also tried downloading torrents, and here again, Windscribe wasn’t reliable.
First, the speeds were slow, and more so, our ISP detected torrenting activity, and speeds dropped further. On gaming, we like that Windscribe works with gaming consoles. It can protect gamers from DDoS attacks. It can also allow gamers to access geo-restricted content and discounts. But there is room for improvement when it comes to speeds and latency.
If you are into streaming, ExpressVPN is the best option. It successfully managed to unblock several Netflix libraries alongside other streaming sites with geo-locked content, for example, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Apple TV, DAZN, YouTube, and Crunchyroll, just to mention a few.
When it comes to torrenting, ExpressVPN is the best. It has P2P-friendly servers optimized for P2P activity. 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.
Windscribe does not have a live chat. Instead, the company has a user-friendly chatbot that offers solutions to basic issues. However, you must submit a ticket or visit the company’s Subreddit for assistance with complex issues. Luckily, Windscribe has plenty of resources in the form of guides, FAQs, and detailed knowledgebase.
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.
Windscribe has three plans. First is the free version of the software, which only gives users access to servers in 11 countries. There’s also a monthly plan that costs $9 a month and a yearly plan that costs $5.75 a month, billed annually.
Last is the custom plan that allows users to build their plan. The price is $1 a month per location. One great thing about this VPN is that there is no limit on the devices you can connect simultaneously. The available payment options include PayPal, VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, Paymentwall, and bitcoin.
There is no free trial, but you can take advantage of the free version to try the service before committing. A 3-day money-back guarantee covers all plans.
ExpressVPN is among the most expensive VPN brands around. Unfortunately, there is no free version or free trial, but the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
There are three plans, a 1-month plan for $12.95 a month, a 6-months plan for $9.99, billed every six months, and a 1-year plan for $8.32 billed annually.
The available payment options include Visa, AMEX, Mastercard, Discover, JCB, UnionPay, PayPal, QIWI, iDEAL, GiroPay, Sofort Banking, and Bitcoin.
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.