When you can’t access certain websites, it’s best to resort to using a VPN. This vital tool will protect your privacy by encrypting your connection and shielding it from malicious factors. There are numerous reputable VPN servers on the market, and Windscribe and NordVPN are two of these tools.
In our article, we comprehensively compared Windscribe vs NordVPN to examine each VPN’s features, how they protect your privacy, pricing, and subscriptions.
What is a VPN? Do You Need One?
A VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. It’s like a secure tunnel for your internet traffic, protecting your privacy and online activity. This virtual network protects your online existence when you’re connected to a public network, hence keeping cyber attackers at bay.
How Does a VPN Work?
A VPN works through three stages that begin with encrypting your internet connection until a stable and secure connection is established for data to travel through.
After you connect to a VPN, it encrypts all your data before it leaves your device. This encryption prevents anyone who might intercept this data from reading it without the decryption key.
IP Address Masking
A VPN shields your real IP address by assigning you a temporary one. This intermediary step makes it harder for websites and trackers to identify your location and trace your online activity.
A VPN is like a secure, encrypted tunnel where data travels, decrypted and sent to the internet. This additional security step makes it more difficult for hackers to eavesdrop, steal your sensitive data or track your online activity back to you.
Do you need a VPN?
Not everyone needs to use a VPN; it mainly depends on your online habits and priorities. Here are some reasons why someone might use a VPN.
VPNs are great for protecting your privacy, especially when using public Wi-Fi or in countries with stricter internet censorship.
Encryption makes it harder for hackers and snoopers to steal your data. This enhanced security makes VPNs ideal for online banking, shopping, or using sensitive information.
VPNs can allow you to access content on websites that are blocked in your region. Many use VPNs for this purpose to access streaming services, gaming, or accessing news and information not available locally.
Protection from Tracking
VPNs can mask your IP address and browsing activity, making it harder for companies and advertisers to track your online movements.
Are there Downsides to Using VPNs?
Despite VPNs’ many security advantages, they still have several downsides to consider before using them. We stress that using a VPN remains a matter of personal choice rather than technical capabilities.
Generally, when you’re connected to a free or low-quality internet service, a VPN will further slow your internet connection, making it difficult to browse online freely.
There are various online free VPNs. However, these free versions offer limited services, and in order to get better features and more secure connections, you will need to subscribe to a VPN package.
While several explanatory manuals are online, setting up and using a VPN might be technically challenging for some users.
What is Windscribe?
Windscribe is a renowned Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provider that helps you stay secure and private online by encrypting your internet traffic, hiding your initial IP address and allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions.
This popular VPN provider works by using strong encryption protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and WireGuard, to safeguard your data from hackers and snoopers. Windscribe claims to follow a “No Logs Policy”, which means the software doesn’t store any logs of your activity. This step means they can share your browsing history or other sensitive information with anyone. Moreover, Windscribe has a built-in ad and tracker blocker to help you avoid unwanted ads and protect your privacy.
What is NordVPN?
NordVPN is another popular Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider that, like Windscribe, helps you connect to the internet safely while staying secure and keeping your online connection private. NordVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is the gold standard for online security, to protect your data from prying parties. Like Windscribe VPN, NordVPN claims to use a strict “No Logs Policy”; however, NordVPN has been independently audited and verified not to store any user activity logs to ensure privacy and anonymity. NordVPN has a Kill Switch, which cuts your internet connection off if the VPN connection drops to prevent any leakage of your real IP address.
Windscribe vs NordVPN 2023: Key Differences
Windscribe and NordVPN are both reputable VPN service providers. They offer the same service with the same approach but with different encryption methods and efficiency. Here are the key differences between these two VPN providers.
Windscribe vs NordVPN Features
NordVPN and Windscribe offer their customers similar features, from the number of devices you can connect to the VPN server to the number of servers each software has in worldwide countries.
Windscribe allows you to connect unlimited devices simultaneously using only one subscription. The software also has servers in more than 69 countries worldwide, which gives you a multitude of options to choose from for changing your virtual location, creating a virtual IP address and accessing geo-restricted content. Windscribe also lets you choose which applications and websites to allow through the VPN tunnel and which ones to bypass. This vital step gives you more control over your privacy and security.
NordVPN boasts almost 5,500 servers in 60 countries worldwide, giving you extensive options for changing your virtual location and bypassing geo-restrictions. The VPN provider employs the NOrdLynx protocol, which utilises the WireGuard® architecture for faster speeds and improved security compared to traditional VPN protocols. NordVPN has advanced security features like Threat Protection to block malware, a Double VPN to provide a double encryption layer and an Onion over VPN for enhanced user anonymity.
Windscribe vs NordVPN: Server Network and Browser Extensions
The two VPN service providers have different numbers of servers worldwide, which boosts their connection capabilities.
Windscribe’s servers are distributed through over 69 countries worldwide, focusing on key locations to offer unlimited simultaneous connections on all plans. The software has ad and tracker-blocking browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.
With about 5,500 servers in 60 countries, NordVPN offers more extensive global coverage and allows up to 6 simultaneous connections on most of its packages. NordVPN’s lightweight Chrome extension offers basic VPN functionality and bookmarking favourite locations.
Windscribe vs NordVPN: VPN Apps and VPN Protocols
Each VPN server offers unique and additional features besides the baseline VPN services. They also each use different encryption methods to improve security and speed.
Windscribe is a user-friendly and intuitive application for all major platforms. It offers additional features like R.O.B.E.R.T., or Remotely Operated Block Everywhere Tool, and split tunnelling. The software also supports industry-standard protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and WireGuard.
NordVPN is one of the feature-rich apps with advanced configurations for experienced users. It includes Threat Protection, Double VPN, and Onion over VPN functionalities. For VPN protocols, the software offers its own NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard for improved speed and security, along with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec options.
Windscribe vs NordVPN: Plans and Free Version Offerings
While both Windscribe and NordVPN offer free version offerings, they have different pricing plans.
With two main plans, Windscribe offers a great feature of building your own plan. The software’s main plans are the Monthly Plan for $9 per month and the Yearly Plan for $5.75 per month. If you choose to Build a Plan, you will be billed $1 per location every month. Windscribe’s free version offers you access to 10 locations with a monthly data limit of 10GB and basic features like ad and tracker blocking.
Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t have a free version but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It has three main package plans to choose from: the Monthly Plan, the 1-Year Plan and the 2-Year Plan. Each of these plans has three packages: the Standard, the Plus and the Complete. The prices of the Monthly Plan’s three packages are $12.99, $13.99 and $14.99, respectively. The 1-Year Plan gives you a major discount on all its packages with prices at $59.88, $71.88 and $83.88, respectively. While the 2-Year Plan’s package prices are reduced to $83.76, $107.76 and $131,76, respectively.
Speed and Performance: Windscribe vs NordVPN
Choosing a VPN often hinges on speed and performance, so let’s delve deeper into how Windscribe and NordVPN fare in this crucial area.
Like its contender, Windscribe’s protection services have several downsides. The software offers decent speeds on many servers for browsing, streaming and downloading, but these speeds are much slower than NordVPN’s. Since you can split VPN traffic across multiple devices, this will also impact individual speeds. Compared to NordVPN, Windscribe has a smaller server network, making finding an optimal server for top speed more challenging. Since the software’s free plan only offers 10GB and some paid plans have bandwidth limitations, this could impact users who utilise VPNs regularly.
While NordVPN is based on WireGuard and uses NordLynx to deliver faster speeds and lower latency, the software has several demerits. These include the potential of performance variations due to NordVPN’s vast server network, which means that finding the fastest server requires frequent testing and trial-and-error. The software also uses the Double VPN feature, which can reduce speed significantly and negatively impact older devices.
Windscribe vs NordVPN: Double VPN Feature
A Double VPN feature is an additional layer of protection that VPN providers utilise to protect user connections and data further online.
While Windscribe doesn’t have a dedicated Double VPN, it implements WireGuard to provide a similar level of encryption with potentially better performance.
Offers Double VPN for enhanced security, though at the cost of potentially reduced speed due to two layers of encryption.
Windscribe vs NordVPN: Customer Support
Each VPN service provider gives its customers helpful support means to follow up after installation. Windscribe offers several knowledge base categories to help you locate your answers, a chatbot called Garry to help you, Subreddit and Discord communities or you can Contact Support directly. NordVPN’s support methods include live chat and email support, as well as FAQs, tutorials, and a knowledge base.
Both NordVPN and Windscribe offer decent features, speeds and performance. However, choosing between them depends on your preferred speed limit, your device’s technical capabilities, and your use of each software’s specific features.